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View Full Version : little numbers above the mixer level meter in logic




theapex
Apr 13, 2008, 06:16 PM
what do those numbers mean...they are orange (-25, -15, 1.8) right above the level meter showing you exactly how loud that specific track is...



Luap
Apr 13, 2008, 07:20 PM
Written level in db's I would imagine? Although i don't use Logic so couldnt be certain. Just an educated guess :)

DJJONES
Apr 13, 2008, 07:52 PM
yeahhh thats what the number means db levels in numerical values vs a meter with color

theapex
Apr 13, 2008, 07:56 PM
yeahhh thats what the number means db levels in numerical values vs a meter with color

where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?

fernmeister
Apr 13, 2008, 08:09 PM
That is the clip detector. It is showing you the peak level in the track, relative to 0dB. If the numbers are red, the track is clipping.

One cool tip is that if you click the clip detector while a track is playing the detector is reset, so you can follow the track and listen for the peaks in each section.

Luap
Apr 13, 2008, 08:11 PM
where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?

Seeing as we're dealing with digital, keep it yellow. With little to no red. Reason being, digital distortion sounds awful, so is to be avoided at all costs. Analogue distortion is almost nice in comparison, so decent analogue equipment can generally be driven into the red a bit more, with less risk of nasty distortion artefacts occurring. Don't worry if individual track levels sound low. Its easy to crank everything back up later.
You don't want to be seeing any levels above 0 db with digital.

fernmeister
Apr 13, 2008, 08:13 PM
where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?

No red. Once the mix is finished you can always push the levels up, work with automation, add limiters, etc. But when tracking and mixing, stay away from the red...

DJJONES
Apr 13, 2008, 08:26 PM
where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?
under 0db. i would say -0.2 is usally the best. since your in the digital realm as soon you hit over 0db or red its distorting even if you dont hear it.
distortion in the digital relam starts in the high freqs first then into the mid range bass etc:)

zimv20
Apr 13, 2008, 08:30 PM
where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?

-18. for real. peaks no higher than -12.

Capt Underpants
Apr 13, 2008, 08:47 PM
With digital audio, the signal to noise ratio is lower, so you can afford to record at lower levels.

I agree with zimv20. Mastering engineers typically want at least 6db of headroom, so keep peaks at at least -6. -12 is safer.

DJJONES
Apr 13, 2008, 09:26 PM
what do those numbers mean...they are orange (-25, -15, 1.8) right above the level meter showing you exactly how loud that specific track is...

those numbers also have nothing to do with actual volume. thats only clipping levels.

munson
Apr 13, 2008, 09:33 PM
Seeing as we're dealing with digital, keep it yellow. With little to no red. Reason being, digital distortion sounds awful, so is to be avoided at all costs. Analogue distortion is almost nice in comparison, so decent analogue equipment can generally be driven into the red a bit more, with less risk of nasty distortion artefacts occurring. Don't worry if individual track levels sound low. Its easy to crank everything back up later.
You don't want to be seeing any levels above 0 db with digital.

I disagree. I would keep it right at the cusp of green and yellow for a vast majority of the song. People can always turn up their speakers. It is better in probably 90% of cases to mix lower so that you can have more dynamic mixing (something that lacks in most music these days).

If you think I am just a guy who has no idea, I am a Music Industry major at Northeastern university, and I have taken two music recording classes, so, it's not just empty words. :)

Luap
Apr 13, 2008, 09:47 PM
I disagree. I would keep it right at the cusp of green and yellow for a vast majority of the song. People can always turn up their speakers. It is better in probably 90% of cases to mix lower so that you can have more dynamic mixing (something that lacks in most music these days).

