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What is the correct / best way to use a powered speaker;


1) Mixing Desk levels set to be running a signal to 0db and the volume level on the back of the cab to be set to whatever level of volume is required for the venue.




2) powered cabs set to 0db and taylor the channel and master gains on the mixer to suit the level of volume for the venue.


Thoughts and reasons please.





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When I have used powered speakers for DJing, I have matched up the level LEDs and the desk and the cab so that when you see the main out on the desk hit the red, the speaker clip LED will be dipping into the red also. This saves having to keep looking at the back to check that you're not overdriving them if you are playing loud music. Of course, set them up by using a level where the red is JUST blipping on occasionally and not completely distorting the sound and overdriving the speakers. You can then change the levels on the desk to suit.
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Usually powered speakers have a detent position on the gain, or a marking saying where 0dB is, so I'd set it there so that the mixer bargraph level actually relates to something. It's easier to keep an eye on the desk in the driver's seat rather than keep looking to see if your clip lights on your speakers are flashing!


If you have a problem with signal to noise ratio (ie the speakers have a tendency to pick up hum from somewhere) then I suppose as a get-you-going tactic you can run the speakers attenuated and then add the gain at the desk.

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