Tarekith's guide to leveling, meters and digital audio

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Tarekith
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Tarekith's guide to leveling, meters and digital audio

Post by Tarekith » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:16 pm

Hey all, I made a tutorial for the ALDJ crew, and thought some of you might be interested. The main focus is on metering and setting levels in Ableton Live for DJing, but many of the topics are broad enough to cover all aspects of music making:

http://tarekith.com/assets/Leveling.html
Last edited by Tarekith on Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by nectarios » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:26 pm

some nice paintings there man! Joe Santriani fan as well I see 8)
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Post by Tarekith » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:43 pm

Satriani is the reason I got into music actually :) He did the soundtrack for an old Burton Snowboard video (Board with the World) and I was hooked.

That drawing took me 100 hours, ungh, never again will I do stipling...
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Post by hippy dave » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:02 pm

cheers for sharing, will take a look :)
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Post by klarky » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:12 pm

ill give it a read later, essentially i just use a pre amp direct to my soundcard and make sure the fader is at 0 and record, usually ill tweek the gain down on the soundcard so signal peak is at -.5.

comment re the slipmatt is interesting, never thought about it, but then i found not using the quartz lock helps for me, rather than it allways tugging the motor in line i just set pitch to 0 and it will drift a bit but only marginally and it makes warping in live a lot easier in my experience, but then my deck is a vestax so that could be why
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Post by klarky » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:43 pm

read most of it and wow thats a lot of work, maybe im lazy but once ive recorded my stuff off vinyl id never consider more processing/normalize, i think ill try it on the next thing i rip and do a blind test.

but i suppose as i mainly use downloads these days all i do is use a utility plug in live as a dj gain and i skip through the file and watch the meter and adjust the utility gain so at its highest point it only just hits 0db.

everyone works differently but its interesting to see/read about, nice guide that
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Post by Walter Odington » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:22 pm

nice - mind if I add it to the FAQs?
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Post by Tarekith » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:32 pm

As a link only please, that way I can ensure that the most current copy is always out there, and not an out-dated one. I tend to update my guides sometimes.
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Post by BLista » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:31 pm

Thanks for sharing this Tarekith 8)
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Post by bkp » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:43 am

Nice one. Thanks mate.
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Post by Walter Odington » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Tarekith wrote:As a link only please, that way I can ensure that the most current copy is always out there, and not an out-dated one. I tend to update my guides sometimes.
cheers - its on
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Post by moderate » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:01 pm

Yeah, that's a useful guide. It affirms that I've been doing some things right all this time, but it also taught me a couple of things too :D

Thanks Tarekith 8)
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Post by bkp » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:04 pm

told ya
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Post by klarky » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:10 pm

i recently recorded some vinyl and rather than having it peaking at -1 did it at -6db, seems safer all round, but i think ive got used to digital files and how they sound, as the vinyl rips do sound different, but then i hardly play vinyl now. did a back to back test, and now i find where vinyl has the very low bass sounding better, everything else sounds flat / muffled, ive tried on 2 seperate turntables, a rega planer 3 hifi one and my old vestax pdx d3's im selling, and also swapped over the pre amp i use to a dj mixer, neither amp/mixer made a real difference. also tried with 2 different carts, a stanton al 500 and a ortofon concorde dj. stanton was brand new and has a higher output than the ortofon but its low end sounded even worse to me.


burn me now, ive officially turned my back on the black stuff, dont buy or use it these days, but what i used to think was superior sound i aint so sure of now.
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Post by Tarekith » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:13 pm

Glad you guys find it useful, thanks for reading.

Klarky, I know quite a few people who 'changed sides' so to speak after awhile concerning the sound quality thing. :)
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Post by moderate » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:25 pm

bkp wrote:told ya
Yes you did ;)
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Post by afdafsf » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:58 pm

Clean introduction for people getting into djing..... I would never normalize vinyl though.


