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Signal to DAW not hot enough

I was thinking that if I keep my 18i20 preamps as low as they go, that it would keep any coloration from my 18i20 as low as possible and the primary conditioning would be from my ART Pro II that's connected to my 18i20.
I find that I must use the preamps in the 18i20 in addition to the ART preamp to get my input signal to my DAW up enough.

Any advice is appreciated.

Signal loss using Y-splitters ?

I started recording using a 2-channel audio interface. If I connect XLR Y-splitters to each input, will there be loss of signal strength or any other odd happenings, or can I assume that I'll be able to get 4 inputs of the same quality as original. I realize it won't be 4 separate channels and just 4 inputs, 2 channels.

Problems with MIDI keyboard, no signal in DAW.

I am beginner in home recording. I've recently bought a new audio interface, the Tascam US-122MKII, to record audio, guitar and MIDI tracks. I've successfully recorded all but the latter. For some reason I can't get any signal from my keyboard in my recording software. I've connected correctly the MIDI cables also.


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