Mixing on a DAW ?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Paul Jenner, Mar 19, 2001.

  1. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    If I would like to perform my *mixes* inside a DAW, say I need some 32-40 inputs to mixdown, would this be possible on a pc dedicated to this task only, or am I simply asking too much given the current state of technology ?
    My plan is to mix the inputs, with EQ and noise gating on *every* track, compressors on *some* individual tracks, some fader moves et all and record it to hard disk (stereo only).

    Any insights much appreciated,


    Paul.
     
  2. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Duh, I meant tracks in 24/96, host based processing .... Sorry about that !


    Paul.
     
  3. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Paul, it is possible, but 40 tracks with plugins can be asking a lot of host-based - I really doubt even a 1.2GHz PC could do 40 tracks of 24/96 - 24/48 yes, but I doubt 96k. Hard disk streaming is another consideration - this is the equivalent of 80 tracks at 24/48, which, AFAIK, only Paris can do on PC and Mac equally, and PT on Mac - yes, PT is PC also, but I haven't heard good recommendations on the NT version - just check it first out if you go that route. Both Paris and PT are hardware hybrid to help processing. Paris provides 4-bands of excellent EQ per channel, dedicated, plus comps/gates/etc. for most every track (every track if you don't use any of the built-in reverbs, etc). Paris doesn't support 96k yet, and I don't know about PT. For what you are trying to do these are the two best options, and really Paris if you want to stay PC. Nuendo is a host-based option, but probably not with that many tracks at 96k. For 24/48 or 44.1 your options are more open.
     
  4. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Slight correction - since you want live inputs - Paris can do this with comp/EQ on each input, as I believe PT can also. 96k is still in question either way. Some host-based programs now support live inputs with processing (Logic for one), but for 32-40 tracks, you would be better to go with a system like Paris or PT.
     
  5. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Cedric,
    thanks a lot for your info. I already was afraid that 40 tracks at 24/96 including all the goodies (baddies ?) is asking for too much. I have this slight feeling that 24/48 is not the way to go, if you want to compete with good quality analog mixing desks.
    You see, I'm thinking about upgrading sooner or later from my current analog desk, which is of humble origins. Automation would be nice since I think my music will benefit from it.

    16/48 didn't cut it and 24/48 looks like an intermediate solution to me. I hear far to many cd's that sound like $*^t, you see.
    Upgrading more later than sooner looks like a possible solution to me, as processing power is increasing almost on a monthly base now and is getting relatively cheaper.

    EQ's and compressors and gates YES, reverbs NO, they will surely eat up too much processing power. Outboard reverbs is the way to go, IMO. That's one of the reasons I mentioned 40 inputs, you have to count in the sends / returns to and from these outboards .... I'm doing no more than 24 tracks at once usually, say max. 8 FX returns, and a little extra for expandability, that's why I mentioned 40 tracks.

    Anyone else who wants to share some insights ?

    TIA,


    Paul.

    [ March 20, 2001: Message edited by: Paul Jenner ]
     
  6. Solfatio

    Solfatio Guest

    You say EQ and Noise Gate on every track--and it sounds like you already do some recording. How do you do the noise gating and EQ right now? Have you considered tracking through your outboard EQ & noise gates?

    Also, although this might not work for your music production, most sequencers will allow you to group channels--so, you may be able to get away with making a few groups and running batches of tracks through them to take a load off your CPU.

    Any decent system right now would be able to handle 40 tracks running at the same time, with automation.

    Would it waste too much time to track your 24 channels, then mixdown your EQ/effects before continuing with more tracks? Or do you tend to do a lot of post-tracking tweaking with the settings to make your cornucopia of channels mesh together well?

