What are you using for sound output from Bias FX?

  • I am struggling with my JBL LSR305 monitors. I can't achieve the desired volume I'd like without distortion (as detailed in another thread). Sounds is fantastic via my ATH-M50x headphones. So I am considering options...

    More powerful studio monitors (such as Yamaha HS series)
    Loudspeaker(s) (such as Alto TS series)
    Guitar amp (such as Katana 50/100 or Orange 35rt)

    My goals are to get both guitar and backing music through a single output device. I'd love to hear what you've had success with.


  • A2

    I’m waiting for other speakers to test with, but really happy with my alto ts210. I can’t imagine needing louder than that

  • @pipelineaudio The TS210 seems like the logical step for me...start with 1, can add a 2nd later. Do you stream any background music through the TS210? How's it sound?

  • @johndagostino said in What are you using for sound output from Bias FX?:

    @pipelineaudio The TS210 seems like the logical step for me...start with 1, can add a 2nd later. Do you stream any background music through the TS210? How's it sound?

    Between this thread and your other monitor distortion thread, I'm convinced your using your monitors in a way that is pretty untraditional. Especially when your considering buying only 'one' in an upgrade purchase.

    It appears your wanting to use them primarily for loud guitar amplification from your guitar software along with backing tracks...? Why not just get a powered set of portable PA speakers? On average, you'll get FAR more volume from a PA than studio mixing monitors. Besides, I assume your not mixing with your monitors if your considering buying only one in an upgrade...?

  • @anthony-newcomb Anthony...I started this thread because I am fairly convinced that I will not solve my problem. My frustration has reached it's max! So I am trying to now see what alternatives are out there.

    No, I don't do any mixing/recording. This is purely for playing/listening live. My thinking on a single TS210 is as a starting point. If that works for me, I am sure I would soon add a 2nd.

    I still don't think that I am trying to get TOO loud. Which is why I am so frustrated. If I pick up a TS210...which should get 100x louder than I'd ever care to go anyhow...and I still have the buzzing/distortion, well, then I would at least know it is not the JBLs.

  • Alright, so I did a test of my setup tonight and here are the results.

    Guitar: ESP LTD MH-1007ET (7-string w/Evertune bridge)
    Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, input level raised just to the edge of clipping with guitar at max volume, output level maxed.
    Software: BIAS Amp 2 Standalone, using the Acoustic Sim, Hiway 103 Clean, and Ecstasy 100 presets. I don't own FX, so this aint perfect, but close enough i guess?
    Speaker: JBL LSR305, max volume, -10db sensitivity, HF/LF at 0.

    For this test, I ran a single 1/4" cable straight from ch.1 on the 18i20 directly to the left speaker, removing my LSR310 subwoofer and right channel from the system entirely. ONLY the single left-side monitor is being tested. This is mainly because I didn't feel like rewiring all my shit and I could only find one spare cable. =x

    I noticed I still had a decent amount of headroom in the BIAS Amp 2 output, so I went ahead and raised its output level above 0db until the speaker started audibly distorting at around +5db on BA2's meter, then I backed it off to around +4.

    I did two tests: One with the db meter mounted super scientifically on a box such that it is directly on-axis with the speaker, at just under 1.5 feet. I didn't take an exact measurement but you can get an idea from this photo of my embarrassingly messy workspace:
    lol look at all that junk

    This was my result -- 103-105db on average, I should note, with zero discernable distortion.
    averaged 103-105

    I did a second test, this time with it placed upon the same box as before, but with the box placed on my computer chair such that it is in the standard triangle position with the left/right monitors (still with only the left monitor active), facing forward (toward the center point between the monitors), at a position around 1ft lower due to the difference in height between my chair and desk.

    I didn't bother taking a picture of this one, but the result from this off-axis position was on average around 96-98db.

    Conclusion: Ow my ears. At the very least, based on these results, the 305s SHOULD be able to handle such high levels without apparent distortion, barring some kind of bizarre unforeseen circumstances.

