Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Strange Problem With DL1608...I think!

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Strange Problem With DL1608...I think!

    Okay I am having some very wacky experiences with my new PA system, and have played 3 or 4 gigs and so far it hasn't been right. I am getting used to setting up this monstrosity (including all the lights and IEM's) though, so that is something. Anyway, there are some very wacky things going on sonically. I want to say that it is a mixer issue, but truth be told, I am quite new at owning equipment like this and don't have the knowledge to troubleshoot this system to even know if there is something else wrong that is causing all kinds of problems at my band's shows. The mixer is the Mackie DL1608.

    When I called Mackie and described my issues (which I will get into a minute), they had me do a hard reboot, then they had me force a firmware update and said that this should fix the problems. Near as I can figure, this has either made it worse, or had no effect. So here is what is happening:

    Originally, the FOH was fine and this was just a monitors issue (both IEM's and wedges). Some happens is that there seems to be very, very limited control of the channels in the IEM's and the wedges. Some channels respond to the fader controls in the corresponding auxes going to the wedges and some don't, or they respond very marginally. For instance, the female vocalist was not able to get any lead guitar into her IEM and no bass. She could get all the drums she wanted and my voice was hot in her ear while her mic channel into her aux had to be maxed in order to hear herself. The rhythm guitarist could only get vocals and drums, no keys or guitars.

    My wedge (EV ELX112) had all the vocals (THANKS GOD, because In turned that to all the singers and we had one stage monitor for vocals after they ripped the IEM's out yet again!) I could get instruments into the ELX, but very little. I could make the ELX feed back with the vocal mics, but could not make the ELX feed back with any of the stage instrument mics no matter how loud I made the corresponding faders in the Aux (I used Aux 1 foy my wedge).

    Now last night's gig was the first time I had serious trouble with the FOH. My friend Rob was running the mixer with his iPad. He is even newer to sound than I am, but I trust his ear and what he tells me. He was complaining that he pushing and pulling faders in the LR (mains) output had very little effect, especially on the instruments. And I confirmed this was true etween sets. My guitar amp had a Shure SM57 on it and you could hear my guitar in the mains, but whatever the fader was set at above minus infinity, there was very very little change in the mains. If I had to guess I was able to effect make maybe 5-10 db changes, if that, in my guitar volume through the mains. Additionally, though my SM57 was a good 15 feet behind the left sub and left main, when I put the channel volume of my guitar all the way to full (+10 DB) I got no feedback at all, nothing. Not only was there very little change from fader position, but at +10 DB, shouldn't the mic have fed back? Granted, I had to turn the vocal mics off because they were feeding back.

     

    Speaking of the vix mics, they seemed a lot more responsive to their channel strip faders, but still not where I felt they should be. There is a pretty wide db range between -infinity and +10, no?


    The drums (particularly the snare) was more responsive in the FOH than were the guitars, but not quite as much as the vocals.

    Needless to say, this is an unacceptable situation, and I have NO IDEA what the hell is even going on. I mean, for all I know my mains could be bad, but then again, that would not explain the monitor issues, particularly with the IEM's. But, maybe my IEM heaphone amps (Rolls PM351's) are bad AND, at the same time, the FOH speakers are coincidentally bad, too?

    Doubt it. I still think it's the mixer, but I don't have the knowledge to troubleshoot this.

    Something weird happened last gig (before the one last night): I COULD NOT shut off the digital delay no matter what I did. I brought the delay send and returns down to -infinity AND I put the delay channel down to -infinity. The only way I could stop this CRAZY ass delay sounding like it belonged in a horror movie or something, was to hit the MUTE button on the delay channel. I had saved the scene last gig in May with the mute button engaged, and since I wasn't using delay on anything yesterday, I guess I had left it on without thinking about it.

    Anyway, middle of the second set, we are doing harmonies and all of a sudden the delay kicks on. Now I am guessing that both iPads somehow lost connection at the same time (without me or my frend Rob realizing it) and so after the song, I ran to my iPad on an iPad mic stand holder and checked. Sure enough the delay was not muted AND the fader for the delay channel was up around 0. I asked Rob if he accidentally hit the mute AND brought the fader up, and he swears he didn't. I know I didn't because I was playing. Again, the only way I could shut the delay was to hit MUTE on the delay channel. The nearest I can figure (and this is just a guess) is that the router or mixer reset or booted the iPads off the networks, then the sync connection re-established, only somehow recalled an older scene? Again, no clue, but nothing else would explain why the dela channel was so hot and why it was un-muted.

    Not to mention I have NO IDEA why I can't seem to shut the delay off without muting the channel.

     

    Just so you guys know:.

    No channels are muted except channels with nothing plugged into them and, of course, the delay.

