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Behringer COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 User Manual

Interactive 2-channel expander/gate/compressor/limiter of the reference class
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User's Manual
Version 1.3
June 2001



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  Summary of Contents for Behringer COMPOSER PRO MDX2200

  • Page 1 User’s Manual Version 1.3 June 2001
  • Page 2: Safety Instructions

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS CAUTION: To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not remove the cover (or back). No user serviceable parts inside; refer servicing to qualified personnel. WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this appliance to rain or moisture.
  • Page 3 It is our philosophy to share our joy with you, because you are the most important member of the BEHRINGER family. With your highly competent suggestions for new products you’ve greatly contributed to shaping our company and making it successful.
  • Page 4 Operating level switchable from +4 dBu to -10 dBV Servo-balanced inputs and outputs featuring 6.3 mm TRS and XLR connectors High-grade output transformer BEHRINGER OT-1 can be retrofitted Relay-controlled hard-bypass switch with auto-bypass function (failsafe relay) Manufactured under ISO9000 certified management system...
  • Page 5: Table Of Contents

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION ........................7 1.1 Before you begin ..........................8 1.2 Design concept ..........................8 1.2.1 High quality components and design ..................8 1.2.2 Failsafe relays ........................8 1.2.3 Balanced inputs and outputs ....................8 1.2.4 Transformer balanced outputs (optional) ................
  • Page 6 COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 6. EXTERNAL SIDE CHAIN APPLICATIONS ................24 6.1 The side chain function ......................... 24 6.2 Using an equalizer in the side chain path ..................24 6.2.1 The COMPOSER PRO as a “de-esser” ................24 6.2.2 Frequency-selective filtering of unwanted signals ..............25 6.2.3 Suppressing instruments during recording ................
  • Page 7: Introduction

    Because of its new IRC circuit design, the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO expander/ gate section can be used as an independent unit to eradicate noise offering almost limitless possibilities within this application.
  • Page 8: Before You Begin

    The fuse holder on the female mains connector has 3 triangular markings. Two of these triangles are opposite each other. The MDX2200 is set to the operating voltage shown next to these markings. It can be set to another voltage by turning the fuse holder through 180°. CAUTION: this does not apply to export models, which were designed e.g.
  • Page 9: Transformer Balanced Outputs (Optional)

    The transformer-balanced outputs, commonly used in radio and TV engineering, can also be fitted retrospectively upon request. The BEHRINGER transformer OT-1 is designed to the highest exacting standards and is available as an accessory.
  • Page 10: Compressor Section

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 The RATIO control is used to adjust the expansion ratio when the signal drops below the threshold value. This control determines whether the unit works as an expander (low ratio level) or as a gate (1:8). The expansion ratio can be set from 1:1 to 1:8.
  • Page 11: Peak Limiter Section

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 Using the SC MON switch will enable you to connect the side chain control signal to the audio output, whilst at the same time muting the audio input. This function provides you with the ability to monitor the side chain signal that is returned via inserted equalizers or other external processors.
  • Page 12: Rear Panel Control Elements Of The Composer Pro

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 2.4 Rear panel control elements of the COMPOSER PRO Fig. 2.5: Control elements of the rear panel SERIAL NUMBER. Please take the time to complete and return the warranty card within 14 days of the date of purchase, otherwise you will lose the right to the extended warranty. Or just use our online- registration (
  • Page 13: What Are Audio Dynamics

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 also cause uncontrolled currents and voltages. The resulting sound of the various frequencies is heard as noise. Even the best possible tape biasing can “only” provide signal-to-noise ratios of about 70 dB, which is not acceptable today since the demands of listeners have increased. Due to the laws of physics, improving the design of the magnetic carrier is impossible using conventional means.
  • Page 14: Compressors/Limiters

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 P/dB Clipping Headroom Operating level Effective SNR Noise floor Fig. 3.2: The interactive relationship between the operating level and the headroom The need therefore arises for a fast acting automatic gain control system which will constantly monitor the signals and which will always adjust the gain to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio without incurring signal distortion.
  • Page 15: Applications

    This is part of the many features of the COMPOSER PRO. 4. APPLICATIONS In this section, several typical applications of the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO are discussed. The follow- ing basic settings can resolve most dynamic problems. They are the ideal starting point. Please take the time to study the application examples carefully, in order to be able to make full use of the COMPOSER PRO’s...
  • Page 16: Expander/Gate Section

