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Gain Setting

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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jlouvar
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Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:33 pm

Does MC8P have a Gain plug-in? Also, how hot should tracks be, expressly the master channel/track?
I was watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvclmTMmGv0
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

freightgod
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby freightgod » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:46 am

jlouvar wrote:Does MC8P have a Gain plug-in?


Hahahaha, NO.

rrichard63
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby rrichard63 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:48 am

A very useful free one is Blue Cat Audio's Gain Suite:

https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_GainSuite/

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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:59 am

Hmm okay, thank you. I looked at the Example Project Demo's that came with MC8P and some tracks/channels redline, so it looks like it's clipping? Is it okay if the levels go into the red?

For example, look at the kick in the Example Project song "I can't go on this way".
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cbeattyjr
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby cbeattyjr » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:31 am

In my experience when recording and mixing in a DAW:

The most important gain is controlled on your recorded signal at your audio interface. (Probably obvious.)

The next most important is the level of the signal going into your plug ins. For instance, Line 6 Helix sounds much better when the input guitar level is around -18dB. I control this right at the input of the plug in.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby Mark Bliss » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:37 am

Man, this one often starts a debate. And I don't have time right now for a long reply. But a couple of thoughts for you to ponder till later:

There's lots of ways to do this, and while important, its not worth the obsession some put into it.

The first thing to address is recording level. I find it nearly universal that people record at much hotter than ideal levels.

Next is the effects/insert chain, you want to be aware of a good level going in, and coming out of any effects you use. There is no hard fast rule. Some plug ins are affected by level far more than others. If you don't use something intending to add gain, you should look for a similar input and output, as a general rule. It doesn't have to be micrometer accurate, using your ears and disabling/enabling each plug-in is generally sufficient for this.

FWIW, I've found SOME guitar amp sims seem to respond well to a hotter signal than I would use elsewhere. Compressed before the sim sometimes too.

Track level (the last question)-
I've said before that I would discourage using that project as a gain staging example. I cant speak for the producer of that piece, (Mitchell) I can only guess it was either intentional to get a certain sound, or it was something quickly put together to use for purposes that didn't include gain structure.
Whichever it is, my comments would be on one hand- within the DAW, those "in the red meters" aren't hurting the sound due to 32bit floating integer processing.
Short explanation- cant clip internally due to that alone.

In general your end concern is rendering and what you are going to present to your D/A converter. And your intent. IE: Are you mixing or mastering?

For mixing purposes, a good general "rule of thumb" target is to leave some headroom. A minimum of -6dBfs is a common recommendation on the master bus.

And obviously, an accumulation of tracks hitting the red, or even close isn't going to sum to -6, so....
This is where it gets complicated, and where even more diverse methods tend to be shown.

I can only explain how I do it, which is pretty conservative due to my preference for dynamic and "open" music. And that is prone to tweaks and changes as I learn and experiment.
But high RMS and hyper compressed "modern" mixing just isn't something I really appreciate. 8)
Stay in tune, Mark

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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:21 pm

Okay, thank you. Also I've noticed that some loops from the MC8P library also redline, so I don't know how to lower the signal level at the input or if I even need too?
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby Mark Bliss » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:04 pm

Yep. You will likely find most loops and samples are normalized to peak at 0dBfs to compete with each other when previewing, (And are often heavily compressed too!)
I would suggest (as a starting point) clip gaining them to a more usable level. Try -12 as a starting point until you get a feel for the need.
Theres some further info on the topic in this thread I think, starting somewhere down the second page:
http://forums.acoustica.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20300&start=15&hilit=mixing+with+loops
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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:22 pm

Mark Bliss wrote:I would suggest (as a starting point) clip gaining them to a more usable level. Try -12 as a starting point until you get a feel for the need.


When you say "clip gaining them" are you referring to lowering the clip volume level with the volume fader... or a plug-in?

PS: Some helpful tips is that other thread link you posted above (thank you)… However I don't see "SPAN" in MC8P effects, has it been renamed, no longer available, or a third party plug-in?
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby Mark Bliss » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:31 am

jlouvar wrote:When you say "clip gaining them" are you referring to lowering the clip volume level with the volume fader... or a plug-in?

None of the above. "Clip gain" is for example, the level automation line within the clip. Which differs from the separate level automation track as well as the track level slider in that the "Clip gain" is pre-insert and pre-eq etc in the channel strip.

jlouvar wrote: Some helpful tips is that other thread link you posted above (thank you)…

I am glad you found that helpful.
In that thread and at the time, I kind of avoided getting into the difference between clip gain and track gain, because I felt it unnecessary for the purposes at the time. Partially because using loops, which are already processed with effects etc, it generally doesn't matter as much. So I used shortcuts that really aren't the proper way to work. As the thread grew I kind of regretted that and probably should have gone back and corrected that oversight. (Kind of wish you didn't "bump" it! :lol: )
I guess I'll have to whip up an "ammendment" 8)

jlouvar wrote:I don't see "SPAN" in MC8P effects, has it been renamed, no longer available, or a third party plug-in?

SPAN is an updated version of the Voxengo spectral analyzer included in Mixcraft. Free from Voxengo's website. (Explained in the thread I believe)
It's but one of many metering options. Still remains a good learning tool IMO, and I still recommend it.
Stay in tune, Mark

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby Acoustica Greg » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:01 am

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Mixcraft 8 - The Musician's DAW
Give it a try here: http://acoustica.com/mixcraft/
Check out our Mixcraft University video tutorials.

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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:04 am

Okay, thanks again Mark... Oh and I deleted my bump, so the thread should move back to where it was. :wink:
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:05 am

Acoustica Greg wrote:Image


When using track automation and in the lock mode, the knobs move following whatever automation I'm using... Is there a way to do it the other way around? For example: Set the automation with moving the knob (touch control) on the fly instead of manually making automation points with the mouse? And if so, I'm guessing I can use my Akai MPK Mini to do this too? If not, I’d like to suggest it for MC9.
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

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Acoustica Greg
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby Acoustica Greg » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:19 am

Hi,

Just map your MIDI controller to the volume slider and record away!

The lock option is for people with motorized faders on their control surfaces who want to watch the faders move magically up and down as the project plays.

Greg
Mixcraft 8 - The Musician's DAW
Give it a try here: http://acoustica.com/mixcraft/
Check out our Mixcraft University video tutorials.

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jlouvar
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Re: Gain Setting

Postby jlouvar » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:57 am

Okay, I'm not sure how to map track automation points (yet), but I'll give it a try. Thank you
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.


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