    The speakers sound really good (and I mean really good!), from what I can tell from the recordings AND when I play iPad music through them. So I am definitely leaning away from the speakers being causative here. Seriously, these PRX speakers are like the one silver lining so far. Even with all the troubles we are having (and we are having a ton!) my band has a lot of fans and I am receiving unbelievably glowing praise about "the sound" even though most of these people have no idea I bought a new system. Even my old sound man was blown away by the FOH quality and clarity. Now if I can just get these insane issues solved I could imagine what this system would sound like!

    I am going to run down to the basement at some point today and recall the "scene" I have for my band and I am going to plug my SM57 into channel 9 (where my guitar channel is in the mix) and see if I can get some volume control.

    What is very strange is that these problems ONLY seem to happen when all the instruments are mic's and all or most of the 16 channels are used. I actually expect that when I plug my instrument mic into the mixer in my guitar channel it will work just fine when just that mic or that mic and my vox mic is in. Call it a hunch.

    But I really have no idea what the hell is going on here. My buddy Tim, who uses this mixer and mixes festivals, lives 300 miles away from me or he would drve down and see if he can diagnose this at one of my gigs. Short of that, I don't even know enough to know if it really is the mixer that's bad and I should call Mackie to get an RMA.

     

    Any ideas? Because my gigs are now starting to feel like a Twilight Zone episode! lol

     


  • #2

    Sounds like you have gates and (more likely) compression set on the channels with wonky settings. Turn all of the dynamics "off" and try again. Don't forget the outputs as they all have comprssion available too. Try recalling the "default" "show" and "scene". DO NOT USE PRESETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment


    • ChiroVette
      ChiroVette commented
      Editing a comment

      RoadRanger wrote:

      Sounds like you have gates and (more likely) compression set on the channels with wonky settings. Turn all of the dynamics "off" and try again. Don't forget the outputs as they all have comprssion available too. Try recalling the "default" "show" and "scene". DO NOT USE PRESETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      Thanks for the response, RR.

      First, no gates are on for any channels at all. I know absolutely nothing about gating so I stay clear away from it.

      Second, the only monitor compression is on the IEM's, which I refuse to work without for safety reasons. The IEM's are auxes 2 through 5 and settings are as follows:

      Soft Knee

      -3db Threshold

      -Ratio = Infinity: 1

      -attack 0.1 ms

      -Release 250 ms

      Gain - 0db


      Basically I am using the compressor as a brickwall limiter in the IEM's in case some crazy signal goes through the system that might hurt someone's ears.

      Third: I use compression on vocals and some of the instruments, but it is VERY VERY light. For vocals I have the settings as:

      Soft Knee

      Ratio: 2:1

      Attack: 20 ms

      Release: 250 ms

      Gain: 10db

      **Threshold varies depending on the singer. What I try to do is I set the input trim (usually around 120 but about 110 on my mic because it is an EV 767 N/D and is very hot!) Then I basically ask the singer to sing full voice and bring the threshold down until their full voice just kind of tickles the compressor. In other words full voice brings about a tiny bit of gain reduction, while yelling brings about a little more. Note: none of my vocal compression thresholds go below about -10db because my band doesn't have screamers.

      I have compression on the kick, but it is also set very conservatively. Keys has a tiny smidge of compression.

      Everything with compression on it BARELY touches the compressor ever. I stopped playing in several spots and scrolled through the iPad and there was very little gain reduction happening anywhere.

      Fourth: Not using ANY presets. I was going to, but guys like Andy bitchslapped me a little right before I bought my PA gear and I decided that not taking their advice is a very, very bad idea! lol

      Fifth: I wish you were around yesterday afternoon, as I never thought to try recalling the default scene with no anything on it! Oh well.


  • #3

    Have you set all the aux sends to pre fader? If set to post, things won't respond as expected, and max send level will be limited by FOH mix.

    Comment


    • ChiroVette
      ChiroVette commented
      Editing a comment

      Axisplayer wrote:

      Have you set all the aux sends to pre fader? If set to post, things won't respond as expected, and max send level will be limited by FOH mix.


      Axis, I had five of the six auxes to pre-fade. Aux 1, which is my wedge (which I use in addition to my IEM by alternating between wedge and IEM to monitor stage volume) was set to post. The way I did it was to set Aux 1 to post fade and set all the faders in that aux to 0 in an attempt to try to replicate the FOH in my wedge. When I started having trouble with the monitors, though, I set my wedge to pre-fade like all the other monitors, and this didn't help any.


  • #4

    I know nothing about that particular board, but if you were describing an analogue board I would guess that you had aux sends going to the wrong places. Re: your guitar description, it also sounds like you don't have certain instruments assigned to your mains.

