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Having trouble recording with UA 4-710d
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eagle007
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#1
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
  #1
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Having trouble recording with UA 4-710d

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.

Frans
#2
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
  #2
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diossyakos is offline
Don't aim for 0db on your AD input. You should expect something like -18 average, peaking around -10, definitely not over -6
#3
24th November 2012
Old 24th November 2012
  #3
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The separate controls for the input/output stages allow you to drive you preamp harder of softer.

If you want a cleaner sound from the preamp, then set the input gain fairly low and the output high.

On the other hand, if you want to get more distortion and tone from the preamp's tubes then set the input high, and then compensate for this by setting the output low.
#4
27th November 2012
Old 27th November 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle007 View Post
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.

Frans
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?
#5
28th November 2012
Old 28th November 2012
  #5
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I just posted this question in another thread, but thought maybe you guys could help me since you're already talking about it. I just got a new 4-710 and hooked it up like the user guide says to under "Basic Digital Setup." I'm going ADAT out to ADAT in on my digi 002. I plugged my guitar into the first channel and I get a signal registering on the VU meter, but I don't get any signal in pro tools. I've tried all 8 "ADAT" inputs on the track and none of them give me any signal. Is there something else I need to do? Something in the hardware settings in Pro Tools? Something in the I/O setup? I've got the sample rate on my 4-710 set to 44.1 (same as the session, and subsequently the digi 002). The light is green, so it seems like everything should be fine with that.

Thanks!
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