    --Gabriel
     
  7. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Paul,

    Other than 96k, Paris fits the bill with 8 Aux sends/returns, expandable I/O, and I am sure eventually 96k/surround sound too. There are some standalone hardware units (Mackie, Fostex, Akai, etc) that say they support 96k, but as far as I know, true 96k converters are expensive - Mackie says 96k I/O cards are coming for the HDR24/96, but it will only do 12 tracks at 96k. Similar limitations will exist for any HD based system. The converters are the real challenge, as is getting your beautiful 24/96 mix down to 16/44.1 for CDs, unless you plan to stay DVD audio all the way and hope consumers follow suit. Many of the bad sounding CDs out there can be attributed to other factors than sampling rate and 24-bit. Good engineers and get some nice sounding mixes into 16/44.1. Bad engineers can make 24/48 sound like crap. 96k is great, but marketing is pushing it faster than pro audio engineers and consumers. Just my opinion - it will be here en masse eventually, but for now is more of an investment than a PC DAW. I would suggest looking into a system that is modular enought to allow you to move up to 96k, but provides high sound quality now and the mixing features you are looking for. There is more to a good mix than the sampling rate/bit depth - not to diminish the advantages of 96k, but you will get more going from 16 bit to 24 than you will from 48k to 96k today. Next year, or the year after that will start to change with faster HDs and CPUs.
     
  8. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Gabriel, thanks for the reply.

    I now record directly to two-track stereo via my 24/8/2 desk. EQ on all channels off course, just one or two seperate noise gates.

    I.m *NOT* looking for multitrack recording on a pc, just mixing (shall we say "live feeds") inside the pc. Then HD recording it to stereo off course, maybe 5.1 in the future.

    I have had a quick look at Nuendo, it seems like everything I need is inside there. Haven't done extensive listening tests tho.

    I just wondered if, given the current state of affairs, a pc could handle *mixing* those 40 tracks with all the goodies in 24/96. If this appears to be way out of reach for a pc, then why bother with a digital system, I just might be better off with a better analog board.

    I do not quite undestand what you mean by busing a few tracks. Buses are nice, sure, but only after individual EQ-ing ...

    Thanks,


    Paul. :confused:
     
  9. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Dedric, sorry about that "C" last time ...

    I still have my doubts about spending big bucks (for someone with my budget, yes, it's BIG bucks) for "only" 24/48.
    Some of the higher end EQ plugins upsample to 96 k first, then perform the EQ calculations, then downsample back to 48 k. There must be a reason for that. Some well known engineers indeed have reported that these plugins DO sound better, despite all the up / down juggling going on. Sure, there is more to a digital equalizer than the sample freq they work on, algo's for instance, I know.
    Maybe to you guys I come across a little blase talking about this 24/96 thing all the time when I'm in fact still a humble home recordist, but if and when I'm ready to upgrade the homestudio, I want something I will be happy with for longer than the first few weeks. As good converters come standard with this 96k sampling freq and software like Nuendo can handle it ..., you catch my drift ?

    Again, taking my time to make this decision might be best, like I said. In a year or so our precious little discussion may well be obsolete ...

    Good thing to discuss such a topic on this forum anyways, as "host-based 24/96" seems to be the thing we are all heading for in the not so far future :) Thanks for chiming in !


    Paul. :)
     
  10. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Paul,

    I think it is wise to plan ahead. What that means really depends on your goals and aspirations, and you do seem to have your eye on 24/96. There are some options now, with varying degrees of flexibility for the future. Nuendo with an RME Hammerfall or Dig96 card would seem like the best of the host-based options - although the analog I/O is still 48k. For midrange - the standalone DAWs I mentioned earlier support 96k in software with 96k I/O options coming down the road. That seems like a bit of a risk given the closed platform. Anything else is getting into a more expensive system up front. Hardware I/O will come for all of the systems eventually and software support is there now with most everything from Cool Edit Pro to high end standalone DAWs. Even if you started with Nuendo and an RME card, your investment isn't monstrous, so if you grow out of it even once 96k support comes along, you aren't too far in to change course. You are right though, this discussion may well be moot point in a year.

    The audio community "debate" over 96k isn't really whether it is theoretically better (math and Nyquist theorem tell us that on paper even without hearing it) but rather, is it worth the tradeoffs now in a consumer market that may well force broad acceptance of 96k to wait another 5 years or so? It comes down to investment justification.
     
  11. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Dedric,

    Even if a consumer format at 96k is not going to hit it big time as the next standard, 96k has it's advantages -as I see it- even when transferring to 44.1/16 for the end product.
    I have my doubts about whether DVD will be used for enhanced sound quality. With the ever decreasing quality of the average domestic playback system, mp3's and all, the tendency of the record buying public to look upon music as a very disposable product, who is going to hear / appreciate the difference ?
    My idea is that the traditional analog master tapes have always been at a level say 5 times the quality and resolution of the end product, vinyl or cd. Now, when moving towards digital format master "tapes", I see no point in changing that attidude: I'd say, why not keep your digi master / intermediate stages at some 5 times better quality, before squeezing it onto a consumer format, like it's always been ? After all, working with good quality gear is always easier than working with so-so quality gear (don't ask me how I know that for sure :) )


    Regards,

    Paul.
     
