Recall and automation in a hybrid system.

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Paul999, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    I use logic and in a perfect world I know exactly how I want to recall mixes. I would be able to freeze tracks with an I/o plug on it and I'd be done. However logic doesn't do this.

    I can't record on aux tracks so that rules making stems when I route tracks to buses. Bottom line you can only bounce 2 mono or 1 stereo track at a time when bouncing in real time.

    I can create new tracks that I send a track that has a hardware insert on it to record onto but then aux sends are not brought over. I could take the audio from the new track and move it to the old one bypassing the plugs and automation all of which is a pain and is messy.

    Any suggestions on a neat and efficient way of doing this would be helpful.

    Is there a DAW that allows freezing of tracks with hardware?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hey Paul, can you explain this a bit more? I'm not familiar with Logic or their terminology but as you know, I'm into this.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Not sure if this helps but I use two computers and analog in the middle. I don't go ITB and OTB on the same DAW/ session. I never use the DAW for inserts. When ITB, I say ITB until I am ready for the analog mojo.

    Do I have this right, You are creating a track that has automation ITB and are sending it OTB, doing some analog mojo and returning it on the same session as a new recording track, yes?
    Or, are you simply doing the same thing as above but inserting your hardware into your DAW in realtime. Using the DAW like a console with inserts? Doing the round trip per-say.
  4. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Sure I can explain this more. I am using my daw mixer as my console. I have each piece of hardware on its own set of converters. I use the i/o plug which send the audio out to the hardware and back into the channel while compensating for latency. This means I can use my hardware as a plug in on the daw channel. Ie. I can use a daw HPF/LPF then condition with a little compressor plug send out to an analog eq through the i/o plug to an analog eq and then back in on the same track I can clean up with a DAW eq and then run f/x off of the 8 auxes available to each channel.

    I hope this makes sense. The only issue with this is that recall is very tough. As a solution for recall I could take any channel that has an analog i/o an re record it onto a new track. I don't like this. Especially in very big projects.

    I don't like not being able to clean up after the analog mojo part of the mix. For me I condition things in the digital world send it out to analog and then clean it up back in the digital world.

    I've thought about the two computer thing but the disadvantage is that then I'd need to buy all new licences for my waves and other plugin packages to get the same results and work flow I have. I require digital plugs and automation as the last link in my chain.

    I hope this helps
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I'll share something that may seem off track here but I think it relates to the bigger picture that may help.

    The guy I sold my MixDream uses his console and Pro Tools rig like that too ( like most studio do). We talked for a few hours sharing methods. He described issues he has from the "round trip method" and the big one was phase created by less the than desirable latency compensation calculations. He heard better when he tweaked things beyond the latency compensation plug and where you are now. Unlike most people noticing this, he said he noticed sonic changes every time he increased or decreased CPU usage.
    I don't do the DA AD round trip like that so to be honest, it didn't interests me enough to be able to repeat back what he did to alleviate this all, all in the name of preserving automation etc. The jest of it all was, I avoid the round trip like the plague.
    After I told him what I do, he emailed me a few weeks later thanking me. All I can say is the difference in clarity using a second computer set me on a new path.

    How I came to using a capture DAW and I'll be a brief as I can here.

    If you follow mastering engineers, many use a capture system. There are also some serious mixing engineers who do this as well. And like the old days, we used a two track to mixdown on. So, a capture system seems pretty logical. Just because the DAW does all this stuff, doesn't mean its great at everyone in one box. The benefits are broad.

    Some Mastering guru's use a DSD to capture. I've always followed mastering methods because hybrid summing to me is really a modern mastering rig designed for mixing and tracking too.
    So, I bought an DSD MR2000BK to capture my mixes. It doesn't get better than DSD however, I got thinking, WTF am I saving my mixes to DSD when its going online anyway and I have to convert it back to PCM. Who has DSD playback systems and really, who care about archiving something that sounds like todays mix anyway. Its kind of stupid to me.
    The idea is DSD is the closest thing to analog but if you are doing the round trip, you just killed half of it anyway.

    I'm not doing all this for just sonic glory either. Its workflow and volume I'm getting too. I'm not interested in mastering pre-say, but I do want the benefits of what they do. So, I invest in gear gear they use so I can end up with better online tracks. I also think I don't need so much gear either.

    So, for archiving, I say right on. But for me, and in two years things change enough that I don't want or need something like that anyway. The DSD thing is a step backwards to me so I got thinking about buying a second DAW. Something that I can capture my analog mix at 44.1/16. The second DAW doesn't even need to be fancy because its hardly working.

    How I hear it. When in digital, stay in digital. When in analog, stay in analog. I don't mix and mash single tracks like that. You are introducing the enemy. Everytime you go back ITB you loose the benefits of analog. To me, its like putting a drop of oil in water. I think you gain huge benefits when you take the DAW stems out together and glue them in analog and then turn them back into digital without performing any SRC or any dithering.
    The biggest things I notices are better imaging, tighter center, wider mixes, more sheen, bigger bottom end and volume.

    Monitor it all on the second DAW. You will hear things like never before and you will find you need a lot less of everything.

    I know this costs a bit but I will never return back to one DAW again. My set-up is pretty high end but it can be had for a lot less and still achieve stellar results. If you took it all away from me, I would use an older computer or laptop, something that was cheap but could run a the mastering software, and a two channel AD converter that would allow me to hear everything at the end of the chain, just before the upload or CD is burned.

    So basically what I am saying, I don't have this problem because I go in one direction. I have inserts on my DAW but they never get used for analog gear.

    I know this doesn't help your immediate issue but I have a feeling something closer to this direction might open up new ideas for you.
  6. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    That is a great post! I am not nearly as concerned about listening for the effects of DSP usage on my material because I know I do not here that in shootout and I have gotten frozen and non frozen tracks with high DSP usage to null. I do hear the effects of phase with the latency round trips etc. I've been mixing purely ITB the last few weeks and really enjoy the phase staying locked. I pay pretty close attention to phase when I am using my DAW like I said but it is far from perfect. Careful attention to routing and latency settings makes logic really good in this regard. I've been able to mostly null a track that is in the computer and simultainiously going out my converters through my console without any eq and back in through my Convertors. I can treat one side of overheads ITB and the other side OTB and not feel weird as I do it:cool: I am not saying you are wrong about anything you mentioned. I am saying I've investigated to the point that I am satisfied with the quality.

    Here is my solution. I have a mixing template that I use and it covers me so that I can use a controller and have my channels always be the same so I am not hunting down which channel is which. I am going to add a track beside each track that I can use as a freeze track. I will save 12-buses so that I can route the tracks I want to freeze to the tracks I'll have set out. I'll have a lot of dummy tracks but I'll acclimate quickly. I'll be able to copy the track settings and automation I need to. Freezing 12 tracks in real time is often faster then freezing 12 tracks with heavy DSP.

    I may still go towards a 2 computer system. I've considered it for a long time. I really appreciate the extra point of view. It inspired me to start thinking differently.

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