Recording Pop up window for Prime 4: Level meter and level adjust

It would be great in a future update to add a Recording Window that you can see while recording a live mix that shows how long you have been recording and a level meter that can be adjusted so you can see how long you are mixing and monitor your levels without having to switch over to the recording screen which causes you to fly blind on your mix. As a decade long Traktor user that’s ready to ditch my laptop once and for all, Traktor does have a similar feature on their product where there is a cassette icon on their display that you can click and it opens a window that has a start/stop button for recording, a simple level meter and knob to adjust recording levels and it shows you how long your recording is. They have a similar feature for broadcasting online as well which would also be good to add to the Prime 4. If you don’t want to view the window just click it again and it hides itself similar to the quantize button on the Prime 4 now. As someone who makes a lot of mixes that have time requirements that must be met having an integrated recording features visible from the main screen would be extremely useful.

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Hi @DJCB1, thanks for posting your request! I’m moving this post to the new Feature Request area for better visibility. Please be sure to like the original topic post of this thread if you also want this feature. Topics (features) with the most original topic ‘likes’ will move to the top of the list. This way we can see what requests are the most popular. Thanks!

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Hey im having a problem with that. How do you record your sets? Evertime I record mine through the Prime 4 it comes out with a much lower volume and gain than what I mixed it in. I dont know how to fix that as there is no record settings and I used to use rekordbox with a DDJ1000. it was much simpler there.

The best suggestion I have for you at the moment would be to go into the preferences and set the limiter up so that you can max your volume faders without clipping and then just monitor your master out level meters.

Yea Ive tried using the lmiter thinking that would be kinda of like an auto gain but it comes out muddy the audio. Ive done more research and Im thinking now that it is supposed to be quiter and have headroom so you can master the audio file. So now I think it is intentionally recording like that

A limiter will let all the channel gains and levels be run crazy loud into the red with all the usual issues, but will simply stop master output playing that mushed out distortion any louder than x dB. It’s a hard wall, anything above x dB will just get played at x dB.

A better device is a compressor. As the level approaches x dB the compressor slowly and gently pulls the sound back down away from x dB

The built-in limiter is a hard-knee look-ahead limiter that is softening just how hard those peaks get clamped down on, as it starts the gain reduction before 0dBFS, but is still a form of compressor. You do not really need it turned on, as the digital domain has a hard, harsh limit. Having the limiter on is really only warranted when doing recording for those who want to not sound so bad when extremely stupidly careless, but should be turned off for live use of this gear in venues to prevent the limiter’s abuse and destruction of drivers.

Put the master & booth at -10dB in the settings. Put the master knob at max. The top LED is actually the full scale brick wall. 0dBVu on the meters is about -18dB below that. Is that just what you’re noticing?

You really should not be bothering with trying to boost the digital scale volume at the recording stage. Get away from that habit. It’s a bad one. In the mastering phase later, your max peaks should be -3dB below the hard limit or less.

The music you are playing is also already overly compressed in its dynamics as commercial product, and Gee had previously stated there is unfortunately a limiter in the current Prime audio processing, among other issues. So don’t be intentionally utilizing more limiting, too. Nothing good can come from that.

The level (line level / record level) is a bit low in my Prime 4 with no way to adjust. Would be nice and I second this feature request.

BTW (Reticuli)…limiters save speakers, they don’t destroy them!

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Please demonstrate this by making a video of how you’re using the unit and recording, post the recording here, and edit the post by adding a link to the video. I still have not seen any evidence Prime 4’s recording levels are abnormally low.

The 0dBVu point on the unit’s meters should ideally be about -18 below the full scale brick wall, and your levels when DJing should be bouncing around the unit’s 0dBVu point, with peaks above it and troughs bouncing below about evenly. If you want your level later to be mastered hotter on the recording, you need to open it up later in a DAW or editor. That is completely regular and normal.

FYI, increase volume to no higher than -3dBFS, preferrably in 6dB increments of volume change if you want the math to be perfect, or just set the normalization peak to -3 if you don’t care about that.

