Author Topic: Recording level meters  (Read 5599 times)

marshm1d

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Recording level meters
« on: March 17, 2013, 10:14:22 pm »
The output from my preamp (with the correct phono boards) from a High output moving coil cartridge (2.5mV) never reaches clipping on VinylStudio's record level meters, even with the preamp 'volume' control at 100%.
 I am using a PCI express sound card from ESI (Juli@XTE). The software from ESI doesn't record but does have sound level meters. These do show clipping but at around 80% on the 'volume' control.

Can I assume the software from ESI is likely to be more accurate than the generic one on VinylStudio and is therefore the one I should use to set my recording level.

I am considering a separate phonostage which has, hopefully, a higher gain.

thanks for any advice.

marshm1d

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Recording level meters
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 11:22:01 pm »
Hi,

No, I wouldn't assume that.  VinylStudio's recording level indicators are accurate as far as I know.  What I would do is make a recording with the recording level slider at 100 and then have a look for 'flat tops' in VinylStudio's waveform display.  If you can't see any, there's no clipping happening at record time (or, at least, nothing serious).

I'm a bit confused by your use of the term 'preamp volume control'.  Do you mean the sliders in the Graphic Equaliser dialog?  If so, what sort of level are you seeing on VinylStudio's recording level indicators at record time?

marshm1d

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Re: Recording level meters
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 09:28:11 am »
Sorry if I was not clear.
No, I don't mean in the Graphic Equaliser dialog. My preamplifier is a Naim NAC72 which has built in phono boards. The volume control on the NAC72 controls the sound output from the power amp  and hence the displayed signal on the recording level meters.

I am seeing the levels (green bars) move but never above about 20% of full scale.

Your suggestion to look at the waveform of the recorded output in VinylStudio is great. Why didn't I think of that? I was going to record at the highest level and see if I could hear clipping in the recorded file. However, as I can only just get clipping wth the volume control at 100%, I was not sure I would detect it by ear.

The high moving coil output cartridge is at the low end of output for Moving Magnet boards. However, the loudspeakers provide adequate listening levels.

I didn't say it last time but I should. You produced a great piece of software which should be much wider known.

marshm1d

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Recording level meters
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 10:58:56 am »
OK, thank you.  You can boost the playback level by using the 'Normalise' button in VinylStudio's Graphic Equaliser window.  You reach this via the 'Adjust filter settings' button in the toolbar beneath the waveform display in the Cleanup Audio window.  If you are recording at 24 bit you should get adequate dynamic range, even with the low signal levels you are seeing.