Gain Staging Critical Step In Mixing And Mastering

Gain Staging Critical Step In Mixing And Mastering
Gain Staging Critical Step In Mixing And Mastering. In this video I take you through an example of how to properly set gain levels on each track to avoid clipping and distortion. I also show how to prepare your mix for mastering by properly setting the overall gain level of a project. These are critical steps in the mixing process and will help your home studio productions sound more like the pros. Thanks to Kendal Osborne of The Recording Lounge for this great info that changed my mixes for the better. (: Check out his pod cast Episode 40 for more on this topic available on iTunes.

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33 thoughts on “Gain Staging Critical Step In Mixing And Mastering”

  1. right about gain staging on each channel but the main rule for the master
    fader is just dont clip…no matter the peak number…as long as its not
    clipping the ME can bring the volume down easy…as he can bring it up i
    the mix has low level…it doesnt change any sonic quality if a mix is
    peaking at -5 dbfs or – 1dbfs or -12 dbfs… its digital dont forget

  2. when you are reducing the volume to minus 12 db can you use the actual
    volume slider on the main mixer or is it best to reduce it from an EQ?

  3. Thanks so much man! This helped me out a lot. I’m currently using Reaper
    andtrying to get a progressive House EP going. I could not figure out for
    the life of me why my stuff was red-lining. I also learned there is RMS AND
    peak, which is lame. But I think RMS only matters with live recording. I
    only have 2 gigs of RAM. I know.. I know.. How the hell do I plan on
    releasing an EP.. But does my low RAM effect clipping/RMS? Can I actually
    pull this all off if I just mix right like you? Also is L2 free?

  4. Headroom isn’t necessary. with a -1dB headroom you could still bring it
    lower/higher in the mastering stage. Dynamic range however is important 

  5. what if i already have a fully mixed song different submix busses on the
    track that i forgot to gain stage. Grouping everything will group the
    individual tracks and the submixes, therefore doubling the volume drop.
    Should i exclude the submixes from the group when i pull the sliders down
    to gain stage?

  6. Hello, in the final stage where you bring the volume level back up using
    the L2, is there a plug in in Studio One for that? Just something I can use
    for free for now? I’ve WAY overspent on my little music hobby this year so
    I’m trying to do some things n the cheap while I pay off some of these
    bills. 🙂 If there isn’t a free plug in is there anything else I could do
    in the meantime to achieve a similar effect? Thanks again.

  7. so do you always want your compressor in the effects on the track before
    the reverb? or does it matter what order you have them stacked in the

  8. my daw is logic 9. i make hip hop and pop music and am looking to make my
    mixes balanced as loud as possible and researching gain staging because i
    cant get my mixes as loud as i would want like a radio ready mix or the
    songs i compare my work too. and have made huge investments in plug ins so
    i figure my gain staging is wrong. i actually use the output gain of my
    plug ins and agree with you and try to avoid gain staging on the faders. my
    goal is to usually keep my mixes between -6 to -3dB for my mastering on
    izotope. any advise you can give me to help me achieve a loud radio mix?

  9. thanks for this tutorial… has helped me tremendously. my question after
    adjusting gain and using subtractive EQing with the EQ plug in…can i now
    gain stage my tracks further ie again by using the Compression plug in?
    would that be a reasonable next step or am i now in danger of using to many
    plugins at this early stage. im working on a set of complicated back ground
    vocals.thanks so much.

  10. This video really saved my day, as a beginner I had no idea how to get all
    my levels right, the EQ output makes it possible :))) – THANK YOU!!!

  11. Peaking, clipping, gaining-out. All the same shit to me when speaking
    within capturing. Waveform analysis and oscillators is when the two terms
    need to be separated.

  12. Hello, your youtube videos on gain staging, its awesome, Thank you. I have
    3 questions: 1. I use Logic to record Midi, so when I export Midi track
    into an audio would I use that gain plugin before the transfer or after ,
    so the signal dont clip? Because if I use it prior , the the audio track
    would come out very thin…please explain, Thank You;
    2.If my Midi track faders should be at 0db, and I use volume
    automation….what should I do? What is the workaround? Thank you
    3 .or how would you use Volume automation otherwise?

  13. Really, really, really helpful tutorial. What I never understood starting
    out was what was the designed level that I was supposed to reach prior to
    processing the audio? For a while, I was trying all sorts of things out,,
    -14db, -10db, -20 db, etc,. After a while I saw that it didn’t really mater
    where you started was, more so where you ended at. I would gain stage
    everything to -14db and still manage to hit 0 dbfs. It was confusing,
    everyone had a different preference on where to set their db to before
    processing. Really the what I took from this video is leaving enough
    headroom to give your mastering engineer a place to work from.

    What I still don’t understand, is should I where should my level be
    throughout the song? Should I try to maintain a certain peak throughout the
    song ? Meaning that my quieter parts of my song should be riding along my
    set db as well as my loudest? giving the mastering engineer more of a
    consistant waveform translating to a louder master ? Sure, I’d lose some
    dynamic range in the process but, would that be something that would need
    to be considered in order to have a loud master ?

  14. @Hometracks. great video man keep it up. Where can i purchase the
    ultramaximizer? get back at me. thanks.

  15. Hi, don’t know if you still read these but had a question. I use Cubase
    DAW,, if I set my levels to -8 on the highest peaks per channel, and I
    don’t know if I have a way to master, but I should take my last slider for
    stereo out and adjust that level up to maybe -4 or so on the highest peaks
    yes ? I don’t add in any effects other than reverb on the individual

  16. sounds right. all right man. thanks for sharing. always exploring different
    channels keep up the great work. !

  17. This is an incredibly helpful video! This is worth way more than a lot of
    plugins out there that are marketed to fix your mix. lol. THIS is how you
    fix your mix (or just do it right from the start). Thanks for putting this
    together. I’ll definitely be attacking my next project using this

  18. Hi, sorry about my question but If you turn down gain stage in all EQ
    plugins, then you will reedit your chain in all your tracks. For example in
    compression, you would change all your compression settings after or before
    you do the gain staging?


  19. Great video, I think I’m going to have to revisit a lot of my projects now.

  20. Extremely helpful. I have always wondered why I have muddy mixes with low
    output and now know that I always fought the clipping battle without the
    weapons necessary to produce a quality final product. Your professionalism,
    candor, and articulation are commendable, sir. I thank you for giving us
    beginners such quality instruction. You, and others like you, are the
    saving grace of the blossoming bedroom-producer community.

  21. Hi..I just found this video, glad I did. Excellent tutorial. I was just
    wonder about the compressors on these tracks that can make it louder. I
    assume you already tweaked your EQ/Comp to you liking first, then turned
    down the gain to -12….on the EQ plugin. Could you do that on the
    compressor as well to achieve -12? Hope that made sense. Thanks

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