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Calibrating converters. :>)
Old 13th December 2003
  #1
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Calibrating converters. :>)

I just did my first 2. I'm no longer a Calibrating Virgin. I'm running Samplitude and I'm running a sine wav out at -16 and I calibrated my 2 mytek 8x96DAC's at 1.228 volts but I'm trying now to do the A/D's and failing somehow. Do you have to send the signal back into the daw and adjust that to -16 on the input? It's really late, I'm really tired. Maybe this will all seem obviouse in the morning? Late morning that is. :>) Thanks fella's.

M
Old 13th December 2003
  #2
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Yes, but...

The right level really depends on exactly what analog gear you are interfacing the converters with. The challenge is to get your analog gear right in the "sweet spot."
Old 13th December 2003
  #3
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That would be the D2Buss. Maybe the occasional Tubtech comp. or some lex. verb. But I cannot get the A/D's done. having some problems there. So although your comment is appreciated, I'm still trying to get it to work. LOL. Then I can use my ears to decide which way it works best. I'm not worried about that. Just gotta get the Myteks and the Hedd at the same level. I'm going sine wav out through the D'a/s and into the A/d's analog and then into the DAW AES and I'm getting no signal in. Frustrating. I'll keep at it.
Old 13th December 2003
  #4
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It could take a week to find out how to loop. ( In Samplitude I mean )
Old 13th December 2003
  #5
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Ok, the Dangerous 2-bus inputs are supposed to clip at + 25 dBu. This means to allow 6 dB for intersample peaking, the very hottest you should allign D to As feeding a Dangerous 2-bus is -15. (They seem to suggest +4 = -14)

In practice, it's a good idea to leave another 6 dB of headroom which means setting +4 (1.228 volts) equal to -9. At the very least, I'd go for +4 equals -12dBfs. -12=+4 would be a good setting for the analog input back into the workstation too.
Old 13th December 2003
  #6
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Michal at Mytek suggested -16 because he knows at the moment I am mixing a modern rock record that is hot. But I also do other types of music where headroom is more needed like country and pop. I should be talking to him any minute and I will tell him what you said. Thanks for that. :>) I'm still not able to get the A/D's done as I think they should be. I'll get tech suport on it though and be fine. Even my country stuff is generaly pretty slamming and hot. But your suggestion sounds like a great one. Michal I don't think really knows about the D 2 buss specks. So thanks so much for that. :>)

M
Old 13th December 2003
  #7
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High energy projects like rock are the ones that really NEED headroom. You want to handle the GOOD sounding distortion cleanly instead of adding transistor distortion that makes things sound thin and small.
Old 14th December 2003
  #8
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Thanks for that info. I got it al dialed in. I ended up going -14 after talking to Mytek. And I got the A/D's dialed in as well but the Hedd unit is a lot softer in volume then the Myteks. Where did I go wrong? The meters were all -14. ??? To get them the same volume was the main reason for this excercise. I'll look at this later. Thanks again for your help. You saved me.
Old 14th December 2003
  #9
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I was thinking that as well but this is my first jump into calibration land so I'm just learning here. Do you strongly suggest -12? Now that I know how to do it it only took me about 15 minutes for all 28. :>) So I can easily redo it. I'll check back later.

Mitch
Old 14th December 2003
  #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ianneve
...Do you strongly suggest -12? ...
Yes, I'd try -9!
Old 14th December 2003
  #11
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Really? -9? I thought you said -12? I did -14. I think from how much I turned them up though in the first place the converters were probably at -9 to start or closer to that then whare they are now for sure. But they weren't all the same. I want them to be all the same so I can hear the real difference between the Hedd and the Myteks. And even after all this there is still a huge db differenece so obviously somthing is still amiss. I guess I was sort of hoping that the Myteks would blow the Hedd away or at least sound a bit better so I could sell the Hedd and get somthing else I need. Like more Mytek A'D's. :>) I'm in Nashville and I would love to actually speak to you. I'm really an artist. This engineering stuff is only a means to an end for me. I have always loved anything to do with capturing the music though and naturally fell into Engineering and production. I'm a singer really. :>) But getting better at engineering as I'm doing it now a lot. I do like it.

M
Old 14th December 2003
  #12
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And hey Ruphus. Samplitude is killer. I love it. And the Lynx AES card has a digital mixer that worked out great for me doing this. I just had forgotten it was there as it's a brand new card for me. :>) So no dogging Samplitude. It's the best DAW. Best sounding anyway, and what else is there? :>)

M
Old 14th December 2003
  #13
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Hi M,

I also believe it is the best and most versatile out there.
But when I first time tried to make an outboard loop I thought I was getting crazy. I could see the signal arriving back in the Lynx mixer, but couldn´t get it to show up in Samplitude.
... until I found out about that knob with the blue and red arrow on it.

BTW, I believe that Samplitude has a nice stereo imaging. I would be interested to eventually hear from you if the analog bussing would make a big difference with it.

