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Gain changes depending on where Gain plugin is insterted

Blue Monkey

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A tracks volume is affected differently depending on if I insert the Gain plugin at the beginning of the chain vs. the end of the chain (depending on what other plugins are in the chain).


I understand that this might be the expected behavior with a Gain plugin but could someone explain why this happens whether expected or not?


In this example I am trying to bring my Fader to unity to get the highest resolution in the Fader so I inserted a Gain plugin set at -13db.


Track without Gain plugin, Fader set to -13 results in a level of -15.



Track with Gain plugin in first slot, Fader set to 0 results in a level of -4.4.



Track with Gain plugin last in the chain, Fader set to 0 results in the expected level of -15.


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Only the expected result was expectable. :lol: When you have two gain adjustments one after the other (here a Gain plug-in (G1) immediately followed by the channel strip's Gain fader(G2)), the total gain applied by both adjustments is G = G1+G2. Pure maths, no surprises, ever. This holds true independently of the signal used.


When you insert the gain plug-in at the beginning of the chain, you're changing the level of the signal that feeds the Compressor, Guitar Amp Pro and Limiter, which are all affecting the signal differently depending on its level. Meaning that they won't process a strong signal the same way they will a weak one. You can't really tell what the resulting gain will be as it depends on the dynamic and level of the signal used.

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Thanks for the replies guys!


Yeah, it's definitely a combination of the Limiter, Compressor and Guitar Amp Pro. I tried bypassing the Limiter and then moved the Gain plugin to the top of the chain and the level still changes. I tried the same thing with the Compressor bypassed as well as bypassing both the Limiter and the Compressor with the same result so I found that Guitar Amp Pro was also affecting the level.


Interestingly enough, on my bass track that only has Compressor, Single EQ and Channel EQ I can place the Gain plug at the beginning or the end of the chain and I get the same level after the Fader either way. I guess it might depend on how much compression is applied (or make-up gain)?


Anyway, thanks for the explanation David!

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