For those of you who are running the 286 in your audio chain and are uncertain about setting it up, here is what I did. First of all let me say that I have purchased a great amount of equipment from John Lynch at After being concerned with my settings I called John and he referred me to BSW's chief technical engineer who spent a good thirty minutes on the phone with me walking me through the setup. We started by zeroing out all of the controls and he talked me through each setting one at a time. Needless to say, I was very happy with the results and that act of kindness will result in my loyalty to John and the BSWUSA company.
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My blues musician nephew says that dry winter air and no air circulation in the booth will cause a TLM 103 to pop during recordings. His suggestion by trial and error is to place a wet towel or two in the booth to add a little moisture to the air.

George at ElDorado Recording Services sent me a page from the M-Audio Project Mix web site on software and PC setups which is also helpful or at least looking at if you are using the Project Mix control system.

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Comment by Alton (Al) Hoover on December 22, 2009 at 1:48am

I'm also reading the DBX article on Compression 101. Some good insights there.

Best & Happy Holidays!

Comment by Alton (Al) Hoover on December 20, 2009 at 6:32pm

First - Thanks for sharing. I undertand that everything in the chain including the VO artist voice effects the sound.

Do you have a recollection or notes on the process you went through with the BSWUSA engineer in dialing in the set-up on your DBX 286A? Understanding the process (what things do and how they behave) is half the battle for an experimental/artistic endeavor.

Some of the controls on the DBX 286A are less than intuitive (even after reading the manual twice).

Example: Although each of the DBX 286A dial controls has 40 positional (ticks), the legend for the setting printed on the front panel does not always correspond/track to the expected setting (either linear or logarithmic scale).

Input Gain dB - Setting Range +10 dB to +60 dB for XLR input via 40 ticks, 0 ticks = +10 dB, 10 ticks = +15 dB, 20 ticks = +30 dB, 30 ticks = +40 dB (should be 45 dB if linear control), 40 ticks = +60 dB. I understand that dB is a logarithmic unit of sound pressure and 0 dB is the threshold of hearing (average) for a human being. For sound pressure actual 20dB = 10x. For human ear perception of loudness 20dB - 4X loudness.

De-Esser - Frequency Range 800-10,000 Hz via 40 ticks, 0 ticks = 800 Hz, 10 ticks = 1000 Hz, 20 ticks = 4000 Hz, 30 ticks = 8000 Hz, 40 ticks = 10,000 Hz (this range of 9200 Hz doesn't really track linearly or for a logarithmic scale).

Perhaps this is just a case of via trial/error finding the "right" sound/setting. Any insights you can share would benefit the VU DBX 286A owners greatly!


Comment by Jim Westcott on December 20, 2009 at 5:05pm
Hi Al, Per your request.

Here are the settings on my dbx 286A. Again I must remind you that there is no studio setup the same. In my case the TLM 103 is plugged into the 286, then into the Project mix and the console interfaces with my computer and Adobe Audition software. In each stage there are setting controls that can balance, cross out or cancel settings along the way. So, my settings may not be the settings that you need or can use.
DBX SETTINGS LEFT TO RIGHT: Mic-preamp gain is +16, Compressor Drive is set at 2, Density 5 1/2, De Easser Frequency set at 4k, Threshold 31/2,Enhanser LF 3,HF 2, Expander Gate Threshold -15dbu, Ratio min5.1 and final output at -10 db.
Comment by Alton (Al) Hoover on December 20, 2009 at 1:30am

Thanks! Chat at you tomorrow.


Comment by Jim Westcott on December 20, 2009 at 1:23am
I will try to get to that sometime tomorrow Al.

Jim W
Comment by Alton (Al) Hoover on December 20, 2009 at 1:03am

What substantive quantitative measures can you share about setting up your DBX 286A? With the TLM 103 connected via XLR, what are your settings for: Preamp Input Gain, Compressor Drive and Density (if you are using compression), De-Esser Frequency and Threshold, Low Frequency Enhancer Detail/High Frequency Enhancer Detail, Expander/Gate Threshold and Ratio, and Output Gain. These would be very helpful. If you documented the process of dialing in your DBX 286A with the BSWUSA engineer, that would also be great to share.

Thanks in advance! Best, Al

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