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I have not typical situation 
I want to help my friend who has md20 stage scape. He is totally not computer guy, he hates computers and computers hate him :)
Believe me he even doesn't know too much what Google is, and he doesn't speak English :)
And my friend lives 500 km from me, so I can't see his "Stage scape", so I try to help but I'm really in the dark. Maybe you could help, please very much.
The problem is: he records mainly drums, and all his records have most transients equal 0db - it's not distorted (over load) but transients look like they are cut, like there is some limiter applied. And we want to record without that effect. So I told my friend to decrease all preamps/input about half of full. But the problem is still the same. I'm not sure how to turn off that effect, and exactly what is this? Limiter or something else?
I read in manual about something called "Auto trim". I suppose it could be the reason. But actually in manual I can't find information if that "auto trim" is turned on by default or turned off? I suppose my friend had not turned on any function, because as I told he is moron in those type of gear. So I suppose it is turned on by default.
But could you say what is this (is it really that "auto trim" or not?) and how to turn it off?
Please help us. For any help great thanks in advance. Maybe you could give some step by step instruction with photos. We would be very appreciate.
Best Regards,


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Auto trim is off by default. You have to manually turn it on, so it's probably not that.


Do you know if he used any of the onboard M20d presets (like Kick, Snare, etc.)? If so there are likely some FX (perhaps including a limiter) that are being used in the preset. You would have to go into 'Deep Tweak' mode to investigate and adjust.


You can download and read the Stagescape M20d Advanced Guide from the Manuals section of this website (under the Support tab above). Appendix C of this guide lists all the basic preset types and the FX used in each. It also indicates which drum presets use which preset type. For instance, the Snare and Kick presets each use both a compressor and a limiter. The section in the guide that talks about Deep Tweaking discusses how to adjust these FX.

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Hello Silverhead,

great thanks for your reply.

I've just seen appendix C (now I'm in job so I can't go deeply). I think it will help us much.

But I can't find info how to turn off all presets at all. Something that clear my whole mixer, and set all channells without any effects, and then how to save it as preset for whole Stagescape. Is there any trick to do that? How to find it in "Advanced Guide" that you mentioned? I wrote "reset" in search bar (in pdf of Advanced Guide). But it found hundreds of "preset" word :) but no one "reset".

I found info how to remove preset from library at all, but I just want to clear whole mixer. Please could you help me.

Thanks and sorry for stupid questions.
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There is always a "preset" because they define the chain of effects present on the channel, but the default presets when you plug in a mic or line cable are neutral; you only get tweaked presets when you choose a specific type of input such as KIck or Snare (or Male Lead Vocal, Acoustic Direct, etc).


Beyond the neutral presets you can in Deep Tweak mode select one of the effect chains (combination and order of effects) and these will also be completely neutral settings.

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But I can't find info how to turn off all presets at all. Something that clear my whole mixer, and set all channells without any effects, and then how to save it as preset for whole Stagescape. ..

There is always a 'preset' because without a preset there is no signal path at all. There are the factory presets provided, each of which is based on one of the built-in DSP Preset Types described in Appendix C. You can delete all factory presets from the library if you wish (although they do no harm in being there) but you are left with the default DSP Type Presets that cannot be changed or removed. These define the combinations of FX that are available. There is no capability to, for instance, to assign only a limiter FX in a channel except by choosing a DSP Preset Type that includes the limiter and turning the other FX within that preset off. An 'empty' preset has all available FX turned off. There is no such thing as a truly 'empty' preset.


Without these DSP Preset Types there is not only no signal processing - there is no signal path. The raw incoming signal cannot be routed to the outputs except through one of these built-in paths.


In terms of 'clearing' the mixer you can delete all Setups and all factory presets. Choosing New Setup will always give you an empty stage form which you can begin to add your channels. When you add a channel a default preset, using one of the DSP Preset Types is assigned. You can then replace it with a preset from your library or start editing it.

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  • 2 months later...

I have no experience with the gear you're dealing with. I can't offer any suggestions about any available features such as "auto-trim."


If what's suggested above doesn't clear the problem up, it may be something that you can't do anything about. Try to familiarize yourself with the difference between analog audio equipment and digital audio equipment. In particular, what I suspect may be going on is inherent in recording in the digital domain. Analog gear has a much higher headroom than digital gear. With analog you can get away with transients that exceed 0db without a lot of trouble. Even the distortion that begins to appear doesn't necessarily sound "bad."


Digital equipment is much less forgiving. When a signal exceeds design specifications the distortion totally messes everything up. For that reason, manufacturers deliberately include limiting circuits in the signal path that you can't get around. There are only two things I can think of that might help, and you've already tried one of those -  turn down the incoming signal levels at the input stage. The reason that probably didn't work was that you didn't turn them down far enough. Yes, that's a pain to do, but if that's what it takes, that's what you'll have to do.


If you're only recording a drum kit, it's a little more workable. If you're recording drums, instruments, and vocals at the same time, everything else will suffer from the lower recording levels. You have to begin by setting your levels based on the loudest transient. Set that, then bring up the levels on the rest of the inputs so that things sound balanced.


The other thing you can do is to identify which drum input is the loudest and causing the transient spike. (This is why microphones for recording drums come in "kits" with something like 5 different mics. These allow you to process and set levels for the cymbals, snare, bass drum, etc. individually.) Anyway, once you know what is causing the problem try using a compressor on that / those individual mic inputs. Use an outboard compressor(s) for this. The compressor will tame the transients before they get to the digital converters in the interface you're using. With this compression you will be able to raise the signal level of the rest of the drums and any other sources you are recording at the same time.


Once you have the undistorted tracks recorded you can play around with creating a good sounding mix from the individual tracks.


Good luck with it.

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