[LAU] master levels

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Mon Feb 2 15:03:06 UTC 2015

On Mon, 2 Feb 2015 14:41:44 +0000, Harry van Haaren wrote:
> In short: mix with enough headroom in Ardour, ensure that the
> master-output level in Ardour is happy - ideally somewhere between -20
> and -6dB. When that signal arrives at the DAC, it will not
> significantly impact on SNR. Then use an analog volume fader to change
> the speaker-volume.

You don't want to give away a demo that has got such a low level.
I would stay below 0.0 dBFS to ensure that I wasn't sleeping during
mastering and the 0.0 dBFS by accident were above 0.0 when recording
the master, IOW around I would try to have peaks between a little
bit below -1.5 dBFS and -1.5 dBFS, if possible even - 0.5 dBFS. Sure for
live recording to much headroom is better than to less headroom.
Assumed the meters suffer from the -3.0 vs 0.0 dBFS sine wave vs square
wave issue, then I would replace -0.5 dBFS with -3.5 dBFS for the
highest peak. Again, the headroom for private, professional, live
recording etc. is something else, but if you give away a demo, don't
expect the people who are listening to adjust the amp's volume. I'm not
talking about the kind of the used compression, just about the peaks,
for a demo you will give away.

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