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USB Dry Input Level is Extremely Low

Hello all,
I'm attempting to track with the Axe III via USB for the first time. When I track anything, the level on USB 1 is healthy for the wet but the signal on USB 5 for the dry is exceedingly low. As in my meters peak around -30db and I can't get an acceptable volume with the fader alone. I need to gain the file by at least 24db before I can even work with it. I actually thought it didn't record at first because the waveform was a flat line before I gained it. This persists regardless of the input percentage adjustment or USB level adjustment. The output knobs don't seem to affect the USB recording level either. Any ideas what could be wrong?
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The signal coming out of a guitar is very low. Don't worry about it, it'll sound just fine. It's not our first rodeo.
 

chris

Legend!
When I track anything, the level on USB 1 is healthy for the wet but the signal on USB 5 for the dry is exceedingly low. As in my meters peak around -30db
that's how loud your guitar is going into the Axe. don't adjust that if you're sending it back to the Axe - then you aren't reamping the same signal.

what do you need to "work with" on the dry signal? many DAWs let you "magnify" the height of the wav file without actually increasing gain. it's very important to preserve exactly the level that's going into the Axe from the guitar.

i just did a recording session where i reamped. it was glorious. nail the performance, fix the tone later.
 
Thanks. Yeah, that adjusts the output level of the axe fx but not the USB input levels in a DAW. That was one of the things I had to check. I have an 18v preamp on my bass so I turned all the knobs up just to see. It clips the Axe FX III with the input percentage at 0% but the DAW level remains lower than expected. It was better at around -3db but the tone was garbage (those center detents are there for a reason!). The same input level clips way into the red on my Apogee Ensemble set to unity gain. In fact, the bass clips the interface at 0db gain set flat when I slap it. Weird that that would be considered a low level for the Axe III.

Zooming the waveforms would blow out all the tracks recorded at a good level and add unnecessary steps in to my workflow zooming in and out all the time. Would work but impractical for the long term.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
You're overthinking it. The digital signal is 32 bits. That's nearly 200 dB of dynamic range. Even if your at -30 dB you still have 170 dB of dynamic range. The dynamic range of a guitar (or bass guitar or microphone or kazoo) is nowhere near that great. You're lucky to get 80 dB because of self-noise and environmental noise.

The signal sent to the USB is basically a copy of what the Axe-Fx processes. Just record it, don't worry about what the waveform looks like and reamp it later.
 
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