Audio interface db level question

Question about audio interface settings. The path is cantabile, audio interface, then signal out to the soundboard. My sound guy (who’s very knowledgeable about such things) said that I should set my audio interface for about -12db and leave it there. My interface dial goes from -80db and 0db, so I would need to guess-timate the approximate position for -12db. I know nothing of such audio workings. Does this make sense?

Hi Lee,

The problem is not quite clear to me. Apparently there is a setting for the output level. Is the problem that it has no scaling and therefore you don’t know where the -12dB are?

Greetings, Volker

If your able to, do a search for pink noise wav file download it. Then
play it through cantabile’s media player and adjust the audio output
until the mixer/soundboard meters are at -12db.
(there is a link to pink noise on this page somewhere )

(or if you have an audio editing program which can generate its own tones
use that instead.)

At a guess, try the output dial somewhere at about 2 o’clock position.

Laura 0:-)

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An engineer who knows his stuff would suggest you leave plenty of headroom in the mix you send to FOH. This is sensible to avoid pushing your audio interface too hard - and other analogue stages down the line.

-12dBFS peaks would be a good target.

…and this leads me to a feature I’d like to see in Cantabile - numeric peak meter readings.

Be aware dB are not created equal. Mix Engineer may be looking at dBu on an analog board and you might be looking at dBFS on Cantabile. The conversion from digital (dBFS) to analog (dBu) is DAC-specific but is typically 0 dBFS = +15-21 dBu. Easiest solution may be to make Engineer happy (like that’s possible…sarcasm) with your maximum level and see what the level is on your end (dBFS), then don’t go over that.

The issue with that method (or any method) is the Engineer has graciously provided headroom (and trust) to the musician to not overload the FOH, then… said “musician” abuses the available headroom during a “wonderful” ear drum shattering organ solo. Shock collars would be wonderful in those situations. More free sarcasm…

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As per Laura’s excellent advice, if you cannot find Pink Noise, then use Puce. I prefer Puce Noise over Pink for more accurate aesthetics.

(I surprise myself how full of shit I am at times…)


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