ADA Depot Too - A Forum To Support Users of ADA Amplification Gear

Non ADA Gear => Rack Gear => Topic started by: gibsonrich on November 06, 2016, 08:04:03 AM

Title: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 06, 2016, 08:04:03 AM
I want to be able to select from 4 or 5 pre amps and also run them at the same time in parallel if I want. Does this sound like it would work - I am thinking if I plug into an 8 channel bypass looper and hook up my pre amps 1 to each send of the switch and not return to the switch but rather out to my Rane 8 Chanel mixer then out to my power amp. That way I can select from my pre amps or any combo of them. Does this sound like it would Work? Or any other ideas would be great. Thanks
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: van Sinn on November 06, 2016, 10:20:34 AM
Yes, it'll work; you'll have to live with all preamps being i parallel, though.

You could also shop a looper/router with programmable send/returns; some of those have programmable send- and return-levels, some can also route channels in series and/or parallel, which is what you really desire.

To my memory, most are mono-only, while some have a combination of most channels mono and two or three being stereo.
I don't remember which are which. Maybe Roland/Boss; they at least have this as a floorboard MIDI controller + looper/router board.


EDIT: Hey dude, haha, I didn't really notice who asked, sorry 'bout that. Good to see ya again! :wave:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 06, 2016, 11:31:54 AM
Hey Van nice to see you. I want them in parallel . That way I can choose or a/b my mp1, mp2, classic, mesa boogie etc.  Or even combine some. Blend your favorite pre amps
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Soloist on November 06, 2016, 02:59:26 PM
I run 4 preamps which I can run 1,2,3 or 4 at once.
I run into a voodo labs amp selector, it runs the 4 pre's plus a tuner out. After that they run into my 8 channel stereo line mixer ( Alesis multimix8 rack unit). Then out to my effects and power amp. Seach the rig pics thread I think I put a schematic in there. :thumb-up:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: MarshallJMP on November 06, 2016, 03:36:21 PM
Hey GR

Another possibility is run all the preamps into a mixer and use the master volume as a sort of send level to the mixer,this way you blend the preamps and even take them out if you set the master to zero.And you don't need an extra looper/ switcher.Now this will only work with programmable preamps. But for the ADA's it won't be a problem.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: GuitarBuilder on November 06, 2016, 08:02:00 PM
I run three ADA's in parallel, but never all at the same time.  I use Lehle's 1 at 3 for the input, 3 at 1 for the output slaved together via MIDI.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: van Sinn on November 07, 2016, 12:42:15 AM
I run three ADA's in parallel, but never all at the same time.  I use Lehle's 1 at 3 for the input, 3 at 1 for the output slaved together via MIDI.

Yep, and all that's needed will be a splitter to drive the 3-4 preamps.
If some are non-programmable, simply use a programmable mixer to sum them, and use it's internal per-channel volume to control the mixing.

There's got to be some programmable [stereo] rack mixer with build-in effects too. This would allow mixing preamps while also do away with the usual stand-alone effects device.
Time to go peek'n'poke the net..

EDIT: And one of the first hits were the Behringer X32 rack mixer: https://geartechs.com/store/pdfs/behringer/behringer_x32-rack.pdf
Now, at first glance, it seems rather overkill, but read on..
It'll  mix more preamps than your spouse will allow ;)
It has build-in effects
It has a mix bus, so inputs  (pre's) can be routed to/fro effects
You can mix, send to effects, and then route out to external amps, and wire the cab/mics back in
It's programmable, has MIDI too
It has both USB and Firewire for direct recording
It has more than enough inputs to also serve as your home recording interface
Costs a mere $1300 new

Saw one at €800 on ebay.de - and a Braun MX32 Standmixer at just €9 :lol:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 07, 2016, 05:50:39 AM
Thanks for all the input. All good advice
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Kim on November 07, 2016, 07:09:22 AM
Thanks for all the input. All good advice

Except for the Braun mixer...unless you only plan on mixing cake and brownies with it.   Lol
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Dante on November 07, 2016, 07:45:49 AM
Thanks for all the input. All good advice

Except for the Braun mixer...unless you only plan on mixing cake and brownies with it.   Lol

There's Kim - Helping out  :lol:

