ProSoundWeb Community

Church and H.O.W. Forums for HOW Sound and AV - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Church and HOW Forums => Church Sound Archive => Topic started by: Shad Hall on August 06, 2010, 05:29:30 pm

Title: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 06, 2010, 05:29:30 pm
hi,

when we record the sermon, the audio is super quiet when played back on a laptop or regular cd player. actually, it's quiet even when played back over the church sound system, but since a larger amp exists, i am able to increase the volume enough to be able to hear it.

we are using a mackie 808s powered mixer [details: product pg contains PDF docs].

as for the cd recorder, we are using the tascam cc-222 [details: this link appears to be the updated model].

this is how i have it set up and i wonder if i'm doing something wrong:

mackie 808s TAPE OUT > tascam cc-222 LINE INPUT 1 IN
input volume on tascam is maxed out.

what am i doing wrong?
thanks
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Tom Young on August 06, 2010, 05:36:10 pm
The level of the sermon is always lower than the music.

Your best bet is to feed the recorder from an aux bus (postfader, post-EQ) on the mixer so that you can increases the pastor's mic independently of the mix you have for the speaker system. It also helps to compress the sermon recording slightly.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 06, 2010, 08:02:58 pm
Tom Young wrote on Fri, 06 August 2010 14:36

The level of the sermon is always lower than the music.

Your best bet is to feed the recorder from an aux bus (postfader, post-EQ) on the mixer so that you can increases the pastor's mic independently of the mix you have for the speaker system. It also helps to compress the sermon recording slightly.


i totally agree with you and do so at a different venue, but this board doesn't have individual auxiliaries, so no individual channel control to send to a mix. however, for the compression, i'll definitely make sure that get applied per your suggestion.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 06, 2010, 08:11:58 pm
Shad....

Go out and get yourself an EbTech "Line Level Shifter" and place it between the outputs of your board and the CD burner.  You are getting a -10 "consumer level" output and the burner is looking for a +4 "pro level" input signal.  I have this same issue with my Tascam burner and boosting the signal with the level shifter allow me to actually have the use of the input control on the burner.

As a bonus feature you will also tranformer isolate the two units which can be a good safeguard against any hum, buzz or other noise on the recording.

DR
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 06, 2010, 08:20:58 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Fri, 06 August 2010 17:11

Shad....

Go out and get yourself an EbTech "Line Level Shifter" and place it between the outputs of your board and the CD burner.  You are getting a -10 "consumer level" output and the burner is looking for a +4 "pro level" input signal.  I have this same issue with my Tascam burner and boosting the signal with the level shifter allow me to actually have the use of the input control on the burner.

As a bonus feature you will also tranformer isolate the two units which can be a good safeguard against any hum, buzz or other noise on the recording.

DR

got it! thanks

Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 06, 2010, 08:36:31 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Fri, 06 August 2010 17:11

Shad....

Go out and get yourself an EbTech "Line Level Shifter" and place it between the outputs of your board and the CD burner.  You are getting a -10 "consumer level" output and the burner is looking for a +4 "pro level" input signal.  I have this same issue with my Tascam burner and boosting the signal with the level shifter allow me to actually have the use of the input control on the burner.

As a bonus feature you will also tranformer isolate the two units which can be a good safeguard against any hum, buzz or other noise on the recording.

DR

hi dick,

thanks for the helpful reply. i'll try to get it purchased this week.

just to make sure i got this right, is this how you would suggest hooking up the line level shifter?

mixer "tape out" {rca's} > line lvl shifter -10 dBV {1/4 ts} > line lvl shifter +4dBu {1/4 ts} > tascam "line input" {rca}

thanks
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 06, 2010, 08:47:44 pm
Shad Hall wrote on Fri, 06 August 2010 20:36

Dick Rees wrote on Fri, 06 August 2010 17:11

Shad....

Go out and get yourself an EbTech "Line Level Shifter" and place it between the outputs of your board and the CD burner.  You are getting a -10 "consumer level" output and the burner is looking for a +4 "pro level" input signal.  I have this same issue with my Tascam burner and boosting the signal with the level shifter allow me to actually have the use of the input control on the burner.

As a bonus feature you will also tranformer isolate the two units which can be a good safeguard against any hum, buzz or other noise on the recording.

DR

hi dick,

thanks for the helpful reply. i'll try to get it purchased this week.

just to make sure i got this right, is this how you would suggest hooking up the line level shifter?

mixer "tape out" {rca's} > line lvl shifter -10 dBV {1/4 ts} > line lvl shifter +4dBu {1/4 ts} > tascam "line input" {rca}

thanks



Shad...