If you think I am just a guy who has no idea, I am a Music Industry major at Northeastern university, and I have taken two music recording classes, so, it's not just empty words. :)

I am not claiming you have no idea. But I too have music tech qualifications under my belt. And used them for professional audio engineering jobs. For TV, album mastering, sound design and some live sound. Maybe I work hotter than some. But basically we're saying the same thing. Don't go above 0 db with digital. I don't really like referring to colour level zones like "Red" or "Yellow" etc too much, as different manufacturers have slightly different idea's about where each zone starts and ends.
Plus, with the low noise floor of digital, mixing too low is definitely better than mixing too high. So not a lot to lose by playing safe and keeping things lower.
And yes, I too am a fan of proper dynamics which is so lacking in many recordings these days. I kind of like more of an 80's sound myself. Clean & punchy enough and not compressed to buggery. If people want it to sound louder, they only have to turn it up.

Sorry, gone off on a tangent!

zimv20
Apr 13, 2008, 09:48 PM
those numbers also have nothing to do with actual volume. thats only clipping levels.

they're reference levels.

zimv20
Apr 13, 2008, 10:04 PM
i posted a thread about levels (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=315874) last year that anyone who shoots for -0.2 or keeping it at the border between green and yellow should read.

DJJONES
Apr 13, 2008, 10:08 PM
And yes, I too am a fan of proper dynamics which is so lacking in many recordings these days. I kind of like more of an 80's sound myself. Clean & punchy enough and not compressed to buggery. If people want it to sound louder, they only have to turn it up.

Sorry, gone off on a tangent!

yeah thats true, music today is overly compressed/limited for volume. but when it comes down to it, its never gonna go back to those days of dynamic chunes. i have even falled to compressing my music allot too but i go based upon getting quality along with loudness first vs making it loud as possible.
some producers think and i have seen it first hand by compressing everything and limiting there beats and drums and synths there getting a more full sound which it does but ive seen them compress these beats 2-3 times over its just crazy.

DJJONES
Apr 13, 2008, 10:17 PM
i posted a thread about levels (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=315874) last year that anyone who shoots for -0.2 or keeping it at the border between green and yellow should read.

thats an intresting article. i dont record or mix in osx so that plugin is really useless to me. but ive never noticed any different sound from being -30db to -0.2 only that the volume is lower. but i will check this out for sure.

fernmeister
Apr 14, 2008, 12:35 AM
The loudness wars are about compressing everything up as close to 0 as possible, not about pushing it over the top, which in digital sounds plain bad.

-18 on individual tracks and below -6 on the final mix is a good rule of thumb. as mentioned before, if you want to kill the dynamic range, you can always get loud at the mastering stage.

theapex
Apr 14, 2008, 01:37 AM
The loudness wars are about compressing everything up as close to 0 as possible, not about pushing it over the top, which in digital sounds plain bad.

-18 on individual tracks and below -6 on the final mix is a good rule of thumb. as mentioned before, if you want to kill the dynamic range, you can always get loud at the mastering stage.

these numbers are for the peak levels that i asked about at the start of the thread right?...

the -18 and -6, etc...

munson
Apr 14, 2008, 02:19 AM
I am not claiming you have no idea. But I too have music tech qualifications under my belt. And used them for professional audio engineering jobs. For TV, album mastering, sound design and some live sound. Maybe I work hotter than some. But basically we're saying the same thing. Don't go above 0 db with digital. I don't really like referring to colour level zones like "Red" or "Yellow" etc too much, as different manufacturers have slightly different idea's about where each zone starts and ends.
Plus, with the low noise floor of digital, mixing too low is definitely better than mixing too high. So not a lot to lose by playing safe and keeping things lower.
And yes, I too am a fan of proper dynamics which is so lacking in many recordings these days. I kind of like more of an 80's sound myself. Clean & punchy enough and not compressed to buggery. If people want it to sound louder, they only have to turn it up.

Sorry, gone off on a tangent!

Ah, I do suppose we are talking about the same thing. Sorry to call you out on that one, mate. Very good point about the color indicators though. But, I am VERY glad you share my view about proper dynamics in a recording.

fernmeister
Apr 14, 2008, 06:59 AM
these numbers are for the peak levels that i asked about at the start of the thread right?...

the -18 and -6, etc...


yeah. fader levels will, of course, vary depending on what you are mixing.

The other issue that is worth remembering is that if your raw material is pushing the limits, you have no room really to play with effects, etc.