Recording Levels -- a.k.a. PROPER recording levels

Dogbreath

Im an ex-spurt
This is the read that got me tracking at better levels.

This one simple thing has improved my recordings more than any thing else I've done.

Kudo's (again) John. :)
 

calimoose

New member
This is the read that got me tracking at better levels.

This one simple thing has improved my recordings more than any thing else I've done.

Kudo's (again) John. :)

Very helpful, indeed. I actually wanted to show a tip that a friend gave me that was kind of related, but I'll post it separately in the forum :)
 

GONZO-X

Well-known member
you know,
even after years of reading this stuff,
actively using it in recordings,
etc etc,
it's still good to refresh and put things into perspective,

good stuff, thanks!
 

calimoose

New member

famous beagle

Well-known member
Thanks for posting this. Just so I understand fully, this is talking about the levels that show up in the DAW, correct? My old AI would allow me to see levels coming into it outside of the DAW with its own separate mixer program, but with my new one (Steinberg UR22), that doesn't seem to be an option. It just has a clip LED on each channel.
 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
Assuming there isn't anything in line changing levels or apparent levels (including faders or other 'gain' controls in some cases), yes.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
" but with my new one (Steinberg UR22), that doesn't seem to be an option. It just has a clip LED on each channel. "
And that to me shows good design sense enabling Steinberg to bring an excellent AI to market at a really low price (with MIDI!) . Having a "bumble" indicator at -30dBFS or so can be handy but in truth how often do we use them? Once systems are all drivered up and some test recordings done, levels are judged in the DAW, which is as it should be.

Pretty lights rarely add to sound quality.

Dave.
 

wmalan

Member
Thanks for posting this. Just so I understand fully, this is talking about the levels that show up in the DAW, correct? My old AI would allow me to see levels coming into it outside of the DAW with its own separate mixer program, but with my new one (Steinberg UR22), that doesn't seem to be an option. It just has a clip LED on each channel.

Great info from Massive!

My Focusrite - I only get the cute flashing green LED as well. Matter of fact if I'm using either line in or phantom for my condenser mic, I can't get close to red as it clips at the DAW anyway (Reaper). If I ever upgrade, I'm going to look for one that has actual meters (not sure if it's that important in the digital age but I like the feedback).
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Great info from Massive!

My Focusrite - I only get the cute flashing green LED as well. Matter of fact if I'm using either line in or phantom for my condenser mic, I can't get close to red as it clips at the DAW anyway (Reaper). If I ever upgrade, I'm going to look for one that has actual meters (not sure if it's that important in the digital age but I like the feedback).

Do you meant analogue "VU" meters? If so think on...

One reason I would like to buy a cheap Akai EIE is to see how the meters are setup (manual is bog useless) . This is because if you are recording at -18/-20dBFS the VU meters will be doing practically bugger all IF correctly calibrated and I would guess they are too slow to show peaks? In any case the peaks should be no higher than neg ten, still WAY down the scale and hardly worth the effort? I cannot but feel the meters encourage people to record unnecessarily hot?

For those who are still bit lost with digital levels, consider this...

0dBFS equates to as loud as your computer can put out so if your monitors can produce say 100dBSPL max..THAT is what (very, very crudely) 0dBFS should correspond to.
Since most of the time you will not want to be deafened the average level in the DAW must be much lower.

Another analogue is a power amp driven from a mixer. Said PA will probably produce full power for an input of 0 or +4dBu but the MIXER will have a headroom of at least +20dBu if it is any good at all!

Dave.
 
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