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Old September 1st, 2017, 10:09 AM   #16
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,745
Re: Audio "clipping" without passing 0db

Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
With most of the budget recorders, the compressors, limiters, HPF and any other processing are after the input stag(not to mention the record volume), so over-driving that analog stage is common. Hence, we often read, "my record levels were low but the sound is still distorted."
That reminds me of some old tape based pro cameras. We had to know if each model was metering at the input or after the tape heads. As though that would really help you judge a wildly bouncing VU meter needle! But sometimes there was a difference.

So, what are we hearing out of the headphones when recording is staged/active? Just the analog stage or the post digital signal?

To deal with all of things involved in recording field audio I still stick to some basic rules I have used for years:

1. Know your input signal
2. Begin with all processing off
3. Record and PLAYBACK test audio
4. Make necessary adjustments
5. Record and PLAYBACK test audio
6. Record strong signals
7. Monitor at all times
8. Backup everything
9. On set goal is clean, natural audio as it sounds to the ear
10. All sweetening takes place in post

Those are my basic rules of thumb. Anything wrong with that?

Out of those 10 things I find one big difference between those of us that started in the analog days and transitioned to digital vs digital era only guys......That is rules 3 and 5. I make hitting record (for video & audio systems) and verifying a good end signal mandatory for guys on my crews. Some of them want to argue at first and say"I can see it here" (on the monitors) or "I can hear it, its fine". I say BS, all your looking at/listening to is a signal, not our product. Hit the damn record buttons!

Of course the digital only guys never had to deal with tape and heads. But the digital world is not perfect ether, nor is solid state media.

So once again I find myself ranting like an old guy. I am not THAT old. I have just been doing this for a long time ;-)

Kind Regards,

Been at this so long I'm rounding my years of experience down...not up!
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