Stop Destroying Your Plugins

Have you ever wondered why most pieces of older analog audio gear have input metering on the front? It's because they were meant to receive an optimum amount of voltage (or level) from their audio source.

This level is the "intended" amount of signal that that particular gear was meant to function with. Not having enough signal could make things sound weak and give you a low signal to noise ratio. Too much and you could blow up the unit.

The digital environment behaves in a much different way.

Since things are able to recorded much cleaner, we don't have to worry much about the noise floor. And if we're recording in 24bit, we have 144dB of dynamic range to work with. Most digital audio lives in between -25dBFS and 0dBFS.

Even with all this digital headroom, many people are recording and mixing much hotter than they need to. Sadly, they're forgetting that many of the analog emulation plugins that they bought with meant to receive an audio signal much lower than they're typically mixing at.

Let's take a look and see how a simple 6dB change can make all the difference in your mixes.

How has implementing this principle helped you in your mixes? Share below.

Michael Curtis

A mastering engineer and composer who loves helping you sound awesome.