Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

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Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Ssigma » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:13 pm

Have had a DX21 for a few years now but am just now getting into recording it and have very minimal equipment. My DX21 sounds fine when playing it through my speakers or headphones.

I have the main output of my Yamaha DX21 connected to my Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card's line-in via a dual 1/4" to single 3.5mm cable (10ft). I have the volume slider maxed on my DX21 and the line-in volume at 100% in my sound card's software. My sound card does not provide any additional gain, so 100% line-in volume is simply take everything that is being received.

When I am recording into Cubase 5, the highest peak I have hit is -14dB using a fairly loud lead sound with the operator level set to its max value (99). I have tried various presets as well as patches I made myself and many other sounds are lower.

Is it acceptable to record at such a low dB? It seems very low to me and I have to set my speaker volume much higher than normal to clearly hear the sounds, so I have been searching for ways to increase it using my very limited equipment.

If I record from the DX21 headphone output to my sound card line-in (single 1/4" to single 3.5mm), I get much higher levels. However, I am clueless as to the electronics behind the signals and all that. Researching online seems to suggest that doing this leads to problems due to an impedance mismatch, but I honestly have no clue what exactly the problems I will face are. Is doing this a viable way to record at a higher dB, or are the trade offs just not worth it?

Another alternative would be to just increase the volume slider on the stereo in channel in Cubase, but from what I understand boosting volume via software is generally not ideal.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for the help! I have been messing with this for a few days and researching online but have not found any solid answers. If you need any more information let me know.
Last edited by Ssigma on Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Big Gnome » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:58 pm

-18 to -12dB is a pretty much ideal level. There's nothing wrong with increasing the level in Cubasr.
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Re: Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Sonus » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:19 am

To enter test mode, turn power switch on while pressing [1] [2]:

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Re: Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Ssigma » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:37 pm

Big Gnome wrote:-18 to -12dB is a pretty much ideal level. There's nothing wrong with increasing the level in Cubasr.


Thanks! Guess I am looking into nothing then haha, will just record it as is. Thanks again!

Sonus wrote:To enter test mode, turn power switch on while pressing [1] [2]:


Ya I found the service manual on this forum (great resource) and ran some tests. There is nothing wrong with my DX21 (apart from the LCD leaking goo :o ), I was just unsure if the levels I am recording at were acceptable/normal or not. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:24 am

As long as you're recording at 24bit you're totally fine. Adding a bit increases the resolution of the recording by 6dB, so recording at -14dBFS is using 22 of your 24 bits, ie totally fine.
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Re: Recording Yamaha DX21 - dB questions

Postby Ssigma » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:42 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:As long as you're recording at 24bit you're totally fine. Adding a bit increases the resolution of the recording by 6dB, so recording at -14dBFS is using 22 of your 24 bits, ie totally fine.

Yes, I am recording at 24bit. Thanks for explaining that to me!
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