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Difference(s) between Align Session DI, Venue DI and Session DI

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  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    Originally posted by PatriotsBiker View Post
    Caleb, am I right about the 0VU being target level for the Anthem?
    There wasn't really a "goal" with the Anthem's output level. Even as it is, it will be louder or quieter depending on the guitar that it is installed in.

    I'm glad to hear that it's working so much better for you now. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    An update, of sorts, and a good one at that, though it's also somewhat confessional. Hopefully it helps someone.

    I dropped my recording input level targets down to PEAK at -18dbfs. That means that most of the time, my signal is in the -22dbfs to -25dbfs range. This level drives the converters in my Apollo Twin a lot less, which means my Apollo Twin damages them a lot less in the mid range. This opened up that mid-range and forced me to add a good 1/3rd turn of the mic volume screw back in the Anthem. I'm now about 2/3rds the way up. I say forced, because the tone that resulted from the recording level drop was way out of balance. THAT was because my interface's converters kept brightening the mid-range on me, due to being pushed thus making it seem brighter than it was. It became very thick. Now it is very much near perfect after the adjustment screw.

    I don't need to adjust the signal on the way in any more. I don't "need" the Align EQ or the Session DI. That means I get to use these new peddles for enhancement instead of repair. That is a big paradigm switch. Resonant noises/ringing and sympathetic bass ringing diminished a great deal. Notch filters are now both off. I do have to gain stage, or at least I should. That's to say to make sure the volume going in and out of each component is the same. Best to test one at a time. I could drive one harder, but the overall output going into my interface must only peak no higher than -18dbfs.

    During the course of this exercise, it became very evident that the Anthem target output is 0VU. That translates to -18dbfs in my Pro Tools meters and on the input meters within my interface's input meters. And again, I am recording using peak of -18dbfs or 0VU. I actually aim for -20dbfs as I can get heavy handed at times. This also translated into my bass tracking using a Fender Jazz Bass Standard and an Ampeg PF500 through my interface.

    If anyone is worried about what might seem to be a low recording level, remember two things. All the old analog gear used VU and designed around 0VU as optimal. Also, this clean signal can be cranked up once in Pro Tools and be no harsher than any other audio from any digital source like a Virtual Instrument. Try doing that to a signal that had been scorched before it got into your DAW.

    So anyhow, that is where I am on this. I was ruining the signal on the way into my computer. I hope this helps someone.

    Caleb, am I right about the 0VU being target level for the Anthem?

    Leave a comment:


  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    I'm so glad to hear it!

    Go forth and make excellent music!

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    Thank you for all the help and tips.

    Before I forget, I did finally check the Element wiring as you advised as well as all of the warning points in the installation guide. Sure enough, there was a fair amount of slack between the saddle and the clip. More than enough to put a finger between the element wire and the bridge. A little less boomy on the attack.

    I got the EQ a few hours ago. It was a big win on many fronts. Especially my 2015 Taylor 614CE with the stock ES2 system. I hate to use an over-used term, but the EQ and Session DI pairing is a huge game changer for me. The EQ takes all that resonant noise out and the Session DI turns it into a beast. It was just like some of the demo videos on the Session DI page for me. A real, "whoa!!!!" moment. I'm thrilled. You cannot imagine the hours I have trying to get this guitar sounding good in the "Home Project Studio".

    The Hummingbird with the Anthem that I've been mainly posting about saw improvements as well. It was already doing wonderfully before the EQ, so didn't have as far to climb. I got my saturation and compression head-room, and I learned that doing a 1.6kHz dip at the beginning of the signal chain was a big improvement over doing it afterwards and even in my DAW. More to come on that front. I'm tone-fried and this post is already massive. Suffice to say that the Anthem-SessionDI-AlignEQ are working as advertised. Maybe a nit with the pure element tone at the most, but I would likely never use it like that anyhow.

    Hats off to the LR Baggs folks. Also, thank you very much for your patience, tips and advice, Caleb. Now it's time to go make music.

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  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    Thanks for the details! I'm sure that this will be helpful for people using the Session in their studios.

    As a side-note, I actually prefer the sound of the Session with the gain set a little lower. Everyone is different, but I think that "clipping" in the yellow, rather than in the red, results in a smoother sound with less "edge". The Comp-EQ and Saturation still work just fine.

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    An update of sorts to the previous post. I tried my noisy Sans Amp pedal between the guitar and SessionDI for two experiments. Gain-staging and EQ before SessionDI. Very far from perfect test as all the Sansamp has only a tone-stack in addition to anything it has to offer, even in it's cleanest settings.

    First, the gain staging thing did help. I was able to lower the gain knob on the SessionDI to about 1:00. The entire mid range seemed cleaner. Especially impressive was the lowered sibilences(sp?) between 1kHz and 3.5kHz. That is a HUGE win for me. The SessionDI had already lowered them. Next, some basic tone stack tweaking did nicely, but I really had no specific frequency control to do any A/B testing with adjusting EQ before and after the SessionDI. In the very least, it was at least good. Sold.

