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The never ending search for bigger/fatter sound in DAW

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JimmyG, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. JimmyG

    JimmyG Guest

    Hi Gang,
    I'll give you guys the set-up first. I track 75% real audio/25% midi projects to a mac hard disc medium. Pro studio(ie, I make my living at it)
    Concern- improving warmth/fatness on tracks & mixes, (ie the elusive big analog sound)
    Gear
    mid quality mics(Rode NT-1, AKG C-1000's/D-II2, SM-7, 57's, CAD,, ATM,etc)
    Direct to a Yamaha 01V(processing signals w/compression & EQ) thru the ADAT lightpipe (lightpipe output set @ 24 bit)to a Korg 1212 Card (I know, I know) to Digital Performer 2.72 set to 24 bit recording all @ 44k on a mac platform & mixing within the DP environment.
    Space - tracking room is 12' x 20' x 7'
    I've been reading responses to similar questions (thanfully before I went out & dropped $2500 on a highend mic pre) & have seen responses suggesting better converters maybe the answer I'm looking for. I have resorted to sending final mixes to my old Tascam 38 to gain some warmth & fullness after mastering another project that was recorded to a similar machine. Thier mixes as well as my old 8 track recordings had that "character", that after spending thousands on my digital set-up I still can't reproduce even though I have every bell & whistle known to man in my software arsenal.
    I haven't the budget for a big 24 trk ,32 channel console, etc, nor could get one in the studio if I did but I am in direct competition with the other pro studios in my area that have them,(thank god for ears), who have deeper pockets than myself & I need to spend $$ wisely. Like Fletcher says, "Life's to short to suck". I want to make my clients sound awesome, not just good.
    All suggestions for improvement on my set-up are GREATLY appreciated.
    Jimmy Graham
    INDEBASEMENT Records & Audio Productions
    Windsor, Ont Canada
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    May I suggest you get HEDD? It does exactly what you're talking about and then some. Check out http://www.cranesong.com/products/hedd/index.html for more details.
     
  3. Faeflora

    Faeflora Guest

    what about a fatso? would it be dum of me to have both a fatso and a hedd in the chain?
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Not at all. Fatso is like hitting tape on the way in, HEDD is a great way to get into the digital domain. You can process tracks that you've already recorded digitally with the HEDD, where you'd have to go D/A through the Fatso and back A/D which would not only sound worse, but give you even greater latency problems.

    The HEDD, in addition to being a great A/D and having the processing available is also a great D/A...so you really are getting the best of all worlds with it.

    The Fatso is an absolutely wonderful unit to put in the signal path as the last thing before the A/D converter. I kinda use it like a 'tape deck' in that regard.
     
  5. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    I can't imagine the O1V has great preamps, though they probably are workable. So think about pre's. The Sytek 4 chanel will probably be a step up, the Great River or Cranesong Flamingo a leap forward. If you can wait (I don't feel like I can for much longer) there's the forthcoming FMR Audio preamp, which I'd expect to be excellent. The Cranesong is pricey but about as "Swiss Army" as pre's get. Maybe the API four channel if you want really colored input for classic rock tones.

    Big analog sound is what you're missing and you're using the O1V to do compression? The RNC is great, but I think you're looking for more colored. I'd take a serious look at the Fatso if you want analog compression flavors and tape simulation, though the Distressor could also be fine for your ap. The fact that the Fatso doesn't do anything audio in the digital domain is a good hedge against obsolescence, IMO, but I usually buy pre-obsolescent gear as a hedge against upgrading and devaluation. :)

    The Speck ASC is the bee's knees for precise great sounding analog eq on a budget, so if you think you're losing anything by doing it in digital, look at a pair, but that'd be much lower priority in my mind than the preamps and eqs. The Meek/Art/etc. eq boxes are really just "warm" boxes, which I think is kind of frivolous unless that's the whole point. The ASC can do surgical, extreme, subtle, all w/o f*cking things up with phase shifts.

    Bear
     
  6. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    Originally posted by JimmyG:
    Hi Gang,
    Concern- improving warmth/fatness on tracks & mixes, (ie the elusive big analog sound)
    Gear
    mid quality mics(Rode NT-1, AKG C-1000's, CAD, ATM, etc.)
    I should point out that most of the mics you listed have a very hyped top end that will take your head off. Very bright and edgy. You might wanna rethink your mic collection.
     
  7. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    I use alot of ribbon mics along with alot of "old" tube $*^t, as well as great compressors.
    I try not to use EQ I'll move the mic first.
    I will filter the sub $*^t out though most of the time though not all.
    Mike
     
  8. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    Originally posted by miketholen:
    I use alot of ribbon mics along with alot of "old" tube $*^t, as well as great compressors

    Ummmmm compressors...

    Compression is your friend.

    Be at one with your compressor grasshopper.
     
  9. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    i wouldnt worry about the converters with what you have. you DEFINATELY need a good or several pres, they come in all kinds of colors. also like harvey said, widen that mic collection some. get a ribbon fercrissakes. and one good mic that deals with the HF content WELL would be of definate improvement.

    also mic technique plays a huge factor with digital sound, more so than analog IMO. really work the source to be fat in the first place, then get that mic sounding as fat and you are almost there. my tones can get so fat at times i gotta put em on diet pills... the happy medium eludes me sometimes.
     
  10. JasonCrouch

    JasonCrouch Guest

    Originally posted by Fletcher:
    I kinda use it like a 'tape deck' in that regard.[/B]

    First I see you on the Digidesign User Conference helping with guitar recording, now this?

    would you be doing some DAW work? Performer, ProTools?

    or are you just doing the required research we all find ourselves wearing our eyes out doing?
     
  11. bgroup

    bgroup Guest

    Originally posted by JimmyG:
    thru the ADAT lightpipe (lightpipe output set @ 24 bit)to a Korg 1212 Card (I know, I know) to Digital Performer 2.72 set to 24 bit recording all @ 44k on a mac platform & mixing within the DP environment.


    I might be mistaken, but I think I read somewhere that the Korg 1212 card's lightpipe interface truncates everything to 16 bits. So even though the signal in is 24 bit, and you're recording at 24 bit the 1212 might be doing nasty things that you don't realize! Can anyone else confirm this?
     
  12. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    ummmmm... Compressors...
    PYE
    Helios
    TAB
    Decca
    WSW
    Distressor
    Telefunken
    BA-6A
    :D Mike
     
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by JasonCrouch:
    First I see you on the Digidesign User Conference helping with guitar recording, now this?

    would you be doing some DAW work? Performer, ProTools?


    I've been working on DAW's these days. Not my 'storage medium' of choice, but a reality of modern living none the less. I've spent more time with 'Digital Performer' than 'Pro-sTools', in many ways I prefer Performer to P-T (my new Bomb Factory plugs that are supposed to work with Performer should be in any day now!!).

    This is why I've suddenly become a 'converter nazi'...it's a stone bitch to make these computer things sound like music. I mean they make rather cool typewriters and calculators...but it's been a motherfucker getting them to 'rock and roll'.
     
  14. JasonCrouch

    JasonCrouch Guest

    Originally posted by Fletcher:
    in many ways I prefer Performer to P-T (my new Bomb Factory plugs that are supposed to work with Performer should be in any day now!!

    Not to start a platform argument - But I also really dig Performer, and 3.0 is looking hot.

    Part of me just wants the Mix+ that everyone else has, etc etc. But DP 3.0, which has dual processor support for a dual 533 G4, along with a TC Powercore for your VST and DX plugs, thats a pretty damn powerful "native" system - and at a fraction of the cost

    I would personally go with a MOTU 2408 interface, and then use three of the RME ADI-8 interfaces. We had one down here and laid it next to the purple ad-8000 - and almost everyone picked the RME. either way they are different boxes, but the RME costs alot less and sounds great for the price. It just doesnt have as good a clock, the dither, or great metering. But for the price, its a no-brainer for me.

    Thanks for getting the performer vs. PT thing back in my head again
    :confused:

    take care - Jason C. Crouch
     
  15. osmuir

    osmuir Member

    fletcher, have you heard paris? i find it kicks some major ass. and after hearing a project mixed in PT that i did the first mix of in paris, [but mine is a bad mix room, thus the alternate locale and mixer] i was majorly dissapointed with the sound.

    and just on a technical note, it's 3.0 new hybrid hardware/native archetecture is brilliant. anyone else heard and have input?

    also, any word on Bomb Factory Vst plugins? that would be lovely...

    --owen
     
  16. radiophonic

    radiophonic Guest

    Originally posted by owen muir:
    fletcher, have you heard paris? i find it kicks some major ass. and after hearing a project mixed in PT that i did the first mix of in paris, [but mine is a bad mix room, thus the alternate locale and mixer] i was majorly dissapointed with the sound.

    and just on a technical note, it's 3.0 new hybrid hardware/native archetecture is brilliant. anyone else heard and have input?

    also, any word on Bomb Factory Vst plugins? that would be lovely...

    --owen


    Though I'm just learning this stuff, I'll say that Paris does rock... having tracked the heaviest pop/rock I've ever encountered this past weekend, I can't believe how 'fat' the result is. But I'd say that much of the sound comes from the source, anyways. However, I'd also say that Paris kills the PT mix bus... but I can't comment on Performer.

    So yeah, Fletcher, I'd like to hear your comments on Paris... should we start a new thread?

    Graham
     
  17. JasonCrouch

    JasonCrouch Guest

    and just on a technical note, it's 3.0 new hybrid hardware/native archetecture is brilliant. anyone else heard and have input?

    also, any word on Bomb Factory Vst plugins? that would be lovely...

    --owen[/B]

    I have a Paris station setup at work. Have mixed on it - have mixed reviews (no pun intended)

    1) I think that alot of people are sheep, as in things that follow the herd and go baaah. Once someone starts talking about the summing bus of a certain program sounding bad - people who have never heard it denounce the product automatically. Also, when people start hyping up a product - people that have never used it also start to swear by it. I am by no means implying anything to anyone - just simply explaining how alot of rumors come about and gear opinions form for alot of people.

    Paris to the summing bus mix tests I did sounded no better than PT 5.1

    2) You state that you like the way Paris is laid out - some people do, I for one don't care for it.

    each eds-1000 card supplies DSP power for 16 channels. This power does not add up with each card to total system usage. Your first EDS (farm) card can only supply DSP to 1-16.

    3) you must buy the MEC (modular expansion chassis) -some people like this being that it has its main core connections - at lets you configure it as needed, granted you still need to buy all of your input AND output cards.

    4) the control surface is not automated or touch sensative. Not a big deal for some, but it seems like its so close to almost being there.

    5) 5.1 should be out in about 5.1 years

    6) OMF is not as strong as it should be for a "professional" system

    lastly, tools are just tools. If you can get by without having the name brand of ProTools, do not need anything other than DirectX and VST plugins - and don't need to work with other DAWs, Paris is an awesomly cool system for the money - and I know alot of people are doing some great stuff with it.

    As for Bomb Factory plugs - they are still exclusive to TDM and MAS as far as I know. Mabye it's a conspiracy.

    The LA-2A and 1176 plugs do sound suprisingly good. Yet my cool plug to toy with as of late is the Aphex "big bottom" - throw than on anything thats kinda dry to give it an automatic punch thru the paper bag wall of an image.

    In conclusion - we all dig different stuff, but Im getting to the point that all these platforms are capable of great stuff - its just a matter of using them to their fullest - yet for me, even though I don't 100% want to - ProTools seems to be the smartest decision.
    :roll:

    go easy - Jason C. Crouch
     
  18. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    I'll partly agree with some of the responses, the Hedd is a great piece(I own a Hedd 192), and the tube emulations and Tape emulations are great(the trick is not to over do it), but sometimes they work on certain things sometimes they don't. The mic pre's suggestion is a great start, also a great stereo compressor at the end of your chain before the final converter helps(you don't have to compress the sound, sometimes just passing the audio through the unit makes the sound "bigger"). I wasn't crazy about the Tascam 38 in its hey day, and I can't see it sounding much better. Maybe an Ampex 104(not the 102, cheaper and sometimes just as good). In the end you could always rent a smaller analog console, and do your mixes through that.
     
