#1
im going to be dual tracking the left and right guitars, so it will be four total. ill be recording metal and want it to sound as clean as possible.

what volumes should each track be to achieve a clean mix?

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#2
I'm actually working on my sound engineering currently. Seems the general idea is to make sure your signal is hot but not overbearing. What I mean by this is, if you look at the volume in your DAW, you want the volume level in the mid yellow keeping it out of the green and below the top.

Volume wise, for yourself, you want it at a level that works for you - play around with the level until you hit the mid-yellow/mid-range in terms of your natural playing. If you are hitting the top or remaining in the green/lower end you're going to get a fairly shitty recording.

I'm sure someone else could give you are far more detailed explanation. Happy tracking!
#3
There's really no definite volume to keep the guitars at. What you have to consider is the Frequency Spectrum coverage of all the tracks you have in your mix. Too many instruments occupying the same will frequency range will start to cancel each other out. The best part of the mixing process is experimentation.
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#4
Quote by gquady09
There's really no definite volume to keep the guitars at. What you have to consider is the Frequency Spectrum coverage of all the tracks you have in your mix. Too many instruments occupying the same will frequency range will start to cancel each other out. The best part of the mixing process is experimentation.

Good Answer. There are no set rules. Every song and genre is different.
#5
Quote by That_Dude
I'm actually working on my sound engineering currently. Seems the general idea is to make sure your signal is hot but not overbearing. What I mean by this is, if you look at the volume in your DAW, you want the volume level in the mid yellow keeping it out of the green and below the top.



Close. There is actually no benefit to recording a hot signal in a digital system. The only thing that you get from that result is a signal that is closer to digital clipping. Recording in the green, barely hitting yellow on the leaks should be a sufficient recording level. As for mixing the volumes, whatever sounds good to you and for the song. Some songs have the guitars mixed low, some have them out front. All depends on what you want
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#6
Quote by That_Dude
I'm actually working on my sound engineering currently. Seems the general idea is to make sure your signal is hot but not overbearing. What I mean by this is, if you look at the volume in your DAW, you want the volume level in the mid yellow keeping it out of the green and below the top.

Volume wise, for yourself, you want it at a level that works for you - play around with the level until you hit the mid-yellow/mid-range in terms of your natural playing. If you are hitting the top or remaining in the green/lower end you're going to get a fairly shitty recording.

I'm sure someone else could give you are far more detailed explanation. Happy tracking!


Interesting answer, I'm using a Scarlett 2i2 and I usually record when the lights are green and don't push into amber however I once recorded in amber by accident and found it to be much ballsier and aggressive sounding. Kinda more raw guitar power if you get what I mean I try and use it like this all the time now but my $hitty technique doesn't help lol.
#7
i meant the volume of the preamp into cubase upon recording. the initial volume the guitars are recorded at.
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#8
Quote by TasianSensation
Close. There is actually no benefit to recording a hot signal in a digital system. The only thing that you get from that result is a signal that is closer to digital clipping. Recording in the green, barely hitting yellow on the leaks should be a sufficient recording level. As for mixing the volumes, whatever sounds good to you and for the song. Some songs have the guitars mixed low, some have them out front. All depends on what you want


^ This.

Now, this does assume a fairly modern recording rig at 24 bits.

There was a thread around fairly recently that discussed the whole idea of 0db VU in the analog domain was actually around -14db fs in the digital domain (actually, anywhere between -12 and -20, depending on calibration). That means that your gear is designed to work best when your peaks are hitting around -14db on your meters, which for most meters, is quite comfortably in the green.

That means, by extension (haha, literally), that aiming to get your signal nice and hot and well into the yellow requires driving your gear harder than what it was optimally designed for, which introduces distortion, etc.

Back when we recorded at 16 bit, then the older wisdom did apply. The dynamic range of 16-bit audio meant that a signal that topped out around -12db was going to be excessively noisy.

Now, about preamps specifically....

There is no easy answer here. Preamps are like any other kind of amp. Some of them sound best at lower volumes, and others sound best when they're opened right up. All of them sound different, depending on where the gain level is set at.

Compound that with the fact that different mics like different signal levels. Some mics are very happy with very low amounts of preamp gain, while others take a fair amount of heft to really get them to come to life.

In the end, you really have to experiment and use your ears... or simply err on the side of moderate, whichever way you happen to go.

CT
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#9
Quote by axemanchris

There was a thread around fairly recently that discussed the whole idea of 0db VU in the analog domain was actually around -14db fs in the digital domain (actually, anywhere between -12 and -20, depending on calibration). That means that your gear is designed to work best when your peaks are hitting around -14db on your meters, which for most meters, is quite comfortably in the green.

CT


Industry standard (in the US) for music recording is 0dB analog equals -18dBFS digital. For post-production, 0dB analog equals -20dBFS. You can usually push the preamps harder to get the desired drive and then back off the output gain to get it to an appropriate level.
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#10
To simplify this for everyone else who has no idea what these guys are talking about, tracking volume in the DAW for each track sounds best if the peak is under -6 decibels, preamp, who knows, totally depends on the preamp, but generally, start with 50% volume and experiment.

Master track volume should sit around -3 to 0 decibels, over that and you start to introduce clipping thus cutting off your high end punch, mainly to the drums.

Quad tracking, I like to do it this way Left track(100% panned at 100% volume) Left track 2(80% panned 60-80% volume) Right track 2(80% panned 60-80% volume) Right track 1(100% panned 100% volume).
#11
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Quote by axemanchris


Excellent article, thanks for the post!
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#13
I like to have my amp cranked for tone but I keep my interface control pretty low so its about -15dB. I like to mix at low volumes so I can avoid clipping without having to use a compressor and then increase the volume in the final master
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