Old 02-28-2021, 10:13 PM   #1
kirk1701
Human being with feelings
 
kirk1701's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,515
Default PA bx_console(s) Gain Staging vs Britson

I've had the Neve channel for awhile, but I picked up a second-hand copy of the Focusrite SC channel. Both sound really cool, but the gain staging isn't clear.

Britson trains you to set all individual tracks at 0vu (-18dbfs). My question is, do the BX consoles function in a similar way? If I calibrate the VU meters at 0vu=-18dbfs, then set the output level to 0vu, is this correct gain staging?

Theoretically, I should be able to use only BX channels on all tracks, if I follow this method. Am I missing anything?

Has anyone noticed the bx_console plugs have odd scaling behaviour in Reaper? I can't increase past 75%.
__________________
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."

Last edited by kirk1701; 03-01-2021 at 12:08 PM.
kirk1701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 12:47 PM   #2
ashcat_lt
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,883
Default

Turn the knobs til it sounds good.
ashcat_lt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 06:38 PM   #3
kirk1701
Human being with feelings
 
kirk1701's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,515
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
Turn the knobs til it sounds good.
lol! Awesome.
__________________
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."
kirk1701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 07:15 PM   #4
ashcat_lt
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,883
Default

I'm sorry, I do normally try to answer questions before I get all philosophical because I do know how frustrating that is. I'm kind of over "gain staging" questions, though. If it's too hot, it'll distort more than you want. If it's not hot enough, it won't distort enough. If you can't hear the difference, then it probably doesn't matter. If you want to be sure it doesn't distort, you should maybe consider using something else that you know won't.

Even (maybe especially?) in real analog, this is the way it actually works. Gain staging is about getting your signal as far out of the noise floor as possible without unwanted distortion, but frankly distortion is half the fun, so...

Turn the knobs til it sounds good.
ashcat_lt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 08:35 PM   #5
kirk1701
Human being with feelings
 
kirk1701's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,515
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
I'm sorry, I do normally try to answer questions before I get all philosophical because I do know how frustrating that is. I'm kind of over "gain staging" questions, though. If it's too hot, it'll distort more than you want. If it's not hot enough, it won't distort enough. If you can't hear the difference, then it probably doesn't matter. If you want to be sure it doesn't distort, you should maybe consider using something else that you know won't.

Even (maybe especially?) in real analog, this is the way it actually works. Gain staging is about getting your signal as far out of the noise floor as possible without unwanted distortion, but frankly distortion is half the fun, so...

Turn the knobs til it sounds good.
Excellent summation. I get you.

I was really asking if I am meant to use the bx_console channels in the same manner as the Britson/Satson channels. Each individual channel is levelled to -18dbfs or thereabouts, which when summed together create the harmonic saturation associated with an analogue console. The saturation/distortion of an individual channel should be felt more than heard.

Mostly, I'm concerned with getting the same levels to the mix buss as I'm accustomed.
__________________
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."
kirk1701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 03:35 AM   #6
bigjoe
Human being with feelings
 
bigjoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 149
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
I'm sorry, I do normally try to answer questions before I get all philosophical because I do know how frustrating that is. I'm kind of over "gain staging" questions, though. If it's too hot, it'll distort more than you want. If it's not hot enough, it won't distort enough. If you can't hear the difference, then it probably doesn't matter. If you want to be sure it doesn't distort, you should maybe consider using something else that you know won't.

Even (maybe especially?) in real analog, this is the way it actually works. Gain staging is about getting your signal as far out of the noise floor as possible without unwanted distortion, but frankly distortion is half the fun, so...

Turn the knobs til it sounds good.
That's absolutely on point.
Also people really get stuck on the "0VU = -18dbFS" and they get this in a messed up way, just because of the many misleading info and videos on the internet.
Fist of all VU and dbfs measure different things.
VU refers to "volume units" that are a measurement that involves electric signals measured over a period of time.
dBfs refers to the instantaneous value of a SAMPLE in a precise moment.
They are no comparable, they measures different things in different domains.
But they can relate to each other by making conventions.
VU has the 0 value as the "center" of the scale and indicate the preferred and most useful working level to achieve optimal Signal-To-Noise value while NOT pushing analog components into saturation.
Everithing Above is called "Headroom" and that's the amount of extra dynamic range over 0VU that an analog device can handle before a really bad distortion (over 0VU you begin to break into saturation usually, until becomes distortion).
For headroom and dynamic range measuring we use dBu, and 0dBu are referring to a VOLTAGE of 0.774V and since most PROFESSIONAL analog equipment are nuilt to have an optimal operating level at +4dBu (1.23V) we can say that 0VU is usually 1.23V

On the other hand, dBfs use a value of 0dB to define the MAXIMUM value a digital device can handle.
You have NO HEADROOM above 0dBfs vo it's impossible to assume that 0VU and 0dBfs can be related.

So why -18dB?
It's a "convention" (an European one made by EBU), american standard value for post is -20dbfs = 0VU (if i recall correctly)
But is not really a "rule" since there's a lot of analog devices with a lot more than 18dB of headroom (most provessional analog desks boast a 22 to 24 extra dBu of dynamic over 0dBu.

What's the conclusion?
Plugin developers for sure MUST define a certain headroom because they need to replicate the behaviour of the modeled device and because 0dBfs is a barrier that (ideally) no-one should cross (that's true for 24 and 16 bit, but that's another topic).
So they give them to you tuned following a "convention" (EBU -18dBfsRMS = 0VU) but most of the time they give you the opportunity to decide an headroom for yourself (VU and THD calibrations are there for that purpose).

It's important to understand that -18db (or any other headroom setting) should be an RMS measure, not a peak one.

Also, i own myself a copy of Focusrite Channel by Brainworks and, if you take a look to the settings, you can observe that it's default value is -10dB = 0VU...so it's tuned for louder signals.
Also the meters are (obviously) RMS, so they are slow and shows low values... you need to get used to them to read properly.

Sorry for the long post

EDIT: you can enter and alter the PPM and VU Scale by clicking the Brainworks Logo above the high shelf EQ
bigjoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 09:44 AM   #7
kirk1701
Human being with feelings
 
kirk1701's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,515
Default

No apologies pls. I appreciate the input.

I understand the convention of -18dbfs. I realize it's mostly random, but I like to have a rule-of-thumb.

Mixing without Britson feels like flying wothout a parachute, but I should try it.
__________________
"I've never trusted Klingons and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy."
kirk1701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2021, 09:10 AM   #8
Rusty Falcon
Human being with feelings
 
Rusty Falcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 411
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe View Post
Also, i own myself a copy of Focusrite Channel by Brainworks and, if you take a look to the settings, you can observe that it's default value is -10dB = 0VU...so it's tuned for louder signals.

EDIT: you can enter and alter the PPM and VU Scale by clicking the Brainworks Logo above the high shelf EQ
Same in the SSL 4000 E/G and SSL 9000J plugins.

Personally I lowered them to match my Reaper meters so that both are at -12. :>
__________________
PRS 2014 Brushstroke 24 / PRS 2008 Custom 24 / Axe-FX 2
Reaper / RME HDSP Multiface 1 / Tannoy 502s / Monoprice 10" Subwoofer
Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 and 1x12 cab
Rusty Falcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.