  • @ash-wolford Just out of curiosity, when you said that you backed off the output until the distortion stopped, what output are you talking about...the interface or the monitor volumes? I'm assuming your interface?

    Reason I ask is because if it's the interface output that you turned down to clear things up, I wonder what will happen when you flip the monitor's sensitivity switch to +4db? JBL says that setting is for hotter signals coming in (which may cause clipping distortion and +4db should give you more headroom for your monitor's input, which also protects it ). Have you tested the monitors with their sensitivity at +4db? If it was in fact your interface outputs that originally distorted the monitors at -10db, I'm curious to know if that +4db might allow you to further increase your interface's output volume without distorting the monitors...?

    I suggested this to the OP in lengthy posts in multiple threads but never got a response back indicating whether they had tried the sensitivity switch to eliminate the distortion...it is what it is I suppose

  • @anthony-newcomb I maxed out the speaker and interface output levels, then boosted the output level in BIAS Amp 2 itself above 0db all the way to +6db (the output level meter showed i still had a good amount of headroom, so i decided to try to fill that out a bit more) and then backed that off a bit once I heard clipping, ending at around +4-5db . It's not too much of a difference but I wanted to see just how loud i could push it.

    (EDIT: This confusion was caused by me rearranging part of my post above and accidentally placing a sentence out of context. That sentence has been revised for clarity.)

    I will set the sensitivity switch to +4 and see what kind of results I get.

  • @anthony-newcomb Does basically what I would expect -- basically acts like a Line/Inst switch and reduces the output level by somewhere in the region of 12~14db. Max I get from 1.5ft is around 96db instead of 106, after boosting BA2's output back up to +6 (with speaker/interface outputs still maxed). No distortion, naturally, but it's pretty clear at this point that distortion isn't an issue with my setup to begin with until I start pushing things WAY up. All outputs at this point are maxed, however, so +4 is non-ideal and I'll be switching it back to -10.

    I'm pretty sure these speakers would begin to distort at around ~107db@1.5ft regardless of settings. That's still ridiculously loud for studio monitors though, so my results certainly seem within expected parameters.

  • @ash-wolford Thanks man...I appreciate you trying that because I've been curious. Yeah those levels are pretty dang loud for a small to midsized room...especially for what most people would typicality use monitors for lol

  • Out of curiosity, I went to check out JBL's specifications for these monitors, and looks like I was right on the money lol.

    "Max Peak SPL: 108 dB SPL C-Weighted"

    I switched my db meter from A- to C-weighted (this just changes the frequency range used for the calculations) and tested again, getting a max reading of 114db@1.5ft. Since doubling distance reduces the level by 6db, that would put my max reading right around ~107db@1m, which is right under their peak rating. neat.jpeg

  • @anthony-newcomb @Ash-Wolford WOW...you guys are tremendous! Thanks for all of the support. If you are in Upstate NY, beers on me!

    Anthony - Sorry if I did not confirm earlier. Yes, I've tried both the -10 and +4 settings on the monitors, and the problem persists.

    Ash - Once my son wakes up, I'm going to head downstairs and try to replicate your findings. Your results of anywhere from mid-90s up to about 105 are spectacularly higher than I was getting. But I am going to replicate everything you did, right down to a single speaker and the 1-1/2' distance. I won't replicate the messy desk (I am a neat freak!).

    As mentioned here or in the other thread, I am getting the distortion starting as low as about 82db (not using the same setup as Ash, and with the SPL meter about 6-7' away from the speakers).

    I am glad it is a Saturday...I need to get this resolved in my head or I am going to be listing all of this stuff on Craigslist this afternoon and starting over! ;-)

  • @anthony-newcomb @Ash-Wolford Well, I've given up. I have taken every step and suggestion you've provided, but my issue still exists. Relative to Ash's test, I attempted to duplicate as closely as possible, even selecting the same amps. While my SPL meter reads higher while at the 1.5' distance, it is still only at about 90db before the breakup.

