Routing analog & digital audio between two DAWS

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by kmetal, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    I'm doing the planning for my new system.
    I have magix samplitude pro x, and I'm considering protools HD12.

    Magix would be the main capture/compose/edit system due to high track count and clean coding.

    PTHD would be primarily for mixing (mainly volumes and panning). Since it does 10 video tracks and 7.1 it's the unfortunate (expensive) choice.

    Basically id like to pipe the edited audio from Sam into PTHD via the digital outs RME babyface -into- focusrite Scarlett 18i20.

    I've been told in the past 'once it's digital, it's digital' but after learning I've seen there's room for coding and error rates.

    I'm just curious if this is a 'safe way' to move essentially finished tracks into the mix daw. PTHD does 64 audio tracks/10 video tracks at 192k. This is where I'll combine the audio and video.

    I alsk will have magix movie edit pro premium which handles 4 camera angles.

    So I'll be piping audio and video from the magix to PTHD.

    Eventually I'll be able to afford Sequoiawhich does many things particularly on the broadcasting side that I'd like. But I'm
    About 3 years away from that.

    Basically is there a better way to pipe audio over than re-recoding via the digital outs? Is simple drag and drop from my NAS drive better?

    Is there a better software combo? A different method to do what I'm describing? I'm open to any ideas.

    If PTHD isn't needed I'll get the regular version to open my old projects. It's only limited to 1 video track however.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You are going to have so much fun once you get this all sorted and tuned up for what you need.
    I would say, go either way.
    I wouldn't bother with Pro Tools at all but if you are getting tracks with plugs already part of their mix, stems etc... then I would indeed have PT ready to use. That being the way it evolves, I would then use Samplitude as your mastering DAW. But, if you ever build a system that functions like mine, you can move audio all over the place and use either DAW to do what the other just did. Neither are one or the other. They are both fully capable to be a tracker, summer, master system. And that's when it all gets amazing.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yea man I'm very excited. PT is in consideration becuase of its video functionality. That's the absolute main reason. It's a big expense for the functionality. The alternative would be media composer for the same price but with Hollywood level video stuff.

    Having 2 high class audio programs kinda seems overkill or a lot of investment for those 10 video tracks.

    Not a matter of saving money, rather not buying redundant stuff for no reason.

    What are the key(s) to your rig that allow such ease of moving audio around? I decided as soon as a heard your rig years ago you were on to something. It's just finally time for me to take the plunge...
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Is it becuase it's all MADI?
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks. It is cutting edge, and so much fun too. But so is ITB. And Samplitude is amazing just on its own.

    Being uncoupled and a Cat5 cable lol. Having a 3 way monitor system and 2 independent converters. Its so simple, yet so fluid and logical.
    The monitor controller is the key component because it allows me to listen to each or all area's.
    Having digital patch-bays allows me to switch gear on the fly as well. I never need to unplug things. That being said, I now do not need gear anyway. Samplitude has everything but a Bricasti. I sold all my consoles now. They are all dated technology imho. Two DAW's makes the study and manipulation of audio, easy. Being able to hear what you do in all sections, make it possible to work this way. Uncoupling un ties your hands.
    kmetal likes this.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Am I understanding you correctly, that you are very interested in reampling. Thus why you like the idea of analog mixing?
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I choose PCIe MADI interfacing because it was the fastest and most stable interfacing for the Orion 32. Before that, I used AES EBU with RME PCIe AES32 . That is excellent but it wasn't an option for the Orion. I used better converters than the Orion but I needed 24 channels and to get another 8 channels it would have cost me another $10,000 so I dumped my 16 channel AES system for the Orion 32. Its good enough.

    I am very serious about composing and sound design too. I am also a two channel at a time composer so my interfacing and clock has to be dead locked. I require an interface that makes overdubbing flawless. PCIe MADI and the Orion works. USB sucks. Plain and simple.
    FW also sucks. so Madi or AES is really the only option for PC based DAW systems.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    PCIe interfacing make mixing 32 AD DA tracks go flawless. PCIe with either a Madi or AES EBU interface has been the only way I could get there without compromising my workflow.
    Under 8 channels, FW or USB seems fine.

