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Question with Master Volume on Yamaha DM1000
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Question with Master Volume on Yamaha DM1000

Hi everyone, I´m currently having a bothering question about the Yamaha DM1000 Digital Mixer and the master fader. A coworker tells me that I should not record at 0dBFS because it tends to clip and pop. And well, it´s not easy to argue with this guy because he is very closed to opinions rather than his, the tipical "I´m always right".
So a few days ago, I was recording a radio program with a guest that is to plosive and tends to move over the mic, making the audio fluctuate in level. When he notices the plosives, he tells me that I should not record with the master fader at 0dBFS. The thing is that I was tought that the master fader should always be at 0dBFS and you should mix and gain stage accordingly to the master fader at 0. So as a reasonable person, I tried explaining him that that was the correct way they tought me, but he answered me by explaining that the master fader worked like a analog mixer and should be used in -6 dBFS, that´s why the mic picked up most of the plosives.
So, I´m not even sure if thats a reasonable way to record, by giving you an artificaial "limiter" and avoiding clipping and pops, or tell him his not recording properly...
If so, how can I explain him "technically" that that is not a proper way to record...
Or am I wrong?

so in a shorter question...
Does putting the Master fader of the DM1000 on -6dBFS prevent the plosive and clipping? Or should I still record on 0 dBFS?

Greetings from MX
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiguelVilla View Post
Does putting the Master fader of the DM1000 on -6dBFS prevent the plosive and clipping? Or should I still record on 0 dBFS?
Plosive is often used to mean breath pops. Is that what you are talking about?

Plosives or breath pops (sometimes also called wind blast) are loud, unwanted sounds, generally in the low to low-mid frequencies, that are caused by a sudden blast of air hitting the diaphragm of the mic. This blast of air can be released by the speaker's mouth on consonants such as p, b, t or f. The sound is created by the air hitting the microphone diaphragm, so nothing you do with a fader will prevent it.

They must be prevented with some combination of:
  • The speaker's microphone technique.
  • Your placement of the mic relative to the speaker's mouth.
  • A mesh screen or "pop filter" in front of the mic.

A hi-pass filter on the input channel can sometimes help, but is usually only marginally effective, if at all.

0 on the master fader (or any fader) and 0 dbFS are not the same thing. Your friend is correct that you do not want to record at 0 dbFS, as that would cause clipping.

However, when a fader is set at its 0 mark, that simply means it is passing the audio through at unity gain. It is not adding gain (amplification) or reducing gain (attenuation). Master faders are often designed to provide only attenuation, and no additional gain. That is why 0 on the DM-1000 master is at the top of the fader but the channel faders go up to +10 with 0 some distance below that. The channel faders can add as much as 10 dB of gain, but the master fader can only reduce the gain.

The manufacturer has marked these unity gain positions on the faders for optimum gain staging throughout the console system. Typically, we mix the way you were taught: set the master fader to unity, which in the case of the DM-1000 would be all the way up. Maintaining the same output level when the master fader is set at -6 would require boosting the channel faders enough to make up that 6 dB of loss in the composite mix. This can make it easier to inadvertently overload the mixing bus prior to the master fader.

Hope this helps.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
Note that the term "dBFS" is shorthand for "decibels relative to full scale." Full scale means the digital word is all ones and no zeros. You can't go higher than full scale. Attempting to do so causes clipping.

A decibel is just a ratio (logarithm, actually), not a concrete unit of measurement like a kilogram or a mile.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventil View Post
Plosive is often used to mean breath pops. Is that what you are talking about?

Plosives or breath pops (sometimes also called wind blast) are loud, unwanted sounds, generally in the low to low-mid frequencies, that are caused by a sudden blast of air hitting the diaphragm of the mic. This blast of air can be released by the speaker's mouth on consonants such as p, b, t or f. The sound is created by the air hitting the microphone diaphragm, so nothing you do with a fader will prevent it.

They must be prevented with some combination of:
  • The speaker's microphone technique.
  • Your placement of the mic relative to the speaker's mouth.
  • A mesh screen or "pop filter" in front of the mic.

A hi-pass filter on the input channel can sometimes help, but is usually only marginally effective, if at all.

0 on the master fader (or any fader) and 0 dbFS are not the same thing. Your friend is correct that you do not want to record at 0 dbFS, as that would cause clipping.

However, when a fader is set at its 0 mark, that simply means it is passing the audio through at unity gain. It is not adding gain (amplification) or reducing gain (attenuation). Master faders are often designed to provide only attenuation, and no additional gain. That is why 0 on the DM-1000 master is at the top of the fader but the channel faders go up to +10 with 0 some distance below that. The channel faders can add as much as 10 dB of gain, but the master fader can only reduce the gain.

The manufacturer has marked these unity gain positions on the faders for optimum gain staging throughout the console system. Typically, we mix the way you were taught: set the master fader to unity, which in the case of the DM-1000 would be all the way up. Maintaining the same output level when the master fader is set at -6 would require boosting the channel faders enough to make up that 6 dB of loss in the composite mix. This can make it easier to inadvertently overload the mixing bus prior to the master fader.

Hope this helps.
I think I missed used the term dBFS, and made a little confusing the post. Lets get rid of it...
And about the guest , yeah, he tends to make mouth smacks and breath blasts, he may need a little training. Also next time, I´ll mic him differently...
But yeah, you helped a lot, I now understand better the function of the master fader.

When I record with the DM1000, I always set gain on the channels first, Master fader at 0, soloed channel at zero, then adjust the gain knob until I see peaks on the meter between -16 and -10 dB, after that I unsolo, and level again if necessary. Level wise I think everything is ok, but now knowing that decreasing the master level may lead you to overdrive the channel strip I can tell him that putting the fader on 0 dB does not make the audio clip or more sensitive to plosives. It´s a thing of mic positioning and the guest technique, as you sayed.
Is that right?

Greetings and thx for your time to reply
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventil View Post
Note that the term "dBFS" is shorthand for "decibels relative to full scale." Full scale means the digital word is all ones and no zeros. You can't go higher than full scale. Attempting to do so causes clipping.

A decibel is just a ratio (logarithm, actually), not a concrete unit of measurement like a kilogram or a mile.
Yep, I missed used them thinking that the digital mixer would use that dB algorithm.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 
ventil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiguelVilla View Post
I can tell him that putting the fader on 0 dB does not make the audio clip or more sensitive to plosives. It´s a thing of mic positioning and the guest technique, as you sayed.
Is that right?
That is correct.

And your approach to setting up is a good one.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
SonicAxiom's Avatar
while everything that ventil said is correct, my I ask why you are recording through the master fader of the DM1000? This is not the most common and most elegant way of tracking a voice. Normally, in a studio/recording environment, you'd route a channel of the DM1k to a bus or a direct out which would then leave the consple via the slot expansion card to finally arrive at the recording device or computer.

btw, I'm also using a DM1k here in my studio. I love this console although it's not actually in my recording path anymore but rather providing cue mixes and allows convenient monitoring of all my different studio sources.
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