The drivers peak limiters routinely saved in the pro arena are tweeters that lacked built-in protection. Such tweeter protection is quite common now, and back in the day you did it with light bulbs.

Outboard peak limiters rarely if ever protected woofers in the pro arena due to the woofers’ durability and peak handling abilities. Woofer coils are cooked, though, through excessive average power that will be reached usually far sooner over time than any truly destructive peaks. Even consumer woofers are not killed easily by over-excursion, especially with the advent of digital mixers and source gear. Outside of miking rock bands on analog boards, the only other peak limiters that are really still necessary now are built-in to the output stages of amplifiers, especially class D ones, to prevent 4X (or more on some class D amp designs) of distortion peaks over amp rating.

Most other cases of peak limiters, especially in the hands of DJs, are great for crushing the dynamics of the music and cooking voice coils when the DJ pushes into them and increases RMS and thus voice coil heating. A DJ pushing into a peak limiter on already-dynamically-compressed music while the sound guy isn’t doing his job is not a harmless situation. The peak limiter isn’t protecting against voice coil heating and is just incentivizing stupid behavior and the destruction of woofers. Limiters in the hands of DJs serves one useful purpose nowadays: to make something like a stream and recording sound better when the DJ doesn’t watch their levels… not much benefit on a live sound system with a DJ, though, and there are negatives.

There is one more configuration of a peak limiter downstream from the DJ that can be useful, but only slightly. Not particularly necessary, but if its threshold is higher than the max peak of the DJ mixer, the DJ can’t crush into it intentionally with abuse of their levels and it can potentially add an occasional protection against ON/OFF and intermittent connection transients from the mixer that can be dampened. Such transients are unlikely to harm anything even on undersized systems, as it’s still just a brief peak, and it’s impossible to be a threat by design of appropriately-sized systems. The tweeters should have their built-in protection, the woofers should be durable enough to handle it, and the limiters on the amp output stages should do their thing. But other than the added expense of another piece of gear, such a peak limiter shouldn’t at least pose any additional risks, as the DJ can’t easily abuse it.

If you really want to protect the drivers, the alternative to outboard peak limiters (or the optional ones in DJ mixers) would be a thermal (or RMS-based) limiter. These look at the average power over time and reduce overall gain for an extended time when a certain sustained RMS is reached. It’s also possible to use automatic RMS analysis to apply expanding through gating to reduce RMS, though some people don’t like the way that sounds, particularly on very complicated material.


I should add that one interesting trend for a lot of cheaper powered cabs now is for the class D amp to be less durable than the woofers when it comes to thermal handling. So I’m seeing quite a bit of these cheaper powered cabs with dead class D amps in them but the woofer coils did not melt. So in these cases, the most thermally-vulnerable component was the underbuilt class D amp, followed by the woofer coils, etc. The high RMS got to the amp first, which is often one of the more relatively-expensive parts of the unit to replace on a cheap powered cab, usually resulting in the entire cab getting either dumped or converted over to passive operation with a DIY speakon panel.

Reticuli, you make some good points and obviously know your stuff when it comes to audio. I don’t think I’ll make a video taking you through the steps of recording, but I’ll describe what I did and how I came to this conclusion. I’ll even share with you a recording from the Prime 4: http://www.mediafire.com/file/datwiveq57q7b8m/2019.06.29_-Tori%2526_Matt_Dancing.mp3/file

So, I recorded this mix Saturday at a client’s wedding. I took the wave files from the Prime 4 (including this one) and noticed that the volume levels were horribly low. I converted the .wav files to .mp3 files (space) and then utilized MP3Gain (a program I run all my files through to normalize them to a similar volume), and was able to get levels up about to about 85db without clipping (files were originally only 72-74db). I usually like my files around 92db.

Now, I could utilize some mastering techniques in a DAW to fix it somewhat, but that totally defeats the purpose of being able to record directly to a thumb drive. Every digital recorder I’ve ever owned…including recording software…has recording levels. This is all we are asking for in the Prime 4…the ability to adjust the level, so that the recording is at an appropriate volume. No matter what my output gain is to the Master, Zone or Booth, the recording level should be line level and not be effected by those outputs. And my input gain I always try not to peak above 0 db.

