Avalon 737sp to Mbox Help!

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Roswell-CS, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    Hey everyone --

    We just recently got an Avalon 737sp for our studio to use with a Neumann TLM 103.
    Previously, we just had the mic going straight into the Mbox, using its built in Focusrite Green mic pre, and compressing with an RNC.

    There were no problems with getting nice levels before, but the sound of the Mbox mic pre is pretty ugly.. so we needed something high end.

    Now we can stop haing problems!!

    I have the an XLR to TRS going from the Avalon to the Mbox.
    ( If i use an XLR to XLR, then the Mbox utilizes its built in pre, and you just cant go pre to pre )..
    I have the Mbox set on LINE to pick it up.

    I set up the Avalon to the settings i prefer, and then from there slowly adjust the Mbox Line Gain knob until im getting good levels in Pro Tools.

    The problem is we can never get good levels... its sort of stable for awhile and then it just starts peaking like crazy, and the artist isnt even changing his/her voice.

    Could someone simplify the best way to hook it up?

    MUCH appreciated!!!!

    The guys at the store never seem to know what to do and act like they're rather be somewhere else..


  2. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    Just to add something, could it be possible the Avalon isn working up to snuff? It seems like i have to juice it hard for just a little power.. i'll list the settings on it as well:

    Pre Gain: 36-38 ( around 2 o clock )
    48V In
    Filter on - 100hz
    Compressor on ( just enough to catch the peaks )
    EQ Off - ( recording flat.. sometimes add 32k )
    Output - almost past 3 o clock...

    I sometimes have to even turn up the output higher around 4 o clock just to get a 0db reading on the Avalon's VU Meter...

    Seem like a malfunction?
  3. shaun

    shaun Guest

    maybe try running an ocillator in to the avalon to make sure the calibration is correct.... what kind of mic are you using? phantom power? could be the mic freekin out. does sound odd though, sorry i cant help more
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    It is not the job of the salesman to trouble-shoot your problems just because you buy gear from them. That is what the company you buy the gear from and whatever tech support they have is responsible for. Salesman should only be used for quick and general advice, and in many cases, should not be asked or believed. Very few salesman are reliable or educated enough to offer tech support.

    You need to isolate your problem further. Determione if it is the line in of the Mbox or the output of the Avalon.
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :D Ros, double check the pin connections on the XLR/TRS cable. It should match pin 1 to sleeve, pin 2 and tip hot, pin 3 to ring. Also, if the Mbox has line level settings, it should be set to +4db. The pre can be tested by trying any other available balanced line input, other than the Mbox.

  6. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    Thanks for your help everyone...

    Im actually now wondering if im better off in the long run purchasing a DIGI 002 rack in place of the MBOX...
  7. julian lamp

    julian lamp Guest

    Maybe you could upgrade to a better converter and go into the mbox via spdif.This is what i do and it works fine.Youre definately not seeing the full benefit of the Avalon using the mbox converters.
  8. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    what converters would u suggest and how much will this run me?

    ( this is an expensive lifestyle haha )
  9. julian lamp

    julian lamp Guest

    sorry for the late reply .I am not an expert on this .I use a cranesong Hedd as my converter.It is superb,but not cheap in u.k
    £2,500. However there are many cheaper converters that have been praised on these and other forums run a search and see
  10. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Your setup specs...

    Hey Rozzy, you might try turning down the gains on your MBOX pre, then connect the avalon XLR-XLR and drive from the 737 using its output gain. Your signal should still be fairly clean, although I just don't think your going to truly realize the full potential of the Avalon joint running thru the MBOX.
    As far as recommending a good input source, their are some really good ones reasonably priced, it might help us if we knew your current setup as well as expectations(# of inputs/outputs, PC/Mac, are pre-amps necessary, type of software runnig, etc.). This kind of info makes suggestions a little more precise.
    Also what type or types of mics are you using?

  11. julian lamp

    julian lamp Guest

    Ros just to make this clear ...you dont need to get rid of the mbox.It,s redeeming feature is that you can bypass i,ts pre,s and converters via the spdif connection if you want to upgrade .My setup is this Sebatron/Dav micpre,s into CRanesong Hedd into Mbox via spdif into laptop.
  12. amg1

    amg1 Guest

    Julian is absolutely right. You can hold on to your Mbox, and run in via SPIDF totally eliminating the MBOX pres, PROVIDED you aquire some form of outboard converter. Of which I believe Julian says he has the Crane Song joint, highly reputed and pricey I believe.
    But It's like I said earlier, there are different ways to go about it at different price points. First have a little forsight so that purchases now aren't obselete as you upgrade. The avalon is a great box, which is why I recomend trying not to scrimp in the signal chain to gain it's full potential and leave room for continued up grades without having to retire your existing gear. Although I don't own one personally, I've heard numerous recordings with it. (I do primarily Gospel, Hip-Hop, Rap, etc. productions) Right now my primary front end is a Focusrite ISA 428 into a MOTU 2408MK3. Plenty of run for expansion and great sound.
    Just my 2cents 8)
  13. dave-dollar

    dave-dollar Guest

    I have just added an Avalon 737 to a Mbox (with NTK Tube Mic & Pro Tools LE) and was unable to get decent levels. The signal was way too hot and I had to turn the level almost off on the Mbox and the Avalon (Mbox set to line using XLR to XLR connection). I am using the recommended vocal settings that came with the 737 and level trouble shooting as well. I have since purchased a Flying Cow a/d converter and am going into the Mbox via S/PDIF. The sound is great as well as the levels. Now I can use the recommended settings on the Avalon and Mbox but I can't mute the track while am recording (to avoid the slap as recommended by the Mbox manual). This worked fine before the Avalon upgrade and using analog inputs. So I have added a XLR splitter at the NTK power supply output and sent one to the Flying Cow (S/PDIF to the Mbox) and one to the Mbox as before and the mute works fine. I'm I missing something? Is there a simple solution so I can avoid the splitter? Sorry for the wordy description, I just wanna sing!

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