    I did some additional troubleshooting beyond what I had already tried. I further adjusted my pickups. I borrowed my nephew's guitar (his has single coils, mine has humbuckers). I tried multiple guitar cables. I even went so far as to move my setup to a different room, thinking it was not the speakers making the noise, but something rattling in my room.

    So my conclusion is that:

    1. My desired settings are such that I cannot escape the distortion/cracking/buzzing. Maybe some combination of bass + mid + gain and/or effects that I like just doesn't want to work for me (I don't think this is the case as I've tried a thousand alternatives).
    2. How I play and how I have my equipment/software setup is just beyond the capacity of my speakers and beyond my expected volume level.

    As mentioned before either in this thread or the other, the sound is phenomenal via my headphones. So, that leaves me with a few options:

    1. Live with it and keep volumes much lower, which is simply not going to happen. My personality is such that I will never stop fiddling to try to fix it. I'm completely obsessed, and I will sell the speakers before I live with it.
    2. Use headphones 99% of the time. And when I want to use an external speaker, just use a portable one (realizing of course it will be very sub-standard compared to my headphones or monitors but that won't bother me because I would know it going in).
    3. Try higher powered monitors such as the Yamaha HS series. If I am not mistaken, the JBL 305 are 40W and the Yamaha HS5 are 70W, but that's just from memory and I am not sure of those numbers. The thinking is that the Yamahas would be more tolerant of the feed, but I could be way off on that.
    4. Get a guitar amp. I hear a ton of great things about the Boss Katana 50 and 100. And while the reviews are very mixed, I love the capabilities of the Fender Mustang GT100. The Yamaha THR10, Mustang GT40, and other "desktop" amps are not loud enough for my large area (although the THR10 sounds great).

    So there it is...about 15 hours of my time wasted and absolutely no progress to fix the problem! UUGH!

  • This reminds me of when I was a kid, and the other kids had white socks after the laundry, where mine were dingy. Of course, I played in the mud.....

  • I mean, it shouldn't be beyond the capacity of the speakers, given that they are demonstrably able to handle levels substantially higher than what you're getting with zero distortion, regardless of what kind of signal that may be, regardless of how many knobs you have cranked to 11 in BIAS, regardless of what effects you're running. No matter how crazy your tone, as long as the final result from the speakers is less than 107db@1m, you should have pretty much perfect clarity. At least, if everything is working correctly.

    It doesn't sound like the interface is overdriving the speaker inputs -- the inputs on these speakers seem to have quite a bit of headroom, to the point where even maxing out my interface doesn't cause it to clip unless i boost BIAS even further into the red. And even then, it takes hitting that 107db threshold for it to actually distort. I'm wondering if maybe your 305s are defective somehow? I'm at a loss otherwise. =/

  • A2

    Again, I'd plugin the cheapest powered PA speaker/PA monitor I could get my hands on from a friend and try it. On the Desktop version of BIAS, you can always grab the most surgical free eq or multiband compressor to deal with any major sore thumb from a (not broken) speaker in any price range.

  • @ash-wolford He did say in his other thread that music playback from other apps like iTunes and YouTube played back loud and clear with no issues. I was thinking it might be his speakers too but not after that bit of info...

  • @anthony-newcomb yeah good point. this makes no sense whatsoever. if music playback is clear, there's absolutely zero reason Bias should be having any trouble.... I have no idea.

  • I am with all of your comments...I am completely at a loss on this. I've read hundreds of posts about people using JBL 305s (let alone other studio monitors) with amp sims and/or modelers like Helix. There is no way that all of those people would be happy with the results of studio monitors at the low volume levels I am achieving.

  • @ash-wolford @anthony-newcomb @pipelineaudio So I gave up on the JBL LSR305 studio monitors. I don't necessarily believe that they were faulty a I had the same issues using my son's LSR308s. I just think I wanted more volume than they can bear (for guitar, as they sounded great with MP3 playback). Anyhow, I grabbed an Alto TS210 and all is good in the world. I can crank them to my heart's content and they sound amazing. I only have 1 so far, so will likely add a 2nd soon to get a stereo soundstage. Thanks again for all of the help.