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Pad is not your friend on any desk unless once you punch it in you are pulling the gain back.

The iLive has tonnes of headroom even above the peak light. There is something like 18dB of headroom even when you trip a peak light so I don’t worry about running things hot on the iLive. Its better to be hot than it is to be running below zero with all the pads in.

If your just tripping the peak lights and you have the gain all the way down then don’t take the step of punching in a pad, you don’t need it and it will just screw your noise floor.

I saw an engineer once who had every single pad button in on an iLive and the amount of hiss was insane.