If you had the time, maybe you could even let us have examples, one from Samp mixer and one from the D2bus.



And lots of fun with your new toys!



Greets,

Ruphus
Old 14th December 2003
  #14
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Not sure about that button? I'll investigate later. :>) But yes when I switched over from Nuendo I thought WOW this sounds amazing, but then getting the D2B made it better. Or different anyway. Less perfect somehow. Seems like it added some air. And some noise. Good noise. And what it seems like is happening is that with the digital mixing I can get things really in your face and aggresive and clean but as the mix grows it doesn't get any wider or deeper. With the D2B it does. It seems to grow more. The personality of it seems to grow and not get as lost as it was with the "in the box" mixes. But I have to say that getting the Myteks made a world of difference there as well. I was useing an RME ADI 8 pro and thei D/A daughter card and it killed the low end. There was no low end. It freaked me out. I mean mixing through the D2B and the RME's wasn't so hot. I even liked my "in the box" mixes better in a way. So the D'A's are a HUGE factor with the D2B. Bummed me out and cost me a fortune but I got results. I could post some comparisons if you like when I finally finish this record I've been trying to finish forever. I keep getting different gear and it makes it better and so I tweak some more. That will end though as soon as I get this calibration done. I've also got 6 more Studio traps coming so I will have a full complete ASC "Attack wall" and I would like to wait till that's in place before I do the final mixing and mastering. So I'm sort of stalling till I get those. I tracked the record mostly through the HEdd but drums also went though the RME's. And I had a clocking issue and some popping with the HEdd that I was too stupid at the time to resolve and just let it happen. You can't hear it in the end but I wish I had resolved that before I started the recording. It only shows up on certain tracks oddly enough, the occasional distorted guitars so I get away with it. BUt I also wish I had tracked it right into Samplitude but I didn't have it yet and the thing that made me switch was that I could not get the mix right in Nuendo. It sounded like mush. So it's been a growing process with this cd. Thanks for asking. This forum is awesome. :>)

MM
Old 14th December 2003
  #15
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Chris Muth at Dangerous says:

Hi Mitch,

The optimum level to set a converter up to depends on the clipping level of the analog electronics in the system. Setting a converter to "-14dB full scale = +4dBu" means that the clip level will be +18dBu, a level that all professional analog gear can obtain with a couple of dB headroom.
Setting a converter to "-9dBfs= +4dBu" means that the maximum level will be +13dBu thus bringing the noise floor 5 dB closer to the music. Not necessary unless there is a piece of gear in the chain that has a low maximum level before clipping. Most converters will not let you set the level that low anyway...

cm
Old 15th December 2003
  #16
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Hi M,

thanks for the explanation.
Yes, it would be interesting to hear the difference between the mix in the box with Samplitude and the 2bus, as long as all other points were parameter.

About the AD ... I assume you might have not tried the Lynxs own ones. I heard from users who sold their decent cons after they got the Lynx.

I can imagine you havn´t even yet compared them, if so check´em out. Could possibly be you wouldn´t need the Myteks ... ;O)

Ruphus
Old 15th December 2003
  #17
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Not need the Myteks? But so far the Mytek D'a's are much nicer then the Hedd. brighter, clearer and deeper. The Hedd sounds a little mushy compared to the Mytek. So I just can't imagine Lynx even coming close. I just can't imagine that. I guess I could be wrong but I doubt it. Have you heard the Myteks? I'm not sure what's going on but I cannot get the Hedd D'A up to the same level as the Mytek and the Hedd A/D is louder then the Mytek. I'm sick of calibrating. I've done it over and over again. I can match the levels of the D/a's for the comparison with faders though and Mytek wins. I wouldn't be able to give you a perfect comparison of a box mix Vs D2b mix. Just final master mixes. But that tells you what you need to know. The d2b mixes hold up and grow and the box mixes shut down some and don't grow as well.
Old 15th December 2003
  #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ianneve
Not need the Myteks? But so far the Mytek D'a's are much nicer then the Hedd. brighter, clearer and deeper. The Hedd sounds a little mushy compared to the Mytek. So I just can't imagine Lynx even coming close. I just can't imagine that. I guess I could be wrong but I doubt it. Have you heard the Myteks? I'm not sure what's going on but I cannot get the Hedd D'A up to the same level as the Mytek and the Hedd A/D is louder then the Mytek. I'm sick of calibrating. I've done it over and over again. I can match the levels of the D/a's for the comparison with faders though and Mytek wins. I wouldn't be able to give you a perfect comparison of a box mix Vs D2b mix. Just final master mixes. But that tells you what you need to know. The d2b mixes hold up and grow and the box mixes shut down some and don't grow as well.
I´m sorry that I can´t help you on the calibrating details, but others like Bob can and certainly will. :O)
Also I havn´t heard the hedd nor the mytek. I only know what others reflected on them. ( According to which it appeared like the HEDD was estimated as being better than the Mytek. But mustn´t mean anything, even more as you have both there and what you find is what counts.)

