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Author Topic: What do you Peak at ?  (Read 2112 times)

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Offline steve4134

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What do you Peak at ?
« on: August 25, 2021, 12:44:19 PM »
Soooooooo in the past i run hot like peaking at -2 and a friend of mine told me i shouldn't do that and just increase my bit-rate and record at peak -12. Well i taped a show last night and it just sounds..........soft. I am curious what others do.

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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2021, 12:48:18 PM »
There are probably many threads on this topic. When I bought my first bit bucket from OADE's, Doug said as long as the recording hits -12dB it will be fine as far as self noise etc.
By saying it sounds "soft" do you mean without bumping the levels in post with the DAW of your choice? as in, are you listening to the file from your portable device with headphones as opposed to over a PC/stereo?

BTW- when i first read your title, I thought of something 100% not taping. I have been known to PEAK at differing levels if you catch my drift!  >:D :P :P
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Offline seethreepo

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2021, 01:18:10 PM »
as high as possible without going over
or with less than 1 second overs. 
Sound best to me in every playback situation. 

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Offline fireonshakedwnstreet

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2021, 02:18:06 PM »
I am for -12 at 24 bit. I boost in post.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2021, 02:50:14 PM »
Depends on the situation, and the gear.

Don't go over.

How sure are you of that possibility, where over is, and what may be in store before you press stop?

Don't go too low.

Do you know were the noise floor of the recording environment lands with respect to the noise floor of the recording chain?



Is part of "the sound" one might be chasing overload saturation of an input stage or the tickling of a limiter?  Is that sonic contribution something you assume must me happening or do you really know it to be true from experimentation - done in such a way that you can be certain you aren't deceiving yourself?

How well do I know the material and venue?
Will I have the ability to readjust recording gain during the performance? Between performances?
How much do I want to avoid making recording gain changes during the performance?
How much headroom and footroom do I have, given the material, my recording chain, and how I set things?  Am I sure?
How much dynamic range is my "nominal 24 bit" real-world recording chain actually capable of encoding?  Do I actually know?
How accurately can I meter?
How much work do I want to do while recording? How much afterward?
How well do the limiters work on my gear? Are they transparent enough to use them at all?  How far dare I push them?
Have I been peaking way to low over the past few recordings? Going over consistently?
Do I feel lucky?
Do I have a feeling of "that's just about right" satisfaction?
What are my expectations for this recording?  What about the expectations of others?

Lather, rinse, repeat.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 04:50:48 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline morst

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2021, 03:43:18 PM »
THE CREEK!

HAHa sorry that's the old answer.
I roll with limiters and try to be sure they're not lit up for more than a blink.
If peak or limiter light is on solid, ya gotta turn it down.

In general for digital recording a live feed, it depends on the dynamic range of the program material, and how likely you are to be surprised by something way louder than what you heard when you set levels, but here goes:
Anywhere over -6dB gets you into the final bit, anywhere over -3dB is probably just trying to be perfect when it's not necessary.

Show up at soundcheck and ask them to play as loud as they can until you give 'em the thumbs up is another answer!? Requires some level of cooperation which is not always available.
Look out for people clapping.


Soooooooo in the past i run hot like peaking at -2 and a friend of mine told me i shouldn't do that and just increase my bit-rate and record at peak -12. Well i taped a show last night and it just sounds..........soft. I am curious what others do.



Oh no I just re-read your post. Bit Rate has zero to do with it. I hope you mean Bit Depth!

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2021, 03:46:06 PM »
I am for -12 at 24 bit. I boost in post.

This.
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Offline morst

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2021, 04:05:19 PM »
oh yeah, also if you are doing multi channel work, you want to leave a little space to mix them

Offline mountaintaper

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2021, 11:46:28 PM »
I record in 32 BIT Float...I don't worry about peaks.

Offline daspyknows

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2021, 11:48:47 PM »
Usually shoot for -6DB

Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2021, 09:57:29 AM »
I am for -12 at 24 bit. I boost in post.

This.

+1. The days of recording as close to 0 as possible are no longer with us
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2021, 10:40:30 AM »
I'm sort of disappointed in you'se. No one made fun of my joke!  >:D

For the OP: Are you listening back on the device it was recorded on? If so, try to put the file on a PC and boost to close to 0 as a somewhat adequate comparison point to your old recordings.
Let us know.
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Offline yug du nord

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2021, 11:16:14 AM »
BTW- when i first read your title, I thought of something 100% not taping. I have been known to PEAK at differing levels if you catch my drift!  >:D :P :P

I'm sort of disappointed in you'se. No one made fun of my joke!  >:D

as high as possible without going over

 :spin: :spin: :spin:

.....got a blank space where my mind should be.....

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2021, 01:17:19 PM »
BTW- when i first read your title, I thought of something 100% not taping. I have been known to PEAK at differing levels if you catch my drift!  >:D :P :P

I'm sort of disappointed in you'se. No one made fun of my joke!  >:D

as high as possible without going over

 :spin: :spin: :spin:
SRSLY though, in context seethreepo did not intend to make the joke, either that OR they have amazing snark game!!!!!     >:D   
But, he was the first reply under mine, so now I am ashamed of my shameless attempt!  OR, you win- yug du nord!!!!!
Quote
as high as possible without going over   
or with less than 1 second overs. 
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
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Offline yug du nord

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2021, 01:48:12 PM »
When peak level is reached, everyone wins! :guitarist:  :spin:  8)

Back to the topic.. IMO, if you have good meters that are accurate.. you can push it close to 0 when recording a PA since there aren’t usually big changes in dynamics.
If meters are limited or not accurate, I aim for -6.
If I can’t keep checking the meters, I aim for -12.

