Noob question about recording levels.

Hey there fellow operators. I’m sorry if this has been asked before, I’ve had a look around and can’t seem to find any advice on the matter.

I was just wondering what levels everyone uses to record to tape. I’ve been trying to get it on there as loud as possible but it doesn’t seem very effective when it comes to overdubs. Should I be recording things a little lower? Will it effect the overall sound quality? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

It really depends on the source; not only the tone and timbre, but it’s relation to the other tracks. I know it’s not much of an answer, but you must rely on your ear. My suggestion is to get great reference headphones.

Try making a track with everything as low as you possibly can. You’re probably go too low but this will help you find the limitationsfull stop it has to do with your limiter and Gain settings and signal to noise ratio

Initially I set all tracks to 80 in the mixer. My initial track is usually recorded with the red level at around 80-90%. Then I go by ear with regards to the red level for everything else. I try to keep the mixer levels at the same and constant value. This helps if you play live, since the volume of your patch won’t change if you switch tracks for muting. Sometimes, if I have to deviate from the 80 in the mixer too much for a track, I bounce it with the ear to be able to set it back to 80.

Depending on the patch you might get pretty nasty clipping even at medium red-level settings. Especially in Unison mode or if you play multiple notes with a high resonance filter. I tend to turn down the red-level until there’s no clipping, record, and then bounce with the ear or sample and play it back in one of the sample engines.

Having a high level on the right side red bar in tape mode while sampling is good to improve the signal/noise rate.

Now for mixing it’s always good to leave as much heardroom as you can : only pure guitarists set everything to eleven :smiley:

Thanks for the help everyone. Definitely some food for thought there.