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Recording Levels - Interface guidelines vs. Common Practice? Audio Interfaces
Old 14th February 2017
Gear Maniac

Recording Levels - Interface guidelines vs. Common Practice?

I hope the title isn't confusing. Here's what I'm trying to learn:

I use an Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt interface. Apogee recommends "Quick Tip: Ideally, the level in the input meter should be as high as you can get it without hitting an “over”. If you see red in the meter, you know you need to turn the input gain down.".

My confusion is that in so doing the signal into Logic is gonna be a good bit above the 12-18dbfs I routinely see recommended as optimal for DAW recording.

So I'm wondering - should I just set my input gain so that the level in Logic is at -12 as I've seen recommended, or should I go with Apogee's advice, record hot then bring the level down, using the Gain plugin, to -12 when mixing?

On the topic of gain staging has anyone got any experience with the HoRNet VU Meter mk3? Supposedly it can be set do your gain staging automatically by inserting an instance in the first insert slot on each track, setting it in a 'listen' mode and playing through the project one time. Looks like it could be a time saver on a large project.
Old 14th February 2017
Lives for gear

You want to make very sure that you never clip. If you try to squeeze out the highest recording levels, it is likely that you are going to clip sometimes. That is why most opinions seem to be that you should be content to record at a lower level, ie 12 db down. This gives you some margin for those few instances where the signal is unexpectedly hot.
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