Gain staging: No more confusion!

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Gain staging: No more confusion!

Post by alexishere1 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:26 pm

I have read a lot of mixed info about how hot the signal should be going in to ACQUA plugins for optimal sound.

I heard

1. It doesn't matter, as the impulse responses were recorded to -18dbfs = Safe anywhere below 0db until it clips.

2. Treat it like an analog gear( Input level should be -18dbfs)

3. Only ACQUA COMPRESSORS can have a signal anywhere below -0db (until it clips) but treat all other products like an analog gear (input at -18dbfs)

Which one is right?

The right way of gainstaging is to use input trim to peak at -18 on the plugin meter right?

Let's put this out in the clear so it doesn't get asked any more(at least try!)
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Re: Gain staging: No more confusion!

Post by RJHollins » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:08 am

2. Treat it like an analog gear( Input level should be -18dbfs)
Basically, I'd say this is.

Better still, to understand the working concept, and the various interactions.

Input levels can vary, and so do those Levels affect the overall sound.

2. Many ACQUAs have a TRIM control. This too is part of the consideration.

Might be helpful to remember that these are a guide [some call a 'rule'].

After careful listening as Level or TRIM are experimented, the ear learns what to listen for.
Once that is understood, the 'breaking' of said 'rule' is a purposeful decision.

Another question that comes up. I'd answer that I also drive ALGO plugs with the same 'Analogue' Reference.
Currently I've switched to -23 LUF as the Operating Level, and maintain whatever Reference throughout each plug
in the chain. I use the TRIM to 'drive' levels when wanted.

My final stage is at the Master LIMITER to take 2-Mix to Final Level.

Does that help ?
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NVC [Nebula Virtual Controllers]

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Re: Gain staging: No more confusion!

Post by Flohre » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 am

A wonderful and easy to make solution would be an automatic gain staging option in every Aqua-PlugIn. Not as a "must", but as a "can":
Activate the button → let it learn the material/set the gain → having the best operating level
I know there are plugins out there. But why an additional plugin in an extra insert-slot?

AA? Hmmm? Would be an idea?
System: Windows 10/x64, Pre: 2x F*******e Liquid Channel, Apollo Twin USB, DAW: Cubase 9.5, Wavelab 9.5, Samplitude ProX3, Plugins: Nebula 4/Aqua, 2x F*******e Liquid Mix

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Re: Gain staging: No more confusion!

Post by abuzaynab » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:58 am

A simpler solution would be to just have the correct guidelines for a particular plugin in the manual.

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