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Author Topic: Mixpre Settings - Help  (Read 5421 times)

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Offline darktrain

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Mixpre Settings - Help
« on: December 10, 2008, 03:00:44 PM »
OK, you would think after all this gear I have rifled through in the last year I would have a clue on these things but just want to get some advice as to how to basically set up my Mixpre for standard shows(medium to loud small to midsize venues), I know not to use the High Pass filter but the limiter i am puzzled with, should i leave that off and if not I then use the link option but how do you determine the limit amount and set them? Any other advice please feel free to let me know, will be running this with the 4022's.

stevetoney

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 04:29:07 PM »
I've never liked limiters, but I'd recommend running levels kinda conservately anyway, so you shouldn't need to turn the limiter on.  In another post I mentioned that my experience with the MP-2 was that my low end was a little loose, but I ran the level kinda hot, so you might have better luck than I did if you kept your levels peaking a little lower...just a thought.  Another thing is that if the mixpre is anything like the MP-2, make sure you have a setup that's not gonna have any possibility of tweeking the knobs accidently, because on the MP-2 if you so much as breath on the knobs, you'd get 3 or 4 db level changes.  OK, that's an exageration, but the knobs are ultra sensitive.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 04:31:29 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 04:29:18 PM »
OK, you would think after all this gear I have rifled through in the last year I would have a clue on these things but just want to get some advice as to how to basically set up my Mixpre for standard shows(medium to loud small to midsize venues), I know not to use the High Pass filter but the limiter i am puzzled with, should i leave that off and if not I then use the link option but how do you determine the limit amount and set them? Any other advice please feel free to let me know, will be running this with the 4022's.

I am not sure what recorder you are using, but I agree with Steve. I think you should try to run the Mixpre where the gain knobs are set about 1/3 or less and bring up the levels with the recorder. These things output very hot.

I always keep the limiters turned on with my MP-1s (the mono blocks the MP-2/Mixpre are based on), since they are optical and don't effect the signal unless they engage, which is very, very rare. I also would not link them, since you don't want or need them to act on both channels if only one is being pushed to the point near clipping where the limiter would engage.

I think you may occasionally find the low end a tad loose with that preamp using 4022s ORTF, but it will still sound clean and can always be corrected later in post. (Steve, you are correct that running lower gain tightens up the bass) I have never used any filters, but that's just a personal peeve of mine

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 04:31:34 PM by DATBRAD »
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Offline jeromejello

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 07:57:57 PM »
i run my mp-2 between 9 & 11 o'clock... i try to make up the difference with the recorder to get me in the zone.

i have often read that the mp-2 does better with lower gain, but i am not sure why or have experienced anything that would let me have first hand knowedge of any wierdness.

i dont use the limiters... i dont like the idea of fucking with the signal that way on the fly.  i have also never used the hpf... again, i am not a fan of that type of stuff.
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Offline discopanic1

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 08:33:59 PM »
I used to run the mixpre, mk4/cmc6 > mixpre > m-1 & had to run attinuators(sp?) with the rig.  I liked the sound, just had a killer bargain on a v3 so had to ditch the mixpre.  The mixpre when I first got didn't like the idea of the att. but after recorded a couple shows in the bar setting I did like the outcome.  The 9-11 o'clock range is where my settings would generally stay at also. 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 08:36:49 PM by discopanic1 »

Offline darktrain

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 02:46:42 AM »
Thanks for all the info, just what i was looking for.

stevetoney

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2008, 09:09:06 AM »
i have often read that the mp-2 does better with lower gain, but i am not sure why or have experienced anything that would let me have first hand knowedge of any wierdness.

Because when I ran my MP-2 behind a pair of MBHO's with the lights peaking in the yellow to lower red zone, the bass gets really loose...even slightly fuzzy.   :sick:

Offline DSatz

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2009, 10:54:26 PM »
Hi--just rummaging through the board looking at comments on the MixPre for no particular reason.

DATBRAD, I think actually that most experienced engineers would gang (link) the two channels of a limiter of this kind, because if you don't, then anything that actuated the limiter would also shift the stereo image. This wouldn't happen if both channels were being "ducked" by the same amount at the same time.

