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DAW mixdown via analog console?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by GrievousAngel, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. i know many are using tape returns on analog consoles to excape the digital bus.

    do feels high-end line amps are needed?

    what are ya'll using aout there? suggestion wanted. i have a Tascam M5000 which of course can handle the tape returns, but ow good are users finding is needed to get a good sweet mix?

    later,

    Billy
     

  2. This all LOOKS like English, but I can't make out a word of it. Are you on the crack pipe Billy-boy?

    ~S
     
  3. no, not the crack pipe, but since your imagination is a litle weak, a real 'shotgun' may be too much for you?

    yea, i had a few too many type-os as i was in a hurry to get to a live sound gig as we do live sound also.

    to re-post:

    i assume many DAW users are using analog line amps for mixdown to avoid using the digital bus in your DAW of choice. the big weakness in digitally recorded and mixed music at the moment is digitally summing many sourcces into a stereo mix, i.e. the mix never sounds as good as the multi-tracks did when playing back. many use 1/2" tape for stereo pre-master & master mix and mnay of us less forunate ones re-ply on analog channels for mixdown. the DAW automation and FX's just playback via the DA to tape returns on your console with faders maybe at nunity gain.

    i was asking for opinions of who is doing this and what line amps/mixers are ya'll usimg with good results.

    PEACE,

    GrievousAngel
     
  4. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    The "common wisdom" on this is that if you're coming back out into a prosumer mixer, such as a mackie, or a sound reinforcement board, or a soundtracks topaz or equivalent, then you're really not going to hear the advantage that external summing CAN provide.

    The M5000 can be pretty noisy, so you might be in that boat too.

    A board that has "weak rails" can fail to give you that advantage also. (the amount of current that a channel can draw, limits its ability to respond to big transients/dynamics...although this is decidedly less of an issue when a DAW is the source, as compared to a multitrack, where you might be able to bias the tape to get a usable +12dbu or so off tape.

    Some people who "know better" have nice words to say for some of the newer passive summing boxes. There's certainly a truth to the idea that while a piece of wire may never improve a signal, it certainly cannot screw it up the way a poorly designed fistful of active components can.

    So this has turned out to be a non-answer. sorry about that.

    dwoz
     
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    There is no real problem in using the Digital mix bus in your workstation software. The problem is not paying careful attention enough attention to record, playback and mix levels in software, just as the same problem exists in hardware. Careful attention must be paid to "gain staging", whether it's in the Digital or analog domain. Sometimes I will fold back the output from my workstation through my Neve console just to get "that flavor" and/or the equalisation. Yes it's "degrading" to go through multiple analog decodes to re-encodes unless you have a specific reason to do so. Is this is still a non-answer?
     
  6. Statick

    Statick Guest

    at our place we take 24 line outs from the G5 into a soundcraft 2400. everything stays in the analog domain until mixdown time. personally i think it sounds great.
     
  7. mattsyson

    mattsyson Guest

    Hi there
    I would suggest that ITB and analog summing both have issues.
    ITB the stereo sum is difficult to achieve zero latency and a lot of jiggery pokery is necessary to get everything to 'line up' to the correct clock sample. This extra work has the potential to mess the sound up. With Analog summing the latency problem is virtually non existant as all channels are close to identical (unless a lot of EQ or whatever is added) but if care is not taken to keep the signal high enough to avoid noise then you must be aware of running out of headroom. With a good 'summing device' desk or simple mix box this should not be difficult to do. By de routing anything that is not needed most analog desks should mage at least reasonable summing devices (that is what they were designed for).
    Matts
     
  8. Statick

    Statick Guest

    also, at my old place, i took stems out to a soundcraft ghost - nowhere near in the league i'm operating in now, but it still sounded great. to my ears, the transition from mixing ITB to on an analog board made massive improvements in quality. its also good to have a certain amount of restriction placed on you - it forces you to work harder and improve techniques. mixing ITB i feel gives you far too many tools and choices that in many cases make up for bad technique.
     
  9. thanks for all replys.

    what about some of the high-end 8 channel mixers with summing in a 19" rack setup. Buzz Audio has some new proucts like that and is it Circle Studio??? that also offers mic/line amps modeled after API, Neve, etc? they offered it in an 8 channel version or single units i believe. i wish i could remember the exact company name.

    i am reseaching using the Tascam DVRA1000 DC/DVD as a Master recorder being feed from a analog source as we are discusing. i now use Wavelab and Waves Master Plug-ins with internal CDR burning. i am not real happy with the results but is OK. the playback in Nuendo always sounds 'bigger' than after Wavelab at least to my ears.

    who feels 1/2" tape is the only answer for a great master?

    later,

    Billy
     
  10. theron_day

    theron_day Guest

    I have a variation of the question. ..something I have been scratching my head over for a while. Any input is greatly appreciated....my question is this:

    Instead of mixing ITB and doing an audio mixdown of all the sequencer tracks to a stereo .wav file (summation by the DAW), you play your sequencer tracks through your 2 channel output soundcard onto a 2 channel analog tape. Is there a difference? Meaning you are not doing the actual stereo mixdown ITB with the sequencer, you are doing it with the analog tape. Or is the summation occuring at the soundcard since you are coming out of the soundcard stereo anyway???

    Gosh Im stupid, but I've gotta ask...

