Old 11-09-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
Alistair S
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Default Input levels FF400 and DAV BG1


Help! I'm not trained in any of this stuff and don't fully understand it, so I'm hoping somebody can help me out

I have a FF400 and recently bought a new preamp - the DAV BG1, which I'm delighted with.

However, I'm trying to match the two up as best I can.

The DAV has quite a high output. The clipping level is at +29dBu. The green LED goes on at +15dBu and the red at +19dBu. It also has an adjustable pad.

The FF400 inputs can be adjusted. There are 2 line inputs on the front (inputs 3/4) and four on the back (inputs 5-8). These are adjusted differently, but can be set equivalently, as follows:

Reference 5-8.....0 dBFS @......Setting 3/4
Lo Gain................+19 dBu........Pad
+4 dBu................+13 dBu........No Pad
-10 dBV...............+2 dBV..........Inst
-..........................+8 dBu..........Inst + Pad

Thus far, I have simply been watching my levels in Reaper when tracking and setting the gain on my pre so that I get the level I want - let's say peaks at around -12. This doesn't even turn on the green light on the pre, but I haven't worried about that.

Here's the question - would I be better off setting the FF400 to either "Lo Gain" (for 5-8) or with the pad (inputs 3/4), thus setting 0dBFS at +19dBu? Alternatively, I could use a pad on the DAV, but I can't work out whether that makes things better or worse. Lastly, I could get the pre calibrated so that the LEDs come on at lower levels.

Or, should I just not worry about it?

I've been looking at the specs and some discussions, but don't really understand them. I'm sure somebody here does!

If I'm not giving the key information, or if my question makes no sense, don't be surprised! Edumacate me, please, and ask for the relevant stuff!

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Old 11-10-2010, 05:14 AM   #2
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Hi Alistair,

I have API lunchbox pres, but previously had a DAV BG1. I'm running through an RME Multiface II. The Mface has the Lo Gain/+4/-10 toggles on IN and OUT. My setup is all balanced/+4 gear.

I always test-tone new equipment to see where the headroom and noise levels sit. The DAV has a hot output...but I found the +4 input (and output) on the Mface was fine with the DAV...just set it and forget it. With some pres, such as the transformer based designs I have now, there is something to be gained by driving the input and saturating the transformer...but this does not apply with the DAV design.

I have a couple of ATTY passive attenuators that I use for general purpose level fudging between gear, but I don't recall ever using or needing those with the DAV.

I think the toggles on the RME gear could be very useful if you are mixing and matching pro and consumer gear...but in my setup this doesn't apply.

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Last edited by arrangeit; 11-22-2010 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:19 AM   #3
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Some discussion here http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=68258 Especially yep's posts.
Seems the advice is "just track low and forget about it"
I never always did the right thing, but all I did wasn't wrong...
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:18 AM   #4
Alistair S
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Thanks, guys. It's always reassuring to hear that you aren't "doing it wrong", especially when you don't understand this stuff fully.

Arrangeit, I'm all +4 too. I'll leave it all as it is, and just turn the knobs until I get the signal I need - which is nice and simple, just as I like it
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