Calibrating DAW without mixer

Discussion in 'Computing' started by recordometer, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. recordometer

    recordometer Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm running a mixerless setup (straight from mic pres to audio interface) and want to calibrate the whole system. I'm basically aiming so that I'm running the pre in it's most comfortable zone, i.e. not pushing it too hard, while aiming for peaks of -12dbfs to the converters. What is the easiest way to set this up?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    A little more information about the equipment you are using would make it much easier for me to give you some advice. What kind of microphone preamplifiers are you using? Do they have any metering? Can you conveniently feed a line level input in and does it have any 1/4" inputs? It's OK to push a microphone preamplifiers as long as you don't clip a microphone preamplifier.

    When you are recording, peaks can go full-scale on your software recording meters. -12 means that your peaks have still yet 12 DB of headroom. It's different using peak program meters then it is using VU meters, where your peaks should not go beyond -12 DB, since that kind of metering cannot display the peaks.

    So the way that I might recommend you to set up your preamplifiers to your interface and subsequent software, would be to use a sinewave oscillator, set it to 1kHz, fed into the "DI" or instrument direct input of your microphone preamplifier. Then if you know what the maximum output level is of your microphone preamplifiers, I would then, measure the output of your preamplifier with a digital volt meter to its peak output level, while feeding your interface, monitor your software record levels making sure your maximum record level does not go above 0dbfs. If necessary, then you would adjust the audio interface level controls. Now those kinds of levels could possibly overload the line inputs of your audio interface to your computer? It depends on what kind of device you are using. If you are using a blaster type awful soundcard, your line inputs level will overload well before you feed it + 4 DB. If you are using a quality audio interface, then it may well be able to accept line input levels up to +24 DB? So it can be easy if you know what the specifications and capabilities are of the equipment you have at hand. If you don't have a quality computer audio interface then it's all a crapshoot and there is no guarantee that anything will sound good.

    Can I install the part in my car easily?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
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