Could I have damaged my studio monitors?

Lazeez

New Member
Hi,

I posted this on the "PC/Mac Computer Hardware & Peripherals" forum but I'm not sure if that or this forum is the appropriate place to ask this question (sorry for the double post).

I was playing with a new VST plugin in my daw (Cubase) and one of the settings unknowingly increased the gain of its output by a very large amount. I played one note and saw the output on the master bus was at +18db and obviously the sound coming out of my studio monitors clipped/distorted heavily. I stopped the sound within a second or two. The volume knobs on the monitors were 50% and the output from the audio interface to the monitors was at 25% so the volume of sound coming out of the monitors was low but heavily distorted for that one second. Could I have possibly damaged my speakers?

If it helps, my interface (M-Audio M-Track 2x2) maximum output is 7dbu and my monitors are 2 Adams T7v's.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Doubt it. I would assume that the distortion you heard was just digital clipping since the signal on the output went way over 0 dBFS. Is there any noise or crackling coming from the monitors now?
 
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Lazeez

New Member
Doubt it. I would assume that the distortion you heard was just digital clipping since the signal on the output went way over 0 DBFS. Is there any noise or crackling coming from the monitors now?
Thanks for your response. I don't hear any odd noises or crackling coming from the monitors so I guess they're ok. I read that 32 bit float processing precision in Cubase has a ton of db headroom and because of that I didn't know whether the distortion I was hearing was from the PC or it was occurring from the audio interface because it was overloaded with an +18db signal from the PC.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
If Cubase doesn't have a sine wave generator, find a free one on the Internet.

Play a sweep at a safe level and listen for distortion. You'll hear very clearly if your speaker(s) are blown.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
In Cubase, the tool Nick is talking about is a plugin called "TestGenerator". By default its in the "Tools" plugin folder. Insert it on an audio track and sweep through the frequency range with the frequency slider.
 
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Lazeez

New Member
Thanks for all the info. "TestGenerator" is only available for the Pro version of Cubase, which I don't have. So I downloaded a free app called NCH tone generator. I played a 30 second sweep from 40Hz to 22kHz at a fairly low volume. No distortion throughout the entire sweep but my hearing started failing me at around 14kHz and I couldn't hear anything above 15kHz or so but my guess is that I would hear something wrong coming out of the speakers even if I can't hear the tone itself at the high frequencies.

So I guess I'm in the clear? Do I need to run the sweep at a higher volume by any chance?
 
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Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Your speakers aren't blown then.

And bear in mind that the TV carrier frequency used to be 14KHz (before LCD TVs), in other words people generally didn't hear it.