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ZOOM B2.1u XLR out, other user input needed

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ihateusernames, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    I've been using the B2.1U for several months and like it quite a bit. Using headphones on the output sounds 'nearly' identical to running directly into the preamp input of a Peavey TKO 115 with flat eq settings.

    Yesterday we recorded a track with a Roland VS2400 Digital desktop recorder...(nice unit by the way). This was my first time using the XLR out on the ZOOM. It seemed to be giving too hot of a signal. My favorite setting on it is B7, the ZOOM 'tube amp' model. Yes, I actually like the factory setting out of the box. When using the XLR out it sounded driven and a good bit brighter than the 1/4 output. I'm guessing the signal was too hot? I made sure the post switch was engaged, EQ on the console was flat, monitoring was by headphones and/or nearfiled monitors. Even when bypassing the effects it still had a bit more edge than the bass direct to board.

    It would be easy to blame the guy on the console for not setting the input gain on the channel properly...had I not given him two signals to work with. I watched the monitor from across the room and it was set properly. The second signal was from a Sansamp GT2, we've used it plenty and get very good results, this was no exception. Before I get slammed for using two inputs...the Sansamp is used for drive, and I was hoping to use the ZOOM to round out the sound with a smooth underlying bottom...a very common technique. We record multiple guitar tracks so I was hoping to cut down on time by getting two bass tracks in one pass.

    The questions are - am I missing something on the ZOOM itself?? Does the XLR provide a significantly hotter output that clips even when input gain of console is set appropriately? Has anyone else encountered this? How did you work with it? We ran out of time before shutting it down, guess I'll try the 1/4 line out next time :confused:
  2. Sounds normal to me. Running an instrument level signal directly into a line input on a mixing desk results in impedance mismatching and a poor gain structure. Usually, horrible tone comes with the deal.

    Using the XLR output, the signal should be much better suited to the XLR input on the desk and you therefore get a more accurate reproduction of what's actually coming out of the box! And, a good engineer knows where the 20dB pad is and when to use it!

    If it's still too hot, you can alter the patch volume, but having not used the XLR output on mine yet I'm weary of giving you a bum steer with that advice... so don't take my word for it!
  3. +1...
  4. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    So even though the meter for the input wasn't showing clipping, a pad would be beneficial for reducing this harshness?

    I'm not sure I understand why, and not sure I need to if it cleans things up!

    Now, if the console doesn't have a pad would I then need a line level attenuator?

  5. Let me hypothesis for a moment. I'm guessing you've tweaked your patches whilst sitting in front of your bass amp. This works great... for when you're using your bass amp! Imagine you can feed that exact same sound into a mixing desk and then into some studio monitors. Chances are, it's gonna sound crap. It all comes down to the fact that your bass amp responds VERY differently to any other piece of equipment, not least of which, studio monitors.

    Copy the patch to an unused location and tweak it while you're monitoring it in the control room. You'll find you'll need to drop the high frequencies because of the superior characteristics of the mixing desk and monitors. You may even need to drop the overall level a bit.

    Using an XLR DI output you are aiming to work at microphone level. Treat the signal as if it were a mic'd cabinet. If the mixing desks channel strip gain is at it's minimum and you're still getting a hot signal, first try to tweak the Zoom so it outputs less. If that doesn't work, you'll need some form of attenuation, whether it be on the desk or outboard.

    In the past, I've used a Drawmer compressor (set with little or NO compression) just to have some control over the levels. Any thing would work in this circumstance, like a mic preamp perhaps!
  6. Bass transients are deadly, they might not be registering on the meter, esp. if it's analogue. Generally the ballistics of the meters are optimised for voice.

    I tend at this point to ignore the meter and use my ears. Bump it up until it starts to sound crap, then back it off a ways to give a bit of headroom.

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