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Rack EQ vs Mixer


(@tuna-melt)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 40
Topic starter  

Just to clarify, I'm putting this in the Amps section because I have yet to buy a rackmout setup and am not sure how to set it up depending on what I choose. I was thinking about either getting a 31 band rackmount EQ or getting a mixer. I'm pretty sure the mixer would be better because from what I understand a lot of the frequencies on the 31 band EQ would be useless for guitar. So my option is pretty much the mixer. I want to use it for studio and live, however, from what I've heard it will be difficult or impossible. Can anyone tell me how to hook a mixer to rackmount (in both scenarios) and what else, if anything, will I need to buy to make it work. (Once again in both scenarios). Also the benefits/downsides of each rig setup.Thanks. I know I'm asking for a lot of info so anything at all will help!


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Hmmm...

I do not record at all, especially with computer, so I can't answer your questions there.

As far as EQs, a 31 band might be overkill with guitar. It is just so many sliders to adjust. You can really get great results with a good 7 band EQ. There are 10 band EQs as well, but many say they actually prefer the 7 band to the 10.

A mixer should not really be used as an EQ, although you will have 3 or even 4 EQ controls on each channel strip, and your board may come with a 7 or possibly 9 band EQ.

As far as hooking up a mixer to anything, a mixer has XLR, 1/4", and even RCA outs, so you can hook it up to nearly anything.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@tuna-melt)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 40
Topic starter  

Right, but for live, how would I hook it up to the preamp? Before or after it? Would it need to be powered? If it WAS powered wouldn't that mess w/ comp recording? How would I hook it up for recording?


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Not exactly sure of what you are trying to do.

If you choose a mixer, I would put in first in the chain myself. There are several things you could do. You could mic your guitar amp and simply go into a channel on the mixer. The channel will have 3 or 4 EQ controls High, Mids, Lows, and perhaps a Mid-sweep. But this is not a whole lot different than the EQ controls on your amp. If in addition to the channel EQs the mixer has a master 7 or 9 band EQ, then you could EQ your guitar tone to a finer degree.

If you use a multi-efx you could simply go out of this into a channel on the mixer.

But to me this is a lot of trouble to simply EQ your guitar tone. Why not invest in a simple EQ pedal?

But if you go with the mixer, the mixer will have lots of "outs". They could be called Left or Right, or Mains or Monitors, there are additional outs on a mixer as well. You would simply go out of this into your rack setup.

You do not need a "powered" mixer. A powered mixer is a combination mixer/amplifier. The amp drives your speakers. If you tried to run the "speaker out" on a powered mixer into anything other than a speaker (or an attenuator designed to receive this powerful signal) it will fry the component you send it to.

There are basically two types of signals, Line and Speaker. A "line" signal is a weak signal that has to be amplified, usually by a "pre-amp". A "speaker" signal has already been amplified and is very powerful, intended to power speakers only.

So do not get these two types of signal confused.

Now, on my PA system I go out of an unpowered mixer into a dual 31 band EQ. One EQ is for the Mains speakers, the other for the Monitors. It is far easier to get feedback with Monitors than Mains, so often they have to be EQ'd quite differently. From the EQ I go into a crossover which divides the Mids and Highs from the Lows. The Mids and Highs are sent to an amplifier that powers my Main speakers, the Lows are sent to another amplifier that powers a Subwoofer.

Get an unpowered mixer. If you still want the 31 band EQ, go out of the mixer into the EQ. Then go from the EQ to another rack unit or straight to your amp.

A mixer should be used for just what it was designed to do MIX. If you are making a recording you may have several instruments or mics going into the mixer. You want to mix these different input signals to get proper volume and tone levels into one sound. The mixer can also pan instruments or vocals to one side or another for stereo effect. Then you go out of the mixer into your computer or recording equipment (or other components like effects). While mixers have EQ functions, they should not be purchased for this purpose alone.

Still think it would be a lot simpler to purchase a simple EQ pedal, they do an excellent job. You may still want a mixer if you want to record into a computer or other recording equipment. But get an EQ to EQ, get a mixer to mix. :D

Here are some good articles on Audio which I think will help you. Click on the first four articles, I think they will give you a good understanding of how systems work.

http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~firehzrd/bluffer.html

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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