Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

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_CM_
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Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:23 pm

Good evening!

After reading this post https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... tored.html I need to find an input gain control to ensure enough headroom in my Cubase mixer channels, because all my recordings' tracks are peaking close to 0dB, so my question is: Is there an input trim control in Cubase 8's mixer or can someone please suggest a suitable gain trim plug in? (I am using a Mac)

Thanks.

/CM

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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by fretthefret » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:31 pm

_CM_ wrote:Good evening!

After reading this post https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... tored.html I need to find an input gain control to ensure enough headroom in my Cubase mixer channels, because all my recordings' tracks are peaking close to 0dB, so my question is: Is there an input trim control in Cubase 8's mixer or can someone please suggest a suitable gain trim plug in? (I am using a Mac)

Thanks.

/CM

First why are you recording so hot?
It's a digital world with analog converters inline.
Try recording between -18 and -10 instead. Lower even if your recording is over your noise floor.
You'll usually get a better end product.

Second, use the channel's built in PRE gain to boost or cut your levels.
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Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:10 pm

Fret hit it on the head. Treat -18 as your "0dB".

You're too hot coming out of your mic pre / interface. If you use trim in Cubase (which is available in every channel in the MixConsole's Pre Rack), you'll only be recording a quieter version of your already too-loud signal. Just turn down your mic pre's until you're in that -18 range. This gives you lots of room to move.

Instead of a Pre plugin, perhaps get a plugin that shows VU levels, and try to keep signals around 0VU (0VU = -18dBFS. Usually);)
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by Greg Houston » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:39 pm

enjneer wrote:Instead of a Pre plugin, perhaps get a plugin that shows VU levels, and try to keep signals around 0VU (0VU = -18dBFS. Usually);)
These have become more common in recent years and would be nice if integrated directly into Cubase. In the meantime, I like Sonimus Britson and was using Sonimus Satson before that.
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Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:50 pm

+1 heartily! VUs instead of "Wave display" in MixConsole!

I was totally using Data on too! They were great. But I gave them up for Slate's VCC collection. It's RC-Tube emulation just reminded me so much of the old 80s Mitsubishi console I used to mix on.

And Waves' Dorrough meter across the main bus. The VUs are great in VCC.
I've found that getting good old fashioned metering back has really helped my tracking and mixing ITB.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by Jarno » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:55 pm

That GearSnobs post is full of cow excrement:
Running a Digital mix right to the top of the scale is like running your SSL mix buss where the VU meters are slammed all the way to the right
No! Digital audio does not work that way. You can go up to 0dBfs and it's completely linear (distortion-free). And in case of floating-point audio engine (like in Cubase) you can go 100s of dBs "to the red" in your signal path and you're still fine as long as your final result (output to A/D converter or export to fixed-point file) is below 0dBfs.

Only case when you may benefit from lower levels are plugins which emulate behaviour of analog equipment.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by fretthefret » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:55 pm

enjneer wrote:+1 heartily! VUs instead of "Wave display" in MixConsole!

I use Slate's VCC collection. And Waves' Dorrough meter across the main bus. The VUs are just fine in VCC.
I've found that getting good old fashioned metering back had really helped my tracking and mixing.

Noooo!
Wave display isactually an AWESOME useful feature.

Check out the center position line as the waveform scrolls.
It gives you a "heads up" to upcoming manual fader move (or even the transient results of compression etc.)
Very useful!

Sleepy-timeDSP has a decent free VU vst

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfzQNmc32cc
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Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:26 am

Ha ha, fret,

You must have missed the posts I replied to earlier where I faced the hate, and admitted to loving the Wave display! Kind of like admitting I like all those Backstreet songs...

But I would give them up in a heartbeat to have VUs on every channel b
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by MrSmith » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:05 am

Greg Houston wrote:These have become more common in recent years and would be nice if integrated directly into Cubase. In the meantime, I like Sonimus Britson and was using Sonimus Satson before that.
love those plugins too but they eat my cpu

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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:04 am

MrSmith wrote:
Greg Houston wrote:These have become more common in recent years and would be nice if integrated directly into Cubase. In the meantime, I like Sonimus Britson and was using Sonimus Satson before that.
love those plugins too but they eat my cpu
Try Slate's RC-Tube. You can run dozens of them without even feeling a sting!
For some reason, it's not do with the VCC set (which, ironically, includes RC-Tube)
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:03 am

fretthefret wrote:
_CM_ wrote:Good evening!

After reading this post https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... tored.html I need to find an input gain control to ensure enough headroom in my Cubase mixer channels, because all my recordings' tracks are peaking close to 0dB, so my question is: Is there an input trim control in Cubase 8's mixer or can someone please suggest a suitable gain trim plug in? (I am using a Mac)

Thanks.