That's how I do it. Here's a link if you haven't already done the "Google".

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LLS2

DR
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: George S Dougherty on August 08, 2010, 11:32:30 pm
If you don't already have compression on the pastor's mic or inserted on the outputs, it's a good idea to do that too.  Something like an RNC in Super Nice mode would work well.  Only bugger there is Super Nice isn't an option that sticks.  It resets each time the unit looses power.  Even the normal compression does well though.  It'd be my first choice as a simple compact stereo unit with plenty of control.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on August 09, 2010, 06:34:06 am
Dick Rees wrote on Sat, 07 August 2010 01:11

Shad....

Go out and get yourself an EbTech "Line Level Shifter" and place it between the outputs of your board and the CD burner.  You are getting a -10 "consumer level" output and the burner is looking for a +4 "pro level" input signal.



I've never seen an audio CD player that didn't have enough gain reserve (about 11 dB are needed) to overcome this situation.

Once you apply the recommended linear audio gain by external means, you still have done *nothing* to address the problem. All you will have done is had to readjust the gain control on the CD recorder to accomodate the higher input signal. You'll still be making recordings where the sermon is subjectively (and actually) about 10 dB quieter than the music.

The core of the problem is that there is a difference between live listening and listening to recordings, such that there is this need to add about 10 dB to the spoken word parts to make them seem to have the same loudness as the music on the recording. I've talked to a ton of church volunteers about this and we all see it.

The suggestion that a compressor be used to automatically make up the difference is one potential solution.

Another solution is to simply manually advance the gain on the recorder just before the sermon and announcements start, and back it down before the music starts. You can put 2 marks on the front panel, one for music and one for spoken word.

Or, you can edit the CD before you distribute it and make up the difference in the digital domain.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 09, 2010, 12:48:09 pm
Arnold B. Krueger wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 06:34


Another solution is to simply manually advance the gain on the recorder just before the sermon and announcements start, and back it down before the music starts. You can put 2 marks on the front panel, one for music and one for spoken word.






Hi, Arnold.....

I quote the above in reference to the OP stating:

"input volume on tascam is maxed out."

This tells me that there is no way to "manually advance the gain on the recorder" as you recommend.  By simply showing the recorder a stronger signal you can now use the tecnique you recommend.  

In several church installs I've done I have used a Rane "Swiss Army" line distro to address the issue of needing different levels of the same feed for recording, crying room, fellowship hall, etc.   This is another (more expensive) fix.

Whatever works.  I just was stating the way that I do it when the house is being fed a signal at +4 and the tape outs are at -10.  The little level shifter box simply puts them both at the same level.

Best wishes.

DR
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Mac Kerr on August 09, 2010, 01:12:13 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 12:48

Arnold B. Krueger wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 06:34


Another solution is to simply manually advance the gain on the recorder just before the sermon and announcements start, and back it down before the music starts. You can put 2 marks on the front panel, one for music and one for spoken word.
Hi, Arnold.....

I quote the above in reference to the OP stating:

"input volume on tascam is maxed out."

This tells me that there is no way to "manually advance the gain on the recorder" as you recommend.  By simply showing the recorder a stronger signal you can now use the tecnique you recommend.  

In several church installs I've done I have used a Rane "Swiss Army" line distro to address the issue of needing different levels of the same feed for recording, crying room, fellowship hall, etc.   This is another (more expensive) fix.

Whatever works.  I just was stating the way that I do it when the house is being fed a signal at +4 and the tape outs are at -10.  The little level shifter box simply puts them both at the same level.

Best wishes.

DR


In addition to the devices Dick mentioned, there is the Drawmer DA6 which has 6 stereo DA outs, and the Aphex 120a which has 4 mono outs. Both have individual level control for each output, and are fully balance so they are capable of driving long lines. As DAs they provide some isolation between destinations as well.

Mac
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on August 09, 2010, 05:16:02 pm
[quote title=Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 17:48

I quote the above in reference to the OP stating:

"input volume on tascam is maxed out."

This tells me that there is no way to "manually advance the gain on the recorder" as you recommend.  By simply showing the recorder a stronger signal you can now use the tecnique you recommend.  
[/quote]

If the output of a console is unable to properly drive a CD recorder set to max gain, then it is very likely that the gain structure of the system through the console is way too low.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 09, 2010, 07:26:11 pm
Arnold B. Krueger wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 17:16

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 17:48


I quote the above in reference to the OP stating:

"input volume on tascam is maxed out."

This tells me that there is no way to "manually advance the gain on the recorder" as you recommend.  By simply showing the recorder a stronger signal you can now use the tecnique you recommend.  


If the output of a console is unable to properly drive a CD recorder set to max gain, then it is very likely that the gain structure of the system through the console is way too low.




There will always be a 14v difference between the mains out and the tape outs no matter what the system gain structure.  I find it simplest to use the step-up transformer to rectify the problem if using the 2-track outs is the connection du jour.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on August 09, 2010, 11:02:34 pm
I'm surprised no one has asked these questions yet:

The block diagram (page 33 of the manual) is your friend. Studying it reveals that the TAPE OUT is ahead of the MAIN MASTER control and main EQ. So if you are running your channel volume knobs significantly lower than "U" (12:00), that could explain the low signal level in the recording. The MAIN MASTER knob has no effect on the TAPE OUT.

If you are not using the MONITOR section of the 808S, you could connect the CD recorder to the MONITOR LINE OUT. Of course, that would limit it to a mono recording, but you likely would be able to boost the signal with the MONITOR LEVEL control and not have to get an external transformer/amplifier before the recorder. The MONITOR section, if not used with the built-in amp, is really just another name for pre-fader, pre-EQ AUX SEND 1.

If you are not using outboard processing (signal processor connected to L+R MIXER OUT and L+R POWER AMP IN), you may be able to connect the recorder to the L+R MIXER OUT connectors to get a hotter signal. This will preserve the stereo image.

If you are not using the on-board effects, you can also use the EFX channel controls and the EFX SEND jack as a virtual post-fader, post-EQ AUX SEND. Note that making this connection will disable the on-board effects.

It's also helpful to note that the 808S does not provide true balanced (floating) outputs. When a TRS (balanced) line is connected, the ring (low) will be in common with the shield. In some cases this could result in unwanted ground loop or RF noise, for example, if a long cable (balanced or unbalanced) is used to connect the mixer outs to a distant amp.

This is irrelevant to the discussion, but I'll post it for completeness: only the XLR mic inputs and the channel 1-6 1/4" line inputs are balanced. The 1/4" line inputs on channels 7 and 8 are unbalanced and do not pass through the preamp.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on August 10, 2010, 08:45:34 am
Dick Rees wrote on Tue, 10 August 2010 00:26

Arnold B. Krueger wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 17:16

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 17:48


I quote the above in reference to the OP stating:

"input volume on tascam is maxed out."

This tells me that there is no way to "manually advance the gain on the recorder" as you recommend.  By simply showing the recorder a stronger signal you can now use the tecnique you recommend.  


If the output of a console is unable to properly drive a CD recorder set to max gain, then it is very likely that the gain structure of the system through the console is way too low.




There will always be a 14v difference between the mains out and the tape outs no matter what the system gain structure.  I find it simplest to use the step-up transformer to rectify the problem if using the 2-track outs is the connection du jour.


Good practice is to connect the CD recorder to the console output that is appropriate for its input. That means connecting the balanced ioput of the recorder to a balanced output, or an upbalanced input of the recorder to an unbalanced output. The so-called recoder output of a console is usually unbalanced. The corresponding input of the CD recorder is generally looking for a "-10" signal, not a "+4" signal. The CD recorder usually has from 10 to 20 dB of addititional reserve gain if you crank the recording level full up.

If you put the numbers together, about the only way you can even get near to having too little level is to connect a recorder's  balanced input to an unbalanced output from the console.

If the console is part of a properly-structured system, and the digital recorder is typical then the levels should all work together as designed, and peak levels at the console output should be able to take the recorder to FS or beyond.

That's certainly been true every time I've put a proper sound system together, whether permanently installed or ad hoc. The recorder installation was plug and play.

If the gain structure is a bit off and levels at the outputs of the console are running low, then you either go back and fix the gain structure or apply some kind of band aid.



 
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Paul Wilson on August 18, 2010, 01:11:45 am
use an aux out. You can adjust the volume with the auxiliary knob. simple and effective.

You want loud enough output from your mixer. The level of your input on your recorder is important but not as important as your output level from your source (mixer)
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 19, 2010, 05:19:57 pm
Jonathan Johnson wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 20:02

I'm surprised no one has asked these questions yet:

  • Where do you run the channel volume knobs (what o'clock)?
  • Where do you run the main master volume knob?
  • Just to clarify, are you using the built-in amp for the main speakers, or an external amp for the main speakers? If external, how is it connected to the 808S?
  • Are you running stage monitors? If so, how are they hooked up?

The block diagram (page 33 of the manual) is your friend. Studying it reveals that the TAPE OUT is ahead of the MAIN MASTER control and main EQ. So if you are running your channel volume knobs significantly lower than "U" (12:00), that could explain the low signal level in the recording. The MAIN MASTER knob has no effect on the TAPE OUT.

If you are not using the MONITOR section of the 808S, you could connect the CD recorder to the MONITOR LINE OUT. Of course, that would limit it to a mono recording, but you likely would be able to boost the signal with the MONITOR LEVEL control and not have to get an external transformer/amplifier before the recorder. The MONITOR section, if not used with the built-in amp, is really just another name for pre-fader, pre-EQ AUX SEND 1.

If you are not using outboard processing (signal processor connected to L+R MIXER OUT and L+R POWER AMP IN), you may be able to connect the recorder to the L+R MIXER OUT connectors to get a hotter signal. This will preserve the stereo image.

If you are not using the on-board effects, you can also use the EFX channel controls and the EFX SEND jack as a virtual post-fader, post-EQ AUX SEND. Note that making this connection will disable the on-board effects.

It's also helpful to note that the 808S does not provide true balanced (floating) outputs. When a TRS (balanced) line is connected, the ring (low) will be in common with the shield. In some cases this could result in unwanted ground loop or RF noise, for example, if a long cable (balanced or unbalanced) is used to connect the mixer outs to a distant amp.

This is irrelevant to the discussion, but I'll post it for completeness: only the XLR mic inputs and the channel 1-6 1/4" line inputs are balanced. The 1/4" line inputs on channels 7 and 8 are unbalanced and do not pass through the preamp.

sorry for taking so long to respond to this thread. just to let you know up front, i did go ahead and purchase EBTech's Line Level Shifter.

now, to answer your questions:

Jonathan Johnson wrote on Mon, 09 August 2010 20:02

I'm surprised no one has asked these questions yet:

  • Where do you run the channel volume knobs (what o'clock)?
  • Where do you run the main master volume knob?
  • Just to clarify, are you using the built-in amp for the main speakers, or an external amp for the main speakers? If external, how is it connected to the 808S?
  • Are you running stage monitors? If so, how are they hooked up?



Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 21, 2010, 12:33:22 am
okay, i have some new data for you to contemplate.

the line shifter arrived today in perfect time for a 4 day seminar that started tonite, which i just got back from night 1. i must be doing something wrong, b/c the recording levels were the same.

Q1. can you nuke a cd recorder by sending too loud of a master signal to the recorder?

this is how i hooked the line shifter up between the mixer and the cd recorder:

MIXER TAPE LINE OUT (L/R-RCA) => LINE LEVEL SHIFTER: Channel 1 -10dBV (1/4" TRS) => LINE LEVEL SHIFTER: Channel 1 +4dBu (1/4" TRS) => CD-RECORDER LINE IN 1 (L/R-RCA)

VOLUME LEVELS:
Ch.8 (wireless lapel) MONITOR @ 11:00; TRIM (the pot above the gain dial) @ 11:00; GAIN @ 2:00
MONITOR MASTER @ 11:00
MAINS MASTER: @ 11:00

The INPUT VOLUME on the Tascam cc-222 was @ max.
The recording signal meter on the Tascam was only -40 ~ -25; not much more than normal.

The head phone volume on the Tascam had to be maxed out to monitor the guest speaker through the headphones.

Thoughts?

and thank you thus far for all of your input everyone.

Very Happy

Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Jordan Wolf on August 21, 2010, 02:43:57 am
You need to apply more gain to the signal before it gets to the recorder.

Do you set each channel's "Input Level Set" according to Mackie's directions (see below)?  That's the first step to getting things where they need to be.  It's akin to PFL'ing the channel and using the meters to set the correct level, just simplified.

Are you using the FX built into the mixer?  If not, you might want to look into using that send for recording purposes.

I think that you'll find the signal is much stronger when the various gain stages it goes through are set properly.
index.php/fa/540/0/
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 21, 2010, 06:34:55 pm
Jordan Wolf wrote on Fri, 20 August 2010 23:43

You need to apply more gain to the signal before it gets to the recorder.

Do you set each channel's "Input Level Set" according to Mackie's directions (see below)?  That's the first step to getting things where they need to be.  It's akin to PFL'ing the channel and using the meters to set the correct level, just simplified.

Are you using the FX built into the mixer?  If not, you might want to look into using that send for recording purposes.

I think that you'll find the signal is much stronger when the various gain stages it goes through are set properly.


oh my! i can't believe that didn't dawn on me. i'm heading down there in a couple of hours and will address that.

thanks
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 22, 2010, 05:10:15 pm
okay, i've got some new feedback for you all to chew on.

this is really driving me crazy, b/c i thought i knew a bit about sound and now something simple as this comes up and i'm questioning everything i know about sound. hah

today's (aug.22) results:

ch.1: wired mic
mon @ 10:30
efx @ infinity (master efx muted)
line level input @ 1:30
gain @ 2:00

ch.8: wireless lapel
mon @ 10:00
efx @ infinity
line level input @ 1:30
gain @ 2:00

masters:
monitors @ 12:00
mains @ 9:30

tascam:
input level (dial) @ max
record level led's were peaking @ "-12" (about 50% of the meter) and running average "-20" (about 25%). meter is about -48 ~ 0.

i tested the recorded cd after finalizing and it was still really quiet over the church sound system and the mixer has 2x600wt amps. just tested it on my laptop and obviously the same issue.

i'm really lost here. there is one more session tomorrow night.

hey, thank you all for all of your continued input. Smile
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 23, 2010, 12:27:34 pm
Shad...

The physical positioning (x o'clock) is meaningless.  The signal strength is what you need to ascertain.  Please go back to the linked info in Jordans post.  Does your console not have PFL/cue capability?

DR

Edit:

If the output level of the board is too quiet on the CD, yet adequate for the house system, turn down your power amps so you can run the board at a hotter level.  Your console output should be showing right around "0" on the meters.  Adjust your house amps accordingly.  You'll then have enough signal going out of the board to drive the recorder and yet not overpower the congregation with the house sound.  Just guessing that this may be your situation.

Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 23, 2010, 03:48:18 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 09:27

Shad...

The physical positioning (x o'clock) is meaningless.  The signal strength is what you need to ascertain.  Please go back to the linked info in Jordans post.  Does your console not have PFL/cue capability?

DR

Edit:

If the output level of the board is too quiet on the CD, yet adequate for the house system, turn down your power amps so you can run the board at a hotter level.  Your console output should be showing right around "0" on the meters.  Adjust your house amps accordingly.  You'll then have enough signal going out of the board to drive the recorder and yet not overpower the congregation with the house sound.  Just guessing that this may be your situation.



so i printed off his post and took it to church yesterday and referenced his post in the manual and followed the steps, but that didn't seem to help.

by the way, there is no PFL as there is not even a headphone jack. ( pic of board )

also, the power amps are built into the powered mixer, so they (2x 600wt amps) are not adjustable. there is a monitor master volume knob and also one for the mains.

am i still missing something?

thanks again.
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Dick Rees on August 23, 2010, 04:20:31 pm
Shad Hall wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 15:48

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 09:27

Shad...

The physical positioning (x o'clock) is meaningless.  The signal strength is what you need to ascertain.  Please go back to the linked info in Jordans post.  Does your console not have PFL/cue capability?

DR

Edit:

If the output level of the board is too quiet on the CD, yet adequate for the house system, turn down your power amps so you can run the board at a hotter level.  Your console output should be showing right around "0" on the meters.  Adjust your house amps accordingly.  You'll then have enough signal going out of the board to drive the recorder and yet not overpower the congregation with the house sound.  Just guessing that this may be your situation.



so i printed off his post and took it to church yesterday and referenced his post in the manual and followed the steps, but that didn't seem to help.

by the way, there is no PFL as there is not even a headphone jack. ( pic of board )

also, the power amps are built into the powered mixer, so they (2x 600wt amps) are not adjustable. there is a monitor master volume knob and also one for the mains.

am i still missing something?

thanks again.
Very Happy



Shad...

I apologize for skipping the details you provided in your OP.  All my suggestions have been based on using a "real" sound console rather than a powered head.  Some powered units I've used  
{Peavey for example} actually have some workable feature sets.  The Mackie, however, is sadly unsuited to your use.  There are certainly ways to make it work by patching things together, but by the time you've done all the purchasing and patching, you'd likely be better off just selling the one you have and getting a small, full featured mixing board, some EQ'ing and a power amp.

Sorry.

DR
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 23, 2010, 04:54:06 pm
Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 13:20

Shad Hall wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 15:48

Dick Rees wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 09:27

Shad...

The physical positioning (x o'clock) is meaningless.  The signal strength is what you need to ascertain.  Please go back to the linked info in Jordans post.  Does your console not have PFL/cue capability?

DR

Edit:

If the output level of the board is too quiet on the CD, yet adequate for the house system, turn down your power amps so you can run the board at a hotter level.  Your console output should be showing right around "0" on the meters.  Adjust your house amps accordingly.  You'll then have enough signal going out of the board to drive the recorder and yet not overpower the congregation with the house sound.  Just guessing that this may be your situation.



so i printed off his post and took it to church yesterday and referenced his post in the manual and followed the steps, but that didn't seem to help.

by the way, there is no PFL as there is not even a headphone jack. ( pic of board )

also, the power amps are built into the powered mixer, so they (2x 600wt amps) are not adjustable. there is a monitor master volume knob and also one for the mains.

am i still missing something?

thanks again.
Very Happy



Shad...

I apologize for skipping the details you provided in your OP.  All my suggestions have been based on using a "real" sound console rather than a powered head.  Some powered units I've used  
{Peavey for example} actually have some workable feature sets.  The Mackie, however, is sadly unsuited to your use.  There are certainly ways to make it work by patching things together, but by the time you've done all the purchasing and patching, you'd likely be better off just selling the one you have and getting a small, full featured mixing board, some EQ'ing and a power amp.

Sorry.

DR

drat. but i understand. thank you and thank you to everyone for your patience with me. Smile

i remember vaguely that when we recorded in the past, we were able to watch the record meter on the tascam to dance consistently higher, so i'll keep messing with it and see if i can't figure something out. o.O maybe it all was a dream. lol

thanks again everybody.
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on August 24, 2010, 01:06:06 am
Shad,

Based on your previous posts, I'm understanding that you are using the "main" amp section of the Mackie 808s to power your FOH speakers, and the "monitor" section to power your stage monitors.

As others here have stated, you need to make sure that signal levels are properly set. Here's the general procedure:

  1. One each channel, turn the INPUT LEVEL SET and the VOLUME CH # controls all the way down.
  2. Turn the MAIN MASTER and MONITOR MASTER controls all the way down.
  3. Set the EFX  TO MON and EFX TO MAIN controls all the way down.
  4. At this point, there should be no sound going through the system.
  5. For the first channel, activate a sound source. This could be an instrument, a CD player, or your pastor on his microphone. The sound source should be playing at the volume it normally does during the worship service. (At this point, you won't be getting any sound out of the system -- that's OK. Inform your talent that this is expected.) [See note below]
  6. To quote the Mackie 808s manual: "To correctly adjust the INPUT LEVEL SET control, apply a signal to the channel and turn up the INPUT LEVEL SET control until the LED next to it just begins to blink." This LED is your "PFL" meter for that channel. I know, one LED makes for a pitiful meter, but it's all you've got to work with.
  7. Repeat the above two steps in turn for each input channel.
  8. Adjust the input channels' VOLUME CH # to "U".
  9. With the talent providing an active sound source, bring up the MAIN MASTER until the volume from the FOH speakers is about right, maybe just a little bit hot. It's OK if this control is barely cracked open.
  10. For each channel you want to appear in the monitor speakers, adjust the MON control to "U".
  11. Bring up the MONITOR MASTER until your talent gives you a signal that the volume is about right. Adjust the MON controls for the proper mix as needed in the monitor speakers. Remember, less is better in monitors (when talent wants "more me" they usually just want "less them").
  12. At this point, test your recording.
  13. Apply effects as needed.
  14. Adjust your mix as needed using the channel VOLUME controls. Do not mix with the INPUT LEVEL SET controls -- they are not durable enough for that kind of use. [See note below]

Hopefully, you'll be getting a hotter signal to your recorder via the TAPE OUT jacks. You'll also be feeding a hotter signal to the internal amplifier, that's why you shouldn't need to turn it up as much. That's OK.

The principle behind this procedure is that you want to take your gain early. The INPUT LEVEL SET controls the sound as it passes through the mic preamp. Subsequent circuitry adds noise to the signal; this noise is a constant. If your input signal is low, it might need to be amplified 30 dB for adequate volume. If it's high, it might only need to be amplified 3 dB. The inherent noise is also amplified by the same amount; by inputting a hotter signal you will need less amplification and in turn will be amplifying the noise less, resulting in a quieter system.

NOTE on step 5: On channels 7 and 8, the INPUT LEVEL SET only applies to the XLR jack. If you use the line in on either of these channels, you'll need to adjust the output of the instrument that's plugged in here until the light blinks.

NOTE on step 14: If an LED on a particular channel is glowing more often than not, you may experience clipping. If this is the case, turn down the INPUT LEVEL SET until it occasionally flickers on the peaks.

P.S. -- Please forgive me for any invalid assumptions I've made. This is a little bit like conducting intergalactic warfare using a text editor.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on August 24, 2010, 02:12:08 am
Jonathan Johnson wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 22:06

Shad,

Based on your previous posts, I'm understanding that you are using the "main" amp section of the Mackie 808s to power your FOH speakers, and the "monitor" section to power your stage monitors.

As others here have stated, you need to make sure that signal levels are properly set. Here's the general procedure:

  1. One each channel, turn the INPUT LEVEL SET and the VOLUME CH # controls all the way down.
  2. Turn the MAIN MASTER and MONITOR MASTER controls all the way down.
  3. Set the EFX  TO MON and EFX TO MAIN controls all the way down.
  4. At this point, there should be no sound going through the system.
  5. For the first channel, activate a sound source. This could be an instrument, a CD player, or your pastor on his microphone. The sound source should be playing at the volume it normally does during the worship service. (At this point, you won't be getting any sound out of the system -- that's OK. Inform your talent that this is expected.) [See note below]
  6. To quote the Mackie 808s manual: "To correctly adjust the INPUT LEVEL SET control, apply a signal to the channel and turn up the INPUT LEVEL SET control until the LED next to it just begins to blink." This LED is your "PFL" meter for that channel. I know, one LED makes for a pitiful meter, but it's all you've got to work with.
  7. Repeat the above two steps in turn for each input channel.
  8. Adjust the input channels' VOLUME CH # to "U".
  9. With the talent providing an active sound source, bring up the MAIN MASTER until the volume from the FOH speakers is about right, maybe just a little bit hot. It's OK if this control is barely cracked open.
  10. For each channel you want to appear in the monitor speakers, adjust the MON control to "U".
  11. Bring up the MONITOR MASTER until your talent gives you a signal that the volume is about right. Adjust the MON controls for the proper mix as needed in the monitor speakers. Remember, less is better in monitors (when talent wants "more me" they usually just want "less them").
  12. At this point, test your recording.
  13. Apply effects as needed.
  14. Adjust your mix as needed using the channel VOLUME controls. Do not mix with the INPUT LEVEL SET controls -- they are not durable enough for that kind of use. [See note below]

Hopefully, you'll be getting a hotter signal to your recorder via the TAPE OUT jacks. You'll also be feeding a hotter signal to the internal amplifier, that's why you shouldn't need to turn it up as much. That's OK.

The principle behind this procedure is that you want to take your gain early. The INPUT LEVEL SET controls the sound as it passes through the mic preamp. Subsequent circuitry adds noise to the signal; this noise is a constant. If your input signal is low, it might need to be amplified 30 dB for adequate volume. If it's high, it might only need to be amplified 3 dB. The inherent noise is also amplified by the same amount; by inputting a hotter signal you will need less amplification and in turn will be amplifying the noise less, resulting in a quieter system.

NOTE on step 5: On channels 7 and 8, the INPUT LEVEL SET only applies to the XLR jack. If you use the line in on either of these channels, you'll need to adjust the output of the instrument that's plugged in here until the light blinks.

NOTE on step 14: If an LED on a particular channel is glowing more often than not, you may experience clipping. If this is the case, turn down the INPUT LEVEL SET until it occasionally flickers on the peaks.

P.S. -- Please forgive me for any invalid assumptions I've made. This is a little bit like conducting intergalactic warfare using a text editor.

saturday night, i picked up the manual (the section you referenced) and went through the steps, but not with a much better outcome. however, i will print off your very well articulated steps and follow them to the Nth degree this week to see what can be achieved. once that's accomplished, i will post an update.

thanks
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: William Sanders on August 24, 2010, 11:52:21 am
man, i just typed a good reply and got logged out somehow! check the input terminals on the tascam with another source or mixer. the line level shifter should have solved this problem. if the terminals are good and you are getting low levels just with the mic inputs then ring those out and get as much GBF as possible. if you are getting low levels with everything then just start from scratch and get you you mic level peaking around -5/-10 and your instruments around 0/+5 or so.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Matthias Heitzer on August 26, 2010, 10:46:12 am
to check the inputs of the tascam, I'd just unplug the speakers from the powermixer and connect the recorder to the main line-outputs.
Then you can compare the level on the mixer's meters with the input levels  that arrive at the recorder and what effect it's volume knob realy has.



Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Shad Hall on September 21, 2010, 12:54:31 am
Jonathan Johnson wrote on Mon, 23 August 2010 22:06

Shad,

Based on your previous posts, I'm understanding that you are using the "main" amp section of the Mackie 808s to power your FOH speakers, and the "monitor" section to power your stage monitors.

As others here have stated, you need to make sure that signal levels are properly set. Here's the general procedure:

  1. One each channel, turn the INPUT LEVEL SET and the VOLUME CH # controls all the way down.
  2. Turn the MAIN MASTER and MONITOR MASTER controls all the way down.
  3. Set the EFX  TO MON and EFX TO MAIN controls all the way down.
  4. At this point, there should be no sound going through the system.
  5. For the first channel, activate a sound source. This could be an instrument, a CD player, or your pastor on his microphone. The sound source should be playing at the volume it normally does during the worship service. (At this point, you won't be getting any sound out of the system -- that's OK. Inform your talent that this is expected.) [See note below]
  6. To quote the Mackie 808s manual: "To correctly adjust the INPUT LEVEL SET control, apply a signal to the channel and turn up the INPUT LEVEL SET control until the LED next to it just begins to blink." This LED is your "PFL" meter for that channel. I know, one LED makes for a pitiful meter, but it's all you've got to work with.
  7. Repeat the above two steps in turn for each input channel.
  8. Adjust the input channels' VOLUME CH # to "U".
  9. With the talent providing an active sound source, bring up the MAIN MASTER until the volume from the FOH speakers is about right, maybe just a little bit hot. It's OK if this control is barely cracked open.
  10. For each channel you want to appear in the monitor speakers, adjust the MON control to "U".
  11. Bring up the MONITOR MASTER until your talent gives you a signal that the volume is about right. Adjust the MON controls for the proper mix as needed in the monitor speakers. Remember, less is better in monitors (when talent wants "more me" they usually just want "less them").
  12. At this point, test your recording.
  13. Apply effects as needed.
  14. Adjust your mix as needed using the channel VOLUME controls. Do not mix with the INPUT LEVEL SET controls -- they are not durable enough for that kind of use. [See note below]

Hopefully, you'll be getting a hotter signal to your recorder via the TAPE OUT jacks. You'll also be feeding a hotter signal to the internal amplifier, that's why you shouldn't need to turn it up as much. That's OK.

The principle behind this procedure is that you want to take your gain early. The INPUT LEVEL SET controls the sound as it passes through the mic preamp. Subsequent circuitry adds noise to the signal; this noise is a constant. If your input signal is low, it might need to be amplified 30 dB for adequate volume. If it's high, it might only need to be amplified 3 dB. The inherent noise is also amplified by the same amount; by inputting a hotter signal you will need less amplification and in turn will be amplifying the noise less, resulting in a quieter system.

NOTE on step 5: On channels 7 and 8, the INPUT LEVEL SET only applies to the XLR jack. If you use the line in on either of these channels, you'll need to adjust the output of the instrument that's plugged in here until the light blinks.

NOTE on step 14: If an LED on a particular channel is glowing more often than not, you may experience clipping. If this is the case, turn down the INPUT LEVEL SET until it occasionally flickers on the peaks.

P.S. -- Please forgive me for any invalid assumptions I've made. This is a little bit like conducting intergalactic warfare using a text editor.

okay, this is a very late update, but i wanted to say thank you and following the above steps, the cd recording levels are back to their normal parameters. i still had some recording issue for the lapel mic and when i remembered there was an "af" control on the back of the receiver, i adjusted the level there and all was then fine with that channel as well.

thanks again,
shad
Very Happy
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Don Sullivan on November 12, 2010, 09:07:53 am
I like to record to a laptop or desktop computer hard dive using the audio line in and use software like Goldwave to boost the volume after the track is recorded. Then trim and publish to CD.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Jordan Wolf on November 15, 2010, 12:47:08 am
Don Sullivan wrote on Fri, 12 November 2010 09:07

I like to record to a laptop or desktop computer hard dive using the audio line in and use software like Goldwave to boost the volume after the track is recorded. Then trim and publish to CD.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but raising the gain of the source material also raises the noise floor, making it more apparent.  The gain staging talked about in the above posts is more for a better Signal-to-Noise Ratio so that the noise floor isn't a problem anymore.

If there's [unwanted] noise to begin with, it will only get louder if/when the entire recording is made louder.
Title: Re: sermons on cd are too quiet
Post by: Timothy C. Lee on January 26, 2011, 08:47:16 pm
I think the easiest option is to forget the stand alone cd recorder and record directly into a laptop or desktop computer.  There you can either "normalize" the audio to max it out, or manually adjust the levels to bring them up to better gain.  To top it off if you are burning cd's you already have it backed up on your hard drive for future reference or burning.  And since it's already in the computer you can make mp3's, email audio etc.  I feel the same way about video as well.  Lots of churches are going direct to a stand alone dvd burner instead of importing straight into the computer to edit & burn.

Tim