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Old 03-09-2001, 10:57 PM
michael c michael c is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: LA CA 90027
Posts: 1,081
Default Digital Calibration Level

We have our studio calibrated at -12 db. If the idea is to record as close as possible to digital '0' without going over, I was wondering if (in our case) -12 is too low. If our analog mic pres and compressors are hitting analog meters at 0 VU and higher with peaks, we are only hitting our PSX-100 at -12 digital which is way below '0'. What level is the optimum level?
I realize it depends on how much headroom your mixer has. But is it better when using the PT mixer to record basically at -12 on each track or to get as close as possible to digital 0 and bring the faders down as needed for the mix. This means we would need to calibrate our studio at a higher level. Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2001, 11:14 PM
BDWillis BDWillis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Nashville, TN USA
Posts: 559
Default Re: Digital Calibration Level

The AES standard for digital levels is -18 dB. However, your description sounds like your analog pre's & comps are operating at a nominal level of -10 dB (consumer level), as opposed to +4 dB (pro level). Digi's 888 i/o's have internal jumpers that allow them to be set up for -10 dB nominal level, but I don't know about the PSX-100. There are a couple of chapters in the TDM Hardware Installation Guide (re: calibration, nominal level, etc.) that might help you sort it all out.

On your second point — yes, record individual tracks at the highest possible level, and keep faders low during mixdown so as not to beat up PT's stereo bus. Then use Waves L1 (or Digi maxim, etc.) as master insert to bring the stereo bus level up, although I try not to do more than a 3 to 5 dB of stereo bus Maximizing… it starts to sound terribly smashed & unmusical, with less depth. Good luck.

Warmest Regards,
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