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Author Topic: How to set up soundboard feed  (Read 1341 times)

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Online 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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2018, 01:38:55 PM »
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!
Oh boy, do I have experience with the X32 and thumb drives! 

Not just hitting STOP, but WAITING until the red access/writing light next to the USB port goes out.  It can take a couple of seconds to finish writing to the drive, and if the thumb drive is pulled out before the light goes out, you'll end up with that dreaded 0 Byte file.   

I have the sound guy STOP and START recording between sets (not paused).  That insures the just completed set is successfully written to the drive.  Also, when a file on the drive goes over the 2GB file size it will start a new file, but it's not necessarily seamless.  If it splits during the music I've had audible gaps when that happens, hence I do the stop & start to keep the file sizes below 2GB.   

And for the OP, I'm sure he knows if he plans on making a matrix, it's far better to record the sbd with his mics to his recorder.  Trying to sync/mix your aud with the usb sbd file in post is an added layer of PITA-ness.   

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2018, 02:35:19 PM »
Just a side note, if your recording the whole festival, thumb drive recordings in my experience tend to drift alot more than any recorder Ive ever used. Might be quite a bit of work syncing the whole thing. I say this cuz i suck at it and its always a heck of a lot easier running my r44 with 2 board channels and mics.
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2018, 02:37:49 PM »
Yeah I know the advantage of recording the SBD and mics to the same recorder.  I'll keep the tips here in mind about the USB drive.

In terms of a stereo feed to my recorder, I'm mostly trying to learn as much as I can about how to set that up with the X32, just in case the sound person hasn't done that before.  I remember one metal show where I got a SBD patch and ended up with nothing but static, and I have no reason to think it was my cables or recorder so I'm left to assume something was wrong in terms of the signal that was coming from the board.  (I don't know if that one was an X32.)  It doesn't help that most of my Googling so far has led to discussions of how to record to USB drive with the X32, rather than how to record from a plain old pair of XLR outs.

Edit: I think I've found the sort of information I was after... https://forum.musictri.be/archive/index.php/t-5604.html
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:54:22 PM by heathen »
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2018, 03:12:47 PM »
You could go trs out out if the monitor outs or aux 1 and 2 (or whatever aux is open, if there is any) with left to 1 and right to 2, that way if you need more or less you can ask the soundguy without effecting the mix. I just did that friday out of the same board.
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2018, 04:06:50 PM »
There are a couple of ways you can do this. Here is an example of using a matrix (on a x32)

https://collaborateworship.com/audio-matrix-x32/

There are some good videos on YouTube also...


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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 09:40:57 AM »
I've used a pair of XLR "Y cable splitters" a couple of times with board feeds.  It simplifies the setup as the engineer can insert the splitter into the board outputs and reconnect the mains cable.  You can tap off the other connector.  From my limited understanding, this does not impact the signal level.  DO NOT feed it phantom power.

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2018, 12:27:48 AM »
Engineers may be leary of just a wye cable. A better solution (used when you are splitting signals for FOH and monitors are isolation transformer splitters.)

Not cheap, but high quality are the Whirlwind Impedance Splitters - https://express.google.com/u/0/product/17814326283892574213_14607775066553140249_1057813?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=tu_cu&utm_campaign=1057813&pdata=CgU5OC4wMA&utm_content=eid-lsjeuxoeqt

The transformer will block phantom power on one of the two outputs. This ensures that there is no chance of both systems sending phantom power, and electrically isolates your rig from the house sound system.

Google "transformer isolated splitter"
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2018, 11:24:32 PM »
I've used a pair of XLR "Y cable splitters" a couple of times with board feeds.  It simplifies the setup as the engineer can insert the splitter into the board outputs and reconnect the mains cable.  You can tap off the other connector.  From my limited understanding, this does not impact the signal level.  DO NOT feed it phantom power.

https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-YXM-121-XLR3F-XLR3M-Cable/dp/B000068O59
Most sound engineers would never ever do this.
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2018, 10:53:27 AM »
I've used a pair of XLR "Y cable splitters" a couple of times with board feeds.  It simplifies the setup as the engineer can insert the splitter into the board outputs and reconnect the mains cable.  You can tap off the other connector.  From my limited understanding, this does not impact the signal level.  DO NOT feed it phantom power.

https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-YXM-121-XLR3F-XLR3M-Cable/dp/B000068O59
Most sound engineers would never ever do this.

I didnt comment initially but was thinking the same thing. I would be totally amazed if a FOH were willing to split the outputs going to the PA.