/CM

First why are you recording so hot?
Well, it's old habits from the 16-bit world and the analogue world. The next project will however be recorded with lower gain.

But currently I am working on two existing recordings. One which I have recorded myself (hot) and another recording I did on tape in the 80's which another studio has transferred to digital (hot). This is why I am looking for a simple gain trim tool.
fretthefret wrote:It's a digital world with analog converters inline.
Try recording between -18 and -10 instead. Lower even if your recording is over your noise floor.
You'll usually get a better end product.
Yes I know.
fretthefret wrote:Second, use the channel's built in PRE gain to boost or cut your levels.
I haven't found this in Cubase 8. I suppose I need to contact the support if I can't find it.
Last edited by _CM_ on Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by DaveRichardson » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:12 am

I haven't found this in Cubase 8. I suppose I need to contact the support if I can't find it.
Press "E" on the mixer channel to open the channel settings window.
Under Equaliser on the left hand side you will see the channel Gain control (just above the phase button)

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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:57 am

DaveRichardson wrote:
I haven't found this in Cubase 8. I suppose I need to contact the support if I can't find it.
Press "E" on the mixer channel to open the channel settings window.
Under Equaliser on the left hand side you will see the channel Gain control (just above the phase button)

Dave
Thanks Dave!

Do you mean on the channel strip? (See attached picture) I thought that this "Trim" control was a part of the eq... :oops:
Trim control Cubase 8.jpg
(15.47 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Thanks again.
/CM
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by DaveRichardson » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:08 pm

That's the one.
Also available as a slider under the adjacent "Equaliser" tab

I use it the same way as I would the gain on a physical desk

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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by ALSTUDIOS » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Jarno wrote:No! Digital audio does not work that way. You can go up to 0dBfs and it's completely linear (distortion-free). And in case of floating-point audio engine (like in Cubase) you can go 100s of dBs "to the red" in your signal path and you're still fine as long as your final result (output to A/D converter or export to fixed-point file) is below 0dBfs.
Hi

That's what I understood so far as well 8-)
(Always recording with 32bit float)


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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:59 pm

Jarno wrote:That GearSnobs post is full of cow excrement:
Running a Digital mix right to the top of the scale is like running your SSL mix buss where the VU meters are slammed all the way to the right
No! Digital audio does not work that way. You can go up to 0dBfs and it's completely linear (distortion-free).
I agree, as long as you only have one channel and is not adding plugins which might raise the gain further you are fine even when peaking at 0dB (or -0.1dB to be on the safe side). If you are multi tracking, then every track will add to the total gain. But that can be compensated using the output fader rather than using the input trim.

But I thought I should try mixing less hot tracks to see what happens. Because I started out when everyone was using analogue, I work much faster in an analogue studio. But going back to tape and consoles is not an alternative for me, so I am interested in finding new ways to work faster ITB with a (few outboard boxes).
Jarno wrote:And in case of floating-point audio engine (like in Cubase) you can go 100s of dBs "to the red" in your signal path and you're still fine as long as your final result (output to A/D converter or export to fixed-point file) is below 0dBfs.
Shouldn't the extra 8 bits in 32 bit floating-point give 48 dB extra (6 x 8) and not "100s of dBs "to the red" "? I thought these extra bits were used to maintain full 24 bit word length when lowering the gain on the faders, but I can be completely wrong. You are actually saying that the extra 8 bit as for extra headroom?
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by Jarno » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:28 pm

_CM_ wrote:Shouldn't the extra 8 bits in 32 bit floating-point give 48 dB extra
They would, if it were fixed-point audio, but it's floating-point.

Simplified explanation:
32-bit floating-point audio is like 24-bit fixed-point with 8 bits reserved for "scaling". Those extra 8 bits tells how many bits up or down you move the reference point. Because with 8 bits you can create numbers from -128 to 127, 32-bit floating-point audio have dynamic range of 280 (24+256) bit fixed-point audio, that's 1680dB (-912dBfs ... +762dBfs)!

DISCLAIMER: I may have made 1 to 2 bit mistakes in my calculations, so dynamic range may be off by 12dB or so.

See also: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/a ... 0108_3.htm
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by fretthefret » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:08 pm

Another cool thing is...
If you use 32 bit float and export a mixdown in 32 bit float
AND do not have a brickwall limiter on your master Buss
AND your mix out levels exceed the 0 db clip of the master

It is not really a permanent destructive clip!

Import the wav and it will look like a sausage.

Go to process and normalize peaks to 0db.

The FULLY intact non clipped waveform is restored thanks to those extra scaling bits.

