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Author Topic: CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?  (Read 994 times)

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Offline rockphantom

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CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?
« on: December 01, 2015, 12:37:02 PM »
Howdy,

I am going to tape Motley Crue from the floor (15 rows back) near the soundboard at one of their final shows.
I plan to use my PCM-M10 and CA-14 cardoid mics. My question is, what level should I set my CA Ugly 2 preamp at?
I taped the Crue in San Antonio in early September using my M10 (REC Level 4), a set of CAFS,
along with an Ugly 2 preamp set at +30db (default setting for all my recordings).
I was on the floor about 50 feet from the stage and bass frequencies were completely distorted.
I've learned the bottom end dominates the mix at a Motley Crue show.
Being that this will be the last time that I will see this band,
I am tempted to set the preamp and M10 recording levels lower to improve the odds that I end up with a distortion free capture.
Feedback would be appreciated.

BTW, here is a link to my Motley Crue San Antonio recording for those who are curious:

http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=539908

Thank You!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 12:58:38 PM by rockphantom »
Deck: Sony PCM-M10 Preamp: Church Audio Ugly 2 Mics: CA-11 Cardioids,CA-14 Cardioids
FS: Soundman OKMII Rock Binaural FS: CA-14 Omnis.

Offline hi and lo

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Re: CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 12:43:35 PM »
It's pretty simple...

1) Set the M10 from 2-4 on the dial. It really doesn't matter where you set it, just stick to that general range and avoid going below 2. If anyone here tells you something about "Unity" or to run it at "exactly 4" ignore them. They don't know what they're talking about and are needlessly theory crafting.
2) Adjust the Ugly 2 preamp gain until you're peaking -12db to -6db. Being conservative is OK, but if you're peaking -18 - 12db, then I would say that's a little too conservative.


Offline perks

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Re: CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 01:00:24 PM »
I dont have any of the equipment that you are using but I would have guessed right away that +30db of gain at a loud amplified rock show is going to equal a brickwalled recording every time.

Typically when I record a rock show I dont need any additional gain. Hi and Lo is giving you the correct answer - I was just going to add that if you are not adding any gain in step #2 dont be surprised. The Crue is likely putting out over 100db through the PA and boosting that with a preamp and a consumer recorder is not going to result in a recording that you can enjoy.

Mics: Schoeps MK5, Schoeps MK41, AT853u (C,SC,H)
Preamps/converters: Schoeps VMS52UB (x2), Nbox (x2), E.A.A. PSP-2 (x2) Grace Lunatec V2 (for sale), Sound Devices MP-2 (for sale), DPA MMA6000, Naiant Tinybox v1.5, Apogee Mini-Me, Benchmark AD2k+
Recorders: Tascam DR-680, Korg MR-1, Edirol R-05, Sony PCM-M10 (x2), Tascam DR-07, Marantz PMD-661

Online Gutbucket

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Re: CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 01:14:51 PM »
Both of the above posts are spot on.

Follow hi and lo's advice and adjust gain as necessary using the multi-position rotary switch sticking out the side of the CA-UGLY2.  As perks mentions, you probably won't need very much gain, so the rotary switch probably will be in a position closer to fully counter clockwise than clockwise.

But there is one other thing to confirm on the CA-UGLY2.  That preamp has two points at which the signal level through it can be adjusted.  In addition to the rotary gain switch, there are two miniature trim potentiometers- one for each channel - which may be adjusted with a small screwdriver or knife-point.  These trim pots are primarily intended for balancing levels between the two channels when the output levels from the microphones are not closely balanced.  Keep those miniature trim-pots turned fully clockwise (which is their default setting), or at least more than about half-way 'up' (clockwise).  It's okay to set them differently from each other to balance the output across both channels if necessary, but you don't want them turned overly far counter-clockwise.
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Offline rockphantom

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Re: CA Ugly 2 Preamp Settings at Hard Rock Shows?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 05:22:51 PM »
Thank you for the feedback everyone! I will make sure to keep the preamp and recorder levels low.
I'll also keep a close eye on the VU meter levels during the Motley Crue concert.

My recording of the San Antonio gig is virtually unlistenable due to the bass distortion.
The goal is to get better results in Las Vegas!
Deck: Sony PCM-M10 Preamp: Church Audio Ugly 2 Mics: CA-11 Cardioids,CA-14 Cardioids
FS: Soundman OKMII Rock Binaural FS: CA-14 Omnis.

 

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