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  • Aux send and return controls?

    (note1: I searched. I was drowned with search results and couldn't figure out the answer.)

    (note2: I think I'm about to use the term "bus" extensively - and incorrectly. But I don't know what the correct term is.)

    I think I have finally grokked the final mysteries of Aux controls. But, I want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly. (I know, I'm really late to the party)

    I have a Yamaha MG166CX mixer, if that helps put your response in terms I'll understand.

    Imagine:

    I have an input on the Channel 1 strip, and I adjust the Aux2 knob on that channel strip to its maximum and set the switch for Post-fade operation.

    Then I go to the Master section and turn the Aux2 knob in the Send group to its maximum.

    Then I connect a cable from the Aux2 send jack to the input on my Lex effects processor, and I connect the output jack from the effects processor to the Return L(Mono) jack. I.e. an effects loop.

    Then I turn the Aux2 knob in the Retun group to its maximum.

    Q1: Will this cause feedback in the board?

    If I have finally understood things correctly, I think it will. I think it will because the signal going out the Aux2 Send is at maximum gain and then the same signal is coming back in through the Return and being put back into the Aux2 bus (if you will) at maximum gain. So that signal will then go back out the Aux2 Send even higher, etc..

    Have I got this right?

    Q2: If I'm using Aux2 as a loop, then it seems like I would never have a use for the Aux2 Return knob and it should just stay turned down all the way. It seems like I would only ever use the Aux2 Return knob is if I was actually inputing an external signal that I wanted to mix into whatever else was going out the Aux2 Send jack.

    Does that sound right, too?

    Also, the only term I can come up with to call the "signal channel" that is Aux1 or Aux2 is a "bus". All the input strips can feed into it. It can be routed out a Send. And a signal from the Return can be routed into it. If "bus" is not the right term for the Auxes, then what is?

    Thank you, gurus of sound!
    - Stuart
    The Conclusions

  • #2
    As I understand it, the Aux return has nothing to do with the actual Aux send- it's a misnomer. Aux return is JUST a return for your aux channel, and it then goes into the mains (or wherever it's routed). If you use Aux 3, for example, you can still run it back into Aux 1 return for your effects needs. In short, it will not cause feedback. If it did, the knob would be completely useless.

    A bus, by the way, is any place where you can "lump" multiple signals together. My Mackie has 4 dedicated buses that I use to mix multiple channels at once- drums, group vocals, etc... An aux channel can certainly be a bus, but IME, "bus" refers to a sub mix like on my Mackie.
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    • #3
      Right. That is part of what I finally "got" about Auxes.

      My question, though, was about if I route the Return into Aux2 (by dialing up the Aux2 knob in the Return section of the Master area), and what is coming in on the return is a boosted version of what was already ON the Aux2 bus. Won't it go back out the Send boosted even further, thus creating an internal feedback loop?
      - Stuart
      The Conclusions

      Comment


      • #4
        As I understand it, the Aux return has nothing to do with the actual Aux send- it's a misnomer. Aux return is JUST a return for your aux channel, and it then goes into the mains (or wherever it's routed). If you use Aux 3, for example, you can still run it back into Aux 1 return for your effects needs. In short, it will not cause feedback. If it did, the knob would be completely useless.


        Wrong, it will cause feedback.

        If you have a reverb on aux 2 and bring it back in on channel 3, you have to keep aux 2 turned all the way down on channel 3. Otherwise you get a nice big loop between aux 2 on channel 3 and channel 3 itself which is in turn routed to FOH.

        You can of course put a delay on aux 2, return it on channel 3 and put a reverb on aux 3 and put the delay signal through the reverb and bring the reverb in channel 4. Then you'd have reverby delay.

        Just make sure the aux corresponding to the send on your return channel is turned off or down.

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        • #5
          I think the OP's talking about seperate aux inputs, not channel aux sends (regarding the feedback comment)
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          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

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          • #6
            Just a warning that board feedback doesn't "swell" and be somewhat limited like audio feedback but is instantaneously full rail to rail square waves out your amps and will often blow out your drivers before you can do squat about it . Can also instantaneously damage your hearing !

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            • #7
              Yes, electronic feedback can be instantaneous oscillation.
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              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

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              • #8
                Yes, electronic feedback can be instantaneous oscillation.
                Turns out besides fuses the Bose 802's have a "light bulb" type protection. Dammed things look like Super Troopers the first and only (knock on wood) time I looped a board. Thought all four caught on fire at first !

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                • #9
                  So, in my Q1 at the top, the answer is yes, it will cause feedback in the board?
                  - Stuart
                  The Conclusions

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                  • #10
                    So, in my Q1 at the top, the answer is yes, it will cause feedback in the board?
                    The Aux2 return doesn't go to the Aux2 bus unless your board has some way to assign it that way. The 1604 Mackies do have a knob on both the Aux1 and Aux2 returns to feed them into the Aux1 and Aux2 busses respectively but you'd normally use the Aux3 and/or Aux4 sends for effects instead of the Aux1 and/or Aux2 sends as the latter are really set up for feeding stage monitors. The ability to feed the Aux1 and Aux2 returns into the monitors allows you to give the vocals some reverb and/or whatever in the monitors. Your board is also a "prosumer" grade so probably works somewhat like that. To clarify (?) on the Mackie when using effects I normally "pair" the Aux3 send with the Aux1 return, the Aux4 send with the Aux2 return, the Aux5 (or Aux1 if not used for monitors and set post fader) send with the Aux3 return, and the Aux6 (or Aux2 if not used for monitors and set post fader) send with the Aux4 return. That should (?) eliminate the potential for a feedback disaster. I don't know why Mackie didn't number things so you could go Aux3 send to Aux3 return etc so beginners wouldn't be confused - they could have just made the Aux3 and Aux4 the default monitor sends but then it would be upside down from every other board made but their Eq and Aux sections are already "swapped" anyways .

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                    • #11
                      The Aux2 return doesn't go to the Aux2 bus unless your board has some way to assign it that way.


                      Right, but that's my point and part of my question. My board has a group of knobs labeled "Return", and one of the knobs is labeled Aux2.

                      So my point is, if I send Aux2 out to an effects processor and bring it back in on the jacks labeled Return, and then turn up the Aux2 Send knob and the Aux2 Return knob, I'll get a feedback loop in the board (if I have finally understood all this stuff).

                      OTOH, from what you said, when you refer to an "Aux2 return", what would that be but a path from the return to the Aux2 bus?

                      My board only has 1 return and it's just labeled "Return".
                      - Stuart
                      The Conclusions

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                      • #12
                        You are right, you will get feedback.

                        Try it for yourself. Just keep the master fader down low.

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                        • #13
                          Pass. LOL! Thanks for the confirmation.

                          My expanding understanding of "mixers" is finally allowing me to get a somewhat full usage out of my board. I didn't think I could use it for FOH and to have a mix for the stage monitors, a separate mix for me (the drummer), and also have an effects loop out to my Lexicon to add reverb to all the vocal channels. But, now....

                          Yes, we can! ha ha haa :-)
                          - Stuart
                          The Conclusions

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                          • #14
                            In fact, since I have a Lexicon MX400, which has 2 stereo ins and outs, I think I've even figured out how to use one channel on the Lex for reverb on the vocals and the other for some room effects on the the drums, without losing any of the other stuff. Sweet!

                            Thank you to all you gurus who take the time to share your knowledge here!
                            - Stuart
                            The Conclusions

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                            • #15
                              If you have channels available, you can return your effects to fader channel which allows for a little more control over your effects.

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