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Dumb Double DAW Volume Question (Lynx LOUD...Realtek weak)

mark4man

ok...
this is a question I should know the answer to...but am somehow puzzled by:
my primary workstation is an ADK Core2 running XP Pro & utilizing a Lynx Aurora8/AES16 AI...feeding KRK Rockit 8 monitors via XLR lines.
my studio's secondary workstation...which I use for the internet...is a Compaq SR5610F, also running XP Pro, utilizing an on-board Realtek A/D/A; & feeding the same Rockit 8's via RCA lines.
The pro system is very loud. The secondary system is not so loud.
Could be two causes, right ???...the first being the fact that my Aurora8 is set to +4dBu...(not knowing what the Realtek's output mode is...but I'm assuming it's -10dBv)...& the 2nd reason being that the KRK's 1/8" input is more than likely -10dBv.
[Also...I have no Realtek mixer. I have the stupid Windows mixer...& the main output fader is all the way up on that. The Realtek codec is an ALC888 & the driver version is a 5.10.0.5502, not that this matters.]
but...aside from figuring out the output disparity situation...since I use the Compaq for all my web-based music stuff (my main artist site, my myspace site, etc.)...I really need to be aware of what constitutes industry standard volume on the internet machine, so as to compete. i.e., I need to set the Compaq up so that it is as loud as the typical web surfer's machine sporting a top-of-the-line sound card...so I know I'm right there w/ the rest of the online world in terms of volume (& I'm not talking loudness wars here...just a decent industry standard level).
any input ???
should I just go to BestBuy & get a soundblaster for the doggone Compaq ??? (but then I still have my volume dilemma). (going to check my KRK's specs right now; & get back)...
...thanks,
mark4man
ADK Pro Audio Core 2 | Intel DP35DP MoBo/Chipset | Intel Q6600 Quad Core CPU | 4 GB SuperTalent DDR2-800 CL5 RAM | Seagate 160 GB SATA II Primary HD | Western Digital 320 GB SATA II Audio HD | Lynx Aurora8 ~ AES16 | Universal Audio UAD-1 | SONAR PE 7.0.2 | Cubase LE | WaveLab 5.0.1b | NI Komplete5
September 11, 2009 @02:39pm
DAS

The output level of your Aurora should be irrelevant if it is just passing signal via AES to the speakers.
In digital audio, which is what internet audio is until it passes through a DA, everything is measured in terms of how far below zero (or maximum) it is. Thus, I don't really think too much about playback mechanisms when making audio for the internet. I think the "standard" that has been arrived at for most purposes is generally as loud as it will go without distortion.
Maybe I'm missing the real crux of your question here....
September 11, 2009 @05:59pm
mark4man

UPDATE:
checked the specs on my KRK's...same input impedance for both balanced & unbalanced inputs (10k).
however...looking at the Realtek output jacks coming off the mobo...(of course) it's 1 (one) 1/8" stereo socket...meaning that the line branches off into 2 (two) unbalanced signals (left & right), for which I used a 'single stereo 1/8" > double RCA' cable...
...but this would also be the same for any soundblaster, right ??? balanced (+4dBu) outputs mean 3 pin sockets for each side (left & right)...
...so a new card will not help either.
The output level of your Aurora should be irrelevant if it is just passing signal via AES to the speakers
not really...it can be set to both (-10dBv or +4dBu).
Maybe I'm missing the real crux of your question here...
maybe...I stated I was a bit stymied myself. in what I just posted in the update, I'm realizing that I'm experiencing the difference between pro & consumer gear (which is what I think you mean by your statement: I think the "standard" that has been arrived at for most purposes is generally as loud as it will go without distortion). So...unless I replace the Realtek system w/ a pro system...that's my max for consumer systems.
then...I guess the next question is...is that (consumer) standard the standard which MOST internet users will be using ???
thanks,
mf
September 11, 2009 @07:02pm
yeahforbes

How hot the line level will be is determined upon D/A conversion. On the Lynx system the D/A occurs inside the Rokits, and on the Compaq it occurs in the Realtek. The Rokit's D/A is likely calibrated such that full scale amplitude in a digital signal is given to the built-in amplifier just under the clipping point. It doesn't need to handle anything hotter, because there is nothing hotter than full scale. On the other hand, the Rokit's analog inputs need to accept all kinds of voltages so it would be a bad idea to nearly clip the amp just for a full scale sound that was converted to analog on a -10 D/A. Some consoles give a +26dBu output and maybe KRK wanted the analog inputs to handle that. It's just a huge variable which is why there's an input trim.
There is no industry standard listening level for the internet. People will set their volume to whatever is comfortable based on ambient noise of the room, etc. The best thing you can do is match your music's RMS levels to that of comparable music. I try to hit -13 or -12 dBFS, but loudness war freaks like -10 to -9. It's a mastering issue.
September 13, 2009 @04:35pm
mark4man

dude...
there is no conversion taking place inside my monitors...I'm sending them analog...from both systems. the lynx's output level is determined by a switch on the Aurora8's front panel...& the realtek's is determined by it's unbalanced build. I'm not sending digital to the monitors.
mf
September 13, 2009 @08:49pm
yeahforbes

Lynx Aurora8/AES16 AI...feeding KRK Rockit 8 monitors via AES/EBU lines.

AES/EBU is digital. After looking up the speakers, I see that they do not even have an AES/EBU input, so indeed I was mistaken.
September 14, 2009 @04:04am
mark4man

actually, my bad yeahforbes...
I call the lines by that name out of habit (a bad habit; which subsequently led to your confusion...sorry) The balanced lines/connectors coming out of the Aurora8 are XLR's.
my mistake...won't happen again.
mf
September 14, 2009 @05:59pm
yeahforbes

Hey watch where you point that sign! Haha, no worries dude. So yeah, try setting your Lynx output to -10. Better yet, get a little mixer... either a compact board or just a rackmount line mixer. Alternatively, kick up your Compaq with a line level shifter http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=line+level+shifter although personally I think it's a waste of money when you could easily have a nice little mixer.
September 15, 2009 @03:39am