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Why are my levels so low?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rabid_granny, May 13, 2002.

  1. I was using my friend's Tascam 414 Portastudio to record some stuff. This was the first time I've used a 4-track recorder. I set the EQ's flat, turned the line-in all the way up but set the track fader and master fader to about 8 (as per the manual).

    After mixing down to a regular cassette, I noticed the output was good quality but very quiet. Is this by design? Is it a problem with my amp (an 80 watt Samick that makes my house rattle)?

    I didn't jack the faders to 10 because I read that you should have some play. Any tips?
  2. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    did you happen to look and see if your levels were hitting the 0 mark? you want normal playing volume to hit the 0 mark and really loud outburst to peak at the +6 mark... if it's not doing that, turn the fader up till it does... the same thing applies when you mix down, only this time its on your tape deck... mine has left and right level meters... use those to make sure you're hitting the right levels... hopefully that helps.. with 4-tracks the sound is usually a little lower and hissy or muddy...
  3. if you were recording straight into a line in.. your levels will be low becuase your signal isnt a line level input..

    try using a DI box....
  4. I plug into my amp then plugged my amp into the 4-track via the headphone jack (not the line out jack). Then I was listening to the mix through the 4-track's phone jack.

    Yeah, the point of the original thread was that in order to get the levels to 0, I would have had to jack the faders (all of them) up to 10, which doesn't leave any room for play.

    BTW, what's a DI box? I'm new to recording.
  5. a dI box is direct input i think.... you plug your bass into it and the box generally has some eq knobs on it and somtimes some distorion.. but i think it brings your signal to line level so you can use the XLR out (mic out) on the box and run to the soundboard...

    ohh.. and the headphone out on an amp generally doesnt do anything.... i dont think it puts out enough power to umph the signal up to line level...
  6. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    get a DI... it brings your sound to line level... One of the best DI's out there is the Sansamp Bass driver DI... it's a direct box that can be used as a pre-amp... if you have the money go with that.. if not get a behringer cause they're pretty cheap but pretty good quality...
  7. I also goof around with my strat. Are there models that operate with a bass or guitar, or do I have to purchase separate boxes?
  8. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    Don't run your guitar direct... mic it...

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