Gain: Do you you aim for -18dB when tracking?

I have heard that many plugins (e.g. UAD-2 plugins) and DAWs are designed to use -18dB as 0dB and to use the existing dBs for headroom or to mimic analogue hardware’s overdrive or transformer saturation.

Do you aim for -18dB or just under 0dB?

I am currently working on a remix, but I have two recording projects and then I am considering tracking at lower gain than i have done previously.

-18db RMS - Average program level.
0dbfs - Peak level.

You can’t aim for one or the other as they are completely different things.

Definitely do not record as close to 0 as possible, leave some headroom for safety…If you do want to track at around -18 you need to work out how you will meter an RMS level as opposed to peak levels.

Yes, I do understand the difference between RMS/VU level and peak.

I was just wondering what kind of recording levels other Cubase users are aiming for (RMS). Is -18dB a general standard or is it just in the UAD-2 world?

It’s not just UAD no…I prefer not to get too hung up on this at tracking stage and then will adjust levels into plugs when mixing using a calibrated VU. (Sleepy Time DSP Stereo Channel)

OK, I’ll get a VU plug in for Mac and start aiming for -18dB RMS.