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Proper Gain Staging with UAD Plug Ins
Old 18th June 2018
  #31
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Gabriele's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave gross View Post
Probably because people should practice good gain staging regardless of the platform.
I totally agree!!!

Although upon reading the "Headroom" sub-chapter of the Neve 33609 UAD plug-in manual, I am confused: am I getting it right?. Are they getting it right???
I mean... when they start with: "The hardware Neve 33609 can accept an analog signal level of approximately +26 dBu before undesirable signal clipping occurs", I understand they are talking about analog headroom and it makes perfect sense.
Then they say that "the plug-in is calibrated internally so that 0 dBFS at its input is equivalent to an input level of approximately +26 dBu on the 33609 hardware, where the coloring is more prominent. The result is that a typical signal within a DAW will drive the UAD Neve 33609 into these "virtual" higher levels, resulting in a fairly high amounts of gain reduction".
What I understand is that the UAD plug-in is "digitally aligned" at a lower analog level: 0 dBFS is +26 dBu, therefore 0 dBu is @ -26 dBFS. That's why a "typical" signal within a DAW will drive it harder: a typical 0 dBu within a DAW is @ -18 dBFS, i.e. 8 dB higher.
"The headroom switch is provided to accomodate applications where high amounts of gain reduction are not desired. Headroom simply lowers the internal operating level so that the plug-in is not "pushed" into gain reduction as much".

LOWERS??? Why "lowers"???

In the analogue world if you lower the operating level you also lower the headroom, don't you? Like if you go from +4 to -10...: you are most likely clipping hard within the -10 equipment...
Shouldn't you raise the operating level to obtain less gain reduction? In fact, by selecting the 18 dB or the 14 dB headroom options of the plug-in, the analog 0 dBu is moved to -22 dBFS and - 18 dBFS respectively. Is this "less headroom", as we know headroom from the analog world? Or rather "digital realignment"?
"The headroom selected will cause the plug-in to behave as though it were a hardware 33609 connected to a nominal +4 dBu interface with the selected amount of headroom": I really get confused here... with 22 dB of headroom I should push the signal hotter and hotter to reach the operating range where the coloring is more prominent. Which headroom are they talking about here?
My personal conclusion: the headroom numbers should be reversed so that with a 22 dB setting I get less coloration and with 14 dB I get more.
What do you think guys: am I getting this right?
Best to you all, Gabe

Last edited by Gabriele; 18th June 2018 at 12:51 PM..
Old 18th June 2018
  #32
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Maybe the issue is just semantics (not that it doesn't matter, it does). I'm guessing that by "internal operating level " they mean that they're lowering the level of the incoming signal in order to avoid pushing into that range of more compression, and presumably they automatically make up for it at the end of the chain. If they don't make up the loss of gain then indeed it should probably be referred to differently, meaning an increase in headroom rather than a lowering of operating level.

At any rate it should be the same thing for you as a user, no?
Old 18th June 2018
  #33
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriele View Post


What do you think guys: am I getting this right?
Best to you all, Gabe
Best way to get an answer is to write UAD directly. They have always been diligent as of LATE with their responses to me about such technical matters.

try this guy

[email protected]


If you get an answer be sure and post here? Thanks and good luck.
Old 19th June 2018
  #34
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Gabriele's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Best way to get an answer is to write UAD directly. They have always been diligent as of LATE with their responses to me about such technical matters.

[...]

If you get an answer be sure and post here? Thanks and good luck.
Thank you hasbeen! I'll try and eventually report.

Have a nice day folks!

G.
Old 19th June 2018
  #35
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Gabriele's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
At any rate it should be the same thing for you as a user, no?
Yes. I can deal with that, no problem. I have 30 yrs of experience behind me.

I am thinking about the newbies, the young (and not so young) folks that use a DAW and are struggling to be accurate in their gain staging and the literature doesn't help...
Just trying to be helpful and elaborate the matter straight.

Then, as always, whatever sounds good IS good.

Best, G.

Last edited by Gabriele; 19th June 2018 at 09:20 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Head
Okay, I realize this is an old thread, but early on, @ hasbeen reports that the proper input levels for UAD plugs have been added to the manual (back in 2012), and even gives a screenshot of a table showing what the levels should be (-18 for most, but a bit higher for the tape sims).

I can't find this table -- or anything like it -- in the current UAD manual (9.9). Does this information still exist in written form somewhere?
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