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Proper input level for audio recording

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Hi all,

Every time I record a guitar or vocals with my Duet I wonder if the input level is too low. Everyone i talking about making tracks loud (with compressors and stuff).

I'm wondering if this starts with the recording? In other words: Is it recommended to record as loud as possible (close to 0db, maybe using a limiter) OR can I just normalize the track afterwards, with the same effect?


Below you see the level from a guitar recording I did yesterday

(It looks very low in the sample editor, but on my Duet 5 of 6 LEDs were flashing)




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This recording looks absolutely fine to me. Enough headroom, and not too quiet.


Making things 'loud': 1. ...is for dance music 2. ...is for commercial blockbustery (s)hitz such as Casha, Lady Gaggag, Katy Perryble, Michael Bubble etc... and 3. ...only starts happening in the Mastering Stage anyway, often by slapping on a 6 dB (and above) Waves L1, L2 or L3 maximizing/limiting plugin.

The key to making a song enjoyably loud is very much in starting with good/impeccable (not overdriven) recordings of the tracks. If you have a few tracks recorded as above, they may probably already get the main outs in the red when mixed together at unity gain.


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