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Adding "warmth" (hopefully!)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DISK, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. DISK

    DISK Guest

    I posted something similar to this awhile ago, but I have a strange idea that I am wondering if it would even be worth trying out. First of all, here is my setup.

    PC
    AMD Athlon XP 3000+ / 1 GB PC2700 / 80GB 7200rpm hard drive / M-Audio Revolution 7.1

    Outboard gear
    Echo Layla24
    Behringer MDX2600 Composer Pro-XL Compressor
    Behringer MIC2200 Ultragain® Pro

    Software
    Sonar 4 Producers Edition
    Cool Edit Pro 2.0

    Mics
    MXL 990
    MXL 991
    Shure SM57
    Shure SM58

    Monitors
    plan on buying M-Audio Bx8's

    I had already decided to record everything at 24/44.1, but I just wondered if I recorded at 24/96, and then sent the line out from my m-audio soundcard into my tube pre-amp and compressor, then recorded that back into Sonar as a stereo .wav file at 24/44.1

    Would this add some warmth to the final mix and with the compressor, allow me to get the compression for the final mix where I need it? Or should I just stick with 24/44.1 and keep it all in Sonar?

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I have some very similar items to what you have and I use Sonar 3.1.1 as my platform so I'm not certain if Sonar 4 will have this plug-in but try putting Tape Sim plug-in on the Master and adjusting the warmth that way. I would imagine the Behringer would do very little to help out in the way of warmth. I find the Tape Sim works great on Bass guitars in conjunction with the SOnitus compressor to emulate a tube compression. I have never tried it on a whole mix but I would imagine it "could" have the same effect. It definitely makes cold and shrill vocals sound more smooth as well. Just a thought. I would stay in the box though no matter what you do - I think your signal wouldn't profit from going out and then back in, especially through the Behringer.
     
  3. DISK

    DISK Guest

    I know the Behringer isn't all that great, but what about the process I suggested with using a tube pre that was of better quality? In the technique I had described recording at 24/96 and then sending that out to "warm it up", then back in through the Layla at either 24/44.1 or even 16/44.1. That way, all I have to do it dither down or nothing at all. Just curious I guess if anyone has tried something similar to this.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The best approach is to generate the "warmth" or the sonic signature that you desire when first recording the track .... once it's in the box, if at all possible it is best left there.

    To create a really great tone, good mic pres and microphones are the ticket. IMO, nothing elese does the trick ... Even if you record at a high sample rate, if the mic and the preamp (front end) isn't up to snuff, then all you get is well converted crap. Mics and pres first, converters second ...

    Recording through a $130.00 pre amp at 24/96 only gives you (at best) a well converted recording of a cheezy mic pre and then bringing it out and running it through another piece of $130.00 crap is not going to get you where you want to be.
     
  5. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest

    Yes I have and yes it can be a great thing. It all depends on your converters and the quality of your outboard gear. If you're using high quality A/D & D/A (Mytek, Lavry, Apogee, etc) and you have outboard gear that's worth it's salt of decent build and quality (usually but not always the pricier gear), then it is a very real and useful option.

    I still get a sound from my CL1s or ADL 1000 that I cannot get from soft plugs. I also feel better 'cause I'm getting more use out of 'em ;) . It's not always practical to use all the gear you want to or in fact need on the way in when tracking. I almost always need compression after initially tracking and love the quality of my outboard compressors. It would be a shame to be afraid to use them just for fear of venturing outside the box.

    Again, however, the key is having quality AD & DA as each time the audio is translated the impact can be quite detrimental with average to middle quality converters. Phase of stereo tracks, high frequency smear, etc can be a bitch and the cumulitive effect of multiple conversions on multiple tracks can be quite degratory.

    Likewise why go out in the rain to buy a raincoat....translation....why potentially degrade your audio for a cheap outboard compressor just because it has a window in the front which displays a glowing, low-voltage, tube. A nice plug-in might many times sound better on that track. You gotta love the sound of your outboard gear. Use your ear. In the end experiment...and sound is king....if it sounds good it is good.

    Also if you decide to do this please note : adjust for the delay offset of the track induced by sending the track through the external effects loop. You need to figure out the delay of the signal path and adjust for it by nudging the track back in time and compensating for the resulting delay to bring it back in step with the other tracks. This alone will really screw things up if you don't fix this. Good luck....

    p.s. - just so we understand each other....1) Yes I do this and the results are fantastic....2) No I wouldn't do it with your current gear you've listed...get a decent compressor and perhaps then it would be worth it. Listen to the other fine people here.....get a decent mic pre and microphone (some of the MXL's aren’t all that bad...I've made good use out of my 2003 for specific uses and the Shures are obviously fine for their uses). Try and avoid your temptation to buy Behringer just for their price point. Unless they luck out and get a great "magical" combination of cheap components all you're gonna get is what you pay for....cheap sound with frequency footprint artifacts that are many times undesirable and unflattering. Trust your ears....All IMO of course....I don't like slamming manufacturers or dealing in absolute generalities as a rule...cause I'm usually guaranteed to be wrong at least once...
     

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