  12. Benoit

    Benoit Guest

    Hi Paul,

    If you really want to go the 96kHz way right now, there are other products on the market doing the job with a lot of comfort.
    The pyramix-workstation from Merging Technologies for ex. is already running up to 384kHz for realtime DSD-to-PCM conversion - I think it's one of the first worldwide doing this.
    I'm myself working more and more with 96kHz; the DSP-drain on the mykerinos cards is bigger, of course, but the last software version will allow you to link up to 4 boards together - giving you, by the way, the total of 64 physical ins & outs in adat format.
    EQ's and dynamics by Daniel Weiss, some more great stuff by Vincent Burel (especially his reverb Aphro V1 & a killer multiband-comp called C10), surround up to 7.1, DirectX-support (some of the Waves-plugs run very nice at 96kHz), on-board SMPTE, VITC, LTC & Wordclock reader & generator, and a very powerfull & intuitive editor.
    I'm running a dual-card setup on W2000 and a fast SCSI-controller - smooth like sugar.
    The stuff is of course quite more expensive then Nuendo & a Hammerfall card, but not so overpriced like a big protools-rig.

    Cheers
    Benoit
     
  13. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Benoit.

    >If you really want to go the 96kHz way right now, there are other products on the market doing the job with a lot of comfort.
    The pyramix-workstation from Merging Technologies for ex. is already running up to 384kHz for realtime DSD-to-PCM conversion<

    Would you care to elaborate a little more on this ? I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about :) Is this "pyramix" system host based ? :confused:

    > ... giving you, by the way, the total of 64 physical ins & outs in adat format.<

    Ha, but you need two ADAT style inputs to work in 96k, using bit splitting techniques, right ? If so, is this cumbersome in any way ?

    > ...(some of the Waves-plugs run very nice at 96kHz)<

    Aha ! Like for instance the equalizers or what ? I'm very curious to learn more about what works clearly audible better in 96k !

    >The stuff is of course quite more expensive then Nuendo & a Hammerfall card, but not so overpriced like a big protools-rig.<

    The latter is a good thing. I must add that, although Hammerfalls are *good* (I have one), a *great* system needs the better outboard converters, like the RME ADI's ?

    Thanks for sharing your info so far, Benoit.


    Paul.
     
  14. Benoit

    Benoit Guest

    Hi Paul,

    Sorry for not having been more specific...
    Pyramix is a DSP-based system running under W2000 or NT4, made by a small swiss company called Merging Technologies (http://www.merging.com), hold by some ex-Studer/Nagra-Kudelski engineers. They don't seem to be well-known in the US... ;-)

    "... giving you, by the way, the total of 64 physical ins & outs in adat format.<

    Ha, but you need two ADAT style inputs to work in 96k, using bit splitting techniques, right ? If so, is this cumbersome in any way ?"

    You're absolutely right: you'll have to split those 64 inputs into 32 for 96kHz operation. If you need more then this, I know that the soft will support up to 8 boards in a next release (8x16 ins/outs at 44.1/48kHz, the half at 96); there is also a MADI-version of it, offering 64 ins/outs pro board.

    "Aha ! Like for instance the equalizers or what ? I'm very curious to learn more about what works clearly audible better in 96k !"

    To me, the biggest audible advantages in working at 96kHz are in fact the eq's. Thanks to the Nyquist theorem, the filters sound much more sweet and analog (especially in high frequencies) running at 96kHz. I don't even talk about the same plugs roaring at 192kHz! ;-)

    "The latter is a good thing. I must add that, although Hammerfalls are *good* (I have one), a *great* system needs the better outboard converters, like the RME ADI's ?"

    Oh yes! I have a Hammerfall running with Nuendo too - definitely the best in this price-range.
    I'm using 2 Swissonic and 2 ADI ADC's for the moment; I've been trying some super-expensive stuff like apogee's or the merging converters called "Sphynx" - I'd say that the price gap is not proportional to the sound-quality difference - but there is one, that's clear.