Now, about amps and speakers. I don’t disagree with you really at all. However, underdriving and overdriving signals to amps and powered speakers is still not a good thing…you’re going to ruin something in the signal path if your voltage is too much (trying to get louder, but beyond the point of distortion) or if your voltage is too little (and still trying to get louder). I don’t want to get into this here because we’re talking about recording levels on the Prime 4 (and how it should be a flat signal that’s a higher level or adjustable), not class D amplification, limiting, compression and the destruction of tweeters and woofers!

Since I can’t see how you were running your Prime 4 without a video, the recording isn’t very useful. You having done anything in post to it makes the recording further problematic for reference, especially if it was done with some automatic algorithm. Also, saying 72dB or 85dB in digital domain is mostly meaningless, with only a few exceptions I’m going to assume are not the case here. I’d need to know what the recording levels were from the brick wall in the form of negative numbers before you did anything to it in post, and I’d need to know exactly what the metered levels were on the Prime 4 channels and master.

It’s possible that Master Volume is affecting record volume, but I don’t know. Even if it’s not affecting it, as usually Record Out is fixed as if its level was set at unity, you’re still going to end up with -0dBVu peaks as about -18dBFS below the digital brick wall. That’s completely normal, usual, and to do it any other way would be a bad idea. These aren’t separate line-level inputs. It’s just a bit-bucket. If I connected a digital recorder in big-bucket mode to the SPDIF out on the X1800, I’d get the exact same result. Ditto with a USB ASIO out to Sound Forge. As I said, set Master and Booth settings to -10 in the Utility/Preferences, and at least stick Master at max so the meters match. The Booth lacks meters and doesn’t matter as much anyway, as long as its setting is also -10 at max so it can’t boost into clip. If Master Volume is affecting record volume, InMusic should be made aware.

This is not line, mic, consumer, prosumer, pro, etc, analog levels we’re talking here. This is digital domain, so it might be lower than you expect even if the recording is not affected by the output pots.

That’s part of your problem. The tendency to peak only at 0dBVu and below is for miking instruments, voices, etc, in a live big board situation. You want to bounce mixed-down actual songs’ troughs and peaks AROUND 0dBVu to get an average level similar from song to song. In a live multi-microphone situation, that’s on the master meter. In a DJ situation, that’s both the channels and the master meters. InMusic didn’t help matters with only two LEDs between 0dBVu and clip, but you’re going to want to use that +6dBVu LED for tracks that need some extra oomph because they’ve actually got dynamics. Some very dynamically-compressed tracks are going to be only up to the 0dBVu LED because there’s no LEDs between 0 and 6.

I would still recommend trying to utilize the +10dBVu LED as emergency headroom only that you don’t intentionally go into, but hypothetically you could go into that one, too. The issue of going into the second to top meter LED is that you have no idea how far from clip you are other than knowing you’re within 8 or 10dB of it, which is why it’s best left as the accidental last resort.

If it’s your personal unit and sound system and no one else will be using any of it, you can also leave the limiter ON. If anyone else will be playing on it loud and you can’t babysit them, then having the limiter activated is a recipe for yummy cooked woofers on a live PA system.

The one thing you said that rings a bell as to what we are determining here is: “usually Record Out is fixed as if its level was set at unity.”

Exactly! So if I aim to set my meters (input gain on channels) to peak at -0dBVu or slightly less, it should still be a full volume recording (line level/record level). However, I may not have had them in the zone you recommend ( +6dBVu), and due to the volume level of my files, I can see why I’d have a quiet recording. But here’s the thing. I’d like to have the channel meters and the master meter at the same levels and it appears impossible to do, while still getting a good record level. If I have to turn the master volume down and only hit -20dBVu at peak levels (meaning my speakers are pretty much at full volume), I guess I will do this. LOTS of headroom…even with the limiter. I am the main person using this gear, and I definitely don’t want to cook my speakers…just want a solid recording.

