Signal path and gain

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Trademax, May 17, 2001.

  1. Trademax

    Trademax Guest

    Am running VS-1880 and my path is Nuemann TLM 103 mic into MAckie board for preamps,w/ inserted FRM RNC compressor, out from Mackie into into Antares 1 AUtotune, and into ROland....SHould I be using minimum gain at the Mackie and more at ROland, or visa versa? thanks in advance....Waiting on the new 2480 to come out!AM looking forward to this board! :)
  2. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    My opinion only, but generally I believe you should send as hot a signal as possible into the recorder, so therefore get a nice full signal coming out of the mixer. Be careful not to compress too much at the tracking stage. Leave most of it for the mixing session where you can play with different settings and how it affects the overall mix. If you use heavy compression at tracking you're locked in and can't do much with it later. I'm not that familiar with the 1880, but if it records at 24 bits, you've got plenty of data to work with and can keep the recording level down a bit. If it records at 20 bits you'll need to up the gain on the recorder for more level.
    So in a nutshell, get as hot a signal as possible out of the Mackie, use only enough compression to give youself a bit of control, (don't use it at all if you can get away with it) and then adjust the gain on the recorder to suit. I usually like to peak at around -3db.
    I'm far from a pro and am always learning myself, so any other opinions welcome :)
  3. Many will say that the analog stage on the Roland is very noisy (me included). See hte thread below for more.

    Bottom line is that wherever possible run the trims on the 1880 fully CCW to keep the preamp noise down.
  4. Curve Dominant

    Curve Dominant Active Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Daisy-chained gain stages require some trial and error type experimentation in order to achieve the right balance. Gain stages at the front of the path need to be as high as possible without overdriving the following stages.

    The A/D converters on VS's in general need to be hit hard.

    Also remember, guys, that the VS mixer has an input stage (when the Fader/Edit button is orange) where you can work with the signal at the input to make it hotter and wetter with compression inserts, EQ, FX, or tweak the attenuator for a volume boost. I find that using the EQ on the VS at the input stage is quieter, maximizing an instrument's impact on the mix, while keeping the signal in the digital domaine as much as possible. Same with using the on-board compression inserts.

    Sometimes I use a compressor with very mild settings before the VS, but the more I've used this machine, the more I see the value in using it as an all-in-one box. It creates a faster, more efficient work environment, and it sounds a hell of a lot better, too.

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