The Mind Boggles

I write this having just seen somebody advise somebody else (on Facebook, of course) to have all their channels peaking at -18dBFS.

Come to think of it, I’m just going to leave it there.

  1. #1 by phil on March 22, 2016 - 1:39 pm

    He probably meant: peaking the signal at 0db and after the channel fader use a gain reduction plugin to reduce the signal to -18db for some heavy senselessness! :badteeth:

  2. #3 by Mikko Seppälä on April 16, 2016 - 7:23 am

    Were they trying to accomplish 0VU in daw? Could you share some thoughts on this subject please, Mr. bobmaccsblog

    • #4 by bobmaccsblog on April 18, 2016 - 6:07 pm

      If people are making music out of calibration tones then I’m off to take up flower arranging.

      • #5 by Mikko Seppälä on April 19, 2016 - 7:35 am

        Well people do make music out of a lot of different things these days buddy… Propably flower arranging wouldn’t be such a bad idea as a hobby or whatever. Maybe just don’t quit your job as a mastering engineer right away when you go about pursuing your dreams… 😉 In this video is explained that, in 24bit digital, -18dBfs can be considered as 0VU when it comes to headroom. So maybe the person in your internets was referring to something like this? Sure it sounds a bit too carefull, if the channels are _peaking_ at -18dBfs, maybe the person meant average?

        Hell I don’t know, I’m just fishing for the “right answer” from you! Indeed the mind boggles.

        Maybe you should clear things up with a post about gain staging?

      • #6 by bobmaccsblog on April 19, 2016 - 8:08 am

        Actually, baking is my thing…. Maybe one day I’ll open that bakery…

        As for 0VU, it depends on how you have it calibrated – I’ve had my mastering gear set up at various 0VU points and funnily enough I’m now at – 18dBFS = 0VU, though I run things a bit cooler (lots of tubes :)).

        Anyway, I don’t think this guy was talking about that, although it’s quite possible he saw the same video and got confused about having calibration tones peaking at -18dBFS versus having actual musical content peaking there. And that’s kind of what this blog is all about (when I get time to update it!), ‘Internet wisdom’….

        I mean, in what world would you want your string parts *peaking* at the same level as your kick drum or whatever? Anyone in their right mind knows that will sound awful 😀

      • #7 by Mikko Seppälä on April 19, 2016 - 9:12 am

        Ah, I see where you’re getting at here… And I do agree, those would be some awful loud string parts then… So the thing here is, if I’m getting this right, there’s no point to mix by peaknumbers per se but to use them more as an indicator if you’re going too hot. Makes sense. Mix mainly by the ear after you’re in the ballpark, right?

        I work completely in the box so for me, when I’m making music I just try to keep signals from any plugin (synth or fx) -6dBfs max through out the signal flow so when I export tracks for a mixing project I can be sure there’s nothing digitally clipping per channel.

        My mixing has gotten easier this way and when I set my foundation (beats) in the mix to peak -15dBfs_ish I can mix everything else around that to my liking and end up somewhere yellow in the master buss. Well atleast more often than not 😀 Still learning…

        I’d like to thank you for your time and clarification the subject!

      • #8 by bobmaccsblog on April 19, 2016 - 9:14 am

        That’s the way to go man 🙂

        Underlying point here is that peak levels have very little relation to how loud something actually is. Unless you’re making music with calibration tones 😉

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