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trimming the master fader...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Sidhu, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Is it ok to trim the master fader if the mixdown levels at the master get to hot. Or do we loose any detail, and its best to leave the master at unity, and work around with the mix. Im in such a situation, individual tracks not clipping but the master is.

    thank you

  2. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    That depends on which platform you're using.

    In the case of pro tools, it is perfectly acceptable to lower the master fader. It is bit identical to leaving the master fader alone and dropping all of the other faders. No resolution is lost when lowering the master fader in pro tools.

    I hope that helps.
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I have adjusted the master fader to -4 to -6 in Sonar during mixing. If there's any loss of detail, I can't hear it, and no client has ever complained. I'd rather try this first than apply main mix compression.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I do the same as you. Sometimes bringing down the main fader a little will get rid of any clipping, and sometimes there seems to be a little "white noise" that you can avoid by bringing them down a tad.
    But I'm using an Allen & Heath analog board. So maybe that's just me.
  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i sometimes put a limiter with -.3 dbs on the master track so it doesn't clip!
    if i have the time to mix, like i'm doing now i'll try to just do a lot of mixdown's to see where i need more compression or less... but the goal is to have that radio mix level of compression...
  6. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    thanks chris.. also which hosts, if you are familier with, loose resolution when the master fader is trimmed. i dont use PT (unless im doing a session outside) and i think with most hosts this should not be a problem. I read somewhere that if the host mixes using a 32bit engine, master trimming anomalies are mostly nullified. But my understanding of the issue is very weak.

  7. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Are plugins equally transparent ? I want to insert a masternig plug in the mstering section. The inserts are prefader. So lowering thew fader is now irrelevant. The inputs of the mastering plug are clipping, so i lower these. All seems ok.

    The plug is Mackies FinalMix.

  8. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest


    I haven't been able to keep up with the characteristics of many of the numerous products on the market. However, a practice which should keep it from ever really being an issue is simple:

    1. Render/Bounce the mix with nothing inserted on the master fader, adjusting the fader so there is no clipping.
    2. Create a new session/project to serve as a seperate mastering session/project in which only the 2-mix is contained.

    To determine the proper practice for your particular platform, you'll need to contact the manufacturer and get this information:
    1.where in the mixer/master section does the 32 float to 24 integer conversion take place...and is the dithering handled internally
    2.are the plugins/insets pre or post fader
    3.where in the chain does the level indicator/meter occur

    For reference, in native systems, resolution rarely changes with fader position due to the floating point nature of the mixer.

    All of the manufacturers who make softwre based non-native systems with an integer (non-floating) engine that I'm familiar with employ a pretty clever way of maintaining 24 bits of resolution regardless of fader position by using a double-precision (or 48 bit) mix engine, where the master fader chooses what 24 bit range within the 48 bits is sent to the output.

  9. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    Oh...sorry, forgot to answer the first part. I'm not familiar with Mackie's FinalMix...but not all plugins are transparent...some are, but many aren't. The typical "trim" or "gain" plugin found in many native host are usually transparent. You may want to try one of those as the first plugin in the chain to prevent clipping at the input of other plugins. Each plugin follows it's own set of rules...

    I think however, that on a native system, any plugin with an input control would have been designed appropriately as a clip prevention tool...but that's a pretty big assumption on my part.
  10. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    thank you chris! big help.. ill see what i can study up...

  11. splurge

    splurge Guest

    You could send everything in your mix to a stereo group, then use the group fader to control the output. If you use a compresser on your mix you will lose dynamic range.



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