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Delay and Verb - ITB vs OTB

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ClarkJaman, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    I know a lot of you guys love mixing hybrid. I don't have the privilege of decent outboard gear. :(

    But if you had to be stuck ITB for either delays or reverbs, which would you choose?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    delays work excellent ITB. Reverbs too, but they consume huge BW. Outboard reverbs are still digital, but sound better OTB in a particular workflow. Delays, love them ITB.
  3. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    So you are saying you would rather be stuck to delays ITB? Just because of processing power?

    What about outboard spring reverbs?
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Without question. But, I want a good outboard delay too, but ITB is better for 99%. The ability to use delays in a timeline, synced to tempo's and controlled via automation is unmatched.
    Spring reverb, hate it. But that's just a personal.

    Outboard reverb, I use it to help the lost transients and regain space that can never be had ITB the same way.
    Makzimia likes this.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    not sure why you are asking but, I wouldn't buy any outboard processor unless you are ready to shell out $10,000 plus for the proper system that goes along with it. There is a reason people are ITB and why those who love OTB rave about it. Half way there doesn't cut it.
  6. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    So you don't use any non-digital reverbs?

    Don't worry, I'm not about to go hybrid. I wouldn't even know where to start.

    I was expecting you to answer delays, I just wanted to make sure. But here's what I'm really getting at. I've noticed in recent years a general shift from reverbs to delays in several genres of music. First of all, would you guys agree with this? And if yes, could this be because of the shift from OTB mixing to ITB mixing? We already established that using delays in a DAW kicks ass. I've also heard pro mixers talk about their magical decaste(sp??) outboard reverb units that cost more than my car, so there's obviously something kickass there too. I'm just wondering if I'm on to something here? The only hybrid mixer I know personally in real life doesn't use outboard delays OR reverbs, just EQs and compressors.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree, the 80's have come and gone. Also, styles and fashion evolve around technology. Build it and they will come. Digital reverb was a marvel in the 80s and like everything (autotune) it gets used until its overdone.

    Plug-ins and processing, we are all so sick of that now. Analog is returning and along with that will come acoustic music again.

    When you understand fads, its easier to understand why some things that don't necessarily sound as good, still become popular.Grunge and the sound of cheap or cooked ADC comes to mind.

    Turn on the tube and watch all the talent shows. Its all about vocals and music is in the background. If you want big vocals in your face, you don't get there using cheap itb plugin reverbs.

    I've been using timed delays to the beat before the algorithms were even created to sync to midi. Delays are beautiful, and so are reverbs.
    Reverbs and pads, is there anything more beautiful.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "I've also heard pro mixers talk about their magical decaste(sp??) outboard reverb units that cost more than my car, so there's obviously something kickass there too."

    Bricasti. The creme de la creme of reverbs. Unmatched, as far as I'm concerned, but, also very expensive.

    "I've noticed in recent years a general shift from reverbs to delays in several genres of music. First of all, would you guys agree with this?"

    Generally, yes. There are still plenty of hits out there that are using reverb, but, at least for now anyway, the days of the 2 second reverb on the vocals are gone. The 80's also gave us the awful DX7 "Rhodes" where virtually every single love song/ballad had intros using it - and Thank God that's over...LOL but, who knows? It could easily return. Styles come and go, and then, come again. The Fender Rhodes, Wurli EP and Hammond B3 virtually disappeared from the synth-dripping hits during the 80's, but all have since returned with force. Ribbon mics are being used again. You were hard-pressed to see one in use in studios during the 70's and 80's, where the condenser ruled. Digital has brought with it a desire to return to warmth of analog, and things like Ribbon mics and tube preamps have become popular again in an effort to warm things up...

    What comes around goes around. Both good and bad. ;)
  9. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    there are no otb delays that can match what plugin developers are doing, even free ones. Funny thing is, i like the sound of the ua space echo best, which is a hardware emulation. go figure ;)

    reverb could go either way, but the trade off with hardware is latency, but reverbs are so cpu hungry.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Just to clarify, Josh is correct, latency is an issue if you are doing the round trip.

    If you are using an analog console and mixing otb where all the tracks arrive at the same time, and use the console inserts like they are intended, there is zero latency. Its the ultimate way to hybrid processing/ otb.. Its a beautiful thing :)
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    ....Which is exactly why I've decided to not sell my Lexicon Prime Time DDL, PCM-80 Reverb, and other various OB pieces that include a DBX 163, two 166's, and a Roland SRV 2000.

