Midi input levels

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

Moderators: Acoustica Chris, Acoustica Eric, Acoustica Dan, Acoustica Greg

Post Reply
User avatar
BillW
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:17 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Midi input levels

Post by BillW » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 pm

From a prior thread I've become much more aware of input levels and gain staging. A couple sites and the like suggest input levels anywhere from -6 (I no longer have the source for that suggestion to as low as - 16 (Graham in Smart Start 1)

This of course applies to recorded audio and is achieved by setting the interface. Not the fader after the fact

Now what about midi? Is this done by the track "fader" level when the track is armed? If so, can't that same thing be done for the audio track?

In any case, it seems like it's somewhat guess and check, until you get it right and note the settings.

I've yet to find a good tutorial (Mixcraft specific or not) on setting recording levels for audio and for midi. . But I've just started searching.
Proud member of the Mixcraft OFC!

Mixcraft 8 Pro (32bit) runs fine on a Toshiba Satellite C55-B laptop with a wimpy Celeron N2830 (dual core). Now using 64bit on a "less wimpy" Dell 660S/Dual Core Pentium/8GB RAM.

Slimy
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:45 am

Re: Midi input levels

Post by Slimy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:06 pm

I'm not sure I understand the question, but since midi is just instructions to play a sound, I don't see why recording levels for midi would matter.

Anorax
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: Midi input levels

Post by Anorax » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:54 am

The issue here is that you're making the assumption that the entire Virtual Instrument track functions differently than an audio track.

Here's how to think of gain staging for virtual instruments: it's an audio source. That's it.

Once the virtual instrument makes the noise that it's supposed to make and it goes off to your vst effects, then you have the same gain staging procedure that you would use for a track that has a recording that you made with your guitar and direct-in interface.

In short, you're overthinking it. Gain staging is more or less basically this:

Code: Select all

Input (audio recording or virtual instrument)
    |
Effects
    |
Mixer
There's a little more to it, layout wise, but I dare say that you've already read into that a bit.

I think, however, the crux of the problem is this bit.
This of course applies to recorded audio and is achieved by setting the interface.
You're unsure of where the virtual instrument version of the interface is. Well, in Mixcraft, it's here:
2017-01-07 (1).png
2017-01-07 (1).png (309.55 KiB) Viewed 1645 times
You can adjust the virtual instrument output volume either from within the virtual instrument itself, or in the Change Instrument window. Or both.

User avatar
Mark Bliss
Posts: 7098
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Out there

Re: Midi input levels

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:32 am

Nice!

I am no expert on VSTi, but I have found that while some work fine at default settings, others seem to sound better turned down a bit at the instrument settings shown by Anorax.
And how it sounds is the critical thing to me at that point.

Not exactly gain staging, More of a mixing thing- But additionally, if for example it is a background instrument I often find myself needing to turn down the audio much further. The decisions there depend on what else I might be doing to the signal, but in general- I don't like getting the track fader so far out into course adjustment range if I can avoid it, so I often use clip gain or other options to reduce the level pretty far so that the track fader isn't set to such extremes.

Example- Instead of this:
Not this.png
Not this.png (15.03 KiB) Viewed 1626 times
Not this2.png
Not this2.png (12.56 KiB) Viewed 1626 times
I try to get something more like this working in the rough mix stage:
This.png
This.png (17.92 KiB) Viewed 1626 times
This 2.png
This 2.png (8.38 KiB) Viewed 1626 times
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

User avatar
BillW
Posts: 709
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:17 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Midi input levels

Post by BillW » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:47 am

All the responses here really helped - especially the pictures. Thanks much.

(Now I just have to document all this so I don't forget it if I go several months without using Mixcraft again!)
Proud member of the Mixcraft OFC!

Mixcraft 8 Pro (32bit) runs fine on a Toshiba Satellite C55-B laptop with a wimpy Celeron N2830 (dual core). Now using 64bit on a "less wimpy" Dell 660S/Dual Core Pentium/8GB RAM.

Post Reply