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Monitor Gain question...

For a truer frequency response during tracking, mixing and mastering should I...

1) Turn the monitor amps up full and control the gain on my Motu?


2) Turn the monitor gains less then full and add more gain from the Motu?

With the monitor amps up full the bass response is slightly more robust. With the monitors down (to 1/2) and the MOTU gain increased the frequency response favors more midrange..

Is there a preferred or accepted approach to this gain structure?


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ps - when I run live sound I always crank the amps full for what seems to be the best sound. Does this principal apply to recording as well?


Richard Kuschel Wed, 11/21/2001 - 04:55
In the studio , run the level of the power amps so that the nominal (average) level of the mix is about 85dB. Keep the outputs of the MOTU system up as turning the level down in the digital domain reduces your resolution.

You have it wrong on the PA side also.

To get the best response out of the system, set the power amplifiers so that everything craps out at the same time.

In other words, when the preamp runs out of headroom and the master section runs out of headroom , the power amp should be at clipping.

If that volume (SPL) is greater than you use for playing your gigs, turn down the levels in the power amps. This will not affect frequency response, but will keep the board operating at its best levels and will lower the noise floor.

anonymous Sun, 11/25/2001 - 09:44

This is interesting. Every live soundman I have ever talked with doesn't take your approach. (maybe I need to BS with better soundmen..)

Theoretically it makes sense. I'll give it a go at our next rehersal...thanks!

When you say set the Motu at a high output level do you mean up FULL?? Curious. I did some further reading in my monitor manual and they specify to keep the digital source up (as you do) but to also keep the monitors full and use the gain control to achieve the desired level. Problem there is it is still WAY too loud.

I'm assuming with your approach I would set the Motu full...back the monitor gains down full (-20dB) then adjust the monitor volumes to a comfortable level...correct??

Thanks again...

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