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Author Topic: Yamaha LS9 input gain  (Read 26220 times)

Rob Spence

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2010, 04:28:09 pm »

Dan Richardson wrote on Sat, 11 September 2010 09:36

Rob Spence wrote on Fri, 10 September 2010 22:43


Yes, but understand that clipping in the digital world really sounds bad, not like the nice sound of analog clipping. You never want to clip in digital!


When's the last time you actually tested that? Sure, in the dawn of digital audio,
clipping would wrap the waveform around and you'd get a full amplitude square wave.
Very dramatic tearing sound as your drivers tried to be two places at once.
I haven't seen a piece of gear do that in over a decade.
Somewhere along the way, they seem to have mellowed the math.

Way back when, I talked Klondike into letting me use an 01V on a gig. Klon had me bring it out to the shop.
The first thing he did was plug in a 58 and a monitor speaker, spin the input gain full up, and bark into it.
Sounded like analog distortion. Shortly thereafter, he started buying digital consoles.
Sure, clipping is a bad thing, but digital clipping doesn't have to sound dramatically worse than transistor clipping.

I'd much rather listen to an LS9 clipping than a Behringer DI clipping.

Smile

I guess I learned not to do it before the mellowing out of digital.
Showing my age I guess.  Very Happy
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Tom Boisseau

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2010, 02:53:15 pm »

Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember it is possible to have the channel meters set (deep in one of those menus) so that they read the channel output level and NOT the pre fader level.  This could explain why the signal was distorted even though the meters were only showing -6dB!

Tom
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Dan Johnson

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2010, 12:09:45 am »

Corne Stapelberg wrote on Fri, 10 September 2010 01:13

This is why I am also asking the questio :
Is the led meter indication on each channel a true representation of the channel level that is the same than when you hit QUE and monitor the levels on the master output led meter.

Tom Boisseau wrote on Sun, 12 September 2010 13:53

Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember it is possible to have the channel meters set (deep in one of those menus) so that they read the channel output level and NOT the pre fader level.  This could explain why the signal was distorted even though the meters were only showing -6dB!

If you go into the main metering screen on the LS9 (where you see the meters for inputs 1-32 or 33-64 all at the same time), there is an option to view pre- or post-fader levels on the input channels and choose whether pre- means pre-hpf or pre-fader.  Whatever you set this to also affects what you see on the meters on the control surface above each channel fader.

When you cue a channel, the metering point depends on the setting that you have set in the CUE settings of the console which are reached by pressing the MONITOR button repeatedly until you get to the CUE setup screen (see page 149 of the manual).
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Michael Lewis

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2011, 02:26:41 pm »

sorry want to delete this but got no idea how.
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Michael Lewis

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2011, 02:44:42 pm »

Hey guys,

I have some questions on the LS9 input gain. Here's telling some background stories before my questions:

Recently I had some discussion with my friend regarding setting proper input gains. My friend would say that he prefers using the 'unity fader' method while I argue that that is not the right method. He would set all the faders at unity and then bring the gain up till it's loud enough which he sometimes find that the input gain will be too low and sometimes has problems with not enough level, especially on his aux sends (when his main rig is much more powerful than monitor rig)and so on. I believe his gain is not properly set.

I then did some research and found this article below:

http://www.churchtecharts.org/archives/2210

It says that there are two goals when setting gain:

1. Getting a good level into the preamp, good S/N ratio, best sounding

2. Getting a good output through the system at unity fader, best fader resolution

The latter is said to be achieved by using trim / VCA so that while the gain helps in setting a good level for the input head amp, the trim / VCA helps in setting the faders at unity for the desired volume output.

The LS9 doesn't have VCAs so my question is where are the trims on LS9? Can the trim at the EQ stage be used for that purpose?

When I first bought my LS9 I had the problem of the USB's input being too high. After doing some research, I came across some user comments that say I can trim the inputs by using the trim of the EQ. I now do a trim of about -20dB for the USB input.

My question is, in order to achieve both goals, 1st setting a good HA gain as well as 2nd making sure it's not too loud at unity fader, can I use the trim at EQ to achieve this? Is there any other way I can do that?

For analog consoles that have VCAs, is it wise to put all faders at unity and then gain up using VCAs? What about larger digital consoles that have DCAs? Would they have trims along with DCAs as well? Which one should I use?

One more thing is regarding pad switches on consoles. My friend told me that he prefers to pad and then bring up the gains on consoles such as the Midas Verona to get to sweet spots. He even does that when there's no real need to pad (the incoming is not too high) but he says it sounds better that way. Is there anyone here who understands why he does that?

btw, I too confirm the problem of Behringer's DI100 input stage cracking up without pad. I had it cracked up on me a few times when I had loud keyboard, loud acoustic guitar and also loud computer audio. After those 3 occasions, I leave it on -20dB pad most of the time. I never had problems with other DIs so I think they are really bad DIs and shouldn't be used for pro use.

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Geoff Doane

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2011, 02:48:58 pm »

Michael Lewis wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 15:26

 My friend told me that he prefers to pad and then bring up the gains on consoles such as the Midas Verona to get to sweet spots. He even does that when there's no real need to pad (the incoming is not too high) but he says it sounds better that way. Is there anyone here who understands why he does that?



When I was younger (25 years ago), I had much more experienced sound guys tell me the exact opposite.  "Don't use the pad.  It sucks the life out of the signal."  I think they liked to use the channel clip lights as "signal present" indicators.  These days, I take it all with a grain of salt.

The debate over "faders at unity or adjust PFL gain first" will probably never end.  Personally, I use a variation on "faders at unity" and it works for me, but it relies on having appropriate gain structure in the back end of the system (after the console).  The latter technique might be a holdover from analog recording days when the first priority was to hit tape with as much level as you could get away with, and then mix from there.

As for the sound of the preamps, I've noticed extra noise when padding the inputs, which isn't surprising, since you now need more gain.  JR has mentioned in the past that some preamp designs may inadvertently roll off low end at low gain settings, so in that case the pad may help preserve the signal integrity.

GTD
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Michael Lewis

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2011, 03:09:02 pm »

Geoff Doane wrote on Wed, 16 February 2011 03:48

Michael Lewis wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 15:26

 My friend told me that he prefers to pad and then bring up the gains on consoles such as the Midas Verona to get to sweet spots. He even does that when there's no real need to pad (the incoming is not too high) but he says it sounds better that way. Is there anyone here who understands why he does that?



When I was younger (25 years ago), I had much more experienced sound guys tell me the exact opposite.  "Don't use the pad.  It sucks the life out of the signal."  I think they liked to use the channel clip lights as "signal present" indicators.  These days, I take it all with a grain of salt.

The debate over "faders at unity or adjust PFL gain first" will probably never end.  Personally, I use a variation on "faders at unity" and it works for me, but it relies on having appropriate gain structure in the back end of the system (after the console).  The latter technique might be a holdover from analog recording days when the first priority was to hit tape with as much level as you could get away with, and then mix from there.

As for the sound of the preamps, I've noticed extra noise when padding the inputs, which isn't surprising, since you now need more gain.  JR has mentioned in the past that some preamp designs may inadvertently roll off low end at low gain settings, so in that case the pad may help preserve the signal integrity.

GTD


Thanks. Yea I do agree that some old school sound engineers, my dad's age like to see the clip light flashing (quite constantly) on louder signals.

As for the pad helping preserve signal integrity, I believe it is an older console thing? I believe the newer consoles don't have the low end roll off at lower gain settings that you mentioned. Correct me if I'm wrong. I too find that padding adds extra noise and normally avoid pressing the pad switch unnecessarily.

Care to share what is your variation on "faders at unity"? What about the article that I brought up? Is it a good method to adjust PFL gain, then use trim / VCA to set faders at unity?
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Geoff Doane

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2011, 09:41:39 pm »

Michael Lewis wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 16:09

 Care to share what is your variation on "faders at unity"? What about the article that I brought up? Is it a good method to adjust PFL gain, then use trim / VCA to set faders at unity?


I skimmed the article, but my general feeling was that the author was suggesting too many steps and adjustments, and over complicating the procedure.

To properly describe my method would probably take an article too, and I'm not up for that tonight.  So, assuming that the back end gain is OK, and you have an adequately powered system to work with, here's my routine.

1. Turn all the gains down to minimum, pads in, if there are any.

2. With the channels muted, set the faders to zero (10 dB in hand).  They won't necessarily stay there, but it's a good starting point.  The console's master fader goes at whatever level the system gain was set, typically between -10 and 0 dB.

3. Start getting levels on individual channels by un-muting the channel and turning up the gain until it is appropriately loud.  "Appropriately loud" is a subjective thing, but I think of it as the loudest I'm likely to want that input (solo level).  After I've got the sound of the channel right, I reduce the level to whatever would be the normal level in the mix.  Guitars and horns typically will come down 5 or 10 dB, vocals will stay at unity, maybe being boosted 5 dB for leads.  Kick and bass might move up 5 dB too (or start there) since they're not likely to walk on the vocals anyway.

4. Then dial in monitors and FX, and mix on the faders for the rest of the show.  As long as there is adequate power in the whole system, there's no danger of overloading any inputs.

An added benefit for me, since I mix many different acts from gig to gig, is that dynamics parameters and send levels are already in the ballpark, once I turn the gain up to the "appropriate" level.  Generally only minimal tweaking is required rather than starting from scratch every time.

I use a similar technique for FX, setting the returns for "unity gain" before hand, and then just turning up the send until I get the desired effect.  I may not be driving the effects anywhere near 0 dBFS, but so what?  If it sounds good, it is good.  Modern digital has a noise floor so low that squeezing the last bit of performance out of a 12-bit converter is a thing of the past.

I don't expect everyone (anyone?) to adopt my methods, but since you asked, that's the general idea.  For me, it's a fast way to work that gives me consistent results.

GTD
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2011, 10:59:58 pm »

Geoff Doane wrote on Tue, 15 February 2011 21:41


...here's my routine...

Geoff,

I tend to agree with and follow your method.  If something is particularly noisy (i.e. older analog F/X units), I'll squeeze what S/N ratio I can out of it, but normally that's not a problem.

My only question is: what do you do to compensate for EQ gain adjustments...if you add ~5dB of 800Hz to the bass guitar's channel, do you dial back the gain of the whole channel by ~5dB?
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Yamaha LS9 input gain
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2011, 02:15:17 am »

I use a combination.  I set the vocal gains for a proper PFL level, set the faders to unity, and open the master to the level I think I'll need on the vocals.  I then set the other faders to unity, and set the gains for the levels I think I'll need.  This seems to work well for me.
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