Amplifire output volumes for 1/4" vs xlr?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by alphadog808, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. alphadog808

    alphadog808 Member

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    Hey guys,
    Had a question for those who use the 1/4" to their monitor(I use an alto) and an xlr to the FOH, do you touch the global settings to bring down the volume for the signal going to the FOH?

    I just tried to use my amplifire for a gig tonight for the first time and it sounded great in the monitors but terrible in the FOH; so much so I had to break out my other rig since there wasn't enough time to troubleshoot it. Everything was very harsh, fizzy, and crackly. I need to do more testing, but it I'm thinking maybe the xlr out was too hot and was overloading the input?

    When I got home, I tested the xlr and 1/4" outs and noticed that the volumes were about the same-when I compared it with my other working rig(hd500), I immediately noticed that the xlr output was much, much quieter than the 1/4" input-which makes think/hope that the solution is to simply just bring the xlr volume down on the amplifire?

    Just wondering if those who use the amplifire like above had to drop the volume on the xlr out or maybe it's something else going on?

    Note, I verified that all outputs are using IRs. Since noticing the output levels, I have set my level knob to 40%, main level is 6db, and aux level is -18db.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  2. LPV

    LPV Member

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    There's an option to assign the volume to main or aux. EDIT sorry didn't read close enough. Looks like you have already done that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  3. Twpmeister

    Twpmeister Member

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    Do you have it set to mono sum or are you using stereo outputs? Mono sum adds left and right effectively doubling the level on a mono output.if your mains are Mon and aux stereo or vice versa this could account for part of the difference you are experiencing. Also ensure both amp modelling and cabs are on for both outputs, I think this can vary by preset so check all that you use in the cab block.
     
  4. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    not sure what you mean here; quieter than the input?
    1/4 and XLR are both balanced; with XLR adapters you could flip them and troubleshoot that way. The only time this happen to me was when the mains were set to stereo and the Aux was set to Mono Sum.
     
  5. rcl

    rcl Member

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    Sounds like you have cab sim on one and not the other.
     
  6. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    The XLR output should be considerably lower than the 1/4" output as it's a low impedence line as compared to the high impedence of the 1/4" output. If the XLR was being sent as a high impedence signal it may have been picking up line noise along with clipping of the signal which is what you were hearing. I'm not familiar with the Amplifire but you may want to look for a global setting that determines whether the XLR will be used as a line level output. Generally one might use this if they wanted to use the XLR to run to a monitor since a monitor doesn't have a pre-amp, but it would be a problem if it were running to a mixing console over a long distance and then through the console's pre-amp.

    Quite frankly, whoever was running the PA console should have noticed this when they were gain staging the line...assuming of course they know how to gain stage a line.
     
  7. jc_muscleshoals

    jc_muscleshoals Member

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    I do dual mono and run XLR to FOH and XLR to monitor. Doesn't the Alto have XLR inputs?
     
  8. alphadog808

    alphadog808 Member

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    Thanks for the input guys-here's a bit more info.

    - I have both outputs, aux and main set to mono.
    - The cab sims are set to be on for both.

    How I tested this was I used the amplifire's 1/4" to the alto and got a level, then I plugged in the amplifire xlr out to the xlr in to the alto(and unplugged the 1/4") and checked the volume. By default, the xlr and 1/4" out were about the same(xlr was loud). I did also verify by ear that the cabs were on for the xlr(it's pretty obvious if it's off).

    When I did the same test with the hd500, the xlr out was much, much quieter. Which is why I'm hoping that caused the problem...but I haven't heard anyone mention experiencing anything like that, so I wasn't sure if I was missing anything else.
     
  9. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    The volumes are the same afaik. There's that one guy who flipped out on people selling their AX8's for a profit who always throws the XLR vs 1/4" volume difference out anytime anyone posts something of the sort, but in the case of the Amplifire (at least); it doesn't seem to be true.
     
  10. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I always use the XLR's...one to my CLR and the other to FOH.
    Never have any problems.
    If the one going to FOH seemed too hot, did you try turning down the gain on that channel on the board?
     
  11. alphadog808

    alphadog808 Member

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    We did try turning down the gain on the board, and it still sounded bad.
     
