Recording level

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Karin H
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Recording level

Post by Karin H » Mon May 22, 2017 12:43 am

I'm note sure witch record level I should use.
I use apogee soundcard and have one knob there.
In auria it's one more meter for every track, and I'm
not sure witch level I should use in Auria.
I record only aucustic instruments.
Is the level set to 0 the best?

I have problems with noice from my instrument (accordion)
and it's important that the level are perfect for so
low unwanted sounds as possible from the mechanic will be heard.

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richardyot
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Re: Recording level

Post by richardyot » Mon May 22, 2017 3:44 am

In digital recording you need to aim for a lower input recording level than you would do with analog. Generally you want to have your meters peaking at around -18dbs (very quiet) when tracking (recording the instrument) so that you avoid any chance of clipping, because digital clipping is not nice. You can then add gain later.

As for catching unwanted noise from the instrument, that isn't so much how you set your levels, but more to do with mic placement. The best approach is to try and make use of the inverse square law, which dictates that sound drops off from the source at the square of the distance - in plain english this simply means that quieter sounds will drop off much faster than louder sounds if the mic is paced further away. If you can place your mic far enough away from the accordion you should pick up far less mechanical noise - the problem you might run into here is that you will inevitably pick up more of the ambient reverberation from the room with the mic further away, which is why recording studios have dead sounding rooms for recording solo instruments and vocals.

The best thing to do is to experiment with mic placement, and if possible try recording in different rooms. If you can record in a room with carpets and curtains instead of wooden flooring and tiled walls you should pick up less reverb/reflections which will give you more control in post to add your own. Of course if the natural reverb in the room actually sounds nice then you can use that, but you will have limited control over it at mix time.

Karin H
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Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Recording level

Post by Karin H » Mon May 22, 2017 6:22 am

Thank you for answer!
Yes, I have recognies that where I put my mics
are wery important and also the room acustik.

When you describe a low level and about -18
I'm not sure wich meter I should look at.
Do you mean the master meter?

I have tryed with recording with very low signal and
the noice will not appear som much then.
But instead the sound in playback will be very low.
I have tryed to use the compressor to get it
louder but I'm not really sure how to use the compressor.

Have just turned the knob upp and activeted makeup, then I get better volym.

So, wich meter shall I look at and am I on the right wayy
when I take help of the compressor for to get higher volym on playback?
(It's very funny to recording, just need to find a
base where I can work out from)

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richardyot
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Re: Recording level

Post by richardyot » Tue May 23, 2017 7:19 am

When recording you look at the track meter (not the master fader), and aim for -18dbs there. This is good baseline level as it will not push your preamp too hard and it's very unlikely to clip.

Once the recording is done you can add gain to the file manually: select the audio region in the timeline and go to Process --> Gain and add 10db of gain (as long as it doesn't cause the signal to clip). Adding gain in post this way is usually much cleaner than tracking with a hot signal because you will pick up less preamp noise that way.

Don't use a compressor to increase the volume, you should use compression to control peaks in volume, not for adding gain.

Karin H
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Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Recording level

Post by Karin H » Tue May 23, 2017 1:57 pm

A very discribing answer, it helped me a lot.
Now it will be much easier!
Thank you!

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Tourniquet
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Re: Recording level

Post by Tourniquet » Fri May 26, 2017 8:07 am

Wow this was a great read! Thanks for asking the question Karin H. And thanks for the detailed answer Richardyot.

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