Setting gains w/ or w/o FX
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  1. #1
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    Default Setting gains w/ or w/o FX

    Question now that I've got a beefier mixer with more FX.

    I used to set my gains just based on the tracks to around 0dB on my Denon X1500 mixer which worked great. Filters and FX didn't really alter the volume too much.

    I've moved to a Pioneer DJM800 now, and I'm finding that the sound color FX are really increasing the volume so much that it is clipping at this level. The problem is if I dial down the volume to accommodate these FX volume changes, the volume is rather low when I'm not using FX.

    Could you guys let me know how you guys have your gains set? All my tracks are autogained w/ MP3gain to 94 dB.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  2. #2
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    I think you mean the normal FX, the colour fx don't change the volume's that much. If you use normal fx, such as echo or reverd, you should def take out the bass or use the hpf.

  3. #3
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    Nope, when I use crush my gains bounce into the red sometimes. It's not major clipping going on, but it's happening.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
    Nope, when I use crush my gains bounce into the red sometimes. It's not major clipping going on, but it's happening.
    I know what you're talking about, I sometimes just lover the volume fader a bit.

  5. #5
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    Red is not clipping. "+19dB" is the initial point of clipping on the DJM 800+
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  6. #6
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    So there's no need to worry?

    My audacity recording had some clipping, but it was like 1 pixel wide, very high frequencies I'm guessing?
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor dsquareddan's Avatar
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    if your master is set to 0dB on the VU meter, using FX should only really ever add 4-7dB of gain temporarily, which is fine. yes the DJM mixers go higher than that, but you SHOULD run everything at 0dB. anything above is degrading to the original signal.

    headroom is your friend. use it. the lights on a mixer are a simple traffic light configuration. green is good, yellow is something you don't want to stay in. red means stop
    Last edited by dsquareddan; 07-22-2014 at 02:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
    All my tracks are autogained w/ MP3gain to 94 dB.
    While I have no doubt that the program reports that....the idea of gaining a track to 94 dB is gibberish. Please don't take that personally...my complaint is with whoever built the software.

    Dynamic range is a function of the number of bits used to represent the signal amplitude. 16bit audio offers a dynamic range of 96.33dB. By convention, some reference point is chosen and labeled at 0dB. In the case of most audio files, the 0dB reference is "maximum amplitude." This means that "gain" is measured in negative numbers BELOW that 0dB reference. But, I am betting that setting the maximum signal amplitude to "-2.33dB" doesn't sound as impressive...or as "round" a number.

    When setting up the gain structure of a signal chain, set your gains using a sine wave and a volt meter. This does require either an oscilloscope, or some math and a reasonable manual for each piece of gear. I use 1kHz for the tops, and 60Hz for the subs. In either case, keep the frequency at least 1/3 octave away from any crossover or high-pass or low-pass frequencies. Everything else is just guessing. Some guesses are better than others.
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