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  1. Harold
  2. Sherlock Holmes The Voice
  3. MONTAGE
  4. Saturday, 30 September 2017
I am trying to calibrate my speaker monitors using the Montage as the audio interface for recording output level. On the Master volume there is no indication of the unity or 0. I Max the Master volume selected a performance went to mixing hoping I can set the the unity-0 there no indicator to signify Unity/0 for recording output you get number ranges from 0 to 127 so what ranges between 0 to 127 would correlate to the Unity/0.

There is under utility/setting/Audio/output would be fair to say I need to use this and Max the Master volume and calibrate my Monitor speakers by bringing up the Monitor speaker gain to bring up the db using pink noise. I would appreciate any help.

Thanks
Responses (5)
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I Max the Master volume selected a performance went to mixing hoping I can set the the unity-0 there no indicator to signify Unity/0 for recording output you get number ranges from 0 to 127 so what ranges between 0 to 127 would correlate to the Unity/0.
None, hopefully. You do not want to exceed the value. You want to use the settings of the MONTAGE's OUTPUT LEVEL to gage it so that you do not reach maximum for the input device. Being just shy of UNITY is always a good thing in this instance.

So maximum output from the MONTAGE would not be "between" those values but hopefully UNITY is some where just above the maximum output of MONTAGE. You don't need to reach UNITY in this case, you want to make sure you never send more than the INPUT is set to receive.

Here's what you need to know to make an informed setting for your system:

The MONTAGE audio output level is typically +0dB, but can be boosted to +6dB or even, in extreme cases to +12dB... it can also be reduced to -6dB.

The default is +0dB for typical program coming from the instrument making it a LINE level device.

You cannot be certain of the exact output at any one moment and it can vary greatly depending on what program you are playing, what velocity you are playing, and actually how many PARTS are sounding at once. It's musical program, after all, not a steady test tone. The instrument's output is not steady because it is not a test tone oscillator, it's music and therefore output levels are all over the place, all of the time (full of transients and other peaky items). The nominal output level can be set by going to [UTILITY] > "Settings" > "Audio I/O"
you can use this setting to gauge the overall INPUT SENSITIVITY you need to set for receiving devices...

Here you can set the OUTPUT LEVEL for the Main L&R, the Assign L&R, the UBS Main, and USB 1-30 Outputs.

If you are feeding the output of the MONTAGE directly to MONITOR SPEAKERS, you should set the INPUT SENSITIVITY on the speakers for a pro LINE LEVEL signal (usually this is the +4dB setting) this will receive the default MONTAGE setting of +0dB... if you find this does not give you (subjectively speaking) the audio kick you require at your listening position, you can safely increase the OUTPUT LEVEL of your MONTAGE to +6dB for the Main L&R Output. (This will work because, again, the setting assumes lots of PARTS, with lots of velocity to reach the rated value).

In order to really send +6dB all the time from a MONTAGE mix it would be extraordinary dense mix, all out! remember musical program varies because all instruments do not play always at the same time... so you just want to be safely under the limit (being under the INPUT SENSITIVITY setting of your receiving device). Actually exceeding the INPUT SENSITIVITY could/would cause the receiving device to distort.

This setting does not mean that your MONTAGE is outputting that specific level signal when you play... but when you build a typical mix of sounds and hit the keyboard with a fairly good amount of velocity on most of them, you will be approaching maximum levels reaching the settings you make. It is not like because you set it at "+6dB" every thing you play is automatically going to reach that level... it means that a typical mix of sounds, played with a typical amount of gusto will begin to approach the peak levels indicated by that amount. Mileage varies - its music!

If you get distortion at a particular OUTPUT Level adjust your system accordingly. The concept is to know the "ballpark" you are in. You never want to send +12dB into an INPUT looking for -10dB, that is a disaster almost always, immediately. But sending a +6dB Output to an input looking for +4dB is safe, most of the time. Yes, there would be the rare occasion where your signal program is actually too hot, but most likely your signal program is still less than the +4dB level setting for the INPUT device. This is where your EARS come in. If it is clean - use it. If you hear distortion - reduce it. Simply.

If you are a notorious light player your combined MONTAGE Performances may never reach the INPUT record levels set for your DAW ... this is why you can adjust the OUTPUT LEVEL of the MONTAGE as much as +12dB. This setting would overload most systems and should only be used in those extreme cases where you are a "low player" or your performance warrants that much output correction.

