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Impossible to adjust Reamp levels

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by H-evolve, May 28, 2016.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I'm trying for the first time to Reamp.

    My gear is LTD with D-Activators through Radial Pro DI through Komplete Audio 6 for the DI.

    Komplete Audio 6 through Radial ProRMP Passive Reamp through TS9 through ENGL Invader.

    Here is my problem : My DI was recorded so that the max peak in Reaper shows as being -7 dB. When sending this from my Line Output 3 to the Reamp and then back again in the DI (looping back in the interface input), the new Reamped DI is a good 12dB lower than the original even if I max out the Reamp output level. Of course when we Reamp with this the amp tone is weak.

    Is this caused by my line out level being too low? I've looked into the manual and found nothing about what level is the line out level on the Komplete Audio 6.... It's unclear...

    Is this a common issue that all of you deal with by using other devices? (preamp, plug-ins?)

    We managed to get something "OK" by pushing the fader of the track to be Reamped all the way to +12 in Reaper. Or also use a maximizer on the same track, instead of the fader. Note that to do this we re-recorded the DI to -17 instead of -7.

    Would an active Reamper solve this issue?

    I just find it weird that wherever I read about Reamping, nobody talks about the level that your interface output needs to provide... So I must be doing something wrong.

    Thanks for any help. This is making me crazy!!!
     
  2. wishtheend

    wishtheend clip the apex

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    Is there any other control (maybe interface control panel?) for input and outputs that aren't set to 0db? If you record at -7db, just run a single cable from an output to an input and monitor where the signal is coming back in at. If it's still that much quieter, than it's not the reamp. The signal level you recorded at should be strong enough to drive an amp, but if you are boosting in the DAW - don't use any plugin, especially comp/limiters. Boost the level for the output going to the reamp.
     
  3. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    In the control panel I have checked and there isn't really something that I can set differently in terms of output level. It's really just either choosing between 44k and 24bits whatever...

    The line outs I am using are specifically set to send at 0db, there is no knob that controls them.

    But I am wondering if that is the problem since the ProRMP indicates "Input +4dB" on it. I have checked other Radial passive reampers and they all seem to be expecting +4dB inputs... But I can't believe I'd need a new interface to reamp with a passive reamper? I mean, everybody does it, and with "relatively" affordable interfaces no?

    I have tried connecting the line out of the interface and instead of connecting it in the Reamper, I have connected it right back into an input (so line out of interface to input 1 of interface). The signal clips in Reaper, even if I turn the input knob on the interface to very low values. To me, that means that the line out from the interface is sending something strong, isn't it?
     
    #3 H-evolve, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  4. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    I'm just guessing, but I suspect that the problem is going on within the interface.
     
  5. wishtheend

    wishtheend clip the apex

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    Yeah if your line level output is set to 0db for a track peaking -7db, and you are coming into an input set to line level (if you have an instrument/line switch, you need it on line) that is also 0db, you should not have that much change in signal level especially to clip. So makes me think it's interface/software.
     
  6. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Thanks for your help, however, I have some doubts about this... I really don't think "mic level" and "line out" from the interface are of the same level (impedance, voltage, whatever). Meaning that I kinda think it's possibly normal that it clips when doing the closed loop like that, at least even I understand the different types of signals. A line out is suppose to be +4dBu on professionnal equipement (and I was hoping my interface was). While a mic level is much lower (and therefore requires a preamp).

    One thing I am wondering is: Have you ever heard of problems with interfaces linked to faulty usb jacks? Like if the Computer USB connector is just not providing enough amps or something? I'm just wondering, since the connector we're using is not always working. We have to fiddle with it to make the interface finally work...
     
  7. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I think I get why it clips. The KA6 is made such that when the input is receiving an XLR type of cable, it ignores the "Line - Instrument" selector. The cable I am using to do the closed loop is a balanced TRS to XLR. I'd have to use a balanced TRS to balanced TRS to probably be able to run the test properly and put the selector on "line".
     
  8. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    No, it shouldn't matter.
     
  9. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    My radial reamper had a very low output. I use a komplete audio 6 with a little labs redeye 3d now with zero issues.

    The only thing I can think of with that interface is that you might have the output 3 and 4 selected to monitor from? There are some lights on the top of the interface that say Monitor: 1/2 or 3/4.

    If you hold down the on button in the monitor section on the front of the interface it an activate outputs 3 and 4 as monitor outputs to be controlled by the volume knob. so just make sure that neither of those lights is on - if they are, you could be killing the output level with that little volume knob on front and not even know it.

    Maybe if I get some time I can set up my chain in a loop and let you know if I see a level drop coming out of the line level outs.


    **EDIT** Ok I ran a guitar through the redeye looped. Plugged guitar straight into instrument input 1, ran the signal out of output 3 and into the redeye, then back into instrument input 2 with the preamps at exactly the same level. There was about a 12dB level drop coming out of output 3 in the back.

    I think I've just been running my redeye with the reamp overdrive on, which gives it more gain .So I haven't noticed much difference. But you definitely will with a different reamper.

    It looks like the komplete 6 just has a really low line level out! So turn up your output fader as much as you can in reaper without it clipping, and look into getting a better interface or a reamper with extra gain.

    FWIW I used to use the radial X-amp and noticed that it had a very low gain on all systems. Haven't used the pro RMP. I'm sure the Pro RMP is fine, you just need an interface that outputs at +4dB instead of -10ish that the Komplete 6 is calibrated at.
     
    #9 mva801, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  10. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Many thanks man. I appreciate that you even took the time to run some tests. That's very kind.

    I took what you said and started some investigation, since I am not expert in dB levels and what not. So, I found that Pro gear is usually set to line levels of +4dBu while "commercial" gear is set to line levels of -10dBV. It so happens that the difference between those 2 values is roughly -12 dB.... which is the difference that causes all my trouble.

    So it really looks like you are right, the outputs from the KA6 are "ordinary" line outs that are at -10 dBv... which sucks haha! I was certain this was a good enough interface!

    I'll still run some tests to be sure, and perhaps contact Native Instrument (since I can't find a clear answer regarding line out levels in the manual) to be sure about that.

    But until I have an answer, and/or that I buy a new interface, I'll have to go with your trick and push that fadder all the way up in Reaper.

    Are the outputs of a Focusrite also that low? Like a 2i4 or something? Cause it's worth about the same amount of money versus the KA6.
     
  11. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    The Radial Pro RMP tends to attenuate about -5/6dB stock, couple that with a low level from the line outs of the interface and that would explain your signal loss.

    The Radial can be very simply modded to provide unity gain, have a read through this thread:
    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/threads/radial-prormp-modification.568415/

    You could also get a bit of level back by cranking up the level on your TS9.
     
  12. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    This is starting to be confusing... ! haha!

    On one hand, some say that the Komplete Audio 6 doesn't have a +4dBu output. However, the outputs are balanced, and though it is not an absolute requirement, I am told it's almost impossible to get a balanced output that is not +4dBu on the market. Again, I am told (by Radial) that pretty much nobody sells interfaces with balanced -10dBv outputs. Plus, the "max volume output" as per the KA6 spec is said to be +11dBu.

    On the other hand, others say that the ProRMP is reducing the signal... It is indeed true that the Spec from Radial says "Output Gain : -10dB" (from I what I found on their website). But then I fail to understand how anyone would be able to use them??? How can you Reamp then? Not to mention that Radial is almost the only manufacturer of Reampers. (apart from the Red Eye from Little Lab that is a lot more expensive).

    Finally, there is the X-Amp (the active reamper from Radial). I assume that this has something like a built-in preamp and therefore probably has more output? I was just wondering if an active reamper would help in anyway... Some people say yes, others say no....

    Hopefully Native Instrument and Radial will answer the emails I have just sent them to try and clarify this whole story.
     
  13. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Let us know what they say. I hope you get it all sorted out.
     
  14. minerman

    minerman Member

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    I use Reaper, the Radial RMP, & a KA6. What I do to make up for low/lost signal is just put my hardware output at +6db in Reaper...

    It kinda stumped me too when I first got the Radial, but after a while of fiddling with it, I finally found a setting I could live with...I personally think it's best to leave your di fader at "0" & use the hardware output to adjust the gain, otherwise the di clips in the daw (I dunno if this would make any difference or not, but just to be sure I use the hardware send to boost the output)...

    You can even automate the send to simulate rolling the guitar's volume knob back...Reaper is the shizzle...

    It would be nice to know exactly what's what, but after about 3 years of testing back/forth with my gear, the results I get are good enough for me, but please do post what you find out if either of the companies reply to you...
     
  15. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I'm gonna say something dumb... but I never realized you could set the "Hardware Output Level" in Reaper...!!! :S I'll be sure to check that out!

    I did get an answer from both of them. From Radial, the answer was a bit of a "you must read between the lines" kind of answer. The guy was very helpful, but I had a feeling he couldn't really say "Yes our gear will reduce the signal level". However, he went with an obvious "it reduces from line level to instrument level", but I had a feeling that it meant "by doing that, the output will indeed be quite lower". But it was my feeling, judge for yourself`:

    "In addition to converting impedances, any Reamp box is going to reduce the level from a line to instrument level. Compensation level adjustments are simply made at the input stage of the guitar amplifier."

    About the X-Amp, the answer was still unclear, but if you read between the lines, he did not say that it would solve the problem. Because that's what I asked him, would the X-Amp solve my issue. He just answered that the X-Amp is a good product and he can't advise against buying it. See :

    "The active X-Amp is our most popular Reamp box, I would never advise against someone purchasing it…and allows the user to drive two amps simultaneously which can be very useful. That said, the ProRMP is a good quality device in itself and is brought to the market at a lower price point. If your budget permits, get the X-Amp!"

    Finally, Native Instrument confirmed that the balanced outputs are indeed +4dBu (actually I think they are even +11dBu if you find the specs). Here is what the NI person said:

    "The Komplete Audio 6 has Balanced (+4) outputs."

    So, all that said. It seems the KA6 is working as intended and the ProRMP is also working as intended... Meaning that your solution is probably the best one. By that I mean using Reaper to increase the hardware output. That or perhaps you could buy a booster pedal, such as the Keeley Katana, or something to boost after your ProRMP, or max the out level of your overdrive, or anything like that.

    It still mystifies me that of the thousands of Reamping video on Youtube, NOBODY talks about that level adjustment issue! Absolutely nobody, from all the videos I checked.... Weird.
     
    #15 H-evolve, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  16. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    I remember having the same issue with the x-amp. Always a super low level. After I got the little labs (which is also a stellar DI) everythings been fine. It's overdrive button provides some extra gain, enough that slight changes in the amps gain make up for any signal loss without seeming like it's coming in at too low of a level.

    I guess that's just how it is? Although, it's beyond me why the hell they have all this knowledge and ability to build whatever box with however much gain, and consistently come out with a reamp box that results in a MUCH lower signal going to your amp when you run it out of a +4 line level out. I would think we'd be closer than -12 dB, but I'm no electrical engineer.
     
  17. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Most guitar pickups output at -12 dB or even less. That's measuring the raw signal straight from the guitar. I know because I've done the measurements. My Telecaster is way less than -12 dB.
     
  18. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I think he meant -12dB "compared to the original guitar signal", as this is more pretty much my problem, and also the one that mva801 also experienced at some point.

    But all in all, yup, seems that by converting from line to instrument level, Radial has to bring the instrument level to very low values, and I have no idea why... Another good question is how come Little Labs doesn't seem to have that limitation?
     
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  19. minerman

    minerman Member

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    Yep, a little "rule" for Reaper is, "when in doubt, right-click everything".....lol...When you initially assign the send, it's set at "0", but I do know it will go to +12db, & IIRC all the way down to -132db, again, IIRC....

    Another great thing about Reaper are the track templates. Once you've got your levels, faders, plug-ins, etc where/how you want 'em, you can save as a track template, then load them into any project with the settings you saved already there...

    Thanks for the info from NI & Radial, but it really doesn't tell us anything we didn't know already does it??? lol....I actually stumbled onto my little fix for the problem by accident, but, it works, for me anyway....
     
  20. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    You are right, it does not tell us much more than what we already knew. The only interesting thing would have been that the Radial guy tells me why they bring it down by that much. What "electrical" reason is there? I guess he either didn't know, or couldn't tell me for some secrecy reason.
     

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