Add new channels (gain staging)


General question about adding channels in Cubase.

It happens to me a lot that the “Stereo out” meter is colored red, showing me that the overall volume of the total channels is high and that create a clipping.

To fix this I walkthrough on every channel and just lower the volume a bit and it works.

My question is ,before each channel you add, do you lower the volume from the start to prevent this? And if so, how many dbs to lower down ?

Thanks !

I’m sure there’s as many methods as there are people, and I wouldn’t claim to be an expert, but what I tend to do is use Klanghelm VUMT (anything similar will obviously work also) as my first insert and adjust the trim so that the needle dances around 0 (which is calibrated to -18db by default). That should give you plenty of headroom. You could achieve the same thing by just adjusting clip gain or adding a free gain plugin like Kilohearts Gain and make sure the average level is around -18 on the track meter. That way you don’t have to turn all your faders down to where they are much more fiddly to fine-adjust.

I just lower the pre-gain on the stereo out while I’m building a track if I need to and leave the individual channels well alone.

If you target average levels of about -18dBFS on each track you won’t have to do that very often.

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Yup, pre-gain is your friend here. The template I use on all my sessions already has the pre-gain adjusted for all tracks to give me plenty of headroom as I start a new mix.