Set the Master and Booth in Utility/Preferences to -10 on both. Put master volume pot all the way up so that the master meter now matches a wide open single channel meter. Zero on the meters should be between -18 and -20dB below the brick wall on the recording, depending on how InMusic is doing their meters. This is totally normal and any other way of doing it would be bad. They should not give you the option of, for instance, adding 10dB invisibly in the digital domain to the recording level just because people are too lazy to edit their recordings later. Even if the master volume pot is affecting record level, which it shouldn’t, but if it is, running the Prime 4 the way I’ve described will bypass such an issue, not to mention help you manage your peaks and average loudness better. That’s one of several reasons why I’m telling you to put the Master to -10 in the Prime 4 settings and turn the pot all the way up.

How you run your channels and faders is completely up to you, obviously, but peaking at only the meter zeros is inadvisable with commercially mixed-down music. That’s not how dBVu meters are intended, you’re not getting your digital all-in-one DJ unit’s best operation, and you’re just further keeping your recording levels down even lower than they need to be… and the recording should already have a healthy headroom if you run things as I described and it’s working right. Yes, their metering isn’t very high res over the meter zero, but it is what it is. If there’s some other defect in how the Prime 4’s recording is working, I see no indication of it in these threads yet and all the complaints so far sound like people just having a problem with how the digital domain works and wanting Prime 4 to master their recordings and make a martini while it’s at it. If anyone wants to assert a claim of such a deeper problem, please post the raw recording and edit the post with a link to the video.


Edit: I’m looking through the manual and I don’t even see attentuation settings for master and booth on the Prime 4. What I do see are 0 marked around the pots at about 1 or 2 o’clock still, though, which I presume is their unity. Put the master at that and see if the master meter now matches a wide-open single channel. Again, this should not actually be affecting the recording level. If it is, tell InMusic about it. Oh, and don’t let people turn them past those pot zeros if indeed there is no attenuation setting under Preferences/Utility, especially booth and zone, as there’s no meter for those.

Hi all, so you know the dev team is aware of this and the increased recording level will come in one of the next point releases.

Thanks J

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I just spoke to tech support about this and an adjustment meter would be great for recording and also for individual tracks like serato features. There are some tracks that are louder or quieter than other and no way to adjust them like you ca with Serato.

The Prime 4 has gain/trim knobs, though, on the mixer. Why aren’t you using that?

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i am but everytime i finish recording, no matter the levels on of the gains or knobs the bass is always in your face

listen to this:

this is with the bass eq at 1/4

I’m assuming that you have recorded a single track, and then listen back to it on the same output source against the original track (i.e. on your laptop through the same headphones and audio package) and there is a noticeable difference? If you haven’t, might be worth doing to see if the Prime is adding anything to it.

I can’t help at all listening to your mix as it sounds like that is what the bass is meant to be like to my ears, but I really don’t know the style of music. @Reticuli knows his s*** on audio outputs though, he’s the man to ask to see if there’s could be a problem with the Prime 4s!

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I have tried a few variations to the recording and its always the same. some songs are worse than others within the mix and thats were seratos feature for the track master eq is awesome and you can adjust it accordingly. i did the same set within serato and it sounds way better because i was able to adjust the master recording eq and the track eq. i do use the eqs and such but not always does cutting the bass eq very low resolve the problem on the unit; but id rather edit the track like i can in serato ahead of time like hot ques and the beat grid, same with the recording eq and mix after the fact rather than trying to remember, “oh yeah, this track needs a different adjustment than the rest” and trying to make it sound good on the fly.

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What does the frequency balance have to do with record levels or on-screen-based gain/trim that you were asking for, though?

The exact position of the gain/trim knobs is moot; what matters is where you are metering. Gain/trims are a means to an end. Stick your EQs at 12 o’clock, level bouncing AROUND the meter zeros above and under it, put the master volume at its knob zero so you know what your output DAC and record levels both are, and any weird deviations you hear should be more to do with Prime’s audio processing anamolies… assuming you’re not turning effects on or cutting with the crossfader or something. Hard to tell if this is what you’re complaining about now, but if you have a problem with the sound quality or tonal balance, then heart this thread…