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EMU 1820 no signal from phono input

Discussion in 'Recording' started by daddyo, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. daddyo

    daddyo Guest


    Let me start off by saying I'm not a pro. I bought an EMU 1820 used for the purpose of doing hobbyist recording and sound editing and some production. I run it on a windows XP box and as far as I know it's worked fine for the two years I've had it. Except that I never really tried recording an external source before, only playback from the wave pc channel. I do have some technical understanding, but I have been struggling with the EMU a bit.

    I have an extensive vinyl collection I want to preserve and 'clean up', as well as recordings on a minidisc. I tried plugging my minidisc player into the phono line input of my dock, and then created an input strip on the patchmix DSP console for the input. I added a peak meter and there's simply no signal being reported by the meter when I play the minidisc player... I verified that there's something coming out from the player, I tried creating a strip multiple times, no sound.

    without creating any sends, I figure there should still be a signal coming in and being reported by the peak meter, no? I'm not sure whether I did something wrong in patchmix or my dock is defective...
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure you don't want to use a phono input....that input is for a turntable
    Doesn't your EMU have line or aux inputs?
    I would think the mini disc player would have R/L stereo RCA connector outputs?
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Yeah, don't use "Phono" inputs for anything other than a turntable. In the first place, a "Line Level" signal will overdrive it. In the secong place, Phone inputs have RIAA EQ built in, and will make anything other than a turntable sound bad.

    Apparently, the Phono inputs on that EMU share Inputs 2. If anything is plugged into Inputs 2, it disconnects the Phono inputs.

    Plug your turntable into the Phono inputs, make sure nothing is plugged into Inputs 2, set up your software, and then see what happens.

    Plug your Minidisk into a different set of inputs, and see if it plays.

  4. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    My minidisc player is a portable, so I was using a mini RCA to L/R Y-plug. I suppose that kind of signal would have been bad, but I would expect something to come through. Nothing else is hooked up at the moment.

    I'll try hooking up the turntable instead. To test the minidisc, however, I will need to figure something else out, because the other inputs on the dock are 1/8'' Jacks. Can I find a way to hook up the minidisc into that?
  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    It's possible you damaged the phono input.
    Plug in your turntable and see if you still get a good signal.....
    Use the line in jacks with the appropriate adapter for the minidisc
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You need a 1/8" to 2x 1/4" jack lead to go from the minidisc player headphone out (or line out if it has one) to a pair of the EMU dock 1/4" line inputs. Use the highest output level on the player that you can achieve without clipping. The 1/8" jacks on the 1820 are surround sound outputs, not line inputs.
  7. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    Thank you all for your feedback, it is much appreciated.

    My fears were confirmed when I plugged in my turntable, as there was still no signal being reported. Either I broke the deck when I plugged my minidisc in there (doubtful, its a walkman with low power), or it was already malfunctioning when I got it. I guess I'm going to have to find another piece of hardware to give me a good signal to record my vinyl library.

    To Boswell, I have a 5.1 speaker set plugged into those minijacks. But thanks for helping!!
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I can't help but think you are plugging rca connectors into the spdif I/O on that emu. These accept a digital signal. Analogue audio will either not show up or show up as noise.
  9. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    That I am sure I am NOT doing... I know what the SPDIF connectors are, and they don't look anything like the Phono terminals, with the ground screw...

    Well I ended up ordering a replacement dock, so I'll see if that fixes it and will post here.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I would plug your turntable into the proper rca jacks and put on a record. Then go into the GUI for the EMU and turn on and off the different sends. I am sure the GUI must provide software routing for the unit. The default might not provide automatic routing to the headphones or whatever.
  11. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    Thank you for replying! Yes I'm fairly confident I am setting up the patchmix software to at least show a signal coming in from those jacks. HOwever there is no signal. I suppose replacing the dock will help troubleshoot this. If someone knows exactly what steps I must take to configure the patchmix gui and is willing to outline them so I cn confirm I am doing it right, I would appreciate it.
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Did you catch all of this? There's some good advice here, though it doesn't fix your phono input problem.

    From the quick start guide
    Just in case you hadn't considered this yet.
  13. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    If you have no clue or you strugle to understand, read the manual and/or contact E-MU support. Many of the default PatchMix templates do not have input-2 set up. Use the PatchMix template All Inputs and make sure there is a peak meter in the first insert of the strip. Ensure your turntable has RIAA output and not live level output as many modern tables do. If it has line level output use the line level 1/4-inch inputs of the AudioDock.
  14. In response (specifically to the bolded portion):

    A turntable sends a signal that is not even consumer (-10dBv) level.

    Your walkman sends out an amplified (upwards of 1 watt) signal that far outstrips any standard line level (-10dBv or +4dBu).

    You may think it has "low" power, but we are comparing an amplified signal that is upwards of 100 times louder than standard pro line level to a signal that requires significant preamplification just to meet consumer line level. Imagine plugging your headphones into the banana jacks on the back of a big fat Crown PA amplifier and having a listen. That's the differential we're dealing with here, and yes, it could easily torch those inputs.
  15. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    Thanks to all who responded to my post, even if it was to tell me to read the manual (which I do before bothering people, I'm not one of those who always expects assistance through life). IT was all helpful. I bought a replacement I/O deck and everything worked a charm... I might have fried the last one plugging something other than the phono into the phono jacks, that or, since I did buy it used, it might have been broken already by the previous owner. What matters is that it all works as it should. I had everything setup correctly in the first place.

    I went ahead and bought soundforge 10 and its pretty cool! I like that it has an easy to setup ASIO connection. Took me 2 minutes to figure it out, I'm recording straight into Soundforge, where I will be able to do all kinds of great restoration on my vinyl records. Yay!

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