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Thread: Analogue-Digital 0?

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    TripleJ's Avatar
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    Analogue-Digital 0?

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    Hey,

    I use a dinky little mixer as pre-amp basically. I plug my mic/source into the mixer and then run the -10 outs into my line in.

    Now I try to keep my signals around 0 on my mixer (maximum +5, then clip) in order to stop clipping/distortion. I assume this is the right thing to do.

    However the meters on my recording program (cubase) don't read anywhere near 0. They read about -20ish for this sound level.

    So basically everything seems fairly low coming into the program. The line-in on my soundcard is at full, and I can't turn the mixer up anymore for fear of distortion.

    Why the inconsistency in the 0 range between my mixer and my tracking program?

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    nope...what you're reading is right.
    there are two different metering types you're using. One is analog and the other digital. Hence as to why the analog meter on the preamp can go above 0 and the digital one cannot.

    0VU = approx. -18dBFS

    should be right about what you're getting.
    Record at 24 bit and you'll be fine.

    In the analog world zero equals ideal level.
    In the digital world zero equals distortion...or "TURN ME DOWN!!!!"

    If it makes it easier for you, pretend -18dBFS actually reads 0 and the 0 you see in cubase is actually +18. In other words...you have more head room!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bennychico11
    nope...what you're reading is right.
    there are two different metering types you're using. One is analog and the other digital. Hence as to why the analog meter on the preamp can go above 0 and the digital one cannot.

    0VU = approx. -18dBFS

    should be right about what you're getting.
    Record at 24 bit and you'll be fine.

    In the analog world zero equals ideal level.
    In the digital world zero equals distortion...or "TURN ME DOWN!!!!"

    If it makes it easier for you, pretend -18dBFS actually reads 0 and the 0 you see in cubase is actually +18. In other words...you have more head room!!
    SCORE!

    Nah thanks I remember reading about that a long time ago but it wasn't really pertinent at the time.

    I understand that 24bit tends to give more headroom, but I am currently limited to 16. Is this a terrible thing?

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    Massive Master's Avatar
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    It's not the worst thing in the world - But you should really make that your next upgrade. And without recording "too hot" - On things that are fairly steady, you can err on the "hot" side - Instead of looking for levels dancing around -18, maybe go up to around -12 or so until you upgrade the conversion.

    But GOOD FOR YOU for connecting the dots early - I know people who have gone YEARS recording with their signals FAR too hot and wondering "why don't my mixes sound like 'pro' mixes."

    Chicklets for you.
    John Scrip - MASSIVE Mastering


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    Spark his curiosity to find the answer himself and he'll mix for a lifetime...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bennychico11
    nope...what you're reading is right.
    there are two different metering types you're using. One is analog and the other digital. Hence as to why the analog meter on the preamp can go above 0 and the digital one cannot.

    0VU = approx. -18dBFS

    should be right about what you're getting.
    Record at 24 bit and you'll be fine.

    In the analog world zero equals ideal level.
    In the digital world zero equals distortion...or "TURN ME DOWN!!!!"

    If it makes it easier for you, pretend -18dBFS actually reads 0 and the 0 you see in cubase is actually +18. In other words...you have more head room!!
    Bullseye......

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    Minion is offline Blow Me !!!
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    I made this mistake also when I first started recording....I thought for some reason that 0db would be Silance so I would try to record at about +18 and I wondered why my recordings sounded like Crap......

    After realizeing my Mistake I lowered the levels in my DAW to about -18db and suddenly my recordings sounded MUCH better and since I found this great little freeware VST Compressor it has really improved my recordings.....


    Cheers
    War is just a word used to hide the nakedness of their killing ......

    Kwai Chang Caine
    (Kung Fu)

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