Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Signal Level Management on Digital Consoles -- Part 1

One of the most common problems that we encounter during our seminars is lack of proper signal level between the input and output stages. Some engineers don't provide enough head amp level at the input stage and as a result, there is not enough level sent to the various monitor mixes and effects. Others provide too much gain at the inputs and end up clipping the signal before it hits the output stage. In the days of analog consoles, it was OK to push the meters into the red. In fact, some consoles sounded BETTER that way. But in the digital world, red on the meters is usually really bad. Why? Well, digital distortion isn't all warm and fuzzy like the good ole' analog distortion we love to hear. Digital distortion is really degrade the quality of the output signal and it usually sounds bad…very bad!

Over the next few weeks, we will have some short posts regarding signal flow on digital consoles. Please feel free to comment.

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