    “high ratio” expanders. If the signal falls below the threshold, it is radically attenuated. The BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO is equipped with a newly developed IRC (Interactive Ratio Control) Ex- pander, the ratio of which is automatically adjusted dependent on the program material. The response charac- teristics of conventional expanders tend to cut into the signal abruptly and the result of this is unacceptable most of the time.
  • Page 17: Controlling Leakage In The Studio

    Patch the MDX2200 into a snare drum channel for example and adjust it so that triggering only occurs on snare hits. Each mic should be set to its maximum operating level, monitored (see SC MON switch) and the THRESHOLD level set so that each snare hit sounds acoustically clean and seperate, as though it was played on its own.
  • Page 18: Reducing Leakage In Stage Mics

    It will prove useful to use the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO as the last component in the chain of effects units and use the noise reduction function of the expander/gate section. We recommend that you use a slow release time in order to maintain the natural reverb.
  • Page 19: Initial Settings For The Compressor Section

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 Output Gain 0 dB Threshold Ratio 2:1 Hard Knee Ratio 4:1 Limiter oo:1 IKA Curve green yellow Input Fig. 4.2: IKA characteristic of the compressor section The new IKA (Interactive Knee Adaptation) circuit prevents aggressive compression, created by high ratios, from sounding too unnatural.
  • Page 20: The Composer Pro As A Sound Effects Unit

    The COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 offers a solution to this problem that is by much more elegant. The SC FILTER switch allows you to activate a high-pass filter in the control signal path of the compressor. This filter makes sure that midrange and treble range frequencies are taken into account to a greater extent, and that a low-frequency signal triggers less compression than a midrange/treble signal of comparable level.
  • Page 21: Initial Settings For The Peak Limiter Section

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 Peak Limiting Level Program Limiting Release Threshold Input Output 5 ms approx. 1 s 20 ms t/ms Fig. 4.3: IGC characteristic of the limiter section The diagram illustrates the functioning of the IGC limiter. The solid graph represents the output signal, while the dashed graph above shows the input signal response.
  • Page 22: The Composer Pro In Digital Recording And Sampling

    It is recommended that you use the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO in order to protect the speaker. “Brick Wall” peak limiters are not normally necessary for PA systems, as amplifiers and loudspeakers are tolerant of short signal peaks.
  • Page 23: Protection Of A System With A Passive Crossover

    5.2.2 Protection of a system with an active crossover For systems using active crossovers, there are two ways to use the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO. The unit may be inserted between the console output and the crossover input. In this application, the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO will process the entire audio frequency spectrum.
  • Page 24: External Side Chain Applications

    When de-essing, simply insert an equalizer not into the audio path but into the side chain path of the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO. The equalizer is inserted between the SC SEND output and the SC RETURN input of the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO.
  • Page 25: Frequency-Selective Filtering Of Unwanted Signals

    6.2.4 Emphasizing musical instruments during recording On the other hand, you can use the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO to bring out an instrument solo or a lead vocal in a cluttered mix. Using the SC MON switch, match the frequencies of the equalizer to the frequencies of the instruments to be emphasized and for this it is best to use a notch filter with a high slope.
  • Page 26: Voice-Over" Compression ("Ducking")

    The bass guitar track is connected to the audio chain of the COMPOSER PRO MDX2200, while the bass drum is connected to the SC RETURN input. By activating the SC EXT switch, the bass guitar is now triggered by the bass drum.
  • Page 27: Selecting The Operating Level

    7.3 Selecting the operating level With the OPERATING LEVEL switch on the rear of the BEHRINGER COMPOSER PRO you can adjust the internal operating level of the unit. Thus, the COMPOSER PRO can be adapted perfectly to various levels (e.g.
  • Page 28: Specifications

    COMPOSER PRO MDX2200 8. SPECIFICATIONS AUDIO INPUT Connectors XLR and 1/4" jack Type RF filtered, servo-balanced input Impedance 50 kOhm balanced, 25 kOhm unbalanced Nominal operating level +4 dBu/-10 dBV switchable Max. input level +21 dBu balanced and unbalanced CMRR typ.
  • Page 29 3.4 kg BEHRINGER is constantly striving to maintain the highest professional standards. As a result of these efforts, modifications may be made from time to time to existing products without prior notice. Specifications and appearance may differ from those listed or shown.
  • Page 30: Warranty

    (user included) will void the warranty. at its sole discretion, either repair or replace the product. 6. If an inspection of the product by BEHRINGER shows that the 2. If the warranty claim proves to be justified, the product will be defect in question is not covered by the warranty, the inspection returned to the user freight prepaid.