Questions & Answers

Why is mixdown not unity gain?

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asked Jan 13 in Studio One 4 by dondixon1 (160 points)
edited Jan 13 by dondixon1

I did my first song in Studio One (I was using Cakewalk before) and I noticed that my mixdown export was always complaining about clipping, which didn't make sense to me based on what I was seeing in my meters.  So I have done a test, whose results mystify me and I am hoping someone can explain the results.

Setup:  New song with imported A440 reference tone -3 dB, channel fader is set to 0, Main is set to 0

Test One:  Mixdown export with setting of "Bypass Master Effects" is checked

Result One:  Mixdown export file has reference tone of -6 dB

Expected Result: Mixdown export should be -3 dB

Test Two:  Mixdown export with setting of "Bypass Master Effects" is NOT checked

Result Two:  Mixdown export has reference tone of 0 dB

Expected Result: Mixdown export should be -3 dB

I would think that unity gain should be in play between the channels and main fader, but they appear not to be.  So can someone explain why I have these results?

1 Answer

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answered Jan 16 by dondixon1 (160 points)
OK, after much research, questioning others I know and testing, my testing was flawed due to the source file being mono and mixing down to mono and the stereo translation in-between and the 3 dB panning law.  There is also the fact that unity on Studio One is not 0 on the master/main bus and the fact that it differs visually depending on the meter scale you select.  Using a stereo tone file and mixing down to stereo and control clicking on the faders to have unity, I now have the expected results.  Live and learn.
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