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Recording guitars in DAW,how loud?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Soulintruder, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Soulintruder

    Soulintruder Studiostriver

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    First of all,sorry for too noobish question...I recorded for years never really think of is this totally right thing to do.I talking about audio signal level for heavy distorted guitars....

    Buddy of mine who doing a mixing a lot put a worm of suspicious into me when he sad that every tracks he got online from heavy metal music guitars are always -10 to -12db...

    I need your opinion(s) and experience of pros on this basic question.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards.
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    As long as they aren't clipping on the way into your DAW it should be fine.

    A lot of people record at -18db RMS and supposedly this gives the best signal to noise ratio. I used to track everything around -18db, but lately stopped really caring so much and just making sure I get a good signal without clipping.

    It's better to track low compared to hot because you can always make things louder later.
     
  3. Red Phoenix

    Red Phoenix Member

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    I go into the mic preamp of the audio interface as hot as possible without clipping to have the best S/N. Wasn't -18db RMS more interesting on VU meters of analog desks because they didn't show the peaks..?
     
  4. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Not sure, I am still pretty noobish on the topic of dbFA, RMS, and vu.

    I thought -18 dbRMS in the digital realm was (about) the equivalent to 0 dbVU in analog.
     
  5. Red Phoenix

    Red Phoenix Member

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  6. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    nowadays noise is not a problem anymore IMHO, clipping is, so i'd rather have it low.
     
  7. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Around -18dbfs RMS here, overcooking your mic preamp (particularly if it's a cheap built in one on your budget interface) is really going to give you a bit of a crap sound. Pushing budget analogue gear hard messes with frequency response and makes things sound choked and pushed in a horrible way. Go mix a live gig on a cheap Behringer/Mackie desk and push it up into the top of the yellow and you'll hear what I mean.
     
  8. Red Phoenix

    Red Phoenix Member

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    So the mic pre can clip even if its peak led indicator isn't showing it?
     
  9. Alphanumeric

    Alphanumeric Member

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    -10/-12 sounds standard dood, I've read everywhere for ITB no more than 10 is sweet. I generally have my drums about 80% mixed before even tracking guitars, so I record the guitars a bit hotter than the ultra orthodoxy of -18 beacuse thats what hardware nol is ... Doesn't make any different for me with my roland interface and digi pres straight to PT. -10 for peaks IS FINE, it sounds the same as -18, just, just on the line of yellow, any more any the pres start to clip. SOUND.
     
  10. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    It's not clipping, but a skewing of frequency response and distortion of the signal. On budget gear especially your signal quality can be long gone before you've clipped anything.

    Unless you've got a really nice preamp like an API/Neve and are overdriving it specifically for a certain sound then you should never be anywhere near clipping.
    The whole "record as hot as possible without clipping to get the best signal to noise ratio and use all the bits is advice left over from the 16 bit days of digital. The signal to noise ratio and available bits in 26 bit audio are more than adequate when tracking at lower levels, and it saves you from distorting your analogue stages before it hits the DAW (even your AD converter is made up of analogue components)
     
  11. Red Phoenix

    Red Phoenix Member

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    In my case it's an old cheap edirol/roland interface..so best bet is to insert a meterplugin on the insert bus and every other track/bus and really keeping the signals everywhere beside the masterbus at -18dbrms/0dbvu? In the mixerview of the daw the meters beside the faders stay then always in the bottom half..
     
  12. Soulintruder

    Soulintruder Studiostriver

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    This helps me a lot.Thank you guys. \m/
    It`s been very hard to get decent information about this topic online,literaly everyone telling different things.The only resource i found googling that matches is on gearslutz
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-m...s-don-t-sound-good-analog-mixes-restored.html
    And on these YouTube clips:




    Thanks a lot,again.
    Got it -18dbrms

    One more question.With signal processors (eq,compressor etc...) adding do i eventually raise a little a signal level of individual tracks or always try to leave it on -18dbs?
    Sorry for another noobish question,but do i leave master channel at - 3db or?

    Best regards.
     
    #12 Soulintruder, Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  13. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    You should be setting the output level of your plugins so that it's the same percieved volume whether the plugin is engaged or bypassed. This helps you make better mix decisions as you won't fall for your ears "louder=better" bias.
     
  14. Soulintruder

    Soulintruder Studiostriver

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    Ok,thanks.;)
     
  15. texisthebest

    texisthebest Member

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    Just rethinking my DI levels too and I have found some info about the EBU R128.
    Anyone here using this kind of meters using ITU-BS.1770?
    level=0LU=-23LUFS is too low level for a DI?

    Here a image illustrating the thing:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

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    why do you guys keep saying RMS?? It's -18dBFS (Decibels Full Scale) or 0VU. Track meters in a daw show dBFS.

    With DI guitars you set the level wherever it sounds good for the particular amp sim you use. For me that's -12 to -6dBFS PEAK. I make sure the amp sim isn't putting out a +12dBFS signal and set it to something useable in a mix.
     
  17. Eduardo Apolonia

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    I prefer it to peak around -10dBfs.
    Some lower end interfaces distort/compress when they are reaching 0dB
     
  18. amarshism

    amarshism Member

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    i record just under 0
     

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