    It sounds like you're going to have to set everything up at home and go through things, channel by channel, piece by piece - either that or get wedges and a MixWiz

    Comment


    • nchangin
      nchangin commented
      Editing a comment

      Your example is why I am still waiting it out on digital, at least with analog I know what's going on.

      You reset the hardware which is fine but as others stated it sounds like something is "on" that shouldn't be. Is there no way to reset the mixing software to "factory defaults" and start over from scratch?

      I don't care how good software is engineered, tested etc, if you go hog wild with any software and do the wrong things it can and will fail.

      Do what aged said, simplify and simplify more, one channelinstrument at a time, the one that fails, investigate that channel all by itself with nothing else, patch to another channel to test once failure occurs.


  • #5

    Without seeing the manual I am assuming you can do a hard factory reset on this unit, and start over.

     

     

    Comment


    • ChiroVette
      ChiroVette commented
      Editing a comment

      Pro Sound Guy wrote:

      Without seeing the manual I am assuming you can do a hard factory reset on this unit, and start over.

       

       


      Factory resets tried several times to no avail. If I had to guess, they made things worse. lol


  • #6

    Chirovette, it seems the comments are piling on. Slow down and breath. Growing pains happen to everyone. Generally people don't acquire a lot of new gear at one time, so it is easier to learn the one new piece in question. You only really have two new parts of the system that can give you trouble. IEMS and a new digital console are a challenge. Either would be hard, and both at once is huge, but not insurmountable.

    First, you are spending more time setting up than it should take to do the job successfully. Technical issues aside, that usually points to a lack or organization.

    Comment


    • #7
      Manufacturers do not send out crap RMA gear, gear like this that is returned is very thoroughly tested to be sure it works correctly. Yes, there is a lot of gear returned with absolutely nothing wrong with it, some folks never master adequate troubleshooting skills.

      You need to stop churning about your situation and take a step by step approach like every pro here has suggested. You do not need to sabotage your band project.
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

      Comment


      • Mfk0815
        Mfk0815 commented
        Editing a comment
        I am working frequently for a band as 'the soundguy'. But when they play bar jobs there is notenough money for an extra guy. So they are mixing on stage. In the past they used a A&H Zed something. One month ago they replaced it with a Line6 stagescape. Using it for practice several times they learned that the handling is not that easy. They hired me to setup the new mixer and tell them how to do the basic tweaks during such bar jobs.
        Of course they used the new features too much and after some tries to fix it they got stuck in a big mess. So I started from the beginning and setup the mixer step my step. An hour later they were satisfied with the result and we could continue with some training.
        ChiroVette, I would suggest you to to the same. An experienced soundguy can help you to get your new gear working in a fraction of the time you are searching for a good starting point.

    • #8
      Yes, trying to borrow an analog mixer to connect it over your gear and see if the problems that you have with your gear appears over the analog one too, if it doesn't? Or the problem really is the mixer, or you

      Comment


      • jlb
        jlb commented
        Editing a comment
        CV. If you want, come up to Vermont this weekend. I'm setting up and running sound for a well known Dead tribute band.I will be using the DL and a small SRX/PRX system with 6 monitor mixes. I will have multiple iPads for the show, one for FOH and one for monitors. Could be a good learning experience.

    • #9
      Based on what you actually are telling us, I think that you're problem is a bad gain manner, I'm with Gregidon cause I use this same manner to get the gains over my mixer, just use the solo button on each channel and raise the trim up to see over your meter bridge that the signal goes to 0 db, although the mixer would have to give you some metering to set the input volumen over it;sometimes we make a confuse regarding what's the volumen that's getting into the mixer and the volumen that goes out from the mixer, those are 2 different kind of things, also in each channel you would have to start without any effects at all, so the main aux would have to be at 0 db and each of the s aux that you have over each channel would have to be at 7 o'clock (the opposite of clockwise, hey? What happened with my English? Everything was fine...) but you get the idea isn't it? Also the master fader down all the way, and on each channel fader down all the way too, after you set your gain over the trim control, raise the master fader to 0 db, then raise each fader to your proper level of volumen that you think that is good,

      It's really not hard as it reads (and writes), you would have to do this everytime that you install your gear,

      Comment


      • #10
        There are no traditional summing amps in a digital console, summing is algorithm based.

        If something smells like a horse, don't go looking for a zebra. You need to fine tune your troubleshooting skills. I do not think this is a Mackie problem, I really think it's an operator problem that would nx worse with a more complicated console like the x32
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

        Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

        Comment


        • Axisplayer
          Axisplayer commented
          Editing a comment

          See, I knew Andy would correct me. Out of my element on the INSIDE of a console. Thanks Andy! We all continue to learn.


