Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Good evening!

After reading this post https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/463010-reason-most-itb-mixes-donat-sound-good-analog-mixes-restored.html I need to find an input gain control to ensure enough headroom in my Cubase mixer channels, because all my recordings’ tracks are peaking close to 0dB, so my question is: Is there an input trim control in Cubase 8’s mixer or can someone please suggest a suitable gain trim plug in? (I am using a Mac)

Thanks.

/CM

First why are you recording so hot?
It’s a digital world with analog converters inline.
Try recording between -18 and -10 instead. Lower even if your recording is over your noise floor.
You’ll usually get a better end product.

Second, use the channel’s built in PRE gain to boost or cut your levels.

Fret hit it on the head. Treat -18 as your “0dB”.

You’re too hot coming out of your mic pre / interface. If you use trim in Cubase (which is available in every channel in the MixConsole’s Pre Rack), you’ll only be recording a quieter version of your already too-loud signal. Just turn down your mic pre’s until you’re in that -18 range. This gives you lots of room to move.

Instead of a Pre plugin, perhaps get a plugin that shows VU levels, and try to keep signals around 0VU (0VU = -18dBFS. Usually):wink:

These have become more common in recent years and would be nice if integrated directly into Cubase. In the meantime, I like Sonimus Britson and was using Sonimus Satson before that.

+1 heartily! VUs instead of “Wave display” in MixConsole!

I was totally using Data on too! They were great. But I gave them up for Slate’s VCC collection. It’s RC-Tube emulation just reminded me so much of the old 80s Mitsubishi console I used to mix on.

And Waves’ Dorrough meter across the main bus. The VUs are great in VCC.
I’ve found that getting good old fashioned metering back has really helped my tracking and mixing ITB.

That GearSnobs post is full of cow excrement:

Running a Digital mix right to the top of the scale is like running your SSL mix buss where the VU meters are slammed all the way to the right

No! Digital audio does not work that way. You can go up to 0dBfs and it’s completely linear (distortion-free). And in case of floating-point audio engine (like in Cubase) you can go 100s of dBs “to the red” in your signal path and you’re still fine as long as your final result (output to A/D converter or export to fixed-point file) is below 0dBfs.

Only case when you may benefit from lower levels are plugins which emulate behaviour of analog equipment.

Noooo!
Wave display isactually an AWESOME useful feature.

Check out the center position line as the waveform scrolls.
It gives you a “heads up” to upcoming manual fader move (or even the transient results of compression etc.)
Very useful!

Sleepy-timeDSP has a decent free VU vst

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfzQNmc32cc

Ha ha, fret,

You must have missed the posts I replied to earlier where I faced the hate, and admitted to loving the Wave display! Kind of like admitting I like all those Backstreet songs…

But I would give them up in a heartbeat to have VUs on every channel b

love those plugins too but they eat my cpu

Try Slate’s RC-Tube. You can run dozens of them without even feeling a sting!
For some reason, it’s not do with the VCC set (which, ironically, includes RC-Tube)

Well, it’s old habits from the 16-bit world and the analogue world. The next project will however be recorded with lower gain.

But currently I am working on two existing recordings. One which I have recorded myself (hot) and another recording I did on tape in the 80’s which another studio has transferred to digital (hot). This is why I am looking for a simple gain trim tool.

Yes I know.

I haven’t found this in Cubase 8. I suppose I need to contact the support if I can’t find it.

I haven’t found this in Cubase 8. I suppose I need to contact the support if I can’t find it.

Press “E” on the mixer channel to open the channel settings window.
Under Equaliser on the left hand side you will see the channel Gain control (just above the phase button)

Dave

Thanks Dave!

Do you mean on the channel strip? (See attached picture) I thought that this “Trim” control was a part of the eq… :blush:
Trim control Cubase 8.jpg
Thanks again.

That’s the one.
Also available as a slider under the adjacent “Equaliser” tab

I use it the same way as I would the gain on a physical desk

Dave

Hi

That’s what I understood so far as well :sunglasses:
(Always recording with 32bit float)


Cheers

I agree, as long as you only have one channel and is not adding plugins which might raise the gain further you are fine even when peaking at 0dB (or -0.1dB to be on the safe side). If you are multi tracking, then every track will add to the total gain. But that can be compensated using the output fader rather than using the input trim.

But I thought I should try mixing less hot tracks to see what happens. Because I started out when everyone was using analogue, I work much faster in an analogue studio. But going back to tape and consoles is not an alternative for me, so I am interested in finding new ways to work faster ITB with a (few outboard boxes).

Shouldn’t the extra 8 bits in 32 bit floating-point give 48 dB extra (6 x 8) and not "100s of dBs “to the red” "? I thought these extra bits were used to maintain full 24 bit word length when lowering the gain on the faders, but I can be completely wrong. You are actually saying that the extra 8 bit as for extra headroom?

They would, if it were fixed-point audio, but it’s floating-point.

Simplified explanation:
32-bit floating-point audio is like 24-bit fixed-point with 8 bits reserved for “scaling”. Those extra 8 bits tells how many bits up or down you move the reference point. Because with 8 bits you can create numbers from -128 to 127, 32-bit floating-point audio have dynamic range of 280 (24+256) bit fixed-point audio, that’s 1680dB (-912dBfs … +762dBfs)!

DISCLAIMER: I may have made 1 to 2 bit mistakes in my calculations, so dynamic range may be off by 12dB or so.

See also: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/qa0108_3.htm

Another cool thing is…
If you use 32 bit float and export a mixdown in 32 bit float
AND do not have a brickwall limiter on your master Buss
AND your mix out levels exceed the 0 db clip of the master

It is not really a permanent destructive clip!

Import the wav and it will look like a sausage.

Go to process and normalize peaks to 0db.

The FULLY intact non clipped waveform is restored thanks to those extra scaling bits.

Doesn’t work with a 24 bit export.
In 24 bit, once you clip, it stays clipped.

What I like to do to Trim my tracks visually to -18dbfs is change the color preferences of my meter and set Green gradiente from -oo to -18dbfs, yellow, from -18 to 0 and red 0+ values.
It’s super easy and fast to make all your tracks to the correct value. :smiley:

So you are saying that when setting Cubase to 32-bit floating-point, then there will always be headroom enough whn mixing as long as the recording peaks are less than 0dB?

I need to check if my installation is set to 32-bit floating-point. Can anyone advice on where I can find this setting…

Thanks.