How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

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seta666
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How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by seta666 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:21 pm

Hello,

I am going to add a Soundcraft mtk 12 to my set up, for my hardware I just need 4 monos a 2 stereo inputs, so I was thinking of using the 2 mono and the stereo extra channels as FX returns

It has three aux:

1 aux to internal fx, easy..
1 aux to ms70cdr and return to the extra stereo channel, easy too as it has line inputs
1 aux to 2 different distortion guitar pedals via Y cable and back to the mixer on a different channel each.

The mixer has two channel with Hi-Z inputs, should I use those? Being distortion pedals, should I still use a DI box anyway?
Maybe I could also use the group 1-2 outs instead of the aux..

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by YannDhou » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:02 pm

Hi,

What kind of signal are you sending to those distortion pedals?

If it’s an electric guitar, use the Hi-Z input or a regular input with a DI BOX just before. It depends of the quality of your DI, if you’ve got a good one (the one with fancy transformers inside), use it, it’s for sure going to be better than the DI circuit after the Hi-Z in.

If it’s a synth, well, synth signal is really hot, unlike guitar and lower impedance.
Personally I don’t use any DI between synth and pedal, just back up the gain a bit.
It’s a tough one and I’d really like to have a GOOD and scientific explanation

Hope it’s been helpful..
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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by fac » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:08 pm

It is recommended to use a re-amp pedal (Radial Engineering makes a few, I think), but like the poster above said, I just turn down the main gain on the mixer, or in your case, the aux send level. For returning the effected signal to the mixer try using a regular channel first. If it isn't hot enough, run it through a Hi-Z channel. Be careful with the levels at all times - set channel levels to zero and avoid feedback loops.

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by JimY » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:47 am

It's the return to the mixer where most trouble may be had. Loss of bass and/or volume if you aren't careful.
Guitar pedal input are usually high impedance and high sensitivity. The mixer might easily overdrive the pedal, but you can always turn the send level down.
The output of a guitar pedal normally sees a high impedance load either the amp or another pedal, but normal mixer ins are often 10000 ohm. Normal guitar amp inputs are 1000000 ohm.
Many pedals with electronic buffered bypass switching like the Boss ones can usually drive a mixer input, but there are many other true bypass pedals that won't stand a chance driving 10k.
So to take no chances, return to a Hi-Z channel. If you don't have a Hi-Z input, put a buffered bypass pedal last in the chain. Even when on bypass, it will still act as a line driver to a Lo-Z input. Since pedals are unbalanced, a DI with Hi-Z in and balanced out with a ground lift option is an even better option.

There will definately be some true-bypass pedals that can drive Lo-Z when active, but when it is in bypass, any preceding pedal then also has to be able to drive Lo-Z. So you can freely experiment with pedal chain order, it's going to be worth having that Hi-Z input to the mixer at all times.

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by Technologear? » Sun May 03, 2020 3:49 am

In addition:
The send of the mixer to the pedals is also relevant. I found my more old-school or traditional overdrive and distortion pedals didn't behave normally when driven from a line out from my mixer. They lost their sweet spots and went from Not Much to Too Much with very slight level adjustments. This is apparently due to an impedance mismatch or something (beyond my understanding at this stage). The trick is to use a passive DI box in reverse: mixer aux out into xlr in of DI, input TS of DI into pedal input.
So you make a DI sandwich when making effect pedal chains as Sends from a mixer, one at either end of the chain (unless above advice and pedal capacity is met).

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by PrimateSynthesis » Tue May 05, 2020 1:38 pm

JimY wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:47 am
The output of a guitar pedal normally sees a high impedance load either the amp or another pedal, but normal mixer ins are often 10000 ohm. Normal guitar amp inputs are 1000000 ohm.
This is true, although pedals have much lower output impedances and higher signal levels than guitars. I've never had any trouble sticking the output of a pedal into the line input on a mixer. YMMV.
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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by JimY » Thu May 07, 2020 4:39 am

So...
a classic Cry Baby Wah has an output capacitor of 220nF, but also it's output impedance is somewhere south of 20k so you lose over 6dB level into 10k. An additional implication is that the output also provides the Wha effect feedback control via the pedal pot so loading the output can affect the tone.

A Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal has a 100nF output capacitor. The low cut into 10k is from 160Hz.

