Mackie Quad Gate/Compressor User manual

User Manual
MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600
Reference-Class 4-Channel Expander/Gate/Compressor/Peak Limiter
with Dynamic Enhancer and Low Contour Filter
COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600
Reference-Class 2-Channel Expander/Gate/Compressor/Peak Limiter
with Integrated De-Esser, Dynamic Enhancer and Tube Simulation
AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600
Reference-Class 2-Channel Expander/Gate/Compressor/Peak Limiter
with Integrated Dynamic Enhancer, De-Esser and Low Contour Filter
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Table of Contents
Important Safety Instructions....................................... 3
Legal Disclaimer.............................................................. 3
Limited warranty............................................................. 3
1. Introduction................................................................ 4
1.1 Before you get started....................................................... 5
1.1.1 Shipment........................................................................... 5
1.1.2 Initial operation.............................................................. 5
1.1.3 Warranty............................................................................ 5
1.2 The user’s manual................................................................ 5
2. Control Elements and Connectors............................ 5
2.1 The expander/gate section.............................................. 5
2.2 The compressor section.................................................... 6
2.3 The dynamic enhancer section...................................... 7
2.4 The de-esser section.......................................................... 7
2.5 The peak limiter section.................................................... 8
2.6 The rear panel control elements.................................... 8
3. Examples of Sidechain Applications........................ 8
3.1 Eliminating interference.................................................... 8
3.2 Emphasizing instruments................................................. 9
3.3 Time-delayed compression............................................. 9
3.4 “Voice Over” compression (“Ducking”)........................ 9
3.5 Triggering additional sounds from a
rhythm track.................................................................................. 9
4. Wiring.......................................................................... 9
5. Installation................................................................ 10
5.1 Rack installation ................................................................ 10
5.2 Audio connections............................................................ 10
6. Specifications............................................................ 11
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Important Safety
Instructions
Terminals marked with this symbol carry
electrical current of sufficient magnitude
to constitute risk of electric shock.
Use only high-quality professional speaker cables with
¼" TS or twist-locking plugs pre-installed. All other
installation or modification should be performed only
by qualified personnel.
This symbol, wherever it appears,
alerts you to the presence of uninsulated
dangerous voltage inside the
enclosure - voltage that may be sufficient to constitute a
risk of shock.
This symbol, wherever it appears,
alerts you to important operating and
maintenance instructions in the
accompanying literature. Please read the manual.
Caution
To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not
remove the top cover (or the rear section).
No user serviceable parts inside. Refer servicing to
qualified personnel.
Caution
To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock,
do not expose this appliance to rain and
moisture. The apparatus shall not be exposed to dripping
or splashing liquids and no objects filled with liquids,
such as vases, shall be placed on the apparatus.
9. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized
or grounding-type plug. A polarized plug has two blades
with one wider than the other. A grounding-type plug
has two blades and a third grounding prong. The wide
blade or the third prong are provided for your safety. If the
provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an
electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet.
10. Protect the power cord from being walked on or
pinched particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles,
and the point where they exit from the apparatus.
11. Use only attachments/accessories specified by
the manufacturer.
12. Use only with the
cart, stand, tripod, bracket,
or table specified by the
manufacturer, or sold with
the apparatus. When a cart
is used, use caution when
moving the cart/apparatus
combination to avoid
injury from tip-over.
13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or
when unused for long periods of time.
14. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel.
Servicing is required when the apparatus has been
damaged in any way, such as power supply cord or plug
is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen
into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed
to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has
been dropped.
15. The apparatus shall be connected to a MAINS socket
outlet with a protective earthing connection.
16. Where the MAINS plug or an appliance coupler is
used as the disconnect device, the disconnect device shall
remain readily operable.
Caution
These service instructions are for use
by qualified service personnel only.
To reduce the risk of electric shock do not perform any
servicing other than that contained in the operation
instructions. Repairs have to be performed by qualified
service personnel.
1. Read these instructions.
2. Keep these instructions.
3. Heed all warnings.
4. Follow all instructions.
5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
6. Clean only with dry cloth.
7. Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Do not install near any heat sources such as
radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus
(including amplifiers) that produce heat.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND APPEARANCES
ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE AND
ACCURACY IS NOT GUARANTEED. BEHRINGER,
KLARK TEKNIK, MIDAS, BUGERA, AND TURBOSOUND
ARE PART OF THE MUSIC GROUP (MUSIC-GROUP.COM).
ALL TRADEMARKS ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR
RESPECTIVE OWNERS. MUSIC GROUP ACCEPTS NO
LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSS WHICH MAY BE SUFFERED
BY ANY PERSON WHO RELIES EITHER WHOLLY OR
IN PART UPON ANY DESCRIPTION, PHOTOGRAPH
OR STATEMENT CONTAINED HEREIN. COLORS AND
SPECIFICATIONS MAY VARY FROM ACTUAL PRODUCT.
MUSIC GROUP PRODUCTS ARE SOLD THROUGH
AUTHORIZED FULLFILLERS AND RESELLERS ONLY.
