Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by dabmeister music, Jul 23, 2004.
What are some of your best tips for obtaining a good, clear, "noiseless" sound floor?
This is a great resource. I haven't actually applied it, but a great audio engineer I know says it's very interesting (particularily the excel program) to calibrate your audio path while minimizing the noise.
" A clean Audio installation guide" .pdf and .xls
As a general tip, I believe taking an electric wire line that's independent from the rest of the building to feed your studio and using an analog regulator to feed the powr outlets is a good call.
In the analog domain.... find the limits of your equipment....
In other words drive the units in the signal chain to find their maximum clipping points and then back off a bit.
Try and record ( and process ) as hot as you can so that any noise artifacts imposed by the equipment are way down low.
Sometimes VU and output/peak leds don't necessarily indicate the headroom of a particular unit ,, it is a good idea to take advantage of every db that is free from clipping at the far end of the dynamic range because this , conversely , is an added db less in noise floor.
I suppose someone will mention a plug or a stand alone processor that offers a one button solution but this is how it has been done in the analog domain since before mud.
Signal masks noise ... when signal is present, noise becomes less of an issue ... the more signal, the less of an issue noise is ...
Listen to all tracks one at a time and listen for the "crud" ... when you hear it spot wipe it or on DAW, draw it out on the wave form or size the track. Clean up all tracks before mixing.
Be sure when there is nothing on a track, the mute is engaged or the fader is pulled down, especially if you or if you have a comp/limiter inserted or are running an effect send(s) on the track.
Effects returns can be the biggest source of noise, especially chorus/flange modulation types. If possible, experiment with gating effects returns or automating them by returning them to pairs of channels on the mixer that can be automated for fades and mutes. Keep the modulated effects and the reverbs on separate returns so you can fade down the noisy modulation effects while allowing reverb tails to remain.
Compressors always raise the noise floor. Try not to insert comps between the 2 mix master fader and the two track machine (CDR, DAT, analog tape), where they can sit and generate white noise to your master at the top and the end of the recording.
At the end of the song, use the master 2 mix fader and the automated effects returns to ride down a fade, attenuating the noise floor as the signal decays.
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