As I've stated in previous posts, I'm now working with a Neumann TLM102 > BLUE Robbie Tube Pre > M-Audio Profire 610 > Logic.. Unfortunately I'm not getting the sound I thought I paid for.. but I think this is the reason: I guess I'm a terrible mixer, because, instead of mixing correctly, that is, actively increasing AND decreasing track levels in a mix, I along the way only raise levels up.. for some reason I don't say, this can be quieter, I always say, this needs to be louder. Consequently my mixes' total levels are SO loud (red is always visible on the meter.. pretty much ALWAYS), and so when I go to record with this mic and pre, I find the level it's outputting to be SO QUIET in my mix, I can't turn the preamp gain all the way up because I end up distorting into the A/D converter and subsequently I always have to add a gain plugin in Logic (or compress and turn the gain all the way up on the compressor). My question is - is this why I'm not getting a sound I thought I paid for? As I understand it, there's a huge quality control issue with amplifying sounds, I mean.. isn't that why we pay outrages sums of money for preamps? So to just add a Gain plugin in logic and crank it all the way up.. does that compromise the quality of the recording.. after all if I really wanted a track that loud I should probably invest in more preamps and not a shitty logic plugin. Or am I completely off base here?