Gain Staging

In today’s world of digital maximums (ceiling) in your DAW managing all gains, from channels to groups, auxiliaries to mixbus, has become a critical process.

The process itself involves optimising the audio signal level (gain) through the signal chain, from channel to mixbus, to maintain a decent amount of headroom and to prevent digital clipping.

For the beginner this process can be daunting as there are so many factors to take into account when proper gain staging. I make sure to cover most of these eventualities and to guide you through each step ensuring you understand what areas to consider when gain staging within your DAW.

This category covers every aspect of gain staging, from the metering standards to summing, from cleaning channels to managing the Pan Law and so much more.

To best help you I have created a technique that involves mixing to a pink noise reference. I have written an article for Sound On Sound entitled Mixing to a Pink Noise Reference on this subject and have included this process right here and in video format. If you follow this process to the letter your mixes will magically mix themselves.

Don’t get overwhelmed with your levels – learn to structure and manage gains


Cubase Balanced Panner versus Combined Panner Beginner

What are the differences between Balanced and Combined Panners within your DAW and how and when to use them.
Duration: 7 mins

Band Pass Equalisation - cleaning audio channels Intermediate

How to prepare your audio for mixing with band pass cleaning and matching filter slopes for optimum responses.
Duration: 13 mins

Mixing to Pink Noise Intermediate

A detailed mix tutorial on how to use Pink Noise as a reference to control levels
Duration: 19 mins

Gain Staging using True Peak Meters Beginner

Using True Peak Meters (PPM) for mixing and calibrating levels in your DAW.
Duration: 12 mins

Gain Staging using VU Meters Beginner

What are VU Meters, how do they work and how to calibrate them for mixing.
Duration: 11 mins

Headroom and Dynamic Range Beginner

Learn about structuring your mixes for maximum headroom and dynamic range and how to avoid the usual pitfalls faced with channel summing.
Duration: 9 mins

ISP - Intersample Peaks Intermediate

What are Intersample Peaks and how do you control them.
Duration: 9 mins

DIY Mastering using Pink Noise Intermediate

The entire Mixing to Pink Noise process covered plus how to use mastered profiles on your mixes.
Duration: 25 mins

The Pan Law Beginner

What is the Pan Law and how it affects your mixes.
Duration: 14 mins

Summing in a Mix within your DAW Intermediate

Summing in your DAW, how to manage gains and frequencies for maintaining headroom and clarity.
Duration: 5 mins

Metering Explained - VU LUFS LU K-Ref.... Advanced

How to read and calibrate all the various Meters within your DAW.
Duration: 25 mins

Cubase Meter - Customising Beginner

Customising your DAW's Metering to suit your needs in Cubase.
Duration: 10 mins

Phase - what is total and partial phase cancellation Beginner

Discover what phase is and what total and partial phase cancellation are and when they occur.
Duration: 11 mins

Normalisation - what it is and how to use it Beginner

What is normalisation - what are Peak and RMS normalisation.
Duration: 6 mins

Stealing Transients - Maximising Loudness Beginner

Old school techniques for removing errant transients to maximise headroom for mastering.
Duration: 6 mins

Converting Dual Mono Tracks into Stereo in Cubase Beginner

This video guides you through the processes needed to convert dual mono tracks into stereo tracks for use in your DAW.
Duration: 6 mins

Avoiding Masking and Summing of frequencies by Panning Intermediate

Understanding what is panning, masking of frequencies and summing within your DAW!
Duration: 5 mins

Using Compression in Series to Process Lead Vocals Intermediate

Understanding how to use compression in series to control the dynamic range of lead vocals.
Duration: 7 mins

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