Please give us some details as to your mic setup and situation then we might be able to chime in on your levels. Keep in mind that you should keep the inner knobs (longer ones) at 12 o'clock. It is surprising to me that if you were peaking at -3db that it was necessary to amplify that much in post, IMO that is as 'hot' as I would ever run the R-44...
OK, so here is the 1st Run of the R44.http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=100747
No tests, just read a billion pages, the manual and plugged in 4 mics and went to the show.
I have a LOT of new stuff I've been experimenting with, and while I'm still not sure exactly what I want to matrix, I decided to run the R44 first with both the dpa mics (4061 & 4021). Both of them really like to have the full 48v of phantom, so that's what I did. The mics were side by side with the 4061s running Y and the 4021s running XY (I think that's the right terminology.)
The schoepsMK5 were set to card, but I really like the omni setting better, so I'm going to try that tonight. I ran them into the Apogee Mini MP with the output set on Zero, and the levels set at about 40. The MR2 ran Line-In and was set at -4db. (yes, I realize that this is an R44 thread, but it seemed relevant)
When I started the show, both inner and outer knobs were at 12 o'clock, but during the soundcheck I tried to adjust the center knobs to balance everything out. I had read here that the outer knob left artifacts if moved so I thought that a minute bit of the inner knob wiggling would be OK. You can see from the picture how it ended up after the show and more endless inner-knob wiggling. Not OK, I think.
It was still peaking at -3db for the hot parts.
The next show I left the inner knob alone and only used the outer knob. I haven't figured out the display settings exactly to monitor what happens when you move this one, but I got a better tape, and every time I would adjust one channel, it would seem to make all of them level out a bit.
Show 2 was a loud drum'n'bass show, and the original "both knobs at 12" setting was way over the peak, but when looking at the file, once I brought it down to the safer -3db peak, it is really, really low.
With a freshly charged set of enloop 2000mAh batteries I scored exactly 2:38:10 which is not the safety net of the 3 hour DAT, but there is pretty much nothing I will need an external battery for If I can keep this up. There may be times when I want to just let it run and would have to swap batteries at some point but this is a good solid block of time.
The 2nd picture shows where the levels ended up, and the 3rd is the wav file.