Old 05-10-2019, 05:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2019
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Default Input signal too loud

Hello everyone.
I have a M-Audio fast track pro, with which I record my guitar (I connect the guitar directly to the sound card input, no intermediate pedals or DI Box).
But very often it happens that, by giving violent picks to the guitar, the track on which I am recording it goes to clip, even if the gain knob of the soundcard is at zero.
So my question is: why does the Reaper track clips even if the red light of my M-audio does not flash (so it's not clipping in the soundcard)? (obviously with all the bypassed effects)
And how do I correctly set the input volume of the guitar on reaper?
I tried to activate the pad button on the card a few times, but I don't know if it's the right solution for my problem
coppertank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
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Normally it's the analog-to-digital converter (inside the interface) that clips so the clipping indicator on the interface should normally work...

If you are using Windows drivers it might be microphone boost or some other "enhancement". If you're using ASIO drivers (if it has ASIO drivers) you should be "capturing" the digital-data stream directly & accurately.

If the pad works you can use it, or you can turn-down the volume control on the guitar. Digital recording volume it not critical as long as you are not clipping. Pros often record at -12 to -18dB.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:04 AM   #3
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I'm guessing that the interface is showing you the analog metering of the input not the output or digital. Reaper is showing the end result. I'm not familiar with the gain staging of the fast track pro, but if your guitar has hot pickups it's not too unreasonable that it's clipping on the transients regardless of what it's showing you.

The pad is usually a good solution, but it's possible that it only affects the line in and not instrument (?). You can also try using the line in instead. Instrument inputs on inexpensive interfaces are (sometimes) notoriously unfair to hot pickups. It is odd that it clips in Reaper with the interface all the way down. Usually it's the other way around, interface clips and while still not getting much level into the DAW.

Also, it may not be giving you an accurate readout of the level and clipping, so use it as general info but it's what Reaper is getting and how it sounds, not so much what the fast track meter says, that's most important.

How do recording/interface levels go when recording something else?
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:09 PM   #4
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Yes, use the pad. It's a feature to be used for those kind of purposes.
I think it's very unlikely that it will bring negative side effects when using it. So don't worry about it.
Tinus is offline   Reply With Quote

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