View Single Post
Old 11th January 2017
Lives for gear
Owen L T's Avatar

Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Thanks a lot. I think I read that article before but it is very good to read again so thank you. I guess the confusing part is where it says as a summary:

So working with average levels of around ‑20dBFS or so is fine and proper, works in exactly the same way as analogue, and will generally make your life easier when it comes to mixing and processing.

See I am not sure what that really is. The peak level is much easier to work with but some material has huge transients so not sure if it is right or not.

have a look at these two screenshots. One is a strummed guitar and the other a vocal. You can see the guitar has peaks between -18 and -12dbfs and the vocal has peaks in the highest place at around -8dbfs. I guess the vocal is too hot then?
[EDIT: have just realised that I've basically repeated tedtan's advice in the post above!]

Both of these are absolutely fine. The main thing - almost the ONLY thing - is not to clip the digital input, ever. The vocal would only be too hot if it clipped. What you have there is a near-perfect example of what I would expect the levels of a vocal to be - you've allowed room for plenty of dynamics, while clearly the loudest notes are not going to leave you scrambling to turn down the input gain lest you ruin a take. On the guitar, depending on the noise you're getting, it looks like you COULD have gone a little hotter if you wanted, as the part was very steady.

For comparison, here's the wave of a (DI'd) rhythm guitar part that I'm just tracking. It's actually very similar to yours - maybe peaking ever so slightly higher. From your screenshots, though, it sure looks like your levels are pretty spot on.
Attached Thumbnails
But it is impossible to record at -18DBFS RMS-guit.jpg