Perform-VG - How do I set up input and output gains?


There's a flashing "Set" LED and weird "Mix" button.  How do I set up and manage the vocal and guitar levels in Perform-VG?


You have two inputs (vocals + instrument) and one output, so you must create a mix of your audio inside the Perform-VG itself.  You should think of your vocal level as the reference level, and your guitar level is then adjusted relative to the vocal level.

Assuming you have a microphone and a guitar plugged into their respective inputs in Perform-VG, here is the typical workflow for setting up levels in the box:

  1. Hold the "Set" button for a couple seconds and sing your loudest
  2. Release the "Set" button to reveal your optimal vocal input gain level, then allow the resulting red ring to time out and turn blue again
  3. Press the "Mix" button and slowly raise the guitar level, displayed as a green ring, until you're happy with its level relative to the vocal level, then allow this green ring to time out and turn blue again
  4. Adjust the default blue ring to raise or lower the Perform-VG's overall mixed output

That's it really!  Basically you're setting your vocal level, then setting your guitar level relative to the vocals, then setting your overall output level.  But there are some details hidden in there, let's look at them closer...

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What do the flashing colors on the "Set" button represent?
    The “Set” LED on Perform-VG flashes green, yellow, or red depending on levels received from your microphone and guitar.  At any given time, this button is displaying the loudest of the two inputs - either the microphone or guitar.  Green is good, yellow is okay, and red means that either the vocal or guitar input is clipping (too loud) and should be lowered.  The two inputs’ clipping checks are independent, meaning if neither input clips on its own, their “sum” will not clip either.

Microphone gain - Automatic VS Manual:
   After using the "Set" button and singing your loudest, the input gain displayed (red ring) is your measured optimal input mic gain.  This gain setting only applies to the XLR microphone input, not the instrument.  Allowing the automatic input gain's red ring to time out engages our "nudge" feature, which will lower the microphone's input gain if you clip multiple times in a short timespan.  This is default behavior, and is ideal for quickly setting your input gain without much hassle, however you don't have use nudge if you don't like it!
   It's also possible to manually set your microphone's input and "lock" it to one setting.  To do this, hold the "Set" button until the button turns red, then release it.  You'll see the center ring turn red, and you can now turn the center control knob to raise or lower your microphone's input gain.  Once you've dialed in a setting, let go of the knob and allow the red ring to time out and turn blue.  This has now locked your mic's input to that level, so even if you're constantly clipping it'll stay put at that input level.  This setting is volatile, so if you power-off the Perform-VG it will be forgotten, or if you press the "Set" button again (even just to adjust brightness) then nudge will be re-engaged.  It is the act of manually adjusting the mic's input gain (red ring) then allowing it to time out that disables nudge.
You can find more info on input gain and nudge here.

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    The "Mix" button is used to set the guitar's level relative to your vocal level.  The guitar’s mix level is subtractive - full green ring in the Mix menu is at unity, which is likely to be louder than your vocal signal (a microphone’s output level is typically lower than a guitar's output level).  Assuming you've already gone through the steps of setting your microphone's input gain, you can use this Mix menu to lower your guitar's level in the mix so it isn't overpowering your voice.
    Note that there is no input gain setting for your guitar signal.  If you see the "Set" button lighting up red when you play guitar and aren't singing, you will need to lower the output level of your guitar on the instrument itself to avoid clipping the guitar input.

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    The blue ring shown by default around the control knob is your overall mixed output level.  This level adjusts your vocal and guitar together, so their mix relative to each other is unaffected.  This level is subtractive, so full blue ring is 100% output from the "Mic Out" XLR output on Perform-VG, which can of course be lowered when necessary.  This level is useful for lowering your overall output on the fly, and you can even start your performance at 75% and leave yourself a little headroom in case you need a boost later (with your soundperson's permission of course).  It's also possible to remap this control to other parameters, as discussed on page 14 of the Perform-VG manual.

*This page was written referencing Perform-VG firmware build 23.  Updates are available via our VoiceSupport application

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