Academy Dashboard Forum Academy Academy Lesson Suggestions Gainstaging in a DAW Reply To: Gainstaging in a DAW

Tony Hall

    As long as you're not peaking, it doesn't matter where your faders are. The master sitting at and peaking at -11db produces the same signal as turning down each track equally until the master is peaking at -11 while set at 0. This is because faders are only doing basic math- moving them up and down simply multiplies or divides the signal in order to increase or decrease loudness. When you peak above zero, however, you're adding information in the form of distortion, which in the digital realm, sounds unpleasant. Gainstaging is more involved in the analog realm, as well as between various ditial plugins within a single channel, because each piece of gear is adding some kind of analog distortion, which may or may not be desired.

    I would venture a guess that Warren's master was at -11 for the same reason you see him perform other idiosyncrasies: time. He is a working professional and his goal is to meet his own balance of sound versus time because he has to move on to some other task. Once he's reached the sound he's after, he's not going to waste time going back and making sure things are technically right.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Tony Hall.