How To Set Proper Recording Levels

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Here you are, mic in place, instrument ready, player playing, life is good, one question remains: just how loud should you record that triangle part? Loud, very loud, extremely loud? What's the best level? Is there a best level? Should you care? Why should you care?

If you have asked yourself these kinds of questions, if you spend a lot of time discreetly resetting clip lights and wondering what your DAW is trying to tell you then this video is for you. If you have not asked yourself these questions, you probably should because proper recording levels are the first step in a good sounding track. So watch the video already and find out just where to park your levels to give yourself the best chance at that best engineer Grammy Award.

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


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Mr Rambolini
2022 Oct 03
Another gem! So informative.
2022 Mar 23
DRMeter that Fab is using is no longer available. Link for the new one is below. At the time of this post it is $35 USD.
2020 Jun 27
Interesante todo el contenido. Me gustaría saber que interfaz podrían recomendar con buenos conversores. Gracias, un saludo.
2020 May 06
Hi Fab, thanks for this video. Actually (2020) is still recomment to use -18dBFS as a RMS level? In my case, I use Cubase 10.5 pro, do you know how to be 100% sure that I'm metering -18dBFS? Thanks again.
2020 Feb 05
Just would like to put out there that a lot of us watching are women and/or not men! So would greatly appreciate videos where it doesn't feel like it's assumed that the audience is male. It's 2020 ya'll, but other than that the teaching and music content itself is great. Thanks!
2020 Feb 03
Would love it if y'all could do an updated version of this video explaining the new meter choices in Pro tools and how to set up the Advanced Meter Type Settings properly to match the interface. Been trying to find a good explanation online for a while but can't find an up to date video.
2020 Jan 19
Funniest video so far. Great stuff!
2020 Jan 19
"guitar players who know only loud or louder" hhaha... so funny!
2019 Nov 09
Hey Fab, if I’m recording vocals in the production and recording stage what levels do I need to have the vocals? Is it still at -18db? Thanks, Kirkland
2019 Oct 17
Hi , Fab . SSL AWS console ( +27 dbu headroom ) convert to SSL Alphalink SX ( +22 dbu ) and reamp to console for mixing again . what is sweet spot of DBFS ? -18 dbfs or what ?
2018 Oct 31
Hi!! Geek question #3: what happens if i 1. open a session recorded wit a interface who's reference @-18dBFs, with the intern sound card of a macbook pro, 2. the edit without touching gain or volume processing of any kind, and then save it and then 3. open it back with the first interface 4. have i or protools changed anything level-wise? and resolution(bits)-wise?
2018 Oct 14
Hi Fab ! So let's say I want to go back to older sessions that featured instruments recorded sometimes [way] above the sweet spot : will inserting a trimmer on these tracks do the trick to reduce the average gain of the track to -18dBFs or is it too late anyway ? No hardware involved yet, except from D.I. takes with my U5, the rest straight into my audio interface Bonus question : I did the Vance Powell mix contest and when downloading and importing the files in my DAW, most tracks were clipping as hell. Should I conclude it's because of my converters or was it recorded way too loud ?
2018 Jul 07
bonjour et merci pour ses videos je voulais savoir si il y avait besoins de cette analyseur pour enregistrer avec la console virtuel de l'UAD? j'avoue être un peu perdu avec tout ses -18 et surtout je me sert de la tranche SSL 4000 E Channel strip pour mes enregistrement es ce que le -18 corespond au même que l'analyseur ? En espérant avoir une réponse de votre part je vous en remercie d'avance Musicalement :)
2018 Feb 24
My interface says that reference level for 0 dBFS is +4dBu which I thought was good but at the end of this video you said +10dBu is crappy. How high should we shoot for?
2017 May 20
How would you apply this to mixing a recording done by someone else? Would you set the every individual track to around -18 as a starting point? Would you also set the stereo bus to -18 ? Many Thanks!
