Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    13

    The purpose of Drive Racks

    Hi, this is Tony! I am a growing sound engineer trying to go higher in my sound engineering skills. One thing I'm not absolutely certain on is the purpose of having a drive rack,if my crossover, compressor, and EQ is making my sound,sound like, I think pretty darn good. Of course anything can always improve. The reason I'm asking is because I want to take my sound quality, of course higher, as well as do what is necessary to get the ultimate sound while protecting my equipment. I have future goals of one day getting much bigger and more powerful equipment for doing concerts but am still wondering what the need is for a drive rack. I also have a question about microphones. My Shure mics are the cheaper brand of Shure mics not the smb 58's but they are AR 101. They sound great, but their not giving me as much of a strong signal that I desire. Do I need to buy a stronger signal mic or do sound engineers ever use mic preamps for live peformances. I've always wondered what the secret is in making your mics as loud as you want without losing sound quality or gaining feedback. I have my board mains turned up as high as required anything more will draw ring and feedback. My gains are up on my mic as high as required, in other words everything is up as high as it can reach without messing up the sound. What is my next choice. Signed DJ Tony

  2. #2
    I don't know exactly what you mean by a drive rack, unless it is some sort of general purpose buffer amp rig with maybe feedback control and stuff prior to the power amps. In that case you usually only use one to help control your levels once you've done everything else possible to solve all the problems that may incurr.

    That said, Yes, stage pres are used live often, but it would be better to invest in the 58's or better.

    Compressor/gates are used often early in the signal chain, which usually can boost your input level a little.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  3. #3
    Quote
    Quote: djtony
    View Post
    Hi, this is Tony! I am a growing sound engineer trying to go higher in my sound engineering skills. One thing I'm not absolutely certain on is the purpose of having a drive rack,if my crossover, compressor, and EQ is making my sound,sound like, I think pretty darn good. Of course anything can always improve. The reason I'm asking is because I want to take my sound quality, of course higher, as well as do what is necessary to get the ultimate sound while protecting my equipment. I have future goals of one day getting much bigger and more powerful equipment for doing concerts but am still wondering what the need is for a drive rack. I also have a question about microphones. My Shure mics are the cheaper brand of Shure mics not the smb 58's but they are AR 101. They sound great, but their not giving me as much of a strong signal that I desire. Do I need to buy a stronger signal mic or do sound engineers ever use mic preamps for live peformances. I've always wondered what the secret is in making your mics as loud as you want without losing sound quality or gaining feedback. I have my board mains turned up as high as required anything more will draw ring and feedback. My gains are up on my mic as high as required, in other words everything is up as high as it can reach without messing up the sound. What is my next choice. Signed DJ Tony
    here we go, I am assuming that u r talking about the DBX DRIVE RACK PA, or the other driverack models. Is this needed. No, is it a useful tool, sometimes. The driverack would offer you a crossover, parametric eq, RTA, graphic eq, compressor limiter, and feedback suppression all in one tiny little rack space. I personally think they sound like $#$^% as far as an eq goes, but the feedback suppresion is a useful tool in a stage monitor type situation. However with only 12 filters and athigh volume they get used up quick and have a broad q factor. Not appropriate for a foh situation as far as I'm concerned. As far as getting your vocals to stand out, compression, compression, compression. and eq of course. first start by engaging some sort of low cut (why do you want vocals through your subs) then set up all your vocal mics and get your gain structure. Then either insert a compressor on each channel or run these through a subgroup and insert on that. then ring out the room using these mics and a 31band eq on the mains. the flatter you can get your speakers to sound in the room the less chance you will havethat feedback will occur.

  4. #4
    I find Drive racks to be quite essential... but then, that is assuming you mmean the drive rack and not the Driverack.. big difference. As indicated the Driverack (or similar system processors) is a combination EQ, Comp/Limiter, feedback suppression, crossover, subharmonic synth,,, all things you might find in a traditional drive rack (the big old racks that used to do these things).

    I haven't found them to sound any different than a traditional EQ,they typically have filters or processing that is very similar, if not the same as, traditional units... I use them in small-mid situations and the XTA DSP in lrger situations... it just takes a different approach, just like getting used to digital mixers, you have to go about things differently.

    As for the feedback options...you really shouldn't need the feedback suppression... I haven't encountered a stage that gave me feedback ( not even in the monitors) in a long time... mic placement and appropriate gain structure are your best line of defense for feedback.

    It all depends on how you operate, doyou want a lot of buttons that you can reach right away, or do you want a single unit that can be set up to operate the same functions... analogue or digital, apples or oranges...

  5. #5
    Your drive rack query is a bit confusing.

    ___________________
    McIntosh MA6500 Integrated Amplifier - Get the MA6500 Integrated Amplifier Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    13
    Quote
    Quote: Bassred
    View Post
    I find Drive racks to be quite essential... but then, that is assuming you mmean the drive rack and not the Driverack.. big difference. As indicated the Driverack (or similar system processors) is a combination EQ, Comp/Limiter, feedback suppression, crossover, subharmonic synth,,, all things you might find in a traditional drive rack (the big old racks that used to do these things).

    I haven't found them to sound any different than a traditional EQ,they typically have filters or processing that is very similar, if not the same as, traditional units... I use them in small-mid situations and the XTA DSP in lrger situations... it just takes a different approach, just like getting used to digital mixers, you have to go about things differently.

    As for the feedback options...you really shouldn't need the feedback suppression... I haven't encountered a stage that gave me feedback ( not even in the monitors) in a long time... mic placement and appropriate gain structure are your best line of defense for feedback.

    It all depends on how you operate, doyou want a lot of buttons that you can reach right away, or do you want a single unit that can be set up to operate the same functions... analogue or digital, apples or oranges...
    I'd rather have a single unit that can be set up to operate the same functions.

  7. #7
    Quote
    Quote: djtony
    View Post
    I also have a question about microphones. My Shure mics are the cheaper brand of Shure mics not the smb 58's but they are AR 101. They sound great, but their not giving me as much of a strong signal that I desire. Do I need to buy a stronger signal mic or do sound engineers ever use mic preamps for live peformances. I've always wondered what the secret is in making your mics as loud as you want without losing sound quality or gaining feedback.
    In regards to mic pre's, there's something that should probably be cleared up first. If you're using microphones currently, you likely have mic pre already... it's just built into the mixer that you're using. You're probably referring to an external mic pre, in which case the answer to your question is that external mic pre's are more often used in studio situations than live.

    To help prevent potential feedback, you want to "ring-out" your system before the show. This is basically a matter of waving or pointing your microphone in the direction of the stage monitors until it begins to feedback, and then adjusting your monitor (graphic) eq so that the frequency that was feeding back doesn't feed back anymore. Continue doing this until you have the volume that you want onstage without the feedback (or even louder than you expect is needed, to allow for some breathing room before feedback). BE CAREFUL when you're doing this especially in the beginning because loud feedback can damage your hearing and loud continuous feedback can damage your speakers.

    If you plan on doing concerts for live artists (as opposed to just spinning DJ tunes), many artists ask for SM58 on their rider once you get into the mid to large size concerts. Some artists will provide their own mics, but once you get into much of that they'll usually be providing their own sound gear and engineer as well. There are other mics that are out there, even better mics... but the SM58 is still a good solid standard that many engineers (and artists) are already familiar with.

  8. #8
    Drive Racks are essential to keeping your speakers from breaking without having much work put into it.

    You need an out compressor/limiter/gate, and a mastering EQ, and thats what it gives you. Yes you compress each track and everything, this this last one should be subtle and only kick in when it helps out your speakers from breaking

    Do you need the master EQ? Definately. Usually you'll find a eq for each instrument, and set your instrument up using that eq the same. Whats the problem with that? Each area you go to, the different speakers you use, will make those EQ sound differently. So thats when the master EQ comes into play, and takes the sounds that you like, and tweaks the whole to the new environment. Fortunately, which is a great for the product, the DBX Drive Rack has an auto-master-eq where you plug in a mic and it reads the environment, and it makes every environment flat, so that way, your instruments sound the same no matter what situation you end up in. It also has a reading to adjust the eq of different outlets to your speakers, so changing speakers doesnt become a problem either

    It also surves as a feedback destroyer in the end of your chain. Therefore, your totally free of feedback.

    As for mic pres, it matters what board you are using. For that matter, what mixer are you using? Unless you are using alesis or mackie, I would say just get a decent preamp, probubly 8-channel. I would go with the Focusrite Octopre, they are the same pres used in the Pro Tools Digi 002, and you can get a light version for $500. They are studio grade, low color, low noise pre-amps. They will make sm58s as neutral as possible.

    As for the mics, personally, sm58s are outdated. They are good to have as workhorses, and they never die, but there are pickup patterns now a days that are more tailored to live use and feedback control. I would say get 58's for backup singers, and use 57s on guitars and drums and such, but get a good hypercardiod for your lead singer, it will sound amazingly better. I would reccomend the Audix OM7.

    People only like the sm58 because its time tested and you can throw your coffee on it and it won't break. It's a decent mic, perfectly find for backups and such, no ordinary listener would tell the difference when its ran through a decent pre like the octopre, but for a lead, a good hypercardiod is essential nowadays

  9. #9
    Rackdude, you seem to be pretty strung on hypers, however I can tell you from large-scale experience that most people need the open pickup pattern of a standard cardiod, most presenters and even most singers hardly ever hold the mic in the right spot. not to mention the rear pickup pattern that a hyper has, only makes feedback issues worse on loud stages. I love me some supercardiods, but haven't ever found the NEED for a hyper, and no matter where you go, SM58's will always be the standard, because they are a best-bet. No singer will complain about a 58 being on the stand, and if they don't have a rider, that's what they are going to get, unless they bring their own.

  10. #10
    There are 3 schools of thought/design for preamps. FET v. UJT v. tube. Which is better is determined by the situation at hand. All three have issues. A trained FOH engineer will know the differences and respect the +'s and -'s of each peice of gear and make a determination based on it, not what the catalog says.

    The same is true of mics. Omni v. card. v. hypercard., and condensor v. piezo, and whatever long list of specs exist. Just as a carpenter knows which nail to use for the roof and which to use for the wall, a sound engineer has to know which peice of equipment is best for the job at hand. Nails are not made of gold, even though it would be prettier, because gold won't do the job. They are made of steel. A good engineer will learn which pieces of equipment are 'made of steel', and what they are designed to do, before making any kind of selection.

    I'm sorry. but all this talk about what is generically correct for a mic selection or feedback control or whatever seems to be based not on facts, but on personal opinion, which helps nobody.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Subscribe to us on YouTube