HD Files are 6dB louder when recording single tracks

Hi there,
I google around for hours now, found some short threads in this forum about this, but did not find any real solution other than “set your gains right”. But… uhm… no!
I am checking with just me what I observed in a real VST Connect session yesterday:
sitting here with two Macbooks on my desktop, connected over LAN, VST Connect Pro and Performer in the newest versions.
On Performer side I have a simple sound card with just one mic plugged in at Ch1.
The Mic channel in Performer is set to Input 1 (not Input 1&2).
I create a signal with around -12dB. Checked this in multiple ways on the Performer side.
On the recording side the levels are matching perfectly, in the VST Connect window and the input faders of Cubase.
I now record everything on a mono channel. (Recording on a stereo channel will make no difference.)
The liverecording is perfect, correct levels.
The HD file gets stereo after transfering - as always, that’s the way it is - but levels are the same as before.

So far so well.

Now lets simulate a (very small) multitrack session and record the signal of the Mic Channel also.
As before I create a signal with around -12dB, control it on every side… everything is fine.
Now transfer the HD Files.
The stereo file has the correct level. But the also imported Perf Mic files (which are mono - on an automatically created stereo channel :crazy_face:) are now 6dB louder. Not okay!

I can just guess that VST Connect works only with Stereo Channels, which are getting badly submixed into a mono file when recording a single track. This would explain the value of ≈6dB.
6dB is a lot! Setting the gains with that in mind is an ugly solution. Thinking about recording Drums with multiple microphones… :grimacing:
Is this a bug or do I make a mistake?


Sounds like Pan Law settings.

This might explain better:

Thanks for the response.
Yeah, it seems, that Pan Law is a problem. But the project settings do not change anything. I just had little time to play around with those settings, but what I now realized is:
the recorded HD file is indeed mono. The created Perf. Track is stereo. On this stereo track the levels are correct. Put this mono file on a mono track makes the levels go up ≈6dB. Makes in a way sense having the pan law in mind. In a way! Because, gained correctly, the levels should than be MINUS 6dB on the stereo channel. Not?
When I record mono tracks, what is done in most studios… 90% of the time? I mean, even stereo is, on consoles, just two mono tracks panned hard L/R… i want to know my gains 100% correct.
Dang this confuses me like hell.

HD files are the raw recordings on the Performer side, they are taken right from the audio interface input. Pan Law applies during playback and depends on several settings, pan law, play back from mono or stereo track etc. Realtime recording in VST Connect is always stereo, as mixed in the Record section.

HD Files are the raw recordings of the performer.

Yeah, that’s clear so far.

Let’s put - to keep it simple - the project pan laws away for the moment, it does not help anyway.

Realtime recordings in Vst Connect are in stereo.

When I live record on a mono track, the liverecordings are mono, but the HD files, recorded on the performer side, are stereo.
The other way around, the HD files, recorded on the performer side from single tracks are transfered as mono. At least after transfering them to the studio. And there starts the confusion.

You can’t really say what the level should be without telling us what your Pan Law is and where you’re measuring levels. You’re going to see different things depending on if you are measuring levels on the output or on the source track, and if it’s on the source track it’s going to matter if it’s before or after fader or before after panner.

Let’s make this easier with pictures.

Input gain on performer side. (constant sinus signal)
Because the level meters of VST Connect are just “there is a signal and it’s some kind of loud” I run Logic in background, but without Logic the end result are the same:

Live-input on studio side:

It’s the same: -12dB.
(Measured here post fader, because Cubase does not show levels on “input” setting, because it has no pre-fader meteri… I do not start this topic here again :crazy_face:)

Live-recording on a mono channel (just the L channel of VST Connect, which equals input 1 on the perfomer side):

Playback of the recording:

Correct! -12dB

Now I transfer the HD file, which replaces the mono-liverecording.
Because the transferred HD file is the recording of the Master Output on the performer side, it is not only the L channel, but the L AND R channels, so stereo. Of course this creates a higher output when played back on that mono channel.
I split L/R channels of that file, put just the L channel, which I intended to record, back onto the track, and the level is correct -12dB again.

Now I turn on the recording for the “Mic” track also (there is slightly higher peak in this picture of the right side, because my -12dB let the level meters of VST Connect flicker constantly. BTW: what is the orange and what the blue meter on the mic channel? Both stereo? What?):

Bildschirmfoto 2023-08-25 um 18.09.17

Playback of the liverecording shows (of course) again the correct levels:

Tranfering the HD Files will now create in addition the “Perf. Mic” track: a stereo track with a mono file on it. And surprise: this is already louder with -9 dB.

Putting this MONO file on a MONO track results in an even higher output, which hits the +6dB I am talking about in this thread.

When VST Connect only works in stereo, which is confusing and not very practical for me but ok-ish - than the output for the Perf.Mic track should be a stereo file also. At least a level matched downmix from stereo to mono. If the error is not on my side, this is ugly.

Sorry for he long posts. For me it is really difficult to explain this in a short way.

Recording on Performer side depends on Input port, if it’s a mono port it will be recorded mono.
As said, signal is recorded as is.
Realtime recording on Studio side is always stereo, there is just one stereo stream, the mix of which is determined by the RECORD mixer.
The orange meters show Input levels for convenience.
When HD files are imported, those are placed on Cubase/Nuendo tracks, and its playback rules apply.

Hm… but why is it than 6dB louder, if it is recorded “as it is”? I have total control of the input signal on the performer side. And I put in a signal with -12, mono. Not -6 dB mono, or -9dB stereo. At least that is, what Logic and also the Input on the studio side tells me.
The realtime recording situation is absolutely clear for me. But gaining single tracks ist terrible confusing.
At least it would be nice to see the absolute levels in VST Connect, to get some clarity.

By the way (I just realized now):
you can see in the picture
“Transfering the HD files will now create in addition the Perf. Mic. Track…”
that the transfered HD stereo file of the master output on track “Audio 01” is also -9dB.
Exactly like the mono file on the Perf. Mic Track.
As told earlier in these post, it makes totally sense, because it is now a stereo file with two exact same signals on both channel, on a mono track, which has to result in a higher level.
I would say that this is evidence that the mono file on the “Perf. Mic” track is a downmixed “stereo to mono” file, not level corrected.