XLR Mix Output Alignment

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    I am currently replacing an analogue Soundcraft desk with the SQ-6 and have hit a bump in the road when it comes to lining up the mix output level with our other devices

    The mix output (XLR 11 & 12) goes to a PPM meter and an Aja capture card in a Mac. The output level of the previous desk was such that 0 on the meters lined up to PPM4 and -18dBFS on the Aja

    Using a test tone set to 0 on the SQ-6 meters the output of the new desk is giving about 5.2 on the PPM and roughly -11dBFS

    Looking at the SQ manual the specification states :-

    dBFS Alignment : +18dBu = 0dBFS (+22dBu at XLR output)
    Meter Calibration : 0dB meter = -18dBFS (+4dBu at XLR out)

    …. which I don’t understand … is it normal on a desk for the output alignment to be calibrated differently to the internal representation ? … and how do people resolve that ?

    I don’t think I’m quite seeing those values anyway, but it appears to be a part explanation for what I’m observing.

    I already have a distribution amplifier, but that’s set to unity gain (and the first thing I did was to bypass that to see if that changed what I was seeing) … and unfortuantely the trim on the DA only appears to amplify and not attenuate the signal so I can’t use that to re-align the level.

    I assume I’m showing my lack of experience in this area but am I missing something obvious here ? … and is my only solution to replace the DA with a better one which will allow me to reduce the level or maybe I should be looking to use the digital output instead where possible ?

    I’d be grateful for any advice


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