If there are huge swings in the dynamics of the performance, I aim for -12 or even lower based on the situation. Think crazy jazz dynamics coming straight off the stage.. they can be all over the place.

But I do agree that -12 is safe and just boost in post.
But I also prefer the sound of my rig running closer to 0.
In the end, it’s all good.. but I like it hot!!
YMMV.

Edit to add:  I run 24 bit and still prefer to run hot when possible.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 04:21:13 PM by yug du nord »
.....got a blank space where my mind should be.....

Offline RyanJ

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2021, 07:06:54 PM »
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Offline audBall

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2021, 10:19:41 PM »
Crazy cats peakin' after an hour or two...
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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2021, 05:30:14 PM »
I record in 32 BIT Float...I don't worry about peaks.

+1 to this. Sometimes I like to crank the channels as high as they go on my F6 so my recorded tracks have ridiculous peaks at +60 dB just for fun.  :headphones: Normalize in post, and all is fine.

Where we're going, we don't need [level setting]!

On the occasions I am recording 24-bit anymore, I go for -12 dB peaks. Going up to -6 makes me nervous. Limiters are ferboten.
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Offline Twenty8

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2021, 09:06:41 AM »
Do I feel lucky?
(In a Clint Eastwood voice) Well do ya, punk?
I can't believe this got to page two without a mention.

-12 at 24bit as well.  I stay conservative and adjust in post.  Itching for 32bit so I can not worry about my peaks as I peak.
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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2021, 09:23:30 AM »
I am for -12 at 24 bit. I boost in post.

^
Same
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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2021, 10:08:28 AM »

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2021, 10:07:35 AM »
A general trend- Big/far-away needs less headroom than small/up-close. 

I am able to safely push levels considerably higher at larger PA amplified performances and when recording from farther away. The overall level in those situations may be high, but dynamics are relatively constrained.   In contrast, I need more headroom, a whole lot more, sometimes more than I expect, when up close to small ensembles.  On stage in close proximity to a drumset the peaks can be extreme.  It's the inverse square law thing - close brings high dynamics, and also the difference in untamed acoustic energy direct from the instrument verses the same having been managed through a soundboard and reproduced through the PA.

However, the repercussions are not the same.  They are in a way, inverse.  Brief acoustic transient overs or limiter-engagement from a close/sharp/acoustic drumset "crack" are less likely to be obviously audible than slower bass-heavy driven overs / limiter-engagement of content through the PA that is much more likely to sound obviously distorted.


I do hear a significant difference in level settings that do not produce overs when I listen back to my recordings, yet after I even everything out in the DAW I hear far less difference, if any.  I want my peaks comfortably high, yet in determining what "comfortably high" is in a particular situation, I might also consider how much "foot-room" I have at the bottom in combination with how much "head-room" I'm leaving at the top.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2021, 10:57:45 PM »
I might also consider how much "foot-room" I have at the bottom in combination with how much "head-room" I'm leaving at the top.

This is definitely a big consideration in high dynamic shows. Nothing worse than running peaks at -12 or even -6 and coming home to find you hit the noise floor in a quiet section. Has happened to me a few times, usually in jazz clubs where a drum solo could easily be 20-30db louder than a solo guitar/piano interlude
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2021, 10:25:48 AM »
And to complicate things, the thing I wonder about at that point is whether the noise floor of the recording audible in those quiet parts is that of my recording chain or the ambient noise-floor of the venue.  The sound of the noise tends to be pretty much the same either way when cranking up the playback levels on the quiet parts. 

That's easier to determine if one knows where the noisefloor of the recording chain actually is, but that requires testing and analysis.  Might be possible to analyse the spectrum of the noise floor on the recording to identify its origin without knowing where the recording chain noise floor lies beforehand, but that's doing the same analysis.  This is not a plea for everyone to test and analyze their recording chains to determine exactly where the system's noise-floor lies and precisely what its dynamic range capability is, rather than a reminder to be careful about making presumptions about the source of the noisefloor on a recording in the absence of that information.

Big PA amped stuff is relatively easy.  Average SPL may be high, but the acoustic noise floor is high as well, and the overall dynamic range relatively limited (both in an overall sense, and electronically at the top). The the music is likely louder than the applause, making the peak target obvious.  Once quickly dialed in, I don't worry about monitoring levels for those events.  I'm much more careful about setting and monitoring levels when up close at small scale things, where peak dynamics tend to be high and the ambient noise floor often significantly lower, even if the average SPL is not nearly as high as the big PA amped stuff.
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Offline jbosco

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2021, 11:04:00 AM »
3/5 Mile in 10 Seconds, or -12dB, depends on the circumstance.
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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2021, 05:22:41 PM »
400 micrograms
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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2021, 07:57:23 PM »
400 micrograms

 :clapping:   :spin:  Best answer.

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Re: What do you Peak at ?
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2021, 12:50:55 PM »
My timing is bad so I usually peak at set break :help:
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