#2
If you set the levels too high, it will cause clipping - that will definitely affect your tone and should be avoided as much as possible (unless for some reason you actually want that sound). I always set my input gain to be as high as possible without any clipping.
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#3
Depending on the preamp you're using, it can! With a standard interface pre, as long as it's not clipping... probably not, to be honest.

Neve 1073s and other similar high end pres do start to distort in a pleasing way when you drive them hard.
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#4
Quote by oneblackened
With whatever pre, as long as it's not clipping... probably not, to be honest.
FTFY.
Quote by oneblackened
Neve 1073s and other similar high end pres do start to distort in a pleasing way when you drive them hard.
A 1073 sounds like a 1073 at any volume level because the same type and relative amount of distortion happen at every volume level before you're clipping your signal by raising the gain too much somewhere.

That actually applies to every pre, not the 1073 alone.

Stuff sounds more colored if you turn the gain up (still before clipping the signal) just because the volume's higher, and you really don't want a 1073 clipping your signal.
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