There are few things that strike so much fear or disdain for Logic users than the word gain staging.
What the heck is gain staging?
Well, some believe its a way of life. While others believe it’s complete “snake oil.” But the basic gist is your plugins require a specific level from your tracks to sound their best.
For example: that Vintage EQ you have on your vocal track might be more finicky than you thought. Besides exuding smooth analog vibe, it just might also come with great responsibility…
The responsibility of setting the appropriate level for each track before they hit your plugins!
But is that really true?
I mean, gain staging was born out of the analog era. Consoles, tape machines, and outboard gear all had preferred levels for 2 reasons:
- Making sure that your audio was louder than the noise inherent in the gear (think the hiss of tape).
- Making sure you didn’t hit your gear too hot and unnecessarily distort your tracks.
(Unless, of course, you liked the distorted sound!)
But today with digital audio and pristine plugins – is gain staging really relevant?
So in today’s video I’ll walk you through:
- What exactly gain staging is,
- Why there’s a debate over gain staging, and
- Whether it really matters