1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

How HOT do you guys/gals record into PT?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hardnox, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    I know there has been topics on the Pro Tools DUC on this, I just did a search. How hot do you folks record into PT? I just read an article in Home Recording where a guy states that he gets as hot a signal as possible, and would rather have a few clips happening than to turn the gain down. He wants to make sure he uses all his bits. However, I know from experience that recording all tracks very hot, overloads the hell out of the mix bus. Even when I record drums near clipping and then bus them to one aux, that aux start overloading with all that signal being fed to it. On the other hand, recording slightly lighter levels seems to even everything out and doesn't leave your mix with a bunch of "low" faders. (Seems to give a little warmer sound too, not pushing things so HOT). I read a while back in the PT DUC to observe 0 dbu which lies around -14 on a digital meter? WHat do you think? It's one of those stupid nitpicky things I guess.
     
  2. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Sorry folks, I got some good info out of my Pro Tools search. I don't want to beat a dead horse. If any want to reply go ahead. Sorry for bring up the same stuff again.
     
  3. Irene

    Irene Guest

    It's a good reminder Danny to read that epic DUC thread again and try to recap what the upshot of it all was anyway!!

    If you fancy summarising your research we could see if we agree when I get there.

    I've a feeling that Greg has covered this fairly recently too so that's worth checking also.

    Renie
     
  4. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Danny,

    If you want me to go over it again let me know and I'll see what I can do.

    Greg
     
  5. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Thank you guys, I should have let my DUC search finish before posting. I guess I was impatient. I found hundreds of posts and threads on this where I see Greg, and lots of other people explaning and debating this very extensively. If you want to shoot it at me Greg, go ahead. I don't want you to take too much of your time.

    Thanks Again!

    Dan K.
    Hardnox Productions
     
  6. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Without getting too much into the nitty gritty details, the simple answer is to record as hot into PT as possible. Unfortunately, it was the "hot as possible" bit that really caused all the confusion and debate. For example if you have your PT system calibrated quite high, trying to push your mic-pre hard enough to get a hot level into PT will more than likely cause at least some artifacts if not outright distortion, depending on the quality and gain structure of your mic-pre. In my book that would be trying to record into PT "hotter than is possible".

    In short, my definition of "as hot as possible" is as hot as possible without causing any unwanted artifacts from any of the gear in your recording chain. Baring in mind that the majority of today's 24bit ADCs are capable of a greater dynamic range than the majority of mic-pre's and other analog processing/recording equipment currently available. It may well be worth considering recalibrating your PT system to a lower level. It's interesting to note that the PT mix system was calibrated by digi to -18dBFS and that the newer PT|HD's factory default is lower at -20dBFS. This is arguably one of the reasons why some people feel that PT|HD "sounds" better than PT Mix.

    In summary it is impossible to say exactly how hot you should be recording into PT unless you can tell me, and I have an intimate knowledge of, all the bits of gear in your recording chain. This is something you really have to decide for yourself by pushing your mic-pre and other bits of gear and finding out for yourself where the limits are. Baring in mind that some of the artifacts may not be very obvious until you start summing together a number of tracks containing the same artifacts. Unfortunately, some artifacts only rear their heads in certain circumstances and you don't realise you've got a problem until well into the mix. But at least if you've done some testing you can recognise the problem rather than putting it down to the old red herring of a dodgy mix bus! :)

    Hope this helps,

    Greg
     
  7. tradewind

    tradewind Guest

    Recording levels PT: use the dynamics of what you are recording to set the level. Digital 'overs' are not recoverable. Pre-recording compression is not recoverable. "Full level" uses all the available bits at tracking, however; the digi mix bus is 48 bits fixed wide. The overall impression is a'cramped' sound when combining all the math on more than 24-34 'tracks' mixed, because the clock is only 48khz. Since we are not worried about 'noise' anymore, let the dynamics breathe.
    The overuse of "cramming" levels to gain apparrent volume in the digital domain is flawed. The better mix is the one that lets the listener hear what's going on.
     
  8. tradewind

    tradewind Guest

    Recording levels PT: use the dynamics of what you are recording to set the level. Digital 'overs' are not recoverable. Pre-recording compression is not recoverable. "Full level" uses all the available bits at tracking, however; the digi mix bus is 48 bits fixed wide. The overall impression is a'cramped' sound when combining all the math on more than 24-34 'tracks' mixed, because the clock is only 48khz. Since we are not worried about 'noise' anymore, let the dynamics breathe.
    The overuse of "cramming" levels to gain apparrent volume in the digital domain is flawed. The better mix is the one that lets the listener hear what's going on.
     
  9. Since I started to use the HEDD192 converter from Cranesong I have a better signal into Protools that doesn't seem to clip as much. I don't understand the tech. behind the HEDD192, I can only say that it sounds incredibly warm into ProTools with that Tape Saturation knob. I also use the Great River MP-2NV preamp with lots of head room. I usually back it off at the preamp if I get too hot. If any one knows how the HEDD192 allows for more gain without clipping please let us know. Seems to work similar to a limiter on the front end.
    Allen :)
     
  10. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Thanks for all the info. I'm recording synths and vocals. I feel like the synths start to have artifacts if they get pushed too hard (Korg Triton, MS2000, etc.) Vocals, we just get it so that the talent's highest possible peak will not go red. We figure that once you clip, you can't go back!

    Dan
     
  11. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Tradewind, I can't say that I have ever experienced this problem. Could you please explain why you feel that 48kHz is causing the problem you are experiencing?

    Greg
     

Share This Page