How about an MXR Phase45? 47nF capacitor - its output impedance is raised by a passive wet/dry resistor for around -6dB loss but the low cut will be from 170Hz.

You may, of course, make up the losses with your channel preamp and EQ, but it's important to realize the implications - and isn't it so much easier to use a Hi-Z buffer anyway?

A classic Tube Screamer TS808 has a massive 10uF (10000nF) output capacitor. It is already loaded by a 10k so into the mixer it sees 5k. This gives you around 30Hz low cut which you will probably never notice. There will be a negligible level drop and it will still be driving the mixer for you even when bypassed because it's not a true bypass design.

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by seta666 » Sat May 09, 2020 7:42 pm

At the end I went back to the presonus studio 1810 and use ableton external audio effects to make three return tracks with my pedals.

Use the spdif in/out via cheap amazon converters ( less than 40€ for both) with the Zoom MS70CDR and two analog outputs go to the boss MT-2/GE-7 and Boss SD-2/Artec SE-PEQ and each of those pairs to a hi-z input level on the presonus. Works fine, boss pedals are noisy but a gate effect helps

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Dub Treasures

Post by IanEye » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:18 am

This seems like the thread for me to ask some questions.
I have:

A&H MixWizard 14:4:2
Erica Synths/Ninja Tune Zen Delay (stereo)
BOSS RV-500 reverb pedal (stereo)

I want to connect MixWizard’s aux sends 1+2 outs to the L+R ins of the Zen Delay, and then the Zen Delay’s L+R outs into channels 9&10 of the MixWizard.

I want to connect MixWizard’s aux sends 5+6 outs to the L+R ins of the RV-500, and then the RV-500’s L+R outs into channels 13-14 of the MixWizard. (13-14 is a dedicated stereo channel)

Questions:

Should I be using unbalanced cables for all of these connections?

Do I need any type of “re-amp” pedals to do this? Will the MixWizard’s gain knobs on the mixer suffice?

What else am I not considering?

I want to use the setup described above to have fun with classic Jamaican dub scenarios, in the style of the “Treasure Dub” albums.

It seems like with the above setup I could send some things to just the RV-500, and some things to the Zen Delay, but I could also send the Zen Delay itself to the RV-500.




Thank you for reading.


.

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:39 am

JimY wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:47 am
It's the return to the mixer where most trouble may be had. Loss of bass and/or volume if you aren't careful.
Guitar pedal input are usually high impedance and high sensitivity. The mixer might easily overdrive the pedal, but you can always turn the send level down.
The output of a guitar pedal normally sees a high impedance load either the amp or another pedal, but normal mixer ins are often 10000 ohm. Normal guitar amp inputs are 1000000 ohm.
Many pedals with electronic buffered bypass switching like the Boss ones can usually drive a mixer input, but there are many other true bypass pedals that won't stand a chance driving 10k.
So to take no chances, return to a Hi-Z channel. If you don't have a Hi-Z input, put a buffered bypass pedal last in the chain. Even when on bypass, it will still act as a line driver to a Lo-Z input. Since pedals are unbalanced, a DI with Hi-Z in and balanced out with a ground lift option is an even better option.

There will definately be some true-bypass pedals that can drive Lo-Z when active, but when it is in bypass, any preceding pedal then also has to be able to drive Lo-Z. So you can freely experiment with pedal chain order, it's going to be worth having that Hi-Z input to the mixer at all times.
Well explained. Only thing I can see to even nit-pick at would be the all too common misspelling of the word "definitely" (there are no letter "A"s in the word). But that's reeeeeeaaaaaallllly reaching (and dangerously close to "pedantic prick" behavior) to find anything to disagree or be critical of. If all one can be critical of is some silly (and extremely common) misspelling, that says a lot about the piece. Super informative. Worth the read. Take notes, noobs.

:tu:

Only thing I can think of to add might be that different mixers may have different input/output impedance levels in their various I/O, I know for certain that some mixers have "instrument inputs" (1MegOhm input stage impedance) often times in the first channel or two. So I'd reckon it's a good idea to check the manual ... or as the kewl kidzz say "RTFM! BITCH!". (geez) ... haahaa!

:lol:
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take notes.

