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Author Topic: Good mic gain technique or not?  (Read 1975 times)

Miguel Dahl

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2019, 05:15:00 pm »

"This guy" in the vid was Tom Petty's FOH, has mixed Rush and Matchbox20, among many.

The take away I got from the presentation was "set preamp gains for best control resolution."

I googled his name so I got a few references. The takeaway I got was use all the bits. He mentioned this several times. Don't even turn down your fader..Use a group.
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2019, 05:31:03 pm »

It was Robert Scovill's interview on Nathan Lively's "Sound Design Live" that prompted the last line of my response (reply #6).  Great Podcast BTW for those who don't regularly tune in.

As Bob McCarthy talks about in his book, you want all the "audio pipelines" to be as full as practical as you move through the various gain stages of a system, or the next gain stage is just amplifying more signal versus noise than necessary.  I'm paraphrasing of course. 

I don't have a lot of first-hand measured data on how much noise is really in a good quality analog preamp with balanced mic cables, so I just try to get the preamp gains high enough that I have something sufficient to work with, without allowing them to light up the CLIP LED in all but special circumstances. 
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2019, 09:15:49 pm »

So now my VCA's are worthless?

He kinda lost me when he asked what if the kick needs to be -20db lower...what? You know that will never happen.  ;)
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2019, 10:17:41 pm »

Would it be possible to run a mixer correctly and get good sound if the panel was not silk screened?  IE-"unity" did not visually exist?

Just wondering if people obsess over control position too much?  It would be interesting to drop a couple of fixed resistors on a gain knob-or tweak the algorithm in a digital board to skew the actual adjustment range and see how different people reacted.
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2019, 01:05:31 am »

Whats the drawback to running the master below unity?
See Martin's post just above yours, click on the link he provided and watch the video. 
It will show you how bit-depth use can be affected by fader position.
It's a good watch.  Very informative. 
Always keep learning. 
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2019, 05:37:57 am »

The video is interesting, but seems contradictory at times. Maybe someone here can explain what I'm missing.

He goes on about RMS vs peak metering, and that we ought to optimise the RMS levels, but then mentions that other devices (external recording devices, internal dynamics processing) will be expecting line level (+4dBU). If you get the RMS level of the snare drum to +4dBU, the peak level will be somewhere like +20dBU.

Surely that's going to clip the input of an external recording device.

I was also under the impression that most compressors operate according to peak level, although some can switch to RMS.

Given that we really want to avoid overloading the ADC (analogue to digital converter), I still think we should optimise peak levels.

Chris
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Luke Geis

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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2019, 02:55:54 pm »

I think he just overcomplicated it with the bits thing. He was trying to draw a parallel in your head about the actual resolution difference ( in digital terms ) about full use of headroom vs. line level use of headroom. He did state clearly that we need the extra headroom for accidental and unknown peaks to be allowed to pass without clipping the HA.

We can sit there all day and mess with the HA setting to get the signal to be as close as possible to line level, unity gain, or whatever you want to call it. The plain simpleness of it though is that we just want to be close to that. I think when he means RMS he means that the signal, for the most part, sets right at line level and occasionally peaks come through that go above that but don't clip. without trying to play god with the setting, simply set the HA so that the incoming signals peak level is set at or just above the reference setting. Wham, that's it, your done, rock on.



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Re: Good mic gain technique or not?
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2019, 02:55:54 pm »


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