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RME Sound card and TotalMix FX Q
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
RME Sound card and TotalMix FX Q

I am almost embarrassed to admit that I don't know this, but I don't, so...

Below is a shot of my TotalMix FX rack (W7). I would like to control the input level to the card - signal that is coming in balanced XLR, via the breakout cable. Let's assume the hw gear feeding the card does not have a way to control the op level. I would have thought that the Analog HW Input would control this (red asterisk, top left), but it does not.

Can someone enlighten me, pretty please?

Thanks in advance.
Attached Thumbnails
RME Sound card and TotalMix FX Q-tmfx.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Since your inputs on the HDSP are line level, apart from the +4/-10 setting under the tool setting, you probably don't have any way to control what's going in the software. Level coming in too hot or too low?

KA
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hey Jeff,

Couldn't you bump the gain for the input in the settings section of the channel?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Magnus_N's Avatar
 

Hi Jeff,

Totalmix is a very non-intuitive piece of gear. But... if you use another software to set levels and do routings - for instance Cubase or Logic - I recommend that you go to Options/Operational mode in Totalmix and change the setting here to Digital Audio Workstation mode. This will let you set all levels and do all routing through your DAW, and not via Totalmix.

This saved me about 3,000 hrs of headscratching...

/Magnus
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

What RME card do you have? What is the audio source you are connecting via XLR to Analog 1/2?

I have a Fireface UFX and heres my Totalmix:



Mic 11 is one of the pre-amped combo jack inputs on the front my UFX so when you click on the wrench icon (circled in green), it will expand out to the right and you can amplify the input signal here using the preamp.

AN3/4 are line level inputs on the back. An Oberheim Xpander is coming in through these inputs. With maxed output level on the Xpander, the input level in Totalmix reads around -12dBFS. Clicking the wrench icon doesn't give you the option for pre-gain because no preamp.

AN1/2 is the monitor mix level to my PH9/10 (headphones). Underlined in red, settings circled in red.

Line level hardware has a huge range in output levels but all of my gear comes in between -10dBFS and -18dBFS with the output levels set high or maxed on the synths. Yours looks about the same so it looks fairly normal to me. I don't preamp my synths.

The only exception I ever had was a Sunsyn. This thing was insanely loud for some reason. Higher than 50% master volume on the Synsyn would clip audibly and redline the channel meter in Totalmix.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

According to your screenshot, you have HDSPe AIO, which has two line level analogue inputs.
You can't really continuously control input levels, there is just ref. level calibration switch.. similarly like at many other line-level converters.
It's assumed, you'll set it when you're doing setup and then do all fine grained level control when tracking at upstream device (like mic-pre or some other gear, you're recording from).

Anyway, those ref. level calibration switches aren't located at TotalMix for AIO. You can find them at Hamerfall DSP settings panel (separate application, which is likely running at systray and where you can also set ASIO buffer length, I/O formats etc.).
There you'll find Input Level section, where you can select from following options - Lo Gain, +4dB and -10dBV. Depending on your upstream gear, you can set different input sensitivity.. digital zero (0dBFS) is then mapped to analog input level 19dBu, 13dBu and 2dBv respectively according to selected option.
Similar settings is for output analog level mapped to digital zero, switch is located at the same control panel.

Just for completeness, faders at TotalMix are meant for adjustment of levels coming to active submix there, not for adjustment of input levels.
It's analogous to a mixing console, where channel fader will not really help you, if you're clipping its input. So you need to either locate input gain knob/sensitivity switch or decrease the level at source.

Michal
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Wade View Post
Hey Jeff,

Couldn't you bump the gain for the input in the settings section of the channel?
That's what I am trying to figure out how to do here. Unless you mean in Cubase?

Thanks Magnus; sorry about your 3k hrs. Yeah, non-intuitive indeed.

I recommend that you go to Options/Operational mode in Totalmix and change the setting here to Digital Audio Workstation mode. This will let you set all levels and do all routing through your DAW, and not via Totalmix.

Got that, but....

