I use Dorico 4 for primarily composing piano music. I need to go to the mixer to bring up the instrument level to 0.0 db so that I can hear a reasonable volume. I notice that a new project always default to -6db. I understand that the rational for this is for composers who are using multiple instruments in full orchestra scores, that this prevents clipping.
This is strategy is no practical to my use and I would like a way to set this in preference for all instruments to come in at 0.0 db (like in Cubase). I can then decide how I would like to mix the instruments.
As far as ‘good’ goes - Cubase Pro has a very good normalize function. As far as cost goes, not cheap (although it’s 40% off at present). Perhaps overkill - but then you have one of the best DAW’s available which does everything. Adobe Audition is also excellent but then you are chained to Adobe subscription model for eternity, or at least until all protons decay and the universe evaporates into nothingness. Reaper does normalisation easily and a personal licence for the full version is $60 only. Reaper is a full featured DAW. Purely my personal opinion but I don’t think the NCH audio products are professional standard (sorry).
I don’t see it mentioned very often, but I’ve used Audiofinder from icedaudio.com for maybe 10 years or more and find it very useful. I open all my audio files using this app. and you can do a lot of editing to an audio file including boosting levels and normalizing etc. It is a Mac only program though and is $80. There’s also an app from TC Electronic called ‘Loudness Correct’ which analyzes your audio file and tells you how loud it is in terms of LUFS…it can process your audio to a desired level of loudness. This is $99. Professional quality though.
Thanks for your comment RobF. Again, for those that compose with multiple instruments I understand the thought process of lowering the floor to -6db. Hopefully the Dorico team will give us the ability to set our own default levels for VST’s in the preferences in a future update. This has been requested by others as well…