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Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors

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Aidan Clayton
Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 26, 2012 at 7:35:17 pm

Hi all, I have a question regarding the Sound Devices 552 monitor set up and line in from the PC.
When using my KRK VXT 4 monitors with the 552 to monitor input from the PC, ie iTunes whilst testing setup etc the signal is so strong that everything has to be turned down to absolute minimum or it screams. Even then it sounds rough. Any advice on set up would be great. I'm coming out of the PC via mini stereo out and into XLR on the 552. I've tried dropping the system level adjust on the monitors all the way down to -30 and although this helps massively the signal still doesn't sound good. By contrast, when running the same track out of iTunes through the Sound Devices USBPre 2
with system level adjust on zero all sounds perfect. Any help would be appreciated. I am new to audio as you can probably tell.

Thanks,
Aidan


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:24:21 am

Are you going into the 552 at mic level or line level switch position?


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:43:28 am

Hi, I've tried both and mic level takes the edge off but is still way too sensitive. Also when monitoring through headphones on the 552 without the monitors on, the signal still sounds rough compared to plugging the headphones directly to the headphone jack of the PC.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:00:49 am

So where is the signal coming from?
From the line output, the headphone output or speaker output?


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:23:21 am

From the "Audio Out" on the PC which is an HP Z420
This is on the motherboard and is a standard 3.5 computer output. I doubt if it's line level but cannot find any other data on it.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:37:36 am

That point would normally be low line level or a high mic level but should be ok.
You don't have phantom power turned on the mixer do you?
The only other thing after that is the connection cable and the connections of that cable.


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 11:03:24 am

Phantom Power is off. I will look into a new cable just in case.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 11:30:19 am

I will be suprised if you will get an off the shelf cable that will do what you want.
A 3.5mm stereo plug to 2 xlrs or 3.5mm plug to combined mono single xlr.
I would think it needs to be a custom build cable.


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Michael Paul
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 3:48:21 pm

On the 552, there are several points where gain can be adjusted, so start at the beginning with a signal coming out of the PC and with output volume set at about 50%-75%

1) Set the 552 inputs to Line Level
2) Turn the Master output of the 552 all the way down (it's the little round knob to the right of all the input faders)
3)Push the PL switch of input one to the left, and adjust the pop-up gain control of input one until the signal reaches the -20db mark of the meters. Do the same for input two
4)Now, bring up the Master output to the "0", or 12 o'clock position
5)bring up the output faders of each input (the big knobs)until the meters hit about the -20db mark again.
6)Adjust the Master output if the level is still too hot

Michael Paul
Location Sound Corp


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:19:23 pm

Hi, thanks. Much better than before. It sounds more balanced now having also changed the cable so the signal is coming out via two xlr inputs. This has thrown up another issue where I'm getting dual stereo instead of
Mono left on one channel and mono right on the other. This must be my cable wiring though so will order a cable made up from 3.5 stereo mini to two xlr mono plugging into separate channels for left and right. Does this sound the right way to go?


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Michael Paul
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:14:36 pm

Your cable might be wired wrong, but make sure you have CH1 on the 552 panned to the left and CH2 panned to the right. This is done on the little pop-up rotary knobs just above and to the right of each channel fader.

Michael Paul
Location Sound Corp


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:59:14 pm

It is all as it should be now. Thank you so much for taking the time. Is there any training where I can get up to speed on this mixer past the instruction manual?

Thanks, Aidan


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Michael Paul
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:40:48 pm

Well, other than the manual, you might give the videos that Sound Devices has posted on their website a look.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/552/videos/

Otherwise, the 552 pretty much operates like any other mixer, so a basic understanding of signal flow would help. There are several points along the signal chain from input to output that will affect levels, so when you are trying to troubleshoot a problem, always start with the source signal and trace its route through the mixer to see where you are applying too much (or not enough) gain.

For a PC Monitor interface, the 552 is a little bit of overkill (the USB Pre2 is much better suited), but if that's what you have, then why not?

Michael Paul
Location Sound Corp


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Aidan Clayton
Re: Newbie questions on 552 & Monitors
on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:50:26 pm

I have the 552 so so may as well use it on the PC when needed. I did have a USBPre 2 and if needed will definately grab another.Thanks.


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