Turning down master fader, audio degration?

I have a mix ready, but it went few dB over the 0.00dB Master Fader position. I was mixing into a buss comp, but want to take a mixdown without it.

I was just wondering about this myth if I lower the Master Fader a few dB for it not to clip, is there any audio degration, resolution lost? What about the trim knob? Which one would you recommend lowering?

Yup, just turn the master fader down.

Indeed! Cubase (just like any modern DAW) has floating-point audio signal path, which means you have 100s of dBs of headroom above 0dBFS. You can virtually forget all the “gain staging”, which is important with analog gear (and all but most recent versions of one unnamed “industry standard” DAW). Just keep your inputs and outputs (including possible external FX/instruments) under 0dBFS.

Exception to this rule is “vintage gear emulators”, which has the “sweet spot” on their gain structure.

Aloha K,

the best plug to use in this scenario is yer ears.

As other have suggested just bring down the master fader and listen.

When (and if) you do, is there anything wrong with the mix?

If not, I say go for it.


When I bring the master fader down, the mix sounds worse! :smiley: :mrgreen: :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, I´ll bring the fader down. Thanks a lot guys for helping with my paranoia! :slight_smile:

WOW! Never heard (of) that with Cubase.

I guess fadeouts are are of the question.

Tho’ you could do fadeouts later while mastering.

Any thought guys?

I think he was joking :bulb:

Yes, but weren’t you taught in audio school that when lowering the master fader, the amplifier should be turned up? Win-win: no more clipping and still way loud! :smiling_imp:

Maybe. Maybe not. At first a mix with very slight digital clipping may sound better, because it’s LOUDER. After closer listening it will sound cr*p, of course, but your first impression might fool your ears,

EDIT: Arjan was faster than I.

This is exactly the best advice, use your ears. Others have correctly pointed out that their shouldn’t be a difference but you may be experencing a gap in expectancy between louder and softer. Not trying to slight your expertise.

Good advice. But I have to add: Dodn’t TRUST your ears. They can fool you. Learn basics of music theory, acoustics, psychoacoustics, etc, etc … In that way you can learn in which cases you can use your ears and in which cases you should be sceptical about what they tell you.

I was joking of course, louder = better. :wink: (Not loudness!)