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Why is turning down fadres bad in software
Old 5th July 2005
  #1
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Why is turning down fadres bad in software

I've read about it but why is it bad to turn down your faders in your DAW?

Does this mean we can't adjust the fadres at mixdown time or wi'll get this bad sound?

Or does this only apply to the recording side of it?





thanks
Old 5th July 2005
  #2
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Don't worry about it. There are literally a million different things regarding recording music that you should address before this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexicondonn
I've read about it but why is it bad to turn down your faders in your DAW?

Does this mean we can't adjust the fadres at mixdown time or wi'll get this bad sound?

Or does this only apply to the recording side of it?





thanks
Old 5th July 2005
  #3
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Well thanks but right now I'm asking about this one. What is the thought behind it?

I've been an analogue man for many years and was just wondering
Old 5th July 2005
  #4
I'm not 100% sure about this one so please correct me if I'm on the wrong track here. But isn't this supposedly have to do with utilising the maximum available bits?!
Old 6th July 2005
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

If you are mixing in the box in a 24 bit system , then dont worry about it..


As iv'e read Bob Katz type several times... you would have to lower your

fader by 48 decibles in a 24 bit systm to get beck down to 16 bit sonic

performance.

but.

every digital calculation degrades the sound a little bit more, plugins , or fader

moves . by degrades i mean a little more distortion, a little less depth of feild , a little less 'real'


but im not an authority.. .. check out www.digido.com for some real answers
Old 6th July 2005
  #6
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Ok OK that sounds about right from what little I read. now does this apply to recording as well as playback or just recording?
Old 6th July 2005
  #7
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This can only become problematic when the noise floor of your original signal goes below the lowest level your DAW software can detect. In this case you loose the dynamic range of the original signal. This also depends on the internal math of your application. In a 32 bit application you can get lower noise levels then in a 24 bit application (even with 24 bit converters).

You should only worry about this when you send your mixes with very low levels to other people and when these people need to amplifie the signal again.
Old 6th July 2005
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexicondonn
Ok OK that sounds about right from what little I read. now does this apply to recording as well as playback or just recording?
Recording between -6 dBFS and -3dBFS is never going to give you any troubles. I've always tried to record as close to 0dBFS as possible, but I don't think this is a good method!
Old 6th July 2005
  #9
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Ok thanks I went to tge bob Katz site lot of good info there.


Thank you Gentelmen!


Peace
Old 6th July 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexicondonn
Ok OK that sounds about right from what little I read. now does this apply to recording as well as playback or just recording?
Bringing down the faders won't change anything but playback volume when tracking on most (all?) DAWs. The faders are equivalent to "return faders" on an analog desk.

Jake
Old 6th July 2005
  #11
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Technically, when you lower the gain on an analog fader, the distortion should decrease. The opposite happens with digital, the distortion increases. It's pretty slight though, or at least it should be.

Unless you have a lot of really quiet tracks, it shouldn't be your main concern. I like to record with levels not too hot, so analog mixing can be a plus for preserving detail. Also, the thinness of digital mixing is what I dislike about it the most, besides some of the various routing limitations and latency of certain (most) digital boards.

But if you need automation on a budget, digital mixing has become the standard. The analog summing buss craze is probably a good thing.
Old 6th July 2005
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn
Technically, when you lower the gain on an analog fader, the distortion should decrease. The opposite happens with digital, the distortion increases. It's pretty slight though, or at least it should be.
?

What distortion are you talking about?

Gain is to match levels from different gear, faders for making balance in your mix. Gain settings depend on the device you're connecting (microphones / the sources MAX SPL level counts too). They shouldn't have anything to do with distortion unless you're clipping the input. Faders only loose resolution when you put the noise level of the original signal (which is amplified by the gain setting of your console) below that of your analogue mixing console (by lowering fader levels) , this is almost the same as with digital resolution.
Old 6th July 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverdisk
If you are mixing in the box in a 24 bit system , then dont worry about it..


As iv'e read Bob Katz type several times... you would have to lower your

fader by 48 decibles in a 24 bit systm to get beck down to 16 bit sonic

performance.

but.

every digital calculation degrades the sound a little bit more, plugins , or fader

moves . by degrades i mean a little more distortion, a little less depth of feild , a little less 'real'


but im not an authority.. .. check out www.digido.com for some real answers

That is one way to look at it, the other would be that if you lover a fader that low, 16 bit digital has more then enough dynamic range to handle the signal anyway.
Old 6th July 2005
  #14
Bas
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I thought that turning down faders was part of the mixing process

I think the argument started with the premise that it is better to record with as many bits as possible, and with as many of the available bits used as possible. That gives rise to more points for the software to play with, and that gives a better dynamic range and something closer to the analogue equivalent sound (theoritically).

In SX/Nuendo all internal calculations are done at 32Bit float, so turning down the faders can allow for very low signal levels to be represented as fractions of a 24 bit signal.

So in effect tuning down faders can still leave enough active bits to allow for the math to work. This also means that having signals 'clipping' on channels is OK, as they are represented as value above 0dB.

So IMO, it is good to record at reasonable levels, not to clip, and (at least with SX/Nuendo) not to worry about the fader levels and resolution of bits, but let your ears decide when the mix is right.

Clipping on the master Buss is still not a good idea though, as that goes to real converters which cannot handle the range of numbers that the audio engine can.
Old 6th July 2005
  #15
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from what I've read, turning down your faders while mixing ITB is actually beneficial because you'll avoid internal summing distortions that won't show up as redlines, but still exist in your final waveform. there's a whole camp of people who believe avoiding this type of distortion is the whole reason external summing boxes improve the sound of a mix; they bypass your opportunity to cause internal summing distortion without knowing it.

this is simply from what I've read however. my ears and gear are not adequate to verify such a claim personally. but I believe the claim that "intersample peaks" will cause distortion on conversion that you don't see as clipping in your DAW.
Old 6th July 2005
  #16
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who said summing boxes improve the sound? there have been a couple blind AB's here that shows quite the opposite, yet the myth still continues.
Old 6th July 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitme
this is simply from what I've read however. my ears and gear are not adequate to verify such a claim personally. but I believe the claim that "intersample peaks" will cause distortion on conversion that you don't see as clipping in your DAW.

this is possibly the saddest statement I have read in a long time. You are the only one adequate to answer that for yourself..... trust your ears, casue if you cant, you are royally screwed in this biz.
Old 7th July 2005
  #18
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we're all human, didn't you get the memo? everyones body is slightly different. I don't trust my ears to hear a 62,840hz sound wave, and I don't trust my ears to be able to hear something who's characteristics I'm not directly familiar with.

Quote:
who said summing boxes improve the sound? there have been a couple blind AB's here that shows quite the opposite, yet the myth still continues.
if there's a mathematical difference in the final waveform, and someone considers the externally summed signal to be 'better'; you have an improvement: TO THAT PERSON. please don't go on to tell me that coloration, or anything in existence that forces a sound to deviate from its original waveform can't be considered an 'improvement' to someone.
Old 7th July 2005
  #19
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might be to that "one person"... but it is still a subjective thing which cant be said better or worse as a whole. the sound might be different, but when you are looking for BETTER... thats skills, not gear and skills will adjust for the gear that one has in front of them.

fwiw, this is all a bunch of bull**** marketing.
Old 7th July 2005
  #20
M2E
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I've been asking these same questions for the longeset.
1. Does pulling down the faders take away the quality and/or Bitrate? And why? How far down can I go, blah blah blah.
2. Does using 48bit plugins sound better or just down right better than using 24bit Plugs? Quality wise? Any efx when pulling down a fader with using 24bit plugins?
3. Why are most of the better plugins (EQ wise) coming out only Multi-mono and not stereo? Is there a bigger difference in the sound field that they just found out when doing Mr Massenberg's plugins? Hhhmmmmm.

Anyway, I'm glad people are asking these questions. Why? Because more and more people are "mixing in the box only" like myself. I do my best to record the best possible recordings and arrangements then it's off to mix the beast. It feels really good or should I say great to just sit in your favorite position and mix away.
I've been blessed to hear a lot of great mixes as far as R&B/Hip Hop/Pop and had a lot of great mixers mix my stuff as well like-Tony M., Manny M., Rob C., Dave P. and others. So I know a good mix when I hear it. I also A/B mine to theres to get the best I can out of what I have.
Anyway, I would like to hear some people that really know what is going on behind the sences and not someone that spent 400,000 dollars on there SSL/Neve saying that Digital mixers will never be what analog is, so they can feel good about there equipment or purchases. I hear so many people saying that digital isn't there yet. I think it's there but it's all in how you use it and the know hows and the not know hows. If bringing the fader down causes loss like not recording loud enough on 2' tape brings alot of hiss, then this is how you learn. This is where you learn.
I would love to hear what most of these analog mixers here sound like. Believe me that mixing on an SSL or Neve doesn't make you great at all. I've heared some thin some weak bottom end mixes on SSL and Neves as well. It really depends on the mixer him/herself. Sorry for getting off track here.