FULLFILLERS AND RESELLERS ARE NOT AGENTS OF
MUSIC GROUP AND HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO AUTHORITY
TO BIND MUSIC GROUP BY ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED
UNDERTAKING OR REPRESENTATION. THIS MANUAL
IS COPYRIGHTED. NO PART OF THIS MANUAL MAY
BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM
OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL,
INCLUDING PHOTOCOPYING AND RECORDING OF ANY
KIND, FOR ANY PURPOSE, WITHOUT THE EXPRESS
WRITTEN PERMISSION OF MUSIC GROUP IP LTD.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© 2013 MUSIC Group IP Ltd.
Trident Chambers, Wickhams Cay, P.O. Box 146,
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
LIMITED WARRANTY
For the applicable warranty terms and conditions
and additional information regarding MUSIC Group’s
Limited Warranty, please see complete details online at
www.music-group.com/warranty.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
1. Introduction
With this new dynamics processor from the PRO-XL series you have acquired
an extremely powerful and universal compressor which unites in one compact
device all of those dynamics control functions that are most frequently used in
practice: each channel has an independent compressor/limiter, expander/gate
and peak limiter. Thus, virtually all dynamics processing problems can be
remedied with little effort.
Future-oriented BEHRINGER technology
The new PRO-XL dynamics processors from BEHRINGER feature several innovative
circuit designs, making them top-class dynamics processing equipment.
Compared to their predecessors, they now have improvements such as the
de-esser, which allows you to effectively suppress disturbing hiss noise
(COMPOSER PRO-XL), additional LED displays to set the de-esser levels, plus a
switchable enhancer.
The AUTOCOM PRO-XL not only includes an enhancer, but also a switchable
de-esser and a peak limiter, which has already proved its versatility in the
COMPOSER PRO.
The BEHRINGER MULTICOM PRO-XL has been upgraded with an expander/
noise gate plus enhancer. Additionally, we have managed to improve its audio
properties even further—in combination with a revised circuit design.
To give you the best operational reliability possible, we manufacture our
products in accordance with the highest quality standards known in the industry.
Additionally the dynamic processors are manufactured under ISO9000 certified
manage­ment system.
VAD (Voice-Adaptive) De-esser
The COMPOSER PRO-XL and AUTOCOM PRO‑XL incorporate a newly designed
de-esser circuit specifically adapted to process the critical range of treble
frequencies. Hiss noise on vocal tracks often contains high levels, giving the
signals a rather edgy, unpleasant sound. The de-esser responds to those
frequency ranges in which hiss noise usually occurs and limits the overall signal
level as soon as the audio signal is affected by excessive energy density in this
range. Unlike equalizers, however, it does not impair the frequency response of
the signal. In this way, intelligibility in low-level passages is perfectly preserved,
and you can even boost the treble range with a good equalizer. The sound
becomes transparent and fresh, while the de-esser prevents hiss noise from
becoming too dominant and disturbing the overall sound image.
IDE (Interactive Dynamic) Enhancer
Probably the best known negative side effect of a compressor is the “dull” and
“compressed” sound that is likely to result from the processing of complex
program material. Low-frequency instruments usually produce the highest signal
energy and hence make the compressor reduce the overall level. Any instrument
in the higher frequency ranges concurrently played also has its level reduced,
which leads to a “compressed” overall sound.
The dynamic enhancer provides the solution to this problem, enabling you to
make up specifically for the compression-induced loss of treble energy. Since the
enhancer can detect the amount of compression applied, it does not change the
sound image as long as the signals remain uncompressed. No treble energy is
lost, even when complex mix-down material is processed.
ATS (Authentic Tube Simulation) circuitry
Even today, the warm, expressive and transparent tonal character of electronic
tubes is a real “classic”. We proudly present the COMPOSER PRO-XL and its
high-tech circuit design enabling the authentic reproduction of this legendary
sound, and at the same time avoiding all of the technical drawbacks that
go along with tube technology. Owing to state-of-the-art semi-conductor
technology, there is no sound deterioration caused by tube ageing, there are
no heat problems and no maintenance required at all. All that remains is the
advantage of tube technology: its distinctive sound!
IKA (Interactive Knee Adaptation) Compressor
Our proven IKA (Interactive Knee Adaptation) circuit successfully combines
the “hard knee” compressor concept with the “soft knee” characteristic.
This program-dependent control characteristic makes it possible to both provide
an “inaudible” and musical program compression and allows for creative and
efficient dynamics processing.
IRC (Interactive Ratio Control) Expander
A fundamental problem when using a compressor is the fact that the basic
noise floor depends on the amount of compression applied, i.e. it is amplified
maximally in low-level passages and breaks in the music (compressor noise).
To eliminate this problem, compressors are usually equipped with additional
expander or gate circuitry, simply fading out the noise during breaks.
The dynamics processors from the PRO-XL Series feature our IRC (Interactive Ratio
Control) expander, whose ratio setting changes automatically with the
program material. The result is an expander that can be set quickly and easily,
and does not cut off low-level wanted signals (e.g. the first or last syllable of
a word in a vocal track). With the new IRC circuit, the expander/gate section
of the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600, AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600
and MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600 can be used as an independent device to
eliminate any kind of interference, thus giving you almost unlimited flexibility
of application.
