High input but low output sensitivity!

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of cornelius78 cornelius78 6 years, 11 months ago.

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    Profile photo of NB


    Having done a few shows on out new mixer I have notised that I need to PAD many of my inputs to prevent them from clipping.
    I can under stand that I might need to PAD a kick drum but even many vocals needs to have the PAD engaged to work.
    Is this normal?
    I also notised that I need to run my output much hotter than I normally need to do on the same PA.
    I normally run my master at around -10 in a room where we do a lot of shows.
    I have used Yamaha, Midas and DigiCo consoles and they all work the same regarding output level in this room.
    With out dLive I have to run my master at 0 to get the same level of output.
    A friend that uses an iLive system says that he need to run his console quite hot as well.
    Is this something typical to A&H consoles?

    Profile photo of cornelius78

    Most digital consoles are calibrated such that a meter reading of approx -18dBFS at the DAC will get +4dBu measured at the analogue output. Of course when working in dBFS, a meter reading of “0dBFS” means that the console has run out of bits: it can’t count any higher and you get digital clipping (ok, most consoles will show a clip light a dB or 2 before actually clipping, but you get the idea: a meter reading of “0” in dBFS is not the same a a reading of “0” in dBu.)

    This caused confusion with people coming over from analogue, who were used to aiming to get signals\output levels hitting “0” on the meters, because their “0” was +4dBu, not 0dBFS, which could be closer to 22dBu, depending on the console.) If they tried to aim for 0dBFS, they’d clip a lot of the time.

    A&H chose to address this by calibrating their meters on their digital consoles (it’s the case for Qu, GLD, iLive, and AFAIK dLive, I haven’t used one yet,) such that a meter reading of “0” was closer to -18dBFS, and still equated to +4dBu. This made things simpler for users coming over from analogue: they could aim for “0” on the meters before, and they can aim for “0” on the meters now, and be getting +4dBu in both cases.

    PS, AFAIK the peak lights in the dlive are multi-point sensing, ie if there’s a clip anywhere in the signal chain they’ll illuminate, so it may not be the preamp that’s clipping, eg it could be the MUG in a compressor. That said, the dlive does have a ridiculously high internal bit-depth: it’s nigh on impossible to get them to clip in the digital domain without deliberately routing a feedback loop.) Maybe re-do your gain structure aiming to get “0” on the output meters: you might not need to run your preamps as hot.

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