If that doesn't make sense to you as an explanation, I urge you to try it both ways--I think you'd be convinced fairly quickly that ganging the channels is preferable. And it's pretty much standard practice. For example the Nagra IV-S recorder had a built-in limiter (basically a 4 dB zone at the very top of its range) which was ganged between channels by default. To separate the channels you had to modify the circuit, and I really don't know of any people who recorded music with a Nagra who chose to do that.

A limiter isn't something to be used too heavily; either you're using it as a safety net and you're pleased if it never comes on, or maybe you're being a tad more aggressive and every now and then, the LED flickers and you say to yourself, "Ah, I just raised the average loudness of the recording by 2 or 3 dB." But limiters aren't the right tool for situations in which they'd be actively changing the gain for entire spans of seconds at a time--for that, you want a compressor.

--best regards
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 10:57:02 PM by DSatz »
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Offline fmaderjr

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2009, 09:29:07 AM »
A limiter isn't something to be used too heavily; either you're using it as a safety net and you're pleased if it never comes on, or maybe you're being a tad more aggressive and every now and then, the LED flickers and you say to yourself, "Ah, I just raised the average loudness of the recording by 2 or 3 dB." But limiters aren't the right tool for situations in which they'd be actively changing the gain for entire spans of seconds at a time--for that, you want a compressor.

I turn the limiters on (linked and threshold set to about the 12:00 position). As DSatz says, I try to set levels low enough that the limiter doesn't kick in. As such, it makes a great safety net.

If it doesn't kick in, it's just like the limiter were off, so you've lost nothing. If it does, it may have just saved the recording from some horrible sounding distortion. Sounds great to me. When the limiter does kick in, I don't hear any audible artifacts.
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 09:54:06 AM »
Hi--just rummaging through the board looking at comments on the MixPre for no particular reason.

DATBRAD, I think actually that most experienced engineers would gang (link) the two channels of a limiter of this kind, because if you don't, then anything that actuated the limiter would also shift the stereo image. This wouldn't happen if both channels were being "ducked" by the same amount at the same time.

If that doesn't make sense to you as an explanation, I urge you to try it both ways--I think you'd be convinced fairly quickly that ganging the channels is preferable. And it's pretty much standard practice. For example the Nagra IV-S recorder had a built-in limiter (basically a 4 dB zone at the very top of its range) which was ganged between channels by default. To separate the channels you had to modify the circuit, and I really don't know of any people who recorded music with a Nagra who chose to do that.

A limiter isn't something to be used too heavily; either you're using it as a safety net and you're pleased if it never comes on, or maybe you're being a tad more aggressive and every now and then, the LED flickers and you say to yourself, "Ah, I just raised the average loudness of the recording by 2 or 3 dB." But limiters aren't the right tool for situations in which they'd be actively changing the gain for entire spans of seconds at a time--for that, you want a compressor.

--best regards

Hi Dsatz, I only mentioned it in passing, but I am using the Sound Devices MP-1 mono preamps for each channel, in which linking features is not possible. In concert applications, I have rarely seen a the limiters engage on just one channel for more than just a second, and both will typically engage in any genuine live hard transient situation. I like using them as a safety net, and as you stated I am pleased when they don't come on during a recording.

However, I have used limiters as live compressors to great sucess also. Earlier this year, I recorded a performance by a singer/songwriter that plays both acoustic guitar and piano in an old church, running through a small PA. The stage was basically where the altar used to sit, directly in front of the still installed pipe organ. We recorded far field, with our mics dropped down from the choir loft balcony rail.

The acoustics of the room were stellar, right to the back, and the audience was pin drop quiet during each song. But of course, at the end of each song, the applause was double in volume. My friend ran his preamp and recorder without any live analog limiting, so I decided to use a tried & true (for me anyway) technique with mine. I ran the gain on my preamps almost maxed, and with the limiters switched on. During the songs, the limiters very rarely blinked and the recording levels displayed normal dynamic action. But, when each song ended and the audience errupted, the limiters kicked on hard and held the gain of the applause to no louder than the loudest musical peak, perfect.

