H800: Boosting Input Levels for Guitar

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    • #107012
      jcshirke
      Member

      Hi,

      Italo and I talked about this subject a long time ago, but I wanted to revisit it because I've just finished overhauling my rack.

      I have my H8000 in a rack with a Switchblade GL, among other things. So my H8000 is on two of the GL loops. Analog outputs 1 and 2 from the H8000 go to 2 separate GL inputs. One GL output goes to one of the H8000 analog inputs.

      Under the Levels menu on the second inputs page, I have boosted the input considerably–I think about 20 or 25 dB. I then cut the dBs on the corresponding output page, otherwise it is just ridiculously loud. With this setup I am getting a nice, strong input signal level on the H8000 meter, and it sounds quite good.

      *But*, I could also place a clean boost pedal between the GL output and the Eventide input, and then I would not have to boost the levels internally on the H8000.

      I know there really isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to do things in this scenario, but is either method preferable, or should I just experiment?

      I have another boost pedal on one of my GL loops already, and I frequently use it in combination with the H8000's delays, so I was thinking maybe I shouldn't add another clean boost to my signal path before the signal goes to the H8000 input.

      Thanks,

      Jeff

    • #120251
      unguitar
      Participant

      Hi Jeff,

      been using the GL for a while.

      Do you need to control the H8000 input through a continous control pedal via the GL or the H8000 itself or are you keeping the applied boost  fixed and use a normal "audio" volume pedal ?

    • #120254
      jcshirke
      Member

      Luca,

      I have the boost level fixed via the inputs page (under Levels).

      I have a new MIDI controller (Liquid Foot Pro), and I will be using a Mission expression pedal with it. That pedal will be connected to the Liquid Foot exp. pedal input 1 (and not to the GL or the H8000), and so I will use it to control a variety of parameters in the H8000, but I have not made those assignments yet.I'm sure I'll use it as a volume pedal in some presets.

      I was doing some playing tonight, and I used one of my basic "bread and butter" GL routings: Guitar–>Triad pedal (this is a clone of the Korg SDD-3000 delay preamp/boost)–>H8000–>AC30

      With my guitar input to the H8000 boosted by about 20 dB internally *plus* the Triad pedal, I found that I pushed the H8000 meters into the red when I hit the strings hard and really dug in, which resulted in some pretty ugly digital "booms" coming out of my amp, even though I cut the output dBs considerably on the outputs page. I'm pretty sure I clipped the signal. So, I went in and cut the input boost to about 10dB, and I didn't seem to have any problems. I may experiment more with running two parallel signal paths: Guitar–>Triad–>AC30 and Guitar–>H8000–>AC30 and compare the results to running in series.

      Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Jeff

    • #131451
      unguitar
      Participant

      Ciao Jeff,

      by my experience with the glorious SWITCHBLADE, don't expect to make it and the H8000 share the same language when it comes to level metering.

      When the H8000 goes up to the red it goes way higher that what most analogic circuits can accept. Unfortunately the Switchblade headroom never seemed very high for me and surely it was too low to accomodate my Orville ( and the H8000 later) and take the best out of it in terms of dynamics  and s/n ratio. The Switchblades ( I have had bot the GL and the ST) are really pretty machines with a very nice sound ( because they HAVE a sound).

      After a few years using them I have sold my last one and started using an audio card to do exactly the same things but with more flexibility and with an increased potential.

      About using cc and the two available boost sections I suggest to try both and choose for the one which allows a smoother control and a more natural feeling. Does the Liquid foot allow you to set the cc curve ( logarithmic, linear and so on ?)

    • #131456
      J20056
      Participant

      I am also a SwitchBlade and H7600 user. Luca, can you elaborate on your comment to use an "audio card" to replace the SwitchBlade? What type of setup are you referring to exactly?

    • #131461
      jcshirke
      Member

      Hi Luca,

      There are a couple of things I want to follow up on from your reply, but for now I just wanted to ask if you had tried using the input trim on your GL that allows you to add an additional 6 dB of headroom for connecting pro gear. To be honest, I didn't even realize this was a feature of the GL until I went back to the manual after I read your latest post. So I was wondering if you had tried it.

      Thanks again for your helpful replies.

      Jeff

    • #131508
      unguitar
      Participant

      Hi,

      I apologize for the long silence, here are some infos and replies:

      5 Years ago, after having been using a Switchblade Gl first and an St later, I have been considering that I could replace that with a sound card and a pc and have a lot of added interesting options available.
      I started to test a few softwares that could basically allow me to manage audio signal routing, therefore I have been testing: Usine, Bidule, Audiomulch and Max/MSP.
      The begin of the test showed that the idea was completely viable and with a very high potential which was going way beyond signal routing, mixing and splitting such as: Midi routing, Vst managing, use of digital connections, easy to control and easy User Interface, expandibility and others.

      I have been choosing Audiomulch and I am using it as my main playing software since then.
      It is simply great what you can do with it, how easy it is to set midi and manage audio routing/splitting/mixing. Plus, having a good laptop means that you can easily mix hardware processing, vsts and pedals, which is exactly what I am doing.

      The hardware effects ( like my H8000FW) are connected to the soundcard via the various available options and their signal is routed in the Audiomulch world where I can manage levels, routings and anything you can think about.
      The sound card is set so that it has 2 stereo analog outputs for monitoring ( one with the processed signal and one with the looped one) and other 2 couples carrying exactly the same signals but coming out from a digital connection ( adat in my case) to go to the recording audio card ( Daw). This way I have the chance to monitor and record processed signal on a different stereo channel from the looped one and to go to the Daw avoiding another D/A to A/D conversion.

      I am using a Win Xp laptop, an Rme ff400, some hardware effects, some pedals, a Gordius midi footcontroller and a Novation Remote Zero.

      Latency ?
      I think it is perfectly acceptable.

      So, this is how I managed to solve the headroom limits of the Switchblades and have so much more.
      Please consider I think the Switchblades are excellent pieces of hardware, very well built and with a very solid sound. I think they are perfect for most of real guitar players, but I don't consider myself a guitar player so…

    • #131528
      J20056
      Participant

      How do you manage 16 input and outputs with the setup you describe?

    • #131536
      unguitar
      Participant

      Well,

      I honestly have never reached 16 ins/outs limit on the switchblade.

      Anyay, consider that the limit is just on the connections available on the sound card of your choice.

      Well, talking about ins and outs: with the ff400 I have 8 analog, 8 adats and 2 on spdif, which makes 18. If I use my  ff800 I have 10 analog, 16 adats and 2 spdif which makes 28. But you can even have a setup with more audio cards or use separate converters to have the adats channels available as analog.

      As you know the software doesn't have limits in itself (theoretically) , the limit is in the capacity of your computer's ram and cpu but now they ar so powerful !

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