Knowledgebase: Audio Interfaces
Board input levels much higher than software input levels
Posted by Rick Shao on 16 November 2015 06:37 AM

Q: When I input audio into my Helix Board FireWire, I get a much higher signal on the board than I do on the actual recording. I can keep turning up the channel preamps or the faders on the board, or the instruments themselves, but then, of course, the signal eventually clips on the board, sending a distorted but still quiet signal to my computer. How do I make it so that the board volume and the input level as shown on my software correspond with each other?

A: This is a very normal occurrence in computer recording. In digital domain, when it get to clip, then the music is damaged. So when you send an analog signal through a digital interface like FireWire, it is necessary to give enough dynamic range. On most Helix Boards, only the channel gain control will affect the level to be sent to your computer. To obtain higher dynamic range into digital domain, there is a 18dB cut before going to the A/D converter, which means in digital domain, 0dB is equal to 18dB in analog domain. All the digital interfaces function this way. Please keep the channel gain control at suitable position to ensure the peak indicator on the channel does not light up.

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