Direct Monitoring: DULL signal

I would like to love the direct monitoring (latency free) function, but the level is reduced to the point that you can’t really know when what you’re recording. And I wonder if it’s just level reduction or if there is some other tone sucking side effect…because it sounds like a sock on the mic? I’m using an MR816x and lately, and even when recording without any inserts or sends, I’ve resorted to lowering the buffer (lowering the latency) as much as possible and forgetting about direct monitoring. This is problematic when you’re layering on a near complete song that is packed with processing. And in such cases, it’s all the more important to hear the sound exactly the way that it’s sitting in the mix. Anyone discover a solution to this?

If you have everything else boosted with compression…maybe some buss comp & limiting. Even if you are working to -18db a dry mic signal struggles to compete.
You can a) use the sweet spot channel strip on the monitor to compress & eq the monitor only signal and b) turn down the master fader and turn up your phones to get a better level match.

thanks for the ideas, but i’m using the “x” not the “csx”. also, the point is that i want to hear what i hear upon playback. this especially applies for vocals that are being tracked onto a fully realized backing track. when you’re accurately monitoring, you can really shape the tone of the performance/track and essentially “mix” it into the song.

also, the point is that i want to hear what i hear upon playback.

I don’t understand what you hear on playback that you don’t hear when recording…unless you mean any effects on the vocal channel in which case you obviously can’t direct monitor it.

thanks for the follow up. the direct monitored signal is a lot quieter. so you have to push the fader or add trim. but i then it’s actually too loud upon playback. so, point being, is that tracks recorded with direct monitoring are performed to a signal that is not true to it’s natural level. and for me, that is not good. moreover, it doesn’t just seem to be level reduction. there seems to be less air, less detail. i really would like this observation to be debunked

With direct monitoring the signal that you hear is not actually going through the DAW.

If all else fails, you can try the following:

  1. Mixdown all the other (“backing”) tracks into one audio track, put that into your project, then disable all but that new single backing track.

That will let you drop your latency/buffer quite low (since the project will only have 2 audio tracks now - the mixed down “backing” track, and your vocal track you are recording), and you can adjust the volume of the backing track relative to your voice, and you can sing listening to vocal effects (non-direct monitoring).

You probably know, but if you only want to hear the effects while singing - recording your voice dry with plans to add effects later - make sure to put the effects as inserts into the vocal track itself, NOT the input bus (as this latter will result in the effects getting printed)!

of course! how can i expect the direct monitored signal to sit “properly” in the track when it is monitored through the hardware and not through the 2buss? duh : ) thanks

you cannot hear track inserts with direct monitoring, but that’s not the issue anyway. problem solved (see previous post). actually, not solved at all. just understood. for me, it’s quite a limitation. i’ll probably stick with optimizing the buffer size and monitoring through cubase.

I guess both will work depending in what you track…for vocals that’s fine but if you want to record a DI guitar (and I do that always since I don’t even have an amp…who needs that when there are Amplitube and Guitar Rig?) with a few VSTs that changes the problem again…of course a very strong computer could be useful in a case like this…
But good ideas guys! Thanks!

I suppose this thread taught you that you can’t? That’s what you asked, right?

IIRC, you should be able to drop the master fader to allow the DM to become louder in relation. I haven’t used DM in years.

As far as DM sounding dull. That has nothing to do with direct monitoring and everything to do with how you are recording in the context of the mix. :smiling_imp: And, if something can’t sit in a mix without being doped up with FX, then there is no space for it, period end of story. So, if I were you, I would find the space where you want what you are recording to sit and make some space however you choose.

That’s an appropriate technique that will reap major benefits when you go to mix in the new tracks.

HTH & YMMV :mrgreen:

Real amps sound… REAL!!! :smiling_imp: and I like the guitars I record to sound real!!! :smiling_imp:


Don’t take offense to this: I totally disagree with you and I have guitar rig and have used amplitude.

i was only responding to the post about inserts to clarify a little misinformation presented by the poster. he was suggesting putting inserts on the track (vs. a group) and i wanted to make sure that he or anyone else understands that you can’t monitor tracks inserts when using direct monitoring. all that (jumble) being said, i almost NEVER record with inserts on a track.

turning down the master is a workaround but i’d rather not use it than messing with turning things up and down between recording and monitoring.

radukku: dude, get an amp! air is where waves live : )

p.s. (contradiction of sorts) i am down with ampsims and plugins on di bass…especially in parallel

I can’t say I don’t understand…but
I stopped playing with a band (or live if you will) a long time ago…No need for an expensive amp (I have a couple of cheapos for both bass and guitar…good luck in getting good tones out of those) since I mostly record my own stuff as a hobby…and wouldn’t work very well on the 7th floor where I live! :smiley:

[quote="Woodcrest Studio :laughing:

Don’t take offense to this: I totally disagree with you and I have guitar rig and have used amplitude.[/quote]
Non taken!..
I played a Strat through a AC30 tube (wasn’t mine…) or my old Jazz through the 59 bassman…(sold it a long time ago)…you can hear the…air I agree…but nowadays plugins come close enough for me…and they are much cheapear!