Auto gain is the bodge to not


Auto gain is the bodge to not having a sound operator. It’s a reactive blunt tool. A limiter is better for just controlling the maximum level, but gunshots are a tricky thing to record. To do it properly really takes two channels – one probably with a pad, and much lower level to capture the transients of the gunshot without distortion – which can come from the mic itself if it’s a condenser without a pad, or the preamp. Your other channel records the ambient sound properly and will inevitably flat-top when the shot happens. In post, you fix it using both channels. AGC always has a gentle restore so you don’t usually hear it working, but the gunshot drives the level down so far, the long recovery is normal. Shortening it, even if it’s an option just produces a weird pumping sound as it opens and closes the gain. There is no simple solution – the dynamic range is just far too wide.

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