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Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby RJHollins » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:43 am

Just a reminder ....

Within the Nebula MAST page [i believe], there is a setting for the METERS. They can be set for peak [which i think was the default], or you can change them to RMS [average]. This is the setting I use to monitor my -18dB target.

And too ... the very handy 'FreeG' vst plug-in from Sonalksis. I bookend Nebula with this to adjust AND monitor peak and RMS levels. Very useful.
check it out here:

http://www.sonalksis.com/freeg.htm

:)
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NVC [Nebula Virtual Controllers]
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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby Mercado_Negro » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:50 am

Please check this thread:

http://www.acustica-audio.com/forum/ind ... =viewtopic

This is how I do it. It'd be great to see how others work.

Cheers.
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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby akb44 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:24 pm

Does this mean that you should -never- go over an average level of -18dbFS when using the included commercial/AlexB libraries (just as you should never go over 0dbFS), or that it is suggested you do not go over -18dbfs, but you can if you want to go into analog (not digital) distortion? Also, how do you know if a program is designed to be used at -18dbfs (like Acustica included commercial or AlexB) or 0dbfs (like CDSoundMaster)? I'm still unclear on how much these programs should or should not be driven.
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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby ngarjuna » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:57 pm

akb44 wrote:Does this mean that you should -never- go over an average level of -18dbFS when using the included commercial/AlexB libraries (just as you should never go over 0dbFS), or that it is suggested you do not go over -18dbfs, but you can if you want to go into analog (not digital) distortion?


Just like with analog gear, you can exceed 0VU to taste. -18dBFS is just your reference point for 0VU.

akb44 wrote:Also, how do you know if a program is designed to be used at -18dbfs (like Acustica included commercial or AlexB) or 0dbfs (like CDSoundMaster)? I'm still unclear on how much these programs should or should not be driven.


Always refer to the program documentation if you're unsure. If there is a specification that's important (like -18dBFS = 0VU) you should find it there.
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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby akb44 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:47 pm

When you say you can exceed 0 vU "to taste", does that mean that the output will gradually distort, as in analog machines (this is how I understand how analog machines work, I've never worked on one), or does it mean that at a certain point the audio will suddenly start digitally clipping?

And does this hold true for the cdsoundmaster libraries, too? For those, 0vU = 0dbFS, so wouldn't that mean you should never, under any circumstances, exceed 0vU/0dbFS when using the cdsoundmaster libraries?
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Re: Gain Staging with AlexB consoles and R2R

Postby ngarjuna » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:00 pm

akb44 wrote:When you say you can exceed 0 vU "to taste", does that mean that the output will gradually distort, as in analog machines (this is how I understand how analog machines work, I've never worked on one), or does it mean that at a certain point the audio will suddenly start digitally clipping?


The former. Exceeding 0VU should not cause digital distortion. A lot of analog circuits have a range where the signal starts to distort but the distortion is "pleasant" for lack of a better word which is quite different than crossing the threshold into digital distortion.

akb44 wrote:And does this hold true for the cdsoundmaster libraries, too? For those, 0vU = 0dbFS, so wouldn't that mean you should never, under any circumstances, exceed 0vU/0dbFS when using the cdsoundmaster libraries?


Well you should never exceed 0dBFS ever, that's when you get digital distortion. CDSM libraries are definitely different in that they are tuned to handle a wider variety of signal levels; there's a thread somewhere where Michael spelled it all out rather clearly, I'll see if I can find the link for you. I don't believe it's a simple 0VU = 0dBFS, though, because that wouldn't leave you any room to drive the signal. Personally, I treat the CDSM libraries the same as the AlexB ones (and use 0VU = -18dBFS) and they work their magic quite well with that setting; it's not an AlexB thing, it's a popular standard in Europe so it's a pretty safe level to use in general with a wide variety of tools.
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