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Active pickups too hot for Apogee Quartet... Solution?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Punkyskunky, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Punkyskunky

    Punkyskunky Engineer at Brett Brothers Studio

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    Hey guys, I'm facing a little dilemma;

    I've been using my Apogee Quartet with the inputs set to instrument mode to record my brother's Schecter Blackjack which has active blackout pickups, but even with the gain set at zero (as low as it goes) the signal is still too hot... (not peaking, just always in high yellow). When I record his other guitars that have passive pickups (a chapman ML2 and a custom guitar he made himself) I can set the gain normally at around 15-20 without any problems.

    What do you guys suggest as the best way solve this? Would a DI box between the guitar and the interface fix my problem?

    I've never used a DI box before, but I have a vague idea of what they do.

    Any advice/enlightenment would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gujukal

    Gujukal Member

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    I dont see the problem if the signal is not clipping. It's not bad to have a hot signal as long as its not clipping, mate.
     
  3. Punkyskunky

    Punkyskunky Engineer at Brett Brothers Studio

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    Well to be honest it does clip at certain times, for example on palm mutes.

    Since I am planning to get my DI's reamped in the future I'd like them to be as clean as possible.

    It's just annoying to know that there's always the risk of it peaking and on some guitar parts there's not really any way around it. I'd rather eliminate the problem and not have to worry about it...
     
  4. mstone564

    mstone564 Member

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    Depending on what DAW you're using, you could use a built in trim plugin (or FreeG if your DAW doesn't have one) to lower the recorded signal.

    Either way I wouldn't be worried unless you HEAR noticeable clipping.
    Is there not a pad option listed in the manual for your interface?
     
  5. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    If it's clipped then it's clipped, turning down the trim in your DAW won't change that, it'll just make the di quieter.

    Get a DI box with a pad and you'll be ok.
     
  6. Punkyskunky

    Punkyskunky Engineer at Brett Brothers Studio

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    Can anybody recommend a good DI box for this use? I've been looking at Radial and Avalon DI boxes and they seem to be great.
     
  7. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Double check that there isn't a mic pad buried in the maestro software.
     
  8. Punkyskunky

    Punkyskunky Engineer at Brett Brothers Studio

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    Nah, no pads in the Maestro software... SUCKS.
     
  9. Pickasso

    Pickasso Member

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    Can you lower the pickup height?
     
  10. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    lower the pickup(s), this can drastically reduce the output
     
  11. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    My turn: lower guitar volume to avoid interface clipping (if it exists) using volume pot, if there is some clipping signs (i.e. almost flat peaks), then it`s pickups internal preamp clipping, it`s the sound of active pickups. If you did not like amount of such clipping, then lower pickup height, but too far can sound duller (less highs). For active pickups, guitar volume pot can be considered as best alternative to PAD.
    If you like sound of guitar straight to amp, then better to use volume than lowering pickup height, just to avoid interface clipping, leaving internal clipping as it is.
    For active pickups, in case of strong internal clipping, lower height can still give clipping, only dramatical height reduction can lower signal level to clipping margin, usually clipping margin of EMGs is around 2.25 Vp, for SD AHB-1 (as example) around 2.75 Vp (or so) due to lower output impedance.
     

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