Gain vs Volume: Setting Up Your Microphone For The Perfect Recording Level

In this jam-packed episode of CLIPPED, Eric dives into the often misunderstood world of audio levels, focusing on the crucial distinction between gain vs volume.


This episode is sponsored by Riverside. Go to and enter promo code CLIPPED for 20% off.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between gain vs volume, and why each matters for your podcast.

  • How to dial in the perfect level of gain for crystal-clear, robust audio

  • Strategies for achieving an optimal signal-to-noise ratio, ensuring your voice cuts through without unwanted background noise.

Episode Highlights:

  • Gain controls the sensitivity and the amplification of your microphone. Volume relates to the playback loudness in your headphones or speakers.

  • Finding the sweet spot for your gain is key to avoiding both distortion and too much ambient noise, aiming for a signal that’s full-bodied but not overloaded.

  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio Explained: A crucial concept in achieving professional-quality audio, ensuring your voice stands out clearly against any background noise.

  • Eric shares insights on using visual metering to set your levels correctly, aiming for a peak between -6 to -12 decibels for optimal clarity.

  • A reminder of the age-old audio maxim, “shit in, shit out,”. It’s important to get a good sound when recording to ease the editing and mixing process.

Dialing In The Perfect Recording Level

Achieving the perfect audio level requires a bit of experimentation to find what works best for your unique setup and voice.

Remember, nailing your sound on the way in not only makes for a more pleasant listening experience but also makes your life easier during the editing and mixing phases.

As we always say, start strong to end strong, and you’ll save yourself a heap of time in post-production.

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