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I want to channel my guitar chain through my mixer so that I can feed multiple guitar amps.

I don't want to blow anything up (except the neighborhood) so here's my proposed setup.

edit I've had the 4-wire signal chain through my fx pedal and the amp1 preamp. Which was output in stereo from the fx pedal to amp1 and amp3 and it sounded and worked great.

edit 2 (specs)

  • amp1 +4dBV or -10dBV
  • amp2 10dBu or 0dBu
  • amp3 -10dBu
  • amp4 -10dBu or +4dBu.
  • mixer main out +24dBu 100Ω, aux out +18dBu 100Ω

guitar--fx[input]--fx[loop_send]--amp1[input]--amp1[loop_send]--fx[loop_return]

  • fx[out_L]--mixer[channel_1]
  • fx[out_R]--mixer[channel_2]
  • mixer[aux_out_1]--amp1[loop_return]
  • mixer[aux_out_2]--amp2[loop_return]
  • mixer[aux_out_3]--amp3[input]
  • mixer[ aux_out_4]--amp4[loop_return]

Guitar signal chain

  • 4 wire through my multi-Fx pedal (ext loop) and guitar amp (fx loop)
    • guitar to fx pedal input
    • fx pedal loop send to amp input
    • amp loop send to fx pedal loop return
  • fx pedal outputs (L/R) to mixer
  • mixer aux outputs
    • amp loop return
    • other amp main instrument input (or fx loop return)
    • third amp main instrument input (or fx loop return)
    • ...

so the fx pedal will include the preamp of my guitar amplifier which would be my sound that i'll send to a few guitar amps (i believe they all have fx loops that bypass any preamps). I know the amps will colour my sound and it's probably not going to be ideal but I want to know if it can be done without blowing anything up!!!

I guess the main questions are

  • can i run my guitar fx pedal straight into the line inputs on my mixer
  • can i run the mixer aux outputs into my guitar amps (either the main instrument input or fx loop return jacks)

I have a DI box with 4 channels if needed. do we need the specs to work it out or is it generally ok to do this kinda thing?

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  • Pretty sure it will work. But the best thing for you to do next is just try it. You won’t break anything as long as you’re careful with volume levels. Aug 15, 2023 at 11:27
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    yeah I agree, I just can't wrap my head around the difference in levels between a guitar / fx pedal / mixer output. I thought that line level would be alot greater than a guitar output but you can plug a guitar or fx pedal into the input of your amp. I had learnt alot last year before work got busy, now I'm just wanting to plug in without reading through another article about dBV/dBu/impedance matching.If I get around to it this week I'll just make sure everythings turned all the way down and go from there
    – yarns
    Aug 15, 2023 at 22:36
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    Everything before the desk is 'instrument' level. Everything after the desk is 'line' level. Amp FX loops may be either of these - it depends what you're expected to plug in to the loop - another pedal, instrument level; a rack effect, line level. You'll have to check the manuals to see what each is expecting.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 16, 2023 at 7:43
  • @Tetsujin I want to plug the mixer output into the Amp FX loop return. The amp specs for each one are (I put two values for switchable inputs): A +4dBV or -10dBV, B 10dBu or 0dBu, C -10dBu, D -10dBu or +4dBu. The mixer output is +24dBu 100ohm and aux output is +18dBu 100ohm... I'll update the question with this
    – yarns
    Aug 16, 2023 at 22:57

1 Answer 1

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You usually don't need to know the exact specs of the input and outputs of your gear to connect them up as long as you know which level range it's in. Knowing that you can better prepare gain staging (more below). The three most common level ranges are mic, instrument and line level:

enter image description here

To answer the questions:

can i run my guitar fx pedal straight into the line inputs on my mixer

Yes, pedals outputs are line level so that's fine.

can i run the mixer aux outputs into my guitar amps (either the main instrument input or fx loop return jacks)

Yes, you can! But, you should attenuate (turn down) the AUX output level first. Mixer outputs are line level. On your mixer channel, turn your input gain knob all the way anti-clockwise while having your fader at 0dB. Connect your instrument to that channel and make sounds. Turn the gain knob slowly up until the sound from your amp is loud, but not too loud. From that point on you just use the fader to control the relative gain of your instrument in the mix.

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  • kool, looks like everything overlaps around 0.1V to 0.08V which tells me that they are all interchangable if gain staged properly. Except speaker level of course. I assume the fader should always be aimed at 0dB? Thats kool thanks @htor now i just gotta find the time to dive back into the mixer manual to figure out what i was doing!
    – yarns
    Oct 26, 2023 at 1:12
  • Having faders always at 0dB (or Unity Gain) level is a common practice, but its not always a must-have. Sometimes you want to attenuate the signal more in the fader so you can have more headroom to make it louder when necessary. But this mostly concerns live production with varying input level. Just dont push it down too much, so that the preamp has to work harder, since that might introduce more noise. But having it between +/+ 3dB is okayish I guess
    – flohack
    Nov 2, 2023 at 10:55

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