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why are my recording so low? I'm trying to record some vocals i can hear myself pretty clear during the recording through the headphones but when i play it back it sound really low... I'm recording in mono at 32 bit I'm using adobe audition 3.. can you give me some advise on how can i fix it? thanks...
I'm using a saffire 6 usb...


bouldersound Sat, 12/10/2011 - 20:15

Why are you recording at 32 bit? Even the biggest studios generally use 24 bit recording.

Your recording level should be around -16dBFS peak. On playback this will sound much lower than the typical commercial recording, but that's the way it's supposed to be. Don't try to make it that loud until the mastering phase, after recording and mixdown. Just turn up your monitors.

sound-girl Sat, 12/10/2011 - 22:05

okay thanks for the advice..i'll try recording at 24 bit. im trying not to make it that loud, but also i don't want it to be so low that i can't hear it. is there anything i can do to add more gain to my recording interface?? like an external preamp??.also on playback i noticed that audio comes from one of the sides of the headphones, .. how much turn the level of my monitor headphones during the mixing??

TheJackAttack Sat, 12/10/2011 - 22:15

AA 3 uses 32 bit floating point in the mix engine which is pretty standard although 64 bit float is becoming more available. Nothing wrong with it at all. The files themselves are saved as 24bit anyway.

If the OP wants more volume on an individual track then she should either record it slightly hotter-and I'm agreed that peaks should be somewhere between -20dBFS and -6dBFS-or normalize the file slightly louder. Generally, you shouldn't worry about how "loud" a track is during mixing. The time to turn it up is after you have mixed down to a final stereo mix and at that point there are techniques to bring the volume up to full scale without clipping or crushing.

bouldersound Sat, 12/10/2011 - 23:04

sound-girl, post: 380410 wrote: im trying not to make it that loud, but also i don't want it to be so low that i can't hear it. is there anything i can do to add more gain to my recording interface?? like an external preamp??.

First establish what your recording levels are now, measured in dBFS. You should be aiming for about -16dBFS. No need to be super precise. It's probable that your levels will creep upward a little, which is fine, but don't let your peaks get anywhere near 0dBFS.

Once you get that figured out then turn up your monitors (headphones and/or speakers) to listen at the desired level.

sound-girl, post: 380410 wrote: also on playback i noticed that audio comes from one of the sides of the headphones,

It sounds like you may have recorded a mono signal on a stereo track. There should be an option at some point to select stereo or mono recording. You want mono for a single voice on a single mic.

sound-girl, post: 380410 wrote: .. how much turn the level of my monitor headphones during the mixing??

Mixing on headphones is generally not recommended. In any case don't spend a lot of time with music turned up loud. Mix at moderate levels and take breaks. Check once in a while at higher volume for shorter periods.

RemyRAD Tue, 12/13/2011 - 15:08

Adobe Audition 3 gives you a choice of 16 bit or 32 bit float for recording. There is no 24-bit option for recording. Perhaps a newer version has that? But I'm still using 1.5 & 3.0.

Part of her issue may be that she is recording one channel of a stereo track? If you right-click near the record enable/Solo button, This will bring up another window. This window has a panoramic potentiometer a.k.a. Pan Pot and a monitor volume control (vertical slider). Also in that window it gives you the ability to select whether you are going to record a mono or a stereo track. And if mono is desired, the input drop down menu in that window, allows you to select either your left or right input source. Your problem probably comes from recording a single channel of a stereo track and then trying to adjust your monitoring which will be a losing battle as you've described.

And heck, while everybody is telling you what level you should record at, it really depends on your performance consistency. If your voice as a broad dynamic range from a whisper to a scream, you need plenty of headroom. If you saying or perform at a constant relative level, crank that record gain up. Crank it up until you're nearly peeking. And even if you see an occasional slight peak once in a while, do not despair but repair. Minor transient peaks aren't always audible and aren't always horrible. In fact, in certain scenarios (generally not voice) small transient peaks can actually add to the sound of a drumbeat. That's because when it slightly clips, it produces an odd order harmonic distortion component. This can actually make the drums sound like it has a better crack to it. But we are talking about a very small minor clip. Continuous regular clipping will generally yield unsatisfactory results as odd order harmonics and the associated harmonic distortion it creates is not musical but dissonant. That's fine for a drum. It's even fine for distorted guitars. But there are those people that believe any kind of peak at all is completely unacceptable. Balderdash I say. Sometimes I've actually added this kind of minor peak clipping by slightly over normalizing a drum track. The level has to be slightly reduced & Re-normalized back down to 98%, so as not to cause the digital to analog converter to clip at its output. I have referred to this as creative clipping. This is not unheard of in the FM broadcast industry where the use of composite clippers were frequently overused to make a top 40 rock 'n roll station sound louder than their competition. Although that process is technically somewhat different the same audible artifacts still come into play. But then I'm also one of those rather unconventional engineers and avid camper that believes when having a cookout at a campsite, while it tastes real good, you know, you're also eating some dirt along with that steak. So you'll enjoy the dirt as much as you enjoy the steak or maybe that's the other way around?

Doesn't that Leonard Skynyrd song start with the guy in the background saying " turn it up "?
Mx. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Tue, 12/13/2011 - 16:05

Yeah, I haven't checked that out yet. It would certainly negate my need to occasionally bounce out of Audition and into Sound Forage when folks tell me they want a 24-bit file. Just like different pieces of equipment, I've always found it a valuable investment to have similar but different software packages from different manufacturers. I'm primarily an Adobe & Sony user, sure, I purchased a crappy M-Box 2 just to tell people on the phone that " yes, I have Pro Fools 7...". That doesn't mean I use it because I think I can count on both hands how many times I've used that. Especially since it doesn't interface with my Neve worth a damn. It's one of the few pieces of equipment I've ever owned that I've been so disgusted with I haven't even bothered to open up the box to see what the heck they did inside to make it so crappy?

So, I've been here now for six years and I have as yet to ask anyone the question as to why I can use my M-Box 2 perfectly fine with Pro Fools but when I try to utilize it with Adobe Audition 3.0, Sony Sound Forage 10.0, Sony Vegas 9.0, which are all ASIO, I can only play back through this contraption. I can't seem to record to any of those other programs with this? I've seen all of the settings which would indicate I should be able to record but each one of the programs produces an error code telling me it ain't going to happen. WTF you'd think I would have figured this out by now. So I'm embarrassed. At my wits end. It's almost as if they don't want you using anybody else's software to record with utilizing their stupid box? It hasn't made any difference if I even use any of my other computers which are different from each other. Same OS, same SP, same Intel CPU, Dell, ASUS, IBM, homebrew. I know I'm missing something stupid. I must be. It's always operator error. Besides, I like recording stereo tracks not a pair of dual tracks for stereos sake. So great God in heaven, I'm asking for help and I'm an atheist. So you know I'm serious.

Serious... LOL... yeah serious
Mx. Remy Ann David

Boswell Wed, 12/14/2011 - 04:37

It's an automatic protection scheme. Every program except the blinkered PT knows what you think of the pre-amps and ADCs in the MBox 2, and for your own sake won't let you use them.

From the Avid web site:

To use Digidesign ASIO Driver without Pro Tools, use the stand-alone version of the Digidesign ASIO Driver. The stand-alone version of Digidesign ASIO Driver is available on the Digidesign Web site.

RemyRAD Wed, 12/14/2011 - 08:00

Yeah, that's what I loaded. It still isn't talking. So while I've heard people do some really great things with Pro Fools, I'm not one of the duly impressed ones. Of course the point is now moot if I upgrade to 9 or 10. So if I sell my M-Blotch 2, it'll put me financially closer to the upgrade to 10. Especially because of their lousy technical support of not supplying schematics I would just rather throw this thing off of a highway overpass. Of course not upon any cars or trucks just the pavement. Unfortunately, if it were not to break into a bunch of little pieces, I would have to run into the highway to retrieve it just to try... take 2. That is until I get this destructive hostility out of my system. I really never felt this hostel over a piece of equipment ever. Not even after finding the typos in the Ampex/Neumann/Scully schematics because at least their stuff all worked and sounded killer to boot.

To boot or not to boot... that is the question.
Mx. Remy Ann David