    Internal clocking is the only way to go. External clocks like the $6000 10M ending up looking like a patch for the unaware guys using rats nests. I always have better results without external clocks and a PCIe interface. Plain and simple.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm 'over' analog mixing unless I've got the whole she bang. I'm super into digital these days particularly w recall, and the plethora of delivery formats. I want the ability to cater the mix to different formats like sound cloud screw tube guy tunes Ect. cd quality has somehow become obselete. I'm interested also in super high sample rate as a final delivery, since computers and devices can just play them for the most part, although I have to verify that.

    Re amping in the analog realm is gonna be done by a radial jd8 I belive is the model. It's a purpose built re amp box that splits out to 6 amps and has two instrument inputs.

    That said I'm just as interested in the amp sim plugins some of which sound fantastic. That's why I'm using a dedicated computer/interface for it so I can run in standalone mode and have low latency reguardless of what the tracking daw buffers are at.

    Thanks to vsl pro player I can use a whole other computer to run my vsti's and effects. It essentially turns an additional computer into a huge dsp processor/instrument. With the option to add no additional latency or buffers. This helps keep the tracking daw running within a responsive buffer and reliably. Vsl pro player was the biggest pleasent surprise so far this year, I thought I was just buying a cool sample library. Turns out it allows you to runs plugins and pipe audio via Ethernet. Eliminating things like propreiteru pluggin formats (ehem AAX)

    I just 'thought' I needed some sort of analog mixer between my tracking/mix daw and my capture daw. Ideally the thing has no knobs or anything. I want a 'straight wire' approach to the summing thing.

    I won't have budget for summing/master outboard for at least 3 years.

    Being in surround I'll probably avoid this all together due to high channel counts (7.1)

    I'm actually frustrated with lack of recall of old sessions and plugins so I'm going the opposite of analog mixing. Essentially a fully printed unedited final region. I want to be able to bring the tracks/stems into any mixer or daw and set the faders at unity and have my mix.

    I am just missing a piece between the 8ch interface and the 2ch

    No monitor controller yet either, another area where 7.1 is killing me. I basically need two, or just get used to 7.1 and the monitor controllers 2ch sum.

    Right now I'm gonna just switch via the interfaces remote app and plug two diff steroe sets into each.

    The Orion I was looking at is thunderbolt. It's latency spec is killer, I am concerned w overall stability both sonically and tech wise.

    Again w such high channel counts via multiple 7.1 references, and chamber mics/re amp type things for natural ambiance and re amping vsti and all that the Orion is the only one that came close to real world for conversion as far as price vs quality. Burly would be well over 10k and aurora around 8k.

    Tracking is mostly for fun or add ons as far as actually micing things up. Most will be virtual. My main concern is the da for mixing.

    Never done it any other way, not planning to. I'm moving towards a 3-5 PC setup by the time I have dedicated orchestra and drum pcs, so clocking to the tracking daw is how it's done in that case.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Wow.... That's a cool workflow Kyle. So... if I've got this straight, you're saying that with this VSL program you mentioned, and using an Ethernet connection between 2 PC's, you can use one PC as your production platform and the other PC as the DSP host?
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yeah if I understand it correctly that's how it can work. Vsl player is basically like a host for instrument tracks. Where you can load vsti and use the effects inserts. The huge part is they allow you to set busses and interface as the I/o for the track. So you can send audio through that vsl channels inserts. I could be wrong but that's the way it seems in the descriptions and videos.

    This really is super amazing! They push they're 'Mir' reverb pretty heavily on their site, and I pretty much ignored it as extra until recently. I think it might end up my go to reverb. It's a pretty advanced convolution reverb where they took IR from various locations in real places and basically let you move your instruments around on a virtual soundstage. Seems like the best way into high sample rate surround reverb as far as cost vs performance.

    @1:45 it gets relevant. Around 2:30 he states you can use veinna pro server to host all your plugins as a virtual effects rack.

    @4:40 it kinda quickly shows how to do it. Stating you can route audio to and from your host daw/sequencer

    The first couple minutes explains the concept. It even allows you to have both Mac and PC running together! The rest just demonstrates how to run it.

  12. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member


    I have three (video) monitors if I want, 2 computers, and @audiokid turned me on to the two daw idea and said to I've been doing it (this English guy in the last vid is a trip) I have a couple q's now.

    I looked into VSL once bc of how fantastically amazing it is, but it was hella money. IIRC $2k for the full boat? Hot damn is it nice though. I can't imagine that's dropped to $.02 lol.

    From what I've read the daws don't seem to matter. Eg. I have Logic x and PT10/11. Seems like those will work fine, or I can just use the same thing on both.

    What I'm a little unclear on is what the separation gains you? The last vid on this page, I'm with him up until about 4:40 then he starts talking about it. So, is it simply that you you can use one computer to run all the VST's, plug-ins etc, but it tracks to a different daw, that has no plug-ins and therefore more power on tap? If that's the reason, I get it...I just want to make sure i'm not missing something. Or is it that too many plug-ins, cause errant 0/1's and it's how you avoid that?

    Also, I haven't noticed this anywhere, are both computers are plugged into the DAC e.g. with firewire? Or does the slaving just make the slave tracks come through the monitors? It seems like if they were both plugged into the dac you wouldn't gain the full benefit?

    I think I'm almost there, and I'm actually kind of already set up to do most of this. I never saw the virtual effects rack part of vsl. I've never heard of a virtual effects rack ever actually. That would be nice. Logic comes with some decent plug-ins. To be able to use them in PT (I prefer PT) would be nice.

    I will go keep reading.

    Oh, and I found this rack porn, maybe AK's, dunno, I found it under his name? Either way it's gonna take me 10 minutes to clean up the drool.

    Can anyone tell me (ballpark) what that room right there would cost? I'm asking bc I'm totally ignorant about all that, but that looks $$$$!

    P.S. I have read a fair amount about it, but a lot of it is just so far over my head. Like the thread by you @audiokid about hybrid daws. My vocabulary in this field is not as good as yours. I read that thread and vertigo kicks in lol. So, I may just ask a bunch of smaller q's
  13. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    You mix in one and capture in the other. Allows for mixing & processing at higher sample rates and capturing at say 44.1 /16 bit for CD without sample rate conversion issues.
    Two sets of converters are for coming out of DAW 1 and one going back into DAW2. Firewire is one option.
    I can't speak for Chris (@audiokid ) who owns that set up, but for something along the lines of a set up like that I don't think you would get away with spending anything less than 6 figures.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    It's an expensive endevour to get the full kit. I purchased the VSL pro 5 player on sale for $180, plus $30 for the veinna key license dongle. The player, which is the part that hosts vsti and plugins, and a basic but great sounding set of samples comes with it. The audio fidelity imho cannot be touched by any other orchestral sample company. You get what you need and want and can afford.

    Vsl player is different than a decoupled/mixdown 2 daw workflow.

    The vsl player allows you to basically use an additional computer connected via Ethernet, and allows you to host vsti and use audio plugins on a seperate computer to take the load of the daw. This comes in handy w cpu intensive plugins an vsti's.

    I'm going to use my vsti computer(s) to host vsl orchestra, and BFD, which are fairly intensive. This lets me keep buffers low on the main daw.
  15. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member the guy above (last vid posted in this thread), that is not a true dual daw system? Or at least not what audio kid and a couple others here are doing?
    Oh....sorry @audiokid, I thought you were just posting a pic, I didn't realize it was your room. I wouldn't have been so rude to ask how much had I known. But wow...what a space man. It makes me teary just looking at it.
    $210 isn't so bad.
    So, for $210, would that get all the benefits of a dual daw system? Or you still need 2 contverers and the summing mixer?

    I think what's confusing me is that the vid with the English guy demonstrating VSL seems to be doing, essentially, what a dual daw setup does?

