PA System Setup

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Hello Fellow Enthusiasts,

I am very new the scene and slowly collected some audio hardware which ended up leading to a simple system. This is more for personal entertainment listening to a wide variety of music. Genres ranging from classical to EDM to Hip Hop, etc. The sound on my previous setup was pretty clean and had decent bass output. It was very simple with connections via series of xlr cables and a PDI to connect to a 3.5mm jack. As nice as this setup was I wanted the ability to control the lower frequency for more output on certain songs and lower it for those bass heavy songs so I acquired a mixer, basically have better EQ control. Unfortunately I know nothing of mixers and currently having a hard time getting it to sound as clean as my previous setup. The sound is actually quite terrible coming out of the mixer. Currently I only have xlr cables and (1) 1/4" TRS cable. I ordered a pair of 1/4" TRS cables and a pair of 1/4" TRS to XLR female for more connectivity headroom.

Previous setup that provided clean loud sound with a decent lowend included:
(2) JBL Eon15 G2 Active
(2) JBL Eon 518s Active
(1) Whirlwind PDI
(1) 3.5mm jack output music source

The connection went from 3.5mm source > PDI left xlr out > subwoofer A xlr in > subwoofer A xlr out > PA speaker left xlr in
Duplicate this connection for the right side.

The new setup I am having trouble basically replaces the PDI with a mixer:
(2) JBL Eon15 G2 Active
(2) JBL Eon 518s Active
(1) Mackie 1642 VLZ3 Passive
(1) 3.5mm jack to 1/4" TRS output from music source to mixer

How do you recommend me going about connecting this system?

I have already tried xlr main outs to the sub then pa speakers and vice versa.

I have also tried main xlr out to pa speakers xlr in and 1/4" TRS sub out 1 on mixer to 1/4" TRS speaker line level on subwoofer A.

I also tried I have also tried main xlr out to pa speakers xlr in and 1/4" TRS aux send 1 to 1/4" TRS speaker line level on subwoofer A.

I'm not sure if I am causing any damage here, setting up the mixer wrong, connecting the system incorrectl or if the mixer is bad but I am unable to get the mixer to produce the same quality of sound as simple PDI setup.

Your thoughts and suggestions are always appreciated. Thanks
 
Why such a large mixer for a single input?

XLR main output form the mixer to the subs and then linked to the tops should work fine, the problem is probably how you are connecting the music source to the mixer. A simple 1/8" to RCA patch cable connected to the Tape Input on the Mackie should work, just put the master output fader at unity and turn up the tape level to get the desired sound level.
 
I think my tape in button won't stay depressed so alternatively I used a 3.5mm jack to 1/4" TRS adapter and plugged it in line 1. I will try "taping" tape in down and testing it that way.

The subs sound very muddy as if its getting the full range of sound and not just the low ends which might be overdriving it preventing it and preventing it from kicking those low frequencies. Could this be possible? I have the subs set to HPF and frequency on the mixer set at 120. Is this appropriate or am I not understanding something?

As for the mixer, I got it used for a great price. Provides for extra headroom for my musical friends and family to enjoy.

Thanks for the advice, I will rewire the system accordingly and use the 3.5mm to rca adapter to the tape in and test the sound that way. I'll post back with updates.
 
Wow... simple fix, now it is performing just like the PDI did; clean sound with no distortions and great coverage throughout the bands. However, I'm curious to know if I can still run the main xlr outs to the tops and subs a and b through aux send 1 and 2 so I can adjust the sub output via the mixer instead of adjusting them by physically lowering the sensitivity on the speaker while physically increasing the sensitivity on the subwoofer. Thanks again for your help.
 
Aux fed subs are common in pro sound applications but to do it you will have to connect your music source to one of the full featured stereo input channels, and for that you need a couple RCA to 1/4" TS adapters. Then with the main outs connected to the tops you can use an aux to feed the sub or subs, no need to use 2 aux/s it'll be the same signal from each output. Also I'd suggest you download the user manual and study it, there are lots of routing options with this mixer and this will help you immensely if you get the guys over with guitars n stuff and hook em all up.
 
I have downloaded the manual and began reading through it. Tons of information and with some hands on experience I'm beginning to understand how the mixer works.

I have a rca to 3.5mm jack and 3.5mm to 1/4" trs adapter going into line 1. This was my original setup but apparently it doesn't work well and was the reason the sound quality was terrible. As you suggested it was a connection issue and switching to the 3.5mm to rca plugged into tape resolved that issue. If I use a 1/4" TS adapter instead of the 1/4" TRS adapter I can use line 1 input and take advantage of the full mixing features while using aux to control the subs without having sound issues? Is there a reason I would need more than 1 adapter? Could I just run a 3.5mm jack to split 1/4" TS for left and right? Or even a single 3.5mm jack to single 1/4" TS?

I figured out an alternative way to control the subs and that is to use the headphone outs with my 1/4" TRS cables, unfortunately my source tape button no longer stays depressed so I would have to tape it down or get it fixed. Any thoughts on this?

I will probably source those adapters regardless if I fix the source tape button as I like having multiple options available.

Conanski, I really do appreciate your help. Thank you again.
 
Is there a reason I would need more than 1 adapter?

That is the key here, you need to connect L and R channels separately hence the need for 2 adapters and also why you must use one of the stereo line inputs(ch 9-16) and not one of the mono channels(1-8). When you connect a stereo signal to a mono channel everything that is common on each channel gets cancelled, the circuitry is designed that way on purpose to cancel noise that would get picked up from the musical instruments and long cable runs that typically get connected here.

I figured out an alternative way to control the subs and that is to use the headphone outs with my 1/4" TRS cables, unfortunately my source tape button no longer stays depressed so I would have to tape it down or get it fixed. Any thoughts on this?
Once you connect via one of the stereo channels you will be able to send a signal out via the AUX outputs for the subs, but I'd suggest getting that tape button fixed anyway.
 
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