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Author Topic: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels  (Read 2246 times)

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Offline yltfan

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V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« on: July 25, 2011, 05:28:34 AM »
Other than this old post: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=23517.msg294238#msg294238, I can't find much info on setting the gain on my new V3. Can anyone point me to a description of best practices for setting levels? The post above suggests setting the trim at 0, then boosting as necessary, but I'd think it would be better to set it in the middle, so there is room to adjust either way.
Mics: AT4051, AT4053, KM184, Beyerdynamic MEM86 guns, Nak cm300, AKG C1000, AT853 4.7mod
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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 11:15:48 AM »
Other than this old post: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=23517.msg294238#msg294238, I can't find much info on setting the gain on my new V3. Can anyone point me to a description of best practices for setting levels? The post above suggests setting the trim at 0, then boosting as necessary, but I'd think it would be better to set it in the middle, so there is room to adjust either way.

From a usability standpoint, the one time I ran a V3 a couple years ago, I set the trim above half so I would have some wiggle room and tried to make my adjustments with the step knobs. I'm not sure that 3-5db of second stage gain matters in the grand scheme of things as far as noise/performance are concerned. Conversely, for standard rock stuff anymore, I shoot to get my peak somewhere within the top 10db and after that I call it a day (which would enable me to use just the step knobs since they are 5db each click), I don't shoot for a specific peak level anymore, ymmv.
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Offline boltman

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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 07:14:45 PM »
Other than this old post: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=23517.msg294238#msg294238, I can't find much info on setting the gain on my new V3. Can anyone point me to a description of best practices for setting levels? The post above suggests setting the trim at 0, then boosting as necessary, but I'd think it would be better to set it in the middle, so there is room to adjust either way.

You're on the right track.  There are no hard and fast rules, since a folk group will need a lot less gain than a metal band.  If you start conservatively around 30-35 dB of gain, and are lucky enough to get a few seconds of warm up, you'll hit the mark just fine.  I just started using a V3 a couple of months ago and I've yet to set my levels too high.

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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 07:24:15 PM »
Other than this old post: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=23517.msg294238#msg294238, I can't find much info on setting the gain on my new V3. Can anyone point me to a description of best practices for setting levels? The post above suggests setting the trim at 0, then boosting as necessary, but I'd think it would be better to set it in the middle, so there is room to adjust either way.

You're on the right track.  There are no hard and fast rules, since a folk group will need a lot less gain than a metal band.  If you start conservatively around 30-35 dB of gain, and are lucky enough to get a few seconds of warm up, you'll hit the mark just fine.  I just started using a V3 a couple of months ago and I've yet to set my levels too high.

2 questions for the OP that thunderbolt's reply made me think of:

1) Do you know the mv/pa rating of your mics? For example, mine are approximately 30mv/pa and at normal concert levels, I'm pushing +1dbu exiting the cap for my peak. That means that I could in theory get close to 23db of gain before clipping the 722 (which has a max in of +26dbu). So far my math's been real close. Second, it allows me to say "oh, I was adding 18db here with this other preamp, and the max out is higher on the V3 so I can turn the 722 down a bit, and turn the V3 up a bit and get about the same results for a peak" and be really close, usually within 1 or 2db.
2) Do you know the max line-input on your recorder? Same reason as above.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Offline yltfan

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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 07:48:52 PM »
^Since I use several different mics, record many different types of music in many different venues, (plus my general technical failings) I'm unlikely to be able to do a decent job of the calculations you describe, but thanks for the suggestion. I will look into it. I'm mostly using the spdif input on the DR-680. The mics I'm most likely to use are km-140's, 414's, and AT 4051/53's.

After getting a little too hot using my AT 4051's on the inaugural flight, I've been setting it more conservatively, figuring that it's better to be too low than too high--especially in the 24-bit realm.

Thanks everyone for the feedback!
Mics: AT4051, AT4053, KM184, Beyerdynamic MEM86 guns, Nak cm300, AKG C1000, AT853 4.7mod
Pre: Oade Wmod UA-5, CA-9100
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 08:35:57 PM »
You can clip the HELL out of the v3 and not get duistortion. I only ran mine digital out in 24-bit a few times, but when I ran 16-bit v3>optical>JB3, I ran levels HOT, and peaked at 0db many times during a show/set. You obviously dont have to do that in 24-bit, but you can still pound those levels and not get distortion ;)
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Offline Lil Kim Jong-Il

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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 05:30:09 PM »
After getting a little too hot using my AT 4051's on the inaugural flight, I've been setting it more conservatively, figuring that it's better to be too low than too high--especially in the 24-bit realm.

I have some DATs on which I let the V3 meters peg hard and there is audible distortion on playback. It's not always obvious depending on how bad it went over but it's there. If you are running in 24-bit mode, you really don't need to run all that hot. You can normalize in post and it will sound awesome. Also you will have a more enjoyable show knowing that you have some headroom and don't have to stand over your meters all night.

I've run 140s and 414s with the V3 and they sound great together.  You'll get some nice recordings with that setup.


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Re: V3 Noob Question on Setting Levels
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 05:52:24 PM »
After getting a little too hot using my AT 4051's on the inaugural flight, I've been setting it more conservatively, figuring that it's better to be too low than too high--especially in the 24-bit realm.

I have some DATs on which I let the V3 meters peg hard and there is audible distortion on playback. It's not always obvious depending on how bad it went over but it's there.

agreed. I've found it's DAC dependent as well. After listening to some clipped recordings over my Grace 901, I realized that there are some shows where I hear it everywhere, and some where I only hear it on certain DACs.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

 

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