IGC (Interactive Gain Control) Peak Limiter
Another outstanding feature of BEHRINGER dynamics processors is the IGC
(Interactive Gain Control) limiter, an intelligent combination of a clipper and
program limiter. The clipper comes in as soon as an adjustable threshold is
exceeded and abruptly limits the signal gain. However, if the limiter threshold
is exceeded for longer than a few milliseconds, the ICG circuit is activated
automatically and reduces the gain of the overall output signal, so that
audible distor-tion is eliminated (program limiter). When the signal drops
below threshold again, its level is restored to its original value after about one
second. This IGC feature is an extremely usefull tool for both live applications
(e.g. speaker protection) and digital processing, in which excess levels lead to
unpleasant distortion.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Safety relay
1.2 The user’s manual
The design of the COMPOSER PRO-XL incorporates the so-called safety relays,
which set the unit to bypass in case of a power failure or other malfunctions.
Additionally, these relays are used to implement a switch-on delay, so as to
suppress harmful switch-on thumps.
This manual has been designed to give you a survey of all control elements and
at the same time provide you with detailed information on how to use them.
To help you understand what each control does, we have grouped the control
elements according to function. If you need more detailed information on specific
topics, please visit our website at behringer.com, where you will find for example
explanations of in-detail dynamics applications.
Balanced inputs and outputs
The BEHRINGER dynamics processors from the PRO-XL series are equipped with
electronically balanced inputs and outputs. The automatic servo function detects
any unbalanced plugs connec-ted and adjusts the nominal level internally, so as
to make sure that there is no difference in level between the input and output
signals (6-dB correction).
◊ First, this manual describes the terminology used, so that you
understand the unit and its functions. Please read the manual carefully
and keep it for future reference.
2. Control Elements and Connectors
This chapter describes the various control elements of your dynamics processor.
All controls are explained in full detail, including useful suggestions on how to
use them.
The COMPOSER PRO-XL and AUTOCOM PRO-XL feature two identical channels, the
MULTICOM PRO-XL four of them.
1.1 Before you get started
1.1.1 Shipment
Your COMPOSER PRO-XL, AUTOCOM PRO-XL or MULTICOM PRO-XL was carefully
packed at the factory and the packaging is designed to protect the unit from
rough hand-ling. Nevertheless, we recommend that you carefully examine the
packaging and its contents for any signs of physical damage which may have
occurred during transit.
◊ If the unit is damaged, please do NOT return it to BEHRINGER,
but notify your dealer and the shipping company immediately.
Otherwise, claims for damage or replacement may not be granted.
1.1.2 Initial operation
Be sure that there is enough space around the unit for cooling and, to avoid
overheating, please do not place it on power amplifiers, near radiators etc.
◊ Before you connect the unit to the mains, please make sure that the
voltage setting on the unit matches the local voltage:
The fuse holder at the AC power connector has 3 triangular markings. Two of
these three triangles are aligned with one another. The unit is set to the
voltage shown next to these markings and can be switched over by turning the
fuse holder by 180°. IMPORTANT: This does not apply to export models
designed exclusively for 115 V operation!
MDX1600
MDX2600
MDX4600
Fig. 2.1: Linking channels with the COUPLE switch
(1) Pressing the COUPLE switch links the channels. In couple mode,
dynamics are controlled by using channel 1 switches and controls, whereby
the control signal is derived from the energy of both side chain channels
(true stereo processing). Therefore, all switches and controls of channel 2
(except for IN/OUT, SC EXT, SC MON, LO CONTOUR, TUBE, DE-ESSER, MALE,
ENHANCER, I/O METER switches and OUTPUT, DE-ESSER LEVEL and ENHANCER
LEVEL controls) will be disabled when you activate the COUPLE switch.
On the MDX4600, channel 3 controls channel 4 in link mode.
2.1 The expander/gate section
(3) (4)
◊ If you set the unit to a different mains voltage, be sure to use a fuse
of the correct type and rating. Please refer to the “Specifications”
for details.
◊ Blown fuses must be replaced by fuses of the same type and rating!
Please refer to the “Specifications” for details.
The mains connection is made using the enclosed power cord and a standard IEC
receptacle. It meets all of the international safety certification requirements.
◊ Please make sure that all units have a proper ground connection.
For your own safety, never remove or disable the ground conductor
from the unit or of the AC power cord.
1.1.3 Warranty
Please take the time to fill in and return the warranty card within 14 days after
the date of purchase, so as to benefit from our extended warranty. The serial
number is printed on the top side of the unit. Or register online at behringer.com.
(2)(5)
Fig. 2.2: Expander/gate section control elements
(2) Use the TRIGGER control in the expander/gate section to determine the
threshold below which expansion sets in, so that signals below threshold are
reduced in gain. The setting range is from OFF to +10 dB.
(3) If a signal below the adjusted value is applied, the red LED (expansion on)
lights up. If the signal gain is above the adjusted value, the green LED
lights up.
(4) In order to adapt the expander/gate optimally to the program material,
use the RELEASE switch to select a short or long release time.
Percussive material with little or no reverb at all is usually processed with
a short release time (switch not pressed). The long release time is the best
choice for slowly decaying or heavily reverberated signals (switch pressed).
(5) The GATE switch allows you to toggle between the expander
(switch not pressed) and the gate function (switch pressed).
Use the gate function to mute signals below threshold (e.g. noise).
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Application hints
The purpose of using an expander is usually to expand the usable dynamics
towards the lower end, i.e. to improve the separation between low-level signals
and the unavoidable noise floor by reducing the noise level.
Start setting up the expander by turning the TRIGGER control from position
OFF clockwise until the LEDs show the onset of the gain reduction. Preferrably,
you should use some music material containing pauses and soft passages, so as
to hear whether the beginnings or endings of words are cut off by the expander
or are suppressed too much. If necessary, experiment with the release time or
reduce the threshold a little bit.
Gates work basically in the same way, the major difference being the fact that
they reduce gain to a much greater extent. Once the level drops below threshold,
the signal is muted completely.
The classic application of a gate is the separation of signals delivered by multiple
microphones in a multitrack recording. Especially when drums are recorded,
a gate is almost indispensable to avoid crosstalk, e.g. of the cymbals into the floor
tom microphones.
However, you should always try to use the microphones and their directivity in
the first place to achieve some degree of channel separation and hence a better
and more natural result. Subsequently, a gate helps you optimize your set-up.
The program-dependent IRC allows you to set both gate and expander easily and
conveniently. Nevertheless, you should experiment with different release times
and trigger settings to get a perfect result!
2.2 The compressor section
(11) (12) (14) (19) (20)
(6) Use the THRESHOLD control to adjust the compressor threshold from
-40 to +20 dB.
(7) These three LEDs (AUTOCOM PRO‑XL and COMPOSER PRO‑XL only) indicate
whether the input signal is above or below the adjusted compressor
threshold. The yellow LED in the middle refers to the IKA “soft knee”
range (if IKA is on).
(8) Activating the SC EXT switch interrupts the link between the signal
input and the compressor control section. At the same time, an external
control signal can be fed in via the rear panel SC RETURN jack, taking over
control of the input signal dynamics reduction. You can, for example,
intensify the control function in a specific frequency range by inserting an
equalizer via the SC SEND AND SC RETURN jacks. Detailed information on
this special application can be found in chapter 3 ­“Examples of Sidechain
Applications”. This function, too, is only available on the AUTOCOM PRO-XL
and COMPOSER PRO‑XL.
(9) The SC MON switch links the sidechain input signal to the audio output,
thereby muting the audio input signal. For example, this allows you to
pre-monitor the sidechain signal in combination with an equalizer or other
device inserted into the sidechain channel. The SC MONITOR function makes
it easier to for example adapt the equalizer filters to the control signal.
◊ With the SC MONITOR switch activated, only the side-chain signal will
be present at the output, which is shown by the flashing LED switch!
(10) The RATIO control determines the ratio of input vs. output level with
regard to all signals exceeding threshold by more than 10 dB. Although the
compression starts earlier, the IKA characteristic ensures the smooth,
inaudible onset of the gain reduction, which is why the ratio value will be
reached only with 10 dB or more above threshold. It can be set continuously
from 1:1 (no compression) to oo :1 (limiter).
(11) The 12-digit GAIN REDUCTION display (MDX4600: 8-digit) informs you
about the current gain reduction applied (1 to 30 dB).
(12) The LO CONTOUR switch activates a high-pass filter in the side-chain
path and thus avoids the “pumping” effect caused by high-energy bass
frequencies and their influence on the compression process.
(6)(22) (10) (18) (21)
MDX4600
(7) (9)
(11)
(14)
(17) (19) (20)
(6) (8) (10) (12) (13) (15) (16) (22) (18) (21)
MDX4600
(7) (9)
(11)
(14)
(19) (20)
(6) (8) (10) (12) (13) (15) (16) (25) (18) (21)
MDX1600
Fig. 2.3: Compressor section control elements
(13) Use the ATTACK control to determine when the compression sets in once the
signal has exceeded threshold (MDX1600 and MDX2600 only). The setting
range is from 0.3 to 300 ms.
(14) Press the INTERACTIVE KNEE switch to change from “hard knee” to
IKA characteristic: Input signals exceeding threshold by up to 10 dB will
be processed with a “soft knee” characteristic. Above 10 dB the control
characteristic changes from “soft knee” to a more conventional “hard knee”
compression. The IKA characteristic allows for a subtle and musical
compression of the program material, and should be used whenever
inaudible compression is desired.
(15) The AUTO function, which is activated with the AUTO switch, disables the
ATTACK and RELEASE controls and derives these time values automatically
from the program material. It thus allows for a heavy and, at the same
time, musical compression of signals with varying levels or of complex
program material.
(16) The RELEASE control (MDX1600 and MDX2600 only) sets the time when the
original 1:1 gain is reached, after the signal has dropped below threshold
again. The setting range is from 0.05 to 5 s.
(17) Use the TUBE switch (MDX2600 only) to enhance the output signal
with the warm and transparent tonal character typically produced by
electronic tubes.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
(18) The OUTPUT control allows you to raise or lower the output signal by
max. 20 dB, so as to make up for a gain loss caused by the compressor or
limiter action. Raise the gain by roughly the same amount that it has been
reduced by the compressor. The GAIN REDUCTION display (11) reads the
value adjusted.
◊ When you adjust the LIMITER control in the peak limiter section,
please note that the output gain of the compressor is set before the
peak limiter. If the level is too high here, the peak limiter may respond
permanently (see LIMITER control (29) in the peak limiter section).
If the compressor is being used as a limiter, the attack time should be as short as
possible. This, in combination with a high ratio (>20:1), a medium to long release
time and the maximum possible threshold will protect your sound reinforcement
system effectively from getting overloaded.
2.3 The dynamic enhancer section
(23)
(19) The 12-digit INPUT/OUTPUT LEVEL display (MDX4600: 8-digit) reads
both the level of the incoming audio signal and the level at the dynamics
processor output. The range is from -30 to +18 dB (MDX4600: -24 to +18 dB).
(20) The IN/OUT METER switch selects whether the gain LEDs read the input
signal (switch pressed) or the output signal (switch not pressed).
◊ This display is referenced to the operating level selected with the
OPERATING LEVEL switch on the rear of the unit (-10 dBV or +4 dBu).
(21) The IN/OUT switch activates the corresponding channel. It provides
a so-called “hard bypass”, i.e. if it is OUT or the unit is not connected
to the mains, the input jack will be linked directly to the output jack
(COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600 only). Usually, this switch is used for direct A/B
comparison between unprocessed and compressed/limited signals.
Application hints
Setting the compressor will be much easier if you first set both limiter
and expander to a neutral setting by turning both threshold controls
(TRIGGER and LIMITER) to OFF.
Setting the compression ratio requires your “sense of hearing”: Anything goes.
In general, however, the ratio setting should not be too high for mix signals;
instead, use 2:1 as a starting point to preserve the natural sound of the music;
a ratio setting of about 4:1 has proved successful for vocal recordings. The IKA
(Interactive Knee Adaptation) characteristic allows you to achieve a gradual
and inaudible compression and hence to use higher ratios. If you want to use
the compressor as an effect in its own right, don‘t hesitate to experiment with
higher values.
Turn the THRESHOLD control counter-clockwise until the GAIN REDUCTION
display reads the desired gain reduction (don’t exceed 6 - 8 dB for mix signals).
During this process the volume is reduced audibly. Now turn the OUTPUT control
clockwise until this volume difference has been made up for. The levels of the
compressed vs. uncompressed signals can be compared with the INPUT/OUTPUT
LEVEL display activated with the I/O METER switch. These two levels should be
the same.
The AUTO function for the attack and release times provides a programdependent—and largely inaudible—dynamics control, which suits
most standard applications. If a somewhat more “open” sound processing
profile is required, you can set the attack and release times manually
(AUTO switch not pressed).
Start with a longer Release time, then make it gradually shorter. You will soon
notice an unnatural pumping effect caused by rapidly changing levels. Select a
longer release time until the effect cannot be heard any longer.
The Attack time setting, too, is highly dependent on the music material.
Select longer attack times for a subtle and musical compression. As a result you
avoid attack portions of treble signals being cut off if compression is triggered by
a high-level bass drum beat that is played at the same time. The sound remains
transparent and compact throughout.
(22)(24)
MDX1600
Fig. 2.4: Dynamic enhancer section control elements
The dynamic enhancer circuit implemented in all three dynamic processors
allows you to dynamically enhance the treble range. Since the bass portions of a
music signal often have the highest energy yield, they usually are the ones that
trigger the compression process, thus also reducing the gain of middle to high
frequencies. The enhancer controls the compression process and gradually adds
more highs, the stronger the treble range is compressed, so as to make up for the
subjective loss of high-frequency content.
(22) LEVEL control (MDX1600). The AUTOCOM PRO-XL features an adjustable
enhancer, on which you can set the amount of treble boost with the
LEVEL control.
ENHANCER switch (MDX2600 and MDX4600). Activates the
dynamic enhancer.
(23) ENHANCER LEVEL. The LED chain reads the current treble boost within a
range from -30 to 0 dB (MDX1600 only).
(24) IN/OUT switch (MDX1600). Use this switch to activate the enhancer circuit,
e.g. to assess the effect the enhancer has on the audio signal.
2.4 The de-esser section
(27) (26)
(25)(28)
MDX2600
Fig. 2.5: De-esser section control elements
From a circuitry point of view, the de-esser is placed in the side-chain path of the
compressor, so it will operate only if the compressor is active.
(25) LEVEL control (MDX2600). Instead of an adjustable enhancer, the COMPOSER
PRO-XL has a controllable de-esser, which helps you eliminate hiss noise
contained in the audio signal. The LEVEL control determines the amount of
frequency suppression.
DE-ESSER switch (MDX1600). The AUTOCOM PRO‑XL also has a de-esser.
At the touch of a button you can enhance the audio signal considerably,
especially when processing vocal recordings. Switch (25) can be found in the
compressor section.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
(26) DE-ESSER LEVEL (MDX2600). The LED chain reads the current attenuation
within a range from +3 to +12 dB.
(27) MALE switch. This switch adapts the de-esser to the male (switch pressed)
or female registers (not pressed).
(28) IN/OUT switch. Switches the de-esser on and off.
2.5 The peak limiter section
(32) (33) (34)
MDX4600
(30)
(32)
(33)
(34)
MDX2600/MDX1600
(29)
Fig. 2.8: Rear panel connectors and switches
Fig. 2.6: Peak limiter section control elements
(29) The peak limiter limits the signal to an adjustable level. When the LIMITER
control is turned fully to the right, the limiter is switched off. Owing to
its extremely fast “zero” attack, this circuit is capable of limiting signal
peaks without any overshoot. If the signal is limited for more than 20 ms,
the overall gain is reduced for about 1 s to avoid strong and thus audible
limiter effects.
◊ If you wish to use the peak limiter as a protecting device, the LIMITER
control and the OUTPUT control in the compressor section should be set
so that the peak limiter responds only rarely or never at all. It should
be triggered by peak signals only. To achieve creative sound effects,
on the other hand, you can also intentionally drive the peak limiter into
this peak limiting range.
(30) The LIMIT LED lights up as soon as the limiter is on.
2.6 The rear panel control elements
(34) INPUTS. These are the audio inputs. They are also on balanced 1/4" TRS and
XLR connectors.
(35) (36)
Fig. 2.9: SIDECHAIN connectors
(35) SIDECHAIN SEND. This is the unbalanced sidechain output, which allows
you to route the audio signal to other devices for external processing.
(36) SIDECHAIN RETURN. The sidechain input allows you to use an external
signal or the processed (e.g. with an equalizer) audio signal routed from the
SIDECHAIN SEND jack to control your COMPOSER PRO-XL or AUTOCOM PRO‑XL.
3. Examples of Sidechain
Applications
(31)
Fig. 2.7: Power supply and fuse
(31) FUSE HOLDER/VOLTAGE SELECTOR. Before connecting the unit to the
mains, ensure that the voltage setting matches your local voltage. A blown
fuse should only be replaced by a fuse of the same type and rating.
Please refer to chapter 6 “Specifications” for details.
MAINS CONNECTION. Use the power cord supplied with the unit to connect
it to the mains. Please note the instruc-tions given in chapter 5 “Installation”.
(32) OUTPUTS. These are the audio outputs of your dynamics processor. The two
matching 1/4" TRS and XLR connectors are wired in parallel and balanced.
Of course, unbalanced cables can be connected here as well.
(33) OPERATING LEVEL switch. This switch can be used to adapt the COMPOSER
PRO-XL, AUTOCOM PRO‑XL or MULTICOM PRO-XL to various operating levels,
i.e. to toggle between home recording level (-10 dBV) and studio level
(+4 dBu). The level meters will be referenced automatically to the nominal
level adjusted, so that the compressor works in its optimum operating range.
A very common type of application is to make the compressor threshold
frequency-dependent by inserting a graphic or parametric equalizer into the
side-chain path. To be able to keep the threshold setting on the MDX1600 or
MDX2600, unwanted frequencies should be cut with an inserted equalizer,
without affecting the levels of selected frequencies. For example, to control the
compressor from a narrow-band midrange frequency band, we recommend
reducing the bass and treble controls on the inserted EQ, while leaving the
midrange control set to 0 dB.
3.1 Eliminating interference
Insert an equalizer into the sidechain control path in the following order:
SIDECHAIN SEND - equalizer - SIDECHAIN RETURN. Turn the THRESHOLD control
to the left until the GAIN REDUCTION meter reads a clearly noticeable gain
reduction. Now the equalizer must be set so that all frequencies are reduced in
level, except for the interference frequencies. Thus, the interference signal will
trigger the compression.
Using this technique you can, for example, reduce the dynamics of a bass
drum that is too loud in an existing recording. Simply use an equalizer to cut
all frequencies above 150 Hz, so that the compression will be triggered by the
individual beats of the bass drum.
◊ To monitor the equalizer setting, press the SC MON switch to isolate
and play back the processed signal.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Once you have checked the EQ setting, switch off SC MON and adjust the
THRESHOLD, so that the compressor responds to the interference signals only.
Control element
SC EXT switch
SC MON switch
INTERACT KNEE switch
LO CONTOUR switch
THRESHOLD control
RATIO control
AUTO switch
ATTACK control
RELEASE control
OUTPUT control
Position
IN
OUT
OFF
OUT
+20 dB
4:1
OUT
0.3 msec
150 msec
0 dB
Tab. 3.1: Eliminating interference with an inserted equalizer (basic settings)
3.2 Emphasizing instruments
Conversely, you can also use your COMPOSER PRO-XL or AUTOCOM PRO‑XL
to highlight solo instruments or vocal tracks acoustically in a less than
perfect recording.
Please note that in this application only the amplitudes of the selected
frequencies should be reduced in level.
Compression produces a subjective volume reduction of the entire program
material. Only those frequencies selected on the equalizer will cause NO
compression and thus they seem to be emphasized acoustically. This inverse
type of compression helps you make instruments stand out even in
low-level passages.
4. Wiring
Dynamics processors are usually inserted into the insert paths of a mixing
console, because their signals are not added to the mix (unlike reverb or phaser
effects, which are fed into the signal path via the aux busses).
Mixer
Return
Send
Channel Insert
Out
In
COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600
Fig. 4.1: Inserting a dynamics processor into the insert path
You can also insert the COMPOSER PRO-XL, MULTICOM PRO-XL or AUTOCOM
PRO-XL into a sub-group insert (miking of drums!) or to process the mix output
of the console (Main Out and/or Main Inserts). Here, too, the processor should be
inserted into an insert path, so that you can fade out the overall signal by closing
the main faders on the console.
COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600
Return
3.3 Time-delayed compression
If you feed the audio signal directly into the SC RETURN input and at the same
time route it to the audio input via a delay unit, the dynamics processor will work
“anticipatorily”. With a bit of tweaking you can achieve “zero” attack effects for
specific frequencies. Longer delays produce an effect that is similar to an audio
tape being played back in reverse.
3.4 “Voice Over” compression (“Ducking”)
You can use the COMPOSER PRO-XL and AUTOCOM PRO-XL to lower music to a low
background level as soon as a speaker speaks into the microphone. In this type of
application the compressor section functions like an automatic fader controlled
by the speaker’s microphone, which is also connected to the SC RETURN input via
a preamplifier. Music and microphone signal are then mixed with the help of a
console. This application is called “voice over” compression or “ducking”, and is
used frequently in discotheques or radio stations.
3.5 Triggering additional sounds from a
rhythm track
This technique is used to give a rhythm track more “punch” by synchronizing the
rhythm instruments after recording. Only the expander/gate section is required,
the compressor and/or peak limiter remain disabled. Insert the bass guitar track
into the audio path of the COMPOSER PRO-XL (or AUTOCOM PRO-XL), and route
the bass drum to the SC RETURN input. Activate the SC EXT function to trigger
the bass guitar with the kick drum, i.e. the kick drum exceeds the expander
threshold, allowing the bass guitar signal to pass until the level has dropped
below threshold again.
Send
Return
Send
DAT Recorder
L
R
Mixer
Main Out
Main Insert
L
R
Fig. 4.2: Compressing a main mix signal with the MDX2600
◊ When you process a stereo mix signal, we recommend that you link
the channels in couple mode, because there is no faster and easier
way to find the right settings. However, remember to set the output
levels separately!
If you wish to use the dynamics processor as part of a P.A. system integrating
an active frequency crossover (e.g. BEHRINGER SUPER-X PRO CX2310), you can
connect it between the mixing console output and the crossover input,
or between the crossover and the power amps. In the latter configuration you
can process individual frequency ranges specifically (multi-band compression)
to prevent a few high-energy frequencies triggering the compressor to process
the entire frequency range. The illustration below shows how to set up this
configuration with the BEHRINGER MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600.
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
Unbalanced ¼" TS connector
MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600
strain relief clamp
sleeve
Ch1
Ch2
Ch3
Ch4
Hi
Low
Hi
Low
Ch1
Ch2
Ch3
Ch4
tip
sleeve
(ground/shield)
SUPER-X PRO CX2310
Input
Input
L
tip
(signal)
R
Fig. 5.2: 1/4" TS connector
Balanced ¼" TRS connector
strain relief clamp
sleeve
ring
tip
Power amplifiers
Mixer
Fig. 4.3: Multi-band compression with the MDX4600
sleeve
ground/shield
5. Installation
ring
cold (-ve)
tip
hot (+ve)
5.1 Rack installation
Each device requires one rack unit for installation in a 19" rack. Please allow an
additional 4" of rack depth for the rear panel connectors.
Be sure that there is enough air space around the unit for cooling. To avoid
overheating, do not place the unit on power amps, for example.
5.2 Audio connections
You will need a large number of cables for the different applications.
The illustrations below show the wiring of these cables. Be sure to use only
high-grade cables.
For connection of balanced and unbalanced plugs,
ring and sleeve have to be bridged at the stereo plug.
Fig. 5.3: 1/4" TRS connector
Insert send return ¼" TRS connector
strain relief clamp
sleeve
ring
tip
The audio connections of the MULTICOM PRO-XL, AUTOCOM PRO-XL and
COMPOSER PRO-XL are electronically balanced to avoid hum problems.
You can, of course, also connect unbalanced devices to the balanced inputs/
outputs. Either use mono plugs, or link the ring and shaft on stereo plugs
(or pins 1 and 3 in the case of XLR connectors).
2 1
3
input
1
2
3
output
1 = ground/shield
2 = hot (+ve)
3 = cold (-ve)
For unbalanced use, pin 1 and pin 3 have to be bridged
Fig. 5.1: XLR connections
sleeve
ground/shield
ring
return (in)
tip
send (out)
Connect the insert send with the input and the
insert return with the output of the effects device.
