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"In The Box" bounce vs alternative?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lordtekken, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. lordtekken

    lordtekken Guest

    Hey all,

    I know Mr Foster speaks often on this topic . . . but here it goes anyhow ;). If anyone has knowledge bouncing software vs track summing in hardware or any other related advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I produce house music - and therefore use a LOT of line-level associated hardware, namely my vintage analog synths and various samplers. I am also an example of someone who has invested money in really nice mic-pre's [Avalon 737] and decent mics [Neumann U87, and a KM-150] for recording vocals. Everything else is just line level gear. However my mixer is the now seemingly ancient Yamaha 03d . . . which ALL my hardware runs into where it is converted @ only 20bit / 44.1 and then stays digital as it enters my MOTU 828 MK1.

    So here is the question: my tracks SOUND great in logic - as in the realtime software multichannel mix with all associated final track automation when played back realtime. BUT when i bounce these fairly large 40 channel-ish mixes down to a 16bit master .wav to throw on a CD - I am always running into some problems. Usually listening to the final master .wav in ITunes or any playback application sounds a bit muddy to say the least. I mean it seems virtually impossible to keep my entire mix hitting below 0db on the master outputs in software...if i drop my entire mixer levels, i find the final product is just so damn quiet, and I do not own any Waves Plugins yet. If it clips in the master Logic software output, oddly enough that is fine for playback - but disasterous when bouncing. I do not really like the Logic limiter plugins...any other suggestions? Maybe summing my mix in the 03d by running out the MOTU and back into a free channel? Maybe purchasing a cheap analog console like a mackie 2 take advantege of better A/D conversion [24bit 44.1 cause maybe the MOTU has better conversion than the old Yamaha? Does anyone know?] Which would result in a clearer overall mix? Maybe recording the mix realtime with some 3rd party application or piece of hardware?

    Those r my thoughts - but i think this is definately a growing concern for many DAW mixing/recording producers . . .

    Graham
     
  2. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    when you play the logic session back through logic you are using all the same mechanisms for mixing as when you bounce, so using an external mixer is unlikely to address your problem (at least as you described it).

    You say you are pleased with the volume on playback from Logic but not from CD or iTunes.

    I suspect that playback from logic and playback from iTunes etc are using different gain pathes. How is the computer hooked up to your monitoring system?

    where is the volume in the iTunes window set?

    In the end you need some 2-bus gain and limiting. What to use and how to do it can vary a lot depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Why don't you take your finished tracks to a mastering engineer and let them use some good gear to get the level you want?

    But based on what you said in your post I don't think this is a mix issue.

    Steve
     
  3. lordtekken

    lordtekken Guest

    yes, i agree with you that the answer to my problem may be to record the mix with low overhead and simply give that 2 channel master to an engineer 2 run through some nice gear and bring up the levels . . .

    however i guess to specify, i can clip by about 2db with no noticeable distortion in Logic, but when I bounce that mix it must stay at or below zero db.

    Graham
     
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    In your full mix some tracks might clip a little and not affect the overall sound- when you sum or bounce down to 2 tracks you have to make sure the master fader and your 2 trk sum does't clip or you will get distortion.
     
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    By the way in the controversy vs internal bounce and mixing externally it is a matter of the equipment you are using. If you send your mix out as stems into a quality console (say api, etc) it will improve because how the quality of your tracks is im proved by the console's electronics, not because it is inherently better to mix outside the box. if you send your mix out as steems into a crappy behringer desk I am sure your tracks will be seriously degraded,
     
  6. SOMM

    SOMM Guest

    Bounce to Disk

    Hi,

    Long time listener, first time caller :wink:

    I have a question regarding the "bounce". Hope its alright to insert in this thread. I'm a hobby recordist/guitar player.

    I have a PT HD system (recently upgraded from LE). I seem to have the same issue with the bounced mixdown not sounding the same as the multi-track playback. Specifically the .aiff is often duller/muddier than the multitrack and there is often an over accentuation of delay or reverb effects (inserted on aux buses) - i.e. they appear louder than they did on the multitrack playback. No inserts on the master fader other than a Dither plug-in. I had hoped this problem would disappear with the PT hardware upgrade - but please don't turn this into a Digidesign/PT bashing contest.

    I've played back the .aiff files on my home stereo, car stereo and using iTunes on the DAW computer through the same pair of good quality biamplified active monitors.

    I can't figure out what I might be doing wrong. Any advice?
     
  7. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    I'm fairly new to DAW software, but I run Nuendo. I usually either set-up Wavelab to grab the 2-bus L/R exactly as I am hearing it play off Nuendo, or physically patch the Soundcard's L/R SPDIF out back into the SPDIF In, and re-record this master SPDIF signal to a stereo track in Nuendo (the track must be muted or un-assigned form the main L/R bus while bouncing to eliminate feedback). This way, I am assured what I am hearing off the Main L/R bus (through the Monitors) is exactly what is being printed to the master tracks. Something like a Masterlink would aslo perform this task.

    TBH - I haven't even figured out how "bounce" a stereo master within Nuendo (I'm still learning Nuendo's feature set), so my methoods are more out of necessity. :oops: :cry: . I'm still in the middle of a format changeover and integration (slow going).

    This isn't the first time I have read about this issue - and not just with PT. I can't say I have experienced this phenomenon myself, since I always use my "workaround" methoods to get my stereo master tracks. My methood is probably a bit less efficient than the correct way to do this, but whatever works.

    :cool:
     
  8. DaveRunyan

    DaveRunyan Active Member

    I use Sonar 4 and haven't noticed any difference in the exported mix from the real time playing of the multitrack mix. I do however have to make sure my outputs to the soundcard are not overdriven. Even though there are no overs in the channels or the master 2 track channel it it still possible to overdrive the soundcard. Luckily Sonar lets you see the levels that are sent to the soundcard seperate from its 2 channel sum. I also make sure I export at 24 bit. Then I take that two channel mix and do what I need to. Sometimes nothing. Sometimes some limiting, EQ or compression. Then I export that file into 16 bit. Its a lot of work sometimes but It does sound good that way.
     
  9. SOMM

    SOMM Guest

    Bounce to Disk

    Thanks, appreciate both your input.
     
  10. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member


    This is just speculation on my part, but is it possible that you are mixing down your main bus along with your FX buses? I think this might be possible in Cubase so it might be in PT. Only your main stereo output bus should be selected to mixdown. Just a guess.
    I've had some "interesting" experiences with Audio Mixdown too; bleh.
     
  11. SOMM

    SOMM Guest

    FX's Buses

    My reverb and delay effects are inserted on stereo aux. channels which route out through the main outputs. The send level is controlled by the bus send insert on the track in question (say lead vocal) with the overall level of the effect in the mix also controlled by the fader on the particular aux. channel. I don't know if thats the same in Cubase or not. The bounce function on PT will mixdown all active tracks (anything that has not been muted or deactivated by turning off the "voice"). The control room monitors are feeding off the main outputs so I would assume that what I hear over the monitors is the same as what should appear in the bounced file but it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

    If the above is wrong, please fill me in.
     

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