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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #16
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

Thanks Stan. I'll err on the side of caution.


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Old April 28th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #17
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

you can look for several thing.
1) look for a rec out or line out socket , usually cinch (red and white)
these output are not mastered, it means they have constant level, whatever the main output is.

2) use a recorder with AGC, so it can eventually compensate for weak or overloaded signal.

3) use monitoring. you can easily find for cheap some wireless transmitter that will send the signal to some kind of monitoring (either visual or listening).

4) always get a small DI-box ready , to suppress ground noise, or adapt incompatible impedances.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #18
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

I recorded audio for a charity event recently. The guy running the PA came in, set up, and left for another gig! Having a music background, I was familiar enough with PA's to jump in and handle the live sound. For recording, I ran a room mic and a direct out from the PA board to my recorder.

Everything was fine until about halfway through the key note speaker's address. Then, I heard his lav mic going bad. Turned out it was the direct out from the board crapping out on me. At intermission, I switched to another output, and all was well. It does help to know at least the basic workings of a mixing board, is what I'm saying.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #19
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
It clips horribly, as if the output was turned way up. But when I look at the wave form in my editing software, the peaks (all cut evenly like a lawnmower went through them) are well below 0 db, so I suspect that the signal came out clipped to my recorder. Hence my nagging suspicion that the DJ turned the wrong knob.


J.
This is brickwalling. The signal coming from the board is too hot for your recorder so turning the levels down on your recorder wouldn't make any difference. I've read other people say they use an in-line attenuator to cut down the signal coming to them. I've personally never run into this happening yet. I always use the RCA record outs and it works fine.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #20
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

Jacques, thank you for explaining that in detail. That is very useful info.

As many of us have said, it is normal for the board op to make gain changes as the event progresses. Those changes might have caused clipping somewhere in the board. Or they might have caused clipping in the input stage of your recorder. Let's try to narrow this down further.

Forgive me, I hope I don't ask something that seems foolish, but I don't know you or your equipment.

1.) When you set up before the event, did you monitor the output of your recorder using headphones? Did it sound clean? We want to be sure there was no clipping at that point in time.

2.) What particular recorder are you using?

3.) Are you using the line input of your recorder, or the mic input?

4.) If your recorder has any "sensitivity" settings (probably a slide switch, or a menu setting, rather than the overall recording gain control), where were those set?

5.) Where was your recording gain control set?

With a few more clues, we should be able to clarify what went wrong.

Thanks!
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Old April 29th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #21
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

it sounds like you are feeding line level into mic level. at 10 or 20 db pad may help, or engaging any level cut on your recorder.

its also entirely possible the mixer is being clipped internally too because they over crank the input levels rather then adjusting the master out, if there is one.

you can pretty much bet any sound check will be much lower then what they will actually do so setting your levels 20db lower isn't a bad thing if your recorder has clean preamps.

here is another idea no one has touched on, but works. don't take the board feed, just mic a speaker. ideally take both the board feed and mic the speaker. I know, I know, this isn't "audiophile" or "by the book" but having dealt with shooting live events for news / PR / whatever, there have been plenty of times when I could not get a board feed at all for various reasons ( including they just plugged the mic into the wall jack of the house system and that was it ! ). I know micing a speaker isn't great, and you can pick up whatever may be in the signal like, but generally speaking its way better then a camera mic pickup. it'll get the job done. its the best backup you can have next to a board feed.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 10:46 PM   #22
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
4) always get a small DI-box ready , to suppress ground noise, or adapt incompatible impedances.
Merci François. What DI box would you recommend that would do the job on a budget?


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Old May 1st, 2011, 10:57 PM   #23
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
1.) When you set up before the event, did you monitor the output of your recorder using headphones? Did it sound clean? We want to be sure there was no clipping at that point in time.
Yes, and in some cases the sound engineer helped me set up, so I trust that the output was correct (for lack of trusting my own ears).

Quote:
2.) What particular recorder are you using?
3.) Are you using the line input of your recorder, or the mic input?
It's a Zoom H4. Not great, but suitable for what I do (for now). It has two XLR inputs that also take TRS plugs.

Quote:
4.) If your recorder has any "sensitivity" settings (probably a slide switch, or a menu setting, rather than the overall recording gain control), where were those set?
5.) Where was your recording gain control set?
There are gain switches for both inputs, which I set to the lowest. I set the limiter to deal with the occasional peak, but that was the least of my worries here.

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Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:55 PM   #24
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

there are cheap and very expensive DI-box, all doing the same job.
basically, a DI-Box is a transformer with more or less options, like bridged ground, level input potentiometer, different kind of plugs as in or out and can be passive or active (requiring power supply).
Your best guess is to find a cheap box, that makes stereo, has at least XLR and another plug (cinch or jack) and if possible some kind of level control. If you go for active, one with battery operation is a real plus.
for $34 you got this
Samson SASDIRPLUS Stereo Direct Box
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:16 PM   #25
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

I own an ART box, ART make a lot of different boxes all for very cheap (as low as $25)

Personally i always choose the K.I.S.S (keep it simple) since when trying to solve problem you do not want to add complexity.
So my box is one from ART with cinch/jack/XLR as input and output, passive (no battery or powersupply required).
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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #26
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Re: Help understanding your average DJ consoles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
It's a Zoom H4. Not great, but suitable for what I do (for now). It has two XLR inputs that also take TRS plugs.
First, the H4 manual says the combo jack is XLR (balanced) or "standard phone" (unbalanced). I presume "standard phone" means 1/4", but not specifically TRS. Since they say it's unbalanced, I suspect it's just TS.

Given all of that, and agreeing that it's a combo jack, which did you use? The XLR or the 1/4" size?
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