My friend took his recording in post and applied limiting there and achieved the same result as far as viewing the waveform, but to me the sound of the limiting is much more noticable, metallic, artificial, something. The analog limiting just seemed to sound better to me than the digital limiting in post. I remember a old taper buddy of mine in the early '90s used to make recordings like this on DAT where he was not in a position to limit/compress live. He would playback the DATs and pass the analog output through a rack mounted tube compressor and re-record the analog output on another DAT, and man they sounded great. Seems to me that if you nail a recording on site in terms of level setting, and use analog corrective measures whenever possible, it beats a recording where the levels and sound editing are fixed in post. Just my own personal viewpoint as an extreme amature.
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Offline taperj

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 12:32:24 PM »
One other thing of note about the mixpre...

I run Neumann km184's in front of mine which is an un-attenuated microphone. This made me run `extremely` hot when I first got the device. If you run at below what would be the the first slash on the gain dial the adjustment is really wild. Anything  above one and things start to chill out alot. I think they did improve this on the mixpre over the mp-2, I haven't had any problems with wild adjustment swings on mixpre adjustments since I got some in-line pads and have the mixpre running at the 2nd or 3rd slash. I guess what I'm saying is just dont run it below the 1st slash, get padding if you end up in this situation. I would agree that I run mine right in the 9-11 o'clock range most of the time as well. 0dB on the mixpre matches up very closely with my MR-1's 0dB via the XLR outs.

A quick note on the filters also, the red lights above the gain controls will start to flash if you need a rolloff badly. Heavy bass situations will not show peaking on the meter LEDS but will show red flashing on the ones above the gain controls. If I see these with any regularity I toss the 80Hz on and they stop. The 80Hz is a nice rolloff on these @6dB per octave. Its a little less abrupt sounding than the 7xx products which I believe use minimum 12dB per octave. I haven't had mine as long as some of the others on this board, these are my initial "working the bugs out" experiences, but now that I have mine rigged properly I've really been enjoying it.

I've attached a couple pictures of how I have mine set up at present with the inline pads. I velcro'd them onto the mixpre and then to each other, works out nicely if you're using unattenuated mics.

an afterthought... also keep the phones adjustment all the way to 0 if not using it while running, it eats power.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 12:36:39 PM by taperj »
Rig: Neumann skm184 or Neumann skm140 > Sound Devices Mixpre > Olympus LS-10 or Korg MR-1

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Offline MJ

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 07:25:08 PM »
I would agree that I run mine right in the 9-11 o'clock range most of the time as well. 0dB on the mixpre matches up very closely with my MR-1's 0dB via the XLR outs.

I read many posts about this 9-11 o'clock gain range people use.  I will use a mix pre for the first time next week to tape a quiet Jazz show (Melody Gardot) and a blues & rock show (the derek trucks & doobie brothers) a few weeks later from that.  So would I be safe in setting a 12 o'clock for a quite Jazz and a 10-11 o'clock for a blues and rock show?  I will tape them both in stealth taping situation and won't be able to check the meter during the show.  I would appreciate any input from Mix Pre users.

My set-up would be Audix M1280>Mix Pre>Korg Mr-1
Koichi
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 07:27:03 PM by rocknrolljourney »
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Offline su6oxone

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2009, 08:04:43 PM »
I read many posts about this 9-11 o'clock gain range people use.  I will use a mix pre for the first time next week to tape a quiet Jazz show (Melody Gardot) and a blues & rock show (the derek trucks & doobie brothers) a few weeks later from that.  So would I be safe in setting a 12 o'clock for a quite Jazz and a 10-11 o'clock for a blues and rock show?  I will tape them both in stealth taping situation and won't be able to check the meter during the show.  I would appreciate any input from Mix Pre users.

