Does reducing Stereo input gain have ill effect?

I am peaking over zero in my Stereo Output. Rather than lower all the faders, is there any ill effect in simply reducing the input gain (not the master fader, but input gain) of the master buss by several db?

Depends if you are using plugins on your output buss (and which plugins) or not.


Hi Fredo,

Yes, I have some UAD plugs (Ampex, Vitalizer, Precision K, and I’m mixing into a Shadow Hill compressor on the buss…). Hm… so, if I pull down the input gain, I’m hitting these effects not as hard? But then, wouldn’t that be the same as pulling the faders down?

What do you recommend as the best way to pull back the levels from zero?

Lower the master fader.
There is absolutely no problem with that.


Really? My understanding was that, when you go to export, your resolution is diminished if the fader is not at zero…

You won’t hear any degradation.
Not even with the ears of Fredo’s avatar.
A phrase that always sounds eloquent and re-assuring (LOL): we are working with 32 bit float…
Master fader is at least as good as any volume influencing thingy (like in FX’s) sitting
along your signal chain. The only thing to look out would be if you have any compressors
or limiters, a.t.l., inserted after the master fader. There you need to adjust thresholds,
e.g., to keep the same sound.
Thumbs up for MF (master fader, that is…).

Big K

Absolute, utter BS.


Fredo… I am schocked!!




But very true…

Baloney Sandwich, that is…maybe… :smiley:

You have no idea how I would love to do this.
Unfortunately Nika has turned around his life and -right after we had him as guest- whent back to school.
He now is a Lawyer International Rights in New York. If I am not mistaking in the United Nations.
And he is a nerd as he has ever been, but now in another profession.

I love this guy.


there are some internet myths left regarding digital audio.

Only some? I’ve done two-hour lectures on them, and so has my friend Dave Moulton (“Golden Ears” CDs). There are a lot of ‘experts’… and some actual classroom teachers… who seem to think the rules of thumb from 40-year old analog music textbooks explain how digital actually works.

Where to start…?

In the high-end response area alone:
a) Each digital mixdown lowers your highs because of generation loss, even if all you’re adjusting is level
b) You should boost highs when doing the original recording to compensate for aliasing
c) Item b above is particularly important with older equipment
d) It cuts compression loss if you to boost highs before making a low-bit mp3
…add your own…

Note to people who just scan postings: please, please remember that items a-d are untrue.

Ah, wonderful. A bear hug from the Steinberg community. I don’t know where I heard that, so I’m glad it’s untrue. In 11 years mixing on Nuendo, I’ve never had to grab the Master Fader other than for automated fade outs.

So MF it is, without the BS, and sadly also, NA.