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Author Topic: How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?  (Read 1923 times)

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Offline SmokinJoe

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How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?
« on: February 14, 2012, 08:17:47 PM »
I have a Littlebox I got from Bean.  Instead of having multiple lights for -20, -6, etc it has one light which goes from off-green-yellow-red depending on how hard you push it.  I'm not sure how to interpret that single LED.

For the most part at loud shows the gain knobs end up around 9 o'clock with my R09 mid scale.  At this point the single LED on the Littlebox is blinking on/off green, with maybe a tiny bit of yellow on the hot spots.  Perfect in that case.  If I run into my mod R4, that box takes a much hotter signal than the R09, so I've been leaving the gain knobs on the Littlebox alone, and adding a bunch of gain on the R4.  Why?  Because I don't know how much headroom is in the Littlebox.

What say ye?  Opinions are nice, facts are even better.
Mics: Schoeps MK4 & CMC5's / Gefell M200's & M210's / ADK-TL / DPA4061's
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Offline page

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Re: How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 08:30:48 PM »
If I were in your shoes, I'd accumulate the following info:

Max line-in of the R4 in dbu
Max out of the littlebox (I think it's +16dbu see below)
Your mics mv/pa and max dbu rating (obtainable from here, chart half way down)
Typical db gain on another preamp (e.g. your V3).

Then feed a tone to the V3 at the settings you want to achieve the same level as "normal" or "louder than normal" (and creating a test signal), and feed that signal through the littlebox to see what you get assuming you stay under it's max out. You can also verify it and monitor the littlebox and keep turning up the gain till you hear it clip and then back it off a bit to create a "max" setting (assuming your reference for typical gain was "louder than normal").

I calibrated my sonosax this way when I had one since it had even less signal information than that.

edit: update
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 09:56:12 PM by page »
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 08:37:43 PM »
Can you clarify what you mean by saying  "Instead of having multiple lights for -20, -6, etc it has..."? Are you saying your LB differs from a standard LB or that it differs from a more robust, multi-led peak monitoring system? I will assume the latter.

From the Naiant website:

Quote
Operation of meter LEDs as follows:  green, -10dBV; yellow, -2dBV; red, +6dBV.  littlebox has at least 9dB of headroom above red indicator level. 

Because there is at least 9dB of headroom above a red peak, you can push it pretty hard. I've found the 9 o'clock position to be completely normal, if not a bit low with most sdc microphones. You have a lot of room to crank it up when using the R4, but definitely keep it low with the R09.

Offline SmokinJoe

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Re: How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 10:44:11 PM »
Thanks for the numbers Jon.

My R4 is Busman Mod'ed which lowers the sensitivity a bit... as far as I can tell based on the specs of my HD24 and V3, a feed of about +20dBu is full scale with it turned all the way down.  I've been running the hot V3 into it for years, and my rule of thumb is don't exceed -6 on the V3 meters.  I've been adding probably 10db at the R4 when I use the Littlebox.

Sounds like I don't have to worry about clipping the Littlebox.  I'll switch to high power mode to give myself the extra 6db of headroom and make sure.

~~~~~~~

And Thanks Hi and Lo for that quote.  I didn't see that on the site.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 12:41:28 PM by SmokinJoe »
Mics: Schoeps MK4 & CMC5's / Gefell M200's & M210's / ADK-TL / DPA4061's
Pres: V3 / ST9100
Decks: Oade Concert Mod R4Pro / R09 / R05
Big Rig: split snake > Focusrite & Presonus Pres > ADAT > Alesis HD-24 > Protools 11
Daughter's rig:  AT4050ST > Busman Hybrid R4
Photo: Nikon D700's, 2.8 Zooms, and Zeiss primes
Playback: Raspberry Pi > Modi2 Uber > Magni2 > HD650

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: How hard should I push my Littlebox with one LED?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 11:08:22 PM »
Thanks for the info. I just got my KCY/ALR LB and was wondering the same thing :)
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