2017 May 10
So using this knowledge, how does one translate this to specs of any interface and in relation to the DAW one is using?
2017 Apr 07
Fabulous Fab
2017 Feb 08
@talust: not in music studios that I can see. Consoles ahve VUs, none of the DAWs have native LUFS meters. PrOTools just got a decent VU meter over the last two years. Most people don;t know how to read LUFS. It'll be a while.
2017 Feb 07
has the VU measurement now been overtaken by the LUFS loudness measurement?
2016 Nov 30
Bonjour, j'ai une Focusrite Clarett 8prex. Donc si en sortie line et monitor max, j'ai +18dbu, cela veut dire que les convertisseurs sont alignés sur -14dbFS? Donc c'est le sweetspot de ma carte sont? Il faut quand même mieux enregistrer à -18dbFS?
2016 Nov 18
F**CK! My head aches!
2016 Sep 16
Im using RME ff800 , from the manual written : Reference 0 dBFS @ Headroom Hi Gain +19 dBu 15 dB +4 dBu +13 dBu 9 dB -10 dBV +2 dBV 12 dB Headache, quite confusing ... can somebody show me the clear picture? Thanks
2016 Jul 27
Fantastic, thanks Fab. So, am I right in think that if I record by bass drum at 0VU and also my shaker at 0VU they should feel balanced?
Fabulous Fab
2016 Jul 24
@darrendrums: The new Protools meters are very useful. I use straight VU calibrated at -18dBFS=0VU when I mix on tracks and busses. I use Dig VU with 0 on top when mastering or checking levels of loud tracks.
2016 Jul 24
Hi Fab, great and concise video as ever. Quick question, now PT 12 has loads of different metering options, digitalVU, VU, k-12 etc which one would you recommend using and which one did you use in this video? Kind regards, Darren
2016 May 08
Yes, I do have a headache. A very. Large. Headache. Thank you though, things are possibly maybe starting to consider thinking about making sense. ;-)
2016 Jan 21
First thanks for your videos, I have a saffire 56 and i know that my output is 16dBu. So i know that my +4dBu is on -12dBFs, and is not a good headroom, so if i record at -18dBFs i have -2dBu, this is too low for me. So i have made some records, about -16dBFs, 0dBu wich is 0.775V, i think that record between -15 to -16 dBFs, could be a good solution for this device. Don't you think? Thanks
2015 Dec 10
Hey great advice just rewind a bit again brbrr, I didn't get it so much I use Ableton with an Apollo 8 quad black for recording and mixing etc what should be my channel meters and my master meter dbfs ? i route Vermona DRM 1 MK3 couple of synth and integrate Roland TR-8 14 channels together with the apollo 8 as 1 interface using the apollo 8 analog line inputs, Im also having issues recording because I'm getting low signal also when recording using console 2 just a bit more signal. anyone ?
2015 Nov 25
Hello Fab , Investing into your website was Money well spent , Just about everyday I go to your site to give me information I can use in my Studio. if you've never been told , I'am sure I'am not the first to say you are well Appreciated for all the work you put into this site , All the Gear others including myself have in our Studios isn't any good if you don't have the knowledge and the understanding on how to use it , and thanks to you it gets better and better everyday I was considering a Patchbay , could you do a video on setting up a patchbay I'd surely appreciate it
Groove Move Records
2015 Sep 23
Hallo Fab... :) Thank you for this video. That's great. I've got a question. Following scenario: I begin to record a song in my homestudio and later I would like to work on this session in a other studio. So how do I know the dBFS alignment of the differnt interface converters? I have searched for an answer, but I still can't get it. Can you explain it, please. Thanks a lot Alex
2015 Mar 21
@Uauker Should be written on your manual.
