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Question about 24 bit recording levels


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Where01290 posted on a different thread,

"Never record as hot as possible. Target your nominal level to the 0dbu reference of your converters inputs. This allows plenty of transient headroom for peaks without 0dbfs overshoot and optimum audio signal quality."

 

I kinda get it, but not really.

I am not to quick on the uptake on some things.

Could you draw me a picture?

:D

I use an AW4416 for my little rinky dinkin' stuff. I try to get my levels as hot as possible without clipping. I was told once that if I wasn't in the orange, I may just as well be recording at 16 bits.

Is there a spec that I should read in my manual that would tell me the 0dbu reference of my converters inputs?:confused:

 

Thanks.

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Shoot for average levels in the middle of your meters and you should be fine. :) IOW, mostly green with some yellow, and never in the red. The idea is to leave yourself a bit of headroom. More details to follow... I've gotta go eat. :D

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I can't push the importance of that too much - Never even knew it was an issue until I started hanging out on some forums, but it almost seems that the vast majority of people record WAY too hot...

 

Your gear - Preamps, compressors, EQ's, converters (yes, even converters) are designed to run properly at 0dBVU. The best sound, the best focus, the lowest noise, the most clarity, etc.

 

Pushing a signal beyond that point is allowing the signal to be carried by the headroom (for lack of a better term).

 

It's not fear of clipping that should drive where you set your levels - It's recording the way that the gear was designed to run that should be your guide. The difference is NOT subtle... Especially with some "budget friendly" gear that hardly has any usable headroom in the first place.

 

As far as how far down if you're lacking proper metering - The "safe bet" is around -18 to -22dBFS. If you keep the "meat" of the signal around there, you're golden.

 

And ignore the "might as well be recording in 16 bit" crowd...

 

(A) 16-bit done right sounds quite good. Even today's *crappy* converters sound better than the majority of converters 12 years ago.

 

(B) Doing the math, if the absolute hottest peak of your signal is at -48dBFS, then you might as well be recording in 16 bit. Any higher = higher resolution than a compact disc.

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Originally posted by The Chinese

just a guess, from the specs, that's it's -18dBfs=0VU.


http://www.aw4416.com/e/product/product.html


-Todd A.

How does that translate to my meter scale, am I looking for -18?

It sounds like that should be my mid point level, right?

Where is that number found in the specs?

I am pretty dense.:o

Thank you all for the input.

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I'm not real familiar with that recorder, but I took a quick glance at the manual. It looks like the metering is pretty limited. I would shoot for setting the levels to average around the -18 to -12 range, with peaks hitting the -6. That will get you a decent level.

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Originally posted by The Chinese

I have left over Chicken Enchiladas and pork tamales from my annual tequila and tamale party on Sat....


he he..


What does "IIRC" mean?

 

Send 'em over!!!! Slurrrrrrp!

 

IIRC is a secret code among recording engineers. It's in the handbook after the section on secret handshakes, IIRC (If I Remember Correctly). Ooooops....

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What you are looking for is signal to noise ratio. As long as you have a clear signal you can actually record quite low in the digital realm. The best signal to have is what I would call a "healthy signal". robust enough that its really there and doesn't have to be boosted (adding noise) but not so hot that it takes over anything.

 

Remember, amplitude sums. When you have 2 tracks peaking at -6, then your master is peaking at -3. (I think). The more tracks you have the higher the master goes. So in order to mix, you will be pulling everything down anyway. Which means you add more math to the situation and get less usuable range out of your faders.

 

thus don't record too hot.

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Originally posted by Anna Log


How does that translate to my meter scale, am I looking for -18?

It sounds like that should be my mid point level, right?

Where is that number found in the specs?

I am pretty dense.
:o
Thank you all for the input.

 

It was a total guess, based on the headroom in the converter specs.

 

Bottom line, is don't sweat it too much, just record healthy but not hitting the top,- leave yourself some headroom, and you'll be fine.

 

More importantly, have fun and stop worrying too much about htis kinda stuff....

 

-Todd A.

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Originally posted by UstadKhanAli



Send 'em over!!!! Slurrrrrrp!


IIRC is a secret code among recording engineers. It's in the handbook after the section on secret handshakes, IIRC (If I Remember Correctly). Ooooops....

 

Ahhh...

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Bottom line, is don't sweat it too much, just record healthy but not hitting the top,- leave yourself some headroom, and you'll be fine.


More importantly, have fun and stop worrying too much about htis kinda stuff....

 

This is about the worst advise regarding quality recording anyone could give. Apart from the obvious mic choice, position tuning, etc., to get good sounds going in, proper levels are the most important factor in digital recording. Stay conservative, understand what your meters are telling you, and pay attention to them.

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I don't think he was arguing for irresponsibility - I think he was saying to get an understanding of what the rest of the chain is doing and then just roll with it.

 

Once I see what a VU meter is doing, I don't really "worry" about what the digital meters are reading - I know darn well that there's no way something is going to approach full-scale without something drastic happening somewhere.

 

I *think* that's what he was getting at...

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Originally posted by where02190



This is about the worst advise regarding quality recording anyone could give. Apart from the obvious mic choice, position tuning, etc., to get good sounds going in, proper levels are the most important factor in digital recording. Stay conservative, understand what your meters are telling you, and pay attention to them.

