Levels in the chain

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by RedDawnRecords, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. OK, First let me give you my signal chain.

    Rode K2 - Presonus Eureka - DIGI 002R

    On the Presonous there are LED indicators for the PRE section and a VU for the master output.

    Now when i get the eureka to sit well in the VU my tracks in the DAW are too low unless i use the trim knob on my DIGI. Lets say there was no trim knob though (i.e. if i was using inputs 5-8 on the DIGI). Then what?

    I guess what i'm asking is should i pretend that VU meter doesnt exist and just go by my ears and watch the level in the DAW?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The inputs on the 002 are +4dB inputs

    The PreSonus runs at 0dB .... like a Mackie. PreSonus does this as a compromise so their gear will interface with both "prosumer" and professional gear. There will always be a 4 dB descrepancy between the two.

    This is one of the problems I had with the PreSonus pres when I reviewed them. I always had trouble getting enough level to the DAW without overdriving the mic pres, unless I switched down to -10 levels on the input of the converters and then that compromised the signal to noise of my other mic pres that run at a true +4dB. I think it sucks.
  3. Kurt,

    What do you recommend i do? Should i drive the hell out of my pre or should i just flip down to -10?

    I've tried to flip down before but i feel like if i properly drive my pre then i get a distorted signal in the daw and if i get a good signal in the daw then i feel like im underdriving my pre.

    Please advise
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I know what you mean ... and like I said, this is one of the main gripes I had when reviewing the PreSonus M80 pres ...

    Unfortunately, there's no solution to this other than get a pre that runs at a full +4 level. I suppose you could patch it into the return jack of an insert on the 002 and add a few dB of gain at the fader ... but that will add more noise.

    I mentioned this to Chad Kelly at PreSonus during exchanges in the review process and he told me they were aware of it but that they thought their approach was the right one ... go figure.

    I had this problem using Alesis AI3's which are supposedly supposed to clip a few dB sooner than a lot of other converters, so I can only imagine the difference you are seeing. I think they are trying to reach a compromise that allows use of thier product with the widest range of gear ... but in the end they force a compromise upon the end user that is more or less unsatisfactory IMO.
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    If you feel you are under dirving the pre then use a simple pad to knock a little level and enter the DAW at -10

    I like to have the mic pres set so the DAW is the first to crash and still leave some headroom at the mic-pre
  6. Krou

    Krou Active Member

    May 27, 2001
    And -10.

    You can flip the switch on the back.
  7. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    In a 24-bit system, a 4 dB discrepancy is not really a big deal. You're not losing any "quality" by having your signal 4 dB lower. It may not be as convenient, and it may not look as good on the meters, but if it sounds good it is good. I think one of the main reasons people say digital audio sounds so "bad" is because people feel that they have to have their signals coming as close to 0 dBFS as possible, which just isn't the case.

  8. Ok, Just did a test tracking session and checked my manuals again. Yes the output is 0db....the VU stops at +6....but the unit itself also has 22db of headroom. so i over drove it a bit to the point of most of the vocals sitting right around the 0dbvu range but hit +6 at times during loud words and such but i don't think to the point of it hitting +22. i hit -2 in my daw and solo'd the track to check for distortions of any kind and i didn't hear any.

    So...would you all recommend driving the pre and using the pad and -10 or just stick with the way i just said.

    P.S. i can get the levels to be all good if i use the comp on the strip for most applications but in reality the comp on the strip only has a 2:1 ratio max so i'd rather just use one of my plugs (waves renn or c1). can someone also give me an opinion about that. or if i would be better using the 2:1 ratio on the strip and then just use a limiter or another slight comp if needed in the daw

    Thanks again everyone
  9. MrPhil

    MrPhil Guest

    Stick with your way.
    If it sounds good, it's good.

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