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Quality vs. Convenience

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Ang1970, May 1, 2001.

  1. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by GK:
    Hello,
    So it was established that it was pro tools chopping off bits from the pt fader moves wasnt it?
    What if pro tools is the only automation / mixing possible? Would it make a difference to the sound if the all faders were as close to zero as poss and the master was low down, or the master was at zero and the faders were all over the place?
    I would love to have the luxury of a big desk and 2" to compare. But i have to make do.
    G Kennedy


    GK,

    First, you should establish for your own knowledge to what extent lower levels coming out of PT will affect your mixes.

    You might find the difference is not much a stumbling block. You could then proceed with your automation out of PT console faders at unity and not worry about it.

    Or, you might find it unbearable. You would then have to put PT faders at unity, and get your mix levels on the board.

    Here's where it gets interesting.

    There are a couple options for automation.

    The first one is easier. You might not have a heck of a lot of automation going on, and only need to move certain channels, keeping the basic elements constant. For example, you might only need to ride the lead vocal track or a guitar solo. Automating just a couple channels in that way will not compromise the integrity of the mix to a great extent. Unfortunately, you will still have to take copious notes to recall fader and eq settings on the board.

    The second option is to automate old-school style, with a new twist. They used to make a bunch of takes on 2 track, and splice the best parts together using good ole' razor and tape. You can do the same thing with PT, sort of. Print the mix back to 2 tracks in ProTools, making your fader moves as you go. If you need to change a level or make a mistake on a ride, rewind and punch in. When you have all the rides right, you can sit down and adjust all the splice points so the whole thing is seamless.

    Hope that helps.
    Cheers,
     
  2. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Or using GAIN under audio suite to gain-o-mate your mixes. I know, I know, this will raise your noise floor.... So do fader rides.
     
  3. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    GK:

    You can make great records on a 4 track cassette deck if the song is great, and the artist is great, and the players are the right players. The good news is, your competition is probably mixing out of Pro Tools too, so it's an even playing field as far as that is concerned.

    There are plenty of things that can make you more valuable than your competition, such as: A better sounding room. Being able to tune drums to sound great, maximizing guitar sounds and bass sounds. Understanding music, and recognizing weaknesses that can easily be fixed in a song. Understanding how to make a band or artist relax, or be agitated (whichever works best) enough to perform their best. Having a good head for sound, and the interaction of sound and frequencies. Understaning arrangement, and providing that understanding to your client. Understanding how to run a session smoothly and efficiently. Understanding song structure, rhyme structure, rhythmic structure, and what makes a great song. Understanding how to get the clients 'ear' or trust over time.

    These are far more important than the fact that doing rides in Pro Tools is less than optimum sonically. I just want people to be aware of the pitfalls of mixing in Pro Tools. Awareness can at least give you the opportunity to combat, or figure out ways to circumvent the pitfalls.

    So, figure out all that stuff, and you'll be working so much, a console will be small potatoes.

    Mixerman
     
  4. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi GK,

    << So it was established that it was pro tools chopping off bits from the pt fader moves wasnt it? >>

    No ... Or rather, yes:- but only under certain circumstances. Lets say that you want to record and edit in PT but take all the individual channels as direct outs so that you can mix on an external mixing desk. PT will truncate the output of every fader before it is output. It is better in this situation to leave all PT's faders at unity.

    However if you are mixing within PT, the fader outputs are passed on to the mix bus, which has 56bit resolution and no truncation is performed. In this scenario, for highest quality, you should manage each channel's output levels from the channel fader.

    In short then, PT works exactly how one would expect, provided you know the basics of digital recording. If you are mixing externally leave the faders at unity, if you are mixing internally put the faders wherever you want.

    << Would it make a difference to the sound if the all faders were as close to zero as poss and the master was low down, or the master was at zero and the faders were all over the place? >>

    The master fader acts as direct outs when you are mixing within PT and is therefore truncated. For this reason it is better to leave the master at or near unity.

    I take it that you got your information off the DUC? The DUC can be a dangerous place for the uninitiated and even sometimes for the experienced user. A lot of new users buy into PT as a professional tool expecting to be able to produce professional quality mixes. There is then a certain amount of disappointment over a period of time as they gradually learn that PT is just a tool and that to produce professional quality mixes requires the experience of a professional. Too many people get the wrong end of the stick and are drawn into finding fault with PT to explain why their mixes don't sound like the big commercial releases. Another classic example of this "DUC fever" is the long standing debate about PT's mix bus and dithering.

    Hope this helps,

    Greg
     
  5. MMazurek

    MMazurek Guest

    I had asked a well known chef once... "What pans do you like the best? Money is no object, I would like to 'invest' in the best I can afford."

    He answered... "It doesn't matter really."

    He saw me like this... :confused: ...and said

    "You or I aren't doing our job well enough in the kitchen if someone can taste the equipment. You make do with what's around you. Yeah, the ingredients are important, but a good chef will be able to cook on sheet metal if he/she has to."

    I felt REALLY dumb.
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    MMazurek, good answer.

    :cool:
     
  7. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Originally posted by MMazurek:
    I had asked a well known chef once... "What pans do you like the best?"

    I like panning my hat to 10 o' clock, my shaker to 2 o' clock. But seriously, Greg hit the nail on the head. While people were bitching & wasting time talking about how you could never mix in pro tools on the DUC, I had top ten hits that were tracked & mixed entire in pro tools. DUC & other message boards seemed to be getting a little too textbook & not enough experence.

    E to the Cue
     
  8. Felix

    Felix Guest

    Originally posted by e-cue:


    I like panning my hat to 10 o' clock, my shaker to 2 o' clock. But seriously, Greg hit the nail on the head. While people were bitching & wasting time talking about how you could never mix in pro tools on the DUC, I had top ten hits that were tracked & mixed entire in pro tools. DUC & other message boards seemed to be getting a little too textbook & not enough experence.

    E to the Cue


    yes, the duc is really getting tedious and petty. i'm on RO today for the first time since i registered quite awhile ago. i regret that i forgot about it, until reading a post from some jack-ass slagging on a refreshing response from the "editor". i'm pretty sure he was referring to RO. either way, here i am!
    anyways, i often find myself thinking in terms of MMazurek's response when scanning many of the numerous nit-picky threads on duc.
     
  9. DSL

    DSL Guest

    This is funny. I've only been here one other time when RO was a topic in the DUC. Here I am and have to say that I like for the most part of what I've read. The atmospherer is professional.
    Even though I'm a gearhead I know it is all about good music, good players and knowing your tools.
    Before I professionally got into audio I owned a construction company and the saying was always "A good carpenter never blames his tools."


    I like this place and I love my Pro Tools :)

    Digital Sound Lab :)
     
  10. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Sure, a good carpenter never blames his tools. But would a good carpenter buy a peice of $*^t tool that is bound to ^#$% up the job?

    I think not.

    Mixerman
     
  11. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Originally posted by Mixerman:
    Sure, a good carpenter never blames his tools. But would a good carpenter buy a peice of $*^t tool that is bound to ^#$% up the job?

    I think not.

    Mixerman


    Biased are we?

    just a joke.
    Hey Mixerman,

    How are you doing. I haven't heard from you in a while. Give me a shout-out some time.

    Oh...and by the way peoples...more and more I'm getting results with PT that dare any comparison as to whatit was recorded/mixed on/with...of course it really doesn't matter unless it's a great song of course...otherwise it's just work. But then I like my work(when I can get it) so that's fine too.
    It's the Artists and NOT his brushes that paints the Picture.
    My $20(what does two cents buy you these days anyway!)
     

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