Gain staging questions

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Gain staging questions

Postby DelvinGomes on 28 Oct 2019, 20:33

Hi all, so I understand that gain staging is about giving your mix head room and the idea is to have your tracks sit around roughly-18 db and when you add plugin and effects to track you should fix the gain to help it sit at -18 db still. I was told a long time ago to have your fader knobs low when mixing and producing and raise them for what tracks you want louder. So now my questions are when you’re gain staging are your faders are at 0 db and then do you lower your faders and add effects and plugin ins and fix the gain after? or do you lower your faders to a certain db then gain stage and then when you’re adding effects and plug in tweak your gain?tweakbox appvalley
Last edited by DelvinGomes on 11 Nov 2019, 04:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gain staging questions

Postby RoJeC on 29 Oct 2019, 01:10

There are various options on how to do it.

The basics have to do with the wanted volume of your track peaks. These should be at appx Line level. This is the Voltage amplitude that is used between most equipment to communicate. As higher voltage will cause damage. you have to stay in these boundries.

That;s why basically you only reduce volume when not needed. How to do it depends on many parameters that are in the process of manipulating sound to the end result.

In general terms the more you reduce source volume that has to be amplified again the worse a signal becomes in overall quality.

The 0 dB is the line level.

Your amp is the last input for line level which between each device can be send through relative thin cables. The amp will add the energy needed to create speaker volume that;s being put in via the thick(er) speaker wires.

So the best way is to keep best quality without oversteering. And when your end result has to low volume the amplifier will have to work harder which means potential quality loss of your hard work.


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