Thanks for asking about this GR - That has always perplexed me, how you guys run several preamps at the same time. I keep my stuff SIMPLE for a good reason, I don't like to think....gets me into trouble when I do  :thumb-up:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 08, 2016, 05:56:24 AM
It's  that I have a lot of amps. The one I am working on is basically for me to experiment with different pre amps. I have a couple other racks that I keep simple
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: rnolan on November 10, 2016, 09:04:12 PM
A simple way would be use a Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro mixer, I have a couple of these and they are well appointed and not particularly expensive.
Plenty of input channels all with mute switches (easy A/B ing) and 4 sends, 2 x monitor but has pre/post fader switch to use as FX sends and 2 FX sends.  Send 3 also sends to the internal FX at the same time as to the send 3 output if you want to use the internal FX as well (just turn the returns up).  The first 8 channels have direct outs for recording and insert jacks.  Channels 9 - 16 are stereo pairs (9/10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16) good for FX returns.  Main L/R outs and 4 sub groups so you can rout to 3 stereo power amps simultaneously, just assign the channels where you want them to go.  Also comes with a rack mount kit.  (here's one on Evilbay for $250 http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/162261626110?lpid=107&chn=ps).  IIRC they cost around $600 AUD new.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Slimjim on November 12, 2016, 12:35:39 PM
I use a switch that is 16x16 balanced mono to do exactly that. I have several outputs connected, and can crisscross as desired. For me, one preamp at a time is used. I connect both preamp outputs (left/right) to the switch. They often match in signal strength, but not always. The Mesa Rec Recording has one side that is stronger (only at low volumes) and the JMP-1 does a similar trick (only at low volumes). Once they are all balanced, the switch will permit you to control each jack coming in. For the Mesa I have to set its volume a hair bit higher to balance the outputs and cut them at the switch to balance them with the other preamps.

The switch allows me to send the preamp output pair to 3 stereo poweramps, so they all get connected and output simultaneously, providing noise to 6 separate speakers. The rig currently has 2ea of 6L6, EL34, EL84 channels that fire up when 1 preamp is selected. Moving to the next preamp will output another 6 channels.

On each speaker is a SM57, which will eventually output to the computer interface. In software the choices are made which speaker is getting playback thru the reference monitors. You can choose as few or as many as desired and put them as mono for both speakers playback, or hard pan them and combine pairs.

Of course the options are limitless, and the signals that go to the interface can be preamp only, or guitar only, so getting the raw un-amped signals is how re-amping is performed (for those with the patience). I am short of patience and want instant results, one touch of a button.

The switch is the ultimate rig controller, mine has two assignable expression pedals, which can control the variable inputs and outputs as desired. It also has relay switch control, and will act as a traditional channel switch button. This switches the Mesa from clean/dirt as well as the Marshall Voice (2), and it also controls the Mesa 'Modern' mode. The 'switch states' are programmed into the patch.

It will switch channels faster than the ADA, which is saying something, as we all know the ADA switches instantly and smoothly. However, milliseconds can be adjusted per device in case you wanted everybody to wait for a processor patch to load. More features than I can utilize, all MIDI controlled and one touch.

If you are buying used, expect some I/O issues, where some jacks will have static connections. I recommend new, I bought used and regret it. The weight of 38 cables hanging off the back, is too much for them to hold up long term. I ended up hanging all of the cables from a swag chain which dangles behind the gear and I use an assortment of Velcro and mini Bungees to tie up selected wires, removing any and all stress on those jacks.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Harley Hexxe on November 12, 2016, 04:58:18 PM
Hey Jeff,

    That's what I'm doing with my large rack. Are all your preamps ADA? Do you want to be able to run each one through your effects chain, or are you dedicating certain effects to each one? What about your power amps, one for each or each one routed into a single poweramp?

    As long as you don't use a Voodoo Labs GCX for selecting preamps, you won't have issues. It's good for selecting effects, but causes a hum when sending the ADA's through it. The Voodoo Labs Ground Control is a good one for this application. Of course if you want to spend the money on a Switchblade 16 like Slimjim has, that's fully programmable. They are a bit pricey.
    What Midi controller are you using?