Post by IanEye » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:28 pm

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:39 am
Super informative. Worth the read. Take notes, noobs.

So I'd reckon it's a good idea to check the manual ...
IanEye wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:18 am
What else am I not considering?

Thank you for reading.

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Re: take notes.

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:29 am

IanEye wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:28 pm
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:39 am
Super informative. Worth the read. Take notes, noobs.

So I'd reckon it's a good idea to check the manual ...
IanEye wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:18 am
What else am I not considering?

Thank you for reading.
Well, I don't know that you're not considering anything (wow, lots of negatives in that sentence ... I'll try again) .. I'm not aware of anything that you're missing (there, that's much better). I simply brought up the notion that different mixers (desk mixers, I'm not referring to mixer modules) have different input and output impedance levels, brand to brand, model by model. That said, for folks wanting to use a given mixer with stomp boxes in the aux send loop(s) it would serve to check the specifications and/or the operator's manual to verify how the mixer does routing and what the input/output impedance levels are. While there are some common ways to design a desk mixer there are still differences between brands/models ... it's worth one's time to get to know the specs of a mixer they may be considering or currently use/own.
You mean this place has hot chicks, morning drinking, and free vomit? ... I'm all in!
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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by Soy Sos » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:19 am

I'm doing exactly that with this set up and a couple other mixers with mixed (haha) results. In general it's working out, but it has its quirks. For reverbs and delays, you need to verify that the pedal has the ability to do "100% wet" on the effect out. Need to do more research on the impedance matching for send and return channels, I'd like to keep the whole affair as simple as possible tho. I'm loving the sound of these pedals and haven't worked this way in years, but the approach is not without it's challenges.
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Re: Dub Treasures

Post by Technologear? » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:00 pm

IanEye wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:18 am

I want to connect MixWizard’s aux sends 1+2 outs to the L+R ins of the Zen Delay, and then the Zen Delay’s L+R outs into channels 9&10 of the MixWizard.

I want to connect MixWizard’s aux sends 5+6 outs to the L+R ins of the RV-500, and then the RV-500’s L+R outs into channels 13-14 of the MixWizard. (13-14 is a dedicated stereo channel)

Questions:

Should I be using unbalanced cables for all of these connections?

Do I need any type of “re-amp” pedals to do this? Will the MixWizard’s gain knobs on the mixer suffice?

What else am I not considering?
Yep, just use unbalanced cables to the fx unless they accept balanced trs inputs. Rule of thumb: keep it balanced until the bit of gear that doesn't do balanced, keep it unbalanced from then on.

Keeping it stereo to fx isn't as important as keeping the fx aux send returns on a single knob or fader. It's harder to perform dub grabbing two faders each time, trying to keep them level. I like riding the aux send knobs strangely, give it a try.

100% wet ability of the effect is certainly preferred but not a deal breaker. Just crank it to the pedals maximum blend amount.

I find using filters set to low resonance in this style of mixing really useful. Bigger more profound effect when compared to channel eqs. You'll be loving the filter knob of the zen delay.

Reamp devices and impedance - technically as posted prior, you can get weirdness when impedance isn't matched well, typically with cheaper pedals and the mixing desk connected direct to non HiZ inputs. But it's setup dependent, not a deal breaker. Just connect it all up and have a go. Some low end loss from the impedance difference from the reverb pedal isn't as important sonically as riding out a sweet delay feedback sweep!

Power supply- make sure you use a good isolated one when hooking up pedals as aux sends. That's been my biggest issue with these setups, pedal noise from bad power supplies.

Don't hesitate to get bolder with your fx choices and chains.

Feedback loops- just take it slow when resending fx to themselves. Feedback can build up slowly in a mix until the whole thing feels like it's on the edge of oscillation. Dial back the send amounts if you get there.

Hook it all up and go for it. You'll learn heaps and have fun.

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by IanEye » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:34 am

Hello! Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I also got a reply from Erica Synths:
Hello.
I have no experience with the Mix Wizard however there shouldn't be any problem using Zen as aux effect like in your description.
Yes - you use unbalanced cables for this.
Best regards,
Emils Dreiblats

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Re: How to send mixer aux to guitar pedals and back to the mixer?

Post by FraMauro » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:09 pm

The Boss LS-2 is an excellent send/return. Huge amount if control

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