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Monitor connections

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi Folks,

A question (some questions actually )about monitor hook up and Mixer dB LEDs.

I currently have my Yamaha MW10c mixer hooked up via a Delta 1010. I have the 2 inserts and channels 3&4 panned hard left and right connected to the Delta 1010 to give four independent channels into my DAW.
I have a stereo pair out from the 1010 back into the monitor of the mixer then monitor out to my active monitors. So far so good...
But I have noticed that even that even with a MONO output from the DAW, the left hand LED strip on the mixer is always quieter than the right. This leads me to think something is wrong with the hardware. I checked the signal level buttons on the rear of the 1010 more times than I care to remember so either a DA in the 1010 is broke or the left channel in my mixer isn't right?

My solution is to hook the monitors straight into the Delta 1010, so that means using the Master fader in the DAW to control the speaker volume. But this means I no longer have a volume control for the speakers (Formally used volume on the MX10c) Do I lose anything if I am mixing with the master fader in the DAW down?

SO to sum up:
What could be causing the LEDs in the MX10c to be unbalanced when mono signal is sent, centrally panned.
Is it sensible to have the mixer between the delta 1010 and active Mons?
If I use the master fader in the DAW do I lose anything?

Thanks in advance

Stu.
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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Okay... I'm a little confused by your description of the set up, so can I satrt by clarifying exactly what you have connected to what?

Moroccomoose wrote:I have the 2 inserts and channels 3&4 panned hard left and right connected to the Delta 1010 to give four independent channels into my DAW.


So you're interrupting the signal path for channels 1 and 2 by using the insert points to derive two (unbalanced) inputs to your DAW interface, and you're using the line input sockets on channel stereo 3/4 as inserts to provide the other two channels into your DAW, yes?

No problem with that so far... provided all the plugs at the mixer end of the cables are two-pole Tip-Sleeve (mono or unbalanced) jack plugs.

I have a stereo pair out from the 1010 back into the monitor of the mixer then monitor out to my active monitors.


I presume you mean the main monitoring signal goes from the 1010 to the 'Return' inputs of the mixer.

So far so good...


Yep. Don't see a problem...

But I have noticed that even that even with a MONO output from the DAW, the left hand LED strip on the mixer is always quieter than the right.


By how much? If it just a single LED then it could just be a minor meter calibration error. If it is a signifiant difference then there is something more serious afoot!

If the level difference is about 12dB then it is likely to be because one of the interface outputs is set for -10dBV and the other for +4dBu. But you say you've checked that...

If the level difference is about 6dB then it might be because one side is connected with balanced cables and the other side with unbalanced cables.

Another possibility is that there is some other signal being fed through the desk and adding to the main output -- probably something panned to the right hand side! If any of your insert cables are balanced TRS plugs there is the possibility that some of the direct signal is leaking back into the mixer's mix bus.

Are you using the USB connection, and if so the audio from that mixes with anything connected to the tape returns whihc might be part of the problem.

There are a couple of useful things you could do to help identify the problem.

1. Swap the left and right monitor return connections over temporarily at the mixer. Does the left hand channel now become the loudest?

2. Disconnect everything else from the mixer and see if that affects the imbalance.

Is it sensible to have the mixer between the delta 1010 and active Mons?


Yes -- it's always nice to have a real physical knob to turn down if the computer goes mad and generates full level noises with a locked-up control interface!

If I use the master fader in the DAW do I lose anything?


The analogue signal-noise ratio gets worse.

hugh
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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:26 pm

Hi Hugh,

Thanks for the quick reply.

It is set up as you describe with the channel 1&2 inserts going to Delta 1010 1&2in (mono/unbalanced cables)and the line out with channels 3 and 4 panned hard left and right routed to Delta 1010 3&4in

I have delta 1&2 out to the 'monitor in' on the MW10c (2x mono jack to phono) with the monitors connected to 'monitor out' with balanced jack to xlr.

Interestingly, I have the USB connected but is not utilised in my DAW, it means I can use the USB drivers to run my PC sounds through my monitors.

So the USB drivers are the PC audio drivers, but in my DAW I use the DM-Audio ASIO driver for the Delta. It works well and the unbalanced LEDs is not conditional of the USB being hooked up.

Unfortunately I do not have a well treated space to work in, but I have managed to convince myself that the stereo centre is not central, this compounded with the discrepancy in the mixer LEDs leads me to believe either the Delta or the Yamaha has a problem.

I will try swapping left to right to see if the problem reverses. And disconnecting everything else. and keep you posted!

Cheers.

Stu.
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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:49 pm

Okay. Swapping the monitor feed from the Delta will tell us something useful.

The Yamaha mixer is a little unusual in its signal path structure because the monitor outputs are derived from a summing stage that also feeds the meters. That summing stage combines signals from the main outputs and from the two-track return path which is, itself, a sum of the two-track return and the USB signal. The monitor mix control apperas to affect both the stsreo out level and the return level...

So it would be worthwhile making sure that the Stereo level control is turned down to ensure that nothing from the main mixer is affecting the metering.

Do you get a balanced meter reading if you pan a single mic input to the middle and route to the main stereo output (you'll have to unplug the insert cable to test this)?

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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:28 pm

OK, so I did some messing around swapping cables etc and I found the problem. Its in the Delta 1010, Channel 1 out is b*ggered. It works but just at a much lower volume, similarly on the -10 and +4 when compared to other tracks on the same setting. Luckily I had one spare out which is now no.1. Not as neat and tidy, but things sounding much better now!

Any ideas as to what could cause the drop in volume on the output channel? Its odd that it is just quieter rather than not working....FWIW, the software monitor shows volumes at the proper level for the output.

Here is to hoping its just the serial cable?? But its probably more sinister!!

Thanks for your help Hugh.

Stu.
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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Arksun » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:23 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Yes -- it's always nice to have a real physical knob to turn down if the computer goes mad and generates full level noises with a locked-up control interface!

A big AMEN to that!. Made that mistake back in 2008, monitors plugged directly into soundcard. Had a total overload (feedback loop through mic) that was soo intensly loud I literally froze solid for a few seconds before being able to react, by which time I'd damanged one speaker and done god knows what damage to my hearing. Couldn't hear bass properly for 2 days.

Now I have an analogue volume control sitting in between the audio interface and the monitors.

It's good to remind ourselves that these monitors of ours are potentially dangerous instruments @ peak load (or overload rather)
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Re: Monitor connections

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:58 am

Moroccomoose wrote: Its in the Delta 1010, Channel 1 out is b*ggered. It works but just at a much lower volume...

Glad you found the problem. How much lower in level is the broken output compared to the good ones?

Any ideas as to what could cause the drop in volume on the output channel?

Could be a number of things. If it's about 6dB lower then it's probably a dead half of an active output driver. If it's more than that then it could be a dead buffer stage somewhere or a dirty or broken connection in the umbilical cable.

Have you tried disconnecting, cleaning and reconnecting the umbilical?

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Re: Monitor connections

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:25 am

You could try pulling the card, remove all M-A drivers, run Ccleaner on the Registry, reboot, shutdown and fit the card re boot re do drivers.

Don't know if it was here but someone had a similar problem with a Delta 66 and the above fixed it.

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