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Old 10-06-2003, 08:38 AM
Siberian Siberian is offline
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Default Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headroom

Sorry for all these noob questions... I am very new to this. I am working on my first home recordings now, and I have come across a few things when mixing that I wasn't able to verify in the manual...

When recording, the positions of the faders have no bearing on the input level, right?

When I am mixing, some of my tracks sometimes seem kind of weak, even with the fader turned all the way up. I end up having to put a compressor on them and crank up the gain to get a respectable volume. Now mind you, when recording, I set my preamp input levels so that the the signal is just below clipping, so I know I have a strong signal coming in.

So here are my questions...

1. When you record something, do you have to pull all of the faders in the mix window all the way down in order to have enough head room when mixing, or does that not matter? If I record something with faders set high, then pull them back down before playback/mixing, is it any different from recording with the faders pulled all the way back before I record?

2. Is there a way to change the resolution of a fader so that when I do move a fader up, I get more gain in a shorter movement? More overall gain headroom?

3. And finally, Is the master fader supposed to be set at "unity" when mixing?


Thanks for your help!


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  #2  
Old 10-06-2003, 09:34 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headro

Quote:
When recording, the positions of the faders have no bearing on the input level, right?
right.

Quote:
1. When you record something, do you have to pull all of the faders in the mix window all the way down in order to have enough head room when mixing, or does that not matter?
see answer to previous question.

Quote:
If I record something with faders set high, then pull them back down before playback/mixing, is it any different from recording with the faders pulled all the way back before I record?
see answer to first question again.

Quote:
2. Is there a way to change the resolution of a fader so that when I do move a fader up, I get more gain in a shorter movement? More overall gain headroom?
if you change your video monitor relosution, you can make the faders look bigger, but the fader increment resolution remains the same.

Quote:
3. And finally, Is the master fader supposed to be set at "unity" when mixing?
You don't actually need a master fader, but I recommend you put it at unity and leave it there, especially fi you ahve any plugins on the master fader, as the isnter point on the master fader is not really an insert point, it is a post fader patch point, and any movement in the masdter fader affects input levesl to all master fader plugins.

If you are recording with levels at or near 0dbfs, and yorus ignla is weak on playback, something is wrong with your system. You shoould get the same levels on playback as you get on record.

Unlike analog, you don't have ot be hitting the red to get optimum sound. Keep your average levels in the -15dbfs range, this willl give you a good s/n ratio and allow for adequate headroom without digital clipping.

Possibly the reasoning behind your query is the level of your finished mixes. a bounced mix in PT will never compare in level to a commercially produced, professionall mastered CD. In order for this to happen, you must have the track mastered by someone who is experienced in this. Your bounced PT tracks will typicially be several db lower than a commercial cd. Don't try to make up for this when mixing. get good levels, being careful not to overload the mix buss(by driving the channel faders to or near the top, typically keep faders around -10 on the channels to allow for headroom at the mix buss.) and either learn about the mastering process, or use a professional mastering facility to complete the recording process.

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Old 10-06-2003, 10:20 AM
3JDamon 3JDamon is offline
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Default Re: Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headro

Might as well point out again that it's best to leave all PT mixer faders at unity and use plug-in gains for mixing, sounds better that way. Don't ask me why, but there's known issues with the PT summing engine, let's just call this one of them.
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:20 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headro

Quote:
Might as well point out again that it's best to leave all PT mixer faders at unity and use plug-in gains for mixing, sounds better that way. Don't ask me why, but there's known issues with the PT summing engine, let's just call this one of them.
I stongly disagre. If you have -15dbfs or greater average levels across 24-32 tracks, you'll overload the mix buss(prior to the master fader), resulting in distorted and poor audio quality.
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:40 AM
tele_player tele_player is offline
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Default Re: Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headro

Where is that documented? At the very least, the description doesn't quite make sense, basically, using average and overload in the sentence is a problem. Overload, if it occurred, would happen on peaks, and those peaks might still occur on a track with an average level below -15dbfs.

A much more detailed explanation, from Digi, of the realities of the PTLE mix bus etc would be very interesting. But summing 32 tracks of 24-bit data can definitely be done in a 32-bit accumulator (regardless of floating point or integer).

[quoteI stongly disagre. If you have -15dbfs or greater average levels across 24-32 tracks, you'll overload the mix buss(prior to the master fader), resulting in distorted and poor audio quality.

[/QUOTE]
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2003, 05:43 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Setting fader levels for maximum mixing headro

It's not documented, but it's pretty common sense. If you set all your faders to 0, the summing buss will be overloaded if you have most or all of your channels hitting near odbfs on peaks.

this is a most common problem with DAW based recordings. I see so many times engineers slamming the mix buss, and getting inferior results. Pull all the faders back 10, put the master to 0, and the difference is astounding!!!!!!

Don't believe me, try it yourself.
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