        • RoadRanger
          RoadRanger commented
          Editing a comment

          Just in case I wasn't clear on a point I tried to make earlier - digtal mixers can go wonky on you if you don't have a solid power supply for them. Most of us run UPS's on them. I use a little 250w one, If I was running outboard DSP loudspeaker management I'd have that on it too. In particular they will go wonky when you have everything cranked up and the AC is drooping in time with the kick .


      • #11

        Comment


        • #12

          Just to help me, could you clarify a few things?


          How many piece band?


          What's your FOH speakers?


          What size clubs?


          How many Monitor mixes, and what are you running in them?


          How many IEMs?


          How many wedges?


          Why did you decide to go with IEMs, even tho the band didn't want to?


          Why did you decide to go with a seemingly complex console like this?


          Does this band rehearse? And if so, why can't you get them together to do a technical rehearsal? By investing n a major upgrade like this, if you expect to "move up the the next level" the band must be willing to make a least a little effort to get things right.


           


          MG


           

          "Thank You, NASA!"

          Comment


          • ChiroVette
            ChiroVette commented
            Editing a comment

            MarkGifford-1 wrote:

            Just to help me, could you clarify a few things?

            How many piece band?

            What's your FOH speakers?

            What size clubs?

            How many Monitor mixes, and what are you running in them?

            How many IEMs?

            How many wedges?

            Why did you decide to go with IEMs, even tho the band didn't want to?

            Why did you decide to go with a seemingly complex console like this?

            Does this band rehearse? And if so, why can't you get them together to do a technical rehearsal? By investing n a major upgrade like this, if you expect to "move up the the next level" the band must be willing to make a least a little effort to get things right.

             

            MG

             


            To answer your questions:

            1. 6 piece, if you count the female vocalist. 5 instruments and 3-4 vox.

            2. FOH: Two PRX612m tops over two JBL PRX618 XLF subs

            3. Small and medium venues, sometimes larger (all bars and clubs) and sometimes outdoors.

            4. Six monitor mixes

            5. Three wedges and four IEM's (the reason for the extra wedge is I have both an IEM and I also bought an ELX 112p to so I can play with and without IEM's since I mix from stage and like to go back and forth between IEM and wedge.

            6. The band didn't object to them. The ones willing to try them (four of us) are the ones I bought them for. The two members on stage not willing to try them each have a JBL MR805 wedge.

            7. Because it didn't seem complex. In fact, to be honest, it still doesn't seem complex. It is rather simple if you are decfent with ipads and tech, and I really fell in love with the Master Fader app before I bought the mixer, when I was messing around with it. Honestly, the only thing "complex" to me about this setup is all the problems with various signals unable to be modified in the outputs in such a bizarre and inconsistant way. The problems I am having with the band are not objections to the IEM. Only the bass player flat-out objects to the IEMs even though he doesn't have to use them. The "objections" or resistance I am getting from the other band members using the IEM's are only because they are not working. Basically they are tired of trying to get them to work and not being able to dial in...well, anything in their auxes with their ipads and iPod touches. Sp they keep ripping them out of their ears in disgust, which I don't blame them for.

            The other global objections are to the system itself. My female vocalist and and rhythm player are all for experimenting and tweaking and helping me. They are willing to go the extra mile with me and are being incredibly patient.

            Bass player is being a real dick about the whole thing, including objecting to the IEM's on principal (what principal that is, I have no idea), objects to the sound system size and feels it is overkill and too much work (which is peculiar because he NEVER lifts so much as a finger to help with anything other than his own rig), and the drummer and keyboard player are just running out of patience and are totally disgusted with everything going wrong.

            8. Yes, we rehearse, and I am trying to put together an equipment dress-rehearsal when we can slow down, take our time, and get everything working right...I hope! But it isn't easy given the resistance I am meeting.

            9. Basically, most of their attitudes are that I bought this gear. I should completely pay for it and be responsible for it because "we didn't tell you to buy this stuff," and the bass player also completely resents me charging the band a small rental even after I get everything set.


        • #13
          Ya cv, try to calm down, and start over again, ask for some of the band to get over your place where the gear is installed, and connect everything again to see if the problem appears again, I really don't think that is a problem with the mixer, maybe you have something wrong or bad that's causing it, but with calmness and patience you would sort it out,

          Comment


          • #14
            Can you reset the board to square one? I'd take away the ability for everyone to adjust their monitor mix for now. Keep control at the board.

            Can you copy the settings of an aux that is working to all the other aux's?
            PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

            LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

            Comment


            • lonotes
              lonotes commented
              Editing a comment

              The silence is deafening.


          • #15
            I would hope he would be testing and testing before the gig.
            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

            Comment













            Working...
            X