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Monitors, level and pads

Near field monitors like to see monitor level audio signals, which is roughly 30 dB down from line level. This means that the outputs of our MIOs have to be turned down significantly to make the monitors happy.

This is no problem on the ULN-8 since it has an analog domain volume control that goes all the way down to mute, however this is not the case for the 2882.

When the 2882's outputs are ran hotter, they sound better. In this case, it's generally recommended to get a pair of inline balanced pads to put in between the 2882's outputs and the near field monitors, and then run the 2882 at full-scale output level.

These are some pads that have been recommended on the MobileIO mailing list:

  • Pro Co 20 dB
  • Whirlwind 30 dB
  • Audio Technica Adjustable
  • Shure A15AS Switchable
  • A-Designs ATTY 2-channel passive attenuator

Another option seems to be to build your own attenuators by placing high-quality resistors inside a balanced cable connector, or you can build your own pads:

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