Prime 4: Strange behavior with level meters and EQ

I have a Prime 4 and when I turn down EQs on a channel, the sound in the headphones is adjusted as I expect but the level meters indicate higher volume. I’ve had the unit for about 6 months and I don’t remember when I first observed this; it may have always done this. I’ve been pretty quick to update the firmware and I’m seeing this behavior on 3.0.1.

I fed the master output into Ableton for the real time spectrum analysis and it shows what I’m hearing in my headphones; the adjustment is correct but the level meters still show that the sound is louder.

I recorded a video of this in action. I don’t have the audio from the unit in the video but you can see what I’m describing between the knob adjustments, level meters, and spectrum. I’m playing a 4-bar loop with consistent sound throughout.

I’m still mixing by what I hear, but when the level meters spike I sometimes panic a little bit, afraid I’m hitting the ceiling.

I found this post where it discusses Iso and bypass:

Also on the X1800 we have a unique and welcome Iso-bypass that’s in-effect when all the tone knobs for a channel are centered. So you will get no difference in signal between the Iso and EQ modes on the X1800 if that channel’s tone knobs are at 12 o’clock.

I have been using Iso mode and the behavior I see is with the slightest deviation from 12 o’clock on any of a given channel’s EQs. I switched to normal mode and the symptom went away. It’s as if there’s something with how the sound analysis works in Iso mode that “confuses” the level meters and it doesn’t appear when the bypass is active.

I tested this with Iso mode with an auxiliary input and I get the expected behavior on the level meters; turning any of the EQ knobs down brings down the levels displayed on the level meters. It’s also the case when playing using Serato DJ Pro; the levels are displayed as expected.

So, this only occurs with EQs set to Iso on music playing from the unit itself, while operating the unit in Standalone mode.

If you always just keep at least one tone control knob when in iso mode on each channel slightly out of 12 o’clock, do you still see & hear something weird when you further move any of them?

FYI, there is also a bug report currently under review on an issue that is similar to what you’re talking about. Addie reported it and Logan & TJohnson are monitoring it. I don’t know if it’s a glitch or just the group delay doing its thing, though.

Id say the glitch is more about what the levels are doing before you move any of the EQ knobs… no way should it be solid 6 lights with no movement at all… its almost as if turning down the EQ gives you the correct behaviour.

It never sounds strange, just the level LEDs are strange.

I just started playing a different track in each of the four channels. I turned each high EQ to 10:30. I set each volume fader to about 50%. Each trim is at center. Each channel meter is hitting +10. The master is going up to +0. The only difference in sound is that some of the high end is cut off, consistent with how the knobs are set.

Focusing on just one channel and turning down any EQ, the levels don’t spike until about a mm right of the 11 o’clock dot. I’m not noticing any sudden change in tone when I hit that point, nor am I seeing a sudden change on the spectrum.

Happy to perform other tests.

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If when in iso mode you’re already defeating the nifty bypass by having at least one tone knob tweaked out of 12 o’clock, and it still spikes the meter when you further turn another tone knob on that channel down, then it does sound like a metering glitch on the Prime 4 rather than the sudden phase distortion simply causing something. With an iso that is not bypassed, the phase distortion should be constant regardless of the trim-gain of each band.

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Is there anything I need to do to submit a bug repor

I don’t think you need to. There already is one as far as I know.

Yes it is a little confusing. I always mix with one white LED maximum and when you turn the bass out then 3 white LEDs light up. This is not a problem for me but explain this to another DJ who mixes with my Prime 4.