Using Trim to Quickly Setup your Gain Structure

Have you ever found yourself constantly pulling down the main fader to stop your mix exceeding 0 dB?
Setting up your gain structure before you start mixing will help make the mixing process easier.

Many DAW\’s have a \’trim\’ pot on the mixer screen additional to the fader. You can use this to adjust the overall gain of the channel before the plugins. Leaving the channel fader for mixing.
This also means you can leave clip gain adjustments for editing the audio where the recording needs a bit of adjustment.

It\’s really simple .. here\’s how.
After you\’ve completed editing your recordings (or loaded up stems from someone else), before you start the mixing process. Switch to a mixer view, find the trim pot/dial.

Using the trim pots get your levels balanced and try to keep your peak levels pretty low.. Around -12 dB is a safe number. If the main fader mix stays below -6dB for peak or even as far as -10 dB that should give plenty of headroom for you to work with as you mix.

A good final mix should be below 0 dbFS when you send it to the mastering engineer. Some request a level of -6dB or -3dB but in reality as long as it is below 0 and not clipped.

Got any more questions about this, feel free to contact via the contact page or the STEAM Mastering social channels.

Check out the video below for a quick visual demonstration.

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