UR44 + mackie 1202vlz + outboard gear recording levels help


I have just purchased a UR44 and am attempting to interface it with outboard analog synthesizers, a mackie 1202vlz mixer, and Logic Pro X.

I’m having a heck of a time getting my levels correct consistently and am wondering if someone can help?

The outboard gear runs into the inputs on the Mackie. The control room outs on the Mackie connect to my studio monitors. My control room submix has Main Mix and Alt 3/4 engaged.

My Alt 3/4 outputs go to input 3/4 line inputs on the UR44, and the main stereo outputs from the UR44 go back into stereo channel 11/12 on the Mackie. This means for any channel input with outboard synthesizer connected, I can simply press mut/alt 3/4 channel routing to reroute the synth from control room monitors to the UR44 for recording in Logic.

My end goal is to play synthesizers at some sufficient volume, be able to press mute for that channel and record them at that same volume while still listening to them on the monitors, then have the Logic recording play back at that same level after recording. I just can’t seem to get it all to balance.

Any tips? Anyone been through this process?

Yes, I used to work exactly like that with an 802VLZ3 and a different audio interface. I had to crank up the input gain on my interface to max to get the same volume.
The easiest way to get everything leveled is to pick a patch on a synth with a very stable sustain. Hit a key and keep the pedal pressed so you have a constant tone to work with.
In Cubase, create an audio track which receives the synth input and enable monitoring. Now if you press the mute button on your mixer, you should hear the sound through Cubase, if you depress you should hear it directly. Play with the input gain knob on your interface while pressing the mute button to A/B the volume difference until both sound the same to you. If your interface starts clipping, decrease the gain on the input of your mixer and increase the master fader on your mixer to compensate.

I don’t remember if that mixer had a separate alt3/4 output volume pot. If it does, set it to 0dB.

I hope that works for you!

Thanks for the info Strophoid! Funny enough, I think this is exactly what I’m doing! I’ll go through the process as you’ve written it to confirm when I get home after work.

The process above works really well, and I would say that I have success with it even if I have to do a little fiddling of the levels here and there; however, I find that once I’ve recorded something, the playback from my computer is low. Have you run into that issue and found a way to deal with it? I wonder if it’s because of headroom levels in Logic or something - perhaps I need to set Logic to unity to hear the same playback… perhaps that’s why folks have multiple monitor setups?

Oh you’re on Logic, sorry for my reading skills :p. Doesn’t matter, it should works the same way.

When you say your playback output is low, do you mean that it’s high when you monitor the signal but low when you record it and then play it back?
Or do you mean that anything you record is low in volume compared to released commercial tracks?

If the former, then I have no idea, sounds like a logic thing. If the latter, look up ‘loudness war’ and realize that you have an awful lot left to learn :wink:. Mastering tracks for loudness without destroying the song is a whole expertise of its own. You can find plenty of topics about it on this forum in the Lounge, I’m expecting the same over at the Logic forums.

Thanks Strophoid, I meant the former :slight_smile:

So it’s probably a Logic thing. I’m pretty new to Logic, so this gives me a good idea to try recording into a few different DAWs to see what results I get. I can try Renoise and Reaper and see if those work better, and if so I will try to find a way to fix the output from Logic.


Tried this in Renoise and found the same issue was occurring. Then I found that Renoise has a song settings screen which was enforcing a -6dB drop on the output to ensure sufficient mastering headroom. Set this to 0dB and the volume out of the computer sounded very close to the same as the volume into the computer.

So perhaps Logic Pro X has some similar function in place.

Ok, interesting find.
That’s possible but I find it strange that logic would pad the output volume by 6dB when playing back a recorded piece but not when monitoring a signal through logic.
I hope you find the cause anyway!