Sending multiple tracks all metering well under 0dB at all times and then routing all those to a group channel - do I need to turn those down in each channel before routing to groups, so that the input to the group channel is always under 0dB? or is it OK to reduce the gain after routing in the group channel? which means that as they are routed they will be well over 0db. It is in the digital domain so maybe that should be obvious? but I don’t want to be wrong about that. I did read the 'ing manual alot and alot of searches for “level”! Also is there a known ratio that summing tracks when routing increases the gain in the group channel, and of course can you tell me that, please, if known? Thanks!
DAWs run at a high enough bit depth that just decreasing the last fader has the same effect as decreasing all the faders feeding it. BUT, BUT, BUT…that doesn’t mean gain staging doesn’t matter. If you’re feeding several tracks into a bus and the bus is clipping, then the second you put an analog modeling type plugin on that bus pre-fader, you’re now driving the plugin too hard. Patch in hardware: driving things too hard. So the answer is more complicated than just a simple yes or no. In my opinion, it’s best to keep levels low, with plenty of headroom (aim for channel peaks around -12db, maybe -6db on buses), and monitor loud to compensate.
OK! That was helpful answer! Makes sense. 12 audio tracks well below 0dB and the group track is way clipping, is surprising that the group track is handling of the off scale volume as well as it is. I would be interested if there is a formula for how much summing busses increases gain? Thank You much for your helpfulness! Appreciated!