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Routing signal with my console

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Sheehan-J, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Sheehan-J

    Sheehan-J Guest

    Hey, so I have a question about mix down with my Toft ATB16. I have it set up in-line with the signal being returned to each channel so I can mix OTB with the ATB's EQ, etc. I don't have it set up currently so that I can mix down to a stereo track, which is ultimately an issue, come bounce time.

    To explain my set up a bit, I have DP 5.1 set up to get signal from each of the 8 TRS inputs on the back of my 828mkII feeding from the channels on the console. Output is going from the 8 TRS outs on the 828, back to each individual channel on the ATB to mix/monitor... standard operation I guess. Basically my problem is I feel like I'm using all my ins save the two on the front with mic pres on 'em.

    Would it not work to send two TRS cables from the main outs of the console to the mic/line 1&2 on the front of the 828? I suppose from there, I'd simply record enable mic/line 1&2 in DP and play it through, correct? ...That is, obviously dropping the trim to zero on 1&2 upon input.

    I'm not sure, but this could be completely hair-brained for various reasons, which is why I'm looking to run this by someone so I can see if it'll work. I'm currently at school away from my studio so i can't actually see or test any of this myself. Being that it's late and this idea's been running through my head for a bit now, I figured I'd ask for a second opinion on my thoughts.

    Thanks for any guidance,
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    OK, from your description, you have some inconsistencies that are confusing. You are utilizing your console in an "in-line" configuration. So you are using it for its microphone preamps to feed your 828. That's good, great. And you're taking the outputs of the 828 and returning them as tape returns to your TOFT. But you're not quite sure what to do about a stereo mix down?

    As I see it, you really have 2 options. You can mix down ITB, since you have already gained the flavor of the preamps, reprocessed through the analog TOFT equalizer's. If you want that OTB analog summation mix down, you'd need to return your 828 from its outputs to your TOFT line inputs 1-8. The stereo mix from your TOFT is then sent back to your inputs 1 & 2 on the 828. Basically, the 828 thinks it's doing overdubs. It's really simple. You got it right.

    I also get the impression that you are somewhat irritated by proper signal routing & gain staging involving the 828? To some degree, that is the unfortunate part. But it's not horrible if proper padding & gain staging is observed.

    You really have the best of both worlds and can take advantage of both worlds, i.e. mixing in the box, mixing out-of-the-box, mixing around the box, mixing through the box, mixing with the patrons. You'll enjoy both results differently and marvel at the differences. Which one is best? Both.

    If this is not an answer to your question? What really is your question?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Sheehan-J

    Sheehan-J Guest

    Thanks Remy, that's as good an answer as I could expect (especially since my question really wasn't a question at all, just a request for confirmation).

    Anyways, I'm glad to hear that it will work the way I thought. The reason I thought to do it this way in the first place as opposed to simply mixing down ITB, was because I thought I couldn't utilize the Toft's EQ with an ITB mixdown, as the EQ was only being applied to the signal being returned to the console for mixing. I do realize that if I had the EQ on during tracking, it would have been recorded, but I don't have the luxury of that so much since I have the instruments and the gear in the same room. For that reason, I didn't think I could simply mix it down ITB unless I EQ'ed before hand or ITB as well.

    As for the part about being irritated by proper gain staging and signal routing, I suppose it's not so much irritation, but just general confusion. For this specific application, I was a little unsure whether or not I could get the line level mix into the 828 via inputs 1 & 2 without having to use the 828's pres on the way back in. That is something I obviously don't want to do so that was the basis for my question, I suppose.

    Overall, though, I am a bit befuddled by the proper gain staging to use with my current studio set up. The reason for my confusion has a bit to do with the different range of measurement of dB on the Toft as opposed to my previous Mackie. The LED VU on the Toft has the signal reaching red at 0dB but goes up to +16 dB and doesn't sound bad when it reaches levels that are well in the red on the console's VU meter. It seems as though I've stumbled into a different and probably professionally standardized system of measurement that wasn't utilized with my old mackie VLZ... something to do with the -10/+4db thing I'd venture to guess, but like I said earlier, gain staging/measurement isn't my strong suit as of yet. All I've done in the past is set levels conservatively, peaking at something like -18dB to -12dB to make sure it isn't audibly clipping anything, or visibly clipping in DP, and more or less play it by ear (pun intended).

    Frankly gain staging has been the most unclear aspect of my knowledge of recording audio to date. I know the general concept of what it is, but not so much how to go about implementing it for best results aside from leaving levels set fairly conservatively as to not over work the middle of the road converters in the 828. I know its a horrible thing not to know, so I'll immediately work on educating myself on the overall basics via internet reading before I ask you more questions about it... (which I will).

    Until then, thanks for the explanation of my options, I will most certainly work it out when I get home for the holidays and have some time to mess with it.

    Much Appreciated,

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