hardware compressors and ducking
FX23
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#1
23rd June 2011
Old 23rd June 2011
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hardware compressors and ducking

hi, im just trying out some ducking on my drawmer dl231 compressor. this is how i have it set up -

im sending a stereo bus to the compressor from my mackie desk.
im send a kick drum to the right sidechain channel from the direct out of the kick channel to the compressor.

now this sounds great but its only comming back to the bus on the left channel!

what am i doing wrong?
#2
24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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So both left and right are processing the left and right mix bus?

As you know, generally when something is set up to duck, it turns down whatever's being processed, in relation to the level coming in the side-chain. The louder the sidechain, the lower the processed signal (depending on ratio, make-up gain, attack and release times).

If that's true, sounds like maybe one thing is you need to send the kick drum to both left and right side-chain inputs. I couldn't find a manual on the web to determine how you config that on the Drawmer.

For debugging purposes, you might temporarily set the compresser up "normally", run the kick drum through as though you were processing it, and see if you're getting limiting/compression on it, then reconfigure the controls for ducking (without changing what you're sending as audio to be processed) and see if it's turning the kick drum down. If the kick completely disappears, maybe you've got the ducking such that it's attenuating the kick 30-40-50 db, so much that you just can't hear it.

Most ducking is like a 3-6-10db type deal - you don't want the background to disappear, just come down a bit; I know that's what you want, but there's probably some setting that changes in a counter-intuitive way when you set the limiter up for ducking.

HTH
FX23
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#3
24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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h Steck, thanks for you reply.

ive tried to add kick to both channels and then i got no audio from either channel returning to the desk, its like as soon as the jack plug enters the sidechain the audio is swtched off!

also theres a seperate sidechain input for the expander/limiter section!


im send a kick drum to the right sidechain channel from the direct out of the kick channel to the compressor.

now this sounds great and the mix and kick are ducking but only comming back to the desk on the left channel!

hope ive explained whats happening a little better!
#4
24th June 2011
Old 24th June 2011
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Hmmm. I sure would love to see the manual for that thing - could you post a picture of the block diagram for it, if you have it?

Generally, there's only one sidechain input for a dynamics processor channel, since there's usually only one VCA per channel regardless of the number of functions it performs.

I was looking at the DL251 manual, and there's a button that lets you hear the sidechain signal - does your unit have that?

Also, interestingly, the 251 has a tip-ring-sleeve insert, that acts as a "patch point" to permit inserting an EQ for de-essing - is that how the 231 is set up?

Thanks,

John
FX23
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#5
25th June 2011
Old 25th June 2011
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hi! theres 4 sidechain inputs in total, left channel expander, left channel compressor - right channel expander and right channel compressor!

also theres 4 side chain listen switches 1 for left channel expander, left channel compressor, right expander and right compressor

id be happy to post any pictures of the unit, information on the net seems to very limited...
#6
25th June 2011
Old 25th June 2011
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Hmm, okay, cool.

Going back to your original configuration - if you push the side-chain listen button for the insert you're using, are you hearing the kick drum?

If yes, then there's probably a setting or two that needs to be changed.


If no, then there's a cabling issue or a problem with the insert point.

The DL251 docs indicate that when the stereo link button is enabled, the "left-hand" channel's controls are active and set values for both left and right. I'd also guess, if your unit has a similar button, that the left-hand insert points would be the relevant ones for a stereo ducking situation.
FX23
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#7
25th June 2011
Old 25th June 2011
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if i switch the sidechain listen on all i hear is the kick, ive got the stereo link switched on but im only getting audio coming back to the desk on the left channel!
#8
26th June 2011
Old 26th June 2011
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Okay, if you're hearing the kick, at least that means that the drawmer is getting "something" into the sidechain. That makes me think that there's some settings that must be changed to get the ducking to work...


If you turn stereo link off, and you push the sidechain listen, do you hear the kick in the left and the normal stuff in the right?

Normally you would never ever push "sidechain listen" when using the unit "for real" (e.g. to print a mix, etc) so it might be that sidechain listen only swaps on one side, the side you're patched in on.
FX23
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#9
27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steck View Post
Okay, if you're hearing the kick, at least that means that the drawmer is getting "something" into the sidechain. That makes me think that there's some settings that must be changed to get the ducking to work...


If you turn stereo link off, and you push the sidechain listen, do you hear the kick in the left and the normal stuff in the right?

