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strange gain settings

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nutti, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member


    Yesterday I set up my studio for drumrecording and noticed something very strange...I put a sm57 on the snare about 1" from the skin and 1,5" in from the rim edge pointed towards the center of the drum. I also put a mb2k from audiotechnica under the snare about 2" from the skin but more straight angled on the center.

    The I put the drummer in the chair and had him hit the drum.

    In the cotrolroom I had the mic going into my behringer xl2400 mixer and without touching the gain the top mic already peaked at +3db?? How is this possible? It was the same thing with the bottom mic. I also had a subkick on the kickdrum that clipped straight from the beginning without me even touching the gain knob.

    What's going on here? Should this even be possible with the gain set to lowest possible?
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    are there any efx going on? send returns? are you going into say a compressor then into the mixer?
  3. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    noup, nada...just straight into the mixer and then from that into the interface
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    how are you routing to the interface? though the bus's or direct?

    i have some atm pro 35's that are very hot.... i had to buy inline pads to use them.
  5. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    direct out from the mixer. The subkick was completely unuseable like this as it clipped +12db so I routed that directly into a preamp and got the levels down from there. But how can a normal sm57 run this hot? There must be something wrong?
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    what kind of levels are you showing on the mixers meters? put the kick channel in pfl and see what the level is please. is it clipping there?

    when you say +12 do you mean the DAW or the mixer? the mixer is referenced to a +4 Vu scale while the DAW is referenced to digital scale ... 0 on the mixer should equate to something like -16dB on the DAW.

    do you have the operating levels of your DAW interface set to - 10? it should be set to +4.
  7. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    The interface is set at +4 and im getting +12 on the mixer. Its clipping on the mixer so i cant get a Clean signal
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    what level are you getting in PFL?

    if its still +12 then you need to get some inline pads
  9. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I frequently have to run kick and sometimes other drum mics at minimum gain, depending on the usual variables. If you don't need phantom and there's no pad you can put a simple XLR-TRS adapter on it and use the line input for less gain.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    OK here is something that has not been mentioned. The last time I used a Behringer mixer, they had microphone pad switches. This is where ya press the microphone pad switch. That's what it's for. And yes, you should see it overload without those pad switches engaged. I mean this pad is not something in your girlfriends panties but you are allowed to press the button without getting your face slapped. Right now you're getting your face slapped. Simply because you didn't read your instruction manual to your mixer. What did you think it was an off switch? A mute switch? Every time you press that the sound goes away right? Right. It's supposed to it's a pad. It is padded down. Right now you probably think you might need a padded cell? I know I do because every time I answer the phone too quickly, I hurt my head. So I really need a padded cell.

    Are antioxidants good with cellular technologies?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. Nutti

    Nutti Active Member

    Last time I checked my behringer console it did not have a pad button anywhere...I'm not that retarded that I wouldn't have pushed it already if I had one on the channel. You can check it yourself on the behringer homepage if you don't belive me. It's the behringer xenyx xl2400 mixer.

    The pfl is +12 and clipping on the mixer, I'll try to put an xlr-plug cable in the line to see if that works.

    What are the external pads correct word in english so that I could search ebay for them...guess I could use atleast 3 at this point.

    Thanks for answers all!
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The whole problem has the feel of the gain trims not being set low enough. The Xenyx XL2400 spec says the XLR inputs will take +24dBu with the gain trim at 0dB (fully anticlockwise). If that is to be believed, you do not need external line attenuators (pads) for what you are doing, as an SM57 on a snare is not capable of producing that amount of output amplitude. Mind you, there are other parts of the XL2400 spec that defy belief, such as the unbalanced insert sends being +22dBu (10Vrms).

    The TRS jack inputs are 10dB less sensitive than the XLR inputs, so, as Boulder pointed out, a XLR-TRS adaptor feeding the jack input would give you an additional 10dB headroom for dynamic mics.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Look for
    .: AT8202 Adjustable In-Line Attenuator :.

    60 bucks msrp but about 35 bucks street.

    i bought 6 to use with my atm pro35 clip on condensers ... they work great.
  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well I cannot be 100% precise with 100% of the Chinese trash out there. Behringer's I've used, all had pad switches. So, if no pad, you have a fixed 20 DB gain, nonadjustable microphone preamp. The trim control is merely a secondary buffer make up amplifier, after the 20 DB microphone preamp. Many microphone preamp seven been designed in this way and are generally referred to as goof proof microphone preamps. The concept behind it is that, no microphone with only 20 DB of gain, should ever overload the circuit. Any additional necessary gain is made up by the secondary buffer make up amplifier that you are tweaking as they gain trim control. Legendary microphone preamp such as the Neve 1073 had a similar design concept. Whereas my later/newer Neve, utilized variable gain microphone preamps that all have pads built into the front end. These types of preamps offer up a broader range of useful color, which can prevent the need for any equalization. So obviously, Behringer has cloned both types. Yet you should still not be having problems with that goof proof preamp. So again, it leads me to believe it's operator error of some type?