    Huge win for the SessionDI is that it made my noisy Sansamp less noisy. Score one for LR Baggs. Perhaps a couple other pedles I have will clean up and be useful in the "studio" now?

    So last night I used an EQ on some recordings I made using the SessionDI. I used the frequencies available on the Align Series EQ. 3-4 of them are very common ones for me to adjust. The other two seemed more like an education. That EQ pedal also does gain AND volume adjustments and allows me to use useful EQ settings before the SessionID. I win no matter what at this point. If it helps with gain staging, it's a bonus. PLUS it gives me another notch, or one prior to the SessionDI should that help. I prefer stacking notches inside the box anyhow (post recording), so this gives me a chance to try it pre-recording. I have one being delivered tomorrow.

    Sweet!!!

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    Thanks for the notes on the power supply. I should not believe everything I read in user reviews. doh! Gotta like phantom power on this. Good move!

    What a slice of home project studio heaven this pedal is, and I've still got one kink to work out and do not even dialed it in yet.

    I am concerned over the gain staging. I have to nearly peg the input gain on the Session DI to get that red light to flicker at all. I'm worried not about getting volume too high, rather too aggressively toned to be able to use the saturation and compression effectively. I can certainly get a volume booster or an impedance matching pedal if need be.

    Even with any possible input gain staging issue, this thing rules!!! I'm feeding the interface a very full signal. The cleanest upper-mids I've ever gotten into my DAWs with an acoustic guitar. I had been fighting squelches between 1-3kHz forever. Solid tone across the whole frequency range, though can be a bit aggressive too soon in the lowemids to mids. For UAD Apollo users, this pedal does something similar to the signal that the 610-B pre-amp does when setting the mic impedance selector toggle to 500k ohm. It fills that lower mid to mid range wonderfully, adding tons of depth to the tone. I have zero need for the 610 now, but will try it anyhow. I'm getting a very usable -15db avg peak at about 60% output volume on the Session DI via XLR in. I've never had a notch work this well. It does so much more, though. I'm thrilled already and it's just gonna get better today.

    Leave a comment:


  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    Originally posted by PatriotsBiker View Post
    I understand the power supply needed for this is not standard. Do you have one in particular that you recommend or at least use there?
    The power supply is actually completely standard. Any standard 9v center-negative pedal power supply should work with it. We do recommend the Truetone 1-Spot, but that's mostly because it is extremely quiet.

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    I understand the power supply needed for this is not standard. Do you have one in particular that you recommend or at least use there?

    Leave a comment:


  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    That's the one that I use. It's fantastic!

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    I don't think I ordered the Align version. This is the one I ordered, albeit from Amazon as these folks are out of them. https://www.samash.com/seesion-acous...al-lsessiond-p

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  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    The Align pedals have been back-ordered for a while, so not many places have them available. I'm glad that you were able to grab one though.

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    I think at this stage I am more interested in the overall sonic qualities. I can EQ all I want inside the interface's software and the DAW after that. I would have prefered a couple parametric bands before the Interface, but hopefully will prove unneeded. It's surprising that nobody in my area stocks these things. No biggie. It will be brought to my porch tomorrow. I wish the Align series had a parametric approach with it's EQ.

    Your tip to reduce the mic screw worked well once I decided to feed my interface directly instead of the AD10. With the screw being 100% at 1:00. I was just shy of 10:00 and ended up just shy of 9:00. I bit thick, but it was easy to dial in a pleasing strumming tone inside my DAW using just a couple small shelves and a tiny 2.5Khz dip of -3db for singing resonances. There was sort of a line of doom. If I am at 9:43 on the dial right now, 9:46 still had some slight harshness.

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  • Caleb_Elling
    replied
    I use the Session DI myself, and I love it! It won't dial-in as precise of a tone as something with a good EQ, but once you play with the Session, you won't be satisfied playing without it.

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  • PatriotsBiker
    replied
    Thanks for checking out my sound clip and offering an analogy on the tone/sound. I do agree, too. I'll get there. I'll find my mechanic's mirror and take a look at the components inside, too. I'll get a camera in there if I have anything trigger concern.

    Back to the DI front. I think I've been combining far too many ideas into one component. On top of that, I've been looking for it in a tool designed more for live use. I do mean for Pristine to be in context of the rest of the tone. Whatever that tone is, it should be transparent with reasonably reduced amounts of electrical hisses and other tone wrecking noises. The second part of that equation is repair before getting into the interface as a result of playing, like fixing the low end feedback or something. The most basic statement would be to say that it's much easier to fix something before the interface than afterwards. Especially when the interface tries to enhance what it gets. The pimple on the tip of the nose gets bigger and harder to cover up.

    At any rate, after lots of review, I think the video on your side on the SessionDI page describes a lot of what I'm looking for if I was to say that I could replace gigging for live in studio type of thing. It's the introducing Session DI video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7uf...ature=youtu.be I do think that getting an EQ, perhaps the Align Series EQ, would be something needed sooner than later. Probably at the same time. The Venue seems like a good solution as well, but I worry about not being up to snuff with some of the finer, unadjustable enhancements that the Session DI claims to offer.

    Hopefully this all seems logical and I didn't miss something.

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