Remember that the amplifiers feeding pin 2 and pin 3 can only deliver +18dBu "max." Although perhaps you do not know how dB’s are used in sound measurement. So what would be the reason for wanting to record at 24-bit at all? Depending on who you ask, people will tell you to aim for anywhere between -15dB and -6dB when setting input levels for recording. The 3rd use of decibels, dBFS, is where we concern ourselves when trying to achieve an optimum recording level for vocals. The level of loudness our brains perceive also depends on the frequencies contained within the sound. In the concept of unity gain, the input and the output between two devices are at the same level. The scale starts at 0dB SPL, which is the quietest relative sound that you can perceive, to 60-70dB SPL being the typical level of a conversation, to 140dB SPL, where the sound pressure would cause your eardrums to explode! Audio noise measurement is carried out to assess the quality of audio equipment, such as is used in recording studios, broadcast engineering, and in-home high fidelity. At the top of a level meter, you notice a marking of 0 dBFS (meaning 0dB full scale). Studio monitors are what music producers use to hear an accurate representation of the sound signal. Considering dB’s on a Full Scale, 0dB is the maximum level of audio that your recording system can process before it begins to ‘clip’, or trim off, parts of the waveform of your recording. However, this extra detail comes with a price, in the form of the size of the file and the extra processing power required for your computer. When recording vocals always record at 24-bit resolution and aim for an average of -18dB. The frequency response for a conventional LP player might be 20 Hz - 20 kHz +/- 3 dB. For example: Get the idea? Your loudest parts should be peaking at -10dB and lowest around -24dbB. At equal decibel levels, mid-range frequencies (those between around 1kHz and 4kHz) are perceived as sounding “louder” than those frequencies in the low and high bands. 16-bit rate only records at 96 dB. It’s a technique that many new musicians skip as they don’t understand the purpose and how much it can really help. If you don’t remember logarithms from back in high school physics, here’s the super simple gist of it: With logarithmic numbers, each additional unit multiplies the true value of the number exponentially. If you’re unsure on what audio clipping distortion is, i’ve written a complete in-depth guide that explains what audio clipping is and how you can prevent it. I’ll be honest…the math here will leave your head spinning. First of all, virtually any modern computer is capable of handling the extra space and processing required to store and handle 24-bit recording. The recording numbers talked about above have become a general consensus among recording engineers and mixers alike, as they provide a solid basis for one to get comfortable with the recording until they feel like they can accommodate certain recording levels depending on what the song calls for. When you think of 60dB SPL, you would imagine it being attached to one SPECIFIC level of loudness. This is the highest possible signal level the equipment can accommodate before clipping or distorting. Sound Pressure Level (dB SPL) – this is the measurement of literal sound pressure perceived by your ears. Using this scale, we determine the optimum level of recording. Early home studios used the consumer -10 level for inputs/outputs (like A single decibel level can actually be heard at multiple levels of loudness. Not many, right? If you plotted these numbers on a graph, they would form a straight line. I read for *digital* recording, in EQ magazine, that -6 db is ideal because you'll want plenty of headroom available upon mixdown. Below that, you see ever increasing negative values of dBFS, all the way down -∞ dBFS. 0 dB therefore means no difference in level, or no change in level. 126+ dB: 125 decibels is where sound really begins to get painful. When recording vocals you should be aiming for -18dB to -6dB. This ratio is essentially the difference between the level of the sound that we do want (signal) and the sound that we don’t want (noise), in this case, the ratio between the vocal level and the noise floor. Your best option would be to re-record your audio. Generally, vocals are recorded best when you are about 6-10 inches away from the mic. Now, you’re basically talking about weaponized audio. (Doing the math: 18 dB above +4dBu is +22 dBu.) The biggest thing to remember about recording audio is that the rules are only meant to guide, not hinder. For example, 2 inches are twice as long as 1 inch, and 4 inches are twice as long as 2 inches. Mastering is when you prepare your audio for distribution. Audio clipping is when a sound goes beyond its maxed levels in the digital audio workstation and comes out distorted. The gain structure is set to deliver +22dBu (+16dBu) when the recording level is 0dBfs. Lower levels can always be raised. 6dB studio is a Manchester city centre based recording atudio first established in 1990. Most units of measurement are LINEAR. Unity Gain – This is a term that uses the dB measurement to describe the balance one hopes to achieve between the input and output signal. If you want to make the level of your microphone input louder or quieter, use the gain knob on the audio interface or pre-amp that your microphone is connected to or use the volume fader of your audio track if there is no external volume knob connected to the mic.