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Loopstation with multiple instruments
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Loopstation with multiple instruments

Hello everybody,

I would like to submit some thoughts I have been having on the matter of plugging several instruments into a loop station. On this forum or pretty much any other forum I landed on in the past weeks, the same suggestion is made: run your instruments mics through a (small) mixer, send the mix to the loopstation and feed the output to the PA.

The problem I see there is that the sound technician of the venue will have no control whatsoever on the sound and levels of the separate instruments. Which to me is a big thing: I play only acoustic instruments that require quite some fine tuning to sound properly on a PA. In the normal setup of the project for which I’m looking into this, I play on two fiddles and an accordion, which makes for 5 mics once the feet rhythm is added.
It seemed logical to me to plug all the instruments into the mixer of the venue and ask them to feed the desired instruments back to the looper via an Aux channel, but as a friend rightfully pointed out, there is a chance that the mixer in some venues doesn’t have that many Aux outputs and that they might not have one to spare...

But then I came to the following idea:

Running all the instruments through a microphone splitter (something like the Behringer ULTRALINK MS8000 for instance), that will feed the main signal to the PA (and will pass the phantom of the PA through to the mics, ) and the duplicated signal (isolated from phantom) to a (very basic) mixer. On that mixer, make the mix how I want it in the looper, send it to the looper and send the looper output as an extra instrument to the PA.

The mixer, as I see it, could in theory even be one of those super-simple “microphone mixers” with just a volume knob for each channel, although a slightly more elaborate model with equalizer should only make for a better sound of the loops, right?

On the budget side... considering that the looper and the small mixer plugged into it are necessary anyways and can be the same in either scenario as I see it, let’s just skip on them. The Behringer splitter sells around €65 where I am, a couple of cables... not a gigantic extra investment I would say, and as I see it, worth it.

Any thoughts on any of that?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NerdyFiddler View Post
Hello everybody,

I would like to submit some thoughts I have been having on the matter of plugging several instruments into a loop station. On this forum or pretty much any other forum I landed on in the past weeks, the same suggestion is made: run your instruments mics through a (small) mixer, send the mix to the loopstation and feed the output to the PA.

The problem I see there is that the sound technician of the venue will have no control whatsoever on the sound and levels of the separate instruments. Which to me is a big thing: I play only acoustic instruments that require quite some fine tuning to sound properly on a PA. In the normal setup of the project for which I’m looking into this, I play on two fiddles and an accordion, which makes for 5 mics once the feet rhythm is added.
It seemed logical to me to plug all the instruments into the mixer of the venue and ask them to feed the desired instruments back to the looper via an Aux channel, but as a friend rightfully pointed out, there is a chance that the mixer in some venues doesn’t have that many Aux outputs and that they might not have one to spare...

But then I came to the following idea:

Running all the instruments through a microphone splitter (something like the Behringer ULTRALINK MS8000 for instance), that will feed the main signal to the PA (and will pass the phantom of the PA through to the mics, ) and the duplicated signal (isolated from phantom) to a (very basic) mixer. On that mixer, make the mix how I want it in the looper, send it to the looper and send the looper output as an extra instrument to the PA.

The mixer, as I see it, could in theory even be one of those super-simple “microphone mixers” with just a volume knob for each channel, although a slightly more elaborate model with equalizer should only make for a better sound of the loops, right?

On the budget side... considering that the looper and the small mixer plugged into it are necessary anyways and can be the same in either scenario as I see it, let’s just skip on them. The Behringer splitter sells around €65 where I am, a couple of cables... not a gigantic extra investment I would say, and as I see it, worth it.

Any thoughts on any of that?
using the splitter the way you suggested makes sense - i wouldn't go for anything smaller than a mackie 1402vlz3 (not 4...) for you on stage though: you might want to add an efx or two and maybe even feed them into your looper and/or (depending on venue) do your own wedge or in-ear mix - or use the desk when you are on your own (no foh but all sound mixed on stage).

sound engineer speaking here, not a performer/musician (much anymore).
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
using the splitter the way you suggested makes sense - i wouldn't go for anything smaller than a mackie 1402vlz3 (not 4...) for you on stage though: you might want to add an efx or two and maybe even feed them into your looper and/or (depending on venue) do your own wedge or in-ear mix - or use the desk when you are on your own (no foh but all sound mixed on stage).

sound engineer speaking here, not a performer/musician (much anymore).
Good to hear it makes sense!
As for the mixer, I had not looked at a specific brand (yet), but I was looking into similar models, more with 6 mic/instrument/mono inputs though...

Last night I just realized there might be a flaw in my idea though... In the way I thought of it, it would seem the instruments I want to loop would be fed twice to the PA... The loop station is plug in-line, which means the instrument goes through anyways, with extra layers when looped... but if all the instruments are already fed to the PA, and then come a second time, mixed together and through the loopstation... wouldn’t that be some kind of an issue? Your being a sound engineer seems really helpful here! :-P I have read the manuals of a certain amount of loopstations, it would seem that disabling the direct-through sound of the instrument(s) is not an option.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

you've got to do the mix in terms of levels: the engineer(s) cannot know about the balance of instruments you want to feed into your loopstation.

s/he may beef up individual channels though and send them back to you; the splitter is your safety net in case you don't like signals from foh.

in terms of mixing split out and loop out at foh: if very carefully delayed, the indivudual tracks might still get used but do not rely on that...
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