2015 Mar 21
How can I figure out the sweet spot of my converters? Using Scarllet 18i20
2015 Feb 20
Hello Fab: I use the Apollo Interface with its converters, and Pro Tools LE, and a lot of the highest end Analog pre's and comps. I use -18 which = 0 VU as you say and it works out OK. But, I'd like to know where can I find that plugin Dynamic Range Meter with the Peak, RMS, and DR meter in the middle that you showed and spoke of? Thanks Tommy Rad
2014 Dec 28
hello Fab you really doing a great great job here and with humor's cool I'm from Paris voila.... ma question I 've got a SSL alpha link ADAT 24in/ 24out wirh a RME raydat as a sound card SSL writes -20Db Fs but when I process my pre amp to go to -20 on the TT dynamic range in logic 9 ou 10 , Logic goes PT 10 two in fact SO is it the good Db Fs or we don't matter if Logic goes red, cauz we don't matter Logic specially since the X:-)or i shouls lower on TT? Thanks Fab
2014 Sep 24
Hi Fab. I got a Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2. in the specifications it says: Digital Audio ADC Dynamic Range (A-wtd, 48 kHz) 118 dB DAC Dynamic Range (A-wtd, 48 kHz) 118 dB FireWire S400, 400 Mb/s Internal Processing 32-bit, floating point Sampling Rate 44.1, 48 kHz A/D/A Bit Depth 24 Reference Level for 0 dBFS +18 dBu it´s this a good AD Converter?
2014 Aug 31
Excellent, finally it all makes sense...
TC Hotrod
2014 Jul 12
…. But in the same time it means that I would modulate 4 dB under the nominal reference level. Does it matter ? What's best ? Thanks.
TC Hotrod
2014 Jul 12
Hi Fab, I thought this video had cleared up my mind, until Geek question 1. As I'm using an old digi 00, I had a look on specifications and it's said : "At the nominal reference input level (+ 4 dBu or -10 dBV) you can have up to 14 dB of headroom before input or output clipping occurs." So I'm i trouble with the 16 dB you talked about… If it's an error from your part, and 14 dB of headroom are available, what's best ? Should I do my rec at -14 dB as theorically required, or is it better to keep some more security and remain at -18 dB (that's the way I understood you lead us to) but…...
Fabulous Fab
2014 Jul 04
@icarusdoppelganger: The idea is to record at the happy place of your converter. The example with Avid interfaces is -18dB FS (Average, not Peak) on your DAW. It's good practice to also keep your final mix file at or around that level (You never know, you might want to print to tape one day for example). Obviously that menas you are going to have to loose some gain betw een the recording and the final mix, That's what faders are for.
Fabulous Fab
2014 Jul 04
@esencia: Apollos are at -18 DB too.
2014 Jun 30
fab: a question for you. i do not have any experience and am trying to learn this material. using logic x as my daw. when you refer to -18 dbfs, are you referring to each track being recorded at that approximate value or are you referring to the output master being -18 dbfs after all the different tracks in the project are summed at the master? if you are referring to each individual track being around -18 dbfs, what should the collective master output level be after all of your different tracks in your project are summed in the master? many thanks. icarus.
2014 Jan 21
Hi all, After watching this video and reading all those extra questions comments, I wrote a post concerning how to Measure electrically the 0 dBFs reference level by yourself in a sort of practice workshop :) so that everyone Going trough the exercise gains a better concrete understanding of the subject with his own equipment. View it as the hands on lab / practice session after the theoretical course :) Here the link to the post on the forum: Cheers, Eric
2014 Jan 08
Excellent video!!! Really useful! You said that audio converters of Protools HD has -18dB Do you know how many dB has the Uaudio Apollo?? or how to know that info? Thanks!
2013 Dec 18
Thank you very much for this great tutorial!
2013 Nov 09
thak's Fab! i have a question, what happen with the mastering respecto to this issue? we must export the final song to -18 db? or not?
2013 Sep 24
2013 Sep 14
fab. just fab, fab. thanks.
2013 Sep 07
Very interesting Video!! Thanks!
2013 Aug 27
I learned a TON from this video. Thanks Fab!
