Understanding the Difference Between Gain and Volume – Produce Like A Pro

Understanding the Difference Between Gain and Volume – Produce Like A Pro

Many of us have wondered if there’s a technical difference between gain and volume. The answer is “yes,” even though the terms sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. The most important distinction between gain and volume is how, or more precisely “where,” they factor into the signal path.

Gain and volume. Keys to good recordings and mixing. It’s hard to mix tracks that aren’t “printed”. If I’m trying to level/balance one track and I can’t pull down a fader on a different track (and have it stay there) then I can’t easily adjust the levels of tracks.

Audio Gain, Volume, & Gain Staging – Produce Like A Pro

Audio Gain, Volume, & Gain Staging – Produce Like A Pro:

If audio gain is reserved to describe the input level on a source, then volume is the measurable output level of a signal, after processing. Volume is typically measured in dB SPL and can be boiled down to the loudness we actually hear.

Mixing in your DAW, every track is routed to a stereo channel, or “mix buss.” How loud the output of the mix buss is can be called “volume!”

Well put. Gain/trim = input. Volume = output. Wonder where we put “level”?

I still have to deal with bands who think the right thing to do to get the “sound” right for the wedges and the room (sigh) is to turn up the trim pot. All the faders must be at unity…

I’m really enjoying the things I get to listen to and read from the Produce Like a Pro Academy. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Gain Staging: What It Is and How to Do It

Gain Staging: What It Is and How to Do It:

Gain staging in the analog days

Before the advent of digital, records were made with analog equipment. Microphones, outboard EQs, compressors, console desks, tape machines—every piece of gear had to be leveled properly for the next piece of the chain, in order to achieve a good result.

Always good to know why we do things.