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  #1  
Old 02-05-2017, 07:58 AM
skateboardharvey skateboardharvey is offline
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Default Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Hello, I have Pro Tools 11 with an M-Audio Fast Track Pro. I want to record vocals and want to make sure I am setting my gain right. If the track volume on Pro Tools is on 0.0, where should my "green" vocals go up to on the volume meter? Even after adding EQ/Compressor, should it stay in that same range?

Another question: if the microphone picks up ambience of the room or noises from another room, does that mean the gain is too loud?
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2017, 09:14 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by skateboardharvey View Post
...where should my "green" vocals go up to on the volume meter? Even after adding EQ/Compressor, should it stay in that same range?
I very rarely drive input levels above -6dBFS. Be sure meters are set to "Pre". Plugins on the fader *will* affect meter display, so check levels with no plugs to be sure you're not clipping your input converter. You can check peak levels by command-clicking the fader level readout to toggle through fader level/delay/peak.

Quote:
Another question: if the microphone picks up ambience of the room or noises from another room, does that mean the gain is too loud?
No, it means your room is too noisy.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2017, 09:22 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by skateboardharvey View Post
Hello, I have Pro Tools 11 with an M-Audio Fast Track Pro. I want to record vocals and want to make sure I am setting my gain right. If the track volume on Pro Tools is on 0.0, where should my "green" vocals go up to on the volume meter? Even after adding EQ/Compressor, should it stay in that same range?

Another question: if the microphone picks up ambience of the room or noises from another room, does that mean the gain is too loud?
Ideally you want to keep levels in the green - consider yellow the new red. Remember that the levels shown on meters are not the incoming level before the a/d converter in you interface - make sure you're not overloading that.

Any mic in an untreated room will pick up EVERYTHING going on - not only what you want but all the noise like fans, street noises, jewelry clinking, somebody passing gas - you name it. There are a number of methods to take care of this - portable vocal booths, gizmos that mount on a mic stand in back of the mic to help block the sound (Reflexion makes a couple of good ones), etc. It has nothing to do with the mic levels as such although if you crank the levels you will record more of the stuff you don't want. You can lower the levels but until you use one of the methods I mentioned you'll never get rid of it all and get a clean sound. Something people do that record vocals is to use a coat closet as a vocal booth.

edit for additional: Rich: you and I must have been typing at the same time.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2017, 12:51 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Your posts here make it sound like faders affecting things, which implies you have been working in post fader mode, and you therefore maybe need to take some time to better understand this stuff. And if you don't understand what is going on you should not trust yourself comparing what you've experiencing now with past behavior.

The Pro Tools reference guide contains a good description of fader and plugin signal flow, but it does not fully clarify things for new users. Here is a useful video http://therecordingrevolution.com/pr...o-tools-video/

Get the meters in pre-fader mode. Set the mic preamp input gain safely down as others have advised. *listen* to the sound from the mic/preamp/DAW chain as well as look at the meter level. There is just no reason to be pushing it hot. Why not? You have more digital headroom/gain than you know what to do with in the Pro Tools mixer. And that has been discussed in many hundreds of posts on DUC. And as many of those posts warn that the cheap premps in low-end interfaces frequently sound like crap when pushed hard--it's not just about digital clipping.

And when is it you hear all the extra room noise and breathing? While tracking or during playback? If it's mostly tracking then are you monitoring though Pro Tools or the interface hardware? (where is the mix knob set on the interface?). Is that the same as before?

Same artist talent? Mics are going to pick up breathing and most of that comes down to the mic skills of the talent.

Being anal, those thingies are "level meters" not "volume meters". And hopefully you are not using track faders as volume knobs.

Beyond that what exact mic are you using, to record what type of vocals? All relevant settings are what? preamp knob position? pad engaged? What are all the switches on the mic (if any) set to? If a large condenser, is the talent using the correct side of the mic? Photos of the recording space sound treatment, mic setup/being used by the artist, etc. that you can provide will encourage folk here to give you advice.

And what other thread? Folks here not going to go track down your other posts. Please follow the DUC guidelines and create one thread per topic.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 02-05-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:00 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by skateboardharvey View Post
I am recording the exact same way with the exact same settings. Since going from 10.3.10 to 11.3.1 and installing the latest Fast Track Pro driver, I hear more noise now all of a sudden. It's when I enable the tracks for recording. The second I enable my tracks now, I hear so much more. I'm trying to figure out why now after going from PT 10 to 11 with a new driver, my mic is picking up different. Again, same settings I've used for years now.
Something changed and it has NOTHING to do with changing PT versions. Get a book or two on how PT works. I'd suggest the PT101 courseware book.

You could also be having hardware problems.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2017, 06:38 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by skateboardharvey View Post
I am recording the exact same way with the exact same settings. Since going from 10.3.10 to 11.3.1 and installing the latest Fast Track Pro driver, I hear more noise now all of a sudden. It's when I enable the tracks for recording. The second I enable my tracks now, I hear so much more. I'm trying to figure out why now after going from PT 10 to 11 with a new driver, my mic is picking up different. Again, same settings I've used for years now.
... so are you monitoring though hardware or software? this may be nothing more than you have bumped the mix knob into a different position.

As Jack says, this will have nothing to do with drivers. If it's anything to do with Pro Tools it will be how you are using it.

As I've tried to politely say, you likely don't know enough to know if things changed or not or what could be causing this... and the cause of the change will almost certainly be something you are doing differently, not drivers or software.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:43 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

OK Then. Good luck working that one out.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2017, 05:11 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

One thing that just hit me that no one mentioned - get a new mic cable. They do go bad you know.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:29 AM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Mogami are among the best for quality vs price. You probably don't need a long one so I would spend the money for a GOOD one No "store brand", Hosa or Livewire
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:45 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools 11 Gain Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by skateboardharvey View Post
I just found an interesting detail. It isn't the cable. When I enable my tracks for recording without even having an XLR cable plugged into input 1, I hear the static noise in my headphones (without the mic connected at all). This makes me believe that it is in fact the driver for the Fast Track Pro.

During playback, I sound perfectly clear. It's a big distraction pre-recording/while recording.
I don't think it's the driver. How's everything connected to the AC mains power? There may have been something that crapped out in the interface.
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