The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
HELP! Guitars great on the console, dreadful in PT
Old 2nd June 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

HELP! Guitars great on the console, dreadful in PT

Hey Everyone,

Aside from the obvious snarky comments that can be made - I'm having a huge problem with getting the same guitar sound in Pro Tools that I have on my console.

Simple chain - beta 57a to John Hardy M-1 to line input on Neotek Series II - sounds amazing. Thick, tough, great bottom end, perfect.

Then it goes through one of the busses into Pro Tools via an Apogee AD-8000.

Now the guitar sounds like complete garbage - mind you - we have TONS of headroom on the preamp, the console, the meters on the AD, and the actual meters in protools. The sound, however, is anemic, quiet, and has tons of distortion in the 8k-12k range that sounds dreadful.

The console is UNBALANCED but still runs at +4. It's pin-drop silent, even when cranked. I have lifted pin 3 to ground on the XLR connector going into the apogee A/D. It doesn't make much of a difference from using an actual balanced out from the console. I have also tried going through different busses, different D/A, different channels, different cables, even recording onto an 001. Same problem.

What the hell is going wrong, aside from the obvious symptoms of A/D and Pro Tools maybe not being quite as nice as a console? I can't imagine that the sound would be THAT different.

Any help would be heavily appreciated and reciprocated if possible.

best,

joshua eustis
Old 2nd June 2006
  #2
Gear Nut
 

hi tommy
Old 2nd June 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Try using a Digi 192 interface.

Rail
Old 2nd June 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by benelli
The sound, however, is anemic, quiet, and has tons of distortion in the 8k-12k range that sounds dreadful.
If it has suddenly picked up tons of distortion, then you obviously have a problem in your signal path. Now its a process of elimination. Not being there its going to be next to impossible for anyone to come up with the solution as it doesn't appear to be that obvious. The pro-tools mix systems were not that great, but they are not going to creat masses of distortion unless something has gone wrong with component parts. If its a 192 HD system then the problem is more serious as these do sound good. I would call a good tech in to have a look for you.

Regards


Roland
Old 3rd June 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Is it possible for you to bypass the board on the way in? IOW, going straight out of the Hardy pre into the converter. That's where I'd start.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #6
Very WEIRD

Quote:
Originally Posted by benelli
Hey Everyone,

Aside from the obvious snarky comments that can be made - I'm having a huge problem with getting the same guitar sound in Pro Tools that I have on my console.

Simple chain - beta 57a to John Hardy M-1 to line input on Neotek Series II - sounds amazing. Thick, tough, great bottom end, perfect.

Then it goes through one of the busses into Pro Tools via an Apogee AD-8000.

Now the guitar sounds like complete garbage - mind you - we have TONS of headroom on the preamp, the console, the meters on the AD, and the actual meters in protools. The sound, however, is anemic, quiet, and has tons of distortion in the 8k-12k range that sounds dreadful.

The console is UNBALANCED but still runs at +4. It's pin-drop silent, even when cranked. I have lifted pin 3 to ground on the XLR connector going into the apogee A/D. It doesn't make much of a difference from using an actual balanced out from the console. I have also tried going through different busses, different D/A, different channels, different cables, even recording onto an 001. Same problem.

What the hell is going wrong, aside from the obvious symptoms of A/D and Pro Tools maybe not being quite as nice as a console? I can't imagine that the sound would be THAT different.

Any help would be heavily appreciated and reciprocated if possible.

best,

joshua eustis
Since Electric Gtr via a 12 inch celestion has almost no output beyond 6K.
How is it clipping at 8-12K I can only assume this is from either an incorectly calibrated system from the point of view of gain of the AD relative to PT.
Or you have a component failure in the console group balance amp or you have
a duff interface. Remove the console from the chain Test with just the pre going into the 8000 and then reconect using the actual outputs that have this great sound going into the apogee 8000. It should sound very similar to the system without the apogee and PT in the chain. Believe it or not people have made quite a few records with these PT thingies with apogee converters. What does the PT calibration tool make of the system levels.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
Old 3rd June 2006
  #7
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

Hey Everyone,

First of all, I really appreciate everyone chiming in.

A few points that I may have omitted - we had repeatable results on 3 different A/D's - the apogee, an RME ADI 8 pro, AND an 001, which has technically (specswise) better converters than the 888's. Exactly what the sound is like? It sounds like Pro Tools is clipping, but the meters are nowhere near the red, even the yellow.

I guess it might be something in the calibration on the way in? But the repeated results on multiple machines point towards some other conundrum.

Amazing that the guitar has such a high frequency fuzz, indeed - the amp is a blackface twin (CBS era) with custom designed speakers installed by tim schroeder here in chicago. It is absolutely the best twin I have ever heard, and has no business generating a fuzz over 6K without a Zvex pedal attached.

