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  #1  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:24 PM
AvidEditor AvidEditor is offline
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Default Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

It would be great to get advice on elegant wiring/mixing solutions for sending from Main Outs line level to amp/PA speakers - and at the same time sending to powered stage monitors.

My question also involves current unsatisfactory experience with powered speakers - I either have an impedance mismatch or the Mackie's we have are simply awful. Our band is getting ready to go out and play. We have a pair of old Mackie SRM450 active speakers we've been using for the PA, the plan all along was to use these as stage monitors. But before we use these as stage monitors I'd like to understand why these Mackie SRM450 speakers sound so terrible with my Eleven Rack.

Clean sounds coming out of the Eleven Rack Main Outs to a mixer to the SRM450 sound almost OK - crunchy and barely passable. However, with Overdrive/Distorted rigs the SRM450 totally breaks up and sounds just awful - not listenable. But, I can run the exact same Overdrive/Distorted rigs from the Main Outs into my Mackie mixer and then into the the back of my Fender SuperSonic Power Amp and it sounds GREAT!

Why does the Mackie SRM450 sound so horrible - and with the same Line Level signal from the Eleven Rack the power amp of the Fender SuperSonic (not running into the front of the amp) sound so great? Impedance? Poor quality of Mackie SRM450? The SRM450 aren't good speakers, but they fall apart much more than you'd expect with distorted rigs - the same distorted rigs that sound fantastic with just the power amp of the SuperSonic.

Anyway, as an old school guy I want to run from the Eleven Rack into a power amp to a nice JBL stack and also use powered stage monitors. What are good mixer/cable configurations?

Thanks for all thoughts and solutions.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:33 PM
TieDyedDevil TieDyedDevil is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

I hate to say it, but this is something you're probably going to have to track down by yourself.

I wouldn't expect to get passable sound when switching from a tube-amp/speaker combo to a powered PA speaker, or vice versa.

You may need to rebuild your patches from scratch for the Mackie SRM450s.

The SRM450s aren't perfect, but they're far from being awful speakers. That's assuming that they aren't damaged, of course.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:57 PM
dawnsman1 dawnsman1 is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

I have used my 11R extensively live for two years and this is what I do that seems to work well. It doesn’t really answer your questions per se but it is something that does work.

First, I make sure my live patches are mono. Then, go into the 11R setting and make sure the volume controls just the amp outs. I hook up amp out 1 to a DI and that goes to the board. I send amp 2 out to my powered monitor which I use just like a guitar amp. If anyone else wants more guitar in their monitors, the sound guy takes care of that. The advantage of this is if for any reason you ever need to adjust the main volume out (and it will happen someday) in a hurry you get more consistent results. Also, I was never quite 100% sure if it was “ok” to just use one of the XLR outs to go to the mains eliminating the DI. I know on some devices in the past that it was not recommended to use only one out at a time and so I took the safe route on this one. Make sure you use mono rigs though or you might get half of a modulated sound (such as chorus) and it will sound out of tune.

If I go to do some recording, I just mostly use the same rigs, I just toggle them to stereo and of course use the XLR outs in the studio. I hope that helps a bit!
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2012, 10:34 PM
TieDyedDevil TieDyedDevil is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnsman1 View Post
Also, I was never quite 100% sure if it was “ok” to just use one of the XLR outs to go to the mains eliminating the DI. I know on some devices in the past that it was not recommended to use only one out at a time and so I took the safe route on this one. Make sure you use mono rigs though or you might get half of a modulated sound (such as chorus) and it will sound out of tune.
It certainly is OK to use just one of the main outputs.

Some devices (not the Eleven Rack) don't have provision to collapse the outputs to mono. On those, you need to be careful about how you use patches that have stereo FX. On the Eleven Rack, just set the patches to mono.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2012, 12:40 AM
AvidEditor AvidEditor is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

TieDyedDevil, first of all, I always liked Tie-dyes, nice username! Regarding rebuilding rigs - they're tweaked to usable live sound going through the power amp stage of the SuperSonic. I trust the power amp of the SuperSonic. I recently purchased a pair of JRX125's and haven't yet bought an amp(s) for them - but I'm confident running from the overdrive/distorted Eleven Rack rigs to an amp to JRX125 will sound great. The part of the sound system that doesn't sound great is the powered Mackie's. The Mackie's are fine, not blown, they simply sound awful when running overdrive/distorted Eleven Rack rigs. I assume the solution will be pulling a sub mix out and sending to the Mackie as stage monitors without the guitar - but there must be something else going on.

dawnsman1, I'll try mono. I've got Amp 1 Out setting at "Amp Input," going to the front of my Fender SuperSonic. This has always been great and how I set my tones. The Eleven Rack Main Outs, which include everything in the rig, running into only the power amp stage of my SuperSonic is reliable tone/sound because I've matched Amp 1 into the front of my SuperSonic to Main Outs with Eleven Rack DC Clean settings into the power amp of the SuperSonic. Playing live will be Amp 1 out to the front of combo Fender SuperSonic (classic tone!) and Main Outs to the PA.

Bottom line, I've closely matched the tone of a Fender SuperSonic with settings on the DC Clean - and taking that resultant Main Out line level signal and sending to the Mackie powered speakers unfortunately yields to this point awful sound from the Mackie's.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2012, 07:58 AM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

I currently run my 11R into a Mackie SRM450 (version 1) and am getting pretty good sounds from it. Since you verified that your Mackie's are not damaged/blown, I would guess you might try tweaking some of the settings on the back of the Mackie to make sure something did not get changed. Is the gain knob turned all the way up? If so, try rolling it back to about 12:00 for now to see if that cleans things up a bit. There also some push button switches for high pass filters, etc. Do your Mackie's work fine with other sources (vocals, keyboards, etc.)?

