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Problem recording level question..

Discussion in 'General audio discussion' started by earlburtnett, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. earlburtnett

    earlburtnett Member

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    hi I'm pretty new to this general topic..i seem to be having problems with the recording level settings in these softwares..one of the levels goes into the red and the other level stays not in the red..im using either audacity or ashampoo..is there a software that automatically adjusts the recording levels?im either recording lps and or 78s..its just that the recording levels are off..any suggestions?

    lenny
     
  2. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    When recording audio it's always better to manually set the input levels. Ideally you want some of your levels to just peak into the red a bit as your maximum, this way you get the best signal to noise ratio and you maximize dynamic range. IF the source is stereo there will always be some difference in right and left channels, but the maximum levels for both should be about the same. If they're monaural then you should adjust them until the meter reading for both channels are identical.
     
  3. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I record at a lower level. The red means you are distorting the recording. Once it is recorded, you can increase the volume to as loud as you want it with audacity, if that is what you use to record. The only distortion you get that way is if you overload your equipment.
     
  4. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    Music will distort only if the meters are consistently in the red, but if they're just flashing into or just peaking into the red there won't be any distortion and you will get the best dynamic range and signal to noise ratio result. If you record at too low levels your music will sound flat and you're more likely to hear thermal noise. The more you have to increase the volume on playback the more you will amplify thermal noise (hiss). The caveat here is the medium you're recording to.
     
  5. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    If the meters hit the red it is distorting. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean there isn't any distortion. The longer it stays in the red the more pronounced the distortion is.

    The reason why louder music sounds better is due to the Fletcher-Munson effect. The closer the frequency is to your hearing limit the less loud you hear that frequency. In the 60s they had loudness buttons that would boost the high and low frequencies instead of cranking up the volume. It has NOTHING to do with the recording just in the playing. My advice was to record at a lower level then tell the audio software to boost the volume. You can make it as loud as you want without introducing any distortion. It may distort when you pay it but then you just reduce the volume.

    https://www.kmuw.org/post/loudness-and-fletcher-munson-curve
     
  6. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    When you record music it's always adding some distortion no matter what the setting, because some loss will always occur. The purpose of having it just peak into the red, but not sustain, is to maximize signal to noise ratios and dynamic range, and none of that has anything whatsoever to do the Fletcher-Munson Effect. Dynamic range is the differences between the softest and loudest passages of music within a work and that can't be compensated for by lowering or increasing the volume control. So if you've been setting your recording levels too low then you might as well just listen to AM stereo radio, and I hope you enjoy the background noise.

    The Fletcher-Munson Effect describes the use of the loudness feature in amplification which increases the bass and high frequencies. Human hearing is most sensitive in the middle range because of how we evolved and learned speech, and we like to hear bass and highs so we compensate. So how do I know what I'm saying is true? After I quit playing professional music I accepted work as an Audio Video Consultant and trained at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology. I was a trained and qualified studio sound engineer until I left and returned to college where I received a degree in education and began teaching.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  7. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Yes you do introduce negligible distortion even if you keep 'out of the red' but when you are in the red you introduce more than negligible amounts. That is why it is red. In the audio myth workshop they recorded then re-recorded an audio 100 times with cheap equipment and your can't hear the difference between the original and the 100th generation. I prefer to introduce the least distortion I can while you don't seem to care. It is better to record under perfect conditions then up the volume by editing the base volume number. Your recording is just as loud but you have less distortion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYTlN6wjcvQ
     

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