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Old November 8th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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SD302 Master Peak LED Threshold

Being old (60) I get three stupid questions a month. Although, I can't remember if I already asked three questions. : )

Here's my question. Should the SD-302 "Master Peak LED Threshold" be adjusted to coincide with the "Output Limiter Threshold"? Or, are they two discreet functions having no correlation whatsoever?

On page 22 (v 3.6) of the SD-302 User Guide shows the same general adjustment 'scale' +4dBu thru +20dBu, which is what caught my eye and is why I ask the question.

My SD-302 "Master Peak LED Threshold" is currently set to +20dBu (default).

The "Output Limiter Threshold" is currently set to +10dBu. (However, I have previously set the "Output Limiter" to various values from +18dBu thru +10dBu. )

I did a 'search' in "All Things Audio" with 'NOJOY'. But, I may not have worded my 'search' correctly.

Thanks for the assistance.

J.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: SD302 Master Peak LED Threshold

From one old fart to another: The SD-302 "Master Peak LED Threshold" is a user preference and has no effect on actual output or the limiter. My 302 is set to the max to minimize distracting flashing lights. (Pinball wizard)
A limiter threshold of +10dBu is very low and must be kicking in excessively if your reference levels and channel gain/faders are set correctly. (OTOH, some folks are paranoid and operate at less than optimal settings/performance. My preference for dialog is to set the limiter threshold @ +17dB, using a 'full-scale' calibration method, +20dB (on the 302) = just below 0.0dBFS on the recorder. This 'usually' works out to be very close to the standard reference level of -20dBFS. (assuming 0 dBu and the main output is not attenuated (both SD factory default settings). I recall the default limiter setting is +18dB.
BTW, the channel input limiters are not adjustable but can be defeated.
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Old November 9th, 2014, 10:24 PM   #3
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Re: SD302 Master Peak LED Threshold

Rick, "Old guys rule!" : )

Thanks for the information. I've always left the "Master Peak LED Threshold" to the default value of +20dBu.

I agree, the +10dBu "Output Limiter" is conservative. It's the recommendation of an 'Old Hand' whom I'm sure understood the person he was dealing with and gave me a little more 'Headroom', to be on the safe-side. I've 'bumped it up' to +17dBu. And yes, I use the "Full Scale" calibration method.

After three years, I'm beginning to catch-on. Now, it's a matter of refining my adjustments and hopefully getting the best and cleanest audio I can.

I have to say, my first use of the SD-302 and Sony NX5U, Sennheiser G3 and RODE NTG-3 Mic was petty good and I didn't do anything more than calibrate the audio chain in accordance with the instructions.

Hell, I didn't even know what 'Full Scale' meant. It just proves how resilient a good system is with a 'Newby' at the controls.

Once you get comfortable with the 'Menu System' the SD-302 is pretty user friendly and easy to use.

Best regards,

J.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: SD302 Master Peak LED Threshold

Take comfort in the fact that there are those who are more luddite than you. I have a well used SD302 I bought secondhand, mainly for the ability to supply phantom power to mikes and being three-channel into two out, suitable for Decca Tree mike arrangements.

At some point it must have got a saltwater drenching, not immersion but enough to get in here and there on the main PCB. It was operable on receival but was and remains reluctant to power up on cold days.

Sound Devices continue to support it and will repair it if I send it over. Just have to get some cash together.

In the meantime I have continued to use it after cleaning it out, which reduced a static noise which would build when phantom power was used.

My use of it has been somewhat faith-based, that is, when it goes, it goes. I have heavily relied upon the limiter perhaps more than I should. The limiter has proven to be a blessing when one-man-banding. I have not altered it from factory default.

As products go, I wholeheartedly endorse it.

Last edited by Bob Hart; November 11th, 2014 at 11:48 PM. Reason: errors
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Old November 12th, 2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Re: SD302 Master Peak LED Threshold

Gad to hear I'm not the only one using the full-scale calibration method. I am constantly getting grief from camera men over this.
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