Anyhow, thanks for all of your very appreciated advice, my friends...

peace

joshua eustis
Old 3rd June 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Try taking the signal from the Neotek into another console line in so you can PFL the signal as a line level source and go into a measurement device, or into a preamp at line level so you can see & monitor it. I'd put it on a Neutrik or AP test device and look at the source from the console, and try running tone thru the same path. If all you have is tone and a basic scope, that should be able to tell you volumes. If your THD spec skyrockets with tone, then you have OTHER issues. If the THD stays the same and is relative with program level, then start measuring as you go thru the chain.

This should be easily fixed by a tech with the proper tools.

Jim
Hope this helps!
Old 3rd June 2006
  #9
try patching from the pre straight to your converters. Maybe something is funky with the buss amp on your console. FWIW I would always go straight from the pre to the device I'm recording onto, unless I'm adding a compressor.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #10
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

Hey Fellas

I did go straight to the pre, bypassing the console. I forgot to mention that I had tested this - I think it was the first thing I did. It still sounded like ass. It's a software thing. The console is tip top and sounds amazing, top to bottom. This is most assuredly now a pro tools issue. But I mean, WOW it's an issue. My tech is here right now and he's stupmed as well!

THANKS!

_J_
Old 3rd June 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Get yourself a copy of Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer...some other DAW and see if the same thing happens.

Brad
Old 4th June 2006
  #12
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

You won't believe it

So we hooked up the M-Powered rig, with an M-Audio A/D converter and a different rig altogether - a laptop mac, etc. - and guess what - it's perfect. Can you believe this ****? The console passed all the tests.

So it's just something in protools that's wrong on my rig and right on the other rig. Having the HD that I just ordered is the fix then, starting from scratch, calibrating everythng from top to bottom.

Thanks again, to all of you, for your advice! I really appreciate it. That's the great thing about this forum...

best,

joshua eustis
Old 4th June 2006
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Were you wiring the output of your convertors unbalanced, shorting pins 3 and 1, or R and S? If so this may have been causing distortion in the output opamps if they dont like being partly shorted out.

Other than that, are you sure it wasnt some kind of sample rate issue?


M
Old 6th June 2006
  #14
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

I've wired jumpers on all my xlr outs from the console from pin three to pin one. That's how the console likes it. It's loud and clear. We've sussed that it was definitely something inherent in the old protools rig, something we couldn't fix no matter what. We've got a new rig happening in the meantime, until the HD gets here, that sounds fine. I'm chalking this up to being one of those fluke things. It's amazing when stuff like this happens with no explanation. Lee Perry always said that the studio is a living, breathing, thing, and I believe him.

best,

joshua eustis
Old 6th June 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benelli
Amazing that the guitar has such a high frequency fuzz, indeed - the amp is a blackface twin (CBS era) with custom designed speakers installed by tim schroeder here in chicago. It is absolutely the best twin I have ever heard, and has no business generating a fuzz over 6K without a Zvex pedal attached.

joshua eustis


HEYf the zvex is sitting anywhere near the converters/line snakes/ac boxes,


i love em' but they are sometimes really ghostly in an EMI sorta way
Old 8th June 2006
  #16
Gear Nut
 
benelli's Avatar
 

Funny Enough

I had some cables hanging off the patchbays, coiled neatly on the floor, running to line inserts on the console, and one of them was touching the housing of a Lacie external hard drive, and it was shorting out the 2mix on the console! The left channel would die out if the cable came close to the hard drive. So aside from my strange handmade fuzz pedal collection being moved into the adjacent room, now it really is time to hook up the monitor extension and get the computer the HELL away from the desk...

best
Old 8th June 2006
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by benelli
I've wired jumpers on all my xlr outs from the console from pin three to pin one. That's how the console likes it. It's loud and clear. We've sussed that it was definitely something inherent in the old protools rig, something we couldn't fix no matter what.
You tied 1 & 3, the ground & negative together?

Why?

Usually it's 2 & 3...ground usually likes to be on it's own...

That could be the problem!

Sounds like you've got some grounding & electrical stuff to sort out...
Old 8th June 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
You tied 1 & 3, the ground & negative together?

Why?

Usually it's 2 & 3...ground usually likes to be on it's own...

That could be the problem!

Sounds like you've got some grounding & electrical stuff to sort out...

If you link 2 and 3 you short out the signal.

Linking pins 1 and 3 is the normal way to make balanced into unbalanced. However this can cause problems with some active balanced out circuits as youre shorting out half of the output opamp. If its designed properly there will be a resistor in series with the outputs of each opamp so they can never be dead shorted.

The other way to get around this is to simply disconnect pin 3, but then if you even try to use that line with gear with an output transformer, youll get no sound.


M
Old 8th June 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Hi
You need to read the manuals for each piece of kit to sort out what needs linking or not.
'Balanced out' has many variants of which a floating transformer winding is the easiest to get right. There are several transformerless types where the 'cold' side can and should be grounded and then some where the cold must NOT be grounded. The manuals should explain what your kit wants. An output from a SSM2142 (a common chip with other versions made by competitors) needs the cold side grounding if it is to be used unbalanced otherwise there will be some output but a bit reduced in level but very noisy. Variants of this type are used by AMEK Soundcraft SSL and uncle Tom Cobley and all.
Me, I like transformers!
Matt S
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump