Analog Secrets, Digital Realm: Mixing

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by Kemble, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Kemble

    Kemble Guest

    Ye who are wise in the ways of science:

    I have made my way thru two books about mixing over the past 10-14 days. Behind the Glass and The Mixing Engineer's Handbook. (I love to buy a few rounds of thick java at the bookstore and read for many hours! :s: )

    The books had lots of interviews, tips, tricks, and thought process from producers and engineers who were brought up in the analog realm. But today's world is more and more digital. For the home studio musician, this is probably 90+% true (?) So how do rules for recording that were based on analog translate into the digital world of recording?

    Some of the specifics are simple, some not. For instance-
    One trick (NewYork Compressio Trick) is to bus the drums, send them out to compressors and and EQ, then back into the board thru 2 new faders. Does this work in the digial (Cubase, etc...) interface? How would one do this? (Mixdown the drums to a new wav, then use the effects on that channel? (?)

    One of the other issues is outboard gear? Where does the basement/semipro studio owner draw the line between plug-in (compression) and outboard (compression)? What are the effects on the recording?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Kemble

    Kemble Guest

    C'mon fellas, thats a great hook of a subject line with pretty good question content. And no replies?! Everyone on vacation? :D
     
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Jeff,
    OK, back from “vacation” …

    Some do and some don't. I have also found that using digital recorders and analog mixing is another variable in the mix. All three approaches have their own different idiosyncrasies. In DAW more than anywhere else I have worked, I find myself using the 2-Bus or subs to add compression. In analog console mixing I tend to use compression more on individual tracks. Do digital counterparts sound as good as digital versions? No … But once you’re "in the box" you might as well stay there. IMO, it does far more damage coming back out again and then going back in again (re-sampling). I think it just sounds better to use the comps in the DAW. In Cubase the stock VST comps, eq's, efx and ‘verbs sound fine. The trick is to use a little of the real thing going in. I use mostly the Manley EL OP along with Neve Amek 9098 preamps. I also have an UREI 1178 and a pair of Blackface LA4’s to add some “character” to different tracks. Taking a couple of dB’s off the top going in helps a bit and adds the vintage taste. If it needs more later add a bit of the DAW compression and it still has a bit of the EL OP/LA 2a flavor. …………….Fats
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  4. Kemble

    Kemble Guest

    Here's what I'm getting from what you said:
    We are here in the digital world. No going back from it, so embrace it. But I can't expect to get pro results by just picking up a good mic and preamp and going into the machine. Yes, it will work, but there is clearly that 'special somthing' that outboard 'old school' :D processing does. The 'sweetness' is added before the bits and bytes.
    So, I've started a fund for the LA2A. Good start? I figure a dollar a day for the next 10 years and I'll be set!
    Which brings this question- is there a difference between the original run of LA2As and the new reissue of them?

    (like the avatar?) (its my Ethan homage) :D

    JZ
     
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Jeff,
    I couldn't say because I have never had an old LA2a and a new one at the same time to do an a/b test. All the reviews I have read say the new ones sound as good as the old ones. Even between older units there are going to be differences and some will sound better than others. The Manley EL OP is a good alternative to the LA2a and you get 2 channels instead of one. It's pretty much the same circut except the Manley has an output stage more like a PULTEC. Manley calls it “sort of a LA2a on steroids”. I have an EL OP and I like it quite a bit. Another piece that looks interesting is the 610 pre amp and 1176 compressor all in one package from United Audio. You can never go wrong with API pres and they are still less expensive and a more clear cut decision than a lot of the Neve pres and clones available. Any API is cool but with the Neves your left to wonder if the 1272 are as good as a 1076 etc… To answer your question, yes it is very cool to use vintage and high end front end gear. Pres and comps going in is the way to do it. …. Fats
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     

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