Author Topic: Setting the Recording Level  (Read 11631 times)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Setting the Recording Level
« on: October 07, 2008, 09:57:32 am »
Setting the recording level is one of the more finicky operations in VinylStudio (or indeed any program designed to record from an analog source).  Too low and you are wasting dynamic range (i.e. the sound quality won't be quite as good as it could be), too high and you will clip the signal, which introduces distortion if it is severe enough.

The principle tool for setting the recording level is VinylStudio's Check Level window:



The recording level indicators will show you when you are nearing the maximum level that your PC can handle, and will flash all-red if it is exceeded (i.e. if the signal is being clipped).  What you need to do is to find the loudest passage you can think of and make sure that this doesn't happen.  You should do this for each LP side you record (although the same setting often works tolerably well for a number of LPs if they are of a similar genre).  It pays to err on the low side.

You can also monitor (and adjust) the recording level while a recording is in progress.  VinylStudio will inform you (in the 'statstics' box) if any samples have been clipped.  If this figure starts to mount up you can reduce the recording level slightly and carry on.  If the number becomes excessive (over 100 perhaps), you should consider re-recording the album side.

You can also use the facilites in the Record window to adjust the recording level before recording side 2, if you elect to record the entire album as a single file (which many people prefer to do).  Do this while the recording is paused.

A final annoyance is that many USB devices (including the Ion turntable) have no recording level control.  Instead, you have to use the volume control on the back on the unit itself (if there is one).  There is some more information about this problem here: http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=18.0

Future versions of VinylStudio might offer some additional tools to help you adjust the recording level more accurately.  We plan to look into this when time permits.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 10:20:01 am by pauls »

amgard

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2009, 11:10:39 pm »
I try to leave a little headroom when recording, rather than clipping, (even slight clipping), but then I export to a.n.other wave editor to normalize.

Is there any chance of adding a normalizing function to future versions?


Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 09:59:52 am »
Hi,

Yes, it's on the to-do list.  I can't give you a firm date I'm afraid as it is not at the top but you are not the only person who has asked for this so it will get done at some point.  When it does, I will endeavour to remember to post back to this thread, although VinylStudio will tell you when there is a new version available in any case and we list the new features at that point.

amgard

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 10:05:55 am »
Well-done that man!!

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 07:29:37 pm »
Well, we haven't actually done it yet :)

Something I meant to add was that you can boost the level after recording using the Preamp slider in VinylStudio's Graphic Equaliser dialog.  You get to this via the 'Filters' button in the Cleanup Audio window.  If you use the waveform display to identify loud passages and keep an eye on the playback level indicators (which will flash all-red if clipping occurs) while you tweak the slider you should be able to get good results with minimal effort.

amgard

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 07:52:05 pm »
Yes - I realize that, but it's not quite as easy as Nero's option: "Normalize all audio files"  ;)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 08:02:18 pm »
Yes, I agree.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 06:19:03 pm by Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) »

amgard

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 08:08:02 pm »
anyway... it's a superb bit of software as it is, for which many thanks, but this will be the icing on the cake if/when you implement it.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 06:18:19 pm »
This is just a quick note to say that normalisation will be provided in V7.10, due out shortly.  There is also a 'batch' mode to do a bunch of albums at once.

amgard

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Re: Setting the Recording Level
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 10:23:11 pm »
many thanks - I'll keep an eye out for v7