Mic versus line level input to powered speaker

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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I have a Behringer Eurolive B-series powered speaker (yes, I stipulate in advance it's a piece of crap - now can I ask my question?! :eek: ). I've been using it as a monitor. I run from the mains 1/4" line level out from my Yamaha powered mixer into the powered speaker's 1/4" input. It's worked fine in this application.

Yesterday, I decided to try it as a personal monitor: mic XLR into the powered speaker, "link" XLR out to one of the Yamaha mixer's input. The Yamaha continued to work exactly as before (i.e., I got a true "pass through" of the mic's signal this way) BUT the powered speaker had very little volume.

Yes, I know mic level is much lower than line level but the manual for the Behringer says:

XLR Input Connect a microphone [or] balanced mixer output ... using a balanced cable ...
What's the problem here?
 

GCDEF

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Can you get sufficient volume by turning the speaker up? If not, I guess you need the boost coming from the mixer's preamp.

Which speaker is it?
 

buddaman71

Student of Life
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does the Behringer have a mic/line switch? my QSC K series speakers do, and you put it on MIC if you're plugging a mic directly into the input and LINE if you're plugging the line out from a mixer into it...
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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To GCDEF, it's the B212D. Almost yes, but I've got to come close to diming it. I guess I do need the mixer's boost.

Buddaman71, no it doesn't (apparently, it should).
 

GCDEF

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It's normal and documented that you'll have to turn it up a lot louder with a mic plugged into it. If it's getting as loud as you need, it's working properly.
 

RustyAxe

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Yesterday, I decided to try it as a personal monitor: mic XLR into the powered speaker, "link" XLR out to one of the Yamaha mixer's input. The Yamaha continued to work exactly as before (i.e., I got a true "pass through" of the mic's signal this way) BUT the powered speaker had very little volume.

What's the problem here?
Right, as it should. You are now feeding the speaker with an unamplified input signal (the mic). It passes this through to the mixer, fine. But that mic signal is MUCH less than the line level signal you were getting previously from the mixer (line level). To get the same volume with the new set up you have to increase the gain on the powered speaker. Remember, input gain is NOT volume, it's the amount of "boost" the preamp will give the signal before passing it through to the EQ and power amp.

You could run your mic to the mixer as before and then feed your monitor from one of the auxiliary outputs of the mixer (one that only you use) and take your line out signal from that aux out on the mixer. Gets you to the same place, with one less cable.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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You could run your mic to the mixer as before and then feed your monitor from one of the auxiliary outputs of the mixer (one that only you use) and take your line out signal from that aux out on the mixer.
Unfortunately, the mixer doesn't have individual line outs per input. :(
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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If you look at the above pic, the power switch is to the bottom right. Right next to that are two 1/4" outputs that say Main and Monitor. The Monitor one is not operational as I use the unit because I have all of my power directed to the mains. The Main 1/4" output is a line level mix of all of the vocal mics going into the unit (inputs are on the bottom left). That's what I'd been using to drive the Behringer powered speaker. That was set up in front of the drummer (who sits behind the PA speakers in my small basement). And I was using a TC Hellicon VoicePro personal monitor on a mic stand as my own individual mic monitor. But I don't like the VoicePro, it's also old and underpowered. That's why I've been experimenting with alternatives.

What could work for me now if I could find one would be a mic splitter but where one output is an XLR copy of the input mic level signal and the second output is a 1/4" line level out that I could send to the Behringer powered speaker. Then I could use the Behringer powered speaker as my personal monitor and let the drummer use the VoicePro, powering it from the above-mentioned Mains out.
 

GCDEF

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I keep bringing this up and you don't really address it. Can you get enough volume from the speaker if you turn it all the way up? You said almost, but you also said it wasn't all the way up. Did you look at the preamp I linked to?
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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42,095
I keep bringing this up and you don't really address it. Can you get enough volume from the speaker if you turn it all the way up? You said almost, but you also said it wasn't all the way up. Did you look at the preamp I linked to?
Let me augment my prior answer on the speaker. The speaker feeds back at levels high enough for me to hear it clearly and I was unable to EQ that out.

I looked at your preamp suggestion. It does not appear to be relevant to my situation where I need both a pass through and a line level out but if I missed something, please point it out. From the manual:

Applications:

The main application of the TUBE MP is a microphone preamplifier.
Plug any microphone directly into either input and set the
Input and Output controls to provide a healthy level into the next
stage of your system.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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Thanks, everyone. I think I know what I need to now! But if anyone does know of a mic input spitter whose two outputs are mic level and line level, please let me know.
 

walterw

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Let me augment my prior answer on the speaker. The speaker feeds back at levels high enough for me to hear it clearly and I was unable to EQ that out.
if it's getting loud enough to feed back then the mic level signal is enough to drive it.

the problem is really EQ control.

scrounge yourself a little 2 or 4 channel notebook mixer (they're under $100 new, and dirt used), and buy or make an XLR splitter cable, one F into two M; your vocal mic goes into the splitter cable, one output goes into the main PA, the other goes into your little notebook mixer, and from there into the powered monitor.

the mixer's EQ should be enough to get the monitor under control, and will of course have way more gain, getting you back up to line level.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
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28,173
Let me augment my prior answer on the speaker. The speaker feeds back at levels high enough for me to hear it clearly and I was unable to EQ that out.

I looked at your preamp suggestion. It does not appear to be relevant to my situation where I need both a pass through and a line level out but if I missed something, please point it out. From the manual:
Do what you were doing before, but use the preamp. Mic into preamp, preamp into speaker, line out of speaker to mixer.
 

mixwiz

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2,381
Let me augment my prior answer on the speaker. The speaker feeds back at levels high enough for me to hear it clearly and I was unable to EQ that out.
:
I don't think a preamp will solve a gbf issue. What mic and eq are you using? Where is the behringer placed in relation to the mic?
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
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28,173
I don't think a preamp will solve a gbf issue. What mic and eq are you using? Where is the behringer placed in relation to the mic?
I think it would. If he's getting more volume when he feeds the speaker a hotter signal, it likely is a gain issue. You can easily get feedback at low volumes if the gain is off in the signal chain, and that sounds like the case here.
 




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