    Theron
     
  11. hello theron_day,

    i feel printing the stereo mix in real time to analog or digital will not give much improvement as the digital summing of 4 to 8 to 32 channels has already put its finger-print on the mix (but printing to 1/2" tape i'm sure would help some though).

    i don't understand the fawls/technical side of digital summing, i.e. whether its phasing or what-ever but something does change. i guess means the math is not quiet understood yet??? why would a great DA converter care? math/digital in; music out.
     
  12. theron_day

    theron_day Guest

    Grievous,

    I have noticed that there is a difference when I print to tape (from the sequencer versus doing the stereo mixdown (.wav/24/44.1) within the sequencer.

    Guess what I am asking, am maybe I am confused here is when I print to tape, what is doing the summation since its coming out of the soundcard as a stereo mixdown. I assume its the soundcard instead of the sequencer?

    I am getting ready to upgrade to Cubase Sx3. This may improve the sound image, since I am currently using Nuendo 1.6? Who knows?

    Thanks for you input...

    Theron


     
  13. mattsyson

    mattsyson Guest

    Hi there
    I think the maths is understood but the practicalities of getting 4/8/16/?? 24 bit numbers to be added AT THE SAME TIME is tricky and takes a bit of thought. The various algorithms to do this in a 'nice' sounding way will contribute to the perceived 'quality' of an ITB mix. A classic fault from early CD players was that the left and right channels had a clock cycle or so delay resulting in 180 degree phase reversal at 15KHz. Sounded terrible if you did a straight mono mix (for AM radio). Now you need to sort this out for many channels at 24 bit resolution and possibly 192K sample rate. Try emailing AMS NEVE or Mackie and see how they do it.
    Matt S
     
  14. theron_day

    theron_day Guest

    Grievous,

    I have noticed that there is a difference when I print to tape (from the sequencer versus doing the stereo mixdown (.wav/24/44.1) within the sequencer.

    Guess what I am asking, am maybe I am confused here is when I print to tape, what is doing the summation since its coming out of the soundcard as a stereo mixdown. I assume its the soundcard instead of the sequencer?

    I am getting ready to upgrade to Cubase Sx3. This may improve the sound image, since I am currently using Nuendo 1.6? Who knows?

    Thanks for you input...

    Theron


     
  15. theron_day

    theron_day Guest

    Grievous,

    I have noticed that there is a difference when I print to tape (from the sequencer versus doing the stereo mixdown (.wav/24/44.1) within the sequencer.

    Guess what I am asking, am maybe I am confused here is when I print to tape, what is doing the summation since its coming out of the soundcard as a stereo mixdown. I assume its the soundcard instead of the sequencer?

    I am getting ready to upgrade to Cubase Sx3. This may improve the sound image, since I am currently using Nuendo 1.6? Who knows?

    Thanks for you input...

    Theron


     
  16. yea, i understand. it's actually the 1/2" tape is helping that much, but the digital summation is still in the 'box'.

    yep, i can dig it is trick to get a accurate handle on summing 24 channels of 24bit at 88.2 in stereo!

    i always heard that Paris (maybe my luck) had a fairly good summation bus in that product.

    Billy
     
  17. theron_day

    theron_day Guest

    You state that the summation is occuring ITB, but exactly where?

    When playing through the stereo soundcard onto tape, you are not doing an audio mixdown ITB with the sequencer and forming a stereo mixdown audio file, you are simply playing an open session in your sequencer and its the soundcard that is doing the summation. Get me......I do hear a difference from the two...

    Best
    Theron D


     
  18. gilligan204

    gilligan204 Guest

    Grievous Angel

    For awhile I was returning 24 channels from Digital Performer, thru a MOTU 24i into a Tascam M3700 (automated) console, and mixing to 1/4 tape, sounded sweet,

    Generally everything was recorded into the computer, thru the board, then, edited and f'd with.

    On more difficult mixes, with lots of fader riding, those channels were returned stero into the board at nominal, all muting was done virtually, but the basic mix, compression, eq, and verbs etc was done on the board,

    the other bonus, is that a lot of the time I had a mix happening on the board as I was tracking, so i just built from there.

    the only shitty thing about this , if you have to go back and remix for whatever reason, it takes awhile to get it back to what you had, which of course is the bonus of working in the computer.

    I liked it, and it sounded good (just for the audio guys, the board was unbalanced rca, from 1/4 balanced outs on the motu) but whatever works, dude.

    (like an idiot i dumped the board, and motu, for pro tools, and mic pres) and I wish i could have it back !
     
  19. gillian204,

    (assumming ITB is 'In The Box')

    did you use ITB plug-ins & DSP on a card FX's or outboard FX's during analog mix?

    also if running automation ITB (like maybe with Nuendo), you still had to ride the analog mixer faders often? so placing the mixer faders at unity and setting the ITB faders at same level does not necessarily result in proper fades, etc?

    PEACE,

    Billy
     
  20. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Billy -

    The external boxes from Buzz and Dangerous are AMAZING for summing boxes. I strongly recommend them (particularly the Dangerous - available at http://www.mercenary.com) It's a bit cheaper than the buzz and does not include the pres - it's just a summing mixer. I think SPL makes one too that's really quite popular.

    BTW - for all others out there -

    There have been numerous tests to show that the summing buses on ALL DAWs is the same. I don't agree that all DAWs sound the same, but the summing buses have been proven to sound exactly the same.

    J.
     

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