Obviously the overall output level achieved by a MONTAGE performance/Performance will depend on how many Parts, what those Parts are made of, and how much velocity is applied to them. Output level can vary greatly.

The object of GAIN STAGING is preparing your device (be it Monitor Speakers, Integrated Amplifier, or DAW Recorder) for the level of signal coming from the MONTAGE. The MONTAGE is considered a LINE LEVEL device (so typical setting of +4dB is well within the "ballpark" for what MONTAGE will be outputting). If you are light and need more signal, you can safely up the OUTPUT to +6dB.

If, however, you find you are easily overloading your receiving device (which would be the case if plugging into a consumer level -10dB input sensitivity)... you could lower the MONTAGE output level to -6dB... this would get you closer to what you need to plug into a consumer level input sensitivity device.

Hope that helps.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
You can also set the Keyboard Velocity Curve (Reference Manual, p. 166). I'm a very light player due to hand problems, and the Soft setting really helps me.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Article needs adjustment for Montage architecture - but broad strokes are still valid.

http://www.motifator.com/index.php/support/view/midi_velocity_and_audio_record_levels

Was linked to within this forum discussion: http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/471241/#570225
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
While we are in this topic, i am connecting my Montage 8 using 1/4” balanced plugs to XLR cable, the XLR side goes direct in to my Focusrite Pro40 inputs. I notice i have to set the audio out of the Montage to -6db and i have to set the knob on the Focusrite to 0 if not it will peak. Is this the correct way to connect?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 4
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Jeremy wrote:

While we are in this topic, i am connecting my Montage 8 using 1/4” balanced plugs to XLR cable, the XLR side goes direct in to my Focusrite Pro40 inputs. I notice i have to set the audio out of the Montage to -6db and i have to set the knob on the Focusrite to 0 if not it will peak. Is this the correct way to connect?
There is no one correct way to connect.

“set the knob on the Focusrite to 0”
What knob?
0 what?

If you are unsure of what you are setting refer to the Focusrite documentation.
We ask the questions because typically the input setting for a device acting as an audio interface is not a KNOB setting, but rather is typically a switch that selects either MIC level, or LINE level. On a speaker (as this thread was referencing) you might find a knob to adjust subjectively to a degree, a comfortable listening volume in addition to matching gain structure.

On your audio interface, you do not want to make a mistake and set the INPUT for microphone and then blast a LINE level signal into it. That’s like having the input set to take a drink but instead of typical water fountain levels you deliver a fire hose.

Make sure your Inputs that are set to receive the MONTAGE are set to “LINE” level
Any knob function is to subjectively control the signal once it is tamed by the INPUT switch that selects MIC or LINE level.

This difference you are expected to know. A MIC connected to an INPUT will typically deliver a signal as weak as -50 or even -60dB... microphones work on small electrical charges provided by a magnet moving in a coil of copper wire... or a small charge applied to a movable electrostatic plate... there is a very, very small amount of signal here. The MONTAGE is LINE level... expect this to need very little help boosting signal to optimum. For all intents it’s already there. So plugging a LINE level signal into an INPUT set for a MIC is bad practice... it’s bad for your gear, it’s qualifies as abuse and can be an expensive mistake if you make it a habit.

Turning down a signal that is already distorted does not reduce the distortion, it only means you will hear the distortion less well.

That statement is one I would use when discussing signal flow with audio engineering students... if they understood this, they got a fundamental that is important before you can move forward with learning to route signals.

Like closing the barn door after the animals already escaped... turning down the distortion too late in the signal flow chain does not solve the problem.

If you distort the INPUT stage, then turning down the subjective volume (which is later in the signal flow chain) does not solve the issue of distortion... turning it down too late just means you hear less distortion because you are hearing less overall signal. It’s still there. Forgive my oversimplistic examples here (comes from years of teaching)...

I don’t want to imply that knobs are always subjective... but usually the (Mic/Line) switch gets you in the general ballpark, while a knob affecting output level is usually subjective and does the “fine tuning” for comfortable listening. I do not know your particular audio interface, but please check its documentation for how to set your INPUTs properly... from there it’s use your ears...

The general rule of thumb is:
No Distortion = GOOD
Distortion = BAD
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MONTAGE
  3. # 5
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