How to Correctly Input the Level When Recording?

- Sep 26, 2018-

The key to quality recording work is first and foremost the correct input level. Levels that are too high or too low can destroy a very good performance. If the input level is too low and the level is raised during downmixing, it is likely to cause unnecessary noise in the mix. On the other hand, if the input level is too high, it often causes the track to be distorted.

Dynamic range:

When recording, you may notice that the level changes greatly due to the difference in performance and music style. For example, in a ballad, the drummer played a small snare drum in a certain section, and in the chorus changed to a small snare drum. This level change is called the dynamic range. The dynamic range is different from the volume. The volume refers to the amplitude at any time, and the dynamic range is the amount of change in amplitude.

Analog and digital:

When setting the level, there is a big difference between analog recording and digital recording. With analog recording, you can record input levels above 0dB without distortion. Sometimes recording an input level above 0 dB helps to make the tape get a hotter or warmer signal. Higher levels also prevent unwanted noise in tape recorders.

In the digital range, the input level cannot exceed 0 dB and definitely not high. In fact, most digital recorders will not display anything above 0dB. If the input level exceeds 0dB, distortion may occur in the recording. This distortion is usually "digital distortion." This is very bad for the recording. For best results in digital recording, the recording input level should be between -12 and -4 dB. This will not only give you an equal level of good analog recording, but will also leave some free space for the downmix of the recorded track. The digital recorder does not have the problem of a noise bed that is often used on analog recorders. They can record lower levels without adding noise. If you are not sure, record at a lower level. However, tracks that are recorded too low are often fixed, and it is impossible to remove noise from the recording.



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