Straining to get reamp>amp to match guitar>amp

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oyrgawd
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Post by oyrgawd » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:30 am

XLR-TRS between interface and reamp. Unbalanced 1/4 between reamp and amp.

E.Bennett
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Post by E.Bennett » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:47 am

you might want to put that tuner back in line. our boss tuner boosts a bit. in the future don't track with it in line.

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:51 am

I'm a little confused now.....how can you accurately compare the level of a DI directly into the DAW to a reamped signal into an amp? With an amp you have several different levels of gain staging.

FIrst you have the level of the signal to the amp...and in my experience a little boost in the DAW with the x-amp attenuator around 1/2 or 3/4 gives plenty of level to the amp. I have never had to crank the x-amp level all the way to get proper signal.

Then you have the gain on the amp....I usually use a '73 Princeton Reverb and the gain was around 3 or 4. That is about the level I have set when recording just a plain 'ol guitar into the amp. Thats enough to make a md421 crackle if the preamp is set to high.

Then you have the sensitivity of the mic, and the gain of the preamp. Alot of variables there....especailly depending on the room.

So....without trying to sound rude.....I'm a little confused how you would think that that chain of singals would equate to a DI'd signal? There are so many more factors with a actual amp in a room, that of course there would be a discrepency.

Maybe something in your set up is a little off, like is it a bad cable, or it's a TS not TRS....of the cable has the pins reversed. Also....what Presonus Digimax do you have....i though that series only had inputs, and direct outs from the input?

I've used the x-amp several times, and I run the signal out of PT's through a lynx aurora 8 (or used to use a 003r), then I run the across my patch bay into the trs returns of my 50' snake. Then a trs-xlr cable to the x-amp, and a ts-ts cable from the x-amp to the amp. Works fantastically, and sounds pretty realistically like it should.

not trying to sound like a jerk, i am actually trying to be helpful...just confused as to why this process isn't working if you have it set up correctly...and you are understanding that there is a huge difference between the level of a DI signal and that of a mic'd amp.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:56 am

this won't help the OP much, or at all, but i've always felt like i could get MORE gain (i.e. hitting the front end of the amp harder) with reamped tracks than i could with the guitar itself. so i'm not sure what's going on here. but i really don't think you should have to be cranking everything up to the point where its surely clipping in the computer just to get a reasonable level going into the amp.

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Post by cgarges » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:23 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:this won't help the OP much, or at all, but i've always felt like i could get MORE gain (i.e. hitting the front end of the amp harder) with reamped tracks than i could with the guitar itself. so i'm not sure what's going on here. but i really don't think you should have to be cranking everything up to the point where its surely clipping in the computer just to get a reasonable level going into the amp.
That's exactly what I was thinking. A balanced, +10, line-level signal is going to be hotter than a hi-impedence instrument-level signal. I'm usually attentuating pretty significantly at the ReAmp box (assuming that trim knob on the ReAmp box is an attentuator, since it's a passive device).

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oyrgawd
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Post by oyrgawd » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:23 am

I'm comparing the level of guitar>amp>ears to that of DI>disk>reamp>amp>ears.

Sounds like folks usually get more than enough level from the reamp.

Maybe it was a bad XLR-TRS cable I used. Ebay special. I'll try another, and try going straight from the TRS interface out into the amp.

I'll also try eliminating the Boss tuner from the equation (and just on the way out). Thing is, it's really handy for signal-splitting. The Bypass out went to the DI, and the main out went to the amp input, which let us send the preamp out to headphones (master volume down).

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Post by oyrgawd » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:25 am

The Radial X-Amp is active -- or it needs power to work, anyway.

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Post by cgarges » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:28 am

oyrgawd wrote:The Radial X-Amp is active -- or it needs power to work, anyway.
Yeah, I don't know what's going on with that. I've only ever used the ReAmp boxes.

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:15 pm

oyrgawd wrote:I'm comparing the level of guitar>amp>ears to that of DI>disk>reamp>amp>ears.

Sounds like folks usually get more than enough level from the reamp.

Maybe it was a bad XLR-TRS cable I used. Ebay special. I'll try another, and try going straight from the TRS interface out into the amp.

I'll also try eliminating the Boss tuner from the equation (and just on the way out). Thing is, it's really handy for signal-splitting. The Bypass out went to the DI, and the main out went to the amp input, which let us send the preamp out to headphones (master volume down).
oh your ears....those old things! Sounds like you are doing everything right as far as signal path...so I'm not sure... so I'd assume it's gotta be a problem with the interface output being unbalanced, the cable being faulty or something of that nature. either that or the x-amp is faulty. If you all the right cables in place, then you might try contacting radial, and see if they can help out.

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Post by ashcat_lt » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:23 pm

ott0bot wrote:so good it had to be in triplicate! Haha
Sorry about that, I edited it twice. Don't know if it was my iPhone or the board which went weird there. :oops:

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Post by ott0bot » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:58 pm

ashcat_lt wrote:
ott0bot wrote:so good it had to be in triplicate! Haha
Sorry about that, I edited it twice. Don't know if it was my iPhone or the board which went weird there. :oops:
my stupid "smart" phone does it too! haha!

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Post by ashcat_lt » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:28 pm

I noticed a couple things in the OP.

1) I would shoot for unity all the way through. You mentioned you had the input gain on the Digimax at "three quarters" which means nothing to me. Shoot for unity here (don't know how to tell you to find it on that box) unless it's really clipping a lot. Honestly the tube overdrive and low-pass filter action of the guitar amp/speaker will mask the occasional digital over, but that really shouldn't be a problem unless maybe with the hottest of humbuckers, or with active guitars. Then maintain unity through to the X-Amp and beyond. The X-Amp's manual doesn't say whether the Volume control offers actual gain. Is the dial marked with plus and minus numbers and a zero somewhere, or...?

2) You said your track was peaking around -14dbfs. Then you said that you "Normalized" the track. This actually means nothing unless we know what level you "Normalized" to. I'll assume it was somewhere close to 0dbfs, since that's what most of these functions tend to do when they don't give you the option. The Fireface 800 manual says that in "Hi Gain" mode, 0dbfs = +19dbu, which is something like 19.5V peak-to-peak. That had ought to be clipping the input of the X-Amp. Do you see the light coming on? Even if you were dropping 6db by unbalancing the connection to the X-Amp, you'd still have nearly 10V there, which is more than a stompbox booster could give, and plenty enough to destroy the front end of a guitar amp! (No, it's not going to hurt the amp, but it might sound like the thing is falling apart.)

I vote something's broken.

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Post by Aquaman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:05 pm

This is a long shot, but those Radial X-Amp boxes come with (and require) a power source. Not phantom power, but a wall wart that comes with the X-Amp when purchased. I didn't see you mention that, I assume you have it plugged in, but hey it never hurts to ask.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:49 pm

I own an X-Amp.

You could send me a short clip, like 30 seconds or less, of your recorded track... so I could pass it through mine and see how loud it is.

If you're peaks on the original audio recording are at -14 dBFS, what is the RMS (average) level of the same audio recording?

Cheers

PS the X-Amp has to be powered ot it will not work, as it is an active system.
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Post by oyrgawd » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:11 pm

ashcat_lt wrote:I vote something's broken.
Starting to think so.

Fireface Hi Gain out clips the Fireface output (pegs the meters of its software mixer) but doesn't light up the X-Amp Clip LED at all. The level knob on the X-Amp does have 0-10 numbered and turning it to the left makes things even quieter. Going straight out from the interface (1/4" TS straight into amp) is indeed loud, but not something I'd want to use as-is. This is all with good cables, XLR-TRS between X-Amp and Fireface, and yes the X-Amp is plugged in, with its correct AC adapter. Reaper doesn't ask what you want to Normalize to, but it looks like peaks are at -1 afterward. Inserting the Boss tuner between the X-Amp and amp did boost level a bit, but no cigar.

I think I'm going to hit up Radial about it. Thanks again for all the thoughtful replies.

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