This has been a persistent problem and i'm not really sure how to handle it at this point. I'm part of a small production company and I am responsible for location audio, among other things. We run everything through a 302, where I monitor the levels and output it to either a camera, a 722 HD based recorder, or both.
We set the levels by outputting tone from the 302 and i match up the ballistics, the audio sounds good, the return sounds good, but it's always LOW when we bring it in! I keep the levels so that audio peaks around +8db on the 302 which is the first red led on on the meter. I keep the balistics set to VU-PPM hold.
this last time I was only recording audio interviews to a 722. same deal. return is good. visually the levels are matched up on both they appear to peak at the same time and to the same degree and mirror each other exactly, but then the audio is LOW upon import. what gives? and why are the db numbers on the 722 different from the 302? The 302 goes into the red at after +4 and the 722 after -12.
If you are calibrated properly (see below) you could be running levels 8 dB hotter than you are now.
The color of LEDs can be misleading until you understand what the levels are. My 744T colored meters scared the stuffing out of me at first. Then I looked at the actual readings and calmed down.
I have the 442. My calibration goes like this:
Make sure the 442 is set to mic or line, depending on what I'm feeding
Tone out from the 442 to camera.
Set camera input levels to -20 for tone.
Not -20 and a squinch more, JUST at -20.
Set the 442 limiter threshold to +16 to prevent overshoots.
Use peak and RMS metering.
Operate with peaks at +16 on the 442.