Proficiency Guide/Walkthrough

From Help Wiki

Video Tutorial:

Power On/Off Procedures, and Signal Flow from Computer to Speakers


Please read this article (link) about lab policies before working in the lab.

Startup Procedure

  1. Log into the Log Book and note any problems other students have had in the studio.
    • Is the mixer and the rest of the room normalized? If not, note it in the Log Book.
  2. Switch on the rack near the patchbay, and switch on the rack to the right of the mixer.
  3. Power up computer.

Mixer Usage

  1. Patch in a simple audio signal: first, locate one of the Dual Oscillator Model 258 modules on the Buchla. It has two oscillators on a single panel. The top oscillator is a Sine/Saw oscillator, and the bottom is a Sine / Square oscillator. Use a long 3.5mm cable to connect one of the outputs from the top oscillator to output 1 of Buchla output panel (top left of Buchla). Then find the corresponding Buchla interface panel output on the patch bay, and patch this output to the channel 1 line input of the mixer.
  2. On mixer channel 1:
    • Depress the “LINE” button to allow Line-level input to the channel.
    • Adjust the “GAIN” knob until the channel meter shows green LEDs but not red.
      • Can use "PFL" button above the channel fader if you want to see the signal on the larger meter above the Main L-R Faders, but make sure your L-R faders are down first!
    • Make sure that the EQ section is disabled.
    • Make sure the PAN knob is centered.
    • Assign the channel output to the “L-R” bus.
    • Bring up the channel fader to unity gain (0).
  3. Select L-R as the Monitor Source.
  4. Bring the yellow MASTER L-R faders up to unity, and you should see the Monitor Output meters indicate a level.
    • The Monitor Output knob will be your volume control for the speakers, as explained in the next steps.

Using the Quad Monitor Controller

  1. Starting out, make sure the "Volume" knob on the monitor controller is turned all the way down.
  2. There are three different input sources on this monitor controller. The L/R Monitor Outputs of the mixer are directly connected to the "Stereo" Input of the controller. The "Quad" Input can be fed by sources such as Allen and Heath Group Outs or Apollo X8 Outs via the patch bay; nothing is normalized to the Quad Input. A stereo mini cable plugged into the controller is available when "Aux" Input is selected.
  3. The controller feeds two different sets of studio monitors (speakers) which are selected by the "Monitor" switch. It is a 3 way switch that toggles between two different sets of speakers with "Mute" as the middle position. Selecting "Farfield" sends the signal to the (passive) farfield JBL 4412A monitors via Crown D150A power amplifiers (which amplify the speakers) to the right of the mixer. A stereo source will only go to the front farfields; a quad source will feed both the front and rear pairs. A subwoofer is crossed over with front pair. There is no need to change the volume of the Crown amplifiers. Selecting "Nearfield" on the controller feeds the active JBL Series 3 monitors. The subwoofer is only used with the Farfields.
  4. Once you have your input source and speakers selected, bring up the "Monitor Output" level knob up to a good listening level. If you still don't hear anything, double check that the MUTE button is not pressed!

Patching Signal into the Apollo X8 Audio Interface

  1. There are several ways to get the signal that was patched into the mixer out of the mixer and into the Apollo X8 audio interface for digital recording. In this case, patch "Channel 1 Direct Output" into "Apollo Line Input 1" on the patchbay.
  2. Press the "METER" button on the front panel of the Apollo. This button toggles between displaying either input or output metering on the front panel; to be able to see input levels, use the button to select "IN."
  3. The first four input channels of the Apollo can toggle between individual microphone and line level inputs. On the front panel controls of the Apollo, the knob labeled "PREAMP" is also a button. Pressing this button toggles between selecting inputs 1-4. Press this knob until Input 1 is illuminated (selected) on the front panel. This will make the other front panel controls affect Input 1. Press the "INPUT" button (just to the right of the "PREAMP" knob/button) to toggle between "MIC" (inputs available from the XLR input panel just about the interface in the rack) and "LINE" (inputs from the patchbay); we want "LINE" selected in this case. (Note that inputs 5-8 are only LINE inputs). For more information, check out the Apollo X8 Wiki Page.
  4. With Input 1 still selected, use the "PREAMP" knob to adjust the input to a healthy level.
  5. Open Ableton Live. The default project template is configured for use with the Apollo, and the first Audio channel in the project will already have its input set to "1 MIC/LINE/HI-Z." Save the project. From here, the track can be armed to record by clicking the button with the dot on it below the S (solo) button on the channel. Note that the "Monitor" control on the channel is set to "Off" (which is what we want, since we are already monitoring the input signal off the mixer).
  6. On the transport controls at the top of the Ableton project, press "Record;" the dot should turn red and the play symbol should turn green and recording will start. Record a little bit of signal and then press stop. Pressing TAB on the computer keyboard will toggle between Arrangement View and Session View (helpful).
  7. Finally, listen back to what was recorded. Patch the output of the Apollo back into the mixer. By default, the Ableton project's main output will go to Apollo Line Out 1-2. Locate this pair of outputs on the patchbay and patch them into an available pair of line inputs on the mixer. Refer to steps 2-4 under "Mixer Usage" to route this signal through the board all the way to the Monitor Output.

Shutdown Procedure

  1. Turn the monitor controller volume all the way down.
  2. Normalize the mixer (all buttons out, all faders down, all AUX Send knobs down, all EQ knobs centered, all Gain knobs down, Monitor knob down, etc.).
  3. Remove patch cables from synths and patchbays, and NEATLY put them back on the hangers.
  4. Shut down the computer.
  5. Switch off all racks.
  6. Log out of the log book and note any problems you have had; they will be looked at weekly on Tuesday mornings.
  7. Switch off the lights and make sure the door latches behind you.