Do you abide by this mindset while working in Cubase? Will it always apply to DAWs?
Does this philosophy hold true?
Yes and No
In general, I don’t worry about keeping my channel faders low.
The writer of the article justifies his point with this:
Why not keep your channel faders all hot and turn the master down? Because you will still be overdriving cheap plug-ins. Well written plug-ins can handle a hot signal but some of the coolest freeware and to be honest some big name effects clip internally when even a warm signal is shot at them. The worst part about this happening is there is no visual warning. All you know is your mixes just sound like crap.
I agree this is something to be checked for. I do with my plugins, in which case, I Do moderate the channel fader, or use a different plugin.
Some say that clipping on your track buses doesn´t affect sound quality since the calculations are kind of done on the master bus (layman terms, sorry… I´m no Greg Ondo).
The technique mentioned on the link i´ve been using for years. No compressor limiter on the master bus too. I like compression, it´s never enough , how it sounds or else no one used a mastering compressors, EQ, pan thingies and etc on the mastering process…
that´s just a method i stick to. As i progress, i listen clearly to the direction things are taking,
I guess if i was used to do other way, i also would be more familiar with that process.
It can be fatiguing because of headroom issues and all but one learn to circumvent them as well.
I agree with the article writer but he leaves out the whole issue of tracking. If you record hot and then lower your fader, you haven’t fixed the problem – you’ll need to either process the file using a gain reduction function, or insert a trim plug-in on the track.
I used to be one of those guys who recorded as hot as possible because that’s how I was taught – it was about maximizing bit-depth. Over time I learned about level calibration in both analog and digital systems, something I knew from way back but had abandoned when I started using a DAW.
There’s one thing the writer stated that I partially disagree with, where he says “digital clipping is bad.” Well, yes and no. I’ve come to the conclusion/realization that some clipping on the master output is acceptable, as long as it isn’t audible, and this approach maintains “punch” in things like drums that plugin limiters invariably dilute.
If you calibrate your digital chain to your analog chain properly it shouldn’t be a problem.
Analogue gear is designed to run optimally ( Compromise between noise floor and increased level distortion ) at 0dBu.
In the digital domain 0dBFS is NOT the same as 0dBu. 0dBu should be around -12dBFS to allow headroom. It can even be lower. There’s a few different standards. Professionals will be able to say which standard their facility adheres to. Be careful. I’ve amazingly heard people who claim to be professional recording engineers recommending to record as near to 0dBFS as possible and couldn’t even state which standard their facility adhere to. Their are cowboys out there.
Thus it’s not good practise to record as close to 0dBFS as possible as you are not only pushing your analaiog gear too hot you are creating a gain structure in the DAW that isn’t optimal.
There’s no need to bit hog these days unless you are doing it for artistic purposes.
Basically leave headroom in your digital signal chain.