Set Your Audio Recording Levels Using Sensible Gain Staging
Recording And Gain Staging
The old adage of recording signals as hot as possible really only applies to the analog domain, not the digital one. With analog reording this was because of the noise floor inherent in analog circuitry and tape, where you were fighting low level noise and hiss. This was also how we were taught to record when digital recording was relatively new, when the best we had was 16-bit audio. Back them everyone was trying to record as close as possible to 0 dB without clipping. However, now with 24-bit converters there is no need to record signals nearly so hot. You can get great recordings with the levels set much lower, and then you will also find it MUCH EASIER to mix later, because you are not trying to force so many loud signals into the headroom limitations of a DAW. If you have a number of tracks all recorded very loud, and approaching 0 dB, at mixdown you will find yourself running out of headroom, and will have to bring all your track levels down in order to compensate.
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