  12. LPV

    LPV Member

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    Are u using a preset or your own tweak? If you dialed in your tone on the alto that may be the problem. It may be very different from foh.
     
  13. RLD

    RLD Member

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    Shouldn't be...I have an Alto and a CLR...all patches translate from FRFR to FOH with no problems in my experience.
     
  14. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    Without knowing what your FOH mixer is I'm just throwing some things out there.

    Some mixing boards that support either a 1/4" or an XLR input on the channel expect the XLR input to be a low impedance line. Sometimes they will have a pad button on the channel that allows you to switch the signal between low or high impedence. The issue here is due to the fact that the XLR appears to be coming in as a high impedence signal which is odd and not the standard for the industry.

    Typically you can manually make an adjustment on most mixing boards (if they don't have a low/high impedence switch) by turning on the PFL (Pre Fader Listen) switch for that channel (make sure no other PFL buttons are engaged on any other channels) and watch the sound level lights as you send your signal through. You have to turn down the gain (the gain is the pre-amp for the channel which is different from the fader for the channel is is usually located near the top of the channel strip) until the signal is clearly in the green below 0db or what's sometimes called Unity. The PFL allows you to manage the level of the raw signal coming into the board via the gain knob. A lot depends on how robust the pre-amp gains are on the board as to whether this will attenuate the signal enough to not overdrive the channel and still maintain a decent clean signal. Generally, however, this should work. However, because it is a high impedence line it can be prone to buzzing or other electromagnetic effects especially on longer runs.

    Alternatively you could opt for a DI box that allows you to select the attenuation level of the XLR output to the board.

    This is the reason you see the difference in volume levels between the 1/4" output and XLR output on the HD500. It actually sends a low impedance signal on the XLR out line and is expected to be used to feed a direct line into a mixing board while the 1/4" line is high impedance and is expected to be used to feed a powered monitor or cabinet.
     
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  15. alphadog808

    alphadog808 Member

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    Thanks Dragon-I'll take a look at the board and see what options there are. Basically, look for a way to knock down the audio signal on the board side, correct?

    To be clear, there are options on the amplifire that allow you to change the output level of the 1/4", aux, and headphones, so I currently have it set so the 1/4" is normal/hot, but the aux is dialed way back. I'm thinking it will work, but I guess I really need to plug it back into that PA to see if the problem is resolved.
     
  16. LPV

    LPV Member

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    I said that based on an experience I had with a tone I dialed in on the alto that sounded good but in a particular FOH it sounded thin and spikey because the FOH was not close to frfr.
    Now the odd thing is the mbritt's sounded good (albeit not great)on that system. They seem to be good on everything, my fav plexi tone anyway.
     
  17. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    You might want to PM Tom at Atomic on this, but I think both sets of outputs might be line level, where your HD500 may have been mic level on the XLRs. I know that my 11 rack's XLRs are line level and can be a problem into a board without pads on the inputs.

    I've only run my Amplifire direct into my own Presonus board so line level hasn't been an issue that I've noticed.
     
  18. Twpmeister

    Twpmeister Member

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    Isn't the output level switchable on hd500? I know it is on hd300. You probably used the pod on the lower output
     
  19. Jay Mitchell

    Jay Mitchell Member

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    You were clipping the board input. Depending on whether the board has input gain trim or selectable input attenuation, the way to fix the problem is to reduce the input gain of that channel (not the level of the fader) or increase input attenuation.

    It's the reverse: the board input was not properly configured to accept a line-level signal. There's always a way to accomplish that. Your sound guy should be able to make the required adjustments on the fly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  20. alphadog808

    alphadog808 Member

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    So, I was able to run it through part of the PA(didn't fully set it up) and with the lower xlr volume(-19db) it sounds much more like my monitor. I looked on the board, we must have a budget PA(or/and I'm ignorant) because I didn't see a pad or knob that would bring down the input for my channel.

    While I was hooked up I did test the tone between the Alto and the house(Yamaha) speakers. While close, I realized the alto has ALOT more bottom end. I hope our sub picks up the lower frequencies otherwise I need to make sure the sound guy adds lows to my mix.

    Thanks again to everyone for the help!
     

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