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Thread: Ecler! Ecler! Ecler!

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Reticuli View Post
    Some clip softer than others
    Sure, but why are you clipping to begin with? Looking up the published specs real quick I see for the DJM-900NXS2, 105dB S/N, which is a quite high number. The xone 92 claims 90dB, which is also damned good.. but 105 dB to work with.. no sir, you're not clipping that thing unless you really really try. You've got headroom for days. And if you're going from digital input to digital output, you've got even more room. It doesn't matter how it sounds when it clips because you're never going to.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 05-23-2022 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    Sure, but why are you clipping to begin with? Looking up the published specs real quick I see for the DJM-900NXS2, 105dB S/N, which is a quite high number. The xone 92 claims 90dB, which is also damned good.. but 105 dB to work with.. no sir, you're not clipping that thing unless you really really try. You've got headroom for days. And if you're going from digital input to digital output, you've got even more room. It doesn't matter how it sounds when it clips because you're never going to.
    You mean outside of testing or calibrating the mixer? I'm not clipping when DJing. My point is that 'soft' clipping and even limiters early in the chain are a bunch of overrated hogwash. The wonder of available headroom over the top of the meter was a selling point of recording gear so you wouldn't ruin the take if someone slipped up. This isn't recording. This is live sound. First off, designing in a bunch of unused headroom on analog gear is usually going to end up with a mushier sound, because basically you're putting your top meter LED a lot lower than it could be. You're just flushing potential TDR down the toilet that's usually never going to get used. I'd also much rather a mixer clip overtly than softly or, god forbid, have a limiter on its master out. At least a mixer, analog or digital, that clips overtly just into the top master meter LED will more likely compel a DJ to stop doing stupid stuff, and if they don't or someone doesn't mitigate it soon enough, the worst that happens is some ultrasonic clip harmonics get through and kill some tweeters, which is far preferrable to eventually killing a bunch of expensive woofers.

    Ditto with all this crap being bandied about of mixers with insane input and output voltage tolerances like it's some kind of badge of fidelity. Look at the big, old rack rotaries in the earliest disco clubs. At some of these venues, nearly every weekend woofers were having to be replaced. Insane. The other big idiocy is giving the DJ any boost over unity on their mixer master volume control. Equally dumb.

    I'm not sure what you mean by the digital input and output giving you more room. A&H mixers just tend to have the 0dBVu nominal point oddly high up on the meters. They do the same thing on the DB series. On their analog mixers, though, that combined with their top master LED point being so low (ooh, ahh, extra headroom!) tends to cause a slightly cramped 'bounce' range. You already know you can't clip true SPDIF inputs on digital mixers. Most of the mixers are then running float in the DSP section after that, which you can't clip in this usage with how it slides the scale around, but is sort of useless. I mean, this isn't post-processing and saving the audio in the mixer for later use. It's all headed to an output somewhere live, anyway: headphone, booth, master, rec, SPDIF... doesn't matter, and all of those will usually clip right after the top master meter LED, assuming the stupid limiters are off and you put the master knob in the right spot (back to the prior paragraph). On most digital mixers, this clip point is 1dB after the top meter LED. Pioneer I think stupidly used to pad their mixer SPDIF outs by an extra 5dB, but that was totally extraneous to the clip. You could clip it, and then it'd be attenuated 5dB... really weird. Now I think they let people adjust the useless SPDIF out pad.

    Still, all people have to do is stay out of the top meter LED. That's universal. Better yet, stay out of the LED below that, since if you go into that second to top, you won't know how close you are to the top until you hit it. Even better still, just bounce around that zero nominal point depending on track dynamics (test tones go up to the zero, bouncy music a little more) and you'll never intentionally hit either of the top two meter LEDs. On your most dynamic 'quiet' tracks, maybe you accidentally hit the second to top LED with a filter or something. Call it your 'oops' LED. However, best practices verses what in practice actually happens with visiting DJs are unfortunately not the same thing.
    Last edited by Reticuli; 05-26-2022 at 01:08 AM.

  3. #23
    The digital path is going to (usually) give you more dynamic range because you don't have to worry about the noise of the analog stages. If you have a signal that's ALL the way down in the first few bits, it will come out just as it went in, at digital "0" level the mixer is totally silent, there's no noise at all.

    But yea where the meter is set doesn't have anything to do with the performance of the mixer.. if one mixer has 10db of headroom (before clipping) above 0dB and another has 20.. then yea, if you are just going by the meter, the one with less headroom will clip at a "lower" level and seem like a worse mixer. But that's not the real story.

    The real story is the dynamic range of each mixer. If you have a mixer with an S/N of 90dB and another with an S/N of 105dB then the one with 105 has more headroom.. and it doesn't matter what the meter says. Let's say that weirdly the mixer that has an S/N of 105 has a meter that reads 0vu when there's only 10dB before clipping.. meanwhile the mixer that has an S/N of 90 has 20dB above 0vu before clipping.....

    So the first mixer has 95dB between the noise floor and 0, the second mixer has only 70dB between the noise floor and 0. You could run the first mixer at -10 on the meter and it would then have the same 20dB headroom as the second mixer.. but it would STILL have 85dB between there and the noise floor.

    Modern digital mixers are all 24 bit or better, so you really have a lot of dynamic range to work with and there's no need to push it to clipping, as you point out. And.. honestly there's no excuse to clip on a quality analog mixer either, they both give you more dynamic range than you really need. But on the digital you have got (these days) a LOT of room and you have to really go out of your way to clip.

    BTW what I do is similar to you, I go just a bit above zero if only because it's easy to see out of the corner of my eye...

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