Thoughts and questions on DAW recording.

Discussion in 'Computing' started by TheArchitect, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Been cruising several sites and reading a lot discussion regarding keeping levels significantly below 0db to the tune of -15db peak verses something along the lines of -3db which is what I would have expected to be the norm.

    Is this relating to Input levels? Playback levels? Output bus level? The idea is that higher levels introduce any number of issues. Can any one elaborate?

    Related question, what about sound of in the box mixing vs outside the box? A lot of chatter claiming ITB mixing is sterile, small, and on and on. I'm having a tough time with this one but would be interested everyone's views.
  2. vividsonics

    vividsonics Guest

    In regards to peak levels, I've always been of the belief that higher levels, for the most part are better. My reasoning is that higher levels have a lower relative noise floor and a greater dynamic range. That being said, I think it's always a good idea to leave a few dB for processing headroom. If you're at the absolute max, then boosting a couple of dB for eq causes clipping.

    As far as ITB or OTB, I prefer OTB. I've done several mixes of the same tunes using both methods. I found the OTB sounding more open and with more solid imaging. I think this can be partly attributed to the outboard. My outboard gear isn't stellar. I have a couple of TC M2000's for reverbs and your run of the mill DBX and JoeMeek compressors all running through a Soundcraft Ghost LE. I use DP 4.5 with a MOTU 846HD and Alesis converters. For plug-ins I have the stock DP stuff and Waves gold bundle. I think the TC reverbs sound more natural and also tracks like drum overheads and room mics (and any ambient micing in general). My methods have become sort of hybrid by using some summing ITB and ITB automation but I make sure critical tracks (that don't need automation) get mixed OTB.

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