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"Guest" mic dynamics control / limiter - dbx? symetrix? ideas?

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  • "Guest" mic dynamics control / limiter - dbx? symetrix? ideas?

    As I'm stacking together a new (to me) pa for the mass of 'smaller' venues I play, and drawing from my experiences...

    Often enough, a program mc, or "crowd's favorite" local singer, or "the groom", or who next - who knows - will end up needing a mic for a quick spot, and most have no idea how to control themselves...

    What I need is affordable protection for my system - and everyone's ears.

    I've been reading, and thinking about tossing a Symetrix 525 in the rack; one channel for the Guest Mic, and one for whatever else I may like to play with compression on. However, the 525 simply has one knob labeled "comp/limit threshold" - so I'm not sure if it will do a gentle control, with a brick wall limit on top of that... which is what I'm thinking would work best.

    It's a pain - more times than not, if a user isn't sheepish of the mic, they'll think by near-screaming in it will get everyone's attention :/

    And I know a limiter wont keep them from distorting the mic - or even the pre, but...

    So is a soft-knee, with a separate limiter probably the better bet?
    Something like an old 166? (hey - less expensive is more - consider the use)

    Thoughts?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">mmm... Yes, that sounds good!</div>

  • #2
    and most have no idea how to control themselves...

    save your mony its just one input at a time use your controls tell the person that screaming is not needed

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    • #3
      and most have no idea how to control themselves...
      save your mony its just one input at a time use your controls tell the person that screaming is not needed
      That won't work after the alcohol has been flowing for a couple hours . I use a hard limiter set just above the loudest that they SHOULD be talking/singing at. Just about anything will work - I have an old 166 in one band's rack for that and a 'ringer 4 channel in my own analog "B" rig.

      "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

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      • #4
        Any good compressor, set with a >6:1 ratio, fairly high threshold set up so that you are compressing about 3-6dB at the point that you are comfortable with. Then, be sure you have at LEAST 12dB of headroom on the input gain stage by keeping the input gain trim down so you are at least 12dB below input clip, which will mean that you will appear to be running the fader higher than "usual". Now when the fool screams, you won't clip your input and you will have enough channel complance capability to allow the compressor to compress (steeply) as much as 12dB with a 14dB input increase. Good compromise. I use typically 16dB of input headroom for events like Comedy, where this kind of thing is likely to happen, really important on a system with a high SPL potential, to keep the audience's ears from bleeding.

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        • #5
          Awesome - thanks for the replies - and the particulars (AH)!

          Nice to know my thinking is on the right path
          <div class="signaturecontainer">mmm... Yes, that sounds good!</div>

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          • #6
            I have a bunch of Symetrix 425's, and they work great. It has a seperate limiter control, and an expander instead of a gate, which is nice in some applications. If you watch for them, you can pick up a used one on ebay for about $60. I've never used a 525, but I've been lead to believe that the 425 is better to work with.

            But Andy is right, pretty much anything decent will work for your application.
            B.

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            • #7
              OK - scored a nice clean 166 for 62 clams - should be fun to play with!

              <div class="signaturecontainer">mmm... Yes, that sounds good!</div>

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              • #8
                Glad to report back - over a year with a 166 heavy-handing the 'guest' channel - it is working wonders

                Thanks again!
                <div class="signaturecontainer">mmm... Yes, that sounds good!</div>

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                • #9
                  did you really get an old skool 166? or is it a newer 166XL instead because they are different.

                  i have an old skool 166 and its mighty colorful (which is neither bad nor good). it has a ratty old 2 prong cord.


                  it gets nowhere near the attention from folks that my old 163's get. for some reason people love to come up and talk about those.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer">band status - &quot;its complicated&quot;</div>

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