       Harley 8)
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 15, 2016, 06:57:53 AM
Hey Harley. this rack will stay in my garage  for being able to use different pre amps, combinations of pre amps and a/b'n them to see which ones I really like. some  pre amps are ada others are non midi.
so this is what I am thinking of doing..   Guitar > 8 channel true bypass looper box > various pre amps > 8 channel rack mixer > effects processor > 1 power amp > speakers. I plan on using a midi pedal just for the effects ( which I don't use much ). I should be able to turn on / off any of my pre amps at the looper box. In theory it sounds like it should work. Now I need to mortgage my house to buy all the cables.. Haha
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Harley Hexxe on November 15, 2016, 10:39:29 AM
    Jeff,

   That's the same train of thought I had going when I tried to use the GCX for switching preamps, because each loop is true bypass also. I used the sends to feed each preamp. The problem is the way the relays in the GCX work. when they go to take a loop out of the signal path, the relays short to ground. This is where the hum was coming from. It's not an issue when using any of my ADA rack effects in the loops, or using the loop sends as a momentary switch in the effects to bypass them, just when I'm feeding the preamps with them. The GCX even has buffered guitar inputs.
   Currently, I'm using A/B/Y switches to switch to different preamps because I'm leaning more towards a 3-system guitar rig, but for my large rack, I'll probably use the Ground Control MIDI switch and bring in the preamps into a Rane SM-82 mixer that way. Program 128 in each preamp is a dead program, so everything is set to "0" in the preamps for that setting. The Aux Sends and Returns in the Rane has the dbx Overeasy noise gates which applies to all four preamps so I won't have to use the built in gates.
   The outputs of the mixer feeds the stereo effects chain, then goes to the power amp and speakers.

   I hope the looper box you have doesn't operate the same way as the GCX, or you may find yourself getting the same hum issue I was getting. I hear you loud and clear about the cables, the GCX is the same thing :lol:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: MarshallJMP on November 15, 2016, 02:32:08 PM
I had the same problem with the rocktron patchmate. So I used a splitter to go to the MP-1 and MP-2 and used the outputs to go to the return of the loop.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 15, 2016, 03:07:05 PM
I was hoping to re wire this loop pedal to act like a splitter.. use the send and no return... I hope I don't get the buzz problem that you guys are talking about. this is the used unit I just picked up for $50.. do you think its do able? thanks everyone        http://buzzelectronics.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=20_79&product_id=65
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Harley Hexxe on November 15, 2016, 04:24:35 PM
Jeff,

    I just looked at the unit in the link you sent. There is no technical info on how the looper works, but it doesn't look like anything MJMP and I are using.
    The GCX only works if it's connected to the Ground Control. I know that Voodoo Labs has a similar stand alone box like what you've got there, but I haven't looked into that at all.
    For $50, you didn't get hurt on the price. All I can see is that it is a passive circuit, that requires a 9V battery to power the LEDs. This is some newer switching technology though, so it may work like you need it. I bought my Ground Control/GCX units back in the mid 90's, and everything in that system is controlled via MIDI, and the Ground Control supplies phantom power to the GCX's, so I don't need to use the wall warts that come with the GCX. Since this looper doesn't have all that additional circuitry, it may work without the hum. I'm certainly very curious to hear how it goes when you get it all hooked up.

      Harley 8)
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: MarshallJMP on November 16, 2016, 06:00:02 AM
It might work without hum, but how are you going to connect the outputs if you don't use the return ?
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 16, 2016, 01:06:37 PM
I am going to TRY  and rewire it to be a splitter box
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: MarshallJMP on November 16, 2016, 01:45:08 PM
Maybe try to do it like I do? Use the return.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Harley Hexxe on November 16, 2016, 04:35:25 PM
It might work without hum, but how are you going to connect the outputs if you don't use the return ?

    I thought he was going to send the outputs to the mixer, and bring all of them into a 2 channel stereo chain to feed the effects and power amp.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 17, 2016, 09:38:40 AM
Harley - yes that is what I want to do
Marshall - if I use the return ,if I choose to use more than one pre amp it would run in series - 1 pre amp sending a distorted signal to the next pre amp etc. I want to split the guitar signal via the loop box I bought. unless you are talking about another way to do this that I am not thinking of?
 thanks bro's
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: gibsonrich on November 17, 2016, 09:48:31 AM
Marshall, what you are saying should work if I only used 1 pre amp at a time but if I wanted to run more then 1 preamp it wouldn't work. 1 preamp would feed into the next preamp. I am trying to have the option of blending more than 1 pre amp together. so say you want to jam and you want to use your mesa boogie studio pre one day, the marshall jmp-1 another day, various ada, carvin etc. I wouldn't have to move cables around. and also have the ability to blend as many together that I want. I have no idea if this will work but in theory, it should... but I am not sure
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: MarshallJMP on November 17, 2016, 01:46:54 PM
Ah ok, yes than my option doesn't work, thought you wanted to use one at a time.My bad,sorry  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: rnolan on November 18, 2016, 09:01:58 AM
What you want to do is easiest with a small desk as per my previous post.  You can combine as many preamps as you have inputs for, send them all to the same (or different depending on FX sends) FXs and blend/mix that in.  And if you go with a small desk with sub groups (like the euro rack) send it to 1 or 3 different stereo amp/cab combinations (if you want).  So all you have to do is feed all the preamps a split of the guitar input (this is where (and only where) you may want to use a spliter ?), and the rest is just straight forward (normal) mixing (mix all preamps and FXs  together in parallel).  You can turn each preamp patches on/off with midi (make some zero'd patches to work as off/bypass as desired), or use the mute buttons on the channels (depending on desk). Take mixer main outs to power amp 1/cabs, if you have subgroups use them to independently feed other power amp/cab combinations.  You can run all preamps mixed together or independently, whatever works for the sound you want.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Rawk777 on January 16, 2017, 07:44:25 PM
I know it won't work to mix multiple preamps, but anyone tried a patchbay to switch between different preamps?
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: rnolan on January 17, 2017, 03:21:53 AM
I set up a Behringer patch bay initially with my studio set up, in the end I haven't used it much as its just as easy to patch directly and use 2 less leads per patch option (so less signal degradation and/or things to go wrong). But then my studio setup is fairly small and minimal and everything is racked close together.  Also I can have a number of preamps plugged into the mixer inputs and turn them on/off (ch mute) and /or route them where I want (eg I have my B200s > 2 x Mesa P112 cabs fed by subgroups 3 & 4) so I can send any preamp (+ Fxs) to the cab set up or to the studio monitors just using normal routing on the mixer.
In my live (hybrid) rack I take 4 outputs from the MP-2 (2 x main, 2 x cab sim) and the MB-1 full range out into the desk (AM802), Aux 1 & 2 to Quadverb, Aux 3 to Midiverb4 (L mono in), and return the 2 Fx into 2 stereo channels.  Mixer > DCM200L > Mesa P112 cabs. I will also take the MB-1 DI out (switched pre-preamp) into a channel (so direct from the bass PUs) when I make a short female XLR to jack.  Once I get both MP-1s sorted out I'll include one in the studio rack (probably via the MP-2 loop returns to pick up the cab sims) and the other into the live hybrid rack.  In the live rack I'm mixing together the MP-2 main outs and cab sim outs as the P112s have a tweeter (though not flat like studio monitors) which seems to work well.
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Rawk777 on January 17, 2017, 09:17:37 PM
I have a small phonic mixer (mm1002) that sits in a box since a few years which has 2 mic preamps and 4 stereo inputs with minimal settings (balance/level, aux). I could give it a try, but I tought it would add noise or color the sound more or than a patchbay. It will also look less clean than the patchbay in my studio.

I guess the inputs would be easier to manage than the outputs since I could use the front input on most of them, but how do you manage your inputs?
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: rnolan on January 20, 2017, 01:51:52 AM
All the inputs and outputs on the AM802 are at the back (as are all the in/outs to my various gadgets, only front inputs are guitar/bass > MP-2 or MB-1), I have it velcroed to the bottom of my 8Ru live rack (industrial wide velcro), MP-2 main A/B > ch 1/2 (panned hard L/R), MP-2 cab sim outs > ch 3/4, MB-1 Full range out > ch 5.  Aux 1/2 to Quadverb L/R, Aux 3 > midiverb4 L(mono). QV L/R out > stereo ch 7 L/R, MV4 L/R out st ch 8. Main out L/R > poweramp > cabs
The Phonic stuff is (in my experience) fairly reasonable, they sound ok (not particularly coloured) I use a phonic dual 31 band eq in the PA rack for FOH. It shouldn't add too much noise (what it does you probably won't notice as it's so small (I'm being (very) pedantic here BTW). A patch bay is a very different beast to a mixer.  It's just designed to let you patch (with yet another lead) the individual inputs and out puts of various things, not mix various things together.  Their main use is when you have lots of different bits of kit (eg in a studio) that are not located near one another, to provide a convenient way of plugging them in (to wherever you want to).  At the heart of a patch bay set up is a desk (to mix it all together).