Robobaby... wow that was confuddling! But thanks for the effort.

msmucr - Understand about the Hamerfall DSP settings panel, but was really looking to fine tune in TMFX. I had this option when I used to use an M-Audio 24/96... I would expect this option to be here in a more "pro" piece of gear.

It's analogous to a mixing console, where channel fader will not really help you, if you're clipping its input.

Right! But in a console, you have a way to decrease (or increase) the level coming in to the fader; there is a trim pot at each entry point for fine tuning. TMFX doesn't have anything like this, it seems?
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
That's what I am trying to figure out how to do here. Unless you mean in Cubase?
Hey Jeff, thinking about this, I'm wondering if the low level is due to the device outputting consumer line level and the input wanting pro. I wonder if a DI box on the return would give you a decent level in TM.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I'm seeing a signal coming in at -14.1dB/-13.1dB (full scale) via Analog 1/2.

That seems like a pretty good level to me. Am I wrong in thinking this? UFX analog inputs reference 0dB (full scale) to +13dBu. I took that to mean that if you run a 1.23V (0 VU) signal into the Fireface line in, it will read -9dB (full scale).

In reality, most of my line level hardware is not that hot so my synths are all coming in between -10dB and -18dB (full scale) according to Totalmix. This is with the volume controls on the synths set high or maxed.

If I understand correctly, the totalmix fader does not change the input level of the signal, only the monitoring level. If you wanted the signal to be hotter, you would turn up the volume on your synth.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
msmucr - Understand about the Hamerfall DSP settings panel, but was really looking to fine tune in TMFX. I had this option when I used to use an M-Audio 24/96... I would expect this option to be here in a more "pro" piece of gear.

It's analogous to a mixing console, where channel fader will not really help you, if you're clipping its input.

Right! But in a console, you have a way to decrease (or increase) the level coming in to the fader; there is a trim pot at each entry point for fine tuning. TMFX doesn't have anything like this, it seems?
It's just how it is. More pro doesn't necessarily mean, there's more functions.
I've just described basics of Totalmix, its faders are meant for adjustment of submix levels (for output or monitoring). It is not in path to a DAW.
There are some RME models, which has this additional gain knob in TotalMix (hidden under channel settings with wrench icon), but it applies only to integrated interfaces with combined mic/line input stages, where is IC with programmable gain at one dB resolution. On pure line input stages, you have always just those preset sensitivity switch, as there's different circuitry.

Practically there are no issues with that IME. You'll select appropriate sensitivity and align it with your outboard gear to avoid clipping with sufficient headroom (no need to necessarily push it towards digital zero) and you're done.
Normally there's no need to fiddle with recording levels at two places (source and input). If it will be too soft for direct monitoring mix in TM, you can additionally apply 6dB of gain at input fader level and another 6dB at output.

Michal
Old 5 days ago
  #11
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Wade View Post
Hey Jeff, thinking about this, I'm wondering if the low level is due to the device outputting consumer line level and the input wanting pro. I wonder if a DI box on the return would give you a decent level in TM.
Hey dude. I am not having low level, therefore I do not need a DI box. Good thought, however.

I guess Michal's post sums it up.

I was thinking in terms of gain staging here. Say I have a piece of gear (insert whatever) that sounds best when it is outputting at a certain level. That level is too hot, by a few db. So, I would want the ability to lower the input to the card. I can do that in the DSP settings, but not in small increments. Which, for someone who grew up in the LFAC era, is rather annoying.

Cheers.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Magnus_N's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Thanks again!



Hey dude. I am not having low level, therefore I do not need a DI box. Good thought, however.

I guess Michal's post sums it up.

I was thinking in terms of gain staging here. Say I have a piece of gear (insert whatever) that sounds best when it is outputting at a certain level. That level is too hot, by a few db. So, I would want the ability to lower the input to the card. I can do that in the DSP settings, but not in small increments. Which, for someone who grew up in the LFAC era, is rather annoying.

Cheers.
Perhaps an inline attenuator?

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technic.../dp/B000ZLX2TU

/Magnus
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