Keith99 wrote:1. You say dont exceed -9dBFS on transient rich material but then later you say to not exceed -6dBFS on the summing bus. This is the first I had heard of -6dBFS. Do you aim for a max -6 on all buses?
Only on the summing bus, since this is the sum of all signals. I allow myself that particular headroom just for savety purposes.
Of course you can go the oldschool way: 0VU and -9dBFS digital peak maximum. Everything is possible as long as you don't overdo it.
Keith99 wrote:2. I have tried following these guides in Cubase 7 with the new control room meter and I find it incredibly difficult to get RMS up while keeping the peaks contained. I guess this is what mastering engineers get paid to do. Are there any tricks to getting a high RMS and still reduce in the peaks? I know compression does that but I would need to slam sounds to achieve the correct RMS and contain the peaks.
I don't have Cubase 7 yet, still on 6. But go away from thinking that both the RMS level and the peak level needs to be hot all the time.
The 0 VU or -9dBFS digital limits are just guidelines. And in outboard gear days, the usual definite upper end.
You can always pull up the loudness if you want, but while mixing and recording, stay within the limits. This gives you a better fader resolution, analog type plugins respond better, you can easier integrate actual hardware, and you have a more healthy headroom prior to giving your track away for mastering.
Also... if you're not experienced with hot signal levels while recording, you're save of clipping. And someone mentioned "crap ADC/DAC's" - yes, you also benefit from using a reference level, since certain ADC/DAC already start to clip at lower levels than 0dBFS.