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Old 12-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 27,303

John's not saying anything different really than ashcat, the rule is still don't clip (when clipping applies), gain staging is a misused term in digital where it is more about organization and not running out of headroom as you mix (just like the video said). Of course we can get in the weeds about non-linear plugins that like ~n amount of gain but they have input knobs usually if non-linear and we need to use our ears anyway.

That said, if you recorded these tracks, and you observed nominal levels in preamps etc. they are already going to be at something in the -18 dBFS range unless you ran them hot on purpose. At the end of the day you can just loudness normalize them to something sensible and you are good to go.

I find it a waste of time to do all this metering/gain staging/VU duties when in reality if you just don't clip and reasonably organize levels (either during or after the fact) you will save a lot of time and everything will just work out fine.

TBH: If I have a bunch of tracks that when summed are a little hot, I just select all the items and bring their item volume down some, it really is that easy if we don't purposely try to over-complicate things.
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