Topic: Correct settings in TotalMix (and studio monitors)

I have connected my studio monitors to my RME Fireface UFXII with balanced cable.
The Volume settings on the monitors are at “0” dB (min is -12dB, max is +12 dB)

To be able to have a comfortable listening volume for composing/mixing I need to set the output level fader
in TotalMix to -18dB, surely not more than -16dB. I am aiming in my acoustically treated room 74-76 dBC SPL.
The Output setting in TotalMix is is set to +4dBu mode.
Note: I am composing/creating orchestral film music.

How shall I proceed? Shall I lover the monitor's volume to -12dB setting and use higher volume in TotalMix?

And/or shall I use a different settings in TotalMix? (-10 dB, High Gain, +24 dBu)

Any advice/help is very much welcome and highly appreciated.

BR Stef
RME Fireface UFX II, RME ARC USB, ADAM Audio, Big Sur, DP, VEPRO, Cubase 13 Pro.

Re: Correct settings in TotalMix (and studio monitors)

Standard gain staging. You'll have to play with volume on the monitors and in TotalMix to see what provides the lowest noise floor. It's also hard to know how hot a signal the monitors can receive. If it were me, I'd leave the monitors at unity (0dB) and increase the volume in TotalMix until it's as loud as you want it. Sounds like that's what you defaulted to trying as well.

It's also worth adding your headphones into the equation. Personally, when I switch from my monitors to my phones, I want the perceivable loudness to be the same. So I don't have to play with the faders while switching between the two. This can effect how I gain stage the monitors.

MADI FX, Fireface UFX+, ADI-648, HDSPe RayDAT, ADI-192 DD

Re: Correct settings in TotalMix (and studio monitors)

Ninbura, Thanks!

I have followed your suggestion, but meanwhile the monitor manufactures (I have asked them, too) suggested to lower the monitor level knob to its minimum value (-12dB instead of "0" dB) to get the lowest noise floor for these monitors.

This required to raise the level in TotalMix to -4dB (in +4dBu mode) instead of the previous -16dB. I think this makes sense, right?
Indeed, as a manufacturer suggested, the monitors have less noise floor (I need to put my ears very close to the tweeter) when their input level knobs are set to -12dB. Otherwise, I do not hear any difference between the previous and the now settings.

Good point about the headphones :-).

Another "issue" what I did not mention in my original post is that I have another set of single speaker monitors (driven by a ClassD HiFi amp with XLR inputs) as well. I drive them as "Speaker B" from TotlMix.
In +4dB mode they need just -24 dB from the TotalMix to get the same listening volume.
It looks this amp are more sensitive. This amp is a simple commercial Class D Hifi amp (unfortunately I have no real spec for it). Shall I use the -10dBV mode in TotalMix for it?

BR Stef
RME Fireface UFX II, RME ARC USB, ADAM Audio, Big Sur, DP, VEPRO, Cubase 13 Pro.