Originally Posted by eleven59
This is a true, but misunderstood, statement.
It is true that tracking too low will mean that your noise floor will be higher - meaning the point at which there's nothing but hiss and rumble is closer to the signal about which you care.
However, he is not suggesting that you record that
low. Modern converters have well over 100 db of dynamic range. If you record so that you average at -18 dbfs, that means you still have 82db of dynamic range left. This article is suggesting that having 18db of headroom is more than enough to protect from an occasional "over" (i.e. digital clipping), and high enough that noise floor is not an issue.
Keeping gain at a good level throughout the entire recording process is what sets a good recording apart from an average one. Use a mic that can't handle the output of the source and you get unrepairable clipping. Run the input of your mic pre too hot and you get unrepairable clipping. Run the output of your mic pre too hot for your converter and you get unrepairable clipping. These are the things that you not only have to be able to see on your meters, but hear
with your ears.