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Author Topic: How to set up soundboard feed  (Read 1798 times)

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Offline heathen

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How to set up soundboard feed
« on: June 24, 2018, 10:39:26 AM »
I'm going to a festival next weekend and have gotten the okay from the festival organizer to record everything.  This is not the sort of festival that's likely to draw any other tapers, and tapers are certainly not all that common for this sort of music (mostly black metal type stuff).

My initial idea is to get a soundboard feed and run mics to make a matrix.  The mics are (relatively) easy.  The part I need some help with is the soundboard.  I won't be running sound, but I don't know if the sound person will be familiar at all with setting up a feed that I can record.  I'd love to be able to lend a hand with that part, if needed.

They're going to be using a Behringer X32 mixer.  I've started looking through the user manual, but it's pretty overwhelming.  Since I have an eight-channel recorder, it seems to me that the best case scenario would be two channels of my mics, and then the rest of the channels used for recording specific instruments to mix after-the-fact.  I assume that's possible...?  I don't know where to start in setting that up, or even what to be looking for.  If nothing else, I'd want a stereo mix from the board.

Can anyone get me started here, or at least give me an idea of what to look for?  (I don't even know what the "bus" is.)  While the sound person may have this all under control, like I said I'd love to be able to help out and not be completely useless.

Edit to add: I will be using a Zoom F8 recorder.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 10:49:59 AM by heathen »
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 10:52:38 AM »
Those X32's (sometimes? maybe it's an option) have a built-in interface that can send 32 channels to a computer over USB, that may be an option to consider. Lots more post-work but would give you the most flexibility in the recordings, and assuming they aren't using all 32 channels maybe the FOH can send your mics to a couple spare channels and mute them in the mains. I did this a few weeks ago and only had to bring my laptop loaded with Reaper and a power brick.
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Offline rumbleseat

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 11:30:42 AM »
If you want to pull the 32 channels via USB to your computer, you'll need to have the ASIO drivers ready to install.
I did this several years ago and recall that there were several versions of the USB interface card that might (or might not) be installed in the Behringer X32 (or Midas M32).
Do some research and download all the USB drivers you can find so you'll be ready to install the one you need.  Behringer has a couple of drivers and there's one from Klark Technik.

Just getting the stereo board feed and mixing that with your microphones in post will be a big help in improving vocal clarity.  Just align the waveforms, and mix them to your liking in Audacity.

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Offline heathen

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 11:38:37 AM »
I don't have a laptop I can bring to the festival, other than my work laptop.  I'd much rather use the F8.
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 12:21:31 PM »
In that case your best bet is getting the guy to send the house mix to the Aux Out RCA's. Getting a soundguy to assign specific channels to send to the other inputs on your F8 is probably more work than he'll want to do, particularly with a festival setting and lots of changeovers.
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Offline Walstib62

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 01:51:17 PM »
I prefer to take an output from XLR's from the board. Better for a number of reasons.

Offline morst

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 02:48:18 PM »
It's nice to take a proper balanced XLR patch but it's not always convenient.

The X32 has a thumb drive port, and can record directly to that. Note that most boards are set for the default of 16-bit 44.1kHz for that, though it will do 16/48 or even 24/48.

It was suggested to me that if you can get in early and get the engineer to set the digital record mode to 24/48 in the console's default template, then it will be set in every saved preset made off that template. If this is not done, then the engineer would have to switch the mode manually each time, AFTER recalling each band's preset mix (typically from that day's soundcheck) and that's usually the worst time to ask an engineer to do extra work.

OH one more note on the thumb drive recordings - MAKE SURE TO HIT STOP on the recording, before removing the thumb drive, or the file will be totally lost!!!
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 01:20:07 AM »

Offline Limit35

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 02:10:11 AM »

I have had two channel thumb drive dumps from that board, it seems the easiest to deal with. I have no idea how the board is run, but I have had a few dumps that where cut in late. Out of curiosity, does the engineer have to manually hit START to get the recording going? I never asked him because he was usually busy and I was grateful enough for at least 90% complete files.

Offline morst

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 04:25:12 AM »

I have had two channel thumb drive dumps from that board, it seems the easiest to deal with. I have no idea how the board is run, but I have had a few dumps that where cut in late. Out of curiosity, does the engineer have to manually hit START to get the recording going? I never asked him because he was usually busy and I was grateful enough for at least 90% complete files.
YES it only starts recording when you enter the menu for the recorder so that the screen that looks like a cassette deck comes up, then the operator must hit RECORD.

Whenever I hand off a thumb drive, I make sure there is lots of space, and ask the engineer to just "go ahead and start it now" please!
I also remind them about hitting STOP before giving it back to me!
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 09:01:14 AM »

I have had two channel thumb drive dumps from that board, it seems the easiest to deal with. I have no idea how the board is run, but I have had a few dumps that where cut in late. Out of curiosity, does the engineer have to manually hit START to get the recording going? I never asked him because he was usually busy and I was grateful enough for at least 90% complete files.
YES it only starts recording when you enter the menu for the recorder so that the screen that looks like a cassette deck comes up, then the operator must hit RECORD.

Whenever I hand off a thumb drive, I make sure there is lots of space, and ask the engineer to just "go ahead and start it now" please!
I also remind them about hitting STOP before giving it back to me!

I was late to the SBD after the end of a show, and the sound guy was nowhere to be found.  I took a chance and yanked my thumb drive out of the X32.

Sure enough, I got a unrecoverable 0 byte file.  Crap, I won't do that ever again.


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Offline adrianf74

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 09:21:58 AM »
In that case your best bet is getting the guy to send the house mix to the Aux Out RCA's. Getting a soundguy to assign specific channels to send to the other inputs on your F8 is probably more work than he'll want to do, particularly with a festival setting and lots of changeovers.

This, or preferably XLR out.  Thumb drive is convenient, yes, but as many have mentioned -- you need to make sure the soundguy "stops" the recording to it before you disconnect otherwise you get a whole lot of NOTHING. As others have also mentioned, you run the risk of late, incomplete recordings as well.  I've done this _once_ before where I didn't have two additional channels available for recording.

My main reason for recording the 2 channel house mix (or variant of it) to the F8 is simply because your recordings will be synced (the mics and board will simply be out by X milliseconds but will always be out by the exact amount making for easier matrix mixes. 

Run 2 or 4 mics and then the board output to the F8 and you'll be good.

Offline heathen

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 10:02:23 AM »
Can the X32 record to a thumb drive and send me a stereo mix via XLRs simultaneously?
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Offline pohaku

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 10:19:11 AM »
Can the X32 record to a thumb drive and send me a stereo mix via XLRs simultaneously?

Yes, but you should also keep in mind that the sound guy may be recording to the thumb drive already.  I find that frequently - so the thumb drive port may not be available to you.  I usually ask for the two channel house mix - ideally xlr or trs out, and then run 4 mics (hypers/cards/shotguns) depending on what I think might work in that venue.  As previously noted, that will facilitate syncing the board and the mics in post.  Get there early so that the sound guy has time to decide how to give you a feed from the board.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 11:36:17 AM »
USB is definitely the easiest for the X32. M32 comes standard with the USB Multi card, but the X32 does not.
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