The Importance of Gain Staging

Gain staging is not a term very commonly used by Home Studio operators these days. However this is one of the most fundamental aspects of the entire audio recording process. There are increasing numbers of individuals joining the home recording world every single day. Sadly, there is a major lack of the knowledge and techniques associated with achieving optimum audio recording quality. These skills are either, forgotten, ignored or simply oblivious to many. In this video I will address this crucial part of the process by explaining exactly what gain staging is. I will also demonstrate how you can achieve this in your home studio or location. Ultimately, your aim should always be to capture the very best and cleanest levels before the signal is distorted. And when working with a chain of different bits of equipment in your setup you need to make sure that everything is set appropriately to maximize the quality of the final recording.

Optimizing Your Audio Signal

For many it’s very easy to simply plug an XLR cable into a microphone and then into either a mic-preamp, mixer or directly into an audio interface and then start recording. Maybe you’re a guitarist and you use your favourite amp, effects pedals and a couple of different microphones on your cab to capture you’re incredible playing ability. However every piece of equipment in your setup plays an important role in the amount of gain that’s applied to your final output signal. It is therefore imperative that you address the levels of each component to ensure the integrity of your audio. This is what the process of gain staging is all about and is essentially what I will be going through in the video.

From Analog World to Digital Domain

Those of us who started out in the analogue world some decades ago the principles of recording are pretty much the same. However there are certain important changes that we must be aware of when recording in the digital domain. Things such as dB Full Scale monitoring, what that means and how that impacts capturing audio in our favourite DAW. This too is a central part of gain staging and will be covered along with many other important points in this video. So make sure to check it out as well as my other video on setting appropriate levels to avoid distortion and clipping when working in your digital audio workstation.

Clipping and Distortion

More Great Music Production Videos

So I hope you find this tutorial helpful and look forward to having your feedback in the comment section. I’d also appreciate it if you subscribed to my channel and check out the range of other useful music production and sound recording videos that I have posted. For those of you who use Logic Pro X, Ableton Live and Pro Tools, there’s plenty on the channel for you, ┬áso be sure to go through my full playlist and see what appeals to your area of interest. I’m sure there will be something that will help you on your musical journey whether you are a seasoned professional or a complete beginner. Thanks for checking this out and I look forward to your feedback on this and any of my other videos.