the first time I used the software , i don t understand this gain staging because i was thinking , the gain staging is only for this software .
But after that i see my RME fireface manual and it show the maximum headroom in analogue/digital domain .For me it's -15dbFS=0VU
There is a big confusion for a lot of people .
A lot of studio "clip" AD/DA converter because they was thinking that the orange and red vu is like analogue view ..but it's digital view so keep the signal low if you re sound go out of the box ( headphone / monitoring etc ....) , In all circumstances , not just for Nebula .
Your amp / speaker / monitoring ...mixing console love that !
If the noise is present ( hum / buzz etc ...) check cable / ground connection .It's not a gain staging problem ..
When you put an external hardware and recorded inside DAW -DON'T RECORD HOT it loose a lot of quality - especially drum ...or short transcient sound ( Peak level is important for that )
When you do that you create BAD harmonic distortion , the AD/DA converter of you re soundcard....Don't stress your input / output soundcard ! it's very important ...if you want to record hotter , buy a good tape machine / class A preamp / only analogue ....
Here we want the great harmonic distortion of Nebula ...like real hardware ...so i want a clean signal before Nebula .
When i render a mix , the maximum level ( for me ) is -15dbFS , because it's the PERFECT values for my AD converter ...
If peak level are too much important , put a parallele compression on it , it keep the track natural and reduce the peak level .
Since I 'm doing this , I see a better overall dynamics , a more musical and less tiring to listen
Sorry for bad english , i'm french