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  #1  
Old 10-10-2001, 09:45 PM
Felix Felix is offline
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Default setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

i'd like to start another thread on this topic.
on one side, it makes sense to record at the level that keeps the track fader and master fader at zero. however, this recquires recording tracks at a much lower level than is typically recommended with respect to taking advantage of the most bits. to keep my faders at zero, i must record with the meters on my Apogee showing -10 to -14 dbFS. the Digi manual states: "Adjust the input signal to register as high as possible on your input meter without triggering the clipping indicator. If the input level is too low, you will not take full advantage of the dynamic range of your ProTools system." this is hardly the first time i've encountered this advice. in fact, up until lately, i've understood it to be the 'golden rule'. my apogee even has soft clip feature to avoid clipping when pushing the limits. if i was mixing with a console, this would all be fine. but within ProTools, either A- all the faders must lowered considerably if recorded at such levels or B- lower the Master Fader. with A, i introduce a lot of additional signal processing to every one of the channels which is never a good thing. with B- the mix bus is being overloaded (even worse than A).
first of all, if anything i've said so far is wrong...keep in mind i don't claim to be an expert on this, hence, this post.
so, in short, am i correct in sacrificing my "dynamic range" by recording with lower levels for the sake of keeping the master fader and all, or most of, the other faders at zero? so far, this seems to be working better for me.
if i must change tracks levels, i alter the final plug-in's level(if a plug-in is even on an insert). is it better to record at full levels and use plug-ins to reduce the levels?
i would like to hear other peoples thoughts on this. it would be nice to hear from digi also.
(just don't tell me to get a console cause that just isn't an option.)
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2001, 02:43 AM
jackruston jackruston is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

Hmm. This is a good one Felix. I have always firmly believed that It is crucial to get absolutley the best level in that you can. I dont bother if it's a pad that will be practically non existant anyway, but usually I try to get a good strong signal. As you so rightly say, once a few tracks are running together, the mix bus will overload, forcing you to start backing everything off. So is it better to record at a lower level, or should we just carry on backing everything off?
Jack
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2001, 03:48 AM
Greg Malcangi Greg Malcangi is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

Hi Felix,

You've got it a bit wrong. If you are outputting all your channels individually to mix them externally, you need to keep the faders at unity as PT truncates it's outputs. If you are mixing internally within PT the fader outputs are passed along to the mix buss without being truncated. Therefore you don't experience the loss of resolution at low fader levels when mixing internally as you do when mixing externally.

In short always record the hottest signal you can without clipping. If you are mixing internally then adjust volume with the faders. If you are mixing externally then adjust volume with the faders on the external mixer. Remember though that the master fader is being output from PT and will therefore be truncated, so try to leave the master fader at unity.

Greg
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Old 10-11-2001, 06:05 AM
jackruston jackruston is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

Thanks Greg thats very helpful. Does that mean we should consider recalibrating so that we end up with a lower headroom. Personally I'm at -14 but do you think it'd be better to try even less headroom. I often add a boost to synths and things to get their levels up a bit.
Thanks
Jack
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2001, 06:35 AM
Mike Tholen Mike Tholen is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

this is not a mystery.
observe 0dB VU.
PERIOD. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2001, 07:32 AM
knewbee knewbee is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<HR>Originally posted by Greg Malcangi:
If you are outputting all your channels individually to mix them externally, you need to keep the faders at unity as PT truncates it's outputs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whoah, really? It's so hard to keep track of all this stuff, but are you saying that if I move a fader in PT, the signal is dithered in the internal PT mixer, but truncated when it goes out through the 888 analog outputs? Even if I use the dithered 24-bit mixer plugin?
If so, that really sucks...

(sorry, I know this thread was about mixing internally...)
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Old 10-11-2001, 09:41 AM
Felix Felix is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<HR>Originally posted by Greg Malcangi:
Hi Felix,

If you are mixing internally within PT the fader outputs are passed along to the mix buss without being truncated. Therefore you don't experience the loss of resolution at low fader levels when mixing internally as you do when mixing externally.


Greg
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

sorry, still a little confused. [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
so you're saying that lowering the mixer faders does not degrade the signals in any way? i figure that there is signal processing going on when the volume of the signal is altered and that if all the channels are altered, then the result is an accumulation of processed, re-calculated sources which would seem to be detrimental. do you mean to say that when all this math is finished, nothing is rounded up to achieve the final result? or do you mean to say that whatever degradation occurs is not significant enough to warrant recording at lower levels (thus losing bits/dynamic range for each recorded signal)?
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2001, 10:00 AM
michael c michael c is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

Where are the official Digi techs when these kind of questions come up????

Their response would make sure that a lot of misinformation would not be posted on these kind of issues.....
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2001, 10:41 AM
ZA ZA is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

To me, the question is, which is more noticeable, the noise introduced by the calculations taking place when the faders are lowered, or the noise floor of the original A/D conversion?

I always figured it was the latter, and therefore set my levels as high as possible. That way, when you lower the fader, you're lowering the noise, too.

I would love to see some hard numbers on this, though. Digi?
--za
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2001, 01:23 PM
Mike Tholen Mike Tholen is offline
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Default Re: setting record levels into ProTools with the intent of mixing in ProTools

http://duc.digidesign.com/cgi-bin/ub...c&f=2&t=005346
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