The Allen & Heath GL2400 is a sound mixing desk used for a variety of purposes, but mainly live sound. It comes in a range of sizes with a number of inputs for such items as microphones and CD players, and outputs for amplifiers and speakers. Additionally, the GL2400 has a comprehensive EQ (tone) control system as well as auxiliary feeds for such things as onstage monitoring. Each input channel can be assigned to the output channels using the routing buttons and pan pot (panoramic potentiometer), giving flexibility to the user.
- Skill level:
Connect all the elements of your system to the Allen & Heath GL2400. Microphones and playback units, such as CD players, connect to the inputs. Connect from the desk's outputs to the amplifiers and from the amplifiers to the loudspeakers.
Turn the power on in this sequence: outboard equipment, such as CD players and equalisers first, then the desk and, finally, the amplifiers. Use the mnemonic Desk-Amps-Desk (DAD) for powering up and down the sound system. Doing this in the wrong sequence may damage the system.
Test that everything is working by playing music from a CD or other source. Start the music and fade it up on the channel fader. Next fade up the output channel so that it is at 0dB. Now check that each output channel is getting the signal. Leave the master outputs at 0dB for now and stop the music.
Check the microphones separately by asking someone to speak into them for vocals or play the instruments. Use the input gain control to adjust the signal so that you can use the whole fader run without the sound becoming distorted. It is difficult to control sound if there is only a small amount of fader movement between very quiet and very loud. Again the 0dB level is a useful marker.
Adjust the EQ controls for each microphone and decide which output it is routed to. Do this for all of the microphones and instruments that are connected. You also may want to add in effects, such as echo and reverb, by using the auxiliary controls.
Listen to the band play together, check the levels compared to each other and overall. You may need to adjust both EQ and gain controls during this sound check. Leave the output faders at a constant, but remember that, when the audience is present, some of the volume will be soaked up. Leave yourself some room to turn the sound up.
During the performance, continue to listen to the performers and make adjustments as required. When the show is over, power down as outlined above and pack everything away.
Tips and warnings
- Use the GL2400's subgroups to subdivide the sound and make it more controllable. For example, put all of the instruments into a sub group that then feeds the main outputs. If the band is too quiet or too loud, you can then turn them all up on one fader and keep the balance rather than changing many fader settings. The GL2400 has four subgroups to use and you can assign a channel to more than one at a time or directly to the main outputs.
- You can cause permanent hearing damage if you run your sound system too loud. Be aware of this and the expectations of the audience when using the GL2400.
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