Setting Good Levels At The Recording Stage

recording Mar 23, 2020

I mix dozen of records every year for clients all over the world. These artists have their music recorded in all different types of recording studios. Some are more high-end studios while others are the simple 1-room studios in a friend’s house. Regardless, I see a very similar pattern in many of these recordings.

I first will import the audio files into my DAW of choice or I will simply open the session files that was sent to me. I then put all the fader at 0db and hit play and guess what I see? 85% of the time when I look at the master fader it’s a wonderful shade of RED! Yes, clipping right from the get go. I look at each individual track and they are almost always peaking at around -1db to -3db. Even sometimes specific tracks have audible digital distortion as well. I put my hands over my face and shake my head.

This weeks lesson is about recording / tracking at constrictive levels. I teach all my students that you should be tracks in the digital domain at -10db to...

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