Your mm1002 is very usable for a guitar rig, and also bringing in a few different preamps. So it basically has 5 available stereo pairs (albeit only ch 1/2 with gain and eq), 1 mono Aux send and 4 stereo outputs (main L/R, cntrl R L/R, HP L/R, rec L/R), all controlled by the master fader (I haven't read the manual (just going off the pic) so possibly Aux one feeds the cntrl R ? or HPs ? as well/or instead of the Aux out jack ?)).

So if I were using it, I'd plug my main preamp (MP-2) into ch 1 & 2 (select line), pan them hard L/R, adjust gain (red light on then back off till it blinks occasionally).  Plug Aux out to Fx L (mono) input on multi FX gadget, turn up Aux on 1 & 2 (start 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock ?) adjust Fx input for decent level, return it L/R into (9/10)  (make sure ch 9/10 Aux send is OFF or bad feedback  :facepalm: ). Main outs to poweramp L/R > cabs.  Adjust volumes (poweramp 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock  >:D or full up  :dunno: ), adjust Fx to dry volume to taste... ADA heaven.
So you have a variety of patching scenarios that will work (well) with it. With above just plug other preamps into 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 stereo pairs. You can now mix and match 4 preamps with one Fx unit (I suggest a mild stereo delay and a bit of chamber reverb as a start).
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Dante on February 03, 2018, 10:50:14 AM
Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I'm considering running my Classic with my MP-2 in the same rack. I'm wondering if all this mixer business is even necessary. For that matter, do i even need a loop controller? Here's what I want to try; Can I run them in a series of FX loops? Meaning, I have two preamps and an FX unit (which is really another preamp). I am wondering if I can just run them in a four-cable method between 3 devices. Out one loop, into the input, out of the next loop, into the next input, wash rinse repeat.

Then, I simply program patches in each preamp to use the one I want (Classic or MP-2) by setting the FX loop in or out. Would that work, or am I going to lose signal when I shut off the loop of one of them?
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: tomy on February 03, 2018, 05:41:31 PM
Hi Dante,

Is your FX unit your GX700 ?

Tomy
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Dante on February 03, 2018, 05:51:09 PM
Yes, and it's also a preamp (has several amp models etc.). It's kinda like a Boss GT-8 in a rack form
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: tomy on February 04, 2018, 01:30:27 AM
yeah, I have a GX700, most of the time I use it alone because preamps inside sound pretty well,

Do you want to use it as preamp too ? or will you bypass GX preamp and hook it up only as FX unit ? (GX700 preamp==>mp1classic==>mp2)

Tomy
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: rnolan on February 04, 2018, 05:07:26 AM
Hey Dante, the answer is yes/maybe (and it would be very tricky re trying 4CM ish variations and only possible because MP2 and classic have parallel loops) but not optimal and you'd have serous gain structure issues doing it that way. If you decide to go that way I'll help you design it, but not an easy road.  And the patches in each unit would need to be very carefully tailored so the inputs don't get blown out.
But with a small mixer (or one of the 1 RU line mixer options) what you want to do is heaps easier and will sound much better. Remember, each unit is designed to be the centre piece and they all expect an instrument level signal at their respective input jack (not a line level loop send), chaining them together will not work well as the inputs will be overloaded.
Best way is (probably) to Y lead split guitar input into MP2 and Classic and run the Fx unit just as Fx off the mixer Fx send/rtn, if you also want to use the Roland Boss thing's guitar preamp sounds then it would be better to add a dedicated rev/fx style device for overall Fx and split the guitar signal between all 3 preamp units.  However, there are many patching permutations possible. Now I'm not across some of the new looper gadgets and maybe it can be solved that way  :dunno: .
Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Dante on February 04, 2018, 08:09:59 AM
Thanks guys

I don't use the preamp models in my GX-700 at all, just the effects. I think the easiest solution for me is just to keep two racks; one for each preamp. I have two GX-700s anyway, each one tailored for the preamp it's mated with.

Title: Re: Advice on hooking up several pre amps
Post by: Systematic Chaos on February 04, 2018, 04:38:23 PM
The easiest way to hook it up:
Hunt down a Rocktron Patchmate. Connect both the Classic and the MP2 to the Patchmate and hook up the Patchmate in 4cm with the GX700.
Just run Guitar > GX700 (with Patchmate in 4cm) > Poweramp > Cab.
This way you can make the utmnost use of the GX700 adjustable routing/FX order. Assign whichever premap you want to whatever patch number in the Patchmate and rock on ;-)