Recording dance music higher than 16 bits is also a waste of space imo - if you're recording live instruments i.e. guitar, piano, etc... yeah, but from what I've been told, those extra bits are wasted on dance music.

It's like equipping my non internet machine at home w/Virus killing software, etc - that machine'll never be online, so why install software I'm not going to use. If I'm using instruments/patches in my e. music that don't utilize all those bits, then what's the point of taking up extra space...?......

Also, recording vinyl w/really slippery slip mats - I don't see how that affects the pitch as long as you don't touch the record while it's recording. :?



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Post by Tarekith » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:04 am

Clean introduction for people getting into djing..... I would never normalize vinyl though.

>>> Why not? <<<

Recording dance music higher than 16 bits is also a waste of space imo - if you're recording live instruments i.e. guitar, piano, etc... yeah, but from what I've been told, those extra bits are wasted on dance music.

>>> Not when it comes to additional digital processing. <<<

Also, recording vinyl w/really slippery slip mats - I don't see how that affects the pitch as long as you don't touch the record while it's recording. :?

>>> Because even if the record slips a timy bit, it might not be noticeable to the ear, but it can throw the warping off some. even if you don't touch the record, the resistance of the needle (which is exerting hundreds of PSI on the record) can in some cases causes little amounts of slippage. Again, little stuff, but why make your job harder when it comes to warping later on. <<<
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Post by afdafsf » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:14 am

Tarekith wrote:Clean introduction for people getting into djing..... I would never normalize vinyl though.

A. >>> Why not? <<<

Recording dance music higher than 16 bits is also a waste of space imo - if you're recording live instruments i.e. guitar, piano, etc... yeah, but from what I've been told, those extra bits are wasted on dance music.

B. >>> Not when it comes to additional digital processing. <<<

Also, recording vinyl w/really slippery slip mats - I don't see how that affects the pitch as long as you don't touch the record while it's recording. :?

C. >>> Because even if the record slips a timy bit, it might not be noticeable to the ear, but it can throw the warping off some. even if you don't touch the record, the resistance of the needle (which is exerting hundreds of PSI on the record) can in some cases causes little amounts of slippage. Again, little stuff, but why make your job harder when it comes to warping later on. <<<
C. Hmmm, good point - guess every lil bit does count.

B. No idea what you're talking about - if you're saying running a track though a limiter requires that you need to have the original content recorded at 24 bit to minimize loss of quality when doing the limiting, then ???"?????, because that doesn't make any sense to me.

A. I don't think it sounds good - it's ALWAYS obvious when someone has limited their mix, I'll never understand why people want to limit already limited music - it's crazy to me. Yeah, all those "professional cds" sound good, but out of everything I've listened to in the last 8+ years....

Vinyl recorded to tape HOT (couple DB over) shits over everything else....

That ^ is one of the main reasons why I haven't sprung into action and recorded 20 million digital sets by now - everytime, it sounds flacid and weak compared to when I'd record my vinyl through the mixer straight to the tape deck hot.

Like I said, all the "pro mix dealies" out there sound great, but not as good as vinyl straight to tape hot - not imo.... not by a longshot.

I remember when I had my badass car system years back - and how cds would always sound super clean which was great, but my tapes had balls that the digital shit didn't have - and it showed on my system bigtime.
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Post by Tarekith » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:24 am

B. No idea what you're talking about - if you're saying running a track though a limiter requires that you need to have the original content recorded at 24 bit to minimize loss of quality when doing the limiting, then ???"?????, because that doesn't make any sense to me.

>>> Pushes quantization distortion down further in the dynamic range, in fact the dithering you'd apply going from 24 bit to 16 bit will completely cover it. <<<

A. I don't think it sounds good - it's ALWAYS obvious when someone has limited their mix, I'll never understand why people want to limit already limited music - it's crazy to me.

>>>Who said anything about limiting, we were talking about normalization. <<<
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