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digital recording levels

Discussion in 'Recording' started by aloomens, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. aloomens

    aloomens Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Wheaton, IL.
    In more than one post Bill Roberts has stated that a mix should go to the mastering engineer at -6 db. Does that mean that I should record each track at -6 db also? Or should I try to get the maximum signal I can on each track and then mix to -6 db?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    - 6dB is a good safe place for the average level. But it depends on what you are recording on.. in a DAW -6dB is really an absolute advised maximum (not peaks but average) but if you’re on an ADAT or a stand alone or an analog recorder, then higher levels may be acceptable. Especially if you will be mixing on an analog desk. In a DAW I like - 6 because it leaves a little headroom for eq changes and plug ins. These things can boost the level sometimes and if you've recorded something at - 2dB sometimes it can clip. So it's just a matter of leaving enough headroom to allow for extra processing. Bill says - 6??? IMO that is a good average level but an occasional peak to - 2 should be ok I would think. Remember, these are rule of thumb suggestions.. nothing is set in stone.. as someone here says, "Learn the rules, then break them." .... Kurt

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