Old 09-29-2013, 01:03 AM   #1
sinkmusic
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Default gain staging question

Hello

I have a couple questions that some of you might be able to answer :

- In my recording chain, can i have both +4dB and -10dB gear ? Can they live happily together without worrying ?

- I have some gear which features both LXR balanced +4dB plugs ad jack unbalanced -10dB plugs, and when i read the tech specs, they are not the same at all. Despite the fact that one plug is balanced, would it be a smart idea to trade my usual jack plugs for some XLR (it is only short cable lengths <3m) ? Would there have some noticeable sound improvements ?

Thank you in advance !
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:11 AM   #2
Stress
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinkmusic View Post
Hello

I have a couple questions that some of you might be able to answer :

- In my recording chain, can i have both +4dB and -10dB gear ? Can they live happily together without worrying ?

- I have some gear which features both LXR balanced +4dB plugs ad jack unbalanced -10dB plugs, and when i read the tech specs, they are not the same at all. Despite the fact that one plug is balanced, would it be a smart idea to trade my usual jack plugs for some XLR (it is only short cable lengths <3m) ? Would there have some noticeable sound improvements ?

Thank you in advance !
Sure, the level's are just that. They are just electrical standards. If you use +4 with -10 or vice versa the only issue is that the level will be either too low or too high.

A -10dB input of something will expect to be connect from the output of a -10dB device. If you use +4dB then it will probably get a much larger signal than it wants(but not necessarily has you could be feeding it a quiet +4dB signal). This will possibly cause clipping.

The opposite case will end up with, generally, a much quieter signal.

The first case is worse because of clipping issues. But if you have no clipping issues then it doesn't really matter. (most input and output devices have level controls and clipping indicators to help with these issues)

It's way more important to make sure you do not connect a stereo output to a balanced input and somewhat vice versa. The first case will generally ruin your sound.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:16 AM   #3
sinkmusic
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Thank you

As reading some manuals, i noticed that also impedance was not the same, etc etc, i started wondering



So i just have to use my ears and take care about my levels, that's (only) it ? great !
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