Balancing levels between speaker pairs.

I have 2 different pairs of monitor speakers and want to adjust their levels so they are basically the same (i.e. when switching between them they have the same level). Wondering how to best approach this. Links to articles and videos also appreciated.

A couple of specific questions.

First where is the best place to adjust the level for each pair. I seems like there are 3 possibilities.

  1. Cubase Control Room - this seems a poor option because it only effects the signal when using Cubase.
  2. At the audio interface, adjusting the levels in the RME TotalMix utility.
  3. Using controls on the speakers themselves.

My intention is to put a mic in my listening position and use a test signal routed to the speakers. Then adjust the levels between the 2 pairs until their levels match on the mic’s input. What is the best signal to use white, pink or brown noise, or maybe even a specific frequency.

What kind of monitors are in use?

I try to aim for a known dBSPL, working at or near Bob Katz’s recommendations. So, 1K at 0dB on meter = a known dB SPL.

I think the method you describe sounds good and I’d be curious to hear how this works out. I need to do a process like this myself. I’ve done some work, but there’s more needed. I also just got a new mic. so it would be a work out for it, too. Anyway, I’d try Pink Noise, 400 kHz, 1,000 kHz.

(Why Pink noise:
More on Room correction, per your other post, which may also factor into this.

Good luck with the set-ups, let us know how it goes. Careful with feedback with an open mic. aimed right at your monitor. :wink: heh

Here’s a link to a Greg Ondo tutorial on using multiple monitors and the control room.

The entire tutorial is a wealth of good information. He discusses balancing volume when switching monitors at 6:05.

All of the three are possible. You ruled out #1 yourself. The same way you can rule out the other posibilities.
#2 will certainly be the most reproducible and probably more precise to adjust option, but only be possible while Audio is routed via totalmix.
#3 can bring down the anaolge noise floor of the Speakers´amps, but might be a little harder to adjust - on the other hand is valid for all Inputs connected to the Speakers, and also takes some volume (if the gain has to be adjusted down) - if you should ever need the full volume of the speakers).

The speakers are Yamaha MSP5 & JBL 708P.

This whole adventure started because a hardware failure & various knock-off decisions caused me to change how my speakers are connected. So of course I’m currently in the inevitable situation of this all being on hold (except the thinking 'bout it) until a cable arrives. :open_mouth:

Very nice set-up. I’m looking up the specs on both. Are you going for a “near field,” full field (?) set-up? The JBL’s have some very helpful looking set-up features. I think I’d bring up the JBL’s first , and then add the Yamaha MSP5 set to fill in or do what the JBL’s are not and vice versa – whatever that may be at even given time. I think once you get all the specs lined you, you’ll be able to calculate many things on all this and just work it out by ear and eye on the meters, even.

And I’m also wondering about placement? Will the JBLs be placed adjacent the Yamaha or maybe further back on a separate set of stands or wall mounted? You have some interesting geometry and acoustics problems to work out until the cable finally arrives.

Wonder if JBL has a forum? If so, I’d drop a post about this there.

It’s going to sound awesome.

Total Mix has nice options for A/B speakers. Don’t exactly remember (one pair only now), but it worked nice with the remote control volume, relative levels between the speakers etc.

Fortunately I don’t have to worry about any of that as the placement isn’t changing. It used to be that each speaker pair had its own physical knob to control the level - so I never was much concerned about their relative levels as long as they were in shouting distance of each other. But now I’m going to end up using the knob in the Control Room to set the levels on both pairs. So the levels need to be set relative to each other to avoid jumps when switching monitors.

The final cable arrived and I’m currently on a “there is only so much test tone you can listen to” break.

Going with setting the levels at the RME audio interface - as svennilenni pointed out this is the most reproducible.

Glad to hear things are getting worked out. Yes, that was a good point. My system is set-up that way. I use the TG to align my internal levels, and then bring up the gain until it reaches an my target db SPL. I need to do more work on room correction and room treatment – but that’s another post.

Give yourself a break and play some tracks. :slight_smile: