Gain on interface or in cubase?

few questions

  1. what’s the difference between gaining with my audio interface (rme fireface) and gaining through software?

  2. is there any adverse effect to leaving hardware gain turned up when nothing is plugged in

  3. why do I have high frequency noise even when no mic is plugged in (I had hardware gain at max with no mic plugged in)

One is analogue and pre-A/D conversion the other digital and post A/D-conversion

see your observation under point 3.

Because this is the real world, in which electronic devices make noise by themselves, especially if you have gain at max…

If you crank the output of your Fireface too hot you’ll overload the converters, This will result in digital clipping (not good). Purpose is to “gain stage” things such that each part of the audio chain is working at it’s best level.

Adj the mic pre’s on the Fireface so you see no clipping indicator on the FF, but you have a good signal level coming into Cubase (-3 db is about as high as you want to go…-6 is probably better, just dont let anything get up to 0).