[Need Help] Sound Peak Issue

Hey guys, hope this post finds you well.

While setting up Headroom for the mix, I've picked -8dB for the Kick, so long story short the issue I'm getting is that if I'm using a Spectrum Analyzer on my Master channel to check the frequency which the Kick is peaking at, it shows me it's around -1.5dB, however if I'm using the same Spectrum Analyzer on the Kick Channel, it shows me the peak is as set, -8dB.
I've tried different plugins to analyze the peak, it's all the same (which deducts the plugin from causing this).
Also I've disabled everything on all channels to make sure any plugin isn't causing a gain.

So when I play the whole track together and use the analyzer it's showing me it's above 0, and around +5dB which is really bad, however the track is not clipping and it sounds okay.
What might be causing this?

Thanks for your time, looking forward to read your nice solutions!

Talkin Music

Staff member
Hi Lonny,

A kick shouldn't be peaking at -8dB, your mix will clip that way. The loudest part of you entire mix should peak at -12dB before doing any processing. You have to learn gain staging for the particular DAW you're using.

You also have to learn pre vs post fader on whatever DAW you're using.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to this mate.
That's not the issue though, I'm planning to get it on -15dB actually to give it a bit more headroom, however the issue that concerns me is that the spectrum analyzer is not measuring the same way in the Master channel as in the Kick Channel and it worries me in terms of measuring the track at a later point when I want to master it.

Talkin Music

Staff member
You shouldn't be worried about 3rd party tools mate, no tool is accurate. But I would contact the company that created the tool and ask them. If they say it's a problem with your DAW then you contact the company that sold you the DAW to find out what's causing this.

I still don't see how this issue will affect the quality of your mix though and it wouldn't worry me :wink: