Alto Pro Truesonic Series - Hardware Setup

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alto ts series mainWhether you're performing at a coffee house, wedding, house of worship or other small to medium-sized venue, the Alto Professional Truesonic series speaker is a phenomenal choice.  This article walks through the basics of setting up a Truesonic series speaker for use in a number of common scenarios.

 

Contents

  1. What is Gain Staging?
  2. Traditional PA Setup
  3. Mobile DJ
  4. Singer/Songwriter
  5. Direct Audio Source
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Further Technical Support

 

What is Gain Staging?

The simplest answer is that gain staging is the process of setting every piece of equipment in your setup to their optimum levels to ensure that the final output is as solid and strong as possible without any distortion.  This article walks through the four most common scenarios using an Alto Professional Truesonic speaker and the basic gain staging techniques for each scenario.

For more information on gain staging, see the articles linked here.

Important: In any scenario, if you hear distortion or clipping sounds coming from your Alto Professional Truesonic series speaker, immediately stop the audio and re-examine all of the levels across all of your equipment.  

If you continue to experience distortion or clipping sounds, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker and then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

Note: In each setup below, we recommend always using the correct connection cables without the use of any adapters for the most solid connection and best audio signal possible.

 

 

Traditional PA Setup

The traditional PA setup is one where an audio source, such as a microphone or instrument, is connected to a mixer, and the mixer sends the main audio output directly to the Alto Truesonic speaker(s).  

pa setup1

In this example, we are using a standard dynamic microphone connected to an Alto mixer, which is sending the main audio output to a pair of Alto Truesonic TS115A speakers.  

Note: These steps can be used with nearly any microphone, instrument, or mixer in the same basic manner.

  1. First, ensure that all channel faders, volume controls, and gain levels are all the way down.  Connect the microphone to the Channel 1 input.

  2. Now, with the gain level all the way down, set the Channel 1 volume control to unity - or 0dB.  Then set the Master volume control to 0dB (unity) as well.

    alto ts115a chan1     alto ts115a main vol

  3. Connect the main Left and Right outputs from the mixer to INPUT 1 on each of the Alto Pro TS115A speakers.  Set the Alto TS115A INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level just below where the Mic and Line levels meet (0dB).  On a clock, this would be the 11 o'clock position. 

    Important: In the Traditional PA setup, we highly recommend always setting the INPUT VOLUME level below 0dB. You should never need to increase the level beyond the 12 o'clock (0dB) position.


  4. Power on the mixer and then speak, sing, or play into the microphone and slowly increase the Channel 1 Gain until the Master volume signal reaches the optimum level when the audio source is at its loudest.  

    On most mixers, the optimum volume level is when the signal on the mixer output meter reaches just up to, and occasionally into, the yellow.  The signal level meter should never reach the red.  Once you have done this, turn the channel volume level all the way back down.

    alto ts115a level meter

    Important: Be sure that as you increase the level of the Master volume, you do not have any distortion coming from the speakers.

    If you experience distortion or clipping sounds from the TS115A, immediately stop, turn down the levels, and reassess your settings to ensure that they are correct.  If you continue to experience distortion or clipping sounds, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker and then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

  5. Do this for each channel on your mixer that you have an audio source connected to. 

  6. Once you have followed the steps suggested above for each channel, lower all of the individual channel volume levels and power on the Alto Professional TS115A speaker.  Now mix the individual channel volume levels in reference to each other with the loudest channel in the mix set no higher than 0dB.  

    To adjust the overall volume level output coming from the speakers, simply turn the Master volume level on the mixer down.

 

 

Mobile DJ Setup

The most common Mobile DJ setup typically consists of a computer connected to a DJ controller/mixer, which then sends the main audio directly out to the Alto Truesonic speakers.

mobile dj

In this example, we are using a Numark NS7II with a laptop that meets the NS7II minimum specifications (see the NS7II product page).  The NS7II main outputs are then connected directly to the Alto Professional TS115A speaker(s).

Before beginning, ensure that any and all necessary programs and drivers for your DJ controller are installed and working correctly.  For information and assistance setting up a number of different Numark DJ controllers, see this link.

Note: These steps, while slightly different for each DJ controller, can be used in most Mobile DJ setups.

 

  1. First, ensure that all channel faders, volume controls, and gain levels are all the way down.  Connect the computer to your DJ controller with the included USB cable.

  2. On your controller, move the crossfader all the way to the left toward Deck 1.  

    alto ts115a crossfader2

  3. Next, adjust the channel volume knob/fader all the way up to maximum.

    alto ts115a channel fader2

  4. Connect the main Left and Right outputs from the controller to INPUT 1 on each of the Alto Pro TS115A speakers. Set the Alto TS115A INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level just below where the Mic and Line levels meet (0dB). On a clock, this would be the 11 o'clock position. 

    Important: In the Mobile DJ setup, we highly recommend always setting the INPUT VOLUME level below 0dB.  You should never need to increase the level beyond the 12 o'clock (0dB) position.

  5. Power on the controller and then the Alto speakers.  

  6. Open your preferred DJ software, add a song to Deck/Channel 1, and begin playing the audio.  Slowly increase the Channel 1 gain level until it reaches the optimum level.