What I meant is that I pictured how you supposedly hadn´t even tried out the Lynx convertors, expecting the Myteks to be superior on principle. And it showed indeed you havn´t.
Just from what I read the Lynx could well be at least that good as the Mytek if not likely better. You might be surprised.

If so you possibly could use the value of the Mytek to invest for something lovely else. Like another mic, instrument ... or whatever the heart is lusting after.

Lemme know how they compare for you.
Old 15th December 2003
  #19
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Well the HEdd A/D might be better then the Mytek A/D as I have yet to compare them but the Mytek D/A sounds much better to me. And I have a Lynx "AES" card, which has no converters on it so I cannot compare. :>) I had never read that the Lynx was in the same class as either of them. Better then RME is what I read but I just sold my RME's as they couldn't even come close to either the HEdd or the Myteks. So you do have me thinking but I still feel there is no way they could be as good. I would be the first to admit it if they were and maybe some day soon I'll get to compare them but I seriously doubt they are in the same class. :>)
Old 15th December 2003
  #20
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Oh, I understand. Had been thinking you had convertors on it. I recall someone even saying Lynn Fuston ( the man who made that comparison CD ) finally found the Lynx best while he had high end boxes there like from Weiss ...

Let´s assume the high end convertors where still better, which I assume, but the Lynx is great without question and biggest bang for the buck by far if I´m not totally wrong here.

Check it out if you have a chance.
Old 15th December 2003
  #21
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I think you are pretty much agreeing with what most people hear in the D to A department between the Mytec D to As and the ones in the HEdd. The A to D in the HEdd was right up there with the very best when I compared.

As for levels, remember that tape only had about 12 dB of headroom above +4 so a lot of gear that sounded great with tape sounds crappy if you have more than 12 dB of headroom coming out of a digital converter. All digital converters regularly have a reconstructed peak output that's 2 or 3 dB ABOVE digital zero and you actually need to allow for SIX to even measure a converter accurately. Three or four dB more noise was a big deal with tape noise only down 55 dB from +4 but at 80 to 120 dB down, it isn't much of a problem. On the opposite end, chips running out of steam is the most common cause of that good old sound of having no bass "punch."
Old 15th December 2003
  #22
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I am clearly not the most technical guy (although calibrating converters is now part of my experience) and I'm not sure I'm completely grasping what you are saying here but all I really want to do is be done with this. :>) I stayed at -14. So far it seems to be fine in mixing with the d2b. Although today I need to solder some ends from being the wrong pin hot to the right pin hot. This tech stuff is wearing me out. I need to write a song soon. :>) thanks,

MM
Old 15th December 2003
  #23
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At what point should a A/D produce a +4 output?
im not sure i understand this?
Old 16th December 2003
  #24
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The right level settings depend entirely on the particular analog gear being interfaced and the analog capabilities of the converters involved. The BEST way is to do serious listening tests to a variety of setups but specs can give you a place to begin. High-end gear often makes the process simpler but getting it right is one of the biggest secrets to great sound, especially with inexpensive gear.
Old 16th December 2003
  #25
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Hum,,, well, I' think I'm done. May I never have to calibrate another converter as long as I live. :>) Thanks for your insite.

M
Old 16th December 2003
  #26
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If you get a chance I would listen to the lynx stuff. I think you will be surprised. I was. Never hear mytek so I can't compare the two.
Old 17th December 2003
  #27
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I'm sure it's decent but once you hear something great it spoils you as I'm sure you all know. Mytek D/A's are amazing. Not sure when or if I'll ever get the chance to hear the lynx? :>)

M
Old 2nd August 2020
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Ok, the Dangerous 2-bus inputs are supposed to clip at + 25 dBu. This means to allow 6 dB for intersample peaking, the very hottest you should allign D to As feeding a Dangerous 2-bus is -15. (They seem to suggest +4 = -14)

In practice, it's a good idea to leave another 6 dB of headroom which means setting +4 (1.228 volts) equal to -9. At the very least, I'd go for +4 equals -12dBfs. -12=+4 would be a good setting for the analog input back into the workstation too.
Hey, Bob -
Thanks for these tips. I played around with the different settings on my Dangerous Convert-2 DAC (-14, -16 and -18) aiming for -19dBu heading into the Crane Song IBIS (manual says it distorts at +25) by adjusting the front end of the Dangerous Master. I did hear the difference between keeping 6 dB headroom and pushing it closer to the limit. In your post, you state that ideal would be to calibrate the DAC to -12dBFs = +4dBu. Are there DACs that have that as a selectable calibration level or is there some internal way to adjust further...? Same question for an ADC - Dangerous Convert-AD+ in my case.
Thanks
Old 2nd August 2020
  #29
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Most pro converters have trimmers.
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