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API A2D too sensitive! - clipping the input Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
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musicl's Avatar
 

API A2D too sensitive! - clipping the input

I bet a lot of you know my gear story and yet i'm going to bring more questions about my slutty problems fellow comrades.

the title of this post is confusing but i can't change it. Here is the situation - I finally have my new setup; My API A2D has a problem - it's too dam sensitive recording vocals of all things! Even if i turn the mic gain ALL the way down i can still clip the input. I am using the PAD button engaged which is no problem you say, but i'm wondering if the 2:1 setting on top of this does anything bad? (using a TLM103, haven't tried my TLM49 yet)

Thanks for your input...(not to much though
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
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Tabnetic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicl View Post
I bet a lot of you know my gear story and yet i'm going to bring more questions about my slutty problems fellow comrades.

the title of this post is confusing but i can't change it. Here is the situation - I finally have my new setup; My API A2D has a problem - it's too dam sensitive recording vocals of all things! Even if i turn the mic gain ALL the way down i can still clip the input. I am using the PAD button engaged which is no problem you say, but i'm wondering if the 2:1 setting on top of this does anything bad? (using a TLM103, haven't tried my TLM49 yet)

Thanks for your input...(not to much though

i don't own one, but as no one has answered you yet i'll give it a stab (or at least a bump).

in the product literature that i've read when i was considering buying one, you might want to see about flicking off that 2:1 switch.

anyway, i doubt that's helpful, but bumpity bump...
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
This is one of the reasons I often recommend against combo units like this. Its seems a bit limiting in terms of signal flow options like putting an attenuator or compressor after the mic pre, before the converters. (and whats the fun of API pres if you can't crank them?)

One option would be to look for a mic attenuator to put before the unit. I think shure makes one.
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
JPM
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musicl,

the 2:1 should allow you to drive the gain even more. in other words you should be getting less signal when it is engaged. are you using the XLR input in back?

rcm,

you can insert things post pre and pre converter. but the converter input is also variable. the A2D is quite flexible.


JPM
Old 9th September 2007
  #5
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musicl's Avatar
 

The 2:1 switch indeed allows you to crank the gain. I am using the XLR inputs on the back. Maybe it's just the mic as i know the 103 is sensitive. Will test others when i get a chance.

Does the PAD switch AND 2:1 switch toggled in together technically do anything nasty to the sound? a PAD is a PAD, right? - just attenuation?
Old 9th September 2007
  #6
JPM
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I'm not sure what you mean by nasty since I have no audible reference but engaging both will certainly thicken, add some distortion, and eat some detail. Yeah, maybe the 103 is really hot. I don't know that mic but it still seems weird that you're overdriving the input gain when it's turned all the way down especially since the pad and 2:1 is engaged.

And you're sure it's the input overdriving and not some other stage? Digital in? DAW? Sampe rate selector on API matches DAW setting?

JPM
Old 9th September 2007
  #7
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musicl's Avatar
 

I'm using the channel input lights as a reference and it goes into red danger zone! It doesn't happen when the pad is engaged. Just talking about the PAD - i know PAD's are just attenuators but i wanted to know technically if they mess with the sound in any way?? EG, mess with HF, etc..

As you say, the 2:1 drives the unit a little harder but i didn't want to use that type of flavour sound. The TLM103 is a little hotter then most mics so it could be the culprit...

Any A2D owners to comment here? I know you're out there in droves!
Old 9th September 2007
  #8
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Legacy Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicl View Post
I'm using the channel input lights as a reference and it goes into red danger zone!
The ANALOG A/B red LED's do not indicate clipping.
Be sure you are actually hearing clipping and not just misleading yourself.

Using the GAIN pot you should be able drive the ANALOG A/B meters well into the red and beyond, just be sure to trim the signal using the DIGITAL A/B pot so the converter doesn't clip.
Old 9th September 2007
  #9
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musicl's Avatar
 

Thanks! - that's strange if they don't indicate clipping because they state they are analogue! My reasoning it it is measuring analogue signal - doesn't it defeat the purpose of having the meters? I'm not seeing the point in the design here :?

From the manual:
"A level control pot with an expanded 20-segmnent metering system shows precise mic gain levels"
Old 9th September 2007
  #10
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
[QUOTE=JPM;1486455

you can insert things post pre and pre converter. but the converter input is also variable. the A2D is quite flexible.
[/QUOTE]

I was looking at the back of the unit trying to figure it out. So when you are not using an insert do you physically patch from the XLR output to the TRS AD input? I think I made the mistake of assuming the TRS input was an additional input for the AD not the input for the AD.

Mea Culpa (and I might have even spelled that wrong)

In that case get and ATTY from A Designs for about a hundred bucks and have fun crankin' the hell out of those API pres.
Old 9th September 2007
  #11
JPM
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
I was looking at the back of the unit trying to figure it out. So when you are not using an insert do you physically patch from the XLR output to the TRS AD input?
No, you don't have to.

Quote:
I think I made the mistake of assuming the TRS input was an additional input for the AD not the input for the AD.
Well, it's not an additional input in the sense that you could run two external pres through it while simultaneously using the two existing pres or something like that. Sorry if that sounds obvious. Must be routed so when not using an insert you don't have to but it's possible to use an insert or an external pre in which case you could use it if you wanted it for the converters.


Quote:
In that case get and ATTY from A Designs for about a hundred bucks and have fun crankin' the hell out of those API pres.
Sounds like good advice to me.

JPM
Old 9th September 2007
  #12
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andychamp's Avatar
I often use TLM103s into API512s (basically same structure/headroom as the 312 in the A2D), and even with the pad engaged the pres still hit red (although I rather like the sound i'm getting, esp. on OHs).

But: yeah, the 103 is a loud mic.
Old 9th September 2007
  #13
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musicl's Avatar
 

andychamp, thanks for confirming that! I'm just going to have to use the PAD and 2:1 and get some vibe going! That red on the meter freaked me out though because the manual says 'gain levels' but i guess it's working as a resistor...
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