Gain Staging is a very important part of the record, mixing and mastering process. It is even more important in the digital world then the analog, because digital is much less forgiving. My general rule of thumb is to have my meters peak at -18 db. By keeping your levels around -18 db you not only avoid distorting your mix bus, but also avoid pushing your plugins into distortion. Many of the plugins we use are recreations of vintage analog gear. You must go into these plugins at the proper level in order for them to work correctly.
In the video below I go over how to properly gain structure in Studio One. However the techniques can be applied to any DAW. Hope you find this helpful.

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