Focusrite 18i8 advice

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Gooner
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Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by Gooner » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:00 pm

Being new to the Focusrite and Auria, I have encountered a problem that I'm hoping is something I have missed in the setup.

We are a 6 piece band and all our vocals and instruments run into a Soundcraft M8 mixing desk. I am using the direct outs to provide individual feeds to the eight 1/4 inch inputs and using sp/diff for two additional tracks which are coincidentally drums.
When we record a song I am noticing a significant difference in recording levels between the tracks, the first 4 inputs on the focusrite are taking direct out from the boards two vocal mics a mic'd guitar amp and a di'd bass. The vocals and guitar seem to be fine, but the bass is very quiet. The inputs on the back take direct outs from the board from another mic'd guitar amp, a mic'd saxophone and the keyboadrds di'd into the board, the keyboard levels are fine but the sax and guitar are very quiet. The two drums mic's are taken from the boards aux bus out and are also very quiet.

Finally my question...........has anyone encountered or has anyone have any ideas how to address this problem? Is there something I missed in the focusrite control setup?

wigglelights
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Re: Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by wigglelights » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:12 pm

Don't have either parts, but...

Could be gain settings in the Focusrite control panel...

Could be gain staging in the mixer as well. Are you using the Direct/Pre button? (Without knowing your background/experience, I mean no offense if I'm stating the obvious to you). If so, what you see on the meters may not be what the direct outs are seeing should the faders be at anything besides zero. I.e. When setting levels on the desk, set the faders at zero, and gently tweak the gain knobs the get things close to the same level.

One other feature available is in Auria. A long press on the Record enable button on any track will open a menu - the second option is Record Level. This will open a box where you can increase or decrease the input to that channel.

Hope that helps

Gooner
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Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:26 am

Re: Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by Gooner » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:47 am

wigglelights wrote:Don't have either parts, but...

Could be gain settings in the Focusrite control panel...

Could be gain staging in the mixer as well. Are you using the Direct/Pre button? (Without knowing your background/experience, I mean no offense if I'm stating the obvious to you). If so, what you see on the meters may not be what the direct outs are seeing should the faders be at anything besides zero. I.e. When setting levels on the desk, set the faders at zero, and gently tweak the gain knobs the get things close to the same level.

One other feature available is in Auria. A long press on the Record enable button on any track will open a menu - the second option is Record Level. This will open a box where you can increase or decrease the input to that channel.

Hope that helps
Thanks for the response, my experience regarding recording and Auria is minimal :shock: I need to look at the focusrite control panel, but because the focusrite and this program belongs to another band member, while I have the iPads and Auria, I will have to wait for practice on Wed to do so.

The direct outs from the board are set to pre to ensure an unaffected signal.

I hadn't noticed the section regarding adjusting the gain on the record enable button. I will also try this out on Wed. I suspect that if there is the ability to to alter the recording levels in the focusrite control panel or adjusting the record gain within Auria may solve this.

Sound Wavy Davy
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Re: Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by Sound Wavy Davy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:40 pm

Make sure you have all your hardware mixer inputs, trim adjustments set properly (for a strong signal, without clipping).
If this is done, then the direct outs from your mixer, to the line inputs on your 18i8 should give good levels in Auria.
For 18i8 first four inputs (mic/line), you will have to adjust the 18i8 input gain knobs for a strong signal, without clipping.
If you do that, you should get good levels in Auria.

I don't recommend using the input gain adjustment built into Auria, as it only scales the incoming digital audio.
I think it is better to try to get signal levels arriving at the inputs to the 18i8 inputs correct, by dialing in your hardware mixer's input trim, and direct/aux out levles (if any).
Once that is set correctly, then set the 18i8 Ch.1-4 input gain for a strong signal, without clipping. and the Auria levels should be ok.

After recording your tracks, you can "Normalize" them in Auria's track display, so that they all peak at 0db.
This can make it easier to dial in your compression and other level based effects. Also can make it easier to do your final mix, if all your recorded track levels, are similar (Normalized) beforehand.

PS I have the Focusrite 18i8 working well for me with Macbook and iPad air. And all of the above, is just my opinion.

wigglelights
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:06 am

Re: Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by wigglelights » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:43 pm

I'll second all of Davy's tips - getting the mixer and the interface leveled out properly is the right way to go...

Maybe do a search on "gain staging", which is essentially what's being discussed here. Definitely zero out the interface via the control panel, and on the mixer learn about the trim knob (which I think is labeled "gain" on yours).

Best of luck

Gooner
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Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:26 am

Re: Focusrite 18i8 advice

Post by Gooner » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:20 pm

Sound Wavy Davy wrote:Make sure you have all your hardware mixer inputs, trim adjustments set properly (for a strong signal, without clipping).
If this is done, then the direct outs from your mixer, to the line inputs on your 18i8 should give good levels in Auria.
For 18i8 first four inputs (mic/line), you will have to adjust the 18i8 input gain knobs for a strong signal, without clipping.
If you do that, you should get good levels in Auria.

I don't recommend using the input gain adjustment built into Auria, as it only scales the incoming digital audio.
I think it is better to try to get signal levels arriving at the inputs to the 18i8 inputs correct, by dialing in your hardware mixer's input trim, and direct/aux out levles (if any).
Once that is set correctly, then set the 18i8 Ch.1-4 input gain for a strong signal, without clipping. and the Auria levels should be ok.

After recording your tracks, you can "Normalize" them in Auria's track display, so that they all peak at 0db.
This can make it easier to dial in your compression and other level based effects. Also can make it easier to do your final mix, if all your recorded track levels, are similar (Normalized) beforehand.

PS I have the Focusrite 18i8 working well for me with Macbook and iPad air. And all of the above, is just my opinion.
Thanks for the advice, we're definitely working on it, although we did no recording this week at end of play we went through the mixer to ensure the input signals were good for all the mics and instruments, next week we'll have a look at signal strength into Auria, I suspect we are half way there :D
We're fine with the focusrite on channels 1-4 for sure but is it possible to alter the gain on channels 5-8 on the focusrite?

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