Old 01-20-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
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Default Mackie 1640i and low recording levels

Hi everyone,

I picked up a Mackie 1640i Firewire mixer (yeah, I know...) and it works great except that the signals it sends from the firewire in to Reaper are maxing out at aroun -30 on a properly gain staged setup.

Is there anyway that I can increase the recording sensitivity on the Reaper side so that when the mixer shows 0db on the meters, the levels are the same in Reaper?


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Old 01-21-2020, 07:25 AM   #2
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Just wanted to make a quick reply, since I kind of found the newbie answer via more experimentation and no one seemed to be able to assist.

I was using a Shure SM58 as a source, and those things have a very low output. Cranking things up to full would get me to the minimum-18dB, but I thought I needed more.

The answer was simple... use something with a higher output (a condenser mic or example, or use something that boosts the signal... ie: a cloudlifter or or extra preamp between the mixer and mic).

Second, the mixer specifically outputs at a lower -18dB level because it is designed to do so, giving most plugins, VST, etc... the best chance for cleanest results because they are made to be run at that level, and this mixer was made for being more than just a mixer, but a mixer that could use plugins from the computer and output them on the output channels at an extremely low latency.

Of course, raising wave sizes and track volume post recording is no harder than normalizing a track to whatever level I want.

Last, if you really need want, it is possible to get a signal higher than -18dB by cranking up the gain a bit more. Using the meters of the Mackie, I could easily go to outputs of +3 on the meters with zero distortion or ill effects, giving me slightly bigger wave files visually in Reaper but still well under clipping/distortion.

Great forum, TONS of info... really like this place a lot.
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