    A DAW by itself has a sound of its own - not as audible as with analog gear -, but the plugs used are making a big difference. A lot of the grand-public VST & DX stuff doesn't sound that good to my ears...

    What are you going to hook up to your DAW? A 2" analog machine?


    Cheers

    Benoit

    [ March 22, 2001: Message edited by: Benoit ]
     
  15. Solfatio

    Solfatio Guest

    Originally posted by Paul Jenner:
    I now record directly to two-track stereo via my 24/8/2 desk. EQ on all channels off course, just one or two seperate noise gates.
    I.m *NOT* looking for multitrack recording on a pc, just mixing (shall we say "live feeds") inside the pc. Then HD recording it to stereo off course, maybe 5.1 in the future.


    I could be wrong here (not thinking of all the possibilities) but your method is:
    instruments->current recorder, then recorder->mixer->stereo tracker.

    To mix within the computer, I believe you would have to transfer your files to digital:
    instruments->recorder, then recorder->computer (aka mixer & stereo tracker).

    Correct? It sounds like you're looking at PC solutions (as opposed to Mac) which I'm not as familiar with the specifics, but it is entirely possible to mix within the computer that way. You would most likely end up having to transfer your files to the computer (essentially, multitracking them, but you would be multitracking from your current recording system as opposed to multitracking from live musicians), and then mixing down once you got everything in the box.

    There's another thread going on, over in the Pro Audio section of these forums I think, about the pros/cons of using your DAW as a mixer.

    The main problem with mixing inside a PC will be: once you load in 40 tracks and EQ them all individually, and add in other filters (such as noise gating), real-time playback will produce stutters. However, once you click on "export/mixdown audio," your computer will have no inherent problems throwing down any amount of tracks, with any amount of effects on them, without complications.

    I just wondered if, given the current state of affairs, a pc could handle *mixing* those 40 tracks with all the goodies in 24/96. If this appears to be way out of reach for a pc, then why bother with a digital system, I just might be better off with a better analog board.
    I do not quite undestand what you mean by busing a few tracks. Buses are nice, sure, but only after individual EQ-ing ...


    Yeah, that pretty much answers what I was thinking. If it's reverb, you could make 2-3 reverb patches and run your channels through there, but that's not something that yields good results when EQing.

    I think, to paraphrase simply:

    A PC will not effectively replace your mixing board. It will offer you a lot of extra possibilities, but the technology is geared towards: input all your tracks->work on your near-unlimited tracks inside the computer, mixing, effects, etc->export two tracks or burn a CD.

    With more than, maybe, 16 tracks of 24/96k you're going to have problems with real-time playback.

    Does that help clear anything up?

    --Gabriel!
     
  16. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Benoit, this is great info, thanks !

    >Pyramix is a DSP-based system running under W2000 or NT4, made by a small swiss company called Merging Technologies (http://www.merging.com), hold by some ex-Studer/Nagra-Kudelski engineers. They don't seem to be well-known in the US... ;-)<

    That is clear, I have never heard people talk about it on RAP ...

    > ... you'll have to split those 64 inputs into 32 for 96kHz operation. If you need more then this, I know that the soft will support up to 8 boards in a next release (8x16 ins/outs at 44.1/48kHz, the half at 96); there is also a MADI-version of it, offering 64 ins/outs pro board. <

    Good.

    >To me, the biggest audible advantages in working at 96kHz are in fact the eq's. Thanks to the Nyquist theorem, the filters sound much more sweet and analog (especially in high frequencies) running at 96kHz. I don't even talk about the same plugs roaring at 192kHz! ;-)<

    YESSS !, I knew it ! Ahum, in fact, I knew nothing but came to expect something along these lines as mentioned in my previous post.
    I don't quite get what old Mr. Nyquist has to do with it, but I do understand the part about "give those bit crunching algorythms enough meat to sink their teeth into". There seems to be a general consensus about the "more bits" part. I'd say: throw in some extra kHz to make the algo's happy who perform their very magic in the frequency domain in the first place ! That's more or less why I mentioned 24/48 to be an intermediate step (see previous post), not because I'm a spoiled rich daddy's kid ...

    > Oh yes! I have a Hammerfall running with Nuendo too - definitely the best in this price-range.
    I'm using 2 Swissonic and 2 ADI ADC's for the moment; I've been trying some super-expensive stuff like apogee's or the merging converters called "Sphynx" - I'd say that the price gap is not proportional to the sound-quality difference - but there is one, that's clear.<

    Very nice, Swissonic and RME ADI seem to be competitors in the same price range, right ? Now we are all here in this cosy RO place, if you can spare the time, any comments on the Swiss vs. RME ? Both are getting good press, so I've been told.
    Apogees *should* be clearly audible better, as they cost about 4 times an RME. I've heard more rumours about the RME breathing down Apogee's neck. Let's leave out the Apogees. They are WAAAAYY to expensive for me and I doubt if my music would benefit from them (more on this below ...). But, if anyone wants to give more details about why Apogees are King, please do so !

    >A DAW by itself has a sound of its own - not as audible as with analog gear -, but the plugs used are making a big difference. A lot of the grand-public VST & DX stuff doesn't sound that good to my ears...<

    Yeah, I know: sad story. Like 1 + 1 = 2 in every country of the world, this doesn't seem to be the case in DAW land ... I'm told they all do the math differently. This stinks ! (Who farted in the console ? This mix stinks, you know ....) ;)
    But, may I presume the bad VST mixes you hear have more to do with the people operating those systems than with the actual piece of software ?

    >What are you going to hook up to your DAW? A 2" analog machine?<

    Ha ha, get ready for a big disapointment Benoit !
    Hell no, the only analog reel to reel I own is a humble Revox B77 mKII (in a like new condition I must add).
    No, my music is solely made with samplers and synthesizers, controlled by Cubase on an Atari, to have them play all together, hence my "live feed 40 channels" - concern. Why all the fuss then about striving to have an excellent mixing console one day, you might ask ?
    Well, let me try to explain. Imagine an expert acoustic guitar player, gently plucking the strings, thoughtfully mic-ed with a Neumann, top notch pre-amps and all, this gives us an increadable amount of subtlety we have to preserve during the recording and mixing process, right ?
    Now, say a lead sound from an analog synth is never going to be that subtle, I know that, you know that. However, in my experience synth recordings need a godawfull amount of processing in order to sound right. A lot of EQ, a lot of dynamic controlling, to name a few, going on at my place. And gating would be nice. Those Roland analog chorusses do sound fantastic, but are also very noisy, you see ?

    Why is that ? Just a theory:
    With mic-ed acoustic recordings a skilled tracking engineer (not me !) can fiddle around with pick up patterns, mic selection and mic-placement to his heart's content. If done properly, these tracks virtually "mix themselves" (well, it is a catchy phrase, isn't it ?). Not a lot of mic placement going on when recording synthesizers, ay ?
    Also, say, a bass guitar: Left to right, front to back, top to bottom, bass guitars are designed to crank out one thing and one thing only: bass notes.
    Not so with a synthesizer. Although synthesists like me have their own preferences about which synth to use when time comes to program bass sounds (Mini Moog, Roland Juno etc.). Although these puppies are known as the "kings of the lower octaves", they are what they are: General purpose instruments / tone generators. If you're not processing carefully, Roland Juno bass sounds turn out to resemble a Juno strings sound a lot. Not very nice when mixing, I can tell you !

    Still not fallen asleep, guys ? I'm glad we do not have a moderator yet ... Apologies about the long posts, Benoit.

    That's more or less why I am concerned about the sonic quality that processing in a DAW will give me, even if it's "just" sampler / synth based music. O.K., I admit it, I can be a perfectionist at times. My current setup (and my chops !) will not allow me to crank out killer sounding tracks at the moment. However, it's getting better all the time.


    Paul.
     
  17. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hello Gabriel.

    (Look at my reply to Benoit's post, I just forwarded it.)

    >I could be wrong here (not thinking of all the possibilities) but your method is:
    instruments->current recorder, then recorder->mixer->stereo tracker.<

    No, sequencing all tracks so they play together, thus "live" feeds to the computer, which will only be used as an automated console (and writing / burning the two track afterwards, but that's the easy part ...). Not a lot of stress on my hard-drive though, just looking for how much stress is too much for a Pentium / Athlon processor :).

    >There's another thread going on, over in the Pro Audio section of these forums I think, about the pros/cons of using your DAW as a mixer. <

    Thanks, I'll take a look. These threads belong in this forum, don't they !

