Academy Dashboard Forum Production Analog Recording Seeking some advice on gain staging between analog inputs to digital recording

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    Chin Shin Wong

      Hi, newbie question on gain staging here. I would like to seek advice on whether there's anything wrong in my current signal chain.

      My signal chain runs like this:

      Mic -> Mic Preamp on SSL Six -> SSL Six's Stereo Cue Out -> Audient Evo 4 stereo line-in

      In terms of gain staging:

      1. Mic pre gain is set close to max (using a low sensitivity dynamic mic), resulting in the SSL Six's channel meter lighting up to about +6 dBu if I speak into the mic at a consistent volume (according to the Six's documentation, I should avoid hitting above +18-24 dBu)
      2. Stereo cue output levels set to 0 dB (max output)
      3. Gain on Evo4's stereo line inputs set all the way down (as per SSL's recommendation in this video here) - when I monitor the Evo4 mixer's mic/line input levels while I'm speaking, I can see that I'm hitting more or less at roughly -28 to -24 db when monitoring the meter levels on my DAW
      4. After recording a certain spoken passage in my DAW, I would playback the passage which goes back out through the Audient's monitor outputs (monitor output levels set to maximum on the Evo4) into one of the Six's Ext inputs (External input level set to 0 db in the Six's monitoring section) which then goes out into my monitors

      My questions / doubts about my current setup:

      1. While recording my voice, I would monitor my own voice over my headphones on the Six and it's pretty loud.
      2. But when I play back my recording into the mixer, the resulting recorded volume is significantly lower than when I'm monitoring it
      3. Given my gain staging above, I guess I would've expected that the recorded audio's volume to be equal to what I was monitoring (or maybe that's just the wrong expectation)
      4. Or maybe the Evo4's output is just lower (according to the specs, the maximum output level of the Evo4 is +11 dBu, though I don't really know what that implies), but more importantly, most other media sounds that are played through the interface (for example any typical song on Spotify) would be much louder than the volume of my recording.

      Thank you for sparing your time to read / answer.



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