Level meters and Input gain

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Jamba
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Level meters and Input gain

Post by Jamba » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:36 pm

As i'm planning to switch from Roland VS-1680 to a more portable and interesting Zoom HD8CD,I wondered how to interpret the LED level indicators.

They seem to go up to 0 db plus, but where can one see when levels are clipping?
The red coded fifth segment means what?
Exactly 0db or plus 1,thus clipping?
Or do you just rely on the fader position?

Is there more info on exact levels on the 16-Digit display...

Another question on input levels:At which db -level does the light start flashing?

On the VS 1680 one can choose between -6,-3 or 0 db settings for the input detection light to get an idea for levels..plus the display also shows the peak input levels in combination with the fader-in position.

Can someone enlighten me. :?:
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Lee
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Post by Lee » Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:23 pm

Here's some excerpts from the manual using track one and a guitar as the source to record (found on page 22). Note that setting the input and record levels that the PEAK and CLIP indicators are the little LED under the respective control and not the level meters.

Set the input level
While playing your guitar, adjust the [GAIN]
control 1 to adjust the input sensitivity.
Make the adjustment so that the [PEAK] indicator 1 flickers
slightly when you play your instrument at its loudest volume.

Next set the recording level
While playing your guitar, adjust the
recording level by turning the [REC LEVEL]
control.
If the [CLIP] indicator lights up at high playing levels, you
should turn down the recording level.

Then you set the monitoring levels
Operate the fader for track 1 to adjust the
input signal monitor level.
In the recording standby condition (status key lit in red), the
respective level meter shows the input signal level. For tracks
in playback mode (status key lit in green), the respective level
meter shows the track playback level.

When mixing to two tracks ("mastering") (from page 35)
The signal level after the [MASTER] fader can be checked by
observing the [MASTER] level meter. If the 0 dB segment
lights up during play, turn down the [MASTER] fader to
perform fine adjustment.

That's pretty much it from what I can tell so far.
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Jamba
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Post by Jamba » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:39 pm

Thanks for your reply,


The master level meter should stay out of the red segment-

This suggests that the red segment of the level meter stands for 0 db and up and level RED should thus be avoided for all tracks on both input and recorded track levels.
Unless one has a taste for digital distortion on his/her recorded tracks.

I looked at the LED segments and the inscriptions on their sides
and I thought where is 0db?
On the picture it says in the middle of the red segment
But the segment lights up fully and not just halfway up

I figure the RED led goes from -2db to clipping.
So like this you record & playback in the GREEN Led area,leaving some headroom for mixdown/mastering.
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Lee
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Post by Lee » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:10 am

NOW I can see what you're saying (I can be slow... often). It is kind of weird with the multi-db delimited LEDs. So I'd think that if -2db is the threshold for lighting that an occasional blip wouldn't matter much. Guess I'll have to see once I start mixing down.
I'm not terribly concerned about getting a super hot mix because I'm still planning to process the 2-track WAV on PC to bump the volume and possibly apply multi-band compression, etc. In other words, the closest thing to truly "mastering" a final mix.

Then again, I'd LOOOVVVVEEE not to have to do that! I'll be comparing the final product of both approaches in the future.

PS
The hottest non-PC final mid and master I ever got was actually done on the MRS8 -- "Right Away". I know it's doable to get the volume up, but it required a lot of dimension tweaks and EQ-ing.
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