I just want to hear from somebody who knows what's really going on. Not a mixer mixing on a mackie saying it's better, use analog so you can bring down your faders!

Let's do this....

PS- I've asked a couple people (so called mixers) here to send me a sample to see what they do and how they make there mixes sound so incredible. How they use 12 reverbs there SSL mixers and Neve channels and use there special width machines to make there great mixes. I always get the cold shoulder. I wonder why? I guess some talk a good game...I guess in the emortal words of our down south king Lil John- What!!! What!!! What!!! Oookkkay!!!

M2E
Old 7th July 2005
  #21
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I don't have all the answers, but I can tell from experience that having reasonable levels trough the whole signal path when doing ITB is important. When the levels get too low, the sound gets more "digitalish", weaker and unpleasant. I think it often has to do with the plugins you're using.. it seems like most plugins "like" a reasonably hot signal. I'm sure some people with more theoretical knowledge than me will disagree, but this is what I'm hearing..
Old 7th July 2005
  #22
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reasonably good levels are needed in both digital and the analog realm (tape hiss). It's the same thing. I have never heard anything happen negatively when turning down faders ITB. I think that's a ghost story. Too easy to "measure" things in the digital world we forget about our ears.

not saying a $25k PT HD setup gonna sound as sweet as a $500k SSL console because for the extra $475k it shouldnt. But that $25k setup will get many an album recorded with pro resyults if u have the right engineer who is not fighting the ITB world. Songwriting not withstanding, many a rap/hip hop/r&b/pop tune has been mixed ITB with great results.
Old 7th July 2005
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicemaster1500
When the levels get too low, the sound gets more "digitalish", weaker and unpleasant. I think it often has to do with the plugins you're using.. it seems like most plugins "like" a reasonably hot signal. I'm sure some people with more theoretical knowledge than me will disagree, but this is what I'm hearing..
are you level matching? [bringing back up a turned down fader at the amp] if not, then you are just hearing the fletcher munson curve.

waves HATES hot signals and crap out VERY quickly. you have to pay quite close attention to them. other plugins seem to be able to handle things better, others dont. same thing happens with analog gear.
Old 7th July 2005
  #24
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yes, with lower levels earlier in the signal chain I would compensate at the main bus, this is what used to mess up my sound. Now I try to keep the levels hotter from source all the way trough too the main bus, and that sounds better to my ears.

I find the waves plugins to behave quite differently from plug to plug, some can't handle signals over zero db, others can.
Old 8th July 2005
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony666
?

What distortion are you talking about?
Digital faders use dither when they are lowered. I believe dither does introduce slight distortion. Nothing to worry about though. This is over simplified I'm sure.
Old 8th July 2005
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn
Digital faders use dither when they are lowered. I believe dither does introduce slight distortion. Nothing to worry about though. This is over simplified I'm sure.
I was under the impression that it is usually the master faders in most DAW's where the dithering is introduced (or whatever fader is last in the chain before hitting your D/A).
So, a quick way to avoid all this is by sending all your channels to an aux channel before the master fader. You can then leave you master fader on 0dB (or greater if you wish) and use the aux fader as your pseudo-master fader.

You just need to MAKE SURE that your MASTER FADER doesn't clip, and you're good to roll. Don't worry about clipping any other channels because they all have the headroom to cope, just watch the master...
Old 8th July 2005
  #27
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I'm pretty sure that most calculations going on inside a DAW often use dither. All fader moves, processing, etc... This may not be the same noise shaped dither that's used on the master bus, but it is dither.
Old 8th July 2005
  #28
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In all practical terms it is a non issue.
Old 8th July 2005
  #29
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My understanding is fader moves inside the DAW require the host to do some math.

Here is the sound, now play that sound while subtracting 3 db from each sample.

That is what computers are supposed to do. I would not worry about it.

Instead, make sure you have a high quality AC cord for your computer, it will sound better. heh
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