    I think maybe my brain just needs a lil break before I cycle back through the info as I'm ending up with more q's instead of fewer. I appreciate the patience. You guys are hard to keep up with!
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    No worries, its worth mentioning because it is an amazing system. Only because you asked, I put about $130,000 USD into it, had another $60,000 in various gear I didn't end up using because ITB was superior to my ears. I've sold about half of it and am going in slightly different direction. My focus is still 2 DAW's, passive summing as a character section with Sequoia for both DAW's.
    2DAW's rocks and you do not need to invest in all that to achieve sonic excellence.
    A lot of what you see is also for tracking and mastering. Most everything in that picture was used for tracking, mixing and mastering. Its setup to be used in any direction at a click of a mouse.
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    These are two seperate concepts BJ.

    The video is showing how to have a dedicated computer for virtual instruments and pluggin processes, that is connected to your main daw computer and session.

    Think of it like having a a Dsp card, or outboard effects processer, but it's a computer instead. The video illustrates a way to ease the load on the daw computer, for heavy hitting vsti like BFD and vsl.

    This configuration is known as a master/slave computer. It's common to have more than one slave computer for running full orchestra software synths for movie soundtracks. Lol I think Hans Zimmerman runs 13 computers at once. Don't quote me on that but i seem to think I saw him say that in an interview.

    The 2 daw system Audiokid employs is for completely different reasons.

    It is decoupled, meaning the two computers are running seperately, as opposed to master/slave where there running as one big computer.

    In the decoupled daw system the summing mixer is the link between them. The general idea is to make use of the summing power (headroom) of analog, instead of the daw master bus, and to avoid SRC in the box.

    So you make a mix in daw 1 send it broken into stems thru the summing mixer, and record the mix as a new steroe track in daw 2 at whatever sample rate it's going to be delivered in.

    Your basically re-recording your multirack mix in stereo, in a very broad sense.

    Boz and audio kid are the pioneers of this, I'm just a student of it, and don't yet have my setup complete to do it in practice.
    audiokid likes this.
  18. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    Wow, I think you answered just about every question I had/could have about it.

    I understand it now (at least to a point). That's why AK's setup needs two converters and the summing board. It's two, totally separated systems that meet at board. And the VSL master/slave thing is obvious now.
    I never thought about what my shorthand name would be when I chose it lol.
    I don't remember reading why that is a bad thing, but I will search SRC ITB. I know it's probably due to errant conversion, or at least inferior, but not sure why yet. It doesn't really matter bc the price is way too much for me atm.

    Thanks K, AK and everyone, I know it wasn't my thread, but I feel like I have a rudimentary understanding of the hybrid systems, and I feel like I understand the VSL setup.

    The VSL setup I could afford and benefit from very soon. I find it remarkable that you can use a windows machine and a mac together for it. Although I haven't kept up with the new OS's and their abilities so maybe it's old hat now.
    kmetal likes this.
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    as far as the SRC I Don't have an awsome answer. I think the key w the two daw system is you sum and SRC at the same time. Basically anytime you eliminate a step of processing in audio it leads to less degradation.

    I scooped vsl a few months ago, I haven't worked w it yet since my new setup is coming together gradually. They just came out w version 6 so now is a good time to buy. I'm gonna wait to upgrade to get some money's worth out out my version 5.

    The differnce is some navigation improvements to the gui, and they streamlined things more so you should see even better performance as far as cpu resources.

    I can't belive more people haven't caught on to the power of the vsl player as an effects/vsti host.

    I didn't even know it did that until after I purchased it purely for its sounds.

    In addition to the mac/win bridging, you can also run Vst plugins in protools which is cool. It really opens a lot of doors.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    exactly, and possibly correct or enhance any loss or exaggerations that might need tweaking as you mix into the master DAW going from example 96 to 44.1 at the same time.
    So in other words, mix into a final mix or master that is going from 96k to 44.1 while taking advantage of outboard gear while a conversion pass is happening, live. There is no guessing because you hear it all right then and there.

    There are a lot of advantages to the two DAW system. To put it blunt, it enables broader approach to learning, sound designing and experimenting everything from cause and effect to better control of what happens between the capture, mix and the online results.

    Passing audio between two DAW's is an advanced workflow. If you think one DAW is cool, two is dope. :love:
    kmetal likes this.

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