Originally Posted by eagle007
I having a hard time getting my levels straight when recording with my new Universal Audio 4-710d.
Previously I used an M-audio profire 2626 or Focusrite Liquid 56, but these only had 1 knob for gain control. So I could watch my digital VU meter in the mixer and look at the wave displayed while recording, giving me a good idea of what was going on.
But with the 710 this all changes, as it has separate gain control and output level. I try to get my input gain in such a way that it is around 0 dB and peaks at max 3 dB which is not possible for each singer as some have quite some dynamic range.
When I turn the output up to where it reads also between 0 and 3 dB, my DAW is showing a quite soft signal. Actually way too soft in volume. But cranking up the output, things look ok in the DAW but the sound sounds distorted and the output VU is flipping above 6 dB at maximum right.
So I'm actually kinda stuck getting a decent output level to my DAW without clipping, which is not visible but audible. I use the ADAT output from the 710d, so I was kinda expecting to have quite some output at 0 dB
Am I doing something completely wrong? Or am I expecting too much output level from my pre-amp?
Please, any help is greatly appreciated.
I just got one of these, myself. Lovin' it so far. Make sure to have your sound interface/DAW set to use the 4-710d's internal clock, for starters (or slave the 4-710d). Alternatively, you could go analog and wire it to the inputs on your interface (some interfaces such as the digi racks will allow you to bypass the built-in pres by going in via TRS instead of XLR).
Another alternative would be to use the AES output, if your interface has a port. Personally, I use a digi 002R and opted to go via ADAT. I recently acquired a Phonic Firefly 808, which has SMUX (for 96 kHz via ADAT), but I couldn't get PT to recognize any signal with this.
Getting to your main question, I think setting the dB between 0-3 is rather low; I have the gain around 6 and the level right at 6. My blend level is one notch from center towards the tube side, with the compressor set to slow (I find that setting it on fast gives me more distortion on vox).
One thing that may really help is switching your meters around - the top position will show you the output dB, but you can also pay attention to how much gain reduction (if you have the comp active) is being done, as well as how much 'drive' you're getting from the preamp. If you've got a lot of experience looking at (and interpreting/understanding) waveform, make some recordings with different settings and see how the shape changes
On a side note - have you gotten your free UAD-2 Quad yet?