    While they may be sitting idle and dark in a rack right now, that's not going to be a "forever" situation.

    Besides...I probably wouldn't get all that much for my OB gear on eBay anyway, so I'm hanging onto it until I can put it to good use again... and I won't lie... there's a sentimental attachment to those pieces as well. I've mixed a lot of albums, singles, and various projects using these pieces over the years. I feel like I'd be selling off one of my kids. LOL ;)

    Once I'm able to get into the hybrid route with a decent desk, I'm connecting all of my OB processing to a main frame 96pt TT Bay... which I also have in storage ( actually, LOL..I have 4).
    I may not be able to start out with what would be an optimum situation - like the Harrison console that I'm currently drooling over - I'll start out with what I can reasonably afford, that will benefit me the most.

    I've considered sticking to just channel strips, but I'm really missing the function - and tactile feel - of a real console. I don't even have any ideas in mind yet as to what I'll end up with, but I'll decide based on what I want to achieve and what I can best afford, when the time comes.


  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    That Harrison Console is choice. :love:
  13. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    im coming over to Donny's to turn knobs... ;)
    DonnyAir likes this.
  14. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member


    So Bricaste couldn't just put their reverb into a plugin? Is it because they need the specific optimized hardware that a recording computer wouldn't have? Or is it because they can make more money selling hardware units? Or both?
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A question many ask. Each Bricasti is equivalent to your entire CPU. So, impossible to use both in one box. And, it will surely continue this way because, as CPU increases, so will the algorithms that make this what it is/does. This is why these are so respected and priced accordingly.

    Bricastis are based around a powerful DSP engine that uses six dual-core Analog Devices.
  16. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

  17. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    And so I wonder if it's only a matter of time if there's enough processing power in an average desktop to handle running a Bricasti VST (as if they would ever make one!) that has the same quality as the current outboard Bricastis. A few years away? Which would be good enough for me, even if the hardware based Bricasti v.5 of the future was still too powerful for that scenario. I can dream.
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Never is a long time - many of the processors we use and take for granted now were mere pipe dreams less than a decade ago. I could see a possible scenario where Bricasti might make a VST based upon a proprietary DSP card, much like what UA does. Now... whether or not they choose to do this - or not - is another matter. If they are happy with the sales numbers for their current hardware line, then it might be a mistake to give the consumer a cheaper choice.
    In short - if they are selling satisfactory numbers now, why offer a cheaper alternative?

    On another note - I've used some Bricasti impulse files in a convolution shell (along with Lexicon, TC Electronics and Eventide) and while they aren't the real thing(s), I do like them, and think that they sound better than many of the other reverb plugs out there.

    The trick to using convolution is to resist the temptation to alter them much - in terms of EQ and width. Altering pre delay and wet/dry ratio is fine, but many of these impulse files start to suffer in quality if you start tweaking the parameters that alter the tone and space of the sound/impulse as they were originally intended to sound.

  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I tried explaining this many times with no success.

    I love the idea that I could be emulating everything on a laptop and sell out with no regret, however, the reason I continue with hardware isn't just for the sound of one or two external processors. There is a reason gear inserted in an external mixdown system works. There is also improvement when you take an itb mix and (for a lack of a better term), expand it using external hardware.
    There is also another benefit when you uncouple itb and use the swing of analog to influences the transients in a very natural (unquantized) way that shifts the audio without weird aliasing/ phase, then capture this after that fact on another system that isn't locked the the first DAW's SR, thus shaping and opening a sound or mix even further (should you choose to do so) via the aux or bus side-chain level. When you feed reverb between your digital aux's and send this into an analog insert, the reverb is also influenced in a way that creates shifting, sounding something to my ears like going from inside a house to outside. So far I've never heard this in a computer quite the same way. This is also another reason you need a specific 3 way monitor control system. You need to be able to hear as you are mixing into the capture. So, if you are going about all this on a budget, it simply isn't realist to expect much and therefore, plug-ins do just fine.

    If Bricasti stopped hardware production, and started making it as a plugin UAD style, I doubt I would even care. I would use Samplitude's stellar verbs instead and save my money, a lot of money ;) . Majority of those UAD plugins are a complete waste of money to me. Like a bigger closet for stuff you really don't need.

    The QUOTE of the day ( thank you Donny!) :
  20. ric3xrt

    ric3xrt Active Member

    Man the amount I learn every time I hit this site....
    bigtree likes this.

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