dB levels when recording

zacheroo

New member
I'm recording from my vinyl, through my preamp, and into the line in of my pc.

What is a good general dB level for this all to get recorded at? I mean it's been recording only around eh say -10.00dB (and if i remove my headphone from my preamp it record at like +10000dB so ive been leaving them in) and I've been normalizing it to -0.1.

Just wondering what other people are doing.
 

baggysound

Radioactive
to be honest, i don't check the levels when recording my samples..

i just make sure that there is no background hiss and that it sounds "clean" (not distorted)
 

sonus

New member
You should record hot as possible. Your level should be as close to 0db as possible without clipping. I usually just set the input fader on my soundcard mixer down so that I'm at about -3db during the loudest part of the track.

You want to do get the signal as loud as possible so you're maxinmising the resolution available to you (usually 16 bits), and to avoid normalizing afterwards (which can introduce rounding errors, depending on the algorithm).

Also, since you're sampling from an analog source (turntable), you're going to have a noise floor (unless your turntable has digital outs). Raising the level of a quiet recording will raise the noise floor, drowning out the original recording.
 

JagoJG

New member
Yeah, U sould be recording at least 3dB below 0 dBFS so you get a good signal. U should also be monitoring through the recording software U use instead of the mic pre. U want to be able to hear what the mic pre is doing to the signal.
 

zacheroo

New member
Just closing this post up. I've fixed my problem.

After I realized that I had my preamp running into the microphone input of my soundcard instead of the line in I changed that. (the mic input has a +20db gain on it too which explains the high volumes of my previous recordings)

I went into play control, the yellow speaker next to the clock, and raised my line in recording level all the way up. Now I can monitor while I record perfectly and my dB levels are just where they should be when I'm recording now.

Guess if anything can be learned from this post it's to make sure you're always using the line in. (shakes his head at himself) Haha
 

Xabiton

Cupcake God
sonus said:
You should record hot as possible. Your level should be as close to 0db as possible without clipping. I usually just set the input fader on my soundcard mixer down so that I'm at about -3db during the loudest part of the track.

You want to do get the signal as loud as possible so you're maxinmising the resolution available to you (usually 16 bits), and to avoid normalizing afterwards (which can introduce rounding errors, depending on the algorithm).

Also, since you're sampling from an analog source (turntable), you're going to have a noise floor (unless your turntable has digital outs). Raising the level of a quiet recording will raise the noise floor, drowning out the original recording.
what he said this is impart why i compress/limit my samples while recording them i can now make sure they stay at 0db without having to nornalize
 

zacheroo

New member
I don't have to compress now or anything. When I record off my records now it's like -0.2 dB on dance/popish records and some of the orchestral stuff doesn't have such high levels but now it sounds so much cleaner just dry then it did before when I was raising the volume or normalizing.
 
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