2013 Aug 01
I have one more question When I for example record Drums (I have a PTHD 9 with 96 I/O Interface - Focusrite Octo Pre MKII) and try to measure RMS (Im using plugin Dorrough per channel) I figured out when arrive to -18dBFs clip in the DAW but with other instruments like guitars, voice, etc not happen. Could be calibration between Focusrite Pre and 96I/O? If I put a plugin in an aux like to explained, it's gonna receive the summary of all channels of the drums and I think to that is different, I'm reading the RMS of ALL the Drums and not kick, snare.. separately. What is the correct form?
2013 Aug 01
Hello Fab, great Video!! I have a question. I am really impressed with all this information, thanks for that. But searching more about it, I founded this page: They said that "-18dBFs or -20dBFs is not equal to +4dBu and 0dBVU" (In RED letters) So, "that are not equivalent" etc etc... So, what's the point hear? Is this people on that site crazy? Who has the true? Thanks.
2013 Jul 29
Merci, great video and very funny. Thanks Fab. Cheers
2013 Jul 02
A MUST VIEW!!!! Very simple yet one of the most important things in a studio. As always a video easy to understand, and very entertaining and funny at the same time :) What I miss is the information on how to find out where the converters are calibrated at.
2013 Jun 04
Greatings from Bulgaria! Great job FAB!!! Thanks for opening my eyes for db-u, U, FS etc. This week I'll check all my recordings for "-18" dbFS Voila ;)
2013 May 29
hello everyone, here's an article that helped me wrap my head around it all, not that your video wasn't awesome Fab :)
David Luchow
2013 Apr 17
Hi Fab, Was a honor and pleasure meeting and chatting with you and the Gentleman who is responsible for this awesome site, at the Musikmesse Frankfurt , Awesome presentation. This video has really changed how I record and mix ,Drastically. I have started to apply this bit of theory in live mixing situations but it’s a bit harder because the metering is for peaks and not RMS. Keep up the awesome work and thank you for breathing new life into the Audio Engineering World.
2013 Mar 15
m your client,you can see that in my account here. I have only one question. Help with some advise please. Mytek ADDA 8 192 or lynx Aurora 16 for summing and recording. They are about the some price but Mytek is 8 chanels and Aurora is 16. Some people think that Mytek is better and the 8 chanels deserve the price. If I buy Mytek and use 8 chanels for summing the most important part from the mix(Voc.BD,SD,Bass,overheads, and so on...)and the rest 8 chanels i will use my Focusrite Luqid 56. Is that good idea? Please Help Best Regards
2013 Feb 03
Your rewind sound was great!
2013 Jan 30
so instead of putting the tt dynamic meter range on an aux track, can i just put it on my master and get the same reading when i solo a track? i'm assuming yes. thanks! love this video by the way! i must love it because i'm watching it for a third time.
2013 Jan 25
I just looked at the specs for my interface and it's exactly the same as the crappy one in the video and now I'm sad.
2012 Dec 24
Hi Fab, I've had this question in the back of my mind for a while. How do you handle the rms for fast transients like snares and shakers? Thinking about it in strictly electrical terms I assume that the output meter of my compressor going into the daw should read around 0VU for each snare hit. The more I get above 0 VU the less headroom I will have. But while I see the hits go to 0VU the RMS will not be around -18 within my daw's converters and that is because the hits aren' as consistent as say on a bass? Therefore I should aim for each hit to be around 0 on my VU meter? Thanks
2012 Dec 22
hey Fab, I get different drastically different RMS levels when I actually have the meter plugin as a insert on a mono channel compared to when i use it on a stereo aux. Granted I'm using a different meter plugin (Free G). Which one should I adhere to?
2012 Dec 12
@Fab Thanks for the quick reply! I suppose that what you're saying about "paying attention to what you're doing" refers to things like proper level matching with EQ and/or compression. It's easy for a beginner like me to add more volume when adjusting those two. I'm excited to take my mixes out of the box on this setup! The sounds you achieved on those recordings are phenomenal!
