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Monitor Levels - Adjust Master level on Interface First?
Old 3rd February 2017
  #31
rds
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liko View Post
So, short answer after all this, start with your interface and computer volume at maximum, and your speakers all the way down. Turn the speakers up from nothing to the loudest you'd ever want to be listening to them (and don't forget that you may want to turn up quieter music like classical), make sure the soundfield is well-balanced between the two, and from there, go ahead and use the monitor knob on the interface to fine-tune volume as desired. This way, you're minimizing any digital attenuation losses, without ignoring the tools you already have for making listening volume adjustments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
That is the opposite of what is being suggested. Turn your monitors down as low as they go, set everything else to 100%, then bring the monitors up to the loudest level you can comfortably use and leave them there. Use the interface to adjust the level in use.
I remember have reading Liko suggestion but didn't strike me at that time, was still overwhelmed.

To me i just though that the monitor was build and configured around that 0dB sensivity setting ad the reason why it should be leave there if possible. But seems not the case, good.

So i tried with my interface software volume all the way up, so output volume , playback monitor volume and the physical monitor knob, everything at 100%.

The lowest sensivity setting i can go on my monitors are -30dB and the volume is already quite loud, way too loud i could work with on daily basis.

To bring it at a confortable level i have to set the monitor level knob to around 40~50%.

Could it be because the monitors seems a bit too powerful for the room ?

Note that i work at 5 feet from my monitors and i'm in a small of 12 feet x 10 feet and highly treated, so very quiet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm really sorry my 'over-explaining' confused things. .
You certainly don't have to.

As i said your explanation may be clear and informative for almost everyone, it's the kind of explanation people would expect and you do it right.
Some technical things are beyond my understanding. Still and because i'm doing everything by my own i had to learn a lot of things from scratch from other domains that was needed to achieve my goal, creating music.
But i can't learn everything because creating music regroup and recquier so much various knowledge of various specific professions and actually you can't realize it until your stepping into this wonderful world.

As is said my thing is to create and produce music, my imagination is my powertool and it's the only area where i certainly don't need any advice

Last edited by rds; 3rd February 2017 at 10:52 AM..
Old 5th February 2017
  #32
rds
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
I remember have reading Liko suggestion but didn't strike me at that time, was still overwhelmed.

To me i just though that the monitor was build and configured around that 0dB sensivity setting and the reason why it should be leave there if possible. But seems not the case, good.

So i tried with my interface software volume all the way up, so output volume , playback monitor volume and the physical monitor knob, everything at 100%.

The lowest sensivity setting i can go on my monitors are -30dB and the volume is already quite loud, way too loud i could work with on daily basis.

To bring it at a confortable level i have to set the monitor level knob to around 40~50%.

Could it be because the monitors seems a bit too powerful for the room ?

Note that i work at 5 feet from my monitors and i'm in a small studio of 12 feet x 10 feet and highly treated, so very quiet.

Lumbergh, theblue1, any feedback ?
Old 5th February 2017
  #33
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I feel the best practice with powered monitors (that do not have a conventional volume control, as most do not) is to use the monitors' input trims to set a good, practical maximum level that you will need in normal use.

That way, the monitors' self-noise will typically be reduced and you will be reducing the damage (to ears and/or speakers) that can result when the occasional full volume signal goes flying out your chain. (And, sooner or later, it probably will.)
This is what I have always done. Not only do I see no point of having your monitors being way louder than you would ever actually monitor at, I have always been told in the speaker world in general to never set your amp to 100% gain as it will cause some level of added distortion, with a better quality piece likely having far less. I don't know if this is actually true in practice, and if it matters as most electronics are far better than when I actually learned this but from a practical matter, it just makes sense to me to not have the ability to go louder than you would ever care to do.

I just set everything besides my speakers to 100%, then up the gain on my amp/speakers until it is as loud as I would ever want. I then go just a touch passed this. I am not talking about the loudest I would ever monitor with, I am talking the loudest I would ever feasibly listen at, so I theoretically would never go to the back of the speaker to turn things up there.
Old 5th February 2017
  #34
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Hi
Quote:
I have always been told in the speaker world in general to never set your amp to 100% gain as it will cause some level of added distortion.
Unquote:
Be careful, GAIN and the 'loudness' of a speaker/amp system are not the same thing. Unless it is a horrendous piece of gear the distortion will not increase with increased 'gain'. In fact almost all amplifiers have a fixed gain but an attenuator (pot or switch) just before the amplifier.
Like others I would propose setting the output of the DAW/controller to perhaps just short of full level, say 10dB less, then turning the monitor speaker level control up until it is suitably as loud as you would normally want. You could consider a plug in attenuator (XLR/XLR barrel type?) if your monitor amplifier pot/ switch won't go down far enough.
As others have commented setting it up like this would mean that when you get full scale digital nasties it won't be massively louder than usual settings, so less likely to cause damage.
Matt S
Old 13th March 2019
  #35
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I just wanted to say, theblue1, what an exceptional and immensely helpful session of information you just provided to me. Well done.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

does adjusting the monitors levels affect their freq respons?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rds View Post
Lumbergh, theblue1, any feedback ?
Sorry I didn't see this sooner.

As you've realized, you'll need to adjust your interface output level down if you've already dropped the monitors down their max to -30 dB using their 'trim'/output level control.

TBH, I wouldn't worry too much in such a case.

Let's say you need to drop the interface output level another 20 dB in order to get the speaker output to a comfortable level.

24 bit audio affords around 140 dB of signal to noise ratio in the digital domain. If you reduce that 20 dB to a nominal SNR of 120 db, that's still just about as good as the best analog circuitry can pass through, so any increase in noise from such a interface level attenuation is unlikely to be noticed. Even if you had to drop the level 40 dB, I suspect you'd still be in pretty good shape.

Remember that the noise floor of a 16 bit CD is something around 90 dB; and that is a very low noise floor in terms of pre-digital performance. We use 24 bit for production processes -- as I know you know -- because it affords us all that extra 'wiggle room.' Even after lowering your interface volume, I suspect you'll have a pretty clean signal!
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