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Thread: Low synth output

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    Low synth output

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    I'm running Reaper with this setup: 7 synths go into a Mackie mixer and I use the Alt 3/4 button to send one synth channel at a time to my Focusrite interface.

    My mono synths go into the mixer mic /line channels which have gain knobs so I can get a solid signal centering on 0 on my levels meter. My stereo synths go into the stereo channels which have no gain knob and even at max volume most of them don't hit 0db (I'm using the pre-fader switch to gauge input signal). My Yamaha Motif barely reaches -7db.

    Any ideas on bumping up these weak signals or a better strategy for recording multiple hardware synths? Mackie support said I probably needed preamps for these synths.

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    A mixer with more inout channels, or run the inputs through a patch bay (yes I know it's not recommended for mic level signals by some, but always worked fine for me). -7db isn't too low if the noise is low - just boost it in the computer and see how it responds.

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    Can you use the 'Main' outs to the Focusrite and switch all the synths you don't want onto the 3/4 Aux bus and leave the one you do want on the Main bus. The main mix control out might be able to push out a bit more in level(?) Use balanced cables on the main outs to the Focusrite as those will up the level versus using TS type cables. You didn't mention which Mackie mixer you had, so I don't know if the 1/4" main outs are balanced or not or if the mixer has XLR main outs which would be balanced. If only the XLR outs are balanced use an XLR to 1/4" TRS cables to the Focusrite.
    Mark.......

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    it's a 1202 VLZ3 so the main outs and Alt 3/4's are balanced. I can get plenty of signal to the audio interface with either output, I am concerned here with weak signals coming into the mixer which might introduce noise.

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    These are line level synth inputs not mic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcaxis View Post
    Can you use the 'Main' outs to the Focusrite and switch all the synths you don't want onto the 3/4 Aux bus and leave the one you do want on the Main bus. The main mix control out might be able to push out a bit more in level(?) Use balanced cables on the main outs to the Focusrite as those will up the level versus using TS type cables. You didn't mention which Mackie mixer you had, so I don't know if the 1/4" main outs are balanced or not or if the mixer has XLR main outs which would be balanced. If only the XLR outs are balanced use an XLR to 1/4" TRS cables to the Focusrite.
    oops I think I needed to quote to respond directly to you. So...

    it's a 1202 VLZ3 so the main outs and Alt 3/4's are balanced. I can get plenty of signal to the audio interface with either output, I am concerned here with weak signals coming into the mixer which might introduce noise.

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    Alt 3/4 outs are kinda, sorta balanced (electronically impedance balanced with a resistor), but not true balanced like the XLR outs which can give 6dB more level that the 1/4" outs.
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    Last edited by arcaxis; 04-03-2019 at 06:49.
    Mark.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticranger View Post
    oops I think I needed to quote to respond directly to you. So...

    it's a 1202 VLZ3 so the main outs and Alt 3/4's are balanced. I can get plenty of signal to the audio interface with either output, I am concerned here with weak signals coming into the mixer which might introduce noise.
    I see what you're saying (I think). Have you been able to notice/hear any noise in the recordings, even if boosted as Rob suggested?
    Mark.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcaxis View Post
    I see what you're saying (I think). Have you been able to notice/hear any noise in the recordings, even if boosted as Rob suggested?
    I'm only doing mixer input tests right now not recording. I'm testing a Motif flute voice into a stereo channel and it's not even hitting -20db. That said I don't hear much noise over headphones.

    I'm reading some other threads about adding gain via voice and global setting for this synth. But I'm surprised that line level channels are getting such weak signals from line output synths.

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    Grrr! As with many synth mnfctrs Yamaha do not give a figure for output voltage. They do say however the L/R jacks deliver "line levels" which I would take to mean around 0dBu but even at -10dBV the stereo line inputs of a mixer should deliver a good signal. The manual also shows the synth driving active monitors which all have roughly line level sensitivity or better.

    Then I found a Sound on Sound review of the Motif, mostly glowing and NO mention of weedy outs!

    Bottom line: A setting in the synth has cranked down the levels somehow?

    Dave.

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