Fabulous Fab
2012 Dec 11
@Whereismymind: Looking at the output specs, if + 16dBU is the max output, then think + 16dBU = 0 dBFS. In such a case, and provided your input specs match your output specs (Make sure) I would make saving headroom the priority since the interface is not a super high level device. So I'd tell myself: I need space to play, let's say 18 dBs, so I'll record at -18dBFS average in there which will put at about -2 dBu (+16dBu max level -18 db Headroom= -2dBu right?) which translates to about -6dB VU. These things are often discussed in the forum. Take advantage of it if you can.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Dec 11
@imuagarza: I would not sweat it too much. The meters on the 6176 are not designed to be super accurate. If you are in gain reduction mode and are seeing movement, you are compressing. Look at the input meters on the apollo to gauge how loud you are hitting it. You're fine.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Dec 11
@AlexSashaRegan: With analog summing your mix should actually run more or less at reference level if you pay attention to what you are doing. That's the whole point, you get to work at optimal level for analog equipment. Apollo is aligned @ -18dBFS = +4 dBU in and out. It's a great combo with the DBox. Check out the ELDEE record 'Undeiable' on iTunes which I mixed exactly with that setup. I also mixed the Lyndon Walker record on that rig but I'm not sure if it's out yet.
2012 Dec 11
Fab, Considering -18dBFS RMS the average sweet spot of the A/D converter, how does this affect the mix down phase when incorporating analog summing back into the DAW? The entire mix, especially when run through outboard processing, will have a much higher RMS level than -18dBFS. Will the sound of the mix suffer because the converters are getting hit too hard on the way back in? Is there a sweet spot in this mix down scenario? I intend to purchasing the Dangerous D-Box to do the summing for my Apollo interface, so this is the set up I will be considering. Merci!
2012 Dec 11
Thanks Fab! It's because of your demos and knowledge that I bought Focal speakers and the apollo quad. My problem is I don't know how to correctly get the right levels from my UA 6176. The read from the Apollo Console is a lot higher than what's showing on my UV meter on the 6176. Therefore it's probably not even getting compressed and even with the pad on and playing with all I know how I can't figure it out. Any thoughts or remedies so I can get proper levels hitting my compressor? I'm running Pro Tools 10. Love your videos!
2012 Nov 12
Well said, FAB!
2012 Nov 12
Hi Fab. I just watched your vid and it was by far the most interesting vid i saw in years ! Right after that, i checked my Saffire Pro 40 spec but nothing about converters calibration. But I have a maximum ouput level at +16dBu. Does it mean that my Pro 40's sweet spot is -12dBFS as i read somewhere ? Should I record at -12dBFS RMS ?? (It seems to be a lot higher than the average -18dBFS you're talking about in your vid) Thanks again !!!
2012 Nov 11
@Fab: thanks! So I'll reckon that if I record -18dBFS, I'll be fine, right? I'm using VUMT by by the way, really good VU meter ;)
Fabulous Fab
2012 Nov 02
@plait-il?: The Auroras (standard model) are aligned @-16 so -16=+4dBu which means that beaucse of the alignement on your console bargraphs, -16 in the box will read as -14 on the bargraph. Joy. Felicity. It may be a good thing because you are probably recording a bit loud anyway and this will give you an extra 2dBs of headroom if you just look at the console bargraphs.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Nov 02
@dagovitsj: Those means that it outputs less level not that it sounds bad. It'll distort earlier than an interface with more headroom but it should sound fine. TC is a good company. Just be gentle. Think of your ex-grirfriend (The one you actually miss) and use the same techniques.
2012 Nov 01
Thanks for a very interesting video! I wonder though if I have a crappy soundcard? I thought TC Konnekt24D wa OK, but this video made me wonder. Can anyone explain to me how I should interpret/understand these figures/numbers: Full Scale Input Level @ 0dBFS | +13dBu Should I record at -18dBFS or what? Have I understood the video correct: If I have a crappy converter, the main point is that it handles transients in a bad way, and that the recording then lacks sparkle, depth etc?
