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[Gain Staging] Identical db, but Difference in Audible Volume
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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[Gain Staging] Identical db, but Difference in Audible Volume

Hey guys, I've currently been studying about gain-staging and had a quick question regarding levels.

- I have one project with a sample pack loop gainstaged, so the track is peaking at -12 db in the mixer.
- I have another project with three VST's gainstaged, so that the total peak of the three VSTS's is peaking at -12db in the mixer.

Why does the sample pack loop sound significantly louder than the three VST's if both are peaking at -12db?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Quote:
Hey guys, I've currently been studying about gain-staging and had a quick question regarding levels.

- I have one project with a sample pack loop gainstaged, so the track is peaking at -12 db in the mixer.
- I have another project with three VST's gainstaged, so that the total peak of the three VSTS's is peaking at -12db in the mixer.
PEAK dB does not determine loudness. You can have 10 audio track that all peak at the same -12dB and they will have all different loudness levels.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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peak and rms levels do not always match with apparent volume...if a mix is more biased towards the human hearing sensitivity range and another isn't they might both have same rms levels but one could sound significantly louder ..think of Bob "3K" Ludwig mastering
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunnelno5 View Post
Hey guys, I've currently been studying about gain-staging and had a quick question regarding levels.

- I have one project with a sample pack loop gainstaged, so the track is peaking at -12 db in the mixer.
- I have another project with three VST's gainstaged, so that the total peak of the three VSTS's is peaking at -12db in the mixer.

Why does the sample pack loop sound significantly louder than the three VST's if both are peaking at -12db?
The louder one is more probably compressed or limited than the quiet one (or the quiet one more dynamic).

We experience loudness by the average level of sounds.
So, a compressed/limited AND GAINED UP signal will have a higher average level, compared to this same signal with uncompressed peaks.

Say you have a signal with average levels around -18dBFS and 6dB higher peaks, reaching -12dBFS.
If you now compress/limit the peaks with 3dB, and gain up to get the, now only 3dB higher peaks to reach -12dBFS, the average level will be now at -15dBFS, so also 3dB higher, thus louder.

I hope this helped answer your question.

Regards.
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