SQ recording level low

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of volounteer volounteer 1 year ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #91507
    Profile photo of Grace GCF
    Grace GCF
    Participant

    So I have had an sq7 for almost a year now and no matter if I am recording multitrack or stereo, sq-drive or USB, thumb drive or ssd, whenever I play back the recordings on a computer the audio level is extremely low. I have to boost the audio 20-30db in post. The problem when I do that is I then get a pretty noticeable hiss noise.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    #91522
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Grace GCF

    Probably.

    You need to learn how digital works and what dBFS is versus other DBs and how they relate to VOLTAGE levels.

    You need to raise the level in the DAW to match what is needed to sound the same from your PC.

    #91537
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    You can trim the level on the multitrack outputs and for a stereo board mix recording
    route the main LR out to a matrix, route that matrix output to the SQ Drive recording input. The matrix master output will let you bring up the level and add additional processing to the stereo recording if needed.

    What level are you running on the master outputs? Maybe just try selection LR Pre for the
    stereo board mix recording input.

    #91548
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @Grace GCF
    @mike C

    Of course you can increase the output levels from the SQ as well as increase them in the PC.

    My preference is to raise in the PC not lessen the digital headroom in the SQ.

    #91551
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    @GraceGCF
    Hmm, how high are the input gains? If the gains are set extreme conservative this might be the problem. And how is the multitrack routing done? Do you use tielines or direct out? And if you use direct outs, what tap point do you use?

    #91553
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mfk0815

    In general the PC will be set too low as they have another big headroom for the DAW added on top of the already adequate AH digital headroom plus any extra that is allowed by those who dont read the manual and add some headroom below the 0dB on the lights.

    #91557
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    Hmm, I recently checked the levels with a pink noise signal on a imput of the SQ, gain to the 0 dB marker, what is afaik -18dBfs. When I now record this signal via tieline or direct out (set to post preamp and not to follow fader) to Reaper. Regardless whether I use USB or Dante, the level on reaper shows -18dB. So everything seems to be ok for me when you do setup the gain correctly. There is no additional headroom added to the recording signal. Ok, I am speaking of Reaper, I don’t know whether other DAW application will do something like you mentioned. But this can be checked within a minute using a signal generator, even one from you smart phone will di this job.

    #91558
    Profile photo of mixsit
    mixsit
    Participant

    Mfk0815

    Hmm, how high are the input gains? If the gains are set extreme conservative this might be the problem. And how is the multitrack routing done? Do you use tielines or direct out? And if you use direct outs, what tap point do you use?

    Hope the OP comes back. I’m betting this. As even 20-30dB gain in the DAW would typically be pretty clean -unless the input levels were way low back at the mixer.

    #91559
    Profile photo of mixsit
    mixsit
    Participant

    Hmm, I recently checked the levels with a pink noise signal on a imput of the SQ, gain to the 0 dB marker, what is afaik -18dBfs. When I now record this signal via tieline or direct out (set to post preamp and not to follow fader) to Reaper. Regardless whether I use USB or Dante, the level on reaper shows -18dB. So everything seems to be ok for me when you do setup the gain correctly. There is no additional headroom added to the recording signal. Ok, I am speaking of Reaper, I don’t know whether other DAW application will do something like you mentioned. But this can be checked within a minute using a signal generator, even one from you smart phone will di this job.

    Though QU, same here. Once I got my inputs up near the ‘red (still -18dBFS) aligns just fine in the DAW.

    #91566
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mixsit

    +1

    however there are some people who set the headroom by the lights so they have yet another 18dB from AH added to whatever headroom they may have in their DAW.

    our church is one for example. I watch the LR output lights and we rarely get to -12, and are often another 12-18dB below that. Works fine as the power amp has enough signal driving it to make our ears bleed when the music does hit its max. Volounteers cant touch the power amp or the LR fader but never need to as the channel faders are all we need. We do measure with an SPL meter to verify the loudness for the audience.

    #91568
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    Hmm, if you do a correct gain staging and also record your main stereo sum pre fader, the level of the recording should be quite fine no matter what your main output level is. And if you have to run the main fader on the lower end you should think about lowering the input sensitvity of your amps. This will also reduce the noise on your speaker system.

    #91569
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mfk0815

    The MD and the dealer rep set the mixer up.

    The LR faders are at 0.

    Apparently the power amp is cranked up as normal operation keeps the lights on the bottom part of the LEDs .

    I think the MD liked things loud and it used to be run so the LR output LEDs were closer to the 0dB light
    but the audience has convinced him to turn the loudness down. The music is still plenty loud enough!
    Now if we can only get him to add upward compression on the pastor’s mike as he is too low to hear at times.

    #91570
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    The MD and the dealer rep set the mixer up.

    And that means what? Both of them are not able to fail, or what?

    And we are talking here about recording level. The inproper setup of the recording together with suboptimal gainstaging can cause too low recording level. So, this is a matter of operation not a technical issue per se.

    And all I have read about your MD in this forum let me come to the conclusion that he might be very selfish with less social skills. No good properties for a soundengineer. Imho.

    #91571
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @mfk0815

    I have no complaint about how they set up the mixer.
    How far the lights go up on the LR LEDs is not that important.
    We have the SPL meter to make sure the audience is not overwhelmed with the loudness.
    Wish the touring groups using our venue would not set theirs at 106 like one did, or even 94 which is way too loud.

    We have had no problem with recording. The CDs we record are near clipping with their volume control at 7.
    Just raise the gain in the PC’s DAW andor the audio interface if we need more.
    The mixer out is a bit high for the mike input on the video camera. But it has a humongous range of AGC so it works okay for now. They bought another small interface for the livestream sound and the video being done outdoors in the parking lot. I presume they could use that inside later when the pandemic is over.

    The MD is a musician not a sound engineer. But has to do double duty at times.
    I would say he is not selfish. Can’t really rate his social skills. Worst he might be a well meaning PHB.
    But he gets the music job done well. Arranges for guest artists, rehearses the choir, coordinates music with the pastor’s themes….

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