    On most professional DJ controllers, the optimum level of the channel can be adjusted by sight.  As you increase the channel volume level, the channel level meter will also increase.  The optimum level is when the level meter occasionally reaches between 75% - 80% without going above that level.

    alto ts115a chan1 meter

  7. Finally, slowly increase the Master Volume level until the master signal reaches its optimum level.  

    The optimum volume level will not have any distortion from the speakers.  The Master Output signal level on the controller can occasionally reach up to about 75% - 80% without going above that level.  The signal level meter should never peak to the top.

    alto ts115a master meter1

    Important: Be sure that as you increase the level of the Master Output, you do not have any distortion coming from the speakers.

    If you experience distortion or clipping sounds from the TS115A, immediately stop, turn down the levels and reassess your settings to ensure they are correct.  If you continue to experience distortion or clipping, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker, then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

  8. Do this for each channel you will have audio playing from.

To adjust the overall volume level output coming from the speakers, simply turn the Master volume level on the controller down.

 

 

Singer/Songwriter

The basic singer/songwriter setup is one where a microphone and/or line-level instrument (such as a keyboard synthesizer) is connected directly to the Alto Truesonic speaker(s) without any mixers or other equipment in between.

singer songwriter3

In this example, we are using a standard dynamic microphone and M-Audio Venom keyboard synthesizer each connected directly to its own Alto TS115A speaker.

Note: These steps can be used with nearly any dynamic microphone and/or line-level instruments that can be directly connected.  However, be aware that every instrument and microphone can have different sensitivity levels which will affect the levels.  

 

  1. Ensure that the first TS115A is powered off, and connect the dynamic microphone to INPUT 1.  Set the INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level to 0dB.  On a clock, this would be the 12 o'clock position where the LINE and MIC levels meet.


  2. Power on the Alto Pro TS115A.  Speak or sing into the microphone and slowly increase the INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level until you have reached the optimum level for the gig or room that you are in.  

    The optimum level in this scenario depends upon your location.  As you increase the level slowly, be sure that there is no distortion or clipping sounds when the speaker/singer is at their loudest.

    alto ts115a rotate input level

    Important: If you experience distortion or clipping sounds from the TS115A that is not resolved simply by lowering the VOLUME level, immediately stop, turn down the levels, and reassess your settings to ensure that they are correct.  

    If you continue to experience distortion or clipping sounds, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker and then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

  3. Do not yet power on the synthesizer or the second Alto TS115A. Connect the main output from the synthesizer to INPUT 1 on the Alto TS115A. Set the Alto TS115A INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level just below where the Mic and Line levels meet (0dB). On a clock, this would be the 11 o'clock position. 

    Important: When connecting a line-level instrument directly to an Alto Truesonic series speaker, we highly recommend always setting the INPUT VOLUME level below 0dB. You should never need to increase the level beyond the 12 o'clock (0dB) position.

    alto ts115a input level

  4. Ensure all volume and gain levels on the synthesizer are turned all the way down. Power on the synthesizer and then power on the Alto TS115A. Begin playing the synthesizer and slowly increase the main volume level until you reach the optimum level for the gig or room that you are in.

    The optimum level in this scenario depends upon your location and the level of your microphone.  Simply adjust the volume level on the synthesizer and mix to your optimum microphone level.

    Important: Be sure that as you increase the level on the synthesizer, you do not have any distortion coming from the speakers.

    If you experience distortion or clipping sounds from the TS115A, immediately stop, turn down the levels, and reassess your settings to ensure that they are correct.  If you continue to experience distortion or clipping sounds, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker and then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

 

 

Direct Audio Source

The direct audio source setup is one where an audio source such as a tablet or phone is connected directly to the Alto Truesonic speaker without any mixers or other equipment in between.

direct audio

In this example, we are using an iPhone 5s with iOS 7.1.1.  We have connected the 1/8" stereo (headphone) output directly to INPUT 1 on an Alto TS115A using a stereo 1/8" to stereo 1/4" TS audio cable.

Note:  These steps can be used with nearly any line-level audio source such as most phones, tablets, mp3 players, and other audio sources such as CD players, etc.

  1. First, power off the Alto Truesonic speaker, make sure that your audio source is not playing any audio and turn the volume level on the audio source all the way down.

  2. Connect your audio source to the Alto speaker using the appropriate cable. Set the Alto TS115A INPUT 1 VOLUME 1 level just below where the Mic and Line levels meet (0dB). On a clock, this would be the 11 o'clock position. 

    Important: When connecting a line-level audio source directly to an Alto Truesonic series speaker, we highly recommend always setting the INPUT level to 0dB. You should never need to increase the level beyond the 12 o'clock (0dB) position.

  3. Power on the Alto speaker, then begin playing sound from your audio source.  Slowly increase the volume on the audio source until you have reached the optimum level.  

    The optimum level in this scenario depends upon your location.  As you increase the level slowly, be sure that there is no distortion or clipping sounds when the song/audio is at its loudest.

    Important: Be sure that as you increase the level on the synthesizer, you do not have any distortion coming from the speakers.

    If you experience distortion or clipping sounds from the TS115A, immediately stop, turn down the levels, and reassess your settings to ensure that they are correct.  If you continue to experience distortion or clipping sounds, power the speaker down to ensure that no damage is done to the Alto speaker and then contact Alto Professional Technical Support for further assistance.

 

Additional Resources

 

 

Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Alto Professional product, or if you have pre-sales or parts questions, the Alto Professional technical support team is available to help!

Each product has a dedicated support page on the website where you can find manuals, specifications, software updates, and troubleshooting guides: www.altoproaudio.com

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.

 

 

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