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Comtek Levels

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David Jones
Comtek Levels
on Aug 21, 2009 at 3:29:04 pm

Hi Everyone (again)-

I was wondering what those of you using Comteks for providing monitors to directors/producers/clinets set your transmitter output gain at (and your setup). I'm running out of my SD's TA3 tape out, and when I send tone it seems like I should have the gain almost all the way turned down. Any suggestions would be great!

Dave J


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Bill Davis
Re: Comtek Levels
on Aug 22, 2009 at 7:46:57 pm


Classically, if you have to turn the gain nearly all the way down in order to get the proper level at an input - the initial suspicion is that you're presenting a line level signal into a circuit expecting to see a mic level.

The equally classic solution is to use a PAD at the input to match the signal levels.

Or check the SD manual to see if you can switch that output from line level to mic level.

Whether the problem is specifically that or not - it's a clear sign of improper gain structure to have a big mis-match like you report and it can easily cause you many headaches in operation. Particularly if something "jossles" your setup and the poor potentiometer that's down to it's last winding trying to get your signal into range clicks down one more step and the input suddenly drops to zero!






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David Jones
Re: Comtek Levels
on Aug 23, 2009 at 5:51:26 am

Actually, I think it was just me :-) Not use to hearing audio through Comteks (and the companding(?)) and the difference in quality compaired to my phones output on the SD.

Anyway, assuming my gain structure is actually correct, is there a set gain output setting you recommend for the transmetter? Right now I've set it at 50%.


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Bill Davis
Re: Comtek Levels
on Aug 25, 2009 at 8:14:41 pm

Assuming that the Comtek generates it's audio through a traditional analog gain stage, most of them are optimized for output settings about 75-80% of the way to the maximum setting.

Think of all the faders you've ever seen on mixing consoles. The unity gain marking is about 80% of the way up the slider travel throw - below that you're attenuating the signal, above that it's being boosted. At the -0- point, it's passing the signal exactly as it's seeing it.

So I'd start there with your Comtek setting - and if you hear significant amplifier hiss - then back it off to where it sounds cleanest.

By the way, with the heavy companding done on most wireless/IFB systems, you may find hiss inevitable.

YMMV - and good luck.



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