[ardour-users] It is not loud enough

philicorda philicorda at ntlworld.com
Wed Oct 26 09:00:51 PDT 2005

On Wed, 2005-10-26 at 08:08 -0700, Kevin Cosgrove wrote:
> On 26 October 2005 at 10:18, "Brett W. McCoy" <idragosani at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm having the opposite "problem" -- my stuff tends to be recorded
> > fairly hot and I have to bring the track levels down to prevent
> > overdriving the audio hardware. :-) Getting loud music in Ardour can
> > be done even before hitting the mastering stage.
> I'm trying to increase the signal as much as possible during the
> recording phase.  The maximum peak indicators in the mixer window
> are really great for this.  But, what decibel level corresponds
> to clipping?  I notice that the mixer peak meters go quite a
> bit above 0dB.  Also, waveforms are shown in the editor window.
> What scale is the magnitude of those waveforms?  Would 0dB be
> the top/bottom of the editor stripe? Is it linearly scaled or
> logarithmicly scaled?  Knowing this will help me to achieve a
> maximum input level before clipping.

I would not worry about getting high recording levels to disk, as far as
getting a loud mix goes. It's much more about how you mix those tracks
once they are recorded.

If the mix is going to respond well to mastering anyway, then you could
export from ardour with the masters peaking at -24dbfs or whatever and
it will make no difference to the volume of the final master.

Also note that you can go way over 0db on an individual mixer channel or
groups output without clipping, as long as you pull the masters down so
your final outputs are not clipping. The internal headroom of Ardour is
enourmous. Watch out for clipping plugin's inputs though, as they may
not have the same headroom.

> If it matters, I'm recording drums and have a soft limiter on
> each channel which I've set to just start activating at what I
> think the maximum recording level before clipping would be.

If the input clips, then it's clipped at the a/ds before the soft
limiter has a chance to lower the level.

Limiting/compressing individual tracks and sub mixes while mixing is a
good way to increase the rms of your final mix though.

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