Doesn't work with a 24 bit export.
In 24 bit, once you clip, it stays clipped.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by pgstudio » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:36 pm

What I like to do to Trim my tracks visually to -18dbfs is change the color preferences of my meter and set Green gradiente from -oo to -18dbfs, yellow, from -18 to 0 and red 0+ values.
It's super easy and fast to make all your tracks to the correct value. :D

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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:13 pm

Jarno wrote:
_CM_ wrote:Shouldn't the extra 8 bits in 32 bit floating-point give 48 dB extra
They would, if it were fixed-point audio, but it's floating-point.

Simplified explanation:
32-bit floating-point audio is like 24-bit fixed-point with 8 bits reserved for "scaling". Those extra 8 bits tells how many bits up or down you move the reference point. Because with 8 bits you can create numbers from -128 to 127, 32-bit floating-point audio have dynamic range of 280 (24+256) bit fixed-point audio, that's 1680dB (-912dBfs ... +762dBfs)!

DISCLAIMER: I may have made 1 to 2 bit mistakes in my calculations, so dynamic range may be off by 12dB or so.

See also: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/a ... 0108_3.htm
So you are saying that when setting Cubase to 32-bit floating-point, then there will always be headroom enough whn mixing as long as the recording peaks are less than 0dB?

I need to check if my installation is set to 32-bit floating-point. Can anyone advice on where I can find this setting...

Thanks.
/CM
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by _CM_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:15 pm

fretthefret wrote:Another cool thing is...
If you use 32 bit float and export a mixdown in 32 bit float
AND do not have a brickwall limiter on your master Buss
AND your mix out levels exceed the 0 db clip of the master

It is not really a permanent destructive clip!

Import the wav and it will look like a sausage.

Go to process and normalize peaks to 0db.

The FULLY intact non clipped waveform is restored thanks to those extra scaling bits.

Doesn't work with a 24 bit export.
In 24 bit, once you clip, it stays clipped.
Interesting! Thanks!
/CM
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by fretthefret » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:28 pm

_CM_ wrote:
Jarno wrote:
_CM_ wrote:Shouldn't the extra 8 bits in 32 bit floating-point give 48 dB extra
They would, if it were fixed-point audio, but it's floating-point.

Simplified explanation:
32-bit floating-point audio is like 24-bit fixed-point with 8 bits reserved for "scaling". Those extra 8 bits tells how many bits up or down you move the reference point. Because with 8 bits you can create numbers from -128 to 127, 32-bit floating-point audio have dynamic range of 280 (24+256) bit fixed-point audio, that's 1680dB (-912dBfs ... +762dBfs)!

DISCLAIMER: I may have made 1 to 2 bit mistakes in my calculations, so dynamic range may be off by 12dB or so.

See also: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/a ... 0108_3.htm
So you are saying that when setting Cubase to 32-bit floating-point, then there will always be headroom enough whn mixing as long as the recording peaks are less than 0dB?

I need to check if my installation is set to 32-bit floating-point. Can anyone advice on where I can find this setting...

Thanks.
That's not really what I'm saying... but every mix is different.
You can use many paths in audio production to get to a decent end product.
If your particular "art" is to pound out huge over 0dbfs 32bit float wavs and then normalize them back to 0db
then who am I to judge! Right?

Check your Project > Project Setup for Bit Resolution
The other setting can be found in File > Export > Audio Mixdown under Audio Engine Output heading

You can use 32bit float in projects when you are recording from track to track or buss to track, bouncing or rendering, all those will then be output at 32bit float and "clip safe".
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enjneer
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:31 pm

_CM_ wrote: So you are saying that when setting Cubase to 32-bit floating-point, then there will always be headroom enough whn mixing as long as the recording peaks are less than 0dB?
You can't really apply this to recording. You've got a hard 24-bit limit when recording at your analog-to-digital converters. So if you clip on the way in, you're just clipped.

32-bit only applies to processing within Cubase, before it goes out to your digital-to-analog converter.
I need to check if my installation is set to 32-bit floating-point. Can anyone advice on where I can find this setting...

Thanks.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by peakae » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:43 pm

pgstudio wrote:What I like to do to Trim my tracks visually to -18dbfs is change the color preferences of my meter and set Green gradiente from -oo to -18dbfs, yellow, from -18 to 0 and red 0+ values.
It's super easy and fast to make all your tracks to the correct value. :D
That is what I do, but it would be cool to being able to calibrate the meters.
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Re: Input trim on the mixer to ensure headroom enough?

Post by enjneer » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:02 pm

peakae wrote:
pgstudio wrote:What I like to do to Trim my tracks visually to -18dbfs is change the color preferences of my meter and set Green gradiente from -oo to -18dbfs, yellow, from -18 to 0 and red 0+ values.
It's super easy and fast to make all your tracks to the correct value. :D
That is what I do, but it would be cool to being able to calibrate the meters.
Why can't you calibrate your meters?
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Wavelab 7

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