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Thread: Low synth output

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Bottom line: A setting in the synth has cranked down the levels somehow?
    That would be my guess as well.

    I have not known any keyboard or synth to have line level outputs that do not deliver a decent level. The mac support that said preamps were needed was, in my view, clutching at straws.

    My first action would be to initialise the synth to its factory settings to eliminate an unwanted setting that might be causing the problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticranger View Post
    These are line level synth inputs not mic.
    Synth outputs are more like "instrument" level, perhaps -20dBV. The line inputs are set up for +4dBu. You'd be better off connecting them to inputs with higher sensitivity/more gain.

    [Edit] I wrote this before reading the last two posts. They could be right, but -10dBV is still a bit weak.

    Side note, although most mixers make 0dBVU = +4dBu, most Mackies make 0dBVU = 0dBu.
    Last edited by bouldersoundguy; 04-04-2019 at 04:53.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Synth outputs are more like "instrument" level, perhaps -20dBV. The line inputs are set up for +4dBu. You'd be better off connecting them to inputs with higher sensitivity/more gain.

    [Edit] I wrote this before reading the last two posts. They could be right, but -10dBV is still a bit weak.

    Side note, although most mixers make 0dBVU = +4dBu, most Mackies make 0dBVU = 0dBu.
    Hmm? Yet ANOTHER situation where a pretty bog standard DMM would tell all. Poke it and play A 440.

    Dave.

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    I suppose the real test is to compare it to another synth of some kind and see which is louder? Most of my synths, and I've got quite a lot are NOT line level, but the lower instrument level, designed to be able to go into stage amps and combos used by the guitar folk. I picked a Roland keys combo and the levels it is expecting are NOT line level
    SPECIFICATIONSRated Power Output320 W (160 W + 160 W)Nominal Input Level (1 kHz)CH1 (BALANCED, L/MONO, R): -50-- -20 dBu
    CH2 (L/MONO, R): -20 dBu
    CH3 (L/MONO, R): -20 dBu
    CH4 (L/MONO, R): -20 dBu
    AUX IN/MONITOR IN (AUX 1、AUX 2、AUX 3): -10 dBu
    STEREO LINK (IN): 0 dBu

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    I've got a Behringer X1204 which is kind of close to the Mackie. Plugged in a Yamaha keyboard set at full volume into the stereo ins on the Behry and got similar levels that articranger is describing. The normal line inputs had plenty of gain available and I could easily max out the VU meters. From the Mackie user manual there is a note that the 5-12 stereo ins are a wee bit lower in gain than the line counterparts, like 40dB which likely would account for the levels he's getting. On the Behry I was able to get the level up to a reasonable level by maxing the channel fader level.
    The Mackie manual shows the stereo ins have a range of -10dBv to +4bBu.
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    Mark.......

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    Ooooo-k. So it seems most synths run about neg 20dBu/V (matters little which, both pretty feeble!)

    A thought occurs that this might be "historical"? The very first stage pianos and organs were fed into basically guitar amplifiers which had sheds of gain. As time went on of course we had "acoustic" amplifiers and "keyboard" amps developed but the sensitivities stayed much the same?

    So, who makes a nice wee box with up to 20dB of clean gain and two channels run from batteries, spook juice or indeed a USB port?

    Dave.

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    I don't think the OP hasn't established as of yet, that low gain of channels 5-12 are introducing any noise, which was his original concern. Where he'll be recording the synths one by one normally and as long as no noise shows in the recording, just bump up the gain on the interface to compensate for channels 5-12 when using those and see how that works. I believe he may have been anticipating a problem that may prove to be a non-problem
    Mark.......

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    The Ebtech line level shifters can do -10 to +4 using transformers. There are 2 channel and 8 channel versions. They're not cheap, and they're made for consumer/pro conversion, not instrument to line level.

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    Simpler to just slap them into a DI box and use the mic inputs? When I face something a bit lower than usual, like one of my guitars that has trouble plugged into the instrument input of my interface, I just add a compressor in Cubase, with no compression dialled in, enable it and then turn off the auto makeup gain, and turn the knob - it works rather well and I can't detect any noise issues as long as I don't start dropping the guitar volume even further. I would try something like this before spending money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Simpler to just slap them into a DI box and use the mic inputs? When I face something a bit lower than usual, like one of my guitars that has trouble plugged into the instrument input of my interface, I just add a compressor in Cubase, with no compression dialled in, enable it and then turn off the auto makeup gain, and turn the knob - it works rather well and I can't detect any noise issues as long as I don't start dropping the guitar volume even further. I would try something like this before spending money.
    The very chap? Dual Channel Micro DI Box

    Dave.

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