Let's Talk about Gain

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Mag

Let's Talk about Gain
« on: 24 Feb 2020, 08:42 pm »
When I introduced a Yamaha MG-10 mixer into my audio chain, one of the benefits was/is that I can adjust the amount of gain.

Initially I had the gain set about 2 o'clock position which is fairly high. With more gain you get more detail. But I found over time that I preferred less gain, about 11 o'clock position. With less gain I'm giving up detail for a more relaxed sound. So there is a trade off with gain, more gain more detail, less gain less detail but a more relaxed sound.

Okay, so let's have some input, I'm certainly not an expert on gain. :smoke:

mresseguie

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Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #1 on: 24 Feb 2020, 09:17 pm »
Well, from one non-expert to another... :wink:

My Don Sachs Model 2 preamp has dual gain dials (L/R). I didn't have a clue what the heck 'gain' was when I bought the preamp. I simply set both at max and adjusted volume for the first couple years. Then, early last year (or was it two years ago?) I played around with the settings and tried the 2 o'clock position for a week or so. I liked the change - a little more laid back. Next, I tried the 11 o'clock position and really liked it.

This has me wondering....I may try going back to 2 o'clock or higher just to see where my ears are now. [I know. I know. My ears are on either side (not front and back!) of my head.  :lol:]


Goosepond

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Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #2 on: 25 Feb 2020, 12:19 am »
Well, I certainly feel OK about asking this since both of you admit you have no idea what you're talking about!   :thumb:

What in the hell is the diff between gain and volume??? :scratch:

Gene

mresseguie

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Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #3 on: 25 Feb 2020, 03:37 am »
"What in the hell is the diff between gain and volume??? :scratch:"

AWWWWWWWWW!!!! Don't ask that question in public! Asking this question is guaranteed to cause a massive selloff in the stock market.  :nono:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

According to this:

https://www.musicianonamission.com/gain-vs-volume/

There's more info in the link, but gain and volume are very similar concepts, but their difference is very important to your mix. Volume is how loud the OUTPUT of the channel or amp is. ... Gain is how loud the INPUT of the channel or amp is. It controls tone, not loudness.


Goosepond

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Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #4 on: 25 Feb 2020, 04:00 am »
"What in the hell is the diff between gain and volume??? :scratch:"

AWWWWWWWWW!!!! Don't ask that question in public! Asking this question is guaranteed to cause a massive selloff in the stock market.  :nono:


Hi Michael,

If I delete my post, will the market go back up?  :thumb:

Thanks for the good info. This is a very complicated hobby! :duh:

Gene

Water Dog

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Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #5 on: 25 Feb 2020, 04:19 am »
Being that I read posts from a nontechnical background, I always appreciate a metaphor...

So maybe if you're speaking into a megaphone, your voice is the gain and the megaphone is the amplifier (volume).  If you're yelling into a small megaphone, you're working too hard and the sound becomes fatiguing.  If you speak very softly, the megaphone needs to become exponentially larger to increase the volume of your words. 

Am I close?

Mag

Re: Let's Talk about Gain
« Reply #6 on: 25 Feb 2020, 03:49 pm »
Well, I certainly feel OK about asking this since both of you admit you have no idea what you're talking about!   :thumb:

What in the hell is the diff between gain and volume??? :scratch:

Gene

An analogy that I can think up is photoshop. Gain is like zooming in or out, as you zoom in the pixels become more detailed, the pixels in the photo are still the same just an increased or decrease in resolution.

Volume on the other hand would be like the size of TV monitor used to view the photo, you can have a big screen TV or a small.

IMO too much gain, and music can sound etched with hyper detail and this maybe the reason cd's have a bad rep compared to vinyl with the majority of recording being on the hot side. Other components in the audio chain are factors as well with source gain outputs set to like 80%, then an amps processing resolution and then differences in speakers and output. :smoke: