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Big OL dummie here

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  • Big OL dummie here

    Hey everybody so as of yesterday I am now balls to the wall and knee deep in this here pro audio stuff i guess. Kinda got all this stuff thrown at me for a really good price plus free bees like crazy but heres my first problem...Out of allllll this stuff I now own and is currently taking up the majority of my man cave cuz its nothin but subs,speakers more speakers ,amps more subs but not 1 single friggin cable ! Ive spent the better part of the day researching about this TRS,XLR ,OXTAL CONNECTORS learning about BALANCED CABLING and such but the 1 thing im still confused on is what do i need to do to feed all this a nice clean signal from a laptop? The laptop i currently got seems to fall on its face and starts clipping i guess real easy when I am running equalizer APO 1.2 software ! Just a tad bit of some 2-80 hz over the 0 line and it all goes to garbage so im not sure whats up is it just a crappy computer that cant support the program or something else? And 1 more quick question while its fresh in my head ..... My cabling going from laptop 3.5mm to the 2 CREST AUDIO 4801 amps Im runnings 3 prong XLR plugs on them amps there which there is 2 per amp so total of 4 between the 2 amps. How or what do i use to split my 3.5mm to 4 XLR PLUGS ? oR how would I being the new guy here to this Pro Audio feeed these amps? S**t ton of splitters or what ? Sorry for the dumb questions but Thats why im here to learn from you Professionals so any help is greatly appreciated and I THANK YOU IN ADVANCE ! I look forward to hearing all the awesome ideas lol

  • #2
    Originally posted by BEERDRINKINMFR View Post
    ... but the 1 thing im still confused on is what do i need to do to feed all this a nice clean signal from a laptop? The laptop i currently got seems to fall on its face and starts clipping i guess real easy when I am running equalizer APO 1.2 software ! ...
    Calibration - Get a meter and play a reference tone on the laptop - measure the output voltage to make sure it isn't excessive.
    * do not exceed 0 line
    ... How or what do i use to split my 3.5mm to 4 XLR PLUGS ...
    Get a mixer in between laptop/source and Amplifiers.

    * Don't know what you have read - I'd recommend the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook [Gary Davis, Ralph Jones]



    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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    • #3
      If you plan on hangin' around here, please change your name (don't need to see THAT everyday).

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.rane.com/note110.html
        www.billfitzmaurice.com
        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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        • #5
          Give us a list of the equipment you have.

          The first suggestion I would have is to completely forget using the analog line out in the laptop, they are total crap at the best of times. If you use a USB interface the crappy analog sound card in the PC is bypassed and the sound quality is noticably better, but instead of buying a dedicated interface a pro sound mixer with a USB input may be a better choice..just depends what you are trying to do. You need some way to boost the consumer line level signal from your source up to the higher Pro sound signal level and a Pro sound mixer would do that, but you may also need a crossover to divide frequencies between subs and tops if you don't have one already.
          Paul O

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul O View Post
            ... they are total crap at the best of times.....
            Perhaps all laptops and devices are not created equal in that regard ( impedance mismatch notwithstanding ) - heard many sound systems providers using them in public performance, and personally used them in that fashion, without any complaint. This doesn't preclude advantages of other output schemes however.
            Anyway...
            more stuff
            Setting Sound System And Mixing Console Gain Staging
            Last edited by Sydney; 09-05-2018, 12:11 PM.
            "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
            “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
            "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sydney View Post
              Perhaps all laptops are not created equal
              They aren't, some are better than others. I thought my dell was decent enough but always felt that all the music somehow sounded the same. It wasn't until I got a measurement mic and USB interface and measured it to provide a baseline correction curve for testing that I realized how bad it was.. big rolloffs on the highs and lows while the USB interface was almost ruler flat. I now have several USB interfaces including a $10 non name micro interface off Amazon and a Mackie Pro mixer with USB and all of them blow away the build-in sound card.

              Paul O

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul O View Post
                They aren't, some are better than others....
                Yeah I was typing Tongue and Cheek .
                The OP is new at this, and may know not how to handle a possible impedance mismatch
                ( somehow I also got the impression that he wasn't wanting to spend mo money )
                Using my laptop ( to feed other systems) I know the true output voltage levels and prefer running on battery to eliminate noizzzz...
                Frankly most "Stool" issues I've heard are due to things like poor speaker placement and excessive EQ levels rather than output selected.
                "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris Roemer View Post
                  If you plan on hangin' around here, please change your name (don't need to see THAT everyday).
                  I'm pretty sure it means Beer Drink Indiana Manufacturer... the micro brews are getting odd these days ;)

                  On topic... already above
                  1 - USB interface with XLR outputs, typically meant for home studio use and available at music stores. May run about $100 or two
                  2 - Crossover, lots of options here but you need active filters to run that stuff (pending a better list of what you've got)

                  You could...
                  Get a better sound card with multiple outputs and do a software active crossover
                  Get a rack mount active crossover, analog style like a Rane something or other
                  Get a rack mount digital speaker management system like a Driverack that will give you filters and limiters
                  Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                  Wogg Music

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                  • #10
                    WOW you guys are a handy group here for sure and i appreciate the heck out of it ! Some really good information you guys all have shared with me and confused me with lol . So as of right now I have 2 x CREST AUDIO 4801 professional amplifiers, 2 x B-52 MX1515's, 2 x FENDER 1205A's, 2 x ELECTROVOICE 18" ELIMINATOR " phone jacks and Speakons (the FENDER's have been added and not by me ). Oh and a PYLE PPA450 that a neighbor gave me today .( I personally think PYLE has been junk since they started making it in China or wherever they are at ) but i appreciate the gift not that I will use it but hey I got it lol. Now this is going to get me all sorts of crap but I got to put it out there....So my cabling is all hacked together spliced electrical extension cord and cut in half TS plugs. Nothing is balanced ,no ground loops hooked up and my input wiring is a spliced 3.5mm to my XLR's on the back of 1 amp but to both female XLR jacks . So I guess lets hear it and get this over with lol . Im actually doing some research on my cabling now and trying to decide my best and somewhat moderatly priced route here. Thats my next step because I know that whats hooked up is complete garbage! But i had to test these puppies out lol Im also been shopping around for a mixing board and I hear to steer clear of BEHRINGER all together is this correct? I was told to check out MACKIE's or YAMAHA boards but that was from the guy I got them from. I do have software filters on my EQUALIZER APO 1.2 software that i have been playing around with but no clue of what they all are used for or how to set them up let alone which filters I should be using because it has at least a dozen or so. Is anyone framiliar with that software or can someone maybe point me in the direction of something better to download? Probably another important thing to let you guys know is this whole setup is in my back room which is about 20' x 13' and 8' ceilings and I have 3&3 speakers in 2 corners against the 13' wall and dont really have any plans to move all this stuff out of this room but who knows what will happen with it ,might all stay and be upgraded or move to my garage and let these neighbors have it when they think its time to crank up the hot Tuba and accordion solos along with the HEAVY distorted to all heck bass they rock lol. So one again THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that has taken time to assist my dumbass in understanding and helping getting this new hobby going here.
                    One last thing here WOGG THUMBS UP on the translation of my name there LMFAO i love it ! I guess if it offends people that much i'll have to figure out how to change it lol . Have a good one guys I'll check back soon ...........

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul O View Post
                      Give us a list of the equipment you have.

                      The first suggestion I would have is to completely forget using the analog line out in the laptop, they are total crap at the best of times.
                      They are also a lot more likely to get damaged by someone tripping over a cable, or the cable getting pulled or yanked by another means. They are also more likely to end up having a dodgy connection under heavy use, leading to static and mismatched outputs on each channel. This is a lot less likely to happen with a USB connection, and better yet IMO would be a good Bluetooth connection, which would involve the use of no interconnecting cables at all.
                      Brian Steele
                      www.diysubwoofers.org

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                      • #12
                        In addition - also extracted Audio from the HDMI output.
                        Apparently we have different experiences - Never had an accidental trip-over/yank-out; the providers dressed out cabling and tie-ins to avoid that ( no signal cables on the ground ).
                        The ubiquitous Phone Jacks on MI amps on the stage are another story.
                        Saw someone ( trying to be helpful ) yank the cable completely out of a SPEAKON connector - a bad habit from Phone jack days.

                        PS Beer - It's hard for me to read a single paragraph - though this is not so much a Pro Sound application but a HOME system, with different considerations
                        If you live in IN then good chance you might find a forum member nearby to help as well. ( use to live in Allen Co )

                        Addition:
                        Originally posted by BEERDRINKINMFR View Post
                        ... BEHRINGER all together is this correct?....
                        IF this is ONLY for your purposes in the room you mentioned...maybe; I wouldn't consider it for a mission critical application - to reach an entry price point often sacrifices robust performance.
                        I've had their products act up after 18 months and it wasn't being toured/transported.
                        Originally posted by BEERDRINKINMFR View Post
                        ... this whole setup is in my back room which is about 20' x 13' and 8' ceilings and I have 3&3 speakers in 2 corners against the 13' wall ....
                        A room mode simulation can make some predictions, but the variables include the acoustic absorbance of the walls/ceiling/floor and the furnishings.
                        Last edited by Sydney; 09-07-2018, 10:01 AM.
                        "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                        “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                        "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BEERDRINKINMFR View Post
                          So as of right now I have 2 x CREST AUDIO 4801 professional amplifiers, 2 x B-52 MX1515's, 2 x FENDER 1205A's, 2 x ELECTROVOICE 18" ELIMINATOR
                          All right, you have most of a classic band PA system there, missing are the mixer, crossover and EQ. For home use you don't really need a mixer but a small one would do the job and could be fun. If you're just going to flip between a couple different inputs like CD, laptop or a phone a DJ mixer would be the thing to get as it is setup to accept consumer level inputs, if you might use the system as a proper PA sometime even for some home karaoke with actual microphones then a live mixer is what you want.

                          The crossover and EQ will REALLY make or break the kind of sound you get from all this, yes you could use it without these pieces but the system will really come together with them. The ultimate solution is a PA processor like the Behringer DCX2496, I hear you have been warned off Behringer but they have produced a handful of really good pieces including this one, but it's still $350 to buy new. For a fraction of that you could buy a used analog crossover like a Rane AC22B or a DBX 223XL and a 15 band graphic EQ, this gear doesn't have the resolution the DCX has but for home use and as a beginner you probably won't notice the difference.

                          Once you have a mixer or USB interface of some type and crossover then you can connect everything as it should be with XLR cables or XLR to TRS cables depending what is needed. The mixer gets connected to the crossover inputs, it splits frequencies low and high for the subs and tops, low outputs connect to the amp driving the EV 18s, the high outputs feed the amp driving the B52s.Those Fender boxes don't really fit in here, you could use them as monitors for singers or Karaoke performers or as satellite speakers in a different room, you probably would not even be able to hear them over the big system if they are placed in the same room.
                          Paul O

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