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slacker
05-07-2003, 11:49 AM
My boss is getting ready to pitch the T[2] out the window because of the audio. His attitude is due to the low audio issue (recording at 6db lower than input), the fact that the meters donít even begin to properly display accurate levels (which means itís almost impossible to calibrate) and that the signal is being unbalanced on entry. We also had an atrocious problem with frequency drop-off in captured audio (anything below 125hz or above 10khz would drop off). We sent the board back to Newtek, which fixed most of that problem, but all of these little issues are adding up to them making rumblings about just going to some other system.

My question is, is there a way to bypass the Toaster audio on capture without spending a fortune? If we can capture good audio somewhere else, we can edit/output from the Toaster fine. RTV through Speed Razor with a third party card wonít work for us due to drive space limitations.

I appreciate any advice you might have.

Regards,

Joel Slack
Media Department, New Life Christian Fellowship

jcupp
05-07-2003, 01:39 PM
A $160 mackie mixer will solve the level mismatch problems, any frequency response issues are a defect in either your Toaster, your computer or your installation.

What does your dealer say? What have you tried? Do wav files ripped from a commercial CD sound ok? Have you verified that the Microsoft PCM converter is the audio codec with priority 1? Are you sure you are recording at appropriate levels ?

Some suggestions:

In build 3890 the meters are usable, to begin with set the channel slider to 'unity' (the lower long grey line), set the master input slider the same and set the master output slider all the way up. Now feed enough signal into the Toaster to bring the nominal levels on the output meter to a little above half scale. This puts you at about -20dB full scale right where you should be as per SMPTE standard. If you attempt to run too close to full scale you WILL clip and it WILL sound like hell.

Balanced vs. unbalanced makes no real difference with line level signals. If you are picking up noise, clean your contacts and keep your signal cables away from power cables.

The -6dB issue is an annoyance but it's not a show stopper so don't sweat it. If you record as I suggest above you can pump up your playback levels to compensate for it. This was NewTek's design intention.

You can't use third party soundcards with the Toaster.

slacker
05-07-2003, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the reply (and for letting me vent:)) . We'll probably have to send the card back in again for Newtek to run some more magic on it. Our system is about as close to spec as possible and we've run the standard troubleshooting steps (no shared irqs, etc.).

We have since isolated the issue to the capture itself. Our audio engineer created a pink noise file on his computer that we transferred over our network to the toaster computer. Playback is okay that way, which gave us the indication that it's the capture input itself that's causing the problems.

We are using the uncompressed pcm codec for audio capture. Our engineer was frustrated with the meters because when we fed in a +4db tone, none of the meters showed the same values, although the pass-through to our DVCAM deck showed the same levels, in to out.

It's not really that it sounds so awful no one would want to hear it but that it's just a little bit "fuzzy." We're not coming anywhere near peaking.

Regards,

Joel Slack
Media Department, New Life Christian Fellowship

jcupp
05-07-2003, 03:25 PM
Yeah looks like you have probably ruled most things out so looks like a bad card to me.