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Old 08-09-2018, 09:48 PM
jd1234 jd1234 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 13
Default Preamp Gain vs. Digital Output

Hoping to get some opinions on this question regarding settings for preamps and converters? Here is 2 scenarios, whichever you feel “generally speaking” works better?

1.)Cranking the Preamp signal (analog) and minimize the digital output signal (on converter)


2.)Having a lower Preamp signal and cranking up the digital output?

I realize the opinions will vary and it’s probs best to experiment on your own for the best sound but I am wondering if there is a general rule of thumb with this?To be honest I used to have my gain on preamps cranked and had a lower digital output on converter and this was not nearly as good as lowering my preamp signal (reduced gain) and raising the digital output signal. I am still messing around to get the best sound but I feel like it’s way better to have the digital output on my converter engaged to the max even if it means I have to lower the gain/signal on the preamp. Opinions?
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:59 AM
Stig Eliassen's Avatar
Stig Eliassen Stig Eliassen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Norway @ Studio Varmt & Trangt
Posts: 7,453
Default Re: Preamp Gain vs. Digital Output

I shoot for 0 VU on my UA 6176, and 0 to +4 dbu on my Portico 5012s. Those levels sounds the best to me, and roughly translates to -18 to -14 dbfs in Pro Tools. A comfortable level.
Studio rig - Pro Tools|HDX 2018.7 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | Avid HD I/O (8x8x8) | 6-core 3.33 Westmere w/24GB RAM | OS 10.12.3 | D-Command ES | Eleven Rack | Vienna Ensemble Pro 5
Mobile rig - Macbook Pro i7 w/16GB RAM | UA Apollo 8p | Pro Tools|HD 2018.3 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | OS 10.12.6
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:07 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: nashville
Posts: 34,434
Default Re: Preamp Gain vs. Digital Output

The only reason to go with cranking the preamp and turning down at the converter is if you want distortion from driving the preamp hard. Some preamps(Neve?) do have a pleasing sound when driven hard, but, with all the plugins available, I rarely go for it at the preamp(its too easy to overdo it and once overdone, its overdone forever)
HP z820 12 core, 64GB RAM, HD/Native, HD IOx2, PT11HD, UAD Quad, preamps from Vintech, Five Fish Audio, Miktek, Focusrite, Chameleon Labs, Warm Audio and Midas..............................

The better I drink...the more I mix.....

BTW, my name is Dave, but most people call me.........................Dave
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