Running Aeros (and BB) to mixer/ PA

I tried live with vox for first time yesterday.

I’m using a mackie 12 channel mixer. I run hx somp to aeros and was trying to run 2 vocal mics, aeros, bb to their own channels on mixer.

I started with going to line ins with the aeros and BB, but I had to max the gain and the channel to get it loud enough to be able to mix well with vox.

at home later, tried running Aeros to a mic input using a 1/4" to xlr and level was much stronger

Is this what others are doing when playing thru PA?

it would be more convenient to be able to use line level inputs, but just doesnt seem to have the juice for that…

Any tips would be much appreciated!

There are probably differing opinions on this (and everything), but if putting on a live show is your goal, you really want to invest in some DI boxes and use a mixer that has more Mic Preamps (or add a couple Mic Preamps). That’s basically the secret (Not so secret) weapon for not only getting everything normalized, but also clearing up interference and doing longer cable runs.

I have a few to choose from, and I think a good place to start is the Radial PRO D2. I actually use the Radial JPC for Aeros and I like to pick those up used for a good price when I find them, but I’ve used the PRO D2 and it is perfectly fine. I’d get one just to have, and experiment using the Mic Preamp inputs on your Mackie to see what’s what. Nothing beats a little first hand experience.

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Hi - thanks for the info… and for confirming that using the mic inputs on mixer is ‘normal’… I was really hoping for an answer that didn’t require buying more stuff, so I’ll see how it goes this way before getting DI’s, since my cable runs are not too long…maybe 20’

I think the other important part is to make sure the guitar/bass signal going into the Aeros is strong enought that I’m recording the loops at a high enough level.

In case you don’t know: There is an input level meter in the Aeros’ Settings that allows you to adjust input signal.

Thank you… yes, I try to use that meter to judge if the input is strong enough… there’s a very fine line between sending the aeros a strong level and the clipping zone, so I had erred on the side of recording at lower levels, but then they weren’t loud enough at the gig… I think (hope!) that I have got that in a better place now. Thanks!

True, gain staging along the entire signal chain is pretty crucial for the best results.

I know the most common reason cited for having a DI is long cable runs, but having a combination of pad switches, ground lifts and isolation are good reasons as well. I think it’s always good and advisable to have at least 1 in your gig bag when heading out to a gig, plus knowing when and how to use it.

I commonly run my Helix floor which controls the Beat Buddy and intend to add an Aeros once some promised new features are there. In my case I run these and my vocal mic XLR direct to the mixer which is a QSC TM-30. Other than the BeatBuddy which sends it’s signal through a DI box, I send all others at Mic level all going into normal XLR input channels on the mixer. I use Mic level because it’s the common level of most inputs into the mixer. Once I add an Aeros I’ll still send that output independent of the Helix output so it can be gain staged independently.

It really doesn’t matter whether it’s Line or Mic level as they’ll all be corrected to the same level using the trim/gain knob on each channel as a part of gain staging. I do send the BeatBuddy at full volume and do the same for my Helix and probably will for the Aeros as well.

Mic signal level is actually lower than Line signal level. The problem I think you were having is you were sending 1/4" to audio input lines which probably don’t have any preamp that can be gain staged like the regular XLR inputs do.

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Hi - thanks for the info…I do run mic/bb/aeros to separate ins on mixer… I am running the HX stomp through the aeros. I think there’s a way to send that audio to aeros for recording tracks, but only hear the ‘live’ guitar via its own mixer channel, but it seems like the aeros should be able to pass the audio from the loop and the live guitar at approx. the same volume? There’s no input level control on the aeros, so why is there so much variation in what comes out from the live vs. the recorded guitar?

It’s also interesting that SS says i shouldn’t need to use XLR ins, but line ins are just not loud enough for aeros OR beat buddy when ‘competing’ with vocal mic that’s set for unity gain/best sound in mixer. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice too much overall FOH volume because I have to turn other things down to compensate for the low line level Aeros and bb levels, right? the XLR ins work MUCH better, give more control, more level.

PS…I am also intrigued by your comment about using the helix to control BB … are you using the helix ‘command center’? What commands can you send from there? For me, it would be useful to also control the aeros… in effect extending the MMaestro (or maybe replacing it for some applications). Any add’l. details you’d be willing to share would be much appreciated!

Since I haven’t yet incorporated Aeros into my rig yet, I can’t really say how that would act other than it should act pretty much the same as the BB from what I understand. My intention is not to use it as a looper but more as a pre-recorded backing track, so I won’t have any guitar audio input into the Aeros, just MIDI connections from the Helix to the BB to the Aeros.

Yes, I do control the BB, and eventually the Aeros from the Command Center on the Helix. According to my research I’ll trigger the drum songs and segments and the BB will be the master clock and forward the segment selection to the Aeros. As best I can understand at this point, the Aeros MIDI commands will be consistent with the BB, so it should all work out hopefully.

If I were to want to use the Aeros in a traditional role I would likely use a separate send from the Helix to the Aeros via 1/4" at Instrument level (which is what the Aeros should be setup for) while sending my Helix XLR to the mixer at Mic level. I would use the Aeros L(mono) out through a DI to the mixing board as I do now with the BB and manage the signal levels and mixing at mixing board. Although I would assume you could also just use a return from the Aeros back to the Helix and send them both through the XLR link to the mixer controlling the output and input levels to/from the Aeros on the Helix send and receive blocks.

I can send any MIDI commands I need to send to the BB from the command center, and supposedly the Aeros. The way I’m set up I use an Instant command in the Command center for each preset which selects the appropriate BB song for that preset. Beyond that I normally only need to use stomp buttons to start, fill, transition, or end the BB song, although I occasionally do use the Command Center instant commands in snapshots for more complex changes on both the Helix and the BB.

It appears to me that the BB is sending the L(mono) output to the board at Line level, but that presents no problem matching that with everything else on the board, so I would assume the same thing would apply to the Aeros output.

There’s a couple of documents for BB MIDI commands that I’ll attach for you.

BB MIDI Manual

MIDI Google Doc Spreadsheet of MIDI commands

very much appreciated… a bunch to experiment with here!
At the end, you mention
It appears to me that the BB is sending the L(mono) output to the board at Line level, but that presents no problem matching that with everything else on the board, so I would assume the same thing would apply to the Aeros output.
you’re still sending that line level out from BB to an XLR in on the mixer so that you’ve got enough gain to match vocal mics, etc, right?

Yes, that signal goes through a DI box and mixes quite easily with all other channels vocal or otherwise. In fact, I mix the drums a bit higher than vocals to give them a more realistic feel. Our band consists of four people Bass, Acoustic Gtr, Lead Gtr, and Female Vocalist with the Acoustic Gtr player occasionally using a Cajon and all four people singing and doing harmonies so that means we use 9 total channels.