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Noisy Input Device Chain

Profile picture for user mark4man

Well...

The new PC (Dell 8250) is set up, SONAR 2.2 & WaveLab 4.0 installed; & the OS (XP) is optimized for digital audio multitracking.

The new Audio Interface (LynxTWO) sounds incredible; & it has such a high quality analog front end that it picked up a problem with my input device chain I never knew I had.

Most of my basic band tracks are written as MIDI sequences; & played by my sound module (Roland JV-1010.) Anyone who has been around PC recording for a while realizes that sound modules are notorious for weak output staging...my JV-1010 has never had enough output gain to record a full scale track in any multitracking app (with any sound card or audio interface), so I preamp it through a PreSonus "BlueTube."

With the LynxTWO, the meters in the console (both input & output) bottom out at -114 dB (I love it.) First thing I notice, with the gear hooked up & all levels down, is noise activity at the very base of the scale...hovering around -110 dB. I thought, "this is fabulous...the first time I've ever witnessed my own equipment's noise floor." I was happy.

Then I kicked up the volume on the sound module & preamp enough to record a full scale signal in SONAR.

Now, there's meter activity hovering around -60db! Brought up the volume on my monitoring system; & it was ugly (at high volume, of course.) I managed to get the buzz out with an iso xformer, but the white noise is still there.

So...my question is:

This can't be normal, right?

This is the same equipment I used before my studio upgrade; & my recordings have always sounded pretty clean.

Could this be due to more sensitivity in a higher quality front end?

Is this much background noise "normal" out of a consumer/semi-pro grade preamp (pushing a consumer/semi-pro grade sound module)?

It's difficult to tell, since I also have a new studio monitoring system, but I think the noise level may be comparable to my previous setup; & it's audible in the extreme only at high volume...but -60dB of meter activity (meaning there's -60dB of something going on)??? That seems like a lot to me. My connections are all matched correctly...I'm using Monster audio cables...the input trim is correct...

...any thoughts or ideas from the regulars?

I would certainly appreciate any input.

Thanks much,

mark4man

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