My set-up would be Audix M1280>Mix Pre>Korg Mr-1
Koichi

When I used the MixPre with my Neumann KM184 and then later with Schoeps MK4, I had to keep the gain pot really low for loud rock shows.  I mean just turning it up a little bit, from 7 o'clock (the lowest setting) to maybe 8 o'clock.  If I ever went higher than that I found it would be in risk of overloading the MixPre, which would result in a "sizzling" type of distortion on my recordings.  I never even went above 9 o'clock ever with it.  That's one of the main reasons why I eventually sold it.  For quieter jazz it should be fine to go higher, but I don't have personal experience so I couldn't really say.  Good luck at Derek Trucks, hope you pull a great tape and put it up on LMA!  8)

Offline MJ

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2009, 02:38:25 AM »
I read many posts about this 9-11 o'clock gain range people use.  I will use a mix pre for the first time next week to tape a quiet Jazz show (Melody Gardot) and a blues & rock show (the derek trucks & doobie brothers) a few weeks later from that.  So would I be safe in setting a 12 o'clock for a quite Jazz and a 10-11 o'clock for a blues and rock show?  I will tape them both in stealth taping situation and won't be able to check the meter during the show.  I would appreciate any input from Mix Pre users.

My set-up would be Audix M1280>Mix Pre>Korg Mr-1
Koichi

When I used the MixPre with my Neumann KM184 and then later with Schoeps MK4, I had to keep the gain pot really low for loud rock shows.  I mean just turning it up a little bit, from 7 o'clock (the lowest setting) to maybe 8 o'clock.  If I ever went higher than that I found it would be in risk of overloading the MixPre, which would result in a "sizzling" type of distortion on my recordings.  I never even went above 9 o'clock ever with it.  That's one of the main reasons why I eventually sold it.  For quieter jazz it should be fine to go higher, but I don't have personal experience so I couldn't really say.  Good luck at Derek Trucks, hope you pull a great tape and put it up on LMA!  8)


Is this because of Neumann and Schoeps? Or generally you can not go higher than 9 o'clock for the loud rock show with no matter what mic you use?

Koichi
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 02:40:17 AM by rocknrolljourney »
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Offline Teen Age Riot

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2009, 05:18:23 AM »
FWIW, I always have the knobs on my MP2 turned down all the way. They also have shrink wrap around them, so they don't turn accidently. At typical rock show SPLs, I'm getting perfect levels. (This is with MBHOs.) If I remember correctly, the lowest setting on the MP2 is +6db when using the minijack/tape out. Not sure if the MixPre is the same in this regard.

Offline landshark

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2009, 09:24:13 AM »
I would agree that I run mine right in the 9-11 o'clock range most of the time as well. 0dB on the mixpre matches up very closely with my MR-1's 0dB via the XLR outs.

I read many posts about this 9-11 o'clock gain range people use.  I will use a mix pre for the first time next week to tape a quiet Jazz show (Melody Gardot) and a blues & rock show (the derek trucks & doobie brothers) a few weeks later from that.  So would I be safe in setting a 12 o'clock for a quite Jazz and a 10-11 o'clock for a blues and rock show?  I will tape them both in stealth taping situation and won't be able to check the meter during the show.  I would appreciate any input from Mix Pre users.

My set-up would be Audix M1280>Mix Pre>Korg Mr-1
Koichi

Hi Koichi -

I sometimes run almost the same setup (MixPre > MR1) and you'll definitely want to run the MixPre as low as possible.  In fact, I'd second TaperJ's advice - use pads.  When I'm using my MR1, I actually put pads between the mics and the MixPre, and then again between the MixPre and the MR1.  The pads between the MixPre and the MR1 are most important.  The MR1, even with line-in, has a very wimpy preamp and can't handle much signal at all.  If at all possible, try to put yourself in a situation with similar sound levels (crank your stereo or something) and experiment to get the levels right.  Be conservative and you should be OK.

I don't know why the MixPre has such huge gain, it must have been designed to record mosquitoes humping from across the room or something.

Good luck!

Mike
 
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Offline su6oxone

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2009, 10:44:06 AM »
Is this because of Neumann and Schoeps? Or generally you can not go higher than 9 o'clock for the loud rock show with no matter what mic you use?

Koichi

I don't think it's mic specific, since people have had this 'issue' with the MixPre using all sorts of mics.  I generally didn't go higher than 8 o'clock when taping average rock shows, I just adjusted the input settings on my recorder to get the levels I wanted.  It really does have a lot of gain at higher settings, and the thing with the MixPre is that it has a very low noise floor so raising levels in post is the way to go IMO.

Offline su6oxone

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2009, 10:44:50 AM »
I don't know why the MixPre has such huge gain, it must have been designed to record mosquitoes humping from across the room or something.

lol...

