Mic Gain setting Live <> Studio?

OliverATX

Active Member
Hello!

I hope everyone is doing great!

I have a question regarding mic gain in a live setting vs "studio" setup.

We are recording a small cover rock band of teens and are using a Behringer XR18 for live audio. We are also using the XR18 in the home studio for recording.

In the home studio I usually set the "per channel" Mic Gain to a level that will result in approx. -18dBFS for gain staging and later processing in my DAW.

Now, the question is this. Is it fair to assume that I can "crank" up the MIC Gain levels in a live scenario beyond 18 dBFS to a level below the 0 dBFS clipping limit?

Thank you,

Oliver
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hello!

I hope everyone is doing great!

I have a question regarding mic gain in a live setting vs "studio" setup.

We are recording a small cover rock band of teens and are using a Behringer XR18 for live audio. We are also using the XR18 in the home studio for recording.

In the home studio I usually set the "per channel" Mic Gain to a level that will result in approx. -18dBFS for gain staging and later processing in my DAW.

Now, the question is this. Is it fair to assume that I can "crank" up the MIC Gain levels in a live scenario beyond 18 dBFS to a level below the 0 dBFS clipping limit?

Thank you,

Oliver
Step 1: mic everything up
Step 2: do a SOUND CHECK with your EARS
Step 3: if anything feeds back, then your gain is too high.
Step 4: wherever your settings end up for that, it’s good for just THAT. The next time you set-up somewhere, proceed from step 1 again.
 

OliverATX

Active Member
Bo,

Thank you for clarifying. Yes, that is what I have been doing, which did leave me with some higher gain settings as I would usually have in the home studio. And, that was what prompted my question/concern. But, I guess since there is no additional processing in the chain I do not have to worry too much about keeping it at -18 dBFS.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
Setting the gain is independent from anything else. It has to be done per channel before a soundcheck or a recording can happen. Mute the channel you want to set the gain for. Hit the drum the mic is attached to either as hard as can or the hardest you're planning to hit - multiple times. For the overheads hit all the drums on the set, at best with all four limbs at the same time. The level should stay below -6dB for the strongest hits and maybe below -12 to -18dB for the "I don't plan to hit any harder" hits. Afterwards un-mute the channel again for the soundcheck for either monitor sound (recording) or soundcheck (live). Reason is to set the gain stage to the maximum gain at which no channel is clipping. Clipping is bad, it adds distortion. Low signal is bad, it adds noise while being amplified later in the chain.
 

OliverATX

Active Member
Setting the gain is independent from anything else. It has to be done per channel before a soundcheck or a recording can happen. Mute the channel you want to set the gain for. Hit the drum the mic is attached to either as hard as can or the hardest you're planning to hit - multiple times. For the overheads hit all the drums on the set, at best with all four limbs at the same time. The level should stay below -6dB for the strongest hits and maybe below -12 to -18dB for the "I don't plan to hit any harder" hits. Afterwards un-mute the channel again for the soundcheck for either monitor sound (recording) or soundcheck (live). Reason is to set the gain stage to the maximum gain at which no channel is clipping. Clipping is bad, it adds distortion. Low signal is bad, it adds noise while being amplified later in the chain.
Yes, thank you. This is part of my usual calibration. In the end I kept it at around -18db and used the live recording to supplement the mic recording from the camera. Result was pretty good:
 
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