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Genelec input sensitivity

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by nottooloud, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. nottooloud

    nottooloud Guest

    Trying to go direct from a MOTU Ultralite to my new Genelec 8040As.
    The Genelecs are crazy sensitive. I have to pull the MOTU
    master back 30 dB to be comfortable, and that's with the
    Genelec trims all the way down. I'm sure that if I output
    full signal I'd be picking driver pieces out of the back wall.

    Am I missing something obvious, or does everyone insert attenuators,
    or should I be driving these with a Radio Shack mixer with -10dB
    RCA outputs (kidding, don't bite me), or what?
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Which outputs on the MOTU are you using to drive the Genelecs?
  3. nottooloud

    nottooloud Guest

    Main Outs
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    If I remember correctly, you should be able to switch the outputs to -10 in the Cuemix panel. Have you tried that?

    I can't find any other info on the unit, a manual would be nice. Though I am a MOTU owner and am a member on their site, they still want to charge me 20 bucks for a copy... Sheesh!

    Could be an impedence mismatch between the Genelecs and the MOTU.

    Are you using balanced TRS to XLR cables, properly wired?
  5. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Is there a -10dBV/+4dBu switch somewhere on the monitors? If so set it +4dBu. The -10dBV setting will put more gain in the path.

    I use attenuators on my Dynaudios. I use the Switchcraft adjustable attenuators provided with my avocet.


    It took some time for me get the speakers perfectly balanced. But after some tweaking they worked great. If you use attenuators, remember to put them on the input to the amplifier on speaker.
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    According to the manual, it's a variable adjustment from -6 to +6dB...
  7. nottooloud

    nottooloud Guest

    Correct, the Genelecs adjust from -6 to +6, that being the
    input level required to get you 100 dB at 1M.
    I probably want to top out at about 90, and I'm pretty sure full output
    from the UltraLite is well above +4, although I can't find specs.
    The MOTU's UltraLite webpage says
    "analog 24-bit 96-kHz on +4/-10 bal/unbal TRS" 6 inputs and 8 outputs, as if the outputs can do -10dB.
    I don't see anything that relates in CueMix or MOTU Audio Setup.
    I can't find my UltraLite manual, either.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    or what

    this is an issue that comes up and so it should
    it's good that you have stopped a situation that doesn't feel right and it's not that you are doing anything wrong
    we don't use real mixing desks anymore
    ... real desks with a real old time master section

    I've posted here many times in the past about my thoughts on what should be between your interface outputs and any of the monitoring combinations you have
    ... from Main Monitors to Cue Systems

    it's all about headroom and operating levels and the differences between the recording stage and the mastering/final stage

    don't want to start it ALL again

    day one and first record track it might be typical to level lots of head room and have the master up at zero while the channel strip is at zero and the digital margin is -6dBFS with averages at around -18, -20 or even as much as -30dBFS

    remember you mentioned the 30dB in the first post

    then at the end of the whole record a song journey, you may end up with a crunched in your face final mix hovering around -0.1dbFS with averages of -4.5dBFS and higher if you are trying to compete with the ??? pros :cry:

    so now you will need that master fader way down below -30dB

    before all the flames come

    Some of the Old Time desks had an attenuator or level switches on the mix bus and /or masters that would quickly give a number of references to switch too

    I think everyone with a DAW should have a seperate monitoring controller on the interface outputs
    it can be simple and passive ... perhaps DIY
    throught to expensive with a combination of analog and digital ... and have a classy brand name on it like Crane Song

    either way
    understanding Gain Structure through you total signal chain is good knowledge to have
  9. nottooloud

    nottooloud Guest

    Looks like mine is going to have the somewhat less classy name of SM Pro.
    They're Australian, though, so thay can't be all bad.
    Completely passive, and if the pot's crap, I'll replace it.
  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Australian !!
    " she'll be right mate "

    probably made OS
    but if you can screw dannyO dwon to a good cheap deal then the idea of switch and pot replacement in the future may be possible

    it could even get you bitten by the DIY bug :D

    I'm having a sniff arounf the SMPro site and can't find the unit
    I've found the Stage Buddy
    " ... the new STAGE-BUDDY from SM Pro Audio represents the next generation in personal monitoring control. "
    what's this all about ?

    found them
    in the passive section
    they look interesting and worth a little more research

    the only thing I'll say about passive stuff in general is that you need to bring analog audio lines up to the desk top near monitors and LCD screens etc

    it were remote controlled with relays and digital controlled volume units like the BurrBrown or Texas chipsets then it can have recallable setups
    as well as having audio line short and in the rack where the interface and line drivers are
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    I have the passive SM Pro Audio MPatch 2 that I can connect inbetween mixer out and my KRK active monitors. For the money, it does a reasonable job, and the channel balance is not bad over the attenuation range, except at the very highest attenuations when it's off.
  12. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    No sure about your particular unit.
    The proper method of adjusting monitors is:

    Put up a -20dBFS 1K tone in your software, with a volt meter measure the voltage (VRMS) between pins 2 and 3 of the XLR,
    adjust your output level (knob) until it reads 1.23 VRMS.
    Then play out -20 dBFS pink noise on your track. (you can get pink noise from Blue Sky Monitors web site). Adjust your monitor input sensitivity until you get 83 Db at the mixing position with a Rat Shack decibel meter.
  13. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    that's a fine start to a set-up

    a very typical TV post edit suite set-up

    not the only choice of level that people may choose but is a fine middle of the road place to start
    if you had one of those more expensive controllers, at least one of the pre-set or user set memory positions should be very close to the above

    I also like to have one that is more gain-y ... need to be careful ... it is for looking deep into a signal ... noise floor stuff

    a very attenuated position for the latest chrunched stereo track at -0.01dBFS ... set so that it is under the rating of the speaker system and under the rating of MY ears

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