    >The main problem with mixing inside a PC will be: once you load in 40 tracks and EQ them all individually, and add in other filters (such as noise gating), real-time playback will produce stutters.<

    I already was afraid that this would be the case given the current state of affairs in pc world, with these amount of tracks and processing going on ...

    >However, once you click on "export/mixdown audio," your computer will have no inherent problems throwing down any amount of tracks, with any amount of effects on them, without complications. <

    I like to EQ etc. in realtime, balancing the eq'ed track against the others, don't you ?

    >Yeah, that pretty much answers what I was thinking. If it's reverb, you could make 2-3 reverb patches and run your channels through there, but that's not something that yields good results when EQing.<

    I spoke too soon :) !

    >I think, to paraphrase simply: .....
    A PC will not effectively replace your mixing board. It will offer you a lot of extra possibilities, but the technology is geared towards: input all your tracks->work on your near-unlimited tracks inside the computer, mixing, effects, etc->export two tracks or burn a CD.
    With more than, maybe, 16 tracks of 24/96k you're going to have problems with real-time playback.
    Does that help clear anything up?<

    Yes, that was my main concern. Will your story be different after you've read how I work (see above, sequencing and all) ?

    I thought it would be wise to ask over here, cos' Nuendo-ish dealers will only tell " this software package does 200 tracks, no problemo !" :(

    Anyway, the more we talk about it, the more I (and maybe others) will learn. This looks like the right place to ask such a question, much more peacefull than RAP.

    Thanks Gabriel,


    Paul.
     
  18. Benoit

    Benoit Guest

    Hi Paul,

    RME vs. Swissonic: sonically, we're talking about half-hairs. Not really relevant. Handling-wise: I'll give a plus for RME - the box has just more usable options (like TDIF connections & transfer between ADAT & TDIF-format for ex.). The Swissonic is very simple to use. The thing that bugs me with the ADI are the symmetrical jack-connections, which are far too close from each other.
    It might be interesting to test both of them in a wordclock-slave situation, and see how good the PLL's are! ;-)
    They both have good clocks - far better then the ones of an Adat, for ex. (which is running around 500ppm out of specs at 44.1).
    I had some problems with the resistances put on the TOS-link outs of the Swissonic - they were also out of specs, I had to change them. I think that the guys corrected that since.

    "But, may I presume the bad VST mixes you hear have more to do with the people operating those systems than with the actual piece of software ?"

    Sure, but...I did bad VST mixes too! ;-))
    I started with analog gear, and I guess I had to change my habits quite a bit...I wouldn't go back anyway, even if I still like to track stuff on a 2", transfer it into a DAW, and sometimes mix it on a big board.
    And I know some developpers who work hard at making _better_ sounding plugs! ;-)


    "And gating would be nice".
    Sure! ;-) But listen: I'm recording mainly accoustic music - jazz ensembles, classical music, contemporary, salsa, rock, you name it.
    Over the years, I tended to use less and less gating, but tried to use the spill in order to make the mix more alive. If I run into problems (like noise & hum), I'll usually try to use expanders instead of gates - sounds smoother to me - , or even better, to edit the tracks in my DAW - what is nearly as fast, and most of the time much more musical.

    "controlled by Cubase on an Atari"
    Yesss! I've been doing so many things with this duo...actually, those boxes had a charm that I miss with the actual machines.

    "Not a lot of mic placement going on when recording synthesizers, ay ?"
    ...mmm...if you have a good room, you could try to put a good speaker system in it, feed it with some of your synths, mike the place, and record it back...I do this quite a lot with sequenced drums - it brings a new kind of life in it! :)

    ">The main problem with mixing inside a PC will be: once you load in 40 tracks and EQ them all individually, and add in other filters (such as noise gating), real-time playback will produce stutters.<

    I already was afraid that this would be the case given the current state of affairs in pc world, with these amount of tracks and
    processing going on ..."

    Well, THAT's the reason why I love working with DSP-solutions. First, they operate much more smoother then native systems; and then, you might put some more cards in your system as soon as you start getting short with processing power. I'm not talking about the far better stability and latency behaviour...

