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Signal levels when recording external synth


agan.k
Go to solution Solved by des99,

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Hi everyone!

I have a question about input level I get in my DAW (Logic) when recording an external synth. I feel like this is probably some basic routing thing I'm not understanding well.

Anyways, If my synth goes into inputs 3-4 I get a decent output on the main Stereo Out at about -12db. However at the actual input (3-4) I get about -25db only!

Why is this the case? What is it that I'm missing when it comes to how mixer in logic works (or perhaps mixers in general)?

Any guidance is much appreciated!

Thank you!

Edited by agan.k
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Levels are entirely down to your audio interface and it's input design. While I don't know what interface you are using, it's common on budget interfaces for inputs 1&2 to be a combined mic/instrument input, which have more gain available to handle these lower level audio sources, and other inputs to be Line level only, which offers less gain.

This has nothing to do with Logic, as Logic just receives the audio the interface delivers to it. It's all about the audio interface you are using, and the signal levels you are sending it - Logic has no control over that.

Edited by des99
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Hi and thanks for the input, really appreciate it! 

In my test case I'm simply going from:
a synth stereo out into =>
back of my MOTU M4 (3-4 inputs, no preamp) =>
Logic DAW where the output is routed to the main Stereo Out.
All faders are on zero, no plugins or gain adjustments.

The armed audio track is showing -24db coming into 3-4 input but the main Stereo out on the mixer is showing incoming -12db.

After I record the synth, disable midi and playback the recorded audio only, the main Stereo Out is outputting -24db.

Does that make sense?

Thanks again!!

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10 minutes ago, agan.k said:

back of my MOTU M4 (3-4 inputs, no preamp)

Yes, these are line level inputs. You should still have a gain control on the interface (even if it's in software), and you also have an output volume control on the synth itself, to do whatever gain staging you need.

10 minutes ago, agan.k said:

The armed audio track is showing -24db coming into 3-4 input but the main Stereo out on the mixer is showing incoming -12db.

After I record the synth, disable midi and playback the recorded audio only, the main Stereo Out is outputting -24db.

It's helpful to show a screenshot of your mixer with the levels being displayed so we can see how you have set things up. You'll need to check what gain changes you are making (for example, you have have your channel faders in different positions when armed for recording, and playback) and also check what levels you are actually metering (eg, whether you are in pre-fader monitor mode or not etc).

It's "-24dBFS" btw - "-24dB" is not a signal level.

Edited by des99
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20 hours ago, des99 said:

Yes, these are line level inputs. You should still have a gain control on the interface (even if it's in software), and you also have an output volume control on the synth itself, to do whatever gain staging you need.

My interface (Motu M4) has no software gain control (no software mixer)

Quote

It's helpful to show a screenshot of your mixer with the levels being displayed so we can see how you have set things up. You'll need to check what gain changes you are making (for example, you have have your channel faders in different positions when armed for recording, and playback) and also check what levels you are actually metering (eg, whether you are in pre-fader monitor mode or not etc).

Here is the screenshot of my mixer. Hope that illustrates better.

Thank you!!!

Logic Screenshot.jpg

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I think I made have answered my own question by posting this.

Is it because, essentially, input 3-4 (shared for all synth instruments coming into same input) is basically patching the 'Vibes' in multiple times? After muting other inputs the main Stere Out came down to match the level of 3-4 input in question!

Edited by agan.k
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