Understanding Audio Levels & What 0 dB On Digital Meter Means

Understanding Audio Levels


What 0 dB On Digital Meter Means 


Understanding how to read a mixer and monitor your audio will benefit both you and the viewer in many different ways. Whether it is speeding through a technical issue or maximizing the quality of which you’re aiming for, you will do so efficiently and confidently. Most digital mixers have a lot of similar qualities so you will find yourself recognizing things across multiple programs and hardware.


For starters, the “highest” number that represents the limit where the audio can be accurately reproduced is at 0 dB. Past 0 dB is known as, “clipping” and in return will be distortion of sound. On one side, distortion is a widely used effect especially on the guitar, but for clean and accurate audio staying beneath 0 dB/red is a must.


Now that we know our audio limits and the effects clipping has, we can take a look at the mixer and do a quick breakdown to see where our audio sits. Using OBS Studio as an example, we see the signal represented from green to red (clipping) *colors may vary on different mixers*. A general rule of thumb is for your mic/voice to sit just before the yellow (foreground), around -15 dB. Then fill in the rest of the sound space with game audio, music, or any other background audio up to about. Following these general rules will keep your streams consistent in volume .


In all, streaming can be overwhelming, producing both visual and audio content while maintaining quality. Though with a bit of information and simple understandings, you can improve in quality and mitigate issues. Each stream varies so your levels may too. I encourage to play around to get a better feel and see what works best for you. 

– GoneFresh

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