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Bob katz pink noise
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Sammy1283
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EDIT: Sorry just figured it out! Real simple from the youtube presonus tutorial. Just used the tone generator and set it to -20. Not sure why the Katz was too high.
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Just downloaded the stereo pink noise from the site... Imported it to S1 and it's coming up -11.2 both channels. Am i missing something here? My understanding its supposed to read -20. The only thing that changes it is the fader. Can i just set the fader til it reads -20 and proceed?

(i do have a monitor station hooked up)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 19/04/2014 20:51:42

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hommi
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EDIT: Sorry just figured it out! Real simple from the youtube presonus tutorial. Just used the tone generator and set it to -20. Not sure why the Katz was too high.
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Katz pink noise is -20 RMS not -20 peak, set the tone generator -10 that is the same as Katz -20 RMS (Tone Generator is peak not RMS)

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No one can mix pink noise quite the way Bob Katz can, although I've heard some of his white noise mixes that suggest he's not perfect at everything. But he's close.



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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 19/04/2014 23:00:29

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Sammy1283
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HA! ok cool. And while im doing this is the MAIN on my FS project at 0? or 10? I think I set it to 0 last time to make up for that but I'd rather do it right if im wrong
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jemusic
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I have used the Bob Katz pink noise test level file myself for testing and calibrating. And it is indeed meant to be a form of rms test signal not a peak test. It is great that it is in stereo as well.

There is also a band limited pink noise file on his site and that is great for setting SPL levels in your environment. Being band limited (500 to 2KHz) it removes any low end mis readings you may get due to strange peaks and nulls that you may have in your room.

Back to the full range pink noise test signal. If you calibrate your system to be running at K -20 then your VU meter should read 0 dB with a -20 dB FS sinewave. (The very tip or peak of our sinewave remember is -20 dB FS) When you run the Bob Katz pink noise signal you will find the VU will tend to sit in the area -1 dB to -0.5 dB rather than right on 0 dB. I think this is due to the nature of the very randomness of the signal anyway and there will be some variations.

I added 6 and 8 dB to that signal and generated the other two versions of it at K-14 and K-12 of course.
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Sammy1283
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Ok.. So just so I'm clear because I want to try this tonight when I get home.

Starting off:
My 'MAIN' on the FireStudio Project is set at 0 (not 10, which is all the way up). The pot is sitting at the 12 o'clock position.
My monitor station is turned all the way up.
Both monitors are on. But turned all the way down from their knobs on the back.

I open a new song in S1 and insert the tone generator with a -20 db level set.
I set my decibel meter to C-weighted, slow response, measuring 80db and line it up in the sweet spot.

With the db meter pointing directly at the left speaker, i raise the volume on the back of the speaker until I am at 0 on my db meter. Same process with the right speaker (with the left off and pointing directly at the right of course).

After this what do i do?
I know that both of my speakers are now set to the same levels, but is this the whole idea of this?

And after I have this process done, assuming its correct, is it ok to mess with the 'MAIN' volume on the FireStudio Project? Or should this be kept at 0 (12 o'clock)?. The main on the monitor station I know i can mess with, just not the FSP.

Sorry if I am dragging this out. Just want to make sure I am 100% right when doing this.
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jemusic
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What you are doing is calibrarting the SPL level in the room from your speakers and that is always a good thing to do.

OK I have done a few tests and there are some things you should know about. You did not specify what type of signal you were using for your test tone generator as well.

The (rms) level that comes out of the tone generator in Studio One is not the same for the sine wave and the pink noise. Reason is they have set the peak reading of the pink noise to match the peak value of the sinewave and that is sort of useless really. What you really want is the rms reading of the pink noise to be very close to the rms reading of the sinewave.

Never use sinewaves for setting SPL levels in your room. There are many peaks and nulls at the test frequency often so moving the SPL meter (even very small amounts) can give wildly changing readings.

Here is what you do.

1 Insert the test tone generator and set its output level for the desired rms level. Choose Sine wave as the test signal. 400 Hz is a good frequency. If you are working at K-20 then set its output level to -20. That output level control can be tricky to set too BTW. Hold down the SHIFT key while adjusting gives you some extra fine control over it. Also you can double click on the value for level and type it in as well.

