My Future Hybrid Setup

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by ChrisH, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Hi everybody,

    My home studio is currently 100% in the box, API512 Pres, Vintech Pres, Apogee Converters, best of plug-ins, great mics, rooms, yadayada.
    Well, I'm sick of mixing in the box, tired of the sound, tired of no "hands-on-ness", working against the cleanness of an all digital setup (creating synthetic mojo/color), ect.. Yeah, I'm able to make great mixes ITB, please the client, so this is strictly for my creative pleasure and I enjoy working with an analog mixer, hardware, instead of ITB.
    I produce indie rock, folk, alternative rock, and so color and mojo is everything, very few things do I try to keep transparent, cause transparent isn't my cup of tea for what I do.
    This isn't a digital vs analog debate, everything sounds different, everything has its place.

    So, I come here for some suggestions for a 16-24 channel analog console, new or used, old or vintage, for around $7500 US
    No automation, cause quality automation doesn't happen in that price range as far as I know of, and I like live mixing with multiple peoples hand on the faders.

    I will still use my DAW and symphony system for the "tape machine", and for a while I'll have to use some plugins until I obtain enough outboard gear, but I will eventually use 99% hardware processing. After the DAW sends the individual outputs to the converters, to the analog board, summed to master bus, the master bus will then go to a separate computer with a 2 channel converter and "master" Daw VIA 2" tape machine.

    Maybe something like a MCI JH416?
  2. subhumanaudioproductions

    subhumanaudioproductions Active Member

    Congrats on going out the box. I produce basically the same type bands. I've been building a mini SSL4k and will add buckets of 8 channels as I go. So far I have 2 buckets w/ 6 E channels(black eqs),
    16 VU's, 16 VCA faders, and all center section cards except the mix amp cards that I finally found after a year of searching. No SSL computer , it sucks anyways. But I've been sending PT outs to channels 1-6 kick,SNR,OHs, bass etc.., do my tweaking and on board comps if needed back into to PT's until I run most of the tracks thru the channels. Them send stems back thru channels 1-4 (SSL) route them thru group out on channels 5-6 thru my GSSL comp clone , back into PT as a stereo mix. Sounds great and usable while I keep buying channels as I go. The point is I've got around $5k in all that, and soon will have a center section. So look into something like that where you can just keep adding channels as you go. eBay has channels all the time, sometimes really cheap. I love my mixes alot better, sounds punchier, width, and depth. I remember when I could only dream of having my own SSL, but back them $350k was just not my budget. This was my thought. There is many option these days and glad to hear that people are wanting hands on and hardware. Don't get me wrong, I love PT for editing and other things, cause I use to hate cutting tape doing edits. I had enough of that, but I would still do it. Get the MCI machine, but remember, alot of maintance. Good Luck and keep us posted.


    Recording 2 inches @ a Time(plus PT)
  3. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Great idea, I'd be fully on board with going that SSL route.
    Could you PM me photos of it? Or post on here. :biggrin:
    I don't get how you've built that for $5000 though?
  4. subhumanaudioproductions

    subhumanaudioproductions Active Member

    Here is a pick of 1st bucket, been working on center section today. The buckets have Dsubs for mic,line, insert send&return s, GRP outs, tape monitor.. ema7u5eb.jpg u9uqyryd.jpg

    Recording 2 inches @ a Time(plus PT)

    Attached Files:

  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Oh Boy, I'd like to be where you are !!! thumb

    A quick search on summing gear: you may want something like the neve 5060 : Rupert Neve Designs 5060 Centerpiece Demo | but it won't leave you money for more otb gear...
    Maybe the 5059 Rupert Neve Designs 5059 Satellite | but you also get short on cash when for EQs and Comps...

    A complete solution with 7500$ will be hard to find. You know, a Solid State Logic X-Rack with well chosen modules might get you a long way too...

    Thing is, sending all your track to a mixer is a great way to do when you have a API 1608 or a Rupert Neve Designs 5088
    but it can be a desaster if you get a cheap console that will degrade your signal instead of adding sweetness to it.

    You know instead you can mix it all in the DAW but send the mix bus to outboard gear to make it shine..

    Those are all just toughts... I wish I had the budget to have all that gear and speak of it first hand..
  6. subhumanaudioproductions

    subhumanaudioproductions Active Member

    Bought 1st bucket, just the frame-$300, upper,lower,fader bus cards-$700, bank of 8 VU's from a 9K modded by a friend to work on 4k-$300,8 VCA's-$300, 6 E series (black eq) channels-$2450. 2nd bucket with all bus cards $600, just have to watch EvilBay. I've waited for over a year to find the infamous SSL 4 mix amp cards. Metalworks, on eBay search there sells. They have 2 buckets w/all the bus cards done in them for around $2500, you can talk them down on price. There great people. Just have to be patient. It sucks this way but, ill have a console that I've always wanted that sounds awesome and can keep adding buckets , channels whenever I see a deal. I can keep adding..WhuuuHoooo!!!
    Love it.

    Recording 2 inches @ a Time(plus PT)
  7. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    That's an awesome setup. Great info from you guys, I appreciate the support.
    This console is a steal, right?
    Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More |eBay
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    trident consoles come in around your price range. they're respected as a good rock and roll console. something like a 65 or series 24 would be around 10k and hopefully have the upgrade on the power supply already, apparently the stock supply is undergunned, but it's common to upgrade it to improve the headroom overall on the console. around here it's like 500 bucks for the upgrade.

    while the concept of a component based console is a dream, i have to err or the side of reliable. just because of the sheer commitment in time to understand that level of electrical engineering to really know all the details, and be able to apply them. if you could get your hands on an amek, or a trident you'd be doing okay, for tracking. I think the biggest thing people slept on is eq on the way in. if you can clean or enhance a signal right away why not. people talk about pre's and compressors sonics for days, but nobody mentions eqs. even tho they can have such a huge footprint.

    i think your workflow preferences are gonna determine your equipment selection, i'm still getting a handle on the true hybrid system. is it gonna be for tracking too? or something as concise as summing mixer in a radial lunchbox?

    its hard enough finding people who want to record, i wouldn't use equipment that wasn't consistent in performance. Some gear has it's quirks, but if the quirks are consistent i just consider it part of its operation. if not, they are problems, and it's embarrassing when technical things go wrong, no matter how relaxed/intense the session. I'd just use something reliable, if my choice was 'diy boutique', or an amek or trident, i'll take a slight subjective compromise in sonics, for something that was manufactured as a unit and works as soon as it shows up. the people discarding boards like this, probably either came into it thru a family member, or was some sort of audio pro in a studio related gig.

    i will say that the recall of a digital mixer is an awesome thing. while they may not offer the change in sound your looking for in the pre's, the fact that you can instantly recall a mix the guitarist liked last week, isn't bad, especially if their paying for mix time.

    it's also seeming integral to define how the automation system is going to be incorporated, into your overall workflow.
  9. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Thank you, Kmetal. Always good information from you.
    To answer your question..
    The console would be for mixing as opposed to tracking.

    I want a console cause I can't stand mixing with a mouse, to me it's very restricting, loss of intuitive feel, anyone else feel that way?
    There's something highly beneficial about having the faders in front of you, having the song physically laid out in front of you, sort of speak.
    Specially with automation, for me at least my sense of feel and touch with the slightest volume adjustments is lost when using a mouse.
    So if I can't afford to get and analog console, then I will be happy to at least get a glorified mouse, something like a control 24 or smaller.
  10. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I have a D&R console that sounds great. Pres are fantastic, eqs stand well beside my tonelux and the API's I just sold. IMO boredom with ITB mixes is just boredom. Using the waves q-clone plug in showed me how much of my hardware is the eq curve and how much is the transformer. Most of it is the curve. For example I had a bunch of API 550b eqs, the waves 550b plug and the q clone plug. The q clone plug mimicking the curve sounded more like the hardware to me then the plug in emulation(wierd but true). When the hardware was not pushed into distortion they were virtually indistinguishable. Taking the plugin and pushing its signal into a slightly distorting API 512c sounded the similar or better to me then the hardware eq pushed into distortion.

    Ive vey been very much looking into a tonelux console. But clean summing is making less and less sense to me. My next thought(but likely not final thought) will be to get the most colored pres I can think of (chandler little devil looks good) buy 16 of them and mix through those into a neve 3316 with fader pack. This would be plenty colored.

    It is pretty tough to beat the workflow of a console when tracking and my current 30 channel setup is very fun. I'd look at another D&R in a heart beat. Also a used audient 4816 may be getting into that range.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    as far as nice little control surfaces, i actually really like the command 8. the faders have a decent weight to them. it can control plugins and stuff too, tho it's my cousins and i haven't used it for more than a few hours. Its been very reliable the past 5 years.

    the Mackie D8B is a digital mixer, w/ 8 channel HUI control. not sure if it works w/ PT or not, or what your using, but it's an affordable option, and a nice desk.


    ps- for a cheapo lil dedicated pluggin controller, the novation noturn cannot be beat. i have one and so does my boss. It works well w/ all programs, i mean the knobs are a bit wobbly, but we love the thing, it crushes a mouse IMHO

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