Our small church has just got a small stfreaming kit built around a pearl 2, 3 birddog ptz cameras and an Allen Heath Zed14 mixing desk. It works perfectly and we are delighted. However the volume is quite low. We have microphones into the Allen Heath mixing board and then the outputs to the xlr inputs on the pearl. My very basic and probably ‘showing my ignorance’ question is do we require a pre-amp between the board and the pearl 2 (the lights are high on the board but very low greens on the pearl. Once we have solved this we will be in seventh heaven!
Great question! Most soundboards, just like your Zed14, have built in pre-amps which is how you’re able to boost a microphone signal. You would adjust the channel’s input Gain and then managing the overall level of all your signals on the Master Output. No additional gear needed.
The Pearl-2 audio meters and your Allen & Heath mixer use different measurements than each other. Audio meters are typically measured in either dBU or dBFS values and these are not a 1-to-1 conversion. While you might be showing perfect on the soundboard, it might be quieter on Pearl because of the corresponding measurements.
This can be easily addressed within Pearl-2’s Web UI, by navigating to the Analog Audio’s input section and adjusting the gain. You can add up to +30dB to bring up the volume to a better listening level that better matches what you would expect from the soundboard.
Hopefully this helps! I’ll include a bit of the math below:
The Pearl-2 VU (audio meters) are measured in dBFS; 0dBFS being the maximum digital level possible before clipping and likely distortion occurs, and the Allen Heath VU meters are measured in dBu.
While there isn’t an absolute dBu -> dBFS conversation - approximately a +24dBu signal outputting from pro line level output (+4 dBu rated) would equate to 0dBFS (the maximum digital level).
For example, if the VU meter on the Allen Heath shows +4dBu while outputting from the main XLR outputs directly to the XLR inputs on the Pearl-2, the level shown on the Pearl would be around -20 dBFS.
You are a star! Explaining the solution to my problem in a way I can readily understand and explaining why I have the problem as well – all without making me feel too stupid. I really appreciate your help and am grateful for your time. We really love our Pearl 2!
Warmest good wishes from Scotland,
I’m so happy you found this useful! Please never hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have in the future!