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Analog outboards place in a digital rig

Discussion in 'Recording' started by teddancin, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Hi, I've been recording for a short while now. I generally don't use many effects, and when I do, I just use software plug ins through samplitude or whatever.

    Ok, so I know how well good analog outboard can sound in an all analog setup. Being that I've heard how sweet the Manly vari-mu is, I really wanna at least start putting my RNC to work. Is there another way to place the RNC(or whatever analog outboard) in my chain without reconverting my stuff back to analog after I've already converted it to digital, and then having to re-re-convert the post-analog outboard signal BACK to digital? It just seems to me that you'd be losing a lot of sound quality with all that conversion going on. Feel free to reprimand me if this is a really silly question, as I simply have no experience with outboard stuff in a digital system.
  2. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    This is an area where I feel like I've stumbled onto a great solution.

    If you want to use the RNC (or any analog outboard gear) in a digital rig, D to A is obviously necessary. Either you put it last in line to limit the conversions, or you put it someplace where you go D to A to RNC to D again.

    The trick is to use something for the D to A back to D that sounds at least good, and this is where the majority of the soundcards/mixers with built in converters will add some "schmutz" to the signal.

    I got ahold of a TC Electronic Gold Channel (stereo preamp/processor) with some decent A to D converters in it (it's no Apogee but it's better than my 02R), but what's coolest about it is it lets me use the analog ins and outs as a send and return while using the digital ins and outs (spdif or AES/EBU)as the main i/o. I think their Finalyzer lets you do this also.
  3. Ted,
    The RNC doesn't have a/d d/a converters, therefore it can't be done w out going analog again. The RNC is a digitally controlled analog compressor, but the signal itself is analog. I use mine all the time and haven't had any probs w noise, etc.
    Cheers, Doc.
  4. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    I'm a little bit confused (what else is new). You're in the daw going to an analog board right? Can't you just come out of the DAW into the RNC then to the board?

    The finalizer puts a fat ass delay that I can't stand... if you go this route, be prepared to nudge your track foward in time to compensate.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Try tracking with the outboard. Learn to use compressors and make desicisions beforehand. It adds the sound to the track and once you get used to doing it you will be adding the right amounts of outboard to disk, reducing the need for and plugins, saving system headroom and making your system sound better at mix. Fats
  6. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    I second the vote to track with the RNC.

    I used to use an Eventide H3000 and just printed the resulting track and then nudged it to correct the latency, but it became a hassle so I ponied up for the Eclipse and the latency is gone/greatly reduced and not a problem for many effects.
  7. osmuir

    osmuir Member

    this is "bad practice," as it were...but i try to do all my analog device futzing on the way in, so i don't have to a/d-d/a thing. it sounds with anything less than great converters. it means you have to guess how compressed you want it later, etc...but i find it is worth it for me.

    too much conversion kills yr sound, so even the best outboard bacicaly becomes a gtr stomp box with a dying battery.

  8. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    On the contrary...i think it's absolutely great practice. Get those sounds the way you want them in the analog domain...as close to how you would want them at the mix...on the way in and you'll neever be happier. This means you can't undo things like bad compression...so...don't compress badly...get it right, and this is by far the best way iwth digital as your final destination. Even more so if you're going to mix "in the box".
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    An old topic worth reading once again. Seems I've come full circle. Kurt and RecorderMan are both spot on and after 8 years nothing has changed from my POV.
  10. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    i use my rack of analog equipment each and everyday from my Nuendo DAW, i mix thru my Neve 8108 and insert my outboard comp's/eq's that way then record the mix back to Nuendo
    nuff said..............

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