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Can we get a preamp fix like Roland did for the VS2480?
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gospeltunes
Presonic
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Joined: 22/01/2011 23:40:48
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I think I can safely say that the gain on the AudioBox VSL preamps are causing problems for a lot of users. I hear a lot about "work arounds", "just be very careful", and "it works fine with this mic, but not this one" ect. Personally, my recording sessions are twice as complicated as they used to be (when I worked with other preamps and interfaces) because it is very difficult to get decent settings. I really like Presonus and I am probably a customer for life, but something should be done soon.

Roland had a problem with the preamps on their VS2480. Eventually they made it possible for users to return their 2480 to Roland to be repaired free of charge. It became known on the Roland VS Planet forums as "The Fix", And everyone eventually became aware that if you bought a 2480 that was manufactured before a certain date, you needed to be sure that it had had "The Fix".

Mistakes can still happen even with a lot of study, testing and product quality control. Sometimes things are just missed. So please Iets get the VSL "Fix" started.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 26/01/2012 17:32:46

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gospeltunes
Presonic
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Joined: 22/01/2011 23:40:48
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Just noticed how Korg Kronos users are returning their worskstations to have their keybeds fixed.
Studio One Pro 2.0.3 64 bit - Intel i7 2600 @ 3.4GHz - Windows 7 64 bit
Audiobox VSL1818 - Presonus Faderport - JBL LSR4328P Monitors Novation 61SL
Casio CTK-7000 - NI Maschine
Blue Spark Mic - Alto headphone amp
Komplete 7 - Stylus RMX - Trilian - Scarbee funk guitarist - EZ Drummer - EZ Mix(2)
Melodyne Editor - Valhalla Room - EarReckon Reverb - Nomad Factory Liquid Bundle
Rob Papen Delay - Sonimus SatsonBuss and Satson Channel
Sonar Home Studio
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MikeRivers
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Joined: 28/07/2010 15:44:52
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I suspect that you're talking about the fact that the gain increases rapidly over about the last quarter of the rotation of the pot. This is an epidemic. The StudioLive mixers are like this, as are the Mackie Onyx and VLZ3 mixers, the Focusrite Scarlett interfacess, and even the little Behringer mixer I have on the shop bench. I think they all buy the same pots from the same manufacturer.

The problem lies with the preamp circuit that they all use and the way the gain is controlled in that circuit. What would be a normal, though difficult to get, reverse log taper pot if it was just a voltage divider (attenuator) doesn't work work linearly when used in the feedback path, nor does a linear pot.

What they really need is a custom pot with an odd taper (resistance vs. rotation) to give close to a linear gain control, but that's an expense that can't be justified in a product as low in cost as the AudioBox or even a small format mixing console. The compromise is to say that it gives you smooth control over the "rock and roll" range, and that's indeed true.

You really don't need to be very fussy about the gain as long as it isn't too high and you get into clipping. I leave mine just a touch below maximum and it's just about always OK. Forget the old 12-bit D/A converter thing where you needed to run as close to maximum level as you dared. Your AudioBox converters are much better than that, and you can afford to leave generous headroom and adjust the level of the track afterward during the mixing or mastering process if you feel compelled to do so.

In other words, it ain't gonna be fixed, so learn to use it effectively the way it is. Don't agonize over your gain setting. Take the headroom.
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gospeltunes
Presonic
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Joined: 22/01/2011 23:40:48
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@MikeRivers

Thanks for the reply.

I really hope you're right and I'm wrong (about the headroom part). Next time I do some tracking, I will try it with recording levels that are way below the levels I am used to using, and then increase the volume of the tracks later. Going through an extra step is still a little bothersome though. But if they don't fix it and that's what I have to do to make my 1818 useable, I guess I have no choice.

But then I wonder about people who say they get clipping with 0 gain?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 26/01/2012 20:47:14

Studio One Pro 2.0.3 64 bit - Intel i7 2600 @ 3.4GHz - Windows 7 64 bit
Audiobox VSL1818 - Presonus Faderport - JBL LSR4328P Monitors Novation 61SL
Casio CTK-7000 - NI Maschine
Blue Spark Mic - Alto headphone amp
Komplete 7 - Stylus RMX - Trilian - Scarbee funk guitarist - EZ Drummer - EZ Mix(2)
Melodyne Editor - Valhalla Room - EarReckon Reverb - Nomad Factory Liquid Bundle
Rob Papen Delay - Sonimus SatsonBuss and Satson Channel
Sonar Home Studio
[WWW]
MR4Y
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Joined: 23/10/2011 08:44:32
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gospeltunes wrote:@MikeRivers

Thanks for the reply.

I really hope you're right and I'm wrong (about the headroom part). Next time I do some tracking, I will try it with recording levels that are way below the levels I am used to using, and then increase the volume of the tracks later. Going through an extra step is still a little bothersome though. But if they don't fix it and that's what I have to do to make my 1818 useable, I guess I have no choice.

But then I wonder about people who say they get clipping with 0 gain?



Increasing volume later don't introduce artifacts and noise?
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MikeRivers
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MR4Y wrote:
Increasing volume later don't introduce artifacts and noise?


It depends on how much, and really, it doesn't introduce artifacts, it only makes artifacts resulting from the loss of resolution by recording at too low a level more apparent.

The classic demonstration from a dozen or more years ago was to record something at -70 dBFS, then boost it by 70 dB. When using nominal 16-bit sound card grade converters (that had about 13 usable bits before you were down into the noise), it sounded pretty noisy and grainy. Doing the same with a 20 bit decent quality converter that could do maybe 17 bits cleanly - I think it was Symetrix that had a demo CD of this - sounded just a little noisier than when recorded at the proper level. With today's 24-bit converters, you shouldn't notice any degradation if you record peaks at -20 dBFS and boost by 20 dB.

But remember, if this is a multitrack recording, you have to mix those tracks. If you mix 16 tracks all peaking very close to full scale, while you might not clip a 32-bit mix bus, you'll have to reduce the level somewhere, either by reducing the level of the tracks or reducing the level of the mix.

Agonizing over the level of individual tracks going into a mix is just not necessary as long as you're being reasonable about it, not careless, when setting levels. The level of the final mix is something different. You can let that peak a couple of dB below full scale (leave a little headroom for poor D/A converters even if they're not yours) if you want, but if you want to get the apparent loudness up to that of a commercial CD mix, you'll need to fool with a bunch of other things besides level.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 27/01/2012 03:50:53

Visit http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com for some useful audio info
"It's much easier to look for a magic solution than it is to adapt to reality." - Allan Sloan
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