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Fireface 800 question

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Wayon, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    Hi. I am plugging an SM7 mic into the FF800 which is connected to my laptop via a firewire 800 express card. I'm runnng Reaper. My issue is I have to crank up the gain on the FF800 really high (almost max) in order to get a signal on Reaper.

    This doesn't seem right. Am I missing something?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Quite a few people seem to have gain issues with SM57s and I'm sure SM7 has been mentioned too.

    Can I ask, what are you recording (bird chirps? cranked Marshall stacks?) and what do you mean by "signal"... a tiny movement of the volume indicators, or a signal which is nearing 0dB and lights up the orange indicators?

    However...
    I use the little brother of the SM58 with an old-ish budget mixer and I get good signal levels without maxing the gain. A new bit of kit shouldn't struggle like this.
    Check there's no input pad activated, and no loose connections. And that you're using an XLR cable plugged into a balanced connection (which gets you another 6dB, I believe, for free).
     
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Do you have you're settings correct on your RME mixer (TotalMix) check your signal there and make sure you have the correct gain set and routing to your software
     
  4. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    I'm just starting out so I am testing things out. Literally. "Testing, testing, 1,2,3" And with the gain maxed out I'm not getting 0dB with normal speaking 1" off the mic.

    I've tried two different cables and different inputs and I don't know of any pads on the FF.

    Another thing though, I bought the FF used. You don't suppose it's damaged? That would really suck.

    I'm getting more mics this week. I'll try some more and see what happens.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    And Totalmix is a good idea too. I will check there.

    Thanks.
     
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Wayon:
    In TotalMix you can do a CTRL+preset1 from your keyboard and all channels will default to phones which is the best place to start and check your levels at the FF...make sure the input meters are there...go from there
     
  7. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    Ok. So I checked the levels at the FF from TotalMix. The levels are there, but with the gain maxed out I have to yell in order for the signal to clip. Speaking directly into the mic peaks at -10db. That seems low to me. Am I wrong here?
     
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    -10dBFS is a reasonable input level. This means if you record something, and you start yelling, it still won't clip for a while. Unless you have to start spewing blood to do it.
     
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    However, if the gain is literally turned all the way up, then that is a problem.
    A SM7 plus the fireface with maxed gain should be nearly clipping if a cricket were to fart in the room. Granted, the SM7 is a relatively insensitive mic, but the gain on that FF800 is wide open and prodigious.

    Are you sure you're plugged into the correct input? You are going into the MIC input, not the line input, right?
     
  10. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    Yes, I am plugging into the XLR mic input. The levels are the same on all the front inputs. Something is not right.
     
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    SM7B and a Neve Portico = about 55-60dB of gain for the average singer at 8".

    What is the fireface pre gain?
    I had two fireface for about 3 months, I think I had a simular issue.
     
  12. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    According to the manual, the gain range is 50dB.
     
  13. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    well, that may be your issue
     
  14. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Check your RME Fireface settings (not the TotalMix) and be sure you're input levels are set to mic and that the front/rear settings for input 7/8 are set to front...make sure phantom power to those is off.
    Also if this is something you bought used you should reset the RME FF setting to default by pushing the "Read Flash Memory"...that way you have a good starting point in case the previous owner messed the settings up....check your version in the "About" tab you should have 2.95 and 2.70 and check the DDS tab which should be set to 1X 44.1 (if that's what you want to recording at)..
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    IIRC-60 dB. However, I just did a VO project with a color commentator using an AEA R84 (about the same sensitivity) and at the 4:00 position I was coming dangerously close to clipping.

    J
     
  16. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Wayon:
    I'm seeing -10 to -15 on my Totalmix input 7 with it selected to "front" XLR and gain turned all the way up...which I believe is normal for a dynamic mic.
    Remember these inputs can be used for a variety of levels..."all the way up" will be for mic levels as opposed to line level instruments.
    Your green LED should come on but not the overlimit red LED.
    Maybe you have it routed incorrectly....make sure you can hear the mic on the FF headphone jack.....then make sure you have the mic input routed to AN1+2 or 3+4 or 5+6 (whatever your DAW settings are) move the sliders at the bottom AN1+2 etc and then see if you get signal into your recording track...
     
  17. Wayon

    Wayon Active Member

    I found out the problem! It's the mic. I bought it new. I tested it out when I got it home, but I never realized how low it actually was. I AB'd it with an SM58. Wow. The 58 is way hotter. So I took it back and they are replacing it.

    But I really appreciate all the responses.

    This place rocks! Thanks.


    W
     

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