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Old 11-29-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Default Setting levels on the signal chain

Hi everybody,

It's the first time I post on the forum so forgive me if I'm in the wrong section (I was in doubt between this and "Newbieland").
Anyway, I'm a bass player, a newbie in the digital recording world (I actually subscribed in 2014 but until recently I hardly used any DAW or software preferring the old, analog "plug 'n' play" approach) and I'm trying to find the optimal levels to set my gear and Reaper in order to record my tracks for a project I have with some friends...I'm using a Warwick Thumb bolt on 5 and/or a Spector Euro 5Lx (depending on the tracks), the signal goes to a Mackie MDB-1P passive DI box, from that the line out goes straight into a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB while the thru output goes to a Little Mark II, then a Mooer Radar cab simulator and finally into the input 2 of the Focusrite. Input 1 and 2 both go into Reaper.
I keep the output level of the bass at full, the gain level of the Little Mark right below the clipping point (as you usually do when you play with a real amp + cabinet) and the output of the Mooer Radar at 25%.This way, I have to turn the gain level on the Focusrite down to zero and even doing so, it's hard to keep the recording input level in Reaper within the recommended range between -12 and -6dBFS, unless I activate the -15dB pad on the audio interface.
Where should I intervene to have enough headroom without compromising the quality of the signal? Should I turn down the bass? The gain on the amp? The Mooer? Would it be better to keep those levels as they are and use the pad on the audio interface? Or maybe should I change some settings in the recording section of Reaper?

Thanks a lot to whoever will have the patience and the kindness to read and answer these questions that will probably sound dumb to a lot of you, but as I said I'm moving my first steps in digital recording and I'd love to learn as much as fast as I can...
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