Recording Wins: Great Recording Levels & Tweaks

Video Review – Details you want to know

Three primary Recording Levels and Target Visual (0:36)

Visual levels on our track:

  • Baby Bear
  • Mama Bear (our target)
  • Papa Bear

Mama Bear is the overall level we aim for when recording.

NOT super precise, peaks about two-thirds to three-quarters of the track height.

Avoid Baby Bear or Papa Bear for VO.

What is the first place we can adjust our recording level? (2:08)

In our interface, we can add/lower the “gain” (volume) of our recording.

AKA “Turning up/down our mic input.”

We do NOT want our interface to “clip” (distortion). As a generalization, we do go over 90% of the knob, and for interfaces that have meters, we do not go into the red.

Where can I add/remove input gain within S1? (2:28)

Studio One allows you to add super clean gain from the Mix Console.

IF your interface is close to maxed out (90% or more), then simply add more gain from the Input channels (little knob toward the top of the Input channel(s).

IMPORTANT: Your Mix Console/input channels may look different! PreSonus interfaces can have additional controls above the gain knob, PLUS the Mix Console itself has many view options and yours may be configured differently.

These gain controls ARE available for all interfaces/mics but they may not be at the top of your Mix Console.

That are the three primary sections in the Mix Console? (3:08)

The Mix Console has 3 sections when we have it configured properly. (The templates have it already set up for you.)

3 major sections:

  • Input
  • Track(s)
  • Output

Again: Your Mix Console/input channels may look different! More/less inputs, tracks, outputs. PLUS the Mix Console itself has many view options and yours may be configured differently. There are small vertical drag handles to space things out side-to-side. It can be taller, shorter, wider, more scroll bars at the bottom, and more.

You do NOT need to understand/know about all the options in this console!! As you get more advanced, THEN we will tweak details IF NEEDED.

Do I need to hit certain “numbers” and watch meters when recording? (7:03

NO! You do NOT need to hit a specific numeric range (maybe -12 or -18) with your peaks or RMS while recording. That is old-school thinking!

We do NOT want to watch meters or worry about numbers while recording. (Glance at the visuals after recording a section… tweak if needed, maybe record again…)

Get the visuals right, move on! 

What do we do after we get the levels right (in testing)? (8:50)

After we get our levels set, we can/should update our template(s) so we don’t have to adjust input levels again (unless something changes…)

You should NOT have to adjust your gain on your input during recording time, or between sessions.

Adjust your template and save once you’ve found the settings that work.

Pro Tip: ZOOM, SKYPE and some other chat/messaging programs can change the input volume, even when they are NOT open. IF your input levels are changing between sessions (or within one), it can be a program outside of S1 that is changing things. 

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