9/13/2021
10
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With the latest advancements in dbx’s proprietary AutoEQ and AFS algorithms, a new input delay module for delaying the FOH system to the backline, Ethernet control via an Android, iOS, Mac, or Windows device, and updated Wizards, the DriveRack PA2 continues the DriveRack legacy of great-sounding, powerful, and affordable loudspeaker management processors, for a whole new generation. Dbx software 3rd Party Controllers. Software: Latest Version: Platform: Related Products: AMX dbx ZonePRO Controllers.

Undoubtedly, dbx Professional created a monster in the DriveRack PA series of loudspeaker management products. From my experience, these are the most popular sound system controllers by far. I get to travel around running sound for Christian artists and church worship teams, and DriveRack is the system processor that I see most often. The product has proven to be useful, dependable and priced at a point that makes it accessible to the church market.

New this year, the DriveRack PA2 picks up where DriveRack PA+ left off, and even adds a few additional features—the most exciting is that the DriveRack PA2 can be controlled with a laptop, Android or Apple device over a wireless network connection. For churches that already have a digital console, this means more freedom and accuracy tuning and mixing in your room. You won't be tied to the FOH or amp rack position. You are able to walk around your room as you make changes to your graphic EQ and time align your speaker delays. DriveRack PA2 also has an improved control and display section over previous models. Because dbx has organized the controls here, creating more space between the sections of controls. The front panel is much cleaner than on previous iterations, and will make more sense for first-time users of the product. For example, the enhanced resolution of the LED screen provides better detail, and the wizard button is now a big backlit button right next to the jog dial. Remembering years ago when I was mixing for a portable church and having to run the setup wizard on the DriveRack each week, the addition of a big overstated wizard button is a welcomed addition.

Into Specifics

Setting up the DriveRack PA2 is just as easy as previous DriveRack products. It has two inputs and six outputs (2xHi, 2xMid, 2xLow). These can be configured in various combinations appropriate to your system's setup. There are many presets configured for particular speakers by companies like JBL, Mackie, EAW, QSC, Yamaha, and many others. On the front is an XLR connection specifically for an RTA mic. The DriveRackPA2 does not ship with an RTA mic, but one can be purchased from dbx for $99.

Place the RTA mic in different positions throughout your room while noise bursts are played through the system. DriveRack then interprets this information and displays the EQ curve of the room.

Nolan Rossi

Reviewer

Familiar with using DriveRack's built-in display I opted to use a wireless router and go through the setup process via network control. Setting up the DriveRack with a wireless router was a breeze, and I was up and running in about five minutes. I then tested the set-up, processing the downloadable app for my iPad as well as my Mac laptop, and found that the app provides a similarly easy experience. Upon launching the app you will see the DriveRack devices recognized on the network along with their IP addresses. Click on the device you want to manage and you are taken to the home page which displays each feature set including: graphic EQ, auto EQ, Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS), subharmonic synthesis, compressor, input delay, crossover, parametric EQ, limiter, and alignment delay.

Yup, it's got a lot of features

I decided to start with the trusty set-up wizard, accessed from a button at the top of the screen. Clicking the button allows you the option to run wizards for specific purposes such as AFS, Auto EQ, and set-up, or you can run all wizards. The app interface is clean and easy to use. I quickly selected the appropriate input/output configuration and found the speakers I was using in the list provided. When I got to the auto EQ part of the wizard I was really pleased with the information and display in the app. An RTA mic is necessary for this part of the set-up, as you are asked to place the RTA mic in different positions throughout your room while noise bursts are played through the system. DriveRack then interprets this information and displays the EQ curve of the room in gray. Shown on the same display is the target EQ response that DriveRack is shooting for (yellow) and finally you are given a result EQ (green). The eight bands of auto EQ are shown, but you have the option of manually adjusting the EQ, as well.

DriveRack has a place in almost any sound system, but if your church is portable the DriveRack PA2 is especially suitable.

