little numbers above the mixer level meter in logic

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by theapex, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #1
    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...
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Luap

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    Jul 5, 2004
    #2
    Written level in db's I would imagine? Although i don't use Logic so couldnt be certain. Just an educated guess :)
     
  3. macrumors 6502

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    #3
    yeahhh thats what the number means db levels in numerical values vs a meter with color
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #4
    where should we keep it...mainly yellow and a little red?
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Luap

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    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #7
    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...
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    #8
    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:)
     
  9. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    -18. for real. peaks no higher than -12.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    those numbers also have nothing to do with actual volume. thats only clipping levels.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    munson

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    Mar 23, 2008
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    #12
    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. :)
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Luap

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    Jul 5, 2004
    #13
    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!
     
  14. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #14
    they're reference levels.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    i posted a thread about levels last year that anyone who shoots for -0.2 or keeping it at the border between green and yellow should read.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #18
    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.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #19
    these numbers are for the peak levels that i asked about at the start of the thread right?...

    the -18 and -6, etc...
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    munson

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #21

    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.
     

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