Knowledgebase: General
0dB Signal on console does not show up as 0dB in DAW?
Posted by Ben Morgan, Last modified by on 24 March 2011 05:25 PM

Why does a signal at 0dB on my console not show up as 0dB in my DAW?

Different types of dB are used in the analogue (dBU) and digital domain (dBFS) and therefore you will see what appears to be a 'lower' signal in the digital domain.
Usually you will see that a signal at around 0dB on the mixer will show in your DAW at around -18dBFS. 

The signal is not actually 'lower', it is instead being expressed in a different unit., 
so the signal should not be boosted to try to achieve 0dB in your DAW as you could incur distortion in the digital and/or analogue domain.

(see Wikipedia article for more information)