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Direct vs master outputs to PA?

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  • Direct vs master outputs to PA?

    I realize this has been talked about but I just couldnt find the answers I need. I'm new to Live setup and have always played in a studio. I'm reading that people are using Direct boxes to send there outpputs to the main PA. IS this due to the distance or because it is an unbalanced signal? I'm Playing out this Wednesday night for the First time with a TD-8 Custom Kit and I'm starting to get nervous about how I'm going to sound. I have a 6 channel behringer board (Eurorack MX602A) and was wondering if this would work as a direct box? I may not understand the use of a direct box so correct me if I'm wrong. I want to have the best sound possible using just the dry sound of the TD-8. I'll let our sound guy add effects. Anyone here feel like sheding some light on this poor lost soul?

  • #2
    Last edited by szvook; 11-26-02, 03:13 AM.


    • #3
      If you are unsure of how to tell balanced from unbalanced connectors, see attached. As brother szvook says, long runs require balanced. Noise is introduced into long length unbalanced cables (actually, it is introduced into balanced cables too, they found a way to subtract it via the third wire).

      Your TD-x are all unbalanced and use the 1/4" mono connectors. There are also converters to switch from one type of connector to another. Most people prefer the direct box. Just remember, a 1/4" mono connector is never balanced.

      On the DB... they typically allow you to run your 1/4" in and right back out again as well as providing an xlr out. I run the 1/4" to my monitor amp and xlr to the FOH.

      (If you already knew this......... nevermind.)
      Attached Files
      Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


      • #4
        My Behringer has 1/4" & XLR in's, and all the out are 1/4", Nothing in the Manual talks about it being used as a DI Box. is there any advantage to sending all four outputs of the TD-8 to the mixer then sending 2 to the PA?

        As for the Stage monitors, I think were all set there. We use on-stage wedges and I have one right behind me. Our sound guy runs me through a monitor preamp first then to the FOH. Durring practice we only use the monitors and he as been having trouble with signal loss I believe durring the practice. I use 10' 1/4" Unbalanced cables to send my signal to the board. I think I need to send him a "Balanced" signal to eliminate this problem. This is just a guess though. I hope that this is not a nightmare tomarrow night. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. I might go buy a DI box tonight unless someone can confirm that my little mixer will do the same.


        • #5
          Hmmmm... It looks like the paragraph "Connections" explains it. Exerpts from the manual and spec sheet follow. You can use either type of 1/4" cord
          _mono (tip-sleeve) for unbal
          _stereo (tip-ring-sleeve) for balanced.

          You don't need a direct box. You just need a cable with 1/4" TRS on one end and whatever type your soundman can handle on the other (either XLR or 1/4" TRS).

          It's rare for a 10 ft unbalanced cable to cause big problems but it's certainly possible. Not sure what's going on there.

          The following is from the manual and spec sheet.

          A single pair of unbalanced TS jacks deliver the main mix output to your 2-track recorder (or PA system).

          RCA phono jack outputs are also provided for easy connection to DAT, cassette desk etc.

          Level is ultimately determined by a precision main mix volume control.

          Last edited by Boingo; 11-26-02, 12:20 PM.
          Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


          • #6
            When I checked with Behringer, they told me that the outputs from the MX602A are unbalanced.

            However, a 10' cord should not cause any great reduction in level or increase in noise.

            I run the main outs from my TD8 to my PM3 inputs (for personal monitoring), mixing my sound directly from my TD8. I run from my PM3 to my JBL G2 for stage volume and from the JBL to the mixing board for FOH. We add effects at the board, if needed, stir, shake and pour. Before I got the G2, we ran a signal back through the stage monitors as well as through my PM3. It worked OK, but it was a constant battle between getting enough drums in the stage volume and not overwhelming the vocals.

            Now, the sound always sounds great. I can set my volume and the stage volume as needed and I can fine-adjust the main volume from my TD8 (I usually set it at 3/4 and adjust from there). The sound moron, I mean person, can add effects and set the FOH volume, but they use the signal that I feed them.

            I've looked into all kinds of mixers and d-boxes, but have found that I just don't need them. Of course, if you are substantially increasing the length of your cords (typically beyond 20'), the lack of balance will very quickly cause noise and signal loss problems.

            As always, your results may vary.

            "too loud, too late"
            My mom, circa 1974 (before v-drums)



            • #7
              Really Appreciate the Input guys, I'm at work right now but when I get home tonight I'll check the Behringer manual to see what you found. I think I'm going to chance playing out without buying a DI box I'll bring the mixer though so at sound check I can try both ways to see if I can tell any difference. I'm sure theres no audible difference but I wanna make sure I get that sweet sounding Bass drum sound! Cant play 80's Motley Crue without Tommy Lee's deep thumping Bass Drum. I think that the strong signal is doing something weird in the PA which is causing the signal loss. (I think its the Limiter but he keeps denying it!)
              Thanks for all the help, I feel smarter now. well not really..


              • #8
                The mixers preamps will warm up the signal anyway so your signal(s) feed should carry more juice to the FOH.


                • #9
                  OK Today is the day! I'm shaking at the knees, I went out last night And pickied up a BBE 482 Sonic Maximizer & a behringer Compressor(AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600). thought it might help spuce my sound up a bit. I'm not sure the Compressor is worth keeping though. Havent heard much about them on this board. I hooked both up last night with my little Behringer mixer and my sound sounded great but after about an hour or two of tweaking I though my sound, sounded over processed. I'm By no means a professional, but I think my sound guy is gonna be pissed at me tonight. I am picky and I will tweak, tweak, tweak untill it sounds right.


                  can someone give me the proper way to chain everything I have up to the soundboard. here is what I have.

                  TD-8 (2 L\R outs (Master) 2 L\R outs (Direct))
                  Behringer BBE 482 (2 channel)
                  Behringer AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 (2 channel)
                  Behringer Eurorack MX602A
                  + anyone with this compressor have any settings they would like to share?
                  Larry Jedik
                  Last edited by Ljedik; 11-27-02, 08:48 AM.


                  • #10