2012 Oct 29
Hi Fab ! Great video and great website ! Thanks for sharing all your knowledges. I have a question for you, because i'm a bit lost. I have an Audient Zen console, 2 lynx Auroras 16, and Protools. The console indicates 0VU = -14Dbfs = +4dBu on the channel's bargraph. Is that correct ? considering the Aurora's which by the way, I can't find the info on the calibration... Until now, I was recording at about -12/-10dbfs, but I guess I'm doing wrong. I want to make sure I'm hitting the sweetspot of the converters, and that I'm hitting the hardware at +4db... Take care. Ben
2012 Oct 29
Hi Fab ! Great video and great website ! Thanks for sharing all your knowledges. I have a question for you, because i'm a bit lost. I have an Audient Zen console, 2 lynx Auroras 16, and Protools. The console indicates 0VU = -14Dbfs = +4dBu on the channel's bargraph. Is that correct ? considering the Aurora's which by the way, I can't find the info on the calibration... Until now, I was recording at about -12/-10dbfs, but I guess I'm doing wrong. I want to make sure I'm hitting the sweetspot of the converters, and that I'm hitting the hardware at +4db... Take care. Ben
Fabulous Fab
2012 Oct 02
@beautygetsold: correct. Actually the VT version was made at my and Bob Muller's from Dangerous music request. VT means variable trim. It ships at -18 but you can park it anywhere you like. Mine are at -18.
2012 Sep 29
I'm pretty sure M. Dupont knows this, but if he could confirm: Lynx Aurora is -16dBFS and the Variable Trim one (that I think is meant to pair with Pro Tools) is -18 dBFS from the factory Can be useful to know at times. Cheers,
Fabulous Fab
2012 Aug 01
@stpete111 Don't bother :-) Unless you go back and forth a lot, and even then do you really want to go thru that? The level difference will shift the tone of the mix slightly if you work int he box and quite a bit if you work with summing , especially if you use 2bus compression, but I would not worry about it too much. It's good to know what is going on but it's not something to obsess about.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Aug 01
@mkmf03 You can assume that all these midrange interfaces are very good. I would concern myself with the quality of the driver and the flexibility of the routing more than the tone of the box. I just mixed two record that were entirely recorded on laptops with sub $300 interfaces and Studio Project microphones. They sound great. The affordable gear will get you 80% there. The next 10% cost $20K, the last 10% cost $500K.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Aug 01
@alpsessays: All interfaces, sometimes within a brand are aligned at different levels. Sometimes the inputs and outputs of the same interface are aligned at different levels. I was probably referring to my Fireface 800 which had a max output of 19 or 20 dBu on the hi gain setting if I remember well. I believe the Babyface max output is +15dBu which is why you have to crank your monitor levels it more than with a Fireface to get the same level from your speakers. It does not mean it's not a great converter, it means it's quieter. Max input levels are +12dBu max I think. Be gentle.
2012 Jul 26
Hi Fab, great vid! I saw on another video you did (at Sonnox) where you mention that RME converters are optimised (that might not be the right word, I can't remember) at -20db. I was intrigued by this (I have an RME Babyface) so I asked RME about it and they said that isn't the case. Have I misunderstood what you meant? Regards, Chris
2012 Jul 25
Fab, thanks for this video. This has opened up a lot of new things for me to consider. I think that my interface may be one of the crappy budget ones you kind of hinted at in the video. I am looking at specs trying to figure out what is better for a home studio using Logic 9 and PT10. Focusrite Pro 40 or M-Audio Profire 2626, or maybe something else? Thanks, Matt
2012 Jun 12
Fab, Thank you, and I'm sorry I have just one more question: with regard to your example of opening HD rig project on LE rig and vice-versa: with Pro Tools 10 new clip-based gain feature - would it be feasible (albeit tedious) to, for example, increase/decrease the gain by 2 db with the clip-based gain handles to compensate?
