Soundcraft Ghost interfacing with recorders

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
Matt C.
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:43 am
Location: saint paul, mn

Soundcraft Ghost interfacing with recorders

Post by Matt C. » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:16 pm

Recently bought a Soundcraft Ghost, and today as I started the task of getting it setup, I realized that the direct outputs on the channels have a nominal level of -2dBu (unbalanced). Seems ridiculous, I guess I should have done my homework more thoroughly before buying this thing.

I know this is a popular board so I'm curious what others have done as far as interfacing this thing with recorders that are designed for either +4 or -10. I use both a Lynx Aurora and a Tascam MS16 tape machine. Both can be set for either +4 or -10, but this -2dBu thing has me baffled. If I was only recording digitally I could see it not being a real issue, but getting proper level onto tape is a bit more critical.

I'd like to just run everything at +4 so that I'm not dealing with level mismatches while using some console pres and some outboard pres during the same session. But apparently that's not in the cards for me. If anyone has some advice about optimal setup for this board, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:37 pm

Hi Matt,

I am in the same boar actually. I just installed a Ghost at my studio on Sunday this week and am still unsure on what levels to run at. So anyone with advice feel free to chime in. Still working on what I want to do for workflow.
So far, when I was calibrating my oputputs from pro tools into the board via the tape returns I was setting it with the outputs set on my aurora to -10 normal. Then when I was running a two buss into a compressor I noticed I was cranking the input on that thing up quite a bit more than when I was on my previous setup.

So after setting my returns I switched the outputs back to +4 and it seems to work a little better. well, I get more in two buss going out, and the headroom seems to be able to handle it without collapsing. At least with my minimum experience so far.

With the inputs on PT I have them set to -10.

For my line in's I just set my trim levels for my outboard gear and leave 'em.

One option too. And I'm thinking of doing this, is having the pate sends rout to a patchbay that is normalized to the inputs on the lynx. Then if you're running outboard gear you can patch directly into pt and bypass the board on your outboard gear.


just my thoughts on the thing after having it installed for a grand total of 3 days. On the plus side.. does sound nice to be summing through a board again.
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

User avatar
Wagz
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:44 am
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Post by Wagz » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:39 pm

Oh, here is a question. Is there any way to send signal to your tape sends pre fader?
Snoring Hound Studio
Kalisepll, MT

Matt C.
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:43 am
Location: saint paul, mn

Post by Matt C. » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:16 am

From everything I've seen in the manual, it's not possible to make the direct outs pre-fader.

Also the tape returns are +4, so leaving your DAW outputs at +4 should work fine.

snatchman
george martin
Posts: 1276
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:23 pm

Re: Soundcraft Ghost interfacing with recorders

Post by snatchman » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:00 pm

Matt C. wrote:Recently bought a Soundcraft Ghost, and today as I started the task of getting it setup, I realized that the direct outputs on the channels have a nominal level of -2dBu (unbalanced). Seems ridiculous, I guess I should have done my homework more thoroughly before buying this thing.

I know this is a popular board so I'm curious what others have done as far as interfacing this thing with recorders that are designed for either +4 or -10. I use both a Lynx Aurora and a Tascam MS16 tape machine. Both can be set for either +4 or -10, but this -2dBu thing has me baffled. If I was only recording digitally I could see it not being a real issue, but getting proper level onto tape is a bit more critical.

I'd like to just run everything at +4 so that I'm not dealing with level mismatches while using some console pres and some outboard pres during the same session. But apparently that's not in the cards for me. If anyone has some advice about optimal setup for this board, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Hello..It's been a while since I recorded analog.. :( ,but I do remember a situation similar to this..ZI used the Tascam LA-80 line converter to help remedy this..You probably could use something as the Ebtech Line Level Shifter ( 8 channel) also..Good luck..

User avatar
rhythm ranch
mixes from purgatory
Posts: 2793
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: Corrales, NM

Post by rhythm ranch » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:10 pm

If you're not recording more than eight channels at a time, you could use the bus outputs, which if IIRC are +4.

Matt C.
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:43 am
Location: saint paul, mn

Post by Matt C. » Sat May 02, 2015 10:29 am

yeah I thought of using the buses but I just don't want to be limited to 8 channels.

I'm sure this board is great but the more I check it out, the more I realize it is not really what I'm looking for. oh well, but on craigslist it goes...

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2436
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Post by The Scum » Sat May 02, 2015 2:48 pm

Really, twas ever thus.

-2 dBu is 6 dBu less than +4 dBu.

6 dB means half the voltage. If a balanced output drives +4 dBu, then one leg of that signal will be -2 dBu.

Since most midgrade consoles (Soundcraft, Soundtracs, the lesser Ameks, etc, etc) have unbalanced inserts and direct outs, they'll be -2. The Toft board may be an exception.

In practice, it never made a huge dent in my workflow. I ran the board set for +4, then just turned the preamp or fader up until the recorder showed reasonable levels.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

ashcat_lt
tinnitus
Posts: 1081
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:54 pm
Location: Duluth, MN
Contact:

Post by ashcat_lt » Sun May 10, 2015 10:51 am

The Scum wrote:Really, twas ever thus.

-2 dBu is 6 dBu less than +4 dBu.

6 dB means half the voltage. If a balanced output drives +4 dBu, then one leg of that signal will be -2 dBu.

Since most midgrade consoles (Soundcraft, Soundtracs, the lesser Ameks, etc, etc) have unbalanced inserts and direct outs, they'll be -2. The Toft board may be an exception.

In practice, it never made a huge dent in my workflow. I ran the board set for +4, then just turned the preamp or fader up until the recorder showed reasonable levels.
Yep that. All of that. The noise floor should also be attenuated about the same, and since you're running to tape, the board will not be the bottleneck for dynamic range.

HSLand
audio school graduate
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:07 am
Location: Louisiana

Post by HSLand » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:58 am

Hey Wagz, you bought the Ghost from me. Funny, I bought it from someone on this forum too :lol:

I have the same problem on my A&H GS3000. Well not 'problem' but it's just the way it is. The guy who designed the Ghost is the same guy who designed the GS3000, so that probably has something to do with it. It's one little niggle that bothers me about it and the OP is right: I want the levels going into and coming from the tape machine to match dammit!

I've forgotten how the Ghost works by now as far as groups, but the GS3000 has a little trick to get around the -6db loss. The Ghost has separate outputs for the 8 groups, but the GS3000 doesn't. Tape outs 1, 9, 17, and 25 send group 1, tape outs 2, 10, 18, and 26 send group 2, etc, all from a little switch in the channel path. The group outs are at the proper +4 level, so even though the groups and channels all come out the same jack, all it takes is the press of a switch to get +6 in there (as long as the group fader is at unity).

The direct/group out jacks on the GS3000 are impedance balanced, and impedance balanced outputs give only an unbalanced-type level. It's because only one output driver is being utilized (on the +/tip) and the other (-/ring) is only given the same impedance to ground. That gives me the benefit of rejection, but at 6db less since there is no inverted signal being sent on the -/ring.

The Ghost has ground compensated direct outs which is similar...
Last edited by HSLand on Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

HSLand
audio school graduate
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:07 am
Location: Louisiana

Post by HSLand » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:26 am

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun15/a ... 615-03.htm

This was just put up. It's about the Ghost in particular. It explains a lot.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests