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Best guitar setting Audio Interfaces
Old 7th October 2017
  #1
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Best guitar setting

I have the MOTU UltraLite mk3 I don't have powered speakers so I have the speaker into an old Denon amp also my MOTU into that amp and also MOTU into the back of my Mac with firewire. Ok I control the volume of my guitar with the denon amp but was wondering if there is a better way using the MOTU and how to use the TRIM knobs. Things got sounding really bad so I reset the MOTU back to factory setting via the MOTU page. I would ask them this question but there closed. Thanks
Old 9th October 2017
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
I have the MOTU UltraLite mk3 I don't have powered speakers so I have the speaker into an old Denon amp also my MOTU into that amp and also MOTU into the back of my Mac with firewire. Ok I control the volume of my guitar with the denon amp but was wondering if there is a better way using the MOTU and how to use the TRIM knobs. Things got sounding really bad so I reset the MOTU back to factory setting via the MOTU page. I would ask them this question but there closed. Thanks
Things will NEVER sound good with the setup you're running. What speakers are you using? Some old hi-fi ones or unpowered studio monitors? Hi-fi ones are not flat and have a very biased frequency response. So does that Denon amp. Until you get that sorted anything else is a waste of time.

Ask the question of who - MOTU? They're closed on weekends. Try Monday to Friday during normal east coast US business hours.
Old 9th October 2017
  #3
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Things will NEVER sound good with the setup you're running. What speakers are you using? Some old hi-fi ones or unpowered studio monitors? Hi-fi ones are not flat and have a very biased frequency response. So does that Denon amp. Until you get that sorted anything else is a waste of time.

Ask the question of who - MOTU? They're closed on weekends. Try Monday to Friday during normal east coast US business hours.
My spkr's are as good if not better than studio spkr's measured perfectly flat customs built for me. Yes my amp is the weak spot.
Old 9th October 2017
  #4
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
My spkr's are as good if not better than studio spkr's measured perfectly flat customs built for me. Yes my amp is the weak spot.
Again I doubt your speakers are any good despite what you think. There's no such thing as a perfectly flat speaker; some come close. The only way to get flat response is to use some kind of dsp in the speaker itself. YOur whole system is weak.
Old 9th October 2017
  #5
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Again I doubt your speakers are any good despite what you think. There's no such thing as a perfectly flat speaker; some come close. The only way to get flat response is to use some kind of dsp in the speaker itself. YOur whole system is weak.
The old guy who designed them and built the was on the team who designed Klipsch speakers. I should not of said perfectly. But close. and as for amps. I worked with a guy at my old job at Sandia National Lab's here in Albq. He was a very good engineer there but also a audio nut. And convinced me that amps's have reached there maturity around 1980. He said you can make them look better and maybe better heatsinks but that are as far as they can go, because there really, to an engineer, a simple thing to make. I agree with you that I could get a more powerful amp. I could Mic my Fender amp. haven't tried that yet.
Old 9th October 2017
  #6
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
The old guy who designed them and built the was on the team who designed Klipsch speakers. I should not of said perfectly. But close. and as for amps. I worked with a guy at my old job at Sandia National Lab's here in Albq. He was a very good engineer there but also a audio nut. And convinced me that amps's have reached there maturity around 1980. He said you can make them look better and maybe better heatsinks but that are as far as they can go, because there really, to an engineer, a simple thing to make. I agree with you that I could get a more powerful amp. I could Mic my Fender amp. haven't tried that yet.
I know Klipsches as I have a pair of the Chorus models for my stereo and I would never, EVER use them for critical work with recording software. They ain't close to being flat and if your guy was truly on the design team he either sold you a bill of goods or your WAY mistaken about the capabilities of said speakers.
Old 9th October 2017
  #7
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
I know Klipsches as I have a pair of the Chorus models for my stereo and I would never, EVER use them for critical work with recording software. They ain't close to being flat and if your guy was truly on the design team he either sold you a bill of goods or your WAY mistaken about the capabilities of said speakers.
Good by have a calm life.
Old 10th October 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
I have the MOTU UltraLite mk3 I don't have powered speakers so I have the speaker into an old Denon amp also my MOTU into that amp and also MOTU into the back of my Mac with firewire. Ok I control the volume of my guitar with the denon amp but was wondering if there is a better way using the MOTU and how to use the TRIM knobs. Things got sounding really bad so I reset the MOTU back to factory setting via the MOTU page. I would ask them this question but there closed. Thanks
What kind of guitar do you have? Are you connecting it to the instrument input of the UltraLite?

In CueMix, check the input level of the guitar. Make sure you are not clipping the input. Use the Trim control in the Inputs tab in CueMix to get a good level without clipping. The Trim control is used to set correct input level to the interface. The faders in the Mixer page of CueMix are there for output monitor level. If you get a clean input signal but hear distortion from your speakers you may be overloading the input of the amp. Check the signal by connecting headphones to the UltraLite. Bring down the Bus Master fader in CueMix if yuou are overloading the amp.

