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Thread: dBVU vs. dBFS

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    dBVU vs. dBFS

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    This is in regards to the "recording volume" thread. I did a test today. I stuck a mic in front of a fairly constant signal and watched where it peaked. On my board's meters, I set it to peak at just about 0dB.

    On my card's software (Delta 1010lt), which has meters on it, it peaked around -18 (dBFS?), and after it recorded in CEP, it peaked around -18 as well. So this sounds about right?

    My stuff is in another room and it's usually just me, so I usually just turn some stuff up and go at it. I guess it's funny seeing such a small waveform, makes me question "was this recorded at a good volume?". It's all psychological.

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    from what i been reading and trying of this myself is dont use your eyes....use your ears

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    Yes that sounds about right.
    If you do any "boosting" with your board, you'll be going into the headroom where more noise and non-linearities exists.

    Trust your ears always, but also trust decades of design and engineering.

    Once you add some compression to something that was tracked in the headroom of your console you'll not have as much room to play as you would have if it were tracked at 0dBvu on your board, -18dBfs on your DAW.

    This is where it is advantageous to use 24/32-bit recording. Even at -18db in the digital realm, you're still using more than 16-bits. Then once you are in the digital domain, you can change levels without any addition on noise from running into headroom. As digital technically has NO headroom, unless we give it to ourselves by increasing bit depth (24 or 32) and tracking at a lower dB value. In essency, giving yourseld 18dB noise-free digital headroom.

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    Yes, 0dbVU = about -18dbFS

    There is probably a zoom control that makes the waveforms look bigger.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Yeah, there are zoom controls, I'll play around with 'em maybe.

    Thanks guys.

    I record everything dry through my board, no compressors or any of that. Funny how there is nothing past 0dB in digital. My meters on my board go all the way up to +18, and finally "clip".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RideTheCrash
    Yeah, there are zoom controls, I'll play around with 'em maybe.

    Thanks guys.

    I record everything dry through my board, no compressors or any of that. Funny how there is nothing past 0dB in digital. My meters on my board go all the way up to +18, and finally "clip".
    Do you see why that makes sense? That means that your board has 18db of headroom, so you give yourself 18db of headroom in the digital world. That is the way it was designed.
    0dbVU is line level. -18dbFS is line level
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Man, I didn't even realize that. Makes total sense.

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    And one of the best ways to make your tracks sound "small" is to record them too "big" - Using the 0dBVU = around -18dBFS rule of thumb while tracking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your sound.

    As that's the way it was all designed to work. "Getting the levels hot without clipping" is NOT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Massive Master
    And one of the best ways to make your tracks sound "small" is to record them too "big" - Using the 0dBVU = around -18dBFS rule of thumb while tracking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your sound.

    As that's the way it was all designed to work. "Getting the levels hot without clipping" is NOT.
    I have you and Farview to thank for revolutionalizing the way I track.
    And opening my eyes to what I should have already thought of.
    Though it took me a while before I "got it". LOL
    Again, Thanks guys!

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    Okay, another question. This might just be related to me somehow losing decibels from how my stuff is setup, but:

    I have a simple shaker track. It peaks around -12dBFS to -18dBFS (max), in Cool Edit. My Delta software meters tell me it peaks around -12dBFS, which is about right. If I send that track out to my board, the signal comes up at -24dBVU.

    Shouldn't it be up higher? Or am I looking at this wrong?

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