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why vca
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
why vca

from my initial research it seems that vca is just a group mix.

but i've never seen it called vca - voltage controlled amplifier.

apparently it's controlled by an independent external voltage.

is there a benefit for this? what is the advantage of vca vs a normal group out sub mix?
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Hi
A VCA is as you say a Voltage Controlled Amplifier. This is of importance to automated desks (other than those with moving faders or are completely digital).
By feeding a control voltage to several VCAs (audio channels) they can be considered to be grouped together. Of course the audio on each channel can be entirely different.
Earlier 'non automated' desks had VCA grouping available.
You can of course have VCA groups AND audio groups which are not necessarily the same channels although I can't immediately think of why you would want to do it.
It is just another level of flexibility that was built in and of particular use if automated.
Matt S
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
so essentially it's the same thing as a group. but what makes it better/different?
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by this n00b again View Post
so essentially it's the same thing as a group. but what makes it better/different?
It's just a way of having a non-audio control signal dictate the gain of an amplifier. It allows several faders to be controlled by a master fader without having to actually sum together the audio that is running through each individual fader.

The other kind of group is actually a bus, wherein all the members of the group actually contribute their signals together to make one audio signal.

VCA allows you to keep them separate.
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrasonic View Post
It's just a way of having a non-audio control signal dictate the gain of an amplifier. It allows several faders to be controlled by a master fader without having to actually sum together the audio that is running through each individual fader.

The other kind of group is actually a bus, wherein all the members of the group actually contribute their signals together to make one audio signal.

VCA allows you to keep them separate.
oooo gotcha. Makes sense now. Thanks
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

but.. then you're adding the additional VCA audio path into the signal chain. Depending on the design, this may or may not be a good thing

As much as I love my MCI 500, the VCAs sound.. well, terrible!
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Hi
It is all down to design and implementation. ALL compressors have some form of VCA and depending on how each is designed they can be pretty much 'transparent' while not compressing, or can be 'lousy'.
Opto compressors can be quite 'good' sounding but it is pretty difficult to get a suitable 'control law' for use as an automation system.
Matt S
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
Old 22nd November 2009
  #9
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Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

..actually, I've just been mixing on the VCAs for a change and have to say I actually don't mind them at all. In this case the EQ needed to be tweaked but for whatever reason it sounds significantly punchier than it did on the audio faders

this is all regarding an MCI 500

Matt's spot on regarding compressors thumbsup
Old 1st December 2009
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Take a look at this info from Allen & Heath's website about mixing with VCAs.
ALLEN & HEATH :: WORLD CLASS MIXERS


JP
Old 3rd December 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
roginator's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Cardan View Post
it sounds significantly punchier than it did on the audio faders

this is all regarding an MCI 500
+1

and sound is to my ears better!!!!
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