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Plugins' (synth and effects) gain staging
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Plugins' (synth and effects) gain staging

Hi to all,
I have a question to make. I always check my gain in all stages of my productions from composing to mixing. I find that keeping low levels when composing makes things easier when I have to import more and more audio tracks. So what I usually do is stacking a vu meter in every track and aiming to have enough headroom in composing stage.
When mixing I mostly use me ears than vu meters or any meters (except of the final mix bus) because as I continue from the low levels of my composing stage is much easier to mix.
I cannot understand what happens in the plugins themselves internally speaking both for soft synths and effects. The DAWs I use have 32bit internal floating point system. But I cannot find any info for the plugins and their internal floating system they use to process audio.
Most of soft synths come with really hot presets and their meters are clipping. What I do is to lower the final output volume of these synths.I cannot hear any unwanted digital distortion when lowering the volume (sometimes I cannot even hear digital distortion when their meters are hitting red) but I was thinking what happens in the previous stages of the synths' routing. Is it enough to just lower the final volume knob or I always have to adjust the volume earlier in the synth let's say the oscillators' volumes?
The same for effect plugins I use like compressors etc. What if I hit the input of a compressor too much and then lower the output? Will it clip internally? And when I mean clip I at talking for unwanted digital clipping and not for simulated analog clipping of some hardware simulation plugins.

Thank you!!!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
In floating point there will be no clipping unless it's part of the design of the plugin.
Controlling the settings of the plugin on the other hand could become a problem.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thank you for your answer.

If daw has 32bit floating point but plugin not then it would not be possible to have digital distortion?
How could I check if a plugin could digitally clip internal?

Please forgive me for my English
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
I don't know of any plugin not working at floating point.
With a test tone and a scope (something like s(M)exoscope) you could check it.
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