    The proper term is a "pad". SHURE makes numerous XLR barrel pads, some with a fixed pad of -50 and others that have switches for -20 & -30 DB pads. The only problem is with these guys is if you use a phantom powered microphone. Fine for a dynamic mic or a battery-powered condenser microphone but not a phantom powered condenser microphone utilizing external XLR barrel pads.

    Now that concept of utilizing an XLR-1/4 inch TRS patch cord and going into the line input, it's a valid suggestion for non-phantom powered microphones. Honestly though, none of us have these kinds of problems? Which still leaves me to believe that's some kind of small operator error? Are you getting that pressing only a single PFL button? Or, are you soloing more than one at a time? Like on the microphone channel and on the bus output, simultaneously? No? I mean I know that electrons move faster when it gets colder but it's not quite that cold in Finland? Maybe it is? So maybe the best solution to the problem would be to move closer to the equator?

    I'm headin' south.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    the Audio Technica pads I posted the link to pass phantom just fine.
  16. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but probably not for a high current requirement Neumann 87? For an electret, probably, no problem? I'd like to see how they get full Phantom current past the pad and the load? It really must be pretty anemic? I mean how do ya get the full potential of the Phantom to get past the pad? I mean resisters resist everything. So it'll also pad down the potential of the Phantom. And you certainly wouldn't want to have some diodes in that pad. Maybe it does? Oh but it shouldn't add too much distortion? Right. It made good, Japanese style good. I certainly wouldn't trust that thing on a 250-500 foot cable run. No way.

    It shouldn't need a pad, anyhow! Use the right microphone and you won't be having this problem. Obviously... it ain't the right microphone to use the way you're using it with your mixer? And that's called operator error. So just like a system integrator has to do, you have to do the same thing as an audio engineer. If that doesn't work, you change out the microphone. The microphone and the mixer are trying to tell you you're not doing it right. So listen to your equipment LOL!

    I only state the obvious.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    So back to the mixer input problem......Q?: Are you taking your feed off of the sub bus or a direct out?

    Ahhh...I see that has already been answered........So to get this straight....the individual mic inputs are peaking like crazy? And theres not a pad, SO is there a switch that selects between the line level and the mic level? Have you tried it in both positions?

    Q?: #2....Have you ever used this mixer for recording before? And if so was this same thing happening then?
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    why would anyone need a pad for an 87? there's one built in.

    the application i used these for is with my (for the 3rd time) ATM Pro 35's which are clip ons.


    these little puppies really sound surprisingly good for what they are. i use them mostly to close mic drums on snare top / bottom and rack toms. i usually go with a 421 or an atm 4033 / sm7 or a U87 on the floor tom. for o/h's and hat, i have a collection of old akg 451's.

    anyway the pads from atm have passed phantom just fine. in fact they were made just for this application. when i first got the 35's i was using a Mackie sr24 and the 35's clipped the pre amp just like the op's mics are clipping the behringer.
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I love these hot microphones. Why bother with microphone preamps anymore if we don't have to? I mean even my 67's & 87's, have output pads on those microphones because they can produce nearly line level output.

    Why would anybody want a pad for an 87 since it already has one? Simple. I'd rather have the additional noise from the preamp when I gain up than from the microphone. Now you still need that 87 built-in pad to keep from overloading that FET as opposed to your microphone preamp input. I'm surprised you'd ask that question? I know you know that already. At least I think you did? LOL. It's late. So if you want that preamp coloration from going more open loop at higher gain staging, the output from the microphone will need to be padded or rather the input to the preamp. While the microphone is not necessarily being overloaded and not requiring its own built-in pad. If you're placing it on say the floor tom, you might want that capsule pad engaged. And then for the more open loop sound from the preamp you would also need the pad engaged on the preamp as well. Because you're going for tone and you'll be able to deal with any noise with the noise gate that you were planning to put the drum through anyhow.

    It's all good... it's all good.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  20. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    That's great, but the OP's problem is with SM57s. All this angst over phantom and external pads is a waste of time. If the dynamic mic is really and truly overloading the pre at minimum gain then use an XLR-TRS adapter into the line input and move on. I would have had this thing tracked, mixed and mastered in the time it's taken for the conversation to get this far.

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