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AD8K input levels: is there a "sweet spot"?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by erockerboy, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    I had a revelatory experience this AM while xfer'ing some drum comps into PTools via our Apogees.

    Was setting up some quick temp mixes for overdubs today. Got a drum submix happening, stuck a skosh of bus compression on it, and went to route it into the Apogee input. Had the bus output multed to a 2-trk return and the Apogee input simultaneously. Also had an Apogee output pair patched into another 2-trk return for confidence monitoring... so I was able to listen to both the send and the return from the AD8K, level-matched.

    I set a fairly hot level into the Apogee, then switched over to monitor the Apogee output. Hmm, interesting. Did I really put *that* much compression on the drum bus? Switched back over to the input monitor, and very interestingly, my submix sounded slightly *less* squashed. It was almost like the Apogee was 'sucking up' a hair of the stick attack on the snare and toms. And mind you, "soft limit" was turned OFF. I tried turning it on to see what would happen, and frankly could hear very little difference, if any, on the output side.

    Very, very interesting, I thought. I eased back on the bus master faders and listened again. When I backed off about 3-4dB according to the AD8K's meters, the "squashiness" that I was hearing went away. This was very subtle, mind you... just felt like there was an "RCH" less of the stick attack on the snare drum at the hotter input level. And again, this was as close to an "apples to apples" comparison as I can imagine, monitoring *directly* from the mult'ed feed to the Apogee input, and *directly* from the Apogee output, straight into the console's 2-trk A and B monitor inputs.

    I need to explore this further, but was wondering if any of you other AD-8000 users have had similar experiences. When I get a bit of free time (ha!), I am gonna try this with our HEDD (my other favorite converter) to see if it does the same thing.

    Interesting stuff, no?
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes... this is why I plan to do a shootout next month between some heavy hitters in ADC land. It will be a veritable "RCH" party.

    So far, the contestants are dB Technologies, dCS, Benchmark, and Apogee. I'm hoping someone will also donate a Crane Song for the event, or it would be nice if the rental budget gets doubled. Have to wait and see.
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    A related experience? I recently picked up a used Cranesong HEDD (original type) and set it up so that the AES output on Channel 1-2 on my 888/24 goes right into the HEDD. I noticed immediately that the analog output of the HEDD is of significantly lower volume than the same material simultaneously coming from the analog outputs of the 888/24. I guess I could turn down the little calibration screws on the 888/24, up until now I never touched them. I don't think I have an impedance mismatch anywhere. Any other ideas as to why the analog volume coming out of the HEDD seems so attenuated? (Makes no difference if any processing on the HEDD is switched in or out).
     
  4. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    EVERY piece of hardware and software has a sweet spot.

    Often the biggest thing more money buys is a wider one.
     
  5. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    EVERY piece of hardware and software has a sweet spot.
    Often the biggest thing more money buys is a wider one.


    AHA!!!!

    Is this why a lot of mastering guys seem to disdain the Apogee stuff in favor of Prism, db tech, etc? Maybe I need to start paying attention....

    Bob, in your opinion does the Apogee not have a particularly wide sweet spot? How much experience have you had with it?

    Ah, yes... this is why I plan to do a shootout next month between some heavy hitters in ADC land. It will be a veritable "RCH" party.
    So far, the contestants are dB Technologies, dCS, Benchmark, and Apogee. I'm hoping someone will also donate a Crane Song for the event, or it would be nice if the rental budget gets doubled. Have to wait and see.


    Ooo! I tell ya, if I were in your neck of the woods I would donate my new HEDD192 in a heartbeat. This is exactly the kind of shootout I wanna do... if I could only make the time.

    I love "RCH" parties, don't you? It's just that I never get invited...
     
  6. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    By the way, regarding littledog's CraneSong level comment... has anyone else noticed that the CraneSong stuff seems to prefer a MUCH lower nominal operating level than other gear? Both my HEDD and STC-8 seem to operate noticeably "cooler" than my other stuff. In particular, the STC-8, I've found, is much less forgiving about input level than any of my other comp's... coming off my console 2-bus at my "normal" mix level, I can *barely* touch the threshold knob on the STC without getting truckloads of gain reduction. There seems to be MUCH more play with the rest of my comps (Drawmer, Joemeek, Alan Smart, Distressor's etc).

    One of these days I gotta get to the bottom of this stuff...
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    With 2 x AD8000SE's available for my use, I still always track the drum overheads via the Hedd.

    I would calibrate the 888/24 to match the Hedd (process off) if the diference annoys you.

    :)

    Jules
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    BTW chilled out levels to the AD8K have been working fine for me lately....

    Max stuff out?

    No thanks!

    :)
     

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