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  #1  
Old 05-31-2004, 10:32 AM
stev stev is offline
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Default Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

I am currently recording guitar tracks on an mbox borrowed from a friend. I am monitoring through a pair of Tannoy System 800s going into an amp. The Mbox is connected to the amp via the Headphone mini jack (on front panel of the Mbox). My question concerns how I correctly set up the monitoring volume levels. Let me explain: I record the guitar and then turn the playback knob fully over to the left for playback. At this point I have the Headphone volume fully up (fully turned left). I control the output volume of the speakers from the amp. When I play back however the sound is distorted. This distorted sound goes away when i reduce the headphone volume.

What I am thinking is that the headphone volume knob should be controlling the master volume comming out of protools and that the master volume from the speakers should be controlled by the amp. Hence if I had the headphone Knob too high then playback would distort.

Am I right or should I have the headphone knob turned fully right for playback???

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am without an Mbox manual.

Thanks,
Steve
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2004, 10:56 AM
Bazzle Bazzle is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Why don't you have the amp connected to the line out's on the Mbox?The headphone jack is not really the place to take your output signal from. Getting Started with Mbox
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:09 AM
stev stev is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

The connections on the back of my amp are Phono connections so I have a phono to mini jack going from the amp to the mbox. Is there any other way I should be doing this?
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:12 AM
Bazzle Bazzle is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Get some adapters.It's an unsatisfactory way to monitor, the way your doing it.Also the link I gave you in my last post should be useful to you.
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:19 AM
stev stev is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Thanks bassie. Perhaps you could explain something though. Is this what is causing distortion when I play back all the tracks at once. When I record something and play back it sounds fine when I solo the track but when all tracks are playing the whole mix is distorted. This can be cured by lowering the headphone gain.
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:28 AM
Bazzle Bazzle is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Yes, I would think that is your problem.You've got impedance mismatch amongst other things at play.

You can pick up a couple of adapters for peanuts.Give yourself a break.

If you are determined to do it that way.Turn the headphone level down as far as you can.
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Old 05-31-2004, 02:31 PM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Quote:
Thanks bassie. Perhaps you could explain something though. Is this what is causing distortion when I play back all the tracks at once.
the impedance and level of the headphone output doesn't match the input of your powered speakers amps, and is driving the sh*t out of them.

The headphone out is for headphones. The line outs are for powered speakers/amps. Basic audio 101.
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:20 PM
Gunnar Hellquist Gunnar Hellquist is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Hmm.

Actually, in my experience, it is not really that bad to connect the amp to the headphone output. The impedances are not what are creating the problems, headphone outputs are in general very insensitivy to too high impedance by design.

The problem is simple overloading due to too high level. What you have to do is to get down the levels a little. The output of the headphone circuit in the MBox probably gives a few volts out at maximum level. A normal hifi amp (you never said what you have) probably expects a little below 1 Volt before starting to misbehave.

So simply turn down the headphone output knob a bit and adjust other volumes.

In my experience there is very rarerely any really big degradation of the sound when you connect throught the headphone output this way, except perhaps when the headphone output is on a power amplifier. But as always, if you want to go that last extra mile and get top quality results, there are no shortcuts. And the "right" way to do it is through the line outs of the MBox. The nuisance then is that the MBox has no separate monitor volume. But, my advice is, don´t worry too much. Turn down the headphone knob and be happy.

But also be aware that it can be inside ProTools that the overloading occurs. So always use a master fader and look at the levels on that. It has a red dot showing overloading just above the dancing level meters. If it does clip you have to reduce the master fader til it does not distort. Simple as that.

Gunnar.

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Old 05-31-2004, 03:33 PM
Bazzle Bazzle is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Stev, now that you've been told the exact same thing by 3 of us.I hope you just went out and bought some RCA-1/4" adapters
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Old 05-31-2004, 04:25 PM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Setting the Headphone Knob for Playback

Quote:
So always use a master fader and look at the levels on that. It has a red dot showing overloading just above the dancing level meters. If it does clip you have to reduce the master fader til it does not distort. Simple as that.
Not really. Lower the track fadders, thus lowering the input level to the master buss. Much discussion on this, search, read and learn.

However this has little to nothing to do with your problem, which is using the incorrect output of your M-box to drive your speakers.
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