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

15 Tutorials available


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

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

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

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

Panning for Masking and Summing of frequencies Intermediate

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

Summing Audio Beginner

What is summing, how to control summed levels, using sine waves for calibrating gains in your projects.
Duration: 3 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

Gain Staging using True Peak Meters Beginner

Using True Peak Meters (PPM) for Mixing and Calibrating Levels in your DAW.
Duration: 12 mins

The Pan Law Beginner

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

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 Intermediate

How to prepare your audio for mixing with Band Pass Cleaning and Matching Filter Slopes for optimum responses.
Duration: 13 mins

Cubase Meter - Customising Beginner

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

ISP - Intersample Peaks Intermediate

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

Mixing to Pink Noise - Using Ripped Profiles Intermediate

The entire Mixing to Pink Noise process covered plus how to use Mastered Profiles on your Mixes.
Duration: 25 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

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