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Old 11-03-2013, 08:32 PM
bryced87 bryced87 is offline
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Default Proper Recording Levels

What should my proper recording levels be? I've read many opinions and I'm not sure what is the right one. Some say record using Prefader turned on and the input level should never hit Yellow. Others say it should be Halfway into the Yellow Others Say it should be almost clipping. I have peak turned on in the Mix window and right now it's set to -10db
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

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Originally Posted by bryced87 View Post
What should my proper recording levels be? I've read many opinions and I'm not sure what is the right one. Some say record using Prefader turned on and the input level should never hit Yellow. Others say it should be Halfway into the Yellow Others Say it should be almost clipping. I have peak turned on in the Mix window and right now it's set to -10db
Just hitting yellow should be perfect. There's no reason to push the level towards clipping in a DAW. The main reason you would do so on an analog/tape system is to get well above the tape noise/hiss, plus the saturation of the tape can sound nice - neither of those aspects applies in a digital system where the dynamic range is greater and digital clipping gets nasty.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:23 AM
DMB13KOS DMB13KOS is offline
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

Exactly - to those of us with a tape background, the first thing to learned with digital audio is that there is no need to record as hot as we did when we burned in tape.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

That took me a bit to get use to Having learned to record to tape was a hard habit to break
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

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Originally Posted by DMB13KOS View Post
Exactly - to those of us with a tape background, the first thing to learned with digital audio is that there is no need to record as hot as we did when we burned in tape.
Actually, we're still recording to the same levels that we always did.

What people don't realize is that 0dB VU (+4dBu) is only -18dBFS on most PT interfaces. So when you're just into the yellow in PT, you're actually running your analog gear right where it wants to be.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:03 AM
DMB13KOS DMB13KOS is offline
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

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Originally Posted by Drew Mazurek View Post
Actually, we're still recording to the same levels that we always did.

What people don't realize is that 0dB VU (+4dBu) is only -18dBFS on most PT interfaces. So when you're just into the yellow in PT, you're actually running your analog gear right where it wants to be.
Thanks, Drew, I really did not know that - assumed the metering was the same.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

Metering is the same, if you mean the lowest is in the bottom and the highest is on the top

Seriously though,

Analog and digital are two different animals. If you go over digital zero, it sounds nasty. That is an absolute limit, and we need to preserve some headroom to be safe. Analog though, that is kind of relative. Yes there is a reference level but what does it mean? Your voltages are the same as everywhere, but then again there are lots of different sounding analog gear and different sounding tapes and if you stay safe or ride rough those are different sounds. In digital domain that sound shaping does not happen. Only thing you need to worry is never go red.

So that's why yellow is the new red. Hitting yellow is just as good as hitting 0 VU and it just leaves you plenty of headroom so you don't have to worry about levels at all. Really. Not at all, if you stay low enough.

And if you want numbers, here you go:
- best AD converters have about 120dB dynamics
- 24 bit digital word has 144dB dynamics
==> if you use your converters to their fullest, you have about 24dB headroom

In other words, anything hotter than -20dBFS is just amplifying noise and leaves you less headroom.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

0dB VU (+4dBu) is -18dBFS

+1
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:53 AM
jewa jewa is offline
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

This is a really good tutorial on levels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Qm6NFIY2E
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:55 PM
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Drew Mazurek Drew Mazurek is offline
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Default Re: Proper Recording Levels

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Originally Posted by DMB13KOS View Post
Thanks, Drew, I really did not know that - assumed the metering was the same.
Glad to help with the little I do know in this area.
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