Reduce gain on all tracks?

I’m probably revealing more naivete here, but is there a way I can lower the faders on all tracks at once by say 3db? But maintaining the relative levels of all tracks? I don’t think I want automation.

I’m going into the red, and red is bad. :smile:

Thanks in advance

In the mixer window, select all tracks (ctrl+t) then hover the mouse over a some fader and press the arrow-down key. That will lower fader-level and maintain relative gain.

If you don’t have any gain-sensitive pre-fader plugins, a better approach would be to change the trim-control (top-left on each track - the mouse-wheel changes it 1dB steps), and leave the faders alone.

Only If the input has clipped while recording. Otherwise you can just turn down the master-fader. or master input trim. That has the same effect as lowering all tracks.

Thank you Robin. I think the first method seems to do what I want…the only reason I got to this point is because while mixing I kept wanting to turn up various instruments and so it seems only fitting that I should turn them all down the same method. Your suggestion about using trim makes me feel somewhat uneasy because I feel like I would have too many moving parts, if you take my drift. Also, the trim method doesn’t seem to notice that I have (after using ctrl+t) all selected tracks, so I would have to do each track one at a time, which is what I wanted to avoid. Maybe you suggested it because the trim increments are in whole integers of db which is certainly easier to work with for my use case.

I suggested it as to leave the fader for the artistic mix decisions.

Using the “trim” to set a common baseline and using the fader only for mixing is usually good practice. Maybe that’s something to consider for the next session.

The following Harrison Mixbus video offers good information. It also applies to Ardour (except for the compressor and tape saturation which are Mixbus specific):

1 Like

Just to build a bit off of Robin’s advice. When I teach my classes on mixing, I teach my students to do a couple of steps in their project near the beginning (This is primarily for use when you are dealing with imported audio from elsewhere which we are, but the basic ideas are still applicable):

  1. Normalize the regions to -1dB
  2. Turn down the trim to -10dB
  3. Lower their faders to -10dB
  4. Use Region gain (CTRL+6, and CTRL+7 in Mixbus, can’t remember the shortcuts in Ardour) to decrease any sounds that are overpowering to create a basic mix. Note to only decrease as you have already normalized the audio, and while Ardour will not have a problem with above FS in itself, there isn’t a guarantee that plugins will not have issues depending on what plugins you use.

This gives you a basic mix, with decent gain structure to work from, and room to bring things up if needed. The reason I am so conservative to start with is everyone has a natural tendency to turn things up rather than to turn everything else down. You don’t want to go overboard with it though for the same reason as not caring about gain structure, while Ardour may be fine, I can’t guarantee all plugins would be, so good gain structure is always important.

1 Like

Wow - this looks extremely helpfiul. Thank you @seablade !

This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.