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Ableton Live Tutorial: Gain Staging

Levels and metering in the digital world can be confusing. Back in the day of hardware, clipping into the red could often mean a pleasant harmonic distortion and natural compression. That function sometimes creeps into the digital domain, where new producers might consider the clipping to be part of their sound. What adds to the confusion is the fact that most DAWs will now allow you to clip the channel with no digital degradation as long as the master channel remains below 0dBFS.

But there’s more confusion! Each plugin can drastically change the output level of your signal, while another might attenuate, leaving the channel itself at a nominal level, but the signal moving between plugins could be clipping and therefore forcing the plugin to react in a way you didn’t intend. If all of that only adds to your confusion, it’s time to take a course with Point Blank! In a video taken from our online Music Production Master Diploma, instructor John Watson looks at how to keep a keen eye on your levels to make sure your plugins react the way you expect. Watch it above, and subscribe to our channel for more free tutorials.

If you want to learn more sound design, production, mixing, mastering and composition tips, our Online Master Diploma course is perfect for you. Taken from anywhere in the world for up to 64 weeks, it’s one of our most comprehensive courses and has been taken by the likes of Claude Von Stroke, Plastician and Jon Rundell. Find out more here.

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