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  #1  
Old 09-30-2011, 12:04 PM
7thbassbA 7thbassbA is offline
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Default Level Problems with Logic Express 9

I have Blackbird interface, condenser (Rode Nt1a) and dynamic mic (Sm57), for vocal and acoustic, and plug straight in with bass (fretted and fretless passive)and electric guitar (Fender strat and ES-135) . For whatever reason, cannot seem to get good strong signal into Logic. I have to crank the gain all the way up and even then it is a really low level signal.

I assumed it was my interface. I downloaded reaper and had to dramatically cut the gain at preamp. Getting good, solid full signal into reaper.

Of course, now that I am thinking about it, it seems I have always had to crank the gain with Logic.

Any thoughts on Logic settings that are screwey?

I am now realizing after recording stuff for a while I have no idea what I am doing and am going back to instruction manuals for both Logic and now with reaper to get better recordings.
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2011, 01:15 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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There's got to be some piece of "sub" software that one of the applications is looking at and the other not accounting for as an explanation of input gain discrepancies.

I'm not aware of any input gain structure control that is available in Logic (or any primary DAW). There is, as I said, some front end software that comes with various DAW's that serves as a mixer and could conceivably be an explanation.

Just exactly how much (dB wise) difference are we talking about here??

Last edited by Joseph Hanna; 10-01-2011 at 07:04 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:43 AM
7thbassbA 7thbassbA is offline
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Default I have no idea how to use my equipment

I used to use Garageband and it seemed like I could always get something into the computer that sounded pretty good.

With Logic Express and my Blackbird, it has been a challenge. Part of the problem is not fully understanding the software mixer that comes with the Blackbird and how that mixer interacts with the channel strips which are part of logic express.

So I did something I rarely do, which is read the manuals for both the Blackbird and Logic Express. I need to fiddle with it more, but it looks like I was increasing the gain at the preamp then increasing the gain in the DAW, but reducing the level that was sent to the monitors.

The Blackbird mixing software lets you customize a number of different mixes, including different headphone mixes, main and alt out mixes, etc. I had to get it through my head that what I might be hearing out of the monitors is not what is actually being recorded by the computer- it is the mix from the Blackbird mixer.

Also, the direct monitoring level control, which I fully did not understand, allows you to increase the unaffected sound of your instrument in the monitor while recording. Now I can hear myself and record at whatever levels are appropriate.

So I reset the settings on the Blackbird mixer, started a new template in Logic Express, and feel like I am finally getting a handle on it. Instead of working with a bunch of presets like I did in Garageband I am playing with different Logic Express compression and EQ settings and feel like I am making progress.


If I ever get around to actually recording music I will post it and await the flames.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:25 AM
moon moon is offline
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Sound card mixer software is all about monitoring. Think of it as the front end to a hardware mixer which lives in the soundcard. It *only* affects what you send to the soundcard hardware outputs.

There are two things you can send to the hardware outputs:

(1) input streams: ie raw audio captured from one of the hardware inputs

(2) PCM streams: the computer's internal audio format. These are called audio outputs in your DAW software but it's important to remember that they're not the hardware outputs on your sound card. They're software outputs which the card makes available to the operating system. For example, I've got 8 software outs with my M-Audio 2496 even though the card only has two analogue outs and SPDIF. Audio apps use these channels to feed audio into the sound card, and then the sound card mixer software mixes them down to the hardware outs (along with input streams, if desired).

A simple monitoring setup would be stereo output from the DAW arriving at the sound card mixer software as two channels which you pan hard left and right to hardware outputs 1 & 2. Mute everything else - all the other outputs and all of the inputs.

For direct monitoring, turn up the appropriate input fader(s) in the sound card mixer software. Note that this only affects the monitoring mix, ie what is being sent to the hardware outputs. It does not affect the input signal level being sent to the DAW. You can mute all the inputs in the sound card mixer software and the DAW will still get a signal.

Another way to use the sound card mixer is for an FX send and return. The DAW sends (say) the L&R outputs of an insert in a stereo bus to a couple of unused PCM streams (software outs). The sound card mixer software can then send these channels to a pair of hardware outs connected to the external reverb unit or etc. The DAW insert then picks up the return signal from a couple of hardware inputs. Again, the input part of the pathway is not affected by the sound card mixer software.

To sum up: use the sound card mixer to hook up PCM streams (software outs) and input streams to the correct hardware outputs - nothing else. All the real mixing is done in the DAW.

Last edited by moon; 10-11-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2011, 11:33 AM
7thbassbA 7thbassbA is offline
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Default That was very helpful

It makes more sense.
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