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Author Topic: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer  (Read 3644 times)

Offline bangbus

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VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« on: October 31, 2006, 04:20:58 PM »
here is a snap of my VST (vision sound tech) 12-channel preamped mixer that i bought from JB p.sqr last june 06. it set me back by 15k. i didnt buy it to record but to amplify or project the kit like how it is during gigs, so that i could at least emulate the gig sound/environment as i miss the feeling of playin live. after readin a lot of threads in this forum, i got the feeling that i shouldve looked around instead of yielding to my impulse buying side. is it good enough or should i get rid of it and get something else?



aside from that i also got 2 VST 300watts speakers and chunk load of crapy sony bangketa microphones. im buyin a couple of shure drum mics soon like the pg52 and pg57 and some samson mics for the toms and overheads (tarkuz is hookin me up as we speak, thanks buddy). a good number of people mentioned that even the cheapest preamped mixer from a reputable music shop would do the trick as long as i get decent mics. im not sure if there is any truth in this but im goin to find out since i already set aside a budget for the abovementioned shure mics.

do you think upgrading to these mics would be enough or should i replace my mixer as well? sayang eh, its still bnew as its literally sitting under a sheet of cloth in my bedroom since i left manila in mid july. hmmmm the woes of impulse buying, purchase dissonance takin its toll on me. hope to hear from you fellas soon.



Offline KitC

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 07:15:04 PM »
You're not alone as a drummer who prefers to submix his set before sending them to the FOH. Dave Weckl himself uses a Yamaha 02R for submixing. The beauty of Weckl's 02R, however, is that it has compressors, gates, parametric EQ and other fx for each channel, as well as memory settings so that he can save a particular setting for each song.

Aside from the unbalanced connections, those crap mics usually have crappy frequency response. You might find that your sound will improve immensely when using good mics with balanced XLR connections. One thing that could help you is to add a compressor to your setup for keeping peaks under control.
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Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 07:56:01 PM »
You're not alone as a drummer who prefers to submix his set before sending them to the FOH. Dave Weckl himself uses a Yamaha 02R for submixing. The beauty of Weckl's 02R, however, is that it has compressors, gates, parametric EQ and other fx for each channel, as well as memory settings so that he can save a particular setting for each song.

Aside from the unbalanced connections, those crap mics usually have crappy frequency response. You might find that your sound will improve immensely when using good mics with balanced XLR connections. One thing that could help you is to add a compressor to your setup for keeping peaks under control.

forgive my ignorance, im a newbie in this area, thanks for your reply kitc. a little technical there for me so can you kindly break some details on there in layman's terms? like: FOH? compressors? gates? parameteric EQ (im with you a bit here), peaks?...what is a compressor? is that an additional equalizer or amplifier? where can i get a practical one that is reasonably priced, in manila. so with the mic upgrade im gona go for, i can do away with the VST mixer and speakers i have? and even more so with a compressor?

thanks for being patient, considerate and helpful.

 :mrgreen:

Offline KitC

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 09:28:00 PM »
FOH - Front Of House. the venue or house mix position. From wikipedia:

"In theatre and live music venues, Front of house (or FOH) refers to areas of the building that the audience has access to, generally excluding stage and backstage areas, and including the auditorium and foyer.

Lighting and sound operators are normally positioned Front of House. From this position they have a clear view of the performance, enabling the operation of show control consoles and other equipment."  - this means the position for the mix engineer or tech is directly in front of the stage so he can control overall sound levels.

Compressor - a device that in the simplest of terms, controls audio level automatically. It is commonly used to tame peaks in audio that could cause unwanted distortion down the line. Think of it as an automatic volume control.

Gates - devices that cut off audio signals when it goes below a preset level. Commonly used to keep tracks quiet when nothing is being played - sort of like an automatic mute button.

Compressors and gates are usually used in conjunction with mixers unless they are built into the mixer. The Yamaha 02R sort of has built in compressors, gates, and parametric EQ in the form of software.

Try visiting Tweakheadz.com - they have guides that explain these equipment and more in plain, simple english. EDIT: When I was starting out, I visited Tweakheadz A LOT. The info shared there is enormous without being too heavy. The important thing is to learn the lingo then understand the principles. Believe me, after all this time, I'm STILL learning.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2006, 12:01:58 AM by KitC »
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Offline abyssinianson

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 11:51:43 PM »
same here...'cept, when recording, I submix all of the drum tracks to groups first, apply my tweaking there then, I mix them down. the process is a pain but i've always believed that getting the sound right before laying down the tracks permanently makes for a better, more cohsive sounding mix later where you can fit your other elements of the song into the context much easier.

I don't use the 02R but I am very familiar with its features having used one before; it is a great mixer. The new ones are great because you can send your drum signal to your DAW via light pipe.
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Offline mikep

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2006, 03:41:04 AM »
Bangbus, there are several things you have to think on.  First, is your room really big that you need to put a PA on your drums?  For me, putting a mic on the kick plus one as an overhead normally would solve the drum's sound problems.  You would need to mic your toms, put two over head mics for the over all sound, put a mic on the snare, etc., if you are recording, or if the hall you are performing in is rather huge because you really need to have the sound of your kit be heard from afar, or be picked up for the recording process.  Still, I have successfully recorded drums with just 3 mics - 1 kick, one snare, one over head, and everything went well.  The reason I am saying this is, you might be over amplifying your set that your next problem would be your neighbors.

BTW, a good set of mics is a good investment.  If I were you, I'd go for the SM57s instead for the PGs.  More expensive but you get better quality, sound, durability and dependability.  I have 57s that are more that 15 years old and they're still very good.  It is also a good investment.  Good, well maintained old pro mics can still sell at very good prices.

FWIW
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Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2006, 04:02:53 AM »
ok here are additional details about my objectives in this project.

objectives:
--Gig like sound and projection at home== with the most practical and reasonably priced instruments in town, i want to achieve the same gig feel/sound with my drum kit at home. when i say gig feel/sound/environment, imagine being inside 6 underground na lang. that same drum sound projection (only a bit lower in volume as my drum area back home is not as big as 6 underground)
--Decent Recording at home== in the process of doing the above, i also wish to do some quality recordin with my mixer, decent mics, pc and a dvd cam.

existing tools:
--decent drum kit (see my signature)
--rebranded asus laptop pentium m 1.60 ghz; 512mb, 15"screen, 2 dual layer writers, 40gb internat hd, 300gb external hdrive, trust external 5.1 usb sound card, logitech 5.1 speaker sys, bluetooth, infrared, webcam and other unrelated to this topic specs of my pc i guess.
--i have no softwares yet for audio/video editting except maybe for nero that comes with a video edittin application, WavePad, RecordPad Sound recorder, PocketVoice recorder (i use these for converting audio files lang and cut some of mp3s to use as my cellphone's message/ring tones etc.)
--Vision Sound Tech 12 channel preamped mixer from JB Music in park sqaure (see pic above and my sig)
--2 Vision Sound Tech 300 watts speakers (12 inch sub with that voice speaker thing, i dunno what its called, see my signature and you'll understand what i mean, sorry for my poor soundrecordin vocab)
--a bunch of cheapipay sony raon bangketa mics and mic stands
--a drum area about the size of yung starbucks at g4 yung beside timezone (no soundproofing but has shelves filled with books on 2 sides of wall, the ceiling is of cork-like material and is 10 to 12 feet high, floor has no carpet except for the drums...wood effect vinyl)

sureball upgrade im doing soon:
--toss my cheapazz mics out the window...get shure pg52 for the kick drum and shure pg57 for the 2 snares, samson Qtoms for the toms, and samson CO1 for overheads
--samson drum microphone mounting clips
--balanced xlr cables (does these mics i plan on gettin come with any?)...standard neutrik yung connectors

what I plan on doing to get the gig sound at home:
--attach those mics to the kit, position them properly to optimise the sound it can collect (tama ba term), connect them to the mixer
--take time in adjusting the eq and volume controls on the mixer

what I plan on doing to record at home:

--connect the mixer to my pc sound card by using red&white RCA male to 3.5mm/baby PL wire...the mixer has a red&white RCA female output
--use a software that you can recommend for recordin and video editing (the ones available from limewire or download.com)

what I know about audio/video editting on the pc:

--I know how to transfer files between devices such as videocams, digicams, dvd drives, mp3 players etc via bluetooth, usb or infrared
--I know how to cut or covert audio & video file formats using the softwares i have, usually for shrinkin the size or when the software i use defaults to another file type other than mp3 or wma for audio or mpg or avi for video, when saving it
--i dont know how to combine audio and video that were recorded using 2 separate devices.

sorry if i cant be too technical about this as i am absolutely a beginner in this are and i really need your help. i appreciate your patience and help...and maybe when i get this sorted out, i would be able to show my gratitude.

here is a clip of my recording, i used my bro's sony dvd cam, the kit was miced but the sound is absolutely raw in the sense that i did not do any edittin or so and so. it just the cam who did the recordin. the sound is way better in person of course. be sure to tell me if you got sick watchin it.


im an open-minded person so be sure to criticise or feel free to let me know how i can improve my project. but please dont mock me, im here eager to learn from you folks and not get insulted. thanks for your time and consideration. if there's anything i can help you with regardin drums, please let me know, i'm in pinoydrums forum more often than not and i'd be more than willing to help however i can.

Cheers!

 :mrgreen:

Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2006, 04:20:18 AM »
Bangbus, there are several things you have to think on.  First, is your room really big that you need to put a PA on your drums?  For me, putting a mic on the kick plus one as an overhead normally would solve the drum's sound problems.  You would need to mic your toms, put two over head mics for the over all sound, put a mic on the snare, etc., if you are recording, or if the hall you are performing in is rather huge because you really need to have the sound of your kit be heard from afar, or be picked up for the recording process.  Still, I have successfully recorded drums with just 3 mics - 1 kick, one snare, one over head, and everything went well.  The reason I am saying this is, you might be over amplifying your set that your next problem would be your neighbors.

BTW, a good set of mics is a good investment.  If I were you, I'd go for the SM57s instead for the PGs.  More expensive but you get better quality, sound, durability and dependability.  I have 57s that are more that 15 years old and they're still very good.  It is also a good investment.  Good, well maintained old pro mics can still sell at very good prices.

FWIW

hi Mike, thanks for your reply, dont worry about my neighbours. they're used to it and we have an unwritten code of 10am-8pm mondays to saturdays craziness galore, except for parties in which case they would have to be invited of course.

the drum area is about the size of starbucks in G4 cinemas the one beside timezone...i have cited more details on the post above right after yours. i agree with you when it comes to the mic, but money is also an issue for me in this project so maybe i would keep my expenses above generic brands but below high-ends...mid range (there you go, i forgot the term)...having said that i think in this respect shure PG52, PG57, Samson Qtoms and CO1 overheads will do for now...the when i get my bearings goin in this project i will upgrade kick mic to your recommended SM57.

im not really after insane amplification, i just want the projection what one would get from a miced kit say in 6 underground and not the likes of Araneta colloseum. i can always adjust naman the volume eh. thanks. God Bless.

 :mrgreen:

Offline jplacson

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2006, 07:47:02 PM »
On the topic of drum mics...

Would an SM57 beat out a PG52 for miking the kick?  Why?  Of course the Beta52 would be great... but assuming equal cost.  I was looking at getting a PG52 specifically for the kick (I've been wondering how this would benefit the sound) vs. currently miking it with either an SM57 or Beta57.

If the SM57 or Beta57 will still sound better than the PG52... I'll just hold off til I can get a Beta52.

**on that note... bangbus, you're on the right track with getting new mics.  Shure's PG series is very decent for the price.  I've noticed that tonally, they are close enough to their SM counterparts (at least comparing the PG57->SM57 and the PG58->SM58) the big difference I've noticed is sensitivity, and frequency response at varying input levels.  But for the cash, they are very decent mics and a very good starting point.  Even as you progress, the PG mics will still have some place in your kit... even as back-ups, or mics for non-essentials.  I started off with the PG series... moved up to the SM and Beta range little by little.  My PGs still do work... room mics... back-up... mics I leave in my bag just-in-case.  They're nice, rugged, and sound good.  On that note... why the PG57?  Shure has a PG56 just for your snare/tom... comes with the clip (for the rim) too if I'm not mistaken.
DOPPLER AUDIO

Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2006, 04:15:49 AM »
On the topic of drum mics...

Would an SM57 beat out a PG52 for miking the kick?  Why?  Of course the Beta52 would be great... but assuming equal cost.  I was looking at getting a PG52 specifically for the kick (I've been wondering how this would benefit the sound) vs. currently miking it with either an SM57 or Beta57.

If the SM57 or Beta57 will still sound better than the PG52... I'll just hold off til I can get a Beta52.

**on that note... bangbus, you're on the right track with getting new mics.  Shure's PG series is very decent for the price.  I've noticed that tonally, they are close enough to their SM counterparts (at least comparing the PG57->SM57 and the PG58->SM58) the big difference I've noticed is sensitivity, and frequency response at varying input levels.  But for the cash, they are very decent mics and a very good starting point.  Even as you progress, the PG mics will still have some place in your kit... even as back-ups, or mics for non-essentials.  I started off with the PG series... moved up to the SM and Beta range little by little.  My PGs still do work... room mics... back-up... mics I leave in my bag just-in-case.  They're nice, rugged, and sound good.  On that note... why the PG57?  Shure has a PG56 just for your snare/tom... comes with the clip (for the rim) too if I'm not mistaken.

thanks for your reply JP, i sure hope im doin the right thing as this is a very expensive project already for me by the mere thought of it. anyway ive been bangin drums as a hobby for as long as i can remember (and still suck at it) so i thought of doin somethin new by takin my kit a step further by micin it. as for the mics, im really havent got a clue about their differences, so i think i have to read up on what shure has to offer me. for now, while im a mic ignoramus, im just basing my decision on drummin buddies of mine who are experienced in this area of drumming. nonetheless, thanks for bringin this us up, i shall discuss this further with them. im plannin to do my mic shoppin when i get back to manila this dec, so at least i have lots of time to read up and gather some info and options from experts like you fellas. hopefully i'll make a sound decision. once i upgrade later on to better shure mics, specifically for the kick, if the pg52 fairs well i guess i will hang on to it for a while since i have 2 kick drums naman and would probably use it rin whenever i feel like arrangin my kit into a pseudo mike portnoy monster kit. otherwise, its headin towards the classifieds section. thank you once again.

 :mrgreen:

Offline starfugger

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2006, 10:31:38 AM »
hi bangbus. i saw a bit of the video (not the whole thing as i am still on dial up).  you have a lot of cymbals there. if you are a hard hitter, then i suggest you get a good pair of decent overhead mics, then one for the kick, and then the snare.  that should be enough.  now this might be a little above your intended budget, but the Shure KSM 32's make a great pair of overhead mics.  they can caapture rich, natural tom sounds when placed a few feet above the drummer's shoulder.   as for the kick, the current Beta52's sound nice.  you might also want to check out Audio Technica's ATM25.  of course, there's the classic sm57 for the snare.  now i understand you are planning to get a bunch of PG's and samsons.  maybe it would be a better idea to go with the four mic setup first (2 OH's, kick, snare) before purchasing the samson q's for the toms.  see if that is enough, then add whatever is needed later.   you might find that a few good mics yeild a better overall drum sound than a bunch of entry level mics.  also, a good preformance is imperative to satisfactory drum sounds.  here's the truth about drum micing and recording: i've more or less used the same drumset, micing positions, mics, and preamps on different drummers. i usually get EXCELLENT sounds from excellent drummers.  even the barest mic setup sounds great on a drummer with a great pulse. :)

In recording, mixing, and live setup, we usually use outboard/plug in effects for the drums.  note that in most modern rock recordings the drums don't sound anything like they do live.  that is because engineers apply a lot of effects to get that in your face sound. these are the effects that KitC mentioned.  the compressor is usually the key to that tight aggressive drum sound.  like KitC mentioned it tames the peaks and has the tendency to lift background noise (or leakage - sounds other than what a mic is intended to pick up). to deal with leakage, engineers normally use gates to "turn off" a mic when the instrument it is intended for is not being used.  sometimes you will find that the toms sound boomy (especiually when close mic'd), or that the kick doesn't have enough click to it.  here's when u use an equalizer (typically a parametric equalizer) to lift the frequencies (tone) that need to come out, and tame the ones that are too overpowering.   

