Home Page Forums Cymatic Audio Forum Live Recorder LR-16 Optimal Recording Levels

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    Joseph Karniewicz

    I know that the LR-16 meters indicate -30db, -3db, and 0db and that the input signal should not hit 0db. But its not clear what unit these db’s are in – are they dbu, dbV, or some arbitrary dbVU.? In particular, what voltage levels do -30db, -3db, 0db correspond to and what is the optimal voltage level for recording with the LR-16? Once I know the voltage levels I can convert to my mixers output in dbu and have a better understanding of how to set my mixer for optimum LR-16 performance.


    The “level meters” on LR-16 not very precise (because is not realtime), the main functionality to provide input level/clip indication.
    According to the LR-16 specifications, the input levels are depend on the PAD switch.
    The maximum input levels:
    Full-scale input (pad ON) Unbalanced, 20dBu, 7.7 Vrms
    Full-scale input (pad OFF) Unbalanced, 8.2dBu, 2 Vrms

    Joseph Karniewicz

    Thank you, Laszlo … let me see if I have this straight.

    1) If a pad is off, then 0db on the meter is 8.2dBu, iimplying that -3db on the meter is 5.2dBu, and -30db on the meter is -21.8dBu. Right?

    2) If a pad is on, then 0db on the meter is 20dbu, -3db is 17dBu, and -30db is -10dBu. Right?

    3) Is it true that with the pad on, the meter shows the input signal and that the actual signal being recorded is reduced by 10dBu? For example, if the pad is on and the meter reads -3db, does that mean that the input signal is 17dBu but the recorded signal is 7dBu?

    4) Most Important Question – What is the “optimal” dBu for the recorded signal ( not the input signal)?


    Hi quark,

    The level meters shows 3 steps on the display.
    PAD OFF:
    [] -20dBu
    [][] -5,1dBu
    [][][] +6,9dBu

    PAD ON:
    [] -8,5dBu
    [][] +7,1dBu
    [][][] +18,7dBu

    About the recorded signal:
    If you using the maximum input level before the clip the recorded signal should be 0dB. The optimal level allways the possible higher value where you 100% sure, you’ll have no clip during the recording.

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