32 bit Float - Normalize or Gain?

I’m recording 32 bit float files (matched pair of microphones on a piano) with the Zoom F6 and then loading these into Cubase to mix. It would seem to me that a good option to ‘optimising’ them would be to normalise them to -6 or -12 for example and then mix from there. Otherwise, I can use the Gain control to change the gain. Do both options effectively do the same thing?

I would say that the ‘gain’ setting is used while doing a record in real time, which means that you are recording the Zoom F6 output via your audio device which, at best, is recording with a 24 bits fixed point (more probably 20). In this case, the gain setting is important as you have to avoid any clipping, before eventually add a normalization treatment to it.

But if you import directly a 32 bits floating point file via the Media>Import medium command, the Processes>Normalise one is the way to go, as you can choose the max value needed, without worrying about the gain setting.

This, unless I didn’t get the question…

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Yes, same thing, just different ways to apply the gain…

he is importing 32bit float files directly to the DAW

but if you import files that need to have a level relation to each other (Multi channel recordings with not interleaved files) normalization will affect it, maybe in an unwanted way…

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Thanks. I believe when recording 32 bit float the more accurate word might be ‘trim’ as in any event it is virtually impossible to clip the files. What I’m trying to do is once I import them to ‘optimise’ them (for want of a better word) so that if I recorded too hot I remove the clipping and if I recorded them too low I can bring them back to a more reasonable level.

Thanks for that - yes, I get your point about the unwanted effect of normalising. I think in my use case (recording an acoustic grand piano) then this shouldn’t matter so much in the sense that how I positioned the microphones will also impact how the sound is picked up and maybe in a not ideal way. Once I have normalised both tracks, I can then ‘mix’ them as it were if one microphone is predominant (in general, one is pointed more to the bass strings and the other more to the treble so you can balance them out).