Fabulous Fab
2012 Jun 09
@anthonytaglianetti: Good question. I personally take the master output of the software instrument down to bring to or around -18 so I have room to grow later. It's a big problem with drum samples, especially when mixed with real drums.
Fabulous Fab
2012 Jun 09
@stpete111: It means that although your average levels are in the same range as mine, you are probably using more compression and have less dynamic range on your material (Or you are using a lot of very compressed samples in your music). The TT Meter considers less dynamic range a worse situation and flags it as yellow and then red for even less dynamic range. Britney Spears would disagree with that scale. She likes it all red.
2012 Jun 07
Fab, I got the meter plugin you use in this video - on a project I'm currently working on, my RMS levels seem to be good and steady around -18 to -16db, but the Dynamic Range meters are a steady shade of yellow. I noticed in this video, and in the Mixing Periscope video, that yours were almost always green. What does this yellow color mean in terms of my dynamic range? Thanks.
2012 May 30
Great!!!...the 2nd geek Q gave an cerebral aneurysm...but i'm ok now!...Thanks!
2012 May 29
Great video Fab! One question - what do you recommend for the hundreds of software instruments whose presets nearly reach 0dBFS by default? Should they be trimmed down to the sweet spot of the converter as well? Should you use the instruments volume or then fader?
2012 May 02
2012 May 02
mmcginnis: yes the HD io max output is +22dBu An interface aligned @ -16dBFS = 0Vu has a max output of +20dBu. YOu got your math right.
2012 May 02
Hello, I was wondering if you figure out the calibration of an interface with the formula used for Maximum Output? i.e. 20db = +4dbu = 0vu = -16dbfs? You state the HD box is calibrated at -18dbfs and I went looking for the Maximum Output spec, but was unable to track it down. I'm assuming it's 22db? Am I understanding this correctly? Thanks so much for all the time you take with these videos! Mike
2012 May 01
@devastat It does not necessarily mean it's crappy :-) It means it's quiet and that will make you record loud into it if you don't pay attention and have proper monitoring technique. I would still record as close to -18 as possible unless it gets noisy or grainy in which case I would adjust up little by little until I find the interface's sweet spot.
2012 Apr 29
Hey Fab, Thanks for a great tutorial. I am one of the unlucky ones with a crappy converter with +10dBu maximum output level. Does this mean that I should still try to record at average -18 dBFS average, or should I record at -6dBFS average instead?
2012 Apr 24
Thanks again Fab! Good news... Brainworx is coming out with a Mono version of the plug @ my request. From what I'm told, it's going to be included in the next update. Stay Gold! ; ) ~Iz
2012 Apr 24
Fab, you're such a funny SOB. Love it. Great video. I learned from it the unfortunate fact that the Apogee One that I've been using for my laptop recording is crap, based on its output level range. Oh well, we can't all afford HD systems, but it's good to know this stuff for sure! Thanks!
2012 Apr 23
@Izzi Yes, the mono track problem is one of the reason for the send trick. Works great.
2012 Apr 23
thx fab I shall start listening to my converters,my answer lies there. i think -18dbfs to -16dbfs average is working for me. but i shall keep revisiting that till i get new insight. fab , i hv one more question waiting for ur reply in the hybrid digital analog rec video.please do reply when you get time. it will really clear some doubt about the 2 buss. thx for taking time out for us young engineers fab. you are a blessing to us. cheers!
2012 Apr 23
Thanks again Fab, The problem when working with a mono track like a vocal is that the TT Meter plug (from what I remember) or the new one from Brainworx only has a stereo version available. So inserting on the single mono track is not possible. Anyway... Thanks for the help! Keep makin' great music my friend! Bonne chance et meilleurs veoux, ~Iz
2012 Apr 22
@Izzi. Yes that's correct. Side note: The aux send trick only makes sense if you need to save DSP or work in a DAW that disables plugins when their tracks are record enabled. Otherwise just insert the meter on the track you need to measure.