I also took this post to mean how do you actually set up a feed on a X32, not the various ways someone can connect to a SBD
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 10:55:57 AM by rippleish20 »
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2018, 12:25:16 PM »
Quote
I also took this post to mean how do you actually set up a feed on a X32, not the various ways someone can connect to a SBD

That is correct.
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2018, 03:25:01 PM »
I pulled up the manual and didn't find it immediately apparent how to route it; combine that with the fact that a FOH is unlikely to give a taper free rein to dial in his own routing, I figured telling what to ask the FOH for is the best advice here.
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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2018, 03:59:55 PM »
Well, I actually bought a used X32 rack to figure out the various ways to accommodate recordings. While I also would not expect most FOH to allow me to set up my own routing, I have encountered scenarios where I have been given soundboard patches where something was amiss. One time I was given something that effectively only had vocals, and anther three times one instrument was prominent in the mix but everything else was really low. In two of the cases the FOH tried to figure out the issue - they thought they were just routing L/R main to the output busses I was given - and showed me the routing setup but I was not knowledgeable enough about the X32 to see offhand what the issue was. I think it would be useful to know more about how the X32 (and to some degree other mixers) since a lot of venues have these...
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Offline bonghitwillie

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2018, 04:50:50 PM »
when i ask for sbd feeds, i try and make it as easy as possible. i bring xlr, 1/4"trs, rca and splitters. i ask for xlr and take what i get. my main issue is that the feed is usually too hot. if i get an aux, i ask for the volume to be at 50%.

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2018, 05:34:58 PM »
when i ask for sbd feeds, i try and make it as easy as possible. i bring xlr, 1/4"trs, rca and splitters. i ask for xlr and take what i get. my main issue is that the feed is usually too hot. if i get an aux, i ask for the volume to be at 50%.

This.  I bring connectors/converters for all typical combinations (XLR, TRS, RCA), and attenuators, and then ask the FOH to give me a feed - ideally the two channel house mix.  I leave it up to him or her how they want to do it.  I don't touch their board.
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Offline Perry

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2018, 11:04:17 AM »
The other night I tried using 2 different 8g thumb drives in a Beringer x32. The Beringer wouldn't recognize either drive so I took a line out via XLR. The operator manual cautions against using cheap, slow thumb drives- these drives were swag I picked up at a trade show so I'm hoping that was the issue. I have an opportunity to try again later this month so I'll take a brand name drive. Has anyone experienced thumb drive problems with the x32? Is there anything else I need to check? The drives were formatted FAT32, per the manual.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2018, 11:51:53 AM »

Most engineers will be able to supply a mains out through one/two of the Omni (I think they call them matrix outs) outs via XLR or TRS. If they are running in mono you can just take the mono feed and copy it to stereo later with a few clicks.

This video shows how to route inputs to the matrix outs.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=behringer+x32+routing+mic+input+to+aux+input&&view=detail&mid=0535C6F4E4D2798C10520535C6F4E4D2798C1052&&FORM=VDRVRV

Keep in mind that the FOH will likely have NOT done a full soundcheck for each band in a festival setting and will have to set the scenes as the bands take the stage. The routing will probably reset if they change to a preset scene (possibly if the headliner has done a soundcheck). Festival settings are hectic for FOH since it's not a usual show with the headliner and support acts having done a check earlier and they just have to recall the scenes that save the dynamics and input routing.

I would just take the mains out and be done with it. For metal the only things likely to be coming through the PA are vocals, drums and effects and that is all you are likely to really need to spruce up your room mics.

Use the outputs and your F8 instead of the USB - you won't have to deal with drift and aligning sources later. Make sure you bring XLR, TRS and RCA cables and adapters to be prepared!
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Offline rippleish20

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2018, 12:50:13 PM »
The other night I tried using 2 different 8g thumb drives in a Beringer x32. The Beringer wouldn't recognize either drive so I took a line out via XLR. The operator manual cautions against using cheap, slow thumb drives- these drives were swag I picked up at a trade show so I'm hoping that was the issue. I have an opportunity to try again later this month so I'll take a brand name drive. Has anyone experienced thumb drive problems with the x32? Is there anything else I need to check? The drives were formatted FAT32, per the manual.

This has come up several times in the X-32 FB group. The response is usually that "the X32 is finicky about USB thumb drives", try a different thumb drive. 32GB formatted as FAT32 is what most people appear to be using but I have not seen mention of specific thumb drive brands, etc
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Offline morst

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2018, 05:40:44 PM »
I've always used Sandisk Data Traveler SE9 USB thumb drive, and only had a problem this most recent time. Got two dropouts, approximately 11 seconds each off the x32. I figure that it's from the junk on the card. The one I was using has a Linux boot on it, I should probably use a freshly formatted one in the future.

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Offline eman

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Re: How to set up soundboard feed
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2018, 03:21:54 PM »
It might be a good idea when you ask an FOH to set up the main matrix output (or whatever you are looking for) for you to also suggest that they add this to their default template or templates so in the future all they have to do is turn it on and slide up some levels for you. I'm just starting with an Allen & Heath relatively new programmable and I'm getting to the point where I can do things like that but I don't have access to it all the time. You can get the manual for what the particular club or band is running and figure out how to do it, then you can at least speak knowledgeably about it and perhaps make them feel a tiny bit unprofessional for not knowing what to do. All respectfully and politely of course.
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