Hybrid/OTB - Limiting to 16 Channel Setup

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Matt Hepworth, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Matt Hepworth

    Matt Hepworth Active Member

    I've been running a hybrid setup for a while. My console handles 96 inputs for mixdown, but I only run 32 channels or less. I want to limit to 16 channels for a more recallable setup that stays in the sweet spot of the mix position (using channels 17-32 in the center).

    90% of what I do is rock projects. I need control and rideability, but also streamlined workflow. Really struggling getting it below 22 channels. Need suggestions! I suppose it would be similar to those running 16 channel summing.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's not clear what you are asking for: suggestions for a 16-24 channel line-level mixer? how to get your channel count lower? You also don't say what sort of budget you might be working to.

    Have you seen the new API "The Box" recording and summing mixer?
  3. Matt Hepworth

    Matt Hepworth Active Member

    Thank you for the reply. Let me try to be more concise.

    If YOU were mixing rock records primarily and wanted to limit yourself to only 16 sources fed to your large console (so you're always mixing in the sweet spot of the monitoring environment and have a quick, easy to recal mix setup) what 16 would they be?

    I am struggling trying to force myself having less than 22. 16 is really the target. I, like most mixers, tend to blend samples here and there with kick and snare on some tracks. Is it important to eat up two of the 16 channels for kick in order to have the real kick and sample on separate channels, etc.?

    What 16 sources belong on the console in this scenario to both a) have the most control and b) work the quickest?
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I may not be seeing the problem that you are describing, but I would have thought that when using a large-format console you have enough channels and facilities to create the necessary sub-groups that you treat as mono or stereo channels when mixing.

    I am thinking particularly of how I mix drums, which is often to get a good 2-track subgroup from however many input mic channels, samples and triggers it takes to capture the kit adequately. You then use the drum group as a stereo instrument in the main mix, and it only occupies one or two mix faders in the console centre position, depending whether you have stereo channels in your centre cluster. You may have to adjust the components of the drum mix for different songs, but that can be done off-line before the main mixdown.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    it sounds like you have a killer setup but need to add an independent summing amp or console (maybe line mixer as Bos suggested) plus a mix-down DAW. I talk about this all the time and this process fits you to a T.
    The mixdown daw is an addition step that you can bypass via "round trip" capture.
  6. Matt Hepworth

    Matt Hepworth Active Member


    Again, thanks, both of you. I seem to be a really bad explainer. ;-)

    I like summing through my console. I have 16 buses to use for the two fader drum balance approach. I can also take outs from buses so I can record ride passes, if needed.

    My console is 7-8 feet wide, but since monitors are midfield and near field, I'm way out of the sweet spot when using the far left or right of the board. The center is perfect. Master section just right of center, Channels 17-32 centerish, and buses 1-8 all within reach from the ideal mix position.

    I like to stay there. I really want to limit myself to 16 channels going through my console and outboard so I can stay right there. I record the main outs and also bus outs as needed back into PTHD. I really like the fast workflow of 16 real faders, EQ, and outboard comps and such.

    17 Kick
    18 Kick 2 (mults and samples from PT pre mixed)
    19 Snare
    20 Snare 2 (mults and samples from PT pre mixed)
    21 Hat
    You get the idea. Problem is with only 16 it's like the old analog days and I have to commit to something, haha!

    16 isn't enough, yet it's all I want.

    Tell me more about this mixdown DAW....
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, after that explanation, I think we were all a bit confused. And explaining, you must be a distant relative of mine. I am the worst on the forum for that, don't feel bad. If people still try and communicate with me after all these years, I get all warm and fuzzy. lol

    I'm still confused a bit though hehe but I'll pass that off to others.

    Your console sounds like a beast. How fun to say the least.

    I'm a broken record around here over the second DAW thing. And I blame this all on Boswell. He caused all this.
    Contrary to the mass, I never go back to the same DAW.

    If someone else can explain the reasons, It would most likely make better sense than my long winded posts. If you say it well, I'm going to make it a sticky or at least use the stuff that helps build one.

  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    you mean as far as room to reach ?
  9. DSPDiva

    DSPDiva Active Member

    Wow. If I had the money to buy a console with 96 inputs, I'd find an audio school to send you an intern to do all your recalling so you don't have to limit yourself to the 16 recallable channels. The only other thing to do would be to group your tracks on the board. Not everything has to be on a separate channel. Restrict yourself to 1 channel for kick, one for snare (basically no more than 8 for all drums) use a pair for guitars, one for bass and the rest for other instruments and vocals. You want us to give you an exact list, but that varies by project. Sometimes you only have 6 mics for drums, somtimes you have 10, sometimes its only accompanied by 1 set of guitars, a bass and sometimes you have a bunch of other instruments to work in. Just find what works for you.
  10. Matt Hepworth

    Matt Hepworth Active Member

    That is just what I was looking for. Thank you!
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Grouping track with similar transients is what I do all the time. The Stems then go out to specific hardware in the summing mixer (which can be your console but its not what I would call the best if the console is also being used in a round trip).
    Once the whole mix is in analog, stay in analog, do your thing, then head/ mix/ towards the sum that I always mix into a second DAW or capture system. I never mix back to the original DAW it came from (round trip). When you are OTB, stay OTB.
    Finish on a capture system either as a master or ready to me mastered. Just like the old days. Capture DAW = 2" tape.

    That's my recommendation.

Share This Page