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AE130 Exercise #1

Student Name:_________________________________________ Date:_________________ Instructor:_____________________________________________ Section:_______________ To complete this exercise, you will need: 1 x Music CD of your choice. 2 x Female XLR to TRS adapter cable. 1 x Shure SM57, clip, and mic stand. 2 x Male XLR to TRS adapter cable. 1 x XLR to XLR microphone cable. Part 1: Making Connections: Place a Shure SM57 dynamic microphone on a mic stand. Note: Always point the microphone AWAY from the studio monitors to prevent feedback from occurring. This microphone is directional in nature and will reject sound coming from the back of the microphone. Using an XLR microphone cable, connect the SM57 to the first input of the console. This connection will allow the signal from the microphone to pass into the consoles channel path. Plug the female end of the XLR microphone cable into the output of the SM56 Plug the male end of the XLR microphone cable into the XLR Mic In at the top of Channel 1. Note: Always pay close attention when connecting microphone cables to be certain the pins are aligned as the connector is inserted. Never twist the connector into place, doing so will bend/damage the pins on the microphone or cable. Connect the Balanced Outputs on the back panel of the HHB Burnit Plus master CD recorder to the 2-track Input utilizing two female XLR to TRS adapter cables. This connection will allow the CD player to be monitored from the consoles Monitor Matrix. Connect the Control Room Outputs on the top right panel of the Mackie console to the XLR Line Input on the back of the KRK V8 active studio monitors utilizing two TRS to male XLR adapter cables. This connection will allow signal to pass from the consoles Monitor

Matrix to be monitored through the control room monitors.

Note: The KRK V8 monitors featured in IPRs Studio 6 are what is called an Active monitor design. Such monitors contain internal power amplifiers to drive the speakers. If a Passive monitor system were utilized, the control room outputs would be connected to an external power amplifier which would then, in turn, feed the speakers through a speaker cable. Part 2: Signal Routing Channel Path The Mic/Line Switch near the inputs to Channel 1 should be left in the up position, to enable the Mic jack to be connected to the input amplifier. Note: The microphone pre-amplifier is generally the largest gain stage in the studio environment. Mic Level signal is generally VERY low when compared to line level signal. The intention of the microphone pre-amplifier is to provide the necessary gain to bring the mic level up to line level so it can be captured and/or processed within the studio environment. Place the Channel Fader on Channel 1 of the Mackie Console at Unity Gain (U). This will ensure that the signal passes into the multitrack or main mix at whatever level you set on the Mic Preamp. In the Routing Matrix section of Channel 1 of the Mackie console, select L/R Mix (Stereo Buss). Note: This will feed the microphone signal directly to the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss) on the console. During normal tracking conditions your Channel Path signal would be feeding tape (or your DAW) and your Monitor Path would instead be feeding your Stereo Buss. In certain mix situations, or when doing live mixing of microphones (such as sound reinforcement), your Channel Path will instead feed the Stereo Buss, as we are now. Now speak into the SM57 microphone, slowly increasing the Mic/Line Trim pot level at the top of the first channel strip. If the Source selection on the Mackies Meter Bridge is NOT set to Channel (selected on the right hand side), please do so now. You should now see level on the corresponding meter. Slowly adjust the level of the Mic/Line Trim pot until the meter averages right around zero peaks

above zero are ok, just be careful not to allow the signal to get too hot as it will distort. Note: DO NOT EVER. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES tap on the microphones windscreen to determine if signal is present. Speak into the mic, snap your fingers, or provide some other noise source. It is a horrible habit to start because tapping on the windscreen of some microphones can damage and/or even destroy the microphone element. Review the signal chain you have just created: The signal from your SM57 is traveling through the XLR microphone cable to the Mic Input on the Mackie. The Mic Input has been selected as the source for our Channel Path via the Mic/Line Switch. We have increased the gain on the mic amplifier via the Mic/Line Trim pot. The signal is now traveling through the Channel Path to the Channel Fader, which is set at unity gain to prevent change to the signal level. From there, our selection of L/R Mix in the Routing Matrix allows the microphone signal to feed directly to the Stereo Buss of the console for monitoring. Part 3: Monitoring our Signal Master Section In the Mackies Master Section, place the L/R Mix (Master) Fader at unity gain (U), and in the Master Sections Monitor Matrix select the L/R Mix (Stereo Bus). This allows the signals feeding the consoles L/R Mix (Stereo Buss) to feed the monitoring section, and optionally two track machines or live sound reinforcement systems, without alteration to the signal level. If you now continue to speak into the microphone, you should see level indicated on the Main (Stereo Buss) meters on the Mackie console and Meter Bridge. Increasing the level of the contributing fader(s) (in our case, the Channel Fader on the first channel of the console) this level should increase, if you reduce the level of the contributing fader(s) the total level to the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss) should decrease. You may now switch on the power for the Control Room Monitor speakers and slowly increase the level of the Control Room monitor level pot, until you hear the microphone in your monitors. Be careful not to set this level too hot, as you may cause a feedback loop, damaging both speakers and ears! Engage and disengage the Mute switch on the first channel of the console. You will see that, when engaged, while signal is still present at

