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  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Is attenuating the outputs 1-2 fader normal practice?
    If I'm mixing a large arrangement with a dry output 1-2 channel an it is clipping, is it normal or useful to just pull down the output fader slightly? sorry if this question is ridiculous, I'm just wondering how this affects the mastering process etc. Or if it would be best to keep the output 1-2 fader at 0db always? Sorry for all the questions today :-)
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    It's definitely not a ridiculous question! You'll likely get different answers from different corners of the internet. But I'd say, it's fine. Don't alter the Master Fader, but adjusting the Output 1-2 is ok. I personally prefer to work so that my Output 1-2 is set to 0dB and then if it clips I'll go back to my other channels and lower them all. It makes it easier for me to mix. But go with what suits you best. :) R
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  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    So swipe selecting ALL your channels in the mixer and lowering them simultaneously probably happens a LOT correct? Especially if you already like the balance of the mix and you just want to not clip the outputs?
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    Yup, this is definitely common practice. Many people would say there's no reason to clip your Stereo Output channel as you can turn up the volume of your Monitors :)
    Reply
  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    Cool, okay. So if my mix is shokingly quite when I give it to a mastering engineer (let's say, it peaks at -30 db, just for the example). Now, I bounce out my outs 1-2 and send him the stereo file of my whole mix, which has 30 db of headroom. The mastering engineer can then use any of logic's gain plug-ins to boost that signal up towards 0db. Now my stereo audio file has a dynamic range of 5-7db (like most pop songs according to Steve H in his mastering tut). My question is: Has gaining this signal by such a large amount reduced the audio quailty of my stereo file? Does my recorded singing voice or any of the software instruments have added noise in them? I ask this because I know that "normalizing" also gains an audio file but it actually introduces noise into the signal, therefore it's often discouraged. It seems like gaining a signal with either a fader or plug-in in logic could do the same thing though... maybe not though. Let me know Sifu! Thanks.
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    Hey CoFane, Well, this is all very theoretical... but in practice why would you want your mix to peak only at -30dB??? When mixing aim to peak at -6dB and you'll be fine. I haven't every tried to mix with peaking at -30dB and then master the file so I couldn't tell you how this would work... I have no desire to boost the gain by that amount during the mastering stage... rather better to boost the levels enough to between -12 and -6dB during mixing so you can actually hear the background noise on the vocals and other recorded audio. Adding gain is not actually adding noise that isn't already there in the recording. Anyway, while mixing you'll probably want to do things like automate the levels, strip silence, remove background noise. Don't leave that to the Mastering Engineer - he/she won't like you for it ;-) At least this is my opinion on the matter. :) R
    Reply
  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    I wouldn't ever want something to peak at -30db. It was just an extreme example to uncover if gaining a signal within Logic will diminish the audio quality in any way. Does gaining an audio signal using the gain plug-in diminish any quality in the audio file being gained? Does normalizing an audio file diminish the quality of the audio? My confusion rests on what I've heard.. that *normalizing* an audio file decreases the quality. Hepworth says not to do it in his mastering in Cubase tut (vid 13). I don't understand how normalizing an audio file could reduce quality if gaining an audio file with a plug-in doesn't. That is my question really: does gaining an audio file with a plug in reduce it's quality similarly to the way noramlizing does? Are they different?
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    Normalising "normally" has a different algorithm than using the Gain on Logic's Gain plugin! I never use the normalise feature in Logic because it's destructive (changes the audio file) and it raises the volume/level of the entire file. Often with recorded audio you don't the background noise/hum to be raised too. Logic's internal mixing engine is extremely advanced and allows for a huge amount of alteration before "digital distortion" can occur. But regardless of the science behind all of this, I would urge you to use and trust your ears when it comes to mixing. Again, I haven't tried normalising a -30dB file recently and compared it against using Logic's Gain plugin and bouncing the results... would be interesting to try out. Why not give it a test. :) R
    Reply
  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    Thanks! Maybe I'll test it out now :-)
    Reply
  • coFane
    Posts: 121
    Joined: Jan 30th, 2007, 10:36
    Re: Is attenuating the outputs 1-2...
    I just created a dry sine wave phrase that peaked at -31db. I converted several new files out of it, gained one of them to peak at -0.1 db, normalized another one and kept the original. honestly, they ALL sounded really good. Very little, if any differences between the three in terms of sound quality or noise presence. Maybe with different audio the differences would come out more.
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