Gain vs. Volume Faders
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  1. #1
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    Default Gain vs. Volume Faders

    Hey all,

    So I was wondering what the advantages to using gain vs. volume faders or vice verse was.

    In other words which is more suited for specific tasks.

  2. #2
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    my style of mixing which is lots of quick cuts means I use the volume faders to introduce tracks and take away elements. I use auto gain and have the limiter engaged so the use of the gain is very minimal.
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  3. #3
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    The gain and the volume are two totally different things.

    There are a bunch of resources with the search function.

    Like this, this, and this.

    that's a start.
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  4. #4
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    Yeah I read most of those. But I still didn't understand the difference. I do but there are things that I still don't understand. I'll just have to do more research

  5. #5
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Okay, well, then this is the main difference.

    The Gain is raises the volume of the incoming signal. So, for example, you have two tracks playing that were mastered to different volumes. While DJing you want the outgoing levels to remain constant. The easiest way to do that is to boost the incoming signal to a standard level. While watching the VU meter (as long as you have a Pre-Fader-Limit measure) you will see the levels going up and down with the Gain. That's the incoming decibels of the track. That's the incoming signal. If those are the same the volume adjustments will be minimal.

    You adjust the volume to control the Outgoing signal. It is the amount of decibels that are outgoing from the mixer to the master volume. The idea is that these can be static, not needing to be moved at all (assuming you use the crossfader). Now these two also work in tandem. So, if you up the gain too much you'll be pumping a stretched signal through the mixer, causing it to distort. You can turn the volume down but the signal will still sound distorted. If you pull the gain down too much and pump the volume you'll have a lower cap on how loud it can get.

    Also, your EQ colors the sound before it hits the faders. So if you feel like the signal is too weak, but you don't want to pump the gain anymore you can add a little bass or highs and fix the feeling. If you pump the EQ too much you will red line quicker and need to adjust with your gain.

    This is non-scientific and just from my practice. Yes, do more research, there are tons of resources around. But that's the basic understanding.
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  6. #6
    Tech Guru sarasin's Avatar
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    Nicely explained mate. Makes perfect sense.
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DvlsAdvct View Post
    Okay, well, then this is the main difference.

    The Gain is raises the volume of the incoming signal. So, for example, you have two tracks playing that were mastered to different volumes. While DJing you want the outgoing levels to remain constant. The easiest way to do that is to boost the incoming signal to a standard level. While watching the VU meter (as long as you have a Pre-Fader-Limit measure) you will see the levels going up and down with the Gain. That's the incoming decibels of the track. That's the incoming signal. If those are the same the volume adjustments will be minimal.

    You adjust the volume to control the Outgoing signal. It is the amount of decibels that are outgoing from the mixer to the master volume. The idea is that these can be static, not needing to be moved at all (assuming you use the crossfader). Now these two also work in tandem. So, if you up the gain too much you'll be pumping a stretched signal through the mixer, causing it to distort. You can turn the volume down but the signal will still sound distorted. If you pull the gain down too much and pump the volume you'll have a lower cap on how loud it can get.

    Also, your EQ colors the sound before it hits the faders. So if you feel like the signal is too weak, but you don't want to pump the gain anymore you can add a little bass or highs and fix the feeling. If you pump the EQ too much you will red line quicker and need to adjust with your gain.

    This is non-scientific and just from my practice. Yes, do more research, there are tons of resources around. But that's the basic understanding.
    damn :eek:, and i was just gonna put gain is volume and fader fades or/and chops the track in and out.

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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor janzak's Avatar
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    Signal -> Gain -> Filters/EQ -> Fader -> Output

    So the output is the result of the sound produced after the fader has had a go with the signal.

    The fader modifies the signal it gets from the filters and EQ, which on their hand mess with the signal they get after gain has been adjusted.

    ...and gain starts with the base signal (the track).
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  9. #9
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Very simply, gain is used to make sure that your tracks play at the same volume when the volume level is all the way. And is used to make sure you dont accidentally clip the output when ramming the volume fader up.

  10. #10

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