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Marcello

HOW to disable the track meter volume keeping only GAIN?

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Hi there,

a friend of mine recording engineer using Reaper showed me he can disable the Track volume Meter maintaining only the Gain, in this way he can raise the volume up and down and it won't clip, while moving the Gain knob it it will still affect the peak meter.

This because the gain staging should be done considering only the gain amount, not the volume amount, if the volume bar affects the peak meter it just creates confusion, because you might think is clipping but is not! maybe the volume bar is just too high, because it's the GAIN that you should adjust.

So how do I disable the volume track meter in Cakewalk? anyone knows?

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you could set the volume faders to unity (0 on the console) and adjust gain knob to until you're peaking at -3db, or lower. then you can raise and lower as needed. as a note: the 0 mark on the meters does not indicate clipping on volume (as you noted), but you can still clip if the gain is too high.

one option is to set your playback meter to "pre fader" which would exclude the level of the volume fader but would show you how the gain control and other in-line processing are effecting the gain.

image.png.f2bef485ee3b5152619e8a8d127c0257.png

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I don't see how disabling a meter could affect clipping. Meters just show what's going on and don't affect signal levels.

The only difference between gain and volume is where the adjustment happens in the signal chain: gain's at the front, volume's at the end. Metering happens at the end of the chain, so yes, it'll reflect the actual peak levels regardless of at what stage they were raised. And yes, raising either gain or volume can cause clipping. If it does, you'll definitely want to know about it, not hide it by disabling track volume metering.

I have a feeling the original question was just not worded well, and Marcello's friend just didn't explain clearly what he's doing in Reaper or why.

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Nor do I agree with the notion that volume can be ignored. Gain and volume are both important. Together they set the total volume for the track.  Bypassing the meter seems risky at best and dangerous at worst. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I don't see how disabling a meter could affect clipping. Meters just show what's going on and don't affect signal levels.

The only difference between gain and volume is where the adjustment happens in the signal chain: gain's at the front, volume's at the end. Metering happens at the end of the chain, so yes, it'll reflect the actual peak levels regardless of at what stage they were raised. And yes, raising either gain or volume can cause clipping. If it does, you'll definitely want to know about it, not hide it by disabling track volume metering.

I have a feeling the original question was just not worded well, and Marcello's friend just didn't explain clearly what he's doing in Reaper or why.

 

3 hours ago, John said:

Nor do I agree with the notion that volume can be ignored. Gain and volume are both important. Together they set the total volume for the track.  Bypassing the meter seems risky at best and dangerous at worst. 

Guys, from my understanding and from what my friend told me is that GAIN STAGING is about gain, and not about the volume fader, otherwise would be called Volume Staging and not Gain Staging

I understand the volume should be at 0 when you gain stage, ok, but then when you raise the volume fader up it affects the fader showing you that you are clipping, while you shouldn't cause the gain has already been set not to clip at volume 0!

I also understand the volume fader is at the end of the chain and the gain at the beginning, but my goal now is to gain stage the guitars so that their sound would be sweet and not distorted by the too much input level but either from the guitar amp sim.

In Reaper you are able to switch off the volume meter so that only moving the gain knob will show you if you are clipping or not.

Otherwise you will get confused, for instance now I would like to review all my tracks to see if I did the gain staging right initially, but I cannot without re-setting all volume faders at 0! I have already done the volume balance!

I don't know if I have been enough clear, I think Glenn got my point here.

I want to see only how the gain is affecting the clipping, not the volume!!

Edited by Marcello

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Posted (edited)

 it is as bitflpper said. Go find the signal chain diagram if you need proof 

 

 

Edited by John Vere

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I *think* what he means is that he wants a pre-volume fader meter for the record meter, but one that is post gain.  From memory, the record meter in CbB is pre-everything (which I think it should be given the digital nature of recording).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

I *think* what he means is that he wants a pre-volume fader meter for the record meter, but one that is post gain. 

Hmmmmm.

16 hours ago, Marcello said:

. . . disable the Track volume Meter maintaining only the Gain, in this way he can raise the volume up and down and it won't clip, while moving the Gain knob it it will still affect the peak meter.

The way you worded it, the OP makes sense (what the request is for, that is).  Since the record meters show what is coming into Cakewalk, a post-gain record meter wouldn't change the recording. So, I assume the concern is about Mixing.

If so, wouldn't placing any metering plug-in as the first plug-in in the FX Rack reflect the results of the gain fader but not the volume fader?  (I just tested it with Boost 11 (as an example) and the input meter is post gain even with the Boost 11 Power Button set to Off.  )

image.thumb.png.173ca98e70334d9d5391edd7edf6dc34.png

Edited by User 905133
to change image

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19 minutes ago, User 905133 said:

If so, wouldn't placing any metering plug-in as the first plug-in in the FX Rack reflect the results of the gain fader but not the volume fader? 

I nearly suggested that too but wasn't sure if it would work as expected.

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6 hours ago, Gswitz said:

You can set the meter to pre fader.

Yes I think I just need to set pre-fader, thanks!

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On 7/10/2021 at 5:04 AM, Marcello said:

a friend of mine recording engineer using Reaper showed me he can disable the Track volume Meter maintaining only the Gain . . . .

19 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

I *think* what he means is that he wants a pre-volume fader meter . . . .

17 hours ago, User 905133 said:

Since the record meters show what is coming into Cakewalk, a post-gain record meter wouldn't change the recording. So, I assume the concern is about Mixing.

15 hours ago, Gswitz said:

You can set the meter to pre fader.

8 hours ago, Marcello said:

Yes I think I just need to set pre-fader, thanks!

Solved?

 

 

 

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Another option, insert FreeG as needed in the signal chain.  You can always leave fader at unity so as to use only the metering.  Or add gain where needed.

FreeG - Sienda (sonalksis.com)

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11 hours ago, John Nelson said:

Another option, insert FreeG as needed in the signal chain.  You can always leave fader at unity so as to use only the metering.  Or add gain where needed.

FreeG - Sienda (sonalksis.com)

Man thanks but be very carefull with FreeG plugin! I have put it on some busses and on the master fader, and basically after months of investigation I discovered what was applying a sort of stereo widener on my Track! It was the freeG! After you use it just remove it from the tracks! it mess up everything!

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To add my two cents worth: technically, clipping only happens when the digital to analog converter has to create a signal at 0 dB or higher. As long as the "signal" is only floating point calculations within the computer, there is no real clipping, even if the signal is way above 0 dB.

For instance, you can place a gain plugin into a track's FX rack with let's say +60 dB and another instance into the bus with -60 dB. You will hear a clean, unclipped sound. But of course, the meter on the track will go crazy and the clipping indicator goes off.

I suspect that you might want to turn off the meter if your workflow only cares about gain staging at the A/D and D/A stages (which implies that you don't want to use any plugins or plugins that emulate analog gear).

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13 hours ago, Marcello said:

Man thanks but be very carefull with FreeG plugin! I have put it on some busses and on the master fader, and basically after months of investigation I discovered what was applying a sort of stereo widener on my Track! It was the freeG! After you use it just remove it from the tracks! it mess up everything!

I have two FreeG's, one is stereo and one is mono, both 64 bit VST2.  Maybe try the mono one?

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