recap: what’s your reference mixing level?

After some hundreds of votes the results are pretty much stable and -18dB seems to be the way to go. The “pseudo standard” 0dBFS comes next followed by all other kind of level preferences. Interestingly, the -20 and -24dB standards does not play any significant role.

I reckon some of my upcoming DSP stuff will include a -18dB option.

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  1. Just so this is clear, MOST of the people in the poll were voting for dB FS. Not any random measurement which the poll allowed for, and apparently not for dB RMS either.

  2. I think the people using analog equipment voted more on this. Globally speaking, there should be way more hobbyst/home studio people using your plugins. Not because of anything in particular, but becasue there are more of these than people mixing or processing OTB with decent gear.

    The -18db switch will be a very nice addition ad will end up this debate here. The 64 bits is another very different thing.. 😉

  3. I dont understand… Why is it necesary? If i go -18dbfs into a plugin- it Will go -18db out (+\- whatever is added by the plugin). And since it’s all floating point, will it matter how high/low the signal is?

    • A rather short answer: If everything acts linear then the answer is no, its not necessary to take care of gain levels in a DAW mix. If plug-ins are used which are gain dependent, then it is actually necessary to take care of the gain staging inbetween the plug-in chain.

  4. -18 or -14

  5. my tool for level is satson

  6. Hi everyone
    I know, right? I just asked Herbert what he would think about redoing the poll and actually putting what type of dB on it.

  7. Dean Aka Nekro says:

    -18 and not because of any recentish bloom in Virtual Analogue mixing console/desk DSP things…Have not even bothered trying any of them. If i want that sort of thing then i will use it when tracking! When mixing same really if there is something i can’t have/do ITB or probably better put for whatever reason i/we feel that it is subjectively more suitable for the source material then it goes OTB and back ITB again. On a half-time or quater-time section after blasting sometimes the snare might sneak up to -12 absolute max peak but it still leaves plenty of room. All the best

  8. excellent content, I like to record with peaks in -6bd. Is this the ideal level?

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