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Gain-staging for saturation plugins
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Gain-staging for saturation plugins

Hi,
I'm having some gain problems with saturator plugins (Vintage warmer, Klanghelm SDRR...)

When I insert SDRR on heavy distorted electric rhythm guitar track, the signal hit around 0VU (-18dBFS) on the meter of the plugin easily. But when I insert it on the drum bus, it hardly hit 0VU.
I noticed the RMS and the peak of the drum and guitar nearly the same. When I use Vintage warmer, the signal of guitar hit the plugin better. But I have to gain too much to drive the signal of drum too much to be saturated by VM.

How can I properly gain to use these plugin?
In the attachment, 3 plugins on the right side are on guitar track, 3 left ones are on drum bus.
Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Gain-staging for saturation plugins-vu.jpg  
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Anyone help me :(
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Jolly Jimmy's Avatar
 

You're not going to hit 0VU with heavily transient material such as drums without clipping. Don't worry about not getting anywhere near 0VU in this case, just keep an eye on the peak levels and make sure to leave a little headroom so as not to clip anything. Here's how gain stage ITB : I aim for 0VU @-18dBFS or around -9dBFS peak, whichever the signal hits first.
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Jimmy View Post
You're not going to hit 0VU with heavily transient material such as drums without clipping. Don't worry about not getting anywhere near 0VU in this case, just keep an eye on the peak levels and make sure to leave a little headroom so as not to clip anything. Here's how gain stage ITB : I aim for 0VU @-18dBFS or around -9dBFS peak, whichever the signal hits first.
Thanks!
But how can I saturate the drum with the plugins I mentioned because RMS level is very low? In the manual of Klanghelm SDRR: "make sure, that the input signal hits around 0dBVU with the VU MODE set to INPUT for optimal plugin operation"?

I usually leave the room bus at ~ -10dBFS peak. Do you mean "0VU @-18dBFS " for little transient material like electric guitar / synth... and -9dBFS peak for rich transient material like drum? I've started mixing for a year, so I've got very little experience.

And when I looked at the meter of the drum bus in the DAW (Studio One 2.6), I noticed the RMS never went below -16dBFS. But why did it not hit the "0VU @-18dBFS " in SDRR?. In the attachment at the bottom of the first post, Sonalksis FreeG also shows RMS level ~ 11dBFS. I played the loop in a minute so that FreeG could measured more exactly.
Thanks!
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