Using Audio Faders
Using audio faders
This is essentially your last gain stage. check out how to set your gain levels. Unlike gain which is usually the very first boost to the audio signal (unless you are using radio mics) the fader is then your last gain stage for when a scene is going on. On my Sound devices 664 you can boost the already gained signal by +15dB or -38dB.
Why are we still using audio faders?
Some students have asked me why do we still use faders if we have already set the gain? The answer is so we can mix signals together. We want to do this for several reasons covered in how to mix. The quick version is to provide a mix track to:
- Help video editors edit the video without needing to mix sound first. They can then just hear what is in shot and nothing else covered in the ISO tracks.
- Feed the director with a mix so they can hear what is going on in the shot with the right people faded up at the right time.
- Provides mixes to camera much like the director's mix.
What is the best level for audio faders?
Ideally the best level is to have the audio fader on zero and be hitting the correct recording levels of between -20dB and -12dB. This is because then you aren't adding any noise to the signal from adding more power to it. Here are a few scenarios you don't want to get:
- Gain low and Fader at maximum = This means you are adding a lot more noise to the signal because you are adding power twice. This will make it hard for you to get the right level and only give you room to lower the volume and not turn it up.
- Gain high and Fader very low = This means you are adding a lot of gain and then subtracting it, this adds noise and give a compression like effect. Even loud screams will seem very quiet. If you clip at the gain stage then the fader will never save you, you will just be turning down a distorted signal.