Recording: what's the best way to adjust the input gain?

Hi Everybody,

I’m wondering about the right gain setting when recording with a microphone and an external sound card (in my case: TASCAM US16x08)
I noted four possible settings between inputting the sound wave into the microphone and recording the signal on an audio track.

  1. the gain knob of the sound card
  2. the input channel fader of the input track
  3. the pre-gain slider of the input track
  4. the pre-gain slider of the audio track

After trying different settings (increasing the gain on one side and decreasing it other side) to finally achieve the same result :confused: , I wonder what is the best way to adjust these different settings :question: (and I would even say, what is the usefulness of these different settings ?!)

I am not asking, of course, for a recording course, but just a few examples of settings according to certain recording situations. Thanks everyone! :sunglasses:

The gain knob of the soundcard is the point to set the gain when recording external signals. Done wrong here can not be compensated for anywhere else in the other stages.
Input channel fader can be helpful when recording with VST FX

You should set all the faders and gain sliders in cubase to unity gain or “0” before recording and adjust your soundcard’s gain knob to get a good recording level. What is a good level? I would say between -18dbfs and -12dbfs in average with peaks no higher than =6dbfs.
The channel fader on the input track is post AD conversion so if clipping occurs, the recorded signal will be distorted.

As said above.
But will include another way of adjusting levels. Normalize.
When I get stems or projects to mix, I often just select everything and normalize to -12dB peak.
Well after removing any clip gain :wink: