Best approach to gain staging with a modern DAW such as FL Studio?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Brendan, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Anubhav Ukil

    Anubhav Ukil Newbie

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  2. Plendix

    Plendix Producer

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    Yes it is necessary for the plugins to take levels in it's equation.
    Lets take some examples. have a no nonsense stock compressor. you set it's threshold to -12dbfs.
    now you feed it your mix. your mix comes in hot at -1dbfs. compressor is working hard.
    you level your mix down to -20dbfs. compressor ain't working at all (that lazy bitch).
    ok, in this example it doesn't matter much, because we can set the threshold wherever we want it.
    But other plugins are working differently. Tape emulation is something like that. sure most
    of those plugins have some input level dial and an output level dial, but that again would be
    gain staging.
     
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Member

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    Had to stir up controversy. I have a real problem with melodyne but it was overlooked :(
     
  4. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Nope, that's why I said 'So far I haven't come across any plugin where this was really necessary'.
     
  5. Gyro Gearloose

    Gyro Gearloose Audiosexual

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    yeah a lot analog emus dont want -18dbfs
    --
    but ok waves and uad emu's do!
     
  6. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    I'll try to keep it short.

    Well, yes, that's me - for instance. I never heard of such a rule. You may like to enlighten us?

    Like those from Waves, Plugin Alliance or Acustica Audio? I tried a bunch of them, still my experience stands.

    Err, wrong. You want a proof? Here you go:
    [​IMG]
    Oh, and I tried several other VU meters, have a guess if the results differed.
    You make like to discuss this matter with one of the following :
    European & UK calibration for Post & Film is −18 dBFS = 0 VU
    American Post: −20 dBFS = 0 VU
    Orchestral −18 dBFS = 0 VU
    Rock and / or Radio −16, or −14, or −12 dBFS = 0 VU
    Even Hornet says about 'Da Beast' VU Meter MK4 has a calibration setting that will allow you to set the 0VU point to the best level for your A/D converters (by default is set to -18dBFS...).'

    You see 'RMS' somewhere in there? No? Me neither, guess why.

    XdBFS = YVU is a calibration (and it's in the nature of a calibration that you can choose its values freely), it was made for hardware, for broadcasting.
    It wasn't meant to be applied to plugins and therefore it is technically not necessary.


    Correct, surprisingly, that's why I never said this.

    Err, right, the [cough] sweet spot. You may have a look at this:
    [​IMG]

    I'll exlplain what you see.
    The first CLA-2A is fed with a signal with 0VU (please note that the meter is a digital peak meter, so it shows 0 at 0dBFS peak).
    The second is fed with the same signal round about 9dB higher and phase inverted.
    This results in peak of -69,6dB and an RMS of -82,1dB, both FS - just for the books.
    Means, no one is able to hear the difference because these values are below the signal.
     
  7. Sinus Well

    Sinus Well Rock Star

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    It is not a rule, as all converters and analog processors react slightly differently. But for most devices and especially in mastering -12dbFS as send level is a good guideline, where many analog devices react balanced. For individual instrument tracks it is different.
     
  8. Misterguywick

    Misterguywick Producer

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    so why do plugins saturate i differently at differen't levels. isn't the very idea of an input gain directly related to this concept?
     
  9. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    nowadays, LUFS-based "loudness" gainstaging is quickest way to go in early mixing stages
    :chilling:
     
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  10. Area51

    Area51 Kapellmeister

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    just use your ears, and balance it. best method
     
  11. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    If I'm right OP and for sure I am talking about pure ITB production. :guru:
     
  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Ah, I see, maybe there's a misinterpretation about what I said and what not.
    I did not say gain staging doesn't work (in fact I said I'm doing peak gain staging), I did not say input levels don't matter, I said I've never gain staged (to any specific value VU, dBFS RMS or dBFS peak per se) because it wasn't necessary. That does not mean I don't pay attention to a plugin's in- or output.
     
  13. Smoove Grooves

    Smoove Grooves Audiosexual

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    Exactly! It's not a hard concept to understand.
    I can't for the life of me understand how some people don't get this. I.E. To work within the boundaries of something.
    It's digital. Maybe some are pushing/'hotting' at the wrong stages.
     
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  14. Jim Von Gucci

    Jim Von Gucci Noisemaker

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    Hi, I came across this same video as well as I've been focusing on improving my mixing. Even though I always had limiters on my master, sometimes two limiters so one limiter wouldn't have to work as hard. My mixes weren't even that loud as I'm getting them now, but my mix would sound good on my A7x monitors but when ever I put the mix in my car or on smaller speakers it would always distort. Just this rattling horrible sound. I was starting to think it was FL Studio! I don't even think I was using analogue modeled plugins like I do now. Until I started doing it like this video with kick around -12db to set my highest peak and now I don't get the distortion problem I had for a long, long time. It was putting me off on even making music!
    I don't know why it works for me. Or the science but I wish I had seen that video a long time ago. I'm just getting back into making music now, I stopped a few times over the years as my mixes always sucked! I'm still learning as much as I can about mixing before I upload anything, but already they are sounding a 100x better. I've watched a lot of mixing videos since that video but I don't think any had this simple gain staging in them. So you can see how much I appreciate that video as I'm able to make music again. :)
     
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