Wednesday, March 20, 2019

REVIEW: The dbx goRack

OK, so what you're about to read is going to cost you about sixty bucks (used), or as much as $180.00 new. When dbx first came out with the Go-Rack (based on their pro-sound RackDrive DSP technology), there was some sort of insane twenty-nine dollar introductory price, and then after that, it went up to sixty bucks new, which is when I got it. Now it's more, but it's still worth it.

The dbx speaker processing featured in the GoRack is what caught my eye. I needed a quick and dirty solution to head off any feedback problems with a live sound on-stage monitoring system. I put this line-level two-channel device in the system across a couple of on-stage monitor mix feeds just before the power amp inputs, and its one-button "anti-feedback" feature immediately got the job done every time out. Great!

Pluses: Each channel has its own gain adjustment knob, there's a master volume knob, and a "mute" switch that silences both channels.

Then I started digging in on this thing. There's 10 EQ curves to choose from. I selected one that sounded good on the monitors. Wow. Better than expected!

Then I began to notice how flexible this thing is, and saw a bunch of applications I have yet to use this thing for...

The two inputs (ganged XLR and 1/4-inch all-in-one deals) can be switched between mic and line levels, AND those inputs can be summed together (mono mode) to appear at both XLR outputs. Holy crap - with a powered speaker box, a guitar, a microphone, and the GoRack, suddenly you have a nice simple PA rig to do those menu-venue gigs; it's a two-in, dual mono out mixer!
 (And what's that 1/8" Aux jack on the back of the unit? Yes, that's were your 'break music' gets connected.)

But wait... what if... two mics were plugged into this thing, set to dual mono? That would mean each mic signal would appear at its respective line-level output and, yes; it's a two-channel microphone preamp for your home recording set up!
 What? You want to record with compression, based on some classic gear we have here at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig? No, you're not being greedy - Push a button, and yowza, value added, a two channel compressor based on the legendary dbx 163!

If you're thinking dbx forgot the DJ market, you'd be wrong. With the push of one button, you can kick in a Subfrequency Synthesizer across both output channels, adding in an "octave down" sound for the dance floor.

A lot of bang for the buck, this piece. I'll probably never use all the features, but I can guarantee there will come a time when the microphone preamp ability is pressed into service when we're recording an extra set of stereo channels from the top of the stairwell here at the studio for drum ambience, or in an emergency situation - it will be a session-saver!

The only downside I can see here is the external "wall wart" power supply. We all have enough of those annoying things lying around a cluttering up the rig. There's also no phantom power available on this thing, but hey, you can't have EVERYTHING.

No, I am not affiliated with dbx, nor am I paid for this review; there's no "buy it here" link included where I make a percentage. I just figured you might want to check one of these out. They're TOO handy for me not to pass along the information.

Here's the info at the official DBX website.

Mick Hargreaves / LSRR