the input of that channel (the meter should indicate this), there is no longer signal feeding the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss). When multiple microphones or line-level signals are present you can use this function to prevent certain elements from contributing to the mix, or to tape. Turn the Channel Pan pot on the first channel of the console. As the Channel Pan is turned to the left, the sound source should appear that its coming from the left side of the stereo image, and as it is turned to the right, it should appear that its coming from the right side of the stereo image. In full left position, the signal will be reproduced only from the left speaker. As the pot is turned toward the right, more and more signal will appear in the right speaker until the signal is reproduced equally by both speakers at the center position (making the signal appear to be coming from somewhere between the stereo speakers). As you continue to turn the pot to the right, the amount of signal feeding the left speaker will continually decrease, until signal is present only in the right speaker.

Note: If the pan appears to be working in reverse, you have probably connected your speakers wrong! If turning the pan pot to the left makes the signal appear to be coming from the right speaker, or vice versa, you have reversed the connection of the speakers if this is the case, double check your connections and correct if necessary. It is generally suggested that when connecting multi-channel sources/destinations, that you connect one channel at a time to prevent accidentally crossing wires. You have now completed the essential signal flow of the console Channel Path: In Parts 1 & 2 of the exercise, we fed a microphone signal from the Channel Path of the console directly to the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss). Placing the L/R Mix (Master) Fader at Unity Gain (U) will allow that signal to be passed to both the Monitor Matrix and later the master recorder or sound reinforcement system (PA), without change. In the Monitor Matrix we have selected the L/R Mix as our monitor source, and turned up our master Control Room monitor level so we can hear the signal from our microphone. Utilizing the Channel Pan on the first channel strip, we are able to alter the balance of the signal between the left and the right channels of the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss), and therefore its placement in the stereo image. As mentioned earlier, in a tracking situation (as you will in future exercises) the Channel Path of the console will instead feed our tape machine (in our case a Pro Tools LE based DAW). The signal would then

return from tape to the consoles Monitor Path, which would instead be used to monitor the signal returning from tape. Part 4: Monitoring an External Source (2-Track) The Monitor Matrix of the console allows selection between a number of different sources to be fed to our Control Room Monitors. In Part 3, we selected the L/R Mix (Stereo Buss) as our monitor source. Now select 2-Tk as your monitor source instead. This allows us to monitor the signal returning from the HHB Burnit Plus. We connected this devices Balanced Outputs to the 2-track Input of the console early on in this exercise. Selecting 2-Tk in the Monitor Matrix will allow this signal to feed directly to our monitors. Monitor playback of an audio CD to ensure that you have correctly made all connections. If you are completing this exercise with your lab partner, please try repeating it. This time utilizing an additional microphone, and the second channel of the console. Investigate how changing the level of the Channel Faders changes the relationship, or balance, between the two signals in the speakers. See how changing the Channel Pan position allows the two microphones to be placed in acoustically different locations in the stereo image. Try muting one signal or the other to see how you are able to eliminate signals from the mix, or isolate others. Before zeroing the console and tearing down the session, ask a member of the lab staff to sign below, verifying that you completed this assignment: Lab Staff Name: _______________________________________ Lab Staff Signature: _____________________________________ Date: ________ Now you can tear down and zero the console. The first step in zeroing the console should always be turning down the Control Room volume pot and the L/R Mix Master fader all the way down to prevent loud pops from reaching the monitors. All buttons should be in the UP position, all faders and trims at minimum, and all pans and EQ pots at their center position. Cables should be neatly wrapped and stored in the appropriate location.