recording levels

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Member Since: Dec 12, 2004

i wonder...if i record vocals wich are the best recording levels?, same for guitar..bass, drums..i don't have the ideea...
i usualy use -3,-6dB for vocals..but maybe this is not the right way...
ok for guitars, how to pan them? should i use a 2track record and pan them hard left and right?
bass? center?....


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Since: Jul 02, 2003

Feb 11, 2005 08:07 pm

I usually shoot for a max of -3dB while recording for everything.

As far as panning that's mostly personal taste and can vary from song to song.

Drums are usually panned to simulate how they are setup.

Bass is usually centered, but no rule.

Guitars are pretty much anything goes. :)


SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Feb 11, 2005 09:05 pm

I have to agree with dan on how hot to record, remember you can always boost the levels after the fact with good mastering tech. When it comes to guitar I like to layer my tracks to get the "wall of sound " effect. I also have different degrees of panning for guitAR. As dan said anything kinda goes for guitar, it all comes down to how it fits into the mix.
Drums , well, I have it easy I record 2 channels(sterio) at onece becuause I tend to use my Alesis DM5 and electric kit and it emulates the whole kit quite nicely.

Since: Jan 31, 2005

Feb 12, 2005 10:51 am


Can you share basic levels? I'm gonna try your tip and use -3db as a recording ceiling. Generally speaking, what instrument or instruments get closest to the -3db threshold? And which instruments usually sit the lowest?

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Feb 12, 2005 05:55 pm

When i recod a new project, I try and get the hottest levels I can with out clipping or going into "the red" in sonar . I have a few levels I keep but they change form different scorses i use. I have afew mic's that have to be turned up louder than others . Your best bet is to mess with the volume on each instrument or thing you plan on recording and adjust. It's not an exact science . Starting with a -2 or 3db is a good run you might go lower on a few things ,so when it comes to mastering you can boost the levels with eq,maximizer plug-ins'ect. The trick is to find that in between spot , that sweet spot everyone talks about.

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Since: Jun 20, 2002

Feb 12, 2005 05:57 pm

it also helps to know what you're recording with ,ie equipment ,hardware,software . :)

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