Nolan Rossi

Reviewer

The Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS) Wizard was another information-rich setup process using the app. There are up to 12 notch filters that DriveRack puts into place as needed. The user is asked to bring up a given vocal mic and then push the system past normal operating range. As a given frequency begins to feedback the RTA mic “hears” it and places the appropriate filter. Watching this process in real time via a frequency range curve is very interesting. The thought occurred to me that I could go through some of my most used vocal/speaking mics and see where they tend to feedback using this process. This information could then be used on the channel EQ in a more subtle way to treat the specific channel vs. the entire system. Nevertheless, the AFS worked great and got rid of the problem frequencies.

Dbx

About Face

Other functions, such as compression, graphic EQ and time delay, were all simple and straightforward to use. It's amazing how effortless using the DriveRack PA2 is because of this app. I was able to walk around the room to compare EQ changes throughout the area. Time delaying a section of speakers under a balcony was a breeze because I could actually sit in the area affected by the delay. It was about this point that I realized that dbx had changed my approach to the DriveRack. I didn't realize it, but after using the small LED display for years I had a bit of attitude toward DriveRack. It has always been full of rich features, but I hate scrolling through menus and sub menus to find the right parameter. I think a lot of engineers are like me in that they reach for the simplest tool for a given problem. Because of this if I were mixing on a system with DriveRack, I'd reach for the digital console's graphic EQ before the EQ in DriveRack. This app has changed all of that—and I can work with a proper division of labor between what happens on the console and what happens with the system.

DriveRack has a place in almost any sound system, but if your church is portable the DriveRack PA2 is especially suitable. The functionality and ease-of-use via the app is going to save you time and allow you to do your job better every Sunday morning. The street price is $499, which makes it an incredible value for any church.

All you need to get the most from your PA. Now with complete control from your mobile device.

The DriveRack® PA2 provides all the processing you need between your mixer and amplifiers to optimize and protect your loudspeakers. With the latest advancements in dbx’s proprietary AutoEQ™ and AFS™ algorithms, a new input delay module for delaying the FOH system to the backline, Ethernet control via an Android®, iOS®, Mac®, or Windows® device, and updated Wizards, the DriveRack PA2 continues the DriveRack legacy of great-sounding, powerful, and affordable loudspeaker management processors, for a whole new generation.

AutoEQ™

New, improved AutoEQ algorithm ensures an extremely accurate, fast, and non-intrusive automatic EQ experience.

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With the RTA Mic “listening” to your room, the new, updated DriveRack PA2 AutoEQ algorithm sets speaker levels and room EQ automatically in a matter of seconds. This means room adjustments can now be made very quickly, without subjecting the audience to annoying, lengthy broadcasts of pink noise.

Enhanced AFS™ Feedback Elimination

Enhanced AFS™ algorithm for faster, more precise feedback elimination, without adversely affecting your system’s tone.

Nothing turns audiences away like annoying and potentially painful audio feedback. Fortunately, dbx engineers have revisited their already-stellar Advanced Feedback Suppression algorithm and made it work even better. The DriveRack PA2 listens for and anticipates feedback and adjusts speaker output automatically before it even has a chance, while never altering your sound.

Updated Wizard Setup Functions

Updated Wizards make initial set up easy, while ensuring speaker tunings and other settings are up-to-date.

Dbx Driverack Pa2 Firmware Update

Wizard functions on the DriveRack PA2 guide you through easy, step-by-step processes to help you get the most from your loudspeaker system. Helps you easily configure level balancing, AutoEQ, Advanced Feedback Suppression, and provides access to built-in and constantly updating speaker tunings from most major speaker manufacturers.

Dbx Driverack Pa2 Control App

Available Input Processing

  • dbx Compression
  • AFS™ (Advanced Feedback Suppression)
  • Graphic EQ
  • 8-Band Parametric EQ (adjusted when using the AutoEQ)
  • Subharmonic Synthesis

Available Output Processing

  • Crossover (supports full range, 2-way, and 3-way systems)
  • 8-Band Parametric EQs (used for speaker tunings)
  • dbx Limiting
  • Driver Alignment Delays

Recommended for: Installed, Portable, Tour.

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