Do I lose audio quality using -10db on my monitors?
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  1. #1
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    Default Do I lose audio quality using -10db on my monitors?

    I have the behringer Truth b2031a, 8 ¾" woofer size. Really big and strong sound for my tiny room...
    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/B2031A.aspx
    They are so big that I need to lower the volume knob to the minimum -10db and also the master knob on traktor to -6db to listen in a reasonable volume.

    There is any type of distortion or audio quality loss using my monitors at -10db (volume knob on the back) and the master knob on traktor at -6db?

    If there is, it would help the quality if I had a small format mixer between my controller and my monitors to be my master table in EQing and Gaining?
    I was thinking about this one:
    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1202.aspx

    Anyway, I will need a mixer with lots of channels cause I want to plug my TV and my PS3 to my studio monitors but i wish to know if it's better to lower the db on the mixer or on the monitors...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-Hoff View Post
    There is any type of distortion or audio quality loss using my monitors at -10db (volume knob on the back) and the master knob on traktor at -6db?
    No.*

    *- In strict terms, while the signal is being processed in a "digital" signal chain, there is a loss of resolution as the gain is reduced. This can generally be safely ignored for signals that are "reasonably high" because most digital processing is done with 32bits of resolution, and even the best sound cards truncate that to 24bits (or more commonly 16 bits) before actually converting the signal back to analog.

    EDIT:
    The gain control on the monitors is dealing with an analog signal. The gain control in Traktor is (likely) dealing with a digital signal. Any differences in the "quality" of the sound is MUCH more likely due to the Fletcher-Munson effect than anything else.
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  3. #3
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    instead of a mixer between comp and monitors ... this is designed to for exactly that job.

    http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/...ano-patch-plus

    I've used them for many years. Great audio/build quality and feel. They are a passive unit, providing transparent analog attenuation (what you need). They're also cheap as chips. Buy one ... apart from solving the problem (and a few extras) having a smooth analog volume control at hand is a great addition to your rig. I can't do without them now, in the studio, in my live rig ... birthday presents for friends etc ... (you can even plug an iPod direct into a massive PA with these if you need to)

    as for multi channel mixers ... remember you often get the quality you pay for ... (nanopatch being a bit of an exception)
    Last edited by Scaper7; 10-10-2013 at 03:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    The Truths have two inputs so you could use the free one for your TV. Set the physical dial to whatever maximum you like and adjust gains from within software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper7 View Post
    you can even plug an iPod direct into a massive PA with these if you need to
    The product page specifically says "No signal conversion from unbalanced to balanced!". So it's no better than a simple cable in that sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    The product page specifically says "No signal conversion from unbalanced to balanced!". So it's no better than a simple cable in that sense.
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but i've always assumed stereo TRS is by definition a balanced signal, L&R sharing common earth . Just happens these little units have secondary miniTRS stereo inputs/outputs ... a nice little bonus ... on a very useful little gadget. In practice this miniTRS input makes a simple, pop proof way to hook up a stereo audio input from a mobile device/phone into your PA while you set/pack up. A simple cable doesn't provide analog attenuation or mute button either.

    MiniTRS input could also be used for TV audio signal input with a RCA to miniTRS cable.
    Last edited by Scaper7; 10-11-2013 at 04:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    As mentioned above you're dealing with two types of signal. Digital and Analogue

    To get the best out of the bit rate you need to run the digital signal fairly hot but you then potentially run into the problems of clipping which in the digital realm sounds awful.

    Your soundcard then converts the digital signal to analogue. If it has been designed correctly the analogue stage won't clip before the digital does.

    Depending on the card you might have a level control for the analogue output as well

    Keep the signal as hot as possible without clipping going into your speakers and then use the level control on the back to set the max level required.

    This ensures your gain structure is correct and your signal to noise ratio is at the maximum

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr9...structure.html

    There are two types of audio connection between equipment. Balanced and Unbalanced

    Each requires two conductors for the audio signal. One for the +ve half of the wave and one for the -ve

    The difference between balanced and unbalanced is how the shield is dealt with.

    In unbalanced cables the shield and the -ve are the same conductor (the braid or foil wrap) whereas in balanced cables the both sides of the audio signal are sent down wires and the shield is a totally separate conductor again formed by a braid or foil wrap and drain wire

    The upshot being balanced cables are better at rejecting electromagnetic interference

    By definition an unbalanced cable requires a connector with two pins/conducting areas (TS, Phono) and the balanced three (TRS, XLR)

    Sraper7's example above with a stereo TRS with L&R sharing a common earth is an unbalanced signal

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper7 View Post
    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but i've always assumed stereo TRS is by definition a balanced signal, L&R sharing common earth .
    That is the very definition of an unbalanced signal. A balanced signal carries Left and Inverted Left sharing a common earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio

    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper7 View Post
    Just happens these little units have secondary miniTRS stereo inputs/outputs ... a nice little bonus ... on a very useful little gadget. In practice this miniTRS input makes a simple, pop proof way to hook up a stereo audio input from a mobile device/phone into your PA while you set/pack up. A simple cable doesn't provide analog attenuation or mute button either.
    The attenuation could come in handy, but anything you would connect this box up to will have an attenuation dial too. And a mute button is surely going to create pops if you use it? If you have an infinite attenuation dial I don't really see the point of a mute.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyDave View Post
    Keep the signal as hot as possible without clipping going into your speakers and then use the level control on the back to set the max level required.

    This ensures your gain structure is correct and your signal to noise ratio is at the maximum
    Excellent advice for a pro-audio PA. It is overkill and totally unnecessary in the home monitor setup described by the OP. You can still take the time to set the gain structure properly (you will need a volt meter)...but in the end it will not make any audible difference.
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  9. #9
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    @makar ...for goodness sake mate... it was a simple recommendation for a gadget that works perfectly for the requirement needed here.

    I do appreciate the heads up on the balanced/stereo TRS thing ... was never quite clear on that one.

    However, if you don't like it, don't buy one. It's still a great quality, cheap solution for the OPs problem.

    Despite your nitpicking this thing works great. I was recommended them personally by a great electronics techinician, Joe Malone, of the world renowned JLM electronics (where i spend far too much money). They are strewn all around his workshop, used as standard stereo inline signal attenuators. I have used them for years. They work. They are transparent. They are bullet proof.

    and no, the mute button doesn't seem to pop either.

    "A problem solver, you use the Nano Patch anywhere you need to trim gain; ie, reduce the volume of analog audio signals. For example, you could use one to trim the output of a microphone pre-amplifier. With its high-quality potentiometer, the Nano Patch passes signal more accurately, and sounds better than most built-in volume controls. The possibilities are endless." ... exactly my experience after years of use.

    by the way are those stats for real makar? 2502 posts since Mar2012? wow.
    Last edited by Scaper7; 10-11-2013 at 12:27 PM.

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