I had a problem with too low output before and we agreed that I should turn up the gain so I did that a little with good result. Now it seems that the trick is to pre-amp as much as possible in the beginning without distorsion instead of adding amplification later in the recording line. I recently recorded a 130 bpm track in cubase with software synths with MackieProfx16 digital mixer connected to my PC with USB and MIDI interface with drum machines. My ears seem to notice that some synthesized audio is perhaps distorted at 0:36 into the sound because of too much preamplification. I posted the sound at my soundcloud profile and it got 4 likes. But I think that some synthesizer bass had too much preamp. Similarly I'm not 100 % happy with a bass sound in a sound that has 2 likes. I only got positive feedback and positive comments. Should I remake the recording or wait and hear what other guys think of the sound?

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It sounds like you've got a decent understanding of the gain staging process, just for review purposes, here's a good article on the subject:


To check for problems, it's best done straight after recording. Solo the track you've recorded and listen back to it at a decent volume. The first test should always be your ears, ask yourself 'does it sound distorted?'. If you can't tell in isolation then your listener won't be able to tell once it's in the mix. Also check the levels, are they clipping anywhere in the recording? The above article has a guide to getting the right level when recording, in the section titled 'Setting Initial Levels'. It's a bit confusing at first, since recording levels in the analogue domain differ from the digital domain. Typically you want to aim to record at an average level of -18dbfs in the digital world (which is equivalent to 0dBvu in the analogue world). Here's another good articale on finding the right recording level:


Listening to your track on headphones, I would say that there doesn't seem to be a problem with clipping on the recorded tracks. Clipping in the digital domain tends to be quite harsh and noticeable and I didn't detect that. Having said that I'm not playing it back through expensive monitors, so maybe someone with a better monitoring set-up can chip in here.

One thing I would recommend is comparing it to other tracks of the same genre, see how the mix matches up against other songs that you appreciate. A good way to do that is to load your mastered song and other tracks you'd like to compare against into a your DAW. Then solo between tracks to compare how they 'sound'.

Personally I think producing is a learning process, and unless there are some major problems to fix in your current song, it's best to take what you've learnt from one song and improve that in the next. You're first song is never going to be the best, it's just part of the journey towards mastering your art.

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