Proper connections to the Ramsa console

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by sshack, Apr 22, 2011.

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  1. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    So last weekend I was fortunate enough to drive down to Jacksonville, Fla. and pick up this Ramsa WR-T820 console from our own Moonbaby. I'd like to thank him for setting me up with this beast and putting me into another chapter of recording/engineering, which has really grown as a passion for me. Thanks Moon!

    So rather than burden him directly with niggling questions, I'd like to open it up to the 'community' for direction and guidance. To that point, there's way too much to type everything in my head, so I'll try and be specific and direct with my questions which are, at this time, mostly around physical connections. First some information about the gear...

    The main portion of the rear panel offers the following connections:

    1) Send Pre: RCA jack -10db unbalanced. According to the manual, this is to be used for connection to the meter bridge.
    2) Direct Out: RCA jack -10 unbalanced
    3) Tape In: RCA jack -20db to +10 unbalanced
    4) Insertion: 1/4" TRS -10db unbalanced
    5) Line Input: 1/4" TRS +10db
    6) Mic Input: XLR -60db to +20 balanced

    Additionally, there are -10 and +4 RCA outputs for each group (16 total).

    Given my limited understanding this is what I would like to do:
    1) to connect/integrate my existing outboard preamps
    2) utilize the boards pre's/EQ in 'normal' fashion (whatever that may mean, right?)

    My interface is the RME FF800 which accepts 1/4 TRS inputs/output adjustable to +4 or -10db.

    So here are a few questions:
    1) Inputs - for connecting my external pres, on the ones that offer -10db jacks, should I connect them at -10db to the board? Since they've been directly connected to my FF, I've kept their connections at +4. If so, should I use the Insertion jack or the Line In jack? The Insertion only allows me to utilize the channel fader while the Line In allows me to use the trim pot and EQ as well. Since I can use the Trim pot with this connection, does that also mean that I'm using the boards pre in addition the pre that I'm connecting. If so, not good, eh?

    2) Outputs - for connecting to the FF800, should I use the Direct out RCA jack at -10db available at each channel or use the group out RCA jacks at -10 or +4db? The meter bridge doesn't always work when I connect it via the Send Pre, sometimes I have to use the Direct Out, which then forces me to use a Group out on my channels to connect to my FF800.

    There's more to this, but I want to stop here as I could probably babble on for quite some time. I'd like to see if I can get some answers and offer back more info as assistance is given.

    Please let me know if there's any other info that I can provide to help clarify things.
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Hi, Scott :
    So I read that you were able find an owner's manual? If that's the case, there should be some sort of block diagram showing signal flow...

    #1) Remember that are TWO line inputs on each channel. The first one (labelled "Line") is more than a simple 1/4" jack wired to the Mic XLR input. It is connected to the head amp via resistive "pad" and the selector switch. It may or may not be ahead of the mic amp, but in any case, it was designed to properly load a line level source. It certainly won't damage anything to try running the external preamp into it and seeing how it sounds...

    But if that turns out to noticeably degrade the sonic integrity (frankly, I don't think that it will), there is the SECOND line input-- the TAPE input-- with it's own Trim control, source selection, and signal routing (remember the "inline monitoring" I described?). Anyway, this input is an independent line that can surely be used as a "straightline" input. Once again, there is no harm in trying this one, either.

    #2) As far as the channel outputs are concerned, you have the 2 per channel: the Send Pre and the Direct Out (as you noted). One of them is patched to the bargraph input on the meter bridge. Your comment implicates that on some channels you have to swap which channel out will drive the bargraph, is that correct?
    There is the possibility that it MIGHT be the actual patch cable that Ramsa used - they are very thin and lightweight, and there may be an intermittency here that comes and goes when you plug/unplug the RCA connectors. All of the meters/bargraphs worked when I initially tested the board, but I did point out to you before the board was moved to your car that these were a bit delicate. Maybe one (or more) have gotten funky. A simple jumper with RCA plugs (still available from Radio Shack)can be substituted to determine this...

    More later, hope others (Link, DVD,DD, others) will throw their hat into the ring here.
  3. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Thanks Jim. It certainly wasn't that I didn't listen to everything you told me when I picked up the board, I just had to get my hands dirty in it for it to start making sense. After more experimenting last night, I think I've been able to settle on inputting the external pres via Line In and using the Direct Out back into the FF800; that seems to be the best path so far. I never really thought about using the Tape Input as I figured that would be the input for going back into the board (from Logic) for mix down...which I've yet to experiment with.

    To that point, I have all of this broken down into three parts in my mind; basic recording (with the boards pres/EQ and external pres), integration and usage of my outboard gear (compressors, EQ, effects) and going back into the board (from Logic) for mixing. All of this is subject to change as I continue to learn.

    Regarding the RCA cables, yeah, they are flimsy...I know all of the meters work. I think one of the Pre Send jacks is bad, but I've worked around it for now, no big deal.

    So, any pointers that can be given with my last two points (integration of comps, etc. and then mix down) would be really helpful. For now I think the best bet for the comps and EQs would be to just insert them in a channel...but I haven't even begun messing with that yet. On the mix down, the FF800 has 8 outs with 1 and 2 going to my monitors, so that would give me 6 channels back into the board. I suppose I'll have to make groups/stems in Logic first and then send them to the Tape Inputs....again, I'll have to see.

    Anyway, I really appreciate the help. I certainly don't mind being the newbie at this; I'm having a ball and every time I'm able to record something successfully it puts a smile on my face!


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