The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
AD Analog Level: +4 dBu or -10 dBv?? Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

AD Analog Level: +4 dBu or -10 dBv??

Hi, I have 192 I/O and always used -10 dbV connection.

A friend of mine just told me that -10 dbv is "wrong" and I'm missing something compared to +4 which is the right way (and professional standard), second to him. But he wasn't able to elaborate it further than that.

is that correct? Why?
Old 15th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Depends what you plug into it!
Old 15th September 2011
  #3
Registered User
Inputs or outputs?

There are two seperate issues here: balanced cables and voltage

unbalanced cables are susceptible to picking up unwanted noise.

By using the balanced option you can run cables much further.

Basically - with a balanced cable - the original signal is split in two; one has inverted polarity. At the other end, the polarity of the inverted phase is inverted once again, putting it back into phase, and then the two signals sum together to create a stronger signal.

Any unwanted noise that enters the cable enters both phases equally. The noise in the second cable has missed out on the original phase inversion, so when the final phase inversion occurs, they cancel out. Noise gone.

The other issue is that +4 has slightly hotter voltage than -10. That helps signal to noise ratio to.

But note that the balancing circuity is additional (whether passive transformer or active electronic balancing). Less is often more - so some very high end devices use unbalanced connections for a shorter, cleaner path. As long as the cables are short, this may be better.

As long as you are getting the levels you need, and no noise issues, unbalanced is fine.

Try both and see.
Old 15th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmonauta View Post
Hi, I have 192 I/O and always used -10 dbV connection.

A friend of mine just told me that -10 dbv is "wrong" and I'm missing something compared to +4 which is the right way (and professional standard), second to him. But he wasn't able to elaborate it further than that.

is that correct? Why?
If you're using a crappy preamplifier without alot of headroom -10dBv is often a better choice because you're not working stressing the electronics to get a decent level in your DAW. It's another option when using low output mics and a preamplifier that gets fairly noisy towards the end of its gain range.
Old 15th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbrowne View Post
Depends what you plug into it!
I use:

- Neve 1073 DPA
- API 3124+
- Dacs Clarity

and a pair of Purple MC77
Old 15th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Inputs or outputs?

There are two seperate issues here: balanced cables and voltage

unbalanced cables are susceptible to picking up unwanted noise.

By using the balanced option you can run cables much further.

Basically - with a balanced cable - the original signal is split in two; one has inverted polarity. At the other end, the polarity of the inverted phase is inverted once again, putting it back into phase, and then the two signals sum together to create a stronger signal.

Any unwanted noise that enters the cable enters both phases equally. The noise in the second cable has missed out on the original phase inversion, so when the final phase inversion occurs, they cancel out. Noise gone.

The other issue is that +4 has slightly hotter voltage than -10. That helps signal to noise ratio to.

But note that the balancing circuity is additional (whether passive transformer or active electronic balancing). Less is often more - so some very high end devices use unbalanced connections for a shorter, cleaner path. As long as the cables are short, this may be better.

As long as you are getting the levels you need, and no noise issues, unbalanced is fine.

Try both and see.
192 I/O inputs!

Switchcraft balanced patch
Old 15th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
camus's Avatar
 

Not all -10 connections are unbalanced. The reason why you'd want to use the +4 output level when interfacing with your outboard is correct gain staging. You're basically raising your noise floor unnecessarily when giving a +4 input a low level source. There are VU meters on outboard equipment for a reason.
Old 15th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
theothermarkwilliams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
Not all -10 connections are unbalanced. The reason why you'd want to use the +4 output level when interfacing with your outboard is correct gain staging. You're basically raising your noise floor unnecessarily when giving a +4 input a low level source. There are VU meters on outboard equipment for a reason.
Yes yes. Watch those meters.
Since you're using those pres and those compressors, my guess is that you should ideally run at +4dBu. It's not like -10dBv is going to seriously screw up your audio or anything, but your gainstaging will probably make more sense at +4.
Old 18th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

So, there's no definitive true on that? whatever sounds good case?
Old 18th September 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I would use +4 with the gear you listed above.
Old 18th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Ok, I switched to 4+.

The pres are fine.

The compressor changed drastically. I can't do soft compression anymore... whatever I sent to the MC77, arrives exaggerated HOT.

I used to set the compressor input around 10 or 11 o clock and I still have a long way to compress stronger.

Now even 7 - 8 o clock makes the compressor insane.

Is that the way it should be? Or there's something wrong with my patchbay?
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