2012 Apr 22
Thanks Fab! Yeah, I found the link to the old TT Meter plug-in but Brainworx has released a more updated version of that plug-in (I'm on a new MacBook Pro 17-inch running Lion and Pro Tools 10). And for what it's worth, I'm using an Apogee Duet 2 as my audio interface. Going to be picking up the Apollo as well. So just to confirm... If I wanted to monitor the level of a mono vox track coming into PT. I set up a send on that track set to unity gain and pre fader. Then create an aux stereo track and put the Dynamic Range Meter on that aux track... correct? Many thanks! ~Iz
2012 Apr 22
@Izzi: someone just provided a link for the meter in these comments. The send trick is for small systems so you don't have to have a meter on every track and kill the DSP. The idea is to insert the meter on an AUX object and send whatever track you need to meter to that aux. (Don;t forget to unsend the track when you are done metering it or you'll end up looking at the sum level of several tracks. Works in any DAW.
2012 Apr 22
@Ankur: Those specs seem pretty quiet. But if they are correct, then your calculations are correct too. Max output level @ +15dBU means 0Vu and +4dBU would live 11 dBs below that. That's correct in theory, but in practice leaving yourself only 11dBs of headroom to track and mix a record is not a great idea. You'll start clipping very, very fast unless you are the new god of gain management restraint. You have to pick how much headroom you feel you need. 18dB is nice but that would mean that you'd have to shoot at -3dBu or -7dBVu when looking at your analog reference meter. Listen and decide
2012 Apr 21
Hey Fab, Really loved this tutorial! I see that your using the TT Dynamic Range Meter.write "I'm having a hard time finding it but I did find this version by Brainworx, which I believe is the same thing: You mention that you set it up on a "Send" on the individual track(s) in Pro Tools. Can you explain exactly how you do this and set it up for say, getting incoming levels on a Mono Lead Vocal track? Au Revoir, ~Iz
2012 Apr 19
This explained quite a bit! :-) Thank you, great video.
2012 Apr 17
hi brian get it here
2012 Apr 16
I cannot figure out how to download the DR meter you are using in the video. Any guidance?
2012 Apr 13
hi fab, awesome video.. was just wondering i use a RME Baby face. spec wise the babyface max line output 0dbfs is +15dbu. approx what do you think i should have my RMS on while recording.. i just saw the whole video of recording levels. which explains this for a protools HD with 0 dbfs as -18dbfs in my scenario its -11 dbfs .. am i right?? what should be my optimum sweet spot while rec. . pls do get back. thx. p.s. sorry for the double post at acoustic guitar section. this post made more sense here,, sorry again
2012 Apr 05
Thanks Fab.... Your a awesome guy... -DR Music
2012 Apr 01
I just applied the advice from this tutorial to a small project I was mixing. There was maybe 10 tracks total in the project. Half an hour later, done deal. Good God.... thank u Jezzzzzzzzzzzussssss...Yo
2012 Mar 23
2012 Mar 22
Et Merci!!!
2012 Mar 19
The clear and detailed explanation of recording levels in this video has made complete sense of what I thought i knew.
2012 Mar 09
Wouao! I wanna ditch my crappy interface now!
2012 Mar 07
Hey Fab...once again you had me laughing out loud! That's not supposed to happen with a tutorial aim at showing you your dBU from your dBFS!!! Thanks for taking a subject full of smokes and mirrors and making sense out of it!
2012 Feb 18
I enjoy your video's ..looking forward to your releases.
2012 Feb 11
Much anticipated.
2012 Jan 27
Much needed tutorial, looking forward to this one too!
2012 Jan 09
Looking forward to this one!
2012 Jan 01
What a tease!!!
2011 Dec 26
Oh perfect! Just what I was looking for and never really found a good explanation. I'll surely be buying this one ! Thanks Fab for the great videos, keep 'em up ! :)