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please help, gain levels low, hiss

Discussion in 'Recording' started by matt428carr, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. matt428carr

    matt428carr Guest

    im new to recording and while tracking my gain levels were low(i know)...i have to turn it up pretty high when playing back...but i get hiss from the speakers at this point and it sounds terrible...any ideas?maybe run the whole thing through a pre to bring it up?????

    please..any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!!
  2. matt428carr

    matt428carr Guest

    by the way...this is the best forum on the web!!!!
  3. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Try normalizing the audio in your editor. If you still have hiss, then there is noise reduction, but even the best will impact your high frequency.

    What bit depth did you record in? If it was 16bit then you may have aliasing problems when normalizing.

    Best bet is to record it again. Learn from mistakes made, and the new recording will sound twice as good as the salvaged.
  4. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Re: please help...:(

    I know that this is the reason the hiss is there? Turn the levels up, proper gain staging, get some sound in your ears!

    Like the fella said, consider it a history lesson. That's what I do ;)
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    when tracks are this bad, trying to fix levels by normalizing only makes "bad, louder".
    Now that you know this, you are one step better.

    Note: To help other newcomers find this topic in searches, I renamed this topic title and moved it to the Newbies section.

    welcome aboard! (y)
  6. matt428carr

    matt428carr Guest

    thanks for the replies...really i thought i was ok..my gain staging looked good on the board and on the monitor,but kinda low on the tatscam recorder.it sounds good in the studio,but i took it home and put it in my pro tools rig to mix and noticed the lowness of the gain!!im not in a posititon to re-record the band and its not "that " bad,but its definately not what i would call good(although im very critical of myself).

    the board and recorder are not calibrated together,but ultimately,its still my fault(i am the engineer and all).i dont know what to do......
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    True, but it is still probably the best way to go if yo are going to work with these tracks. No use messing up the gain staging at other points in the chain and adding new noise to the mix.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    I'm guilty of this as well. I'll share this and what I learned from it..

    After looking back, a few later on a song I wrote. One where I tracked many tracks too low, same as you. Because I had PT, and the normalizer, I figured this wasn't a problem. I can do the normalize thing on them and everything would sound louder, and better.

    Well, it definitely upped the levels, the hiss that came along wasn't that increased as well. It seemed like it was the thing to do at the time.

    One day listening to some old DAT tapes I had laying around, I found the original version of that song. I couldn't believe how great it sounded. Even with the low levels that I thought were recorded way too low, it rocked in tone and dynamics. I should have left it. Normalizing effected way more than I imagined. It completely changed the songs feel.

    I suppose there is a fine line, knowing how far to push normalizing, however, I rarely ever do that now to tracks.

    Thinking back, I remembered how I felt when I was recording that song. How everything fit so well in the pocket on the final mix. Recording low was important during the time I was creating it all. the song kind of needed a mild gain sound. I think what levels we start, we should leave the others around the same so it all has continuity sort-of-speak.

    Curious... Have others experienced this same way of looking at this?

    Sometimes low level tracking captures special qualities that get crushed from all the loudness gadgets on the market today.

    I think we can be our own worst enemy during the first 48 hours after a song has been completed.

    I'm not saying don't do it, but I definitely learned a big lesson from that song.
  9. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Normalizing will bring the noise on the track up the same amount as the signal. I agree that compressor's and high shelf boost that are added in the first 48 hours can ruin the noise floor of a recording. Normalizing the audio if it is very low will make it so that you don't have to turn up your mixer or power amp as much so there is less noise added from those components.

    That being said, normailizing is something I almost never do on a project. It seemed like a way to salvage as much as posible of an extreamly low level recording.
  10. matt428carr

    matt428carr Guest

    what about trim on the master fader???

    also,i went and listened to it on the board again...it sounds awesome there...the gain structure issue isnt really even an issue there or i would have noticed it when tracking...just when i move the wav files to PT.i could mix it there in analog but i dont have the control i do in PT....
  11. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Not the best solution.
    This is a different problem than was highlighted in the original post. Your problem is in your conversion from analog to digital. Make sure you have your peaks within 6dB of clipping when you are stemming your tracks to use in the digital world. Use a bit depth at least 24 bits. With some more specifics on your analog recording device, and your audio interface you will get more specific solutions.
  12. matt428carr

    matt428carr Guest

    i think i solved it....i used the funk logic masterizer as a plugin on the master fader and flipped the switch to "ear fry"....as bad as that sounds it bumped up the output gain and the hiss is barely noticable now.....i think im ok,but what a lesson!!!!
    ill always pay more attention to that now...

    gain structure,gain structure,gain structure.....
  13. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    That is the real lesson.

    "Ear Fry" just makes it sound like it was recorded too hot to tape with a smiley EQ. It's an effect that some people enjoy.

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