What I do to feed the house PA at the same time is I take the XLR pass through on the back of the Mackies and send that to the mixer. It work great.

I will admit that the Mackie's are not the best full range powered speakers for the 11R. They work but I find the sound a little too brittle and the shape of the enclosure does not allow me to put the 11R on top. It is curved so the 2 space rack is too wobbly if I try. Folks here seem to be having good results with the QSC K12 which I'm looking into.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2012, 09:42 AM
AvidEditor AvidEditor is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

Obsidian Dragon, yes the Mackies are fine with vocals and drums. Believe me, I don't mean to put down anyone's equipment.

When you say you get pretty good sounds from your SRM450's, are you also including getting good sounds from overdrive settings?

I don't own these Mackies, they're owned by our bass player who also does all our mixing and wiring. Up to this point I just turn down the Main Outs on songs with overdrive and distortion, and turn back up on clean sounds. I'll take a look at the back of them to see what he's got going on.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2012, 09:58 AM
moff moff is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

OP - What are your amp outputs set to? What outputs are you using?

The issue may lie in how you have "Output to Amp" set. Each of the 1/4" outs (one on the front and one on the back) has an adjustment where you can set where in the virtual signal chain it gets its signal. Because you're using a SuperSonic power amp and speakers, you wouldn't be using cab simulation (the SuperSonic IS a cab), so I assume you've set at least one of those to either "Amp output" or "Rig Out no Cab".

You need cab and mic sims when going through the monitor, and here's where it gets tricky: The XLR outputs should always deliver the full rig, EXCEPT that they don't if you've set the "Output to Amp" to "Rig Out No Cab". It's not in the manual or the various videos, but is a known thing, and has been acknowledged by Avid that setting even one Output to Amp to "Rig Out No Cab" defeats cab and mic sims on ALL outputs including the XLRs. That could account for the crappy sound in the Mackies. In order for the XLRs to output the full rig out, including cab and mic sims, you need to set "Output to Amp" to anything OTHER THAN "Rig Out No Cab".

So here's how to set up: If you're using the 1/4" outs into the Mackies, make sure the "Output to Amp" for that 1/4" out is set to "Rig Output". If you're using XLR into the Mackies, make sure the 1/4" outputs are NOT set to "Rig Out No Cab", then the XLRs will deliver the full rig to them.

You can have it setup as an all-purpose rig by setting the 1/4" outs to "Amp Output". That will give you output with no cab simulation for your SuperSonic on the 1/4" outs, and full rigs (for your Mackines and FOH) from the XLRs.

I'm typing this fast before work, so I hope it's not too confusing....
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2012, 12:40 PM
AvidEditor AvidEditor is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

Moff, thanks for the info, I'll check it out. My Eleven Rack is over at the Bass players house, I won't be able to check it out until much later tonight.

I only use one 1/4", Amp 1 on the front. I run this to the front of my combo SuperSonic. I've tried running 1/4" from the back Amp 2 to our Mackie mixer (which handles the vocals and drums) which then goes to the Mackies. This 1/4" Amp 2 Out behaves similarly, if not worse, than the XLR Main Outs. I don't have the Eleven Rack in front of me, but I do know I have all cabs turned off within each rig.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2012, 01:04 PM
moff moff is offline
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Default Re: Eleven Rack Main Outs to PA amp and Powered Stage Monitors

AvidEditor - I see the problem now...

You NEED to have your cabinet sims turned ON in each rig, otherwise any direct-injections like the FOH and monitors will sound like crap. It would be the same if you played a regular amp and instead of micing the cabinet, you sent the "FX out" signal to the FOH - the board only gets preamp sound, no speaker sound. A guitar amp's tone relies heavily on the speakers. The SuperSonic has speakers specifically designed and tuned for guitar, but the direct-input signals you're using do not have a speaker sim, and the PA and monitors are "full range", so will produce all of the preamp fizz that's not being filtered by a real power amp and speakers. Therefore, a cabinet needs to be simulated.

Does that part make sense?

You'll need to re-edit all of your patches to have cab sims turned on - you can bypass the cab for use with your SuperSonic using the Output to Amp settings. See below.

First, go into setup (hold the edit\back button) and scroll to "Amp Outputs". If either is set to "Rig Out No Cab", you're defeating cab simulations on ALL outputs, which is not good for your situation. Again, you NEED cab simulations to be on for the monitor and FOH to sound right.

Set Amp Out 1 to "Amp Output" (this takes its signal after the amp, and before the cab sims). That'll give you a cab sim -free signal to run to your SuperSonic. I suggest you run it into the FX return of the SS instead of through the front; there will be no preamp colouration that way. The signal will be a bit weaker because the 1/4" outputs are "instrument level", and the FX return expects to see "line level", but just turn up the FX return level on the Fender or its master volume to compensate. The downside to this setting is you will lose any FX you've placed after the cabinet in the 11R signal chain, but only in your SuperSonic - they WILL be there in the monitor and FOH. Or you can just move the FX to be before the amp in the virtual signal chain.

Next, make sure Amp Out 2 is set to "Rig Output". That'll give you a full rig simulation, including cab and mic sim and post-cab FX to send to your monitors and the FOH, and because neither Output to Amp is set to "Rig Out No Cab", it will also allow the XLRs to output the full rig as well.

Recap:

Amp Out 1 = "Amp Output"
Amp Out 2 = "Rig Output" (NOT "Rig Out No Cab")

Now, using either headphones, or plugging directly into one of the Mackies (from Amp Out 2 or the XLR outs), enable cab sims on all of your patches, and and choose the cabinet and mic sim that sounds right to you.
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