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Re: OT: brickwall


  I recommend that the DAW meters (which are peak reading meters) 
indicate -18dbfs.

I am talking about RECORDING here. when you are producing the final 
product, then you can apply peak limiting as desired.

To elaborate: 18db is NOT alot of headroom. If you scan the resulting 
file you are going to find that the signal will hit much hotter than 
the meters are capable of indicating, particularly digital meters, 
since they need to average across several samples.
Pro studios use a calibration standard ranging from -14 to -22dbfs.
Every record I am sent to mix that has been recorded to this standard 
has a peak in the file between 0db and -3.
If the reference level  was  higher,  there would certainly be 
'overs' in the file.

Almost every modern A/D converter, even a lowly soundcard, has a 
better signal to noise ratio than the source. This means that there 
is no need to 'print hot' since you are not increasing the 
signal-to-noise ratio, only recording the source's background noise 
at a higher level.

Subsequently, every DAW or audio editor has tremendous internal 
dynamic range and it is not going to compromise the signal to add 
gain in the DAW.


>Quoting Charles Zwicky <cazwicky@earthlink.net>:
>>My advice, as an engineer: Turn the levels DOWN!
>>You should set the signal level so that the audio PEAKS at -18 on the 
>I agree with your advice.  For the -18 level, are you referring to a 
>traditional VU meter or a peak reading meter?   18db seems like a 
>lot of headroom.  Would you elaborate?  Much appreciated.
>Normally I set my peaks just below full-scale -- I prefer to carry 
>sufficient headroom for the peaks rather than limiting/compressing.  
>The result is that my "home grown" cd's are not as "loud" as others 
>-- however I just turn up my volume control a bit to compensate.
>fyi -- my approach to recording is more akin to classical music 
>recording than, say, dance or pop music.  In general, my cds' levels 
>match up with commercial classical cds' ok but my kids pop/heavy 
>metal/hip-hip cds' levels pretty much bury my stuff.  :)
>-- Kevin