Fig. 5.4: 1/4" TRS connector for insert applications
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
6. Specifications
Audio Inputs
Type
Expander/Gate Section
XLR and 1/4" TRS connectors,
HF-shielded, servo-balanced
Impedance
+4 dBu
90 kW bal., 45 kW unbal. @ 1 kHz
-10 dBV
180 kW bal., 90 kW unbal. @ 1 kHz
Operating level
+4 dBu/-10 dBV (switchable)
Max. input level
+22 dBu balanced and unbalanced
CMRR
typ. 40 dB, >60 dB @ 1 kHz
Type
IRC (Interactive Ratio Control) expander
Threshold
variable (OFF to +10 dB)
Ratio
variable (1:1 to 1:8)
Attack
<1 msec/50 dB, program-dependent
Release
variable SLOW: 100 msec/1 dB,
FAST: 100 msec/100 dB
Compressor Section
Type
IKA (Interactive Knee Adaptation)
compressor
Threshold
variable (-40 to +20 dB)
Ratio
variable (1:1 to ∞:1)
Attack/release
variable (manual or automatic)
Auto characteristic
wave adaptive compressor
Manual attack time
variable
(0.3 msec/20 dB to 300 msec/20 dB)
Manual release time
variable
(0.05 sec/20 dB to 5 sec/20 dB)
Auto attack time typ. 15 msec for 10 dB, 5 msec for 20 dB,
3 msec for 30 dB
Auto release time
program-dependent, typ. 125 dB/sec
Output
variable (-20 to +20 dB)
Audio Outputs
Type
XLR and 1/4" TRS connectors
Electronically controlled servo-balanced
output stage
Impedance
95 W bal., 50 W unbal. @ 1 kHz
Max. output level
+21 dBu, +20 dBm balanced
and unbalanced
Sidechain Inputs
Type
1/4" TS connector, unbalanced,
HF-shielded, DC-decoupled
Impedance
45 kW
Max. input level
+24 dBu
Sidechain Outputs
Peak Limiter Section
Type
1/4" TS connector, unbalanced,
HF-shielded, DC-decoupled
Impedance
50 W
Max. output level
+21 dBu
Type
IGC (Interactive Gain Control)
peak limiter
Level
variable (0 dB to OFF (+21 dBu))
Ratio∞:1
Level 1 limiter type
System Specifications
Bandwidth
20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0/-0.5 dB
Frequency range
0.35 Hz to 200 kHz, +0/-3 dB
S/N ratio
115 dB, unweighted, 22 Hz - 22 kHz
THD
0.008% typ. @ +4 dBu, 1 kHz, gain 1
0.07% typ. @ +20 dBu, 1 kHz, gain 1
IMD
0.01% typ. SMPTE
Crosstalk
dB @ 1 kHz
clipper
Attack“zero”
Release“zero”
Level 2 limiter type
program limiter
Attack
program-dependent, typ. <5 msec
Release program-dependent, typ. 20 dB/sec
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MULTICOM PRO-XL MDX4600/COMPOSER PRO-XL MDX2600/AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 User Manual
De-Esser Section
Type
Power Supply
VAD (Voice-Adaptive De-esser)
Mains Voltage
MDX2600
Filter frequencies
8.6 kHz (female), 7.5 kHz (male)
Filter bandwidth
program-dependent
Level reduction
variable, max. 15 dB
MDX1600
Filter frequency
5-8 kHz
Filter bandwidth
program-dependent
Level reduction
max. 15 dB
Dynamic Enhancer Section
Type
IDE (Interactive Dynamic Enhancer)
MDX4600
USA/Canada 120 V~, 60 Hz
U.K./Australia 240 V~, 50 Hz
Europe 230 V~, 50 Hz
General export model
100 -120 V~, 200 -240 V~, 50 - 60 Hz
Power Consumption
MDX4600
max. 18 W
MDX2600/MDX1600
max. 15 W
Fuse
MDX4600
100 -120 V~: T 630 mA H
200 -240 V~: T 315 mA H
MDX2600/MDX1600
100 -120 V~: T 250 mA H
200 -240 V~: T 125 mA H
Mains connection
standard IEC receptacle
Dimensions/Weight
Filter frequency
2.5 kHz (lower cut-off frequency)
Characteristic
high-pass filter (6 dB/oct.)
Boost
max. 28 dB @ 7.5 kHz
MDX2600
Filter frequency
2.5 kHz (lower cut-off frequency)
Characteristic
high-pass filter (6 dB/oct.)
Boost
max. 28 dB @ 7.5 kHz
MDX1600
Filter frequency
2.5 kHz (lower cut-off frequency)
Characteristic
high-pass filter (6 dB/oct.)
Boost
variable, max. 40 dB @ 7.5 kHz
Dimensions
approx. 1 ¾ x 19 x 8 ½"
approx. 44.5 x 483 x 217 mm
MDX4600
Weight
approx. 5.3 lbs / 2.4 kg
Shipping weight
approx. 7.9 lbs / 3.6 kg
MDX2600
Weight
approx. 5 lbs / 2.3 kg
Shipping weight
approx. 7 lbs / 3.2 kg
MDX1600
Weight
approx. 5.3 lbs / 2.4 kg
Shipping weight
approx. 7.5 lbs / 3.4 kg
BEHRINGER makes every effort to ensure the highest standard of quality. Necessary modifications are carried
out without notice. Thus, the specifications and design of the device may differ from the information given in
this manual.
We Hear You