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Behringer UM2 - only getting -3dbu max output?
Old 5th April 2021
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Behringer UM2 - only getting -3dbu max output?

Hi,

I use a Behringer UM2 for VOIP and some recording.

I've always had an issue where it only outputs at a max level of -3db, as in it only fills half the vertical space in recording software (tested in Reaper/Audacity) before clipping. The more I turn the mic gain up, the more it clips (still at -3db). The output knob is all the way up.

This is kind of a pain in the ass as I need to constantly fiddle with the mic gain to get the output I need (especially for VOIP where I can't just amplify) without clipping.

According to the manual, the UM2 should output 0dbu. I'm not positive, but the 0db in recording software (and the -1 to 1 range in audacity) should line up with 0dbu, right?


https://i.imgur.com/HFR1tZi.png
https://i.imgur.com/lHlfOnG.png
Old 5th April 2021
  #2
Gear Nut
The manual: "Output level" refers to the outputs. The hardware TRS / headphones outputs physically on the device. The issue you're having is with the input.

Clipping before 0db: I might wonder if there is something digitally attenuating the input. A MacOS or Win10 volume setting.
Old 5th April 2021 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanstan ➡️
The manual: "Output level" refers to the outputs. The hardware TRS / headphones outputs physically on the device. The issue you're having is with the input.
Well it is an issue with the output from the device to my computer. I suppose it is fair to say that those ratings are for the analog outputs, not for the USB connection. I guess the digital output over USB does not have an entry in the spec sheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanstan ➡️
Clipping before 0db: I might wonder if there is something digitally attenuating the input. A MacOS or Win10 volume setting.
I don't think so, other interfaces/sound cards don't have this issue on my computer, and the windows device properties look clean.
Old 5th April 2021
  #4
Lives for gear
It sounds like you are having issue (or misunderstanding) about input level which is what determines how hot a signal you have in your software.

As oldmanstan said output level relates to the hardware outs not what shows up in your software relating to 0dbFS.

You shouldn't need to be anywhere near 0dbFS.

What are you recording?

What mic are you using?

It is possible to clip the analog circuitry of a micpreamp without actually getting near 0dbFS if you are dealing with very loud sounds like drums or a very loud guitar amp. Spoken word really should be fine though so you will have to give more detail of what you are doing for anyone to be able to help you out in figuring what is going on exactly.
Old 5th April 2021
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
I guess the digital output over USB does not have an entry in the spec sheet.
It does - it's labeled "Input".
Old 5th April 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
You shouldn't need to be anywhere near 0dbFS.
It is workable but mildly frustrating having sources clip at approximately half the loudness level that is available. It means I have to adjust the gain until the loudest parts of what I might record don't pass that arbitrarily low level. It also means that when using my mic for everyday VOIP there is a precise balance of too quiet/clipping, where I'd rather have more freedom to control that in software instead. I'd emphasize that other interfaces (my soundcard, and a UR242) do not have this issue and clip at 0dbFS like you would expect, using the same mic on the same computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
What are you recording?

What mic are you using?

It is possible to clip the analog circuitry of a micpreamp without actually getting near 0dbFS if you are dealing with very loud sounds like drums or a very loud guitar amp. Spoken word really should be fine though so you will have to give more detail of what you are doing for anyone to be able to help you out in figuring what is going on exactly.
Vocals, guitar, etc, on AT2020. It doesn't really matter what, if it is loud enough (and the gain is high enough) to go over -3, it will clip consistently.

I am 80% sure the issue is somewhere around the interface-driver interaction, I am using ASIO4ALL as that is what Behringer recommends and I am guessing something is lost in translation there. But if nobody has seen this before, I'll just keep living with it
Old 5th April 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanstan ➡️
It does - it's labeled "Input".
Input refers to the XLR/TRS sockets on the front of the box. If you're implying my mic is overloading the preamp input, I can 100% assure you that is not the case. e.g. if I turn the gain down, it does not clip (but is too quiet for my needs)
Old 5th April 2021
  #8
Lives for gear
Live tracking shouldn't be anywhere near -3dbFS.

You should be at -10 at most so whatever is causing your "clipping" wouldn't be an issue anyway if you have your level where it actually belongs.
Old 5th April 2021
  #9
Here for the gear
 
Your reply really doesn't make any sense to me. All the info I can find regarding why one would record at lower levels is to avoid clipping if there happens to be a point of high volume (one, two, three).

My issue is that clipping happens earlier than usual, which is inconvenient. It is not helpful to say "well you should be recording lower than that anyway." Obviously yes, but the point is that loudness spikes happen and I would rather not lose half of my headroom. If there is some standard where a device might top out at a level lower than 0dbFS, feel free to point me in that direction.
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