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2009, 10:52:48 AM »
I don't know why the MixPre has such huge gain, it must have been designed to record mosquitoes humping from across the room or something.

lol...

The strong gain I understand is primarily for long cable runs (hundreds of feet) in film sound applications.
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Offline MJ

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2009, 04:52:23 AM »
Hi moon-pix, Mike, su6oxone
 
Thank you very much for the info.  I really appreciate all of your comments.  It really help me find where to start working on the gain range ;D ;D.  So I will be conservatine in setting the gain and see how it will turn out :D :D.

Sincerely,
Koichi
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Offline MJ

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2009, 10:39:55 PM »
 just cranked up the volume of the stereo in my car and checked how it worked.  It seems to be fine with the following set-up

MixPre Gain:9 'oclock for Pop songs and 8:30 for rock tunes
Korg Mr-1: Rec Level -5

It seems to be higher than what people suggested here but the next show I will use this set-up to tape is a quiter Jazz show.  So it must be Ok to give this set-up a try ;).
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Offline MJ

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2009, 01:19:45 PM »
After I learned about Mix Pre setup here, I taped Melody Gardot last week with the following setup.

Audix M1280 CARD> Sound Devices MixPre (Gain 9'oclock) > Korg Mr-1 (-5 Gain)
DPA4061 > SP Power Module (22db Gain) > TDC-D100 DAT (Rec Level 7)

I am pretty happy with the result.  I really really want to thank everyone for giving me the info.
Here is the sample if you want to hear.

M1280
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhjR3NtNEpFQlE9PQ
DPA4061
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhjR3NiV3hjR0E9PQ

M1280
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhYTWNwaFR2Wmc9PQ
DPA4061
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhYTWNsMHcwTVE9PQ

M1280
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhhUENrUmxFQlE9PQ
DPA4061
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhhUENlaFN4dnc9PQ


M1280
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhhUENvQUpFQlE9PQ
DPA4061
https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZW9BUGhVNkc4NVUwTVE9PQ
<Main Rigs>
Schoeps MK4s>(Nbox Active cables)>Nbox+ or Nbox Platinum>Izzy (Split) Cables>Sony PCM-M10 or Sony PCM-D100

<Sub Rigs>
(1)DPA4061s>(terminated with 3.5 stereo mini)>Church Audio Pre>(3.5 stereo mini+Canare cable + 3.5 stereo mini)>Sony PCM-M10
(2)DSM-6S/L>(terminated with 3.5 stereo mini)> Sony PCM-M10

<IEM>
(1)scanner
 DJ-X2000
 IC-RX7
(2)receiver
Shure P10R
Sennheiser ek2000
(3)recorders
Marntz PMD706

Offline su6oxone

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2009, 06:26:48 PM »
After I learned about Mix Pre setup here, I taped Melody Gardot last week with the following setup.

Audix M1280 CARD> Sound Devices MixPre (Gain 9'oclock) > Korg Mr-1 (-5 Gain)
DPA4061 > SP Power Module (22db Gain) > TDC-D100 DAT (Rec Level 7)

I am pretty happy with the result.  I really really want to thank everyone for giving me the info.
Here is the sample if you want to hear.

I listened to the 1280 version and it sounds fantastic!

Offline fmaderjr

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Re: Mixpre Settings - Help
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2009, 04:37:13 PM »
just cranked up the volume of the stereo in my car and checked how it worked.  It seems to be fine with the following set-up
MixPre Gain:9 'oclock for Pop songs and 8:30 for rock tunes
Korg Mr-1: Rec Level -5

The MixPre works great with the Korg. I have never once come close to overloading the Korg even with fairly sensitive mics like AT853's. I keep my Korg at -6, much like you did, and never have to turn the MixPre above 9:00 for amplified rock. I do use the MixPre limiter as a safety valve (with the adjustment screws set at the 12:00 position), but try to set my levels so that it rarely, if ever, kicks in. When it does kick in, I don't find it's effects audible and it has saved me from a probable horrible sounding clip.
AT853's (all caps)/CM-300 Franken Naks (CP-1,2,3)/JBMod Nak 700's (CP-701,702) > Tascam DR-680
Or Sonic Studios DSM-6 > M10

 

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