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recording levels in PT
Old 10th November 2009
  #1
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Unknown soldier's Avatar
 

recording levels in PT

After reading up on a lot of stuff regarding how hot to record, is it now considered conventional wisdom to run your analog gear at it's optimum levels (not cranking the mic pre gain or compressor make up level) and be happy with the signals hitting your converters? It leaves you with a lot of overall headroom, and means you have to turn up your monitors.....

So, when burning the final mix you really need crank the gain/limit to get a track comparable to commercial releases...and by doing that are you defeating the purpose of lower level tracking in the 1st place? More limiting means more artifacts.

just wondering.....
Old 10th November 2009
  #2
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amishsixstringe's Avatar
 

I'm going to say no.

First off: The reason you're going in less hot is to take strain off your converters...

Secondly: Once you have a good level itb you can now use your plugins without overloading/clipping them as well.

Now, you're just simply turning up one (master) fader to compensate for your level. Turning up volume ITB is MUCH more transparent than pushing the headroom on your converters or plugins, or hardware for that matter.

Even if my explanation is a little off, I can tell you that your mixes WILL sound better if you keep your levels down initially, regardless of what math and theory tell you. I don't care how it works...it just does.


Good luck.

Neil
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
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Unknown soldier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post

Now, you're just simply turning up one (master) fader to compensate for your level. Turning up volume ITB is MUCH more transparent than pushing the headroom on your converters or plugins, or hardware for that matter.

Neil
So once you record a track at the proper level(-12,-16, or whatever your converter is calibrated at ) then you are free to increase the gain of the digital tracks via internal adjustments (plug ins and/or fader). I've occasionally pushed a track to +3 or higher in PT, but still had headroom before clipping on the converters. This is a better approach than initially record the track hot.
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Run your gear however it sounds best... if that means pushing it do it... however give yourself plenty of headroom inside PT....

REMEMBER THAT IF YOUR SIGNAL IS HALFWAY UP THE METER IN PT YOU ONLY HAVE 10 dB of headroom until HARD CLIPPING occurs...

Normal analog consoles when run at 0 VU have upwards of 20 dB of headroom before "nice" distortion happens.

You are not going to get anything worthwhile out of "pushing" the output of your PT setup.... (unless you dig digital clipping...)

Use a ANALOG control to control the overall speaker volume... don't turn up/down your PT session because its TOO LOUD or too quiet...

Maintain proper gain structure and plenty o' headroom and then have your mastering engineer ruin all that hard work for you.
Old 10th November 2009
  #5
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paulreed's Avatar
 

"Maintain proper gain structure and plenty o' headroom and then have your mastering engineer ruin all that hard work for you"

very funny, very very funny
Old 10th November 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post
I can tell you that your mixes WILL sound better if you keep your levels down initially, regardless of what math and theory tell you. I don't care how it works...it just does.
+1

There is a lot of truth to this. Keeping levels down in PT was the best thing I ever did for mixing ITB.

There was a time when I was wondering why I couldn't tell a huge difference in all these great plug ins people were talking about....they all kind of sounded homogenized (for lack of a better word), especially compressors, I was getting the character, but not the control.
I figured out later, after a lot of discussion here in particular, that I just wasn't hitting them at an optimal level.

Keep those levels down!!

Now I don't record anything into PT above -12, general levels around -14/-16.
Old 10th November 2009
  #7
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Resis's Avatar
 

That is true!!
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