If you then use CueMix to send the guitar signal directly to output you should have a clean signal. It won't sound like a guitar amp or speaker cabinet because that's not in your signal chain. If you are using DP or some other DAW software that includes amp and speaker sims you should be able to get a realistic guitar through amp tone.

Dave
Old 11th October 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
What kind of guitar do you have? Are you connecting it to the instrument input of the UltraLite?

In CueMix, check the input level of the guitar. Make sure you are not clipping the input. Use the Trim control in the Inputs tab in CueMix to get a good level without clipping. The Trim control is used to set correct input level to the interface. The faders in the Mixer page of CueMix are there for output monitor level. If you get a clean input signal but hear distortion from your speakers you may be overloading the input of the amp. Check the signal by connecting headphones to the UltraLite. Bring down the Bus Master fader in CueMix if yuou are overloading the amp.

If you then use CueMix to send the guitar signal directly to output you should have a clean signal. It won't sound like a guitar amp or speaker cabinet because that's not in your signal chain. If you are using DP or some other DAW software that includes amp and speaker sims you should be able to get a realistic guitar through amp tone.

Dave
Thanks for the pleasant response. Not using CueMix. Using Logic Pro and I now have a nice signal/ I reset the MOTU to factory default and sounds better. CueMix is a little ambiguous on this model of the MOTU. Just playing around in my home, nothing serious.
Old 11th October 2017
  #10
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
Thanks for the pleasant response. Not using CueMix. Using Logic Pro and I now have a nice signal/ I reset the MOTU to factory default and sounds better. CueMix is a little ambiguous on this model of the MOTU. Just playing around in my home, nothing serious.
There are two ways to monitor input to output with your system. You can monitor through Logic. You can direct monitor through the interface. CueMix software controls the direct input to output monitor mix.

If you monitor through Logic you don't want to also monitor through CueMix. CueMix is useful however for setting your input level to Logic via the input trim controls. If you don't have any effects engaged in CueMix, there should be no other change to the signal going in or out.

Dave
Old 11th October 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
There are two ways to monitor input to output with your system. You can monitor through Logic. You can direct monitor through the interface. CueMix software controls the direct input to output monitor mix.

If you monitor through Logic you don't want to also monitor through CueMix. CueMix is useful however for setting your input level to Logic via the input trim controls. If you don't have any effects engaged in CueMix, there should be no other change to the signal going in or out.

Dave
I thought CueMix was for independent use on you amp away from your computer.If I'm wrong, what would the benefit be of using it thru my Mac and Logic.? Thanks
Old 11th October 2017
  #12
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
I thought CueMix was for independent use on you amp away from your computer.If I'm wrong, what would the benefit be of using it thru my Mac and Logic.? Thanks
The UltraLite mk3 interface has an internal mixer. The mixer provides direct input to output routing. The mixer is available whether the interface is connected to the computer or running in stand-alone mode.

The internal mixer of the UltraLite can be controlled from it's front panel or from CueMix software. No actual signal passes through CueMix software. CueMix is controlling what happens inside the interface.

As mentioned you have two ways to monitor a live input signal to output with your system. You can monitor a live input signal through Logic. Obviously Logic has to be running with a patch through path for this to work.

It is also possible to monitor live input directly to output and control this monitor mix via CueMix software. The advantage of direct monitoring through CueMix is that there is no latency delay and no additional load on the computer. The advantage to monitoring through Logic is that you can monitor through software plug-ins. What you do not want to do is "double monitor" through both signal paths at the same time.

If you monitor through Logic you don't need to use CueMix software. You do want to make sure you have a proper input level to the UltraLite from your guitar. You can monitor and control input level from the Input page in CueMix but you can also monitor and trim from the front panel of the interface.

Dave
Old 11th October 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The UltraLite mk3 interface has an internal mixer. The mixer provides direct input to output routing. The mixer is available whether the interface is connected to the computer or running in stand-alone mode.

The internal mixer of the UltraLite can be controlled from it's front panel or from CueMix software. No actual signal passes through CueMix software. CueMix is controlling what happens inside the interface.

As mentioned you have two ways to monitor a live input signal to output with your system. You can monitor a live input signal through Logic. Obviously Logic has to be running with a patch through path for this to work.

It is also possible to monitor live input directly to output and control this monitor mix via CueMix software. The advantage of direct monitoring through CueMix is that there is no latency delay and no additional load on the computer. The advantage to monitoring through Logic is that you can monitor through software plug-ins. What you do not want to do is "double monitor" through both signal paths at the same time.

If you monitor through Logic you don't need to use CueMix software. You do want to make sure you have a proper input level to the UltraLite from your guitar. You can monitor and control input level from the Input page in CueMix but you can also monitor and trim from the front panel of the interface.

Dave
Thanks Dave for all the good tips. How can I make sure I'm not double monitoring?
Old 11th October 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
Thanks Dave for all the good tips. How can I make sure I'm not double monitoring?
Quit Logic. If you still hear input to output monitoring through the UltraLite you know CueMix is enabled. Mute the bus master in CueMix to disable direct patch through.

Dave
Old 12th October 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
Quit Logic. If you still hear input to output monitoring through the UltraLite you know CueMix is enabled. Mute the bus master in CueMix to disable direct patch through.

Dave
Here is where I have the MOTU connected in back of Denon amp.
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Best guitar setting-back-denon-amp.jpg   Best guitar setting-back-denon-amp.jpg  
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Old 12th October 2017
  #16
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
Here is where I have the MOTU connected in back of Denon amp.
The amp is fine for basic monitoring. It is a "consumer" amp which means it has unbalanced -10 dB reference inputs. The UltraLite has balanced +4 dB reference outputs. If you run signal from the UltraLite at maximum gain into this amp you will probably overload the amp inputs and get distortion. So you will need to attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp.

Dave
Old 12th October 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The amp is fine for basic monitoring. It is a "consumer" amp which means it has unbalanced -10 dB reference inputs. The UltraLite has balanced +4 dB reference outputs. If you run signal from the UltraLite at maximum gain into this amp you will probably overload the amp inputs and get distortion. So you will need to attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp.

Dave
Not to mention running the right connection between the balanced outs and unbalanced ins. You don't really want to ground either side of a balanced feed if you can help it.
Old 12th October 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The amp is fine for basic monitoring. It is a "consumer" amp which means it has unbalanced -10 dB reference inputs. The UltraLite has balanced +4 dB reference outputs. If you run signal from the UltraLite at maximum gain into this amp you will probably overload the amp inputs and get distortion. So you will need to attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp.

Dave
I'm coming out of the Main Out's in back of the MOTU.
Old 12th October 2017
  #19
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Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
Not to mention running the right connection between the balanced outs and unbalanced ins. You don't really want to ground either side of a balanced feed if you can help it.
That depends on the specific device. In the case of the UltraLite mk3 Hybrid it's ok to use an unbalanced TS cable into the TRS outputs of the interface. There will be a 6 dB decrease in gain but there will not be any additional distortion.

For ideal calibration of the connection between the UltraLite and Denon amp you'd need to know the maximum input gain of the Denon and then find a way to measure the output of the UltraLite to know how much attenuation to apply. Another way to do it is to ballpark the level by ear. It looks like the Denon has an FM receiver. Play the radio. Switch to the input from the UltraLite and listen to a signal. If the signal from the UltraLite matches the gain of the radio signal you've probably got a reasonable match from the interface to amp.

Dave
Old 14th October 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The amp is fine for basic monitoring. It is a "consumer" amp which means it has unbalanced -10 dB reference inputs. The UltraLite has balanced +4 dB reference outputs. If you run signal from the UltraLite at maximum gain into this amp you will probably overload the amp inputs and get distortion. So you will need to attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp.

Dave
Dave, how do I do this "attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp."
Old 16th October 2017
  #21
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
Dave, how do I do this "attenuate the output of the UltraLite to match the input of the amp."
The UltraLite has a front panel volume control which is connected to the Main Outs by default. In CueMix under the Output tab you can also assign other pairs of outputs to the front panel volume control. That will attenuate the signal going from the UltraLite to the amp.

The amp has an FM receiver. Tune in to an FM station and check general volume. When you switch back to the UltraLite volume you want it to generally match the FM signal.

Dave
Old 16th October 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The UltraLite has a front panel volume control which is connected to the Main Outs by default. In CueMix under the Output tab you can also assign other pairs of outputs to the front panel volume control. That will attenuate the signal going from the UltraLite to the amp.

The amp has an FM receiver. Tune in to an FM station and check general volume. When you switch back to the UltraLite volume you want it to generally match the FM signal.

Dave
Also missing in all this is to have the tone controls on the amp/receiver set to flat (or out if possible) and the 'loudness' circuit turned off as well. As far as using the FM tuner as a reference level it's not that good of a choice when tuned to a broadcasting station. Tune between stations or to a frequency that's not used in the area and use the noise as a source.

What would be an ideal connection in a situation like this (which isn't ideal to begin with) is if there's a splittable link between the preamp and power amp - go into the power amp part and you leave out all the circuitry that's not needed.
Old 16th October 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicd View Post
The UltraLite has a front panel volume control which is connected to the Main Outs by default. In CueMix under the Output tab you can also assign other pairs of outputs to the front panel volume control. That will attenuate the signal going from the UltraLite to the amp.

The amp has an FM receiver. Tune in to an FM station and check general volume. When you switch back to the UltraLite volume you want it to generally match the FM signal.

Dave
My audio volume on Denon amp is independent of my MOTU.
Old 16th October 2017
  #24
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Originally Posted by offtheroad View Post
My audio volume on Denon amp is independent of my MOTU.
Yes that's correct but you want to make sure you have a good signal from the UltraLite to the Denon. When you do, you will no longer change the volume on the output of the UltraLite. You will control monitor volume from the Denon.

Dave
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