How hot were the levels when you opened up the recording in an editor or DAW after having all the gain/trims cranked on the Prime 4 with the channel meters into the top LEDs and fader(s) up?
The volumes are low I’ve tried many things on the unit but it’s always same outcome so I put a feature request in to get a recording volume add-on added to the software on the prime
How low? When you take a recording you’ve made on Prime 4 with gain/trims and channel meters all maxed out and channel faders wide open, how hot are the max levels when you open it in a DAW or editor, as in -dB below full scale clip? And I don’t mean after you’ve post-processed it to normalize or something, either. What is the maximum level you’re capable of getting in a recording even if you do something intentionally reckless on the Prime 4 and try to clip it with the limiter (and its pad) completely off?
I appreciate your help but I didn’t spend all that money and have to spend all this time on Forums. Last night I called the company who supplied my prime 4…they couldn’t help but they gave me the number for technical support at Denon…I spoke to someone and explained my problem…they couldn’t help me on the phone but took my number and email address…still waiting on a reply.
You already spent time on the forum here, calling the seller, and calling InMusic. “It’s low” doesn’t help much. In case you haven’t noticed, InMusic’s sometimes understandably not so good solving problems without very precise specifics. I just gave you a simple, quick definitive way to find out exactly how hot the recording can get on the Prime 4.
FYI: Pioneers are usually capped at -5.5dBFS or lower… that’s in addition to the -18 to -20dB below full scale you are if you only go up to their meter 0dBVu mark. The X1800 fed an SC5000 maxes out at -0dBFS when the limiter (and its threshold pad) is off and everything is cranked and you record to USB or SPDIF. So the Prime standalones can go up to absolute digital clip.
I’ve already explained how with the master volume knob maxed on the Prime 4 and the fixed recording level seeing the unity point instead might cause some users to end up with low channel levels (since the users prevent the hotter master from clipping by reducing the channels) and therefore low recordings. I remain justifiably skeptical there is still a problem with recording levels on the Prime 4, but I admit it’s possible. Help me help you narrow it down further.
There is definitely a problem with the recording levels…I spoke to Denon on the phone, they told me they would call me back or send an email…still waiting…it’s not only me who is having this problem…
Ok, but people with the master knob all the way up and who also keep the master meter at or below 0dBVu would end up with recordings peaking nearly -30dB below full scale clip even if there’s nothing actually wrong with the Prime 4’s recording feature. Also, considering how many people have been posting on this subject who seem confused about metering and digital domain levels, some of whom seem to be doing exactly the above, and InMusic’s own confusion on here about whether the master volume knob even affects recording level (it apparently doesn’t, but Jay said it did), makes me think there might not be anything actually wrong with it.
After further review, I don’t believe anything is wrong with the recording level, except you have to overdrive the channels (+6db over unity or more) to get a decent “line level” recording. It would still be nice to be able to adjust it, with live meters present…like in Shain’s example above (is that traktor?).
0dBVu is not unity on the meter. Unity is nothing more than the output being the same level as the input at any given stage’s in/out points. Like max on the Prime 4 fader or that “0” on the master knob.
Also, “line level” is an analog input and analog output term; it has no meaning in the digital domain.
If you want a recording mastered to 0dBFS or, better yet, -3dBFS, you’ll have to tweak it later as on any digital recording. To have it already crushed near a final mastering level would be unwise to do automatically on the deck itself.
Yes, I understand unity. I understand line level in an analog term (the era I come from!). Rather than get mad and argue, I decided to seek out this knowledge and I can’t disagree with anything you say. Definitely makes sense now…look at the vu vs digital on the chart:
I do hope, though, that you can see the benefit of this feature in the Prime 4. I want simple, not another step in the process of the work I do. I already have to convert the .wav to .mp3 to save on space! (would be a nice option for a “format” on the recording portion of the Prime 4!) So having to “master” or normalize a recording is a pain…considering I don’t have to do it when recording to usb on a Soundcraft UI digital mixer. Also, please keep in mind, some of us mix in our headphones and like the channel gain to match the master gain somewhat, so when listening to the cue vs. master, they are the same volume. Don’t want to lower the speaker inputs so I can crank the Master just to get the levels to match - that might damage the speakers, right? Easier to simply make sure you’re hitting the level you want “pre-recording,” that’s all! Thanks for your guidance in the digital realm, Reticuli.
What you want is impractical. The recording a digital device produces is fully useable even if it might not be as hot right out of the gates as one on a mass-produced CD or music you buy online on Beatport. Recording into an analog device isn’t going to be magically any better unless you’re risking clipping the whole time on that, either. You do not want to lose that safety headroom.
Furthermore, bouncing AROUND the 0dBVu point (troughs below, peaks above) is not some kind of cheat or odd mitigation. That is exactly how you properly set the level of already-mixed-down music, as opposed to the individual instruments/voices in some multitrack that often are set to initially peak only up to the meter zero for all that added headroom. Most multitrack mixers, though, also have boost on their faders over unity. Most DJ mixers do not. You want to get the average volume, the loudness, the same on a DJ mixer (or the master out of some big sound board when you’re micing a band) about the same from song to song. Peaks are not the whole story. Watch it bounce on these meters. This is not weird.
Now, what is admittedly weird is the number of LEDs from 0dBVu on the meters to clip (the top LED). That’s a little limiting, but it’s not catastrophic or anything. People need to realize that some songs will definitely need to go past that meter zero. You’re not going to hurt anything. This is how it’s intended.
IF the recording a digital device produces is too quiet to even boost back to what you would consider a normal volume without clipping, how can you say having the ability to do this would be impractical…especially when this feature exists in other recording solutions, even DJ software? Otherwise totally agree with you on the LEDs…
Just curious what you would personally use to raise the volume of a digital recording you felt needed another 12 to 20db of boost?
I’m sure the ARM processor and memory on these things could do post-processing normalization up to some point after the recording is finished… assuming you don’t do anything else with it at the time like when you’re importing Rekordbox playlists, but I’m talking about in realtime, which would require either the use of destructive compressors and/or an artificial boosting of the levels within the digital domain. If InMusic wants to add optional post normalization of some type or a full-fledged editor, then more power to them. That’s sort of an incredible level of slacker attitude, though, to not just do it in an editor quickly and simply on your own if you want to crush it up higher or something.
I usually just use Sound Forge for my audio editing purposes, but many people use Audacity.
I never find the need of boosting a digital-to-digital DJ mix recording by 20dB. If the 0dBVu point on the meters is -18 to -20dB down from digital full scale clip and my master volume control is at unity, then I’m bouncing peaks OVER that point and troughs under it, as the music dynamics and beats do their thing. At most, I might do a simple +6dB doubling of the sample level rate… just a X2 volume increase with no compression or anything else, perfect math, if doing so will still keep the max peaks at -3dBFS or less. Going much over -3dBFS risks later post-processing “intersample errors” if you’re uploading something to Mixcloud or Youtube or it’s played back on a smartphone with DSP EQing or something.
I don’t see what he and most of us are asking as impractical.
You’re obviously very knowledgeable when it comes to analog and digital consoles as well as music itself
However, practically all devices that let you record either have a recording level meter or set the recording level near to the output level of the master.
It’s as simple as that, Denon has somewhat acknowledged this may be an issue to look into as a feature request. If it’s software based or adjusted, it will be corrected.
Not a critique, but you’re over analyzing some of these things. Logical minds do that sometimes.
I will say you definitely have some of the most well versed and helpful replies.
I suspect that the arguably-less-technically-inclined wedding and bar mitzvah mobile DJ segment the Prime 4 is marketed to are complaining about this so much that InMusic will eventually add a recording normalization feature and/or an even less-optimal realtime record compressor/limiter with threshold and gain adjustment at some point. You’ll get better sound quality if you don’t use either, though, and just take the recording into an outboard editor on your laptop later and just boost it by 6dB once or twice if its max peaks are below -9dBFS…
Heck, if they want to add something, that might be the post-processing feature to add and would be computationally easy to do in post… a Boost Recording on-screen button after you’ve finished the mobile party at the end of the night. It does FFT analysis on tracks, right? So this would analyze max peaks and doubles or quadruples the sample levels uniformally on the recording to get near to -3dBFS. You would have to wait for it to finish before you play an encore with your unit, but it’d be less time than normalization, it’d be simple to impliment for InMusic, and you’d be giving nothing up compared to using something like Sound Forge.
There’s a lot of other stuff on Prime that deserves to be fixed or improved or added-to than something like this, IMO, especially considering that the problem may not be as bad as many seem to think. Put that master at its unity. Bounce over the meter zero a little bit. The recording will be a lot hotter than it’s been for you. But if you want this enough, keep asking for it and spread the word, I guess.
Yes it was captured from Traktor.
I too get where you’re coming from. I record mixes using other devices and I never need to boost them for my own listening pleasure. As for conversion, I think Denon should give the user a choice to record in WAV or MP3 (if that would be possible).
What’s the option right now, WAV? WAV is good. WAV is lossless.
Wow, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt but can’t understand why you are so negative on the actual purchasers of the prime 4 for asking a question or posting a feature request. The forum is designed specifically for that purpose.
With comment like these, from someone who I thought owned a totally different prime unit, it comes off as condescending:
Not cool to put out improvements on your cheap all-in-one design before the flagships. Not cool.
That’s sort of an incredible level of slacker attitude, though, to not just do it in an editor quickly and simply on your own if you want to crush it up higher or something.
I suspect that the arguably-less-technically-inclined wedding and bar mitzvah mobile DJ segment the Prime 4 is marketed to are complaining about this so much that InMusic will eventually add a recording normalization feature and/or an even less-optimal realtime record compressor/limiter with threshold and gain adjustment at some point.
There’s a lot of other stuff on Prime that deserves to be fixed or improved or added-to than something like this, IMO, especially considering that the problem may not be as bad as many seem to think
We’re asking and posing issues to get feedback from fellow Dj’s from mundane questions to gig affecting issues.
On your point about “less technically inclined”, please understand that some top DJ’s don’t have time to fuss about doing post processing just for low levels, when other units handle this much differently.
on the point of " the problem may not be as bad as many seem to think"…if many are thinking it’s a problem and actually OWN the unit…then it’s as bad as we think it is. Not to say there aren’t workarounds but a simple recording shouldn’t have to be post processed, just to get the levels to acceptable standards on the all in one unit.
Either way, all questions are valid, from the one I’m about to post on slick jog wheels, to severe issues, such as completely wrong BPM’s.
The Prime 4 is an exceptional system, best I’ve seen in my 20+ years playing, but Denon seems to take their customer’s requests a little more serious than in past years.
So you’re saying InMusic is marketing the Prime 4 to club DJs and for club installations and not just mobile DJs?
No, not saying that, but I’m saying the questions from the DJ’s are valid and their level of gigs should not have as much to do with the actual issues being addressed.
If it’s decent enough for someone like Laidback Luke (top of his tier) to try and give an opinion on, then it’s capable of playing top clubs, festivals, Barmitzvahs, house parties, Mobile etc.
We’re getting off topic here, but just wondering what’s your bias against the prime 4 and “lesser” Dj’s using it to their liking ?
You own the SC5000’s right, so what gives?
Disclosure: I’ve owned the SC5000 and SC5000m’s.