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Old 03-27-2014, 04:26 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,025
Default Re: Sub for live sound

Originally Posted by Trip McNealy View Post

Also as a side question, if I mic up my acoustic kick with my Audix D6, can I just run that straight to the input on the powered sub and use the Gain/Level/Volume on it or do I need to use a little mixer along with it? Thanks!
This isn't a side question, but the issue entirely! First, any mic plugged directly into a sub isn't going to sound great, especially if the sub has a built-in crossover that can't be bypassed (for example, it may only produce frequencies below, say 250Hz). In such a case, you might get some thump out of your bass drum, but that will be it -- no clarity or definition, because there won't be any high end or midrange.

Secondly, a sub isn't designed to accept a mic as its input. On a powered sub, even though the input jack is an XLR, it's meant for a line-level signal (i.e. the output of a mixer) and not a mic-level signal. Even if it works, sound quality will be compromised.

Thirdly, even if you do get the mic's signal to the sub, it will probably be out of control and feed back. The bass drum will ring out too long if there isn't considerable muffling against both heads. Most bass drums require some reduction in the midrange with an EQ, to get rid of muddiness in the signal.

So, connecting the mic to a small mixer (with an EQ), and then the mixer to a powered 15" speaker, is really your best bet. An alternative is to get an in-line EQ pad like this, which EQ's the sound like this. Then, connect to a powered speaker that is designed to accept a mic input. Since you can't apply a noise gate (since you wouldn't be using a mixer) to the signal, be ready to use some muffling in the drum, in case the signal rings out too long.
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