hope this  helps.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2006, 10:40:32 AM by starfugger »
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Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2006, 03:55:47 PM »
hi bangbus. i saw a bit of the video (not the whole thing as i am still on dial up).  you have a lot of cymbals there. if you are a hard hitter, then i suggest you get a good pair of decent overhead mics, then one for the kick, and then the snare.  that should be enough.  now this might be a little above your intended budget, but the Shure KSM 32's make a great pair of overhead mics.  they can caapture rich, natural tom sounds when placed a few feet above the drummer's shoulder.   as for the kick, the current Beta52's sound nice.  you might also want to check out Audio Technica's ATM25.  of course, there's the classic sm57 for the snare.  now i understand you are planning to get a bunch of PG's and samsons.  maybe it would be a better idea to go with the four mic setup first (2 OH's, kick, snare) before purchasing the samson q's for the toms.  see if that is enough, then add whatever is needed later.   you might find that a few good mics yeild a better overall drum sound than a bunch of entry level mics.  also, a good preformance is imperative to satisfactory drum sounds.  here's the truth about drum micing and recording: i've more or less used the same drumset, micing positions, mics, and preamps on different drummers. i usually get EXCELLENT sounds from excellent drummers.  even the barest mic setup sounds great on a drummer with a great pulse. :)

In recording, mixing, and live setup, we usually use outboard/plug in effects for the drums.  note that in most modern rock recordings the drums don't sound anything like they do live.  that is because engineers apply a lot of effects to get that in your face sound. these are the effects that KitC mentioned.  the compressor is usually the key to that tight aggressive drum sound.  like KitC mentioned it tames the peaks and has the tendency to lift background noise (or leakage - sounds other than what a mic is intended to pick up). to deal with leakage, engineers normally use gates to "turn off" a mic when the instrument it is intended for is not being used.  sometimes you will find that the toms sound boomy (especiually when close mic'd), or that the kick doesn't have enough click to it.  here's when u use an equalizer (typically a parametric equalizer) to lift the frequencies (tone) that need to come out, and tame the ones that are too overpowering.   

hope this  helps.

hi starfugger, thanks for your reply, i have taken note of your suggestion. the four mic setup with decent mics does make sense, specially for someone on a budget like me. so now a new war in me has been brewed--between samson q toms and shure overheads. im pretty sure compressors and parametric eqs will come in handy later on, this is somethin i will definitely look into. but for now, i think my first step is to obtain decent mics. overheads vs tom mics...hmmm think think think moreover, budget budget budget! hehe. cheers!

 :mrgreen:

Offline starfugger

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2006, 03:02:24 PM »
ok, here's a better idea bangbus.  why not purchase just the overhead and snare mics first.  if they do the job nicely then you may spend the extra money you saved from not purchasing tom mics on a high quality kick mic like the beta 52 or atm 25 ;)
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Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 02:27:32 AM »
ok, here's a better idea bangbus.  why not purchase just the overhead and snare mics first.  if they do the job nicely then you may spend the extra money you saved from not purchasing tom mics on a high quality kick mic like the beta 52 or atm 25 ;)

thanks for the advise...but i already bought a PG52 (btw, thanks tarkus for hookin me up..free delivery pa to my office for the remainin item---wow wow wee wah, talk about going the extra mile for customer service :-o).

it's waiting for me in my drum room there, i cant wait to get this all sorted out. rest-assured, in due time when i get my bearings in this area of drumming going, i will definitely upgrade to whats necessary...next up is the snare mic then overheads then tom mics...hopefuly before the year ends, this project will be up and runnin...

any more suggestions from the gurus?

 :mrgreen:

Offline KitC

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2006, 02:49:45 AM »

any more suggestions from the gurus?


SM-57 for the snare!!!
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Offline bangbus

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Re: VST Pre-amped 12-channel Mixer
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2006, 06:26:24 AM »

any more suggestions from the gurus?


SM-57 for the snare!!!

SM-57 for snare, PG56 for toms on the way, im just waiting for tarkuz' reply

hopefully all these expensive mics would improve the sound output despite the VST powered mixer and speakers

thanks

 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: