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Old 05-27-2006, 07:56 AM
tdellaringa tdellaringa is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 32
Default Problem with low input signal using Mbox

Hi there,

I'm using PT to record our radio shows and sermons for our church. For our radio show, the radio station recorded the open/close for us at their studio. We record the actual show portion on our mac using pro tools LE and the mbox.

I set the levels before we record of course, getting a good enough signal without clipping as I can.

The problem is the open/close provided by the radio station is much hotter and much more consistent. The waveform on theirs is taking up say 80% of the track 90% of the time, with few high peaks and valleys.

Ours, on the other hand, takes up 50% of the track 80% of the time, with lots of peaks and valleys. So the problem is when you go from the open into our message, there is a big drop in the sound level, and it sounds like we're speaking in a tube or something.

I don't understand how to get our signal more consistent. I set the level on the mbox as high as possible to get the hottest signal I can - we're already clipping here and there. Yet as I say, the majority of the track is probably at 50% signal or lower instead of like 80-90 in the yellow, where it should be.

I tried processing the track using Normalize - it didn't seem to have any effect at all.

Is this possibly a problem with the microphone? We're not using a cheapie, it's a Shure PGX wireless clip on, we paid $400 for it. Is it that they just have a professional studio environment? It seems like we should be able to get a good signal, I must be doing something wrong...

Can anyone suggest things I can try to get a better signal? I've been told I don't need a preamp since I have the mbox, but should I try one?
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:18 AM
Shawn Simpson Shawn Simpson is offline
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Default Re: Problem with low input signal using Mbox

It's most likely the lack of compression on your sermon. A compressor will reduce the dynamic range (the difference in the peaks and valleys) and give you a more consistent level throughout. It takes some time to get the hang of doing it right so that the level is good and hot with minimum compression artifacts, but that's what you're going to need.

It may be worth an hour of engineering time to hire somebody to come in and setup some presets that you can use to get your levels rocking with the pre-fab elements.

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Old 05-27-2006, 08:57 AM
tdellaringa tdellaringa is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 32
Default Re: Problem with low input signal using Mbox

Quote:
It's most likely the lack of compression on your sermon. A compressor will reduce the dynamic range (the difference in the peaks and valleys) and give you a more consistent level throughout. It takes some time to get the hang of doing it right so that the level is good and hot with minimum compression artifacts, but that's what you're going to need.

It may be worth an hour of engineering time to hire somebody to come in and setup some presets that you can use to get your levels rocking with the pre-fab elements.


Ahh.. that makes sense. So you are saying I need to be running a compressor DURING the recording, correct? Is this something I can set up on my own? Is it just part of the audiosuite? So is this set up as an aux send or something?
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