Normally you would never ever push "sidechain listen" when using the unit "for real" (e.g. to print a mix, etc) so it might be that sidechain listen only swaps on one side, the side you're patched in on.
Ill check that tonight, i know that the ducking effect is working but only in mono,

drawmer emailed me a manual. found this inside -

"the sidechain insert point is configured as a stereo jack wired tip return"

the lead im using is just a standard mono guitar jack....
#10
27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FX23 View Post
Ill check that tonight, i know that the ducking effect is working but only in mono,

drawmer emailed me a manual. found this inside -

"the sidechain insert point is configured as a stereo jack wired tip return"

the lead im using is just a standard mono guitar jack....
I was wondering if that was it (TRS jack, TS plug). Betcha the sleeve is shorting the "to be processed" signal out.
FX23
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#11
27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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do you think a standard stereo guitar jack is the answer?
#12
27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FX23 View Post
"the sidechain insert point is configured as a stereo jack wired tip return"

do you think a standard stereo guitar jack is the answer?
The trick here is that you want to make sure nothing "disturbs" the "send" portion of the signal (ring). So you wouldn't want to feed the insert point using a TRS to TRS cable that is coming from something with a balanced output (where the ring would be the opposite polarity of the tip but otherwise the same signal).

You could fab a cable. If the source is unbalanced, then you'd need TIP/SLEEVE (for source) to TIP/RING/SLEEVE (for the Drawmer insert point), where TIP goes to TIP, SLEEVE to SLEEVE, and no connection on the ring.

If the source is balanced, you'd use two TIP/RING/SLEEVE plugs, wired as follows:

TIP to TIP, RING (source) to SLEEVE (Drawmer), shield connected to source jack SLEEVE.

Does this make sense to you?
FX23
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#13
27th June 2011
Old 27th June 2011
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not really, can you get them on ebay?
#14
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
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You could maybe cobble something together using a couple of "insert" cables (one TRS to two TS). Let's firm up the specifics a bit more...

You don't have a patch bay at this point, right?

Is your mackie balanced or unbalanced, and what kind of connector does it have?
FX23
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#15
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
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the mackie bus is connected to the drawmer using xlr to jacks
FX23
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#16
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
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i dont have a patchbay
FX23
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#17
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
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FX23
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#18
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
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the direct out channel is a nominal +4 unbalanced 1/4" jack...
#19
28th June 2011
Old 28th June 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FX23 View Post
is this the kind of thing you're thinking of?

HOSA STP-202 1/4" TRS M -Dual 1/4" TS M 2m INSERT CABLE | eBay UK
Yep. But if you're coming from XLR on the mackie, you'd need another adapter to go from XLR to TS jack in addition to that. If you're coming from 1/4" TS, you'd be set with the Hosa (or equivalent).
FX23
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#20
29th June 2011
Old 29th June 2011
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the mackie outputs ard jacks the dl231 inputs are xlr and the side chain inputs are jacks
FX23
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#21
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steck View Post
Yep. But if you're coming from XLR on the mackie, you'd need another adapter to go from XLR to TS jack in addition to that. If you're coming from 1/4" TS, you'd be set with the Hosa (or equivalent).
i had some special wires made
FX23
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#22
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
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#23
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
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#24
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
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Okay, and you're plugging the black plug from the cable (the TRS one) into the insert point on the 231, correct?
FX23
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#25
1st July 2011
Old 1st July 2011
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the trs end is conected to the mackie sub bus, the xlr end is connected to the dl231 left and right channels.
#26
2nd July 2011
Old 2nd July 2011
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I think we're getting confused in our communication.

I'm proposing the TRS to dual TS insert cable be used on the sidechain insert point, as per the following diagram (and note the TRS plug of this cable is used in the Drawmer):
Attached Thumbnails
hardware compressors and ducking-img_0496-drawmer-231-sidechain-ducking-connection-diagram.jpg  
FX23
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#27
2nd July 2011
Old 2nd July 2011
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cheers steck, i will try this later today!
FX23
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#28
2nd July 2011
Old 2nd July 2011
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hi steck, i quickly tried the set up as explained in your last post and now the signal is comming back to the desk on both channels including the ducking! i will have more time tomorrow can explore it fully
FX23
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#29
5th July 2011
Old 5th July 2011
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would i be able to sidechain the expander at the same time?
#30
5th July 2011
Old 5th July 2011
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Sure. Keep in mind that it's up to you to figure out what you're going to feed it as a signal source that "makes sense". And you'll need the same "insert cable" setup as the other S/C insert point you've got cabled now (unless you're just going to move the cable from one insert to another).

Your same kick drum feed, for example, will probably cause the stereo signal to be off for most of the time except when the kick hits (this depending on release time, of course).
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