When do you guys use it? I never really touched it during my actual tracking or mixing - I always just tried to get the levels correct when recording, and do what I can do duplicate it between sessions.
For example, last week I recorded some bits with my Ultra, and I didn't pay attention to where the output level was (whoops!). This week, I went in and added some more bits to a song, and my way of level matching it was to just compare it by ear to the first set of takes and check the waveforms.
I'd imagine this is a bit harder for people who mic cabs between sessions, since so many things (humidity, quality of power) can effect the sound level/quality that you get out of an amp.
Do any of you actually go in and normalize your individual tracks before sending them to your master bus? The only time I ever use it is when I'm completely mixed down - I normalize everything to 0db when I convert to MP3, just to get a consistent volume level across all of my mixes. Other than that, I never really gave it much consideration.
No, never. you shouldn't use it to master either, you should use a combination of compression and limiting on your master bus.