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Home Forums Products Stompboxes Time Factor: Adjust Wet Signal Level, suggestions? Reply To: Time Factor: Adjust Wet Signal Level, suggestions?

Eventide Staff

Let me preface this with: I’m here to help you get your system up and running so you can access the sounds you know are inside the Time Factor. I’ll leave my comments on the tone of your wording brief, but I’ll mention that your approach is not a productive path in getting our help. You either didn’t read through my last response very carefully, or you would rather complain about an issue than fix it – I pointed you to pages in the manual which can help you diagnose, adjust, and potentially solve the problems you are seeing in your set up. Further, insisting that things “just be fixed” to your specific use case and assuming that we haven’t run test signals or have never used an oscilloscope on our products is extremely presumptuous. If I didn’t have more patience, I’d interpret this as extremely disrespectful and stop engaging with you right here.

But I understand you are frustrated, and I understand that the more technical aspects of gear can be infuriating… for the time being, in spite of all this you have my sympathy. You’ve purchased a Time Factor – a very fine unit I’ve had on my pedal board since before I started working for Eventide – and as a fellow musician that loves the Time Factor, I’m compelled to help get you up and running, because I’m excited for you to discover the infinitely deep sounds waiting for you.

Every single audio set up requires proper gain staging. There’s a reason guitars, synths, stompboxes, amplifiers, buffers, etc. all have a volume knob (and in some cases have separate input and output volumes, or gain and master volumes). It is important to know what the nominal signal level is at each stage of your signal chain, what the output of a given block is sending, and what the input of the next block is receiving. Overloading any one stage can cause distortion, or volume mismatches such as the ones you are experiencing.

Once again, amp effects loop are extremely varied. Some amp manufacturers set their loops up for DI outs, others for consumer line level, more for pro line level, and even more for instrument level. There are passive effects loop, active effects loops, effects loops with only a driver stage, effects loops with only a recovery stage, solid state effects loops, tube effects loops, transparent effects loops, colored effects loops – all of these have different levels and gain stages. These all impact the amount of signal going from the send and to the return. You still have not told me what amp or effects loop you are running, and as a result both of us are shooting in the dark here. All I can gather is that you are frustrated that your Time Factor doesn’t work with an effects loop that you happen to own. Heck, I don’t even know if you have a solid state or tube amp yet, because you’ve only told me that the Time Factor should just work in your effects loop.¬†

You observe that your set up has this level mismatch with multiple Factor pedals. While you’ve jumped to the conclusion there is a defect with Eventide Factors, I encourage you to take a step back and think about your set up. 3V P-P at +12 dB is a very hot signal, well above pro level +4 dB Line Level and significantly above consumer level -10 dB Line Level (not to even mention guitar effects level at -30 to -20 dB). The Factors, as you observe, can handle the signal, but if you overload and saturate the input to an effect it is expected that the nominal output level of that effect will also be pretty hot. Additionally, not only are you overloading your input signal, but the Time Factor is preventing you from overloading/destroying your converters and further amplification stages/speaker by insuring you don’t slam the next stage with extremely hot voltage. We’ve massively overbuilt the Time Factor to handle abusive levels, such as what you are presenting. Your observation of surprise that more people are not experiencing your behavior is an astute one – this isn’t to suggest that you don’t have a problem, but rather I suggest you reconsider aspects of how you have set up your system, and what voltage level you are hitting your Time Factor with. I’d be surprised if other effects units didn’t have similar or worse behavior to what you describe under the conditions of your set up.

I encourage you to read through the Time Factor manual, specifically the bits on setting input and output levels. Additionally, you may be able to take advantage of the swell features set to a constant level to help cool the input signal. I pointed you to these pages in my last post, and I once again encourage you to read through them. You can monitor your input levels, and that can be useful for diagnosis of your levels as you can see how much signal the Time Factor is getting, relative to its headroom. Another solution is to pad/attenuate the signal down before hitting the Time Factor Рthere are Line Level shifters that may help you here, or a good buffer with attenuation can help Рthen boosting after the fact, which can be done on the Time Factor itself using output gain to a certain extent. Once again, I refer you to the same pages in the Time Factor manual I cited in my last post.

To help reinforce your understanding of how the Time Factor is set up – and that the unity gain behavior you expect is in fact programmed into the pedal – I encourage you to test the following: plug a guitar directly into your time factor, set the input/output level switches to Guitar/Amp, plug Time Factor directly to the input of your amp, set up your amp to be relatively clean, and start playing through your Time Factor. Modifying the wet/dry mix of the unit should produce the unity levels and a more balanced wet/dry level that you are expecting. This happens because you’re supplying a voltage level to the Time Factor more in line with its gain staging, and it will respond accordingly. If you still experience unbalanced wet/dry signasl and your wet output at 100% is well below unity gain in this scenario, I encourage you to get in touch with our support line at support@eventide.com