 

Dude, get over yourself. I'm just tellin' the guy to enjoy himself. That's all. There's tons of time to worry about perfect recordings as his skill increases. The Music is what's important, not the perfectly captured Guitar sound or Kick drum sound.

 

I don't know why you have such a hard on for me, but whatever. Maybe you don't really enjoy what you do, or are frustrated by your life or whatever, I don't know. What I do know is that you should really lighten up a bit, and recognize the validity of the big picture- it's music, and it's supposed to be joyful.

 

There's been a number of people that you have gone out of your way to insult or antagonize- You've even had your own thread dedicated to you calling you out- and I just don't understand it. This is a place where we're supposed to help each other, so I suggest getting on board.

 

-Todd A.

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Originally posted by MASSIVE Master

I don't think he was arguing for irresponsibility - I think he was saying to get an understanding of what the rest of the chain is doing and then just roll with it.


Once I see what a VU meter is doing, I don't really "worry" about what the digital meters are reading - I know darn well that there's no way something is going to approach full-scale without something drastic happening somewhere.


I *think* that's what he was getting at...

 

Thanks, you hit it on the head.

 

-T

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Originally posted by The Chinese



Dude, get over yourself. I'm just tellin' the guy to
enjoy
himself. That's all. There's tons of time to worry about perfect recordings as his skill increases. The Music is what's important, not the perfectly captured Guitar sound or Kick drum sound.

 

Getting proper levels, and understanding that they are about is increasing his skill level. It's not very enjoyable fighting to get a decent mix because your tracking levels sucked.

 

Originally posted by The Chinese

I don't know why you have such a hard on for me, but whatever. Maybe you don't really enjoy what you do, or are frustrated by your life or whatever, I don't know. What I do know is that you should really lighten up a bit, and recognize the validity of the big picture- it's music, and it's supposed to be joyful.

 

Can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

 

I love what I do, that's why I do it, and I have a wonderful, love filled life. Proper input levels are part of the big picture. If it doesn't sound good, and you have to struggle in mix to get to to sound even OK, it's not very enjoyable now is it?

 

 

Originally posted by The Chinese

There's been a number of people that you have gone out of your way to insult or antagonize- You've even had your own thread dedicated to you calling you out- and I just don't understand it. This is a place where we're supposed to help each other, so I suggest getting on board.

 

Can't please all the people all the time. Your advise IMHO was not helping, it was misleading.

 

Again, if you can't take the heat, then don't post. Forums like this are for sharing info and ideas, and a fantastic place for newcomers to get started in understanding how the recording process works. Crutial to that is getting proper input levels. The process if far more enjoyable when it is understood, done properly, and yields a satisfying end result.

 

YMMV.

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Originally posted by where02190



I love what I do, that's why I do it, and I have a wonderful, love filled life. Proper input levels are part of the big picture.

 

Where other forum are you going to get advice that not only gives you better recordings, but a more fulfilling life?

 

Proper Input Levels = Love-Filled Life

 

Learn it.

Live it.

Love it.

 

 

:thu:

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quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bottom line, is don't sweat it too much, just record healthy but not hitting the top,- leave yourself some headroom, and you'll be fine.

 

More importantly, have fun and stop worrying too much about htis kinda stuff....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Then Where responded with...

 

"This is about the worst advise regarding quality recording anyone could give.

 

Where, you also use the term IMHO a lot. Come on man and truly get some humility. This is getting old. I know you do not seem to care if people take offense to you but I, and it seems others, really do wish you'd learn to back off.

 

You have some of the best advice I've read and I use it all the time. Thanks for that. You know what you're doing and I respect that. You can back up your statements with fact. Amen and thank you. BUT NO THANK YOU to the attitude.

 

"If you can't stand the heat"????? You said that. That does say it all doesn't it? What heat? The only "heat" is being provided by you. Why must we do this? You do realize that you have more disagreements and negative confrontations than anyone posting here since I've joined this fine group of people several years ago.

 

The quote at the top of my post is valid. You see differently and I see your point as well... but why bother offering the gift of your quality information if you

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The heat of others opinions Lee. This is a public forum, we are free to express our opinions, and to have others express theirs. We are also free to read or not read whatever we choose. If my posts upset you that much I suggest you use the ignore function.

 

FYI, IMHO stands for in my humble opinion, but I suspect you know that. Can't get much more humble than that.

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Originally posted by where02190

The heat of others opinions Lee. This is a public forum, we are free to express our opinions, and to have others express theirs. We are also free to read or not read whatever we choose. If my posts upset you that much I suggest you use the ignore function.


FYI, IMHO stands for in my humble opinion, but I suspect you know that. Can't get much more humble than that.

 

Yes Where, you can get a lot more humble than that and IMHO you should. The heat of other

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Originally posted by where02190



This is about the worst advise regarding quality recording anyone could give. Apart from the obvious mic choice, position tuning, etc., to get good sounds going in, proper levels are the most important factor in digital recording. Stay conservative, understand what your meters are telling you, and pay attention to them.

 

Awwww... you're BOTH right.

 

 

:D

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