Gain staging advice?

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SuburbanThug
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Gain staging advice?

Post by SuburbanThug » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:18 pm

Basically I'm not left with any volume by the time I get everything mixed properly. With the kick drums sitting in the mix how I want them they are peaking at -6 and almost everything else is peaking at or below -12 except the bass which is up there around -6 as well. Should I be staging everything at 0 while I'm working and then turn everything down once I'm done? Sorry total engineering noob here.

I'm using an RME Babyface pre-amp and JBL monitors. The track is bass-y minimal techno stuff.

Tarekith
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Re: Gain staging advice?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:03 pm

Why not just turn up the monitors if it's too quiet with the dynamic range you want?

musikmachine
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Re: Gain staging advice?

Post by musikmachine » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:01 pm

Tarekith wrote:Why not just turn up the monitors if it's too quiet with the dynamic range you want?
+1, i calibrated my monitors using an SPL meter a while back using the K-Meter system. I don't use K-Metering but i know what i'm hearing is at it's true output using a reference level of 83db. SOS to the rescue! https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may14/ ... toring.htm

SuburbanThug
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Re: Gain staging advice?

Post by SuburbanThug » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:03 pm

Silly me, I thought that EQ8 had a built in peak meter. Or maybe I'm just not reading it right. I got the Melda Loudness Analyzer and found that I wasn't sending nearly as loud of a signal as I thought. Thanks for the reading material though, I'll need it on the road to getting the sound right in this room.


Edit: Oh, yeah. A neat thing called Spectrum I've been neglecting to use. However the readings from Spectrum are 7dbs lower than that of the Melda Loudness Analyzer.

2nd Edit: Found this nice thread in which Stringtapper explains what the Y axis in EQ8's Analyzer is actually displaying which I couldn't find any explanation of in the manual: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=213841&hilit=eq8+analyzer

jlgrimes
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Re: Gain staging advice?

Post by jlgrimes » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:47 pm

SuburbanThug wrote:Basically I'm not left with any volume by the time I get everything mixed properly. With the kick drums sitting in the mix how I want them they are peaking at -6 and almost everything else is peaking at or below -12 except the bass which is up there around -6 as well. Should I be staging everything at 0 while I'm working and then turn everything down once I'm done? Sorry total engineering noob here.

I'm using an RME Babyface pre-amp and JBL monitors. The track is bass-y minimal techno stuff.

Its usually best to leave at least 6 db of headroom on the master bus when mixing. Basically you can be clipping your converters even without the peaks showing in your DAW because of intersample peaks if you try to mix too close to 0 db.


So I would keep individual tracks at conservative levels, mix at conservative levels, and turn up at the end if needed.

SuburbanThug
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Re: Gain staging advice?

Post by SuburbanThug » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:28 am

Thanks for the advice. Turns out I was just being too conservative. Things were sounding nice at such a low volume allowing so much headroom though! I've got the speakers pumping nicely now that I've done a little more reading and measuring. Amazing what a little gain staging can accomplish. Now that I'm working at 88200 hz and setting my levels right I can hear everything in a lot more detail.

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