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Using an API 3124+ with a Frontier Tango 24...noob problem Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 2nd January 2011
Using an API 3124+ with a Frontier Tango 24...noob problem

So i recently grabbed an API 3124 that i have connected to my Frontier Tango 24 A/D D/a and then going adat optical into a Digi 003+. Here is my issue...

With the gain level all the way down on my 3124, pad signal clips in pro tools. I cant get a usable signal from kick, snare, overheads...anything. Now i used to have 500 series API 512C's and i tracked drums with those all the time, but never with the Tango 24 in the equation.

I recorded other things with the 3124 like acoustic and vocals and it performs normally i just cant do anything with drums...but i know i should be able to.

I know the API output is +4 dbu and the output on the Tango 24 can either be -10 dbu or +4 dbu. Is this my issue? Should they both be at +4 dbu or should the tango be at -10 dbu?......or is there something that could be wrong with my API or the Tango?

I know this is a noob question, i just havent had a problem like this before.

EDIT: I actually just got a reasonable, controllable signal by using SM57's as my overheads. Prior i was trying to use 2 pairs of AT4033's and Rode NT-5 but i couldnt get anything usuable, just clipping waveforms.
Old 2nd January 2011
Gear Nut
Randyman...'s Avatar

The API and most pro gear is capable of putting out VERY high levels. Most of my "Pro" gear is capable of +30dBu and beyond! Most ADC's are around +12dBu = 0dBfs to +22dBu = 0dBfs (some ADC's are referenced higher - but they are generally in another price bracket - like $5K and up).

Then the fact that condensors as Drum overheads and dynamics as Kick/Snare tight mics will have strong levels at the mic output - the API's lowest gain setting is still pushing the level beyond what your Tango can handle w/o clipping.

I'd pad the OUTPUTS of the API into the Tango so you can drive the API's output transformers some. You can of course pad the MIC INPUT - but I tend to prefer driving the output iron for some API flavor. I regularly use -12dB Pads I built from XLR Barrels on most of my Drum Pre's. The API's and most transformer balanced gear likes 600 Ohm Load impedances as well - so you might as well make some 600 Ohm Output Pads and get the output transformer loaded where they don't ring...

Old 2nd January 2011
Registered User

try it and see
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