2 Check your output meters in Studio One. Put them into K -20 mode and you will see the meter reading 0 dB VU as expected.

3 Stop the tone generator now and Insert the Bob Katz pink noise at -20 dB FS rms test file onto a stereo track. You have the file obviously because you started a thread about it.

4 Hit play now. Set up a loop so it plays over the file over and over. Observe the output meter now and it will show roughly between -1 dB and -2 dB or so as I mentioned in my above previous post. It won't reach a full 0 dB because of the nature of the test signal but that is cool.

5 Leave your FSP Main at zero as thought. Now you have to decide where the monitor station level is going to be and I would suggest somewhere around 12 O Clock perhaps.

6 Start by putting the SLP meter right where your head is and yes face it towards looking at the left speaker now. (right speaker needs to be turned off) C Weighting is correct and so is the slow response. I set my individual speakers for 83 dB SPL. So now with the noise playing slowly turn up the level on the back of the left speaker to achieve a reading of 83 dB SPL. (Note if you cannot get the SPL meter to show 83 dB even with its level on the back turned fully up it means you have to then increase the monitor station level.)

NOTE here. To be honest I prefer my speaker level controls on the rear to be fully clockwise ie fully on. Use the monitor station level instead to get the desired SPL reading. But if the 83 db SPL comes on fast at say around 9 O Clock on the Monitor station then perhaps set the speakers for 12 O Clock (many speakers have a indent or click at 12 O Clock) and increase the monitor station level accordingly.

(Another note. Make sure you are using balanced leads from the output of the monitor station to the active speaker inputs. You will get all the signal available and the least noise in the process)

7 Turn off the left speaker somehow (leave the monitor station level alone!) and do the same for the right speaker as well. Face the meter towards it and set for 83 db SPL.

8 Put both speakers back on now and point the SPL meter straight ahead and the reading should now be 85 dB SPL. OK you need to put a mark on the monitor station output monitor level which tells you where 85 dB is. (Unless you do what I do and have the SPL meter setup all the time)

This is the desired level for working at for 8 hours say. It is also an OH&S specification too.

I personally love 85 db SPL. I think it is a perfect level for most things. (it sounds a bit quiet at first especially if you have blasted yourself at a high level!!But on the other hand first thing in the morning after a good nights sleep it can sound quite loud too!!) Your ears hear the best at this level and have the nicest most even response. (Fletcher Munson curve and all that) Your mixes will improve for no other reason than working at a precise SPL level. I have got my SPL meter permanently set up, it keeps me honest. As you creep up your monitoring levels and you will, the SPL meter will let you know that bigtime!!!!

OK back to the test tone generator. You can stop playing the Bob Katz pink noise test file now and put the tone generator into pink noise now and turn it on. Notice with its level set down at -20 that the level coming out is now way down. You need to increase the output level on the test tone generator all the way up now to -9 in order to get it to match the level of the Katz test tone. What that means is the rms value of pink noise is roughly 11 db down compared to the peak value of the pink noise that is all.

Another thing. This is all working at K-20 ref level. If you decide to work at say K -14 then everything will be 6 dB louder as you would expect. If you do want to switch K ref levels it means doing all these tests again. (You will have add 6dB of gain to the -20 Katz pink noise in order to create a K -14 version of it) OK the monitor station level will now be lower than the previous -20 mark. Put another mark there and label it -14. Label the first mark -20. That way if you do switch ref levels for any reason all you have to do is just rest the monitor station level to the desired mark. And also reset your Studio Meters for K -14 of course so they read 0 dB VU when you are working at K-14.

I tend to do a lot of general work at K-14 and do pristine album tracks and more important things at K -20.

Hope that helps. Good luck. Let us know how it all goes. This is something everyone should do and do properly. Most people don't even calibrate their DAW's at all to any proper ref level and they certainly do not calibrate thier monitoring levels either. It is like shooting in the dark actually. Until you do all this you will never get anything right that easily, it will always be by trail and error and fudging.

Extra Note. Pink noise at 85 dB SPL sounds quite louder than music at the same level. That is normal and do not be put off at how loud pink noise is at 85 db SPL You wont be sitting there all day listening to pink noise will you! Although the pink noise sounds louder when you play music after the pink noise and it is set to be -20 as well you find the SPL meter will still show 85 dB SPL but the music just sounds quieter by nature which is great.






This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 22/04/2014 17:24:59

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Sammy1283
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Thank you jemusic! That was an AWESOME explanation... Best I could have got.
The picture is starting to come together... Here's my troubles as I got into it though. If you could help me with this this should be the one that gets me to understand. Maybe im not reading my meters correctly?

The issues:
The Sine wave tone generator worked perfect (with S1 output meters set to K-20). Everything was set and it was reading exactly 0 on the output meter of S1. SWEET. I then insert the Katz -20 signal and play it, looped. It seems to be teetering right around the -1db to 1db range.

Now, my SPL meter is an older one, but in great shape, hardly used. You can set it in increments of 10 from 60-120. The needle can go from -10 to 0 to 10.

With the SPL meter set to 80, and aimed at my left speaker (this is with the Firestudio and monitor station main's set to 0, or 12 0clock) i turn the back of the left monitor up all the way and it doesnt even register on the meter. I turn the monitor station main all the way up and it just barely reaches 0 (or 80). Same deal with the right monitor.

SO with both monitors and the monitor station turned all the way up, Firestudio main still at 12oclock, i am at 78-80db we'll say.
Where would you go from here? Is this it? This is my ideal level im going for? It sounds good and all, dont get me wrong. I just have a feeling im missing something.

And as kind of a sidenote--- when i open up spotify or something else, it is BLARING. I know im working at a much lower level than something mastered and all... but i KNOW im going to forget to turn it down one day and im gonna be in trouble! I guess this is why just about all, if not all, programs like that have their own little volume sliders? Makes sense
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jemusic
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Hi there, it sounds like something is definitely wrong there. You should be able to push 105 dB SPL out front by turning your monitor station all the way up. I can produce ear splitting levels of SPL with pink noise. even -20 pink noise.

Are you speakers adjustable in sensitivity an where eg -10 dBV or +4 dBu.

If you are seeing a nice 0 dB VU signal on the S1 meters then it means satisfactory level is leaving your DAW.

Are there any options in terms of Monitor Station nominal output levels such as also -10 dBV or + 4 dBu. Turn up your Main out perhaps on the FSP

Are there incoming level controls on the Monitor Station that determine input levels coming into it. They might have to be right up high. How are you connecting the Monitor Station to the FSP?

There is a major mismatch in level somewhere in your system.

UPDATE

OK I have done some poking around with your FSP. It puts out + 10 dBu for a 0 dB FS ref test level. Which means a - 20 db rms signal is going to be putting out -10 dBu in level. Still fine though and quite a reasonable level. So if you connect your MAIN OUT on the FSP to an input on your monitor station then which input are you using. Stereo Input I guess.

I see the stereo inputs have no gain control. Don't forget all three speaker outputs feature a level control which is used to match the Monitor Station level to the active speaker input. So don't be afraid to wind these speaker levels up to get the desired SPL level in the room. That is what they are for. What you want is when the Monitor Station main level control is up full say you should be hearing 100 dB SPL at least. Then the control will be in a good position for 85 dB SPL.

If you still cant get enough level with the speaker outputs up full then you may have to use the AUX input, although RCA it has gain there and a variable control.

Read the manual for the Monitor Station thoroughly. There is lots of stuff on how to calibarte it and set the meter sensitivites as well. Important.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 23/04/2014 10:37:07

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Sammy1283
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Im going to do some research today and try to play with it tonight again. Thanks jemusic for all your help, this is HUGE for me. THANKS.

This set of speakers are not adjustable, no pads on anything actually. Im using the M-Audio BX5a's in this room, only have a volume knob and thats it. Thinking of hooking up my Equator D5's but dont want to take them to the basement.

There are no pads or incoming level controls on the monitor station, but there are the 3 seperate speaker outputs. These were all the way up (at 0) when I did this. And the monitor station is hooked up how you guessed it. MAIN OUT from FSP to Stereo input 1 (ST1) of monitor station to the speakers, which are in the A slot. Maybe I have a problem with that hook-up or something. I have to read the manual more in-depth. Its interesting im just realizing im not using the MAIN out or CUE of the monitor station. Wonder why...

Well I will certainly let you know how it goes when I get home and play around a little with it. Im thinking I may need to start with my FSP MAIN all the way up (or at 10db) and the monitor station at 12 oclock. But something still doesnt seem right...

Thanks for doing some research/homework for me and thanks again for all your help so far!

EDIT:
Is the FSP UNITY considered as all the way up to 10 (fully clockwise) or at 0 (12 oclock position)?
2nd EDIT:
Reading through the Monitor Station manual I found "unity" is considered full clockwise. That may be one of my problems. I was setting it to 0 thinking that was unity. Re-reading the manual I definitely have to go through this process again!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 23/04/2014 17:39:19

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hommi
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"And the monitor station is hooked up how you guessed it. MAIN OUT from FSP to Stereo input 1 (ST1) of monitor station to the speakers, which are in the A slot"

Use Line outputs 1 and 2 not MAIN OUT!!!

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jemusic
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The manual for the Firestudio states that Outputs 1 and 2 are identical to the Main Outs. Except the Main Outs have the added level control from the front panel. The Line Out levels are fixed. I guess all output signal levels are identical as well.

When you are working at the quietest K System ref level eg -20 the one thing to note is the output level from any audio interface connected directly to the DAW will be lower than normal. All voltages at various points will be effected and lowered.

Add some extra gain from the Main OUT level control. Try putting it up to fully clockwise for example. Nothing will happen other than the MAIN OUTS will start sending a higher output signal level now.

Are you running a balanced lead from the output of the monitor station to your speaker inputs. If you are not you are dropping that level by 6 dB. It all adds up. Bit of extra gain here and there. Are you running a balanced TRS lead between the MAIN OUTS of the FSP and the ST inputs. That will get you another 6 dB in level. What I have just mentioned in this paragraph alone will yield you an extra 12 dB of gain!

We do know there is -10 dBu leaving the FSP at the -20 dB ref level. It should still be enough level to drive the Monitor Station and the active monitors to a very loud level if required. That main level control on the Monitor Station needs to be able to push the SPL up to 100 dB for checking mixes at high volume.



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Sammy1283
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Welp! Im throwing in the towel! I dont know what to do...

After researching and reading up all day, grabbing 4 new balanced 1/4" trs cables on the way home, hooking up and getting the same results... im LOST.

I followed the monitor station manual and calibrated that, and paid close attention to what you guys suggested step-by-step, and still...

I have the LED's on the monitor station calibrated to +TEN (because the FSP goes to +TEN).. yet with the FSP main all the way up, the speaker A on monitor station all the way up, and the monitor station main at 12 oclock the LEDs dont even light up, not even if I turn it all the way up, all the way down to -24! The manual said I should be able to reach the 0 or red of the monitor station.. im no where close

What I did for the time being was turn the FSP main and the speaker A on the monitor station all the way clockwise, and left the monitor station main at 12 oclock. Then set each speaker separately from the back to 83db... with the SPL meter in the middle with both on its sitting at 85db... So i least i know they are set evenly! OH and i did do this with pink noise at 0db, just to get the speakers volumes even.

Kinda discouraged on this one...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 24/04/2014 03:25:11

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jemusic
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How much louder than 85 dB SPL or so can you get by turning everything up to the max.
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Sammy1283
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101 according to the SPL meter. Thats with the speakers still set together so they are not at max. But theyre even.

The LED on the monitor station is maxing out at -12

EDIT:
Thats also with the pink noise set at 0db

EDIT2:
This is also ONLY in S1... If i were to switch to spotify right now with spotifys volume at max.. it would be BLARING

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 24/04/2014 03:37:12

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