  19. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Originally posted by JasonCrouch:
    I have a Paris station setup at work. Have mixed on it - have mixed reviews (no pun intended)

    1) I think that alot of people are sheep, as in things that follow the herd and go baaah. Once someone starts talking about the summing bus of a certain program sounding bad - people who have never heard it denounce the product automatically. Also, when people start hyping up a product - people that have never used it also start to swear by it. I am by no means implying anything to anyone - just simply explaining how alot of rumors come about and gear opinions form for alot of people.

    Paris to the summing bus mix tests I did sounded no better than PT 5.1


    Jason - I will be doing some Paris 3.0 to PT 5.1 summing bus tests in the near future (for which I have enlisted other pro engineers for more ears to compare in a double blind test). There are technical reasons why there is a difference in the implementation of the summing buses, but whether anyone hears them with the modified engine in PT 5.1 I don't know. There are still some shortcomings even with "double precision". May I ask exactly how you tested the two? There are conditions where you might hear a difference and others where you might not - just curious.

    As far as the EDS cards' 16-track support, just add up the cost of a 80-track PT system (aside: can PT do more than 64? with multiple Mix cards?), and compare to an 80-track Paris system. Big difference there even with the 16-track boundary tradeoff. I agree with you that even here, it is just a different way to work - there are DSP limitations with any system, just different boundaries. I don't find it that limiting - VST plugins work anywhere, adding MECs and I/O cards is much less expensive than PT digital I/O and converters for the same results (or even 888/24s, which supposedly don't sound as good as Paris I/O).

    Agreed - layout is personal preferance - I like Paris 3.0 better than most audio apps and find it easy to work with (it is a big improvement over 2.x even). Some features like graphical EQ, track/pan/EQ grouping, quick edits and crossfades from the C16, keyboard or mouse, "Play Selection" etc. are big plusses for me.

    I research everything I buy with a vengeance and don't buy anything just because it is a brand name or "the industry standard" - that seems to be more of the sheep mentality you are referring to. Many standards are wrought by lack of choice, and by great marketing. Don't be fooled - do the research and the cost/value analysis.

    For another viewpoint here - I bought Paris for the sound, and value, not marketing hype, name recognition, or celeb endorsements. I don't know what system your sheep reference was specifically intended for, but it is true in many cases in this industry (and others). I really don't think Paris fits this since it doesn't have "industry standard" labels attached to it currently.

    Yes, PT has a couple of nice controller options (for the cost of a 32-track Paris system). Can I justify a motoroized fader controller that looks really cool instead of 2 or 3 nice pres, some really nice mics, or two more Paris systems? Not right now, but that's just my preference of business investment tradeoffs I suppose. Eventually I would like to have a bigger, 32-channel controller for Paris, and I'm sure it will happen, but it isn't slowing down my workflow significantly by not having one, compared to the tradeoffs at least.

    As far as OMF, I'm not a post guy so a few questions for you - have you tested Paris' 3.0's implementation? To/from PT? Avid systems? What is missing? What works? What doesn't? I plan to test this with a PT rig and Avid systems soon, as time allows.

    5.1? No, not 5.1 years, though I get your point here. Soon enough. Since Ensoniq died, Paris is basically starting over with Emu, so give it a little time to catch up. It will, and more.

    I assume you are doing post work, prefer a large control surface, or TDM plugins to prefer PT (you did say you liked the layout of PT better too)? Either way - I believe your comment about tools being tools is healthy and accurate. If the extra money isn't an issue then PT is a nice system, esp. if you just need features it has, that others don't.

    Jimmy G. - hope all of this helps a little and hasn't detoured from your original question too much.

    Regards,
    Dedric
     
  20. JasonCrouch

    JasonCrouch Guest

    Originally posted by Dedric:
    May I ask exactly how you tested the two? There are conditions where you might hear a difference and others where you might not - just curious.
     

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