    "With more than, maybe, 16 tracks of 24/96k you're going to have problems with real-time playback."
    With a native system, that's for sure! :)

    Cheers
    Benoit
     
  19. Paul Jenner

    Paul Jenner Guest

    Hi Benoit,

    >RME vs. Swissonic: sonically, we're talking about half-hairs. Not really relevant. Handling-wise: I'll give a plus for RME - the box has just more usable options (like TDIF connections & transfer between ADAT & TDIF-format for ex.). The Swissonic is very simple to use. The thing that bugs me with the ADI are the symmetrical jack-connections, which are far too close from each other.<

    Channel separation issues or just ergonomics ?

    >It might be interesting to test both of them in a wordclock-slave situation, and see how good the PLL's are! ;-)
    They both have good clocks - far better then the ones of an Adat, for ex. (which is running around 500ppm out of specs at 44.1).<

    RME claims to have state of the art clocks and PLL circuits. Would clocking from, say, an Aardvark be beneficially, with regards to the added expense ?
    I've heard about the ADAT sync problems. After a few tracks they are reported to be significantly out of syn ... I think ADAT's days are over now. Alesis sure made a helluva lot of money out of it, no need to look back, though ...

    >I had some problems with the resistances put on the TOS-link outs of the Swissonic - they were also out of specs, I had to change them. I think that the guys corrected that since.<

    So you do a little soldering yourself then ? Ever felt like upgrading the RME's analog front end, like opamps, power supply and such ?

    >Sure, but...I did bad VST mixes too! ;-))<

    Happens to me all the time, but I'm getting better at it !

    >I started with analog gear, and I guess I had to change my habits quite a bit...I wouldn't go back anyway, even if I still like to track stuff on a 2", transfer it into a DAW, and sometimes mix it on a big board.
    And I know some developpers who work hard at making _better_ sounding plugs! ;-) <

    Is this a convenience issue, or are you really satisfied with the sonic results you get from your DSP stuffed DAW these days ?
    What exactly do these DSP's actually do ? The maths like the Pentium would do on a host based system ? You have to rely on the proprietary algorythms then. Are these any good, compared with say, Nuendo or Samplitude plugins ? Are there any third party plug-in developers for your system ?


    >"And gating would be nice".
    Sure! ;-) But listen: I'm recording mainly accoustic music - jazz ensembles, classical music, contemporary, salsa, rock, you name it.
    Over the years, I tended to use less and less gating, but tried to use the spill in order to make the mix more alive. If I run into problems (like noise & hum), I'll usually try to use expanders instead of gates - sounds smoother to me - , or even better, to edit the tracks in my DAW - what is nearly as fast, and most of the time much more musical.<

    I think we can agree about this. In some genres gating sucks the life out of your mixes. But for my applications, no room sound and all ....

    >"controlled by Cubase on an Atari"
    Yesss! I've been doing so many things with this duo...actually, those boxes had a charm that I miss with the actual machines.<

    I see no point in sequencing on an other platform. Atari is fine, timing is rock solid, never had a single crash in three years of use ! Why change a winning team ?

    >"Not a lot of mic placement going on when recording synthesizers, ay ?"
    ...mmm...if you have a good room, you could try to put a good speaker system in it, feed it with some of your synths, mike the place, and record it back...I do this quite a lot with sequenced drums - it brings a new kind of life in it! :)<

    I knew you were going to say this :) For the apps you mentioned, it seems like a good approach. I have to try it myself sometime, but at the moment, I don't feel the urge.

    >Well, THAT's the reason why I love working with DSP-solutions. First, they operate much more smoother then native systems; and then, you might put some more cards in your system as soon as you start getting short with processing power. I'm not talking about the far better stability and latency behaviour... <

    As was to be expected ... BTW, I think you mean smoother etc. than *Host* systems ?
    What do these cards actually cost and how many would I need for 40 channels ? How do you get 24/96 from an RME into these cards, what kind of connector / interface ?

    Just curious Benoit, where are you located ?


    Paul.
     
  20. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Particualrly at the moment and for home studios, 96kHz is a bit of a red herring, little more than marketing hype. There are definately advantages to 96kHz but nothing that would be particularly noticable in the average home studio. A more noticable improvement would be to stay at 44.1/48kHz and add some quality outboard EQ, preamps, clock source, reverb, etc.

    For all practical purposes 96kHz is the future, but it's not the present. IMHO, the current batch of 96kHz systems are at the lower end of the market and cannot compete with the high end 44.1/48kHz professional systems.

    Greg
     

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