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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

sub woofer signal


Can I come out of my mixers mono out to active subs to solve my bottom end problems?
October 17, 2013 @09:17pm

Depends what problem you're referring to. If the problem was that you had no bottom end because the subs weren't hooked up, yes that will certainly improve the situation.
The better way to hook up subs is to use a crossover after your main outs, feeding the crossover output into both the main speakers and the subs (some active subs contain such a crossover, but others just have full-range parallel outputs instead). This way, the main speakers are no longer dealing with low frequency signals that they struggle with. That means you can actually push the volume a bit more without distorting the main speakers, since now the low mids are your new power bottleneck. It's also good to minimize the frequency overlap between different speaker models, and a crossover does just that. You're guaranteed to have more overlap without a crossover, but the amount depends on A) how much low end your mains are capable of and B) how much high end your sub is capable of, so the ROI isn't set in stone. B) is only a problem if you don't have an LPF in the sub or the board's mono out, but because you said active sub there's about a 100% chance it has one.
Finally, some choose to feed a sub from an aux output. The advantage here is that for your inputs that have no business going to the subs (vocals, etc) there will be zero signal going to the subs. You just dial in the kick, bass, keys depending on the patch, and so forth. The downside is that for sources with low end, you still have the frequency overlap problems described above, unless you achieve a faux-crossover situation by putting a HPF on the mains and LPF on the subs (the latter should exist on active subs). Not really worth it in my opinion.
October 19, 2013 @12:07am