How do I test audio levels?

Status
Not open for further replies.

djlurch

New Member
I'm having an odd problem that I need to track down.

My audio chain:
PC
Delta-44
Rane MP22
RCA - XLR Jacks
XLR Jacks to Mackie Subs
Mackie Subs to Mackie tops

One side of my Mackie tops is a little bit quieter than the other. To get the levels equal I put the louder Mackie gain at noon and the quieter one at 2 o'clock.

Any suggestions on a tool to monitoring the signal level in the audio chain so I can track down where the problem lies? The obvious answer is my ears, but is there another option?

Troy
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Troy -

Does swapping the right and left channels reverse the weak side speaker?
If so, the volume level in one of the in-line devices is weaker than the other. Remember these VOLUME/GAIN controls are NOT linear in nature but are logrithmetric. Try reversing the output channels of the PC to see if it changes, then put it back, check the next unit in the line and so on. Eventually you'll find which unit is the culprit.

NickyB
 

djlurch

New Member
NickyB:

Thanks for the reply. Yes, swapping cables is the method I'll likely employ. I'm just trying to be difficult :)

I was just wondering if there is some method that I could use that was more technical than that.

Also, could you please clarify the logarithmic basis of the potentiometers? I need to brush up on my mathematical skills I do believe.

If the potentiometer is turned up 20% (for example), is the current itself increased 20% OR the volume 20%, or neither?

Thanks,
Troy
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
Troy -

With 'linear pots', your 20% might be just that 20% however, with 'log pots', the changes at lower volumes will most likely be less dramatic but
as you increase the volume, small changes become immense. With a 'log pot', by the time you get to around 2 or 3 o'clock position, you're at 100% even though the knob will still go to the 6 o'clock position. Linear pots are
'expensive' and not likely to be used in normal audio circuitry.

Since swapping cables also swaps speakers, then I would recommend you
find the location of the signal drop via the methods I previously stated and
then once you've made the adjustment, 'label' your cables so you always
use the same ones on the same channel. I marked my right channel cables by putting a piece of 'red' tape on the connectors.

NickyB
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top