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Logic 9 Low Recording Levels - I THINK.

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by splitsurround, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. splitsurround

    splitsurround New Member

    Bear with me here:

    I have a Mackie Profx16 mixer with many stereo pieces of music gear connected to inputs.

    1. If I solo a pice of gear's Mackie channel to set the gain for that instrument, I can usually turn the output volume of the instrument up a bit and level the Mackie channel gain at unity, and produce a good level on the Mackie's meters. Exactly where I want to be, around-8db or so.

    2. The Mackie Profx16 IS an audio interface, so that takes a piece out of the signal chain. I route that Mackie channel to the USB stereo bus, and make a new track in Logic 9, and click on the input monitor. It's LOW. Depending on the piece of gear, it ranges from -20 up to @ -6.

    3. When I record something, then play it back out of the computer, via USB back into the Mackie Mixer, the Mackie meters are also low. At least that part makes sense to me.

    4. Here's the kicker: in Logic, when I use a test tone plugin, and turn the amplitude up to zero (from -12, its default state), that signal routes out through the laptop into the Mackie mixer, and the meters read-you guessed it-right where it should be, @ -6 to -8.

    To me, this seems to prove that I'm not recording audio at a high enough level. The thing is, if I turn up the output of my instruments to much, or the Mackie channel strip gain, I can hear distortion entering the equation.

    What I wish I saw was the same signal strength:

    setting channel gain--> input to Logic-->computer out, back into Mackie meters. I really don't understand what is going wrong.

    Since the documentation of the Mixer suggests setting levels like I did, and since I hear distortion when maxing out the instruments volumes....I really don't know what to do. This should be working properly, right?

    Any help will be very much appreciated.


  3. bambony

    bambony Administrator Staff Member

    I am not sure what you are really asking but I will say that seeing 0dB on a desk is equivalent to around -20 to -16dB on a meter in Logic. Anologue desks and other analogue equipment have some 20dB of headroom above 0dB on the meter whereas digital recording media have 0dB above 0dB (i.e. nothing). Generally (but not always) recording with peaks on budget equipment hitting at most -10dB in Logic will sound considerably better than anything hotter for a number of reasons.

    Basically most people record too hot into DAWs. Now we have 24 bit recording you should aim never to peak above -10dB on a Logic meter when recording.

    If you want more info Google dBV versus dBFS - that should turn up some related techie info for you.

  4. splitsurround

    splitsurround New Member

    Bambony, thanks for the response. Just to be clear, you're saying that it I see a 1K tone somewhere around -6db on my Mackie Mixer, that same signal should look like.....-26 in Logic?

    I get that there's a difference in db and dbfs, and potentially I'm using one in Logic and the other in my consumer gear, but...apples to apples, for a signal going from a tone generator through the mixer into logic...a signal that hits O on the Mackie should look like -20 in Logic?

  5. x lo fi

    x lo fi New Member

    This can be hard to do cuz the levels in logic and other daws are hard to read and unreliable, in my experience.

    I just installed the ampgui logic mod and found it made it much easier to make sure levels stay between the 20-10 sweet spot. http://ampguimods.net/logic_mods.html

    3rd party plug in meters are also clearer than the level read outs in logic. http://www.lsraudio.com/lvlmeter.html

    Don't forget the Gain plug under "utilities!" I'm always using it to roll things back, especially when processing through 3rd party plug ins while mixing.

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