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The never-ending search for bigger fatter sound in DAW

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JimmyG, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. JimmyG

    JimmyG Guest

    Hi Gang,
    I'll give you guys the set-up first. I track 75% real audio(full bands)/25% midi projects to a mac hard drive medium.
    Concern - Improve warmth/fat on tracking vocals/bass/overall mixes
    Gear
    Rode Nt-1(main mic for vocals) or direct line + amp(bass) to Yamaha 01v with adat card set to 24 bit lightpipe out to Korg 1212 card to Digital Performer 2.72 set @ 24 bit recording all @ 44k on a mac G3 platform & mixing within Digital Performer. The 01v is used only to input signals & process (compression/eq) to the hard disc.
    I have been reading a ton of responses suggesting to spend $$ on better converters as opposed to high end outboard mic re's/comps/or latest doodads for the front end. I have resorted to sending sub mixes & mixes to my old Tascam 38-8 to gain some warmth & tape compression. My studio competition has way deeper pockets than I, but I still need to compete & need to spend $$ wisely.
    All suggestions GREATLY appreciated.
    Jimmy Graham
    INDEBASEMENT Records & Audio Productions
    Windsor, Ont. Canada http://
     
  2. natan666

    natan666 Guest

    off topic, but do use your 01v as a control surface for DP 2.7? if so, how well does that mesh?
     
  3. user_gamesound

    user_gamesound Active Member

    I'm basically in the same boat -- I go direct to hard disk (PC) via a Yamaha RM800 mixer/preamp or decent DI, Oktava mics, Aardvark 20/20 souncard, 44.1/20 bit. It's clean and does the trick, but not too sexy....I've been mulling over getting a 16-trk reel-to-reel even!

    have you looked into a Empirical Labs Distressor or the new FATSO jr. to track thru? Heard some good things, but haven't used one yet, still saving up the $$$.
     
  4. Max Howarth

    Max Howarth Guest

    Originally posted by JimmyG:
    Hi Gang,
    I'll give you guys the set-up first. I track 75% real audio(full bands)/25% midi projects to a mac hard drive medium.
    Concern - Improve warmth/fat on tracking vocals/bass/overall mixes

    Hi Jimmy.

    2 words to solve your 'problem'.

    'Buy PARIS.'

    Best wishes
    Max
     
  5. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    Originally posted by Max Howarth:
    Hi Jimmy.

    2 words to solve your 'problem'.

    'Buy PARIS.'

    Best wishes
    Max


    I have to second Max's recommendation. In my opinion, the O2R, O1V series mixers aren't the warmest, open, airy sound you can get - they tend to sound flat (but that can be an issue with many mixers in that price range). Paris is warm, clear, airy, and as fat as you want. It accurately represents whatever you put into it.

    Regards,
    Dedric
     
  6. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    As your thread title suggests, it is a never ending search. This is because every piece of gear in your signal chain has an impact.

    The obvious weakness in your setup is the O1v; poor quality mic-preamps and ADCs, and very poor quality compression and EQ.

    Certainly, just switching your DAW to Paris is not the answer. The DAW itself does have an impact on sound quality but it's relatively minor compared to the differences in AD converters, mics, preamps, compressors, etc. Another important factor to consider for a fatter sound is a high quality master clock.

    In your situation I'd certainly be looking for a high quality preamp. The best ones live Neves, Avalons, etc., will last many years and don't go out of date like DAWs or ADCs. I'd also want to get some better quality ADCs. Next on the list would be high quality compression and EQ. After that you can look at everything else: DAW, monitoring environment, mics, effects, etc. :D

    Greg
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    In your situation I'd certainly be looking for a high quality preamp. The best ones live "Neves, Avalons, etc., will last many years and don't go out of date like DAWs or ADCs. I'd also want to get some better quality ADCs. Next on the list would be high quality compression and EQ. After that you can look at everything else: DAW, monitoring environment, mics, effects, etc"

    What he said...

    a way to start would be 2 'golden channels' - on tracking use them on the Kit stereo overheads. Then on every susequent overdub.
    -----------------------
    Cheapest starter option:

    RME ADI Pro 8ch (OK I lied somewhat) converters
    +
    2 x HHB Radius 40 valve pre / eq/ comp units

    ------------------------
    look into if you can fit an Apogee converter card into your O1V
    ---------------------------

    err.. a bit tired will come back with more ideas..

    :)

    Jules
     
  8. dewdman42

    dewdman42 Guest

    The search for the holy grail...

    I will concurr with the other folks here..you can make a HUGE difference in sound by spending some $$$ on A/D convervters and mic pre's. That seems to be where the greatest improvements are happening in digital recording.

    A few more comments..

    Someone briefly mentioned word clock, but I think that is something you REALLY should try first before you spend money on expensive ADC's and pre's. Make absolutely sure you have everyone synced on the same word clock. Ideally you would get a dedicated unit that sends word clock in a rock solid fashion and have everything slave to it. But that is more $$$. If you get jitter..that can turn your digital sound into ice really fast.

    Also, don't underplay the notion of sending your digital recordings to analog tape before your final mix. A lot of people with tons of money in their studios still do exactly that and I've read many articles in trade-mags suggesting it. It works. It will add much needed warmth, primarily by introducing tape compression and a bit of natural sounding distortion to the signal. Is there a plugin that does this? I'm sure there is, though I have no idea which ones are good..if any. I do know that if you have a clean analog machine, sending all your tracks out to tape and back again *WILL* absolutely add the right kind of warmth...providing it is a clean machine that won't introduce a lot of tape hiss.

    If it were me, I'd send out to the analog tape, and then bring it back to digital to do the final mixing in digital, with all the conveniences of plugins and so forth...

    cheers
     
  9. SoFine

    SoFine Guest

    Hi guys,

    Sorry to drag this both down and slightly off topic but can you explain to me what exactly word clock is and an example of a possible integration with a Digi 001 system, using an 8 port midi interface?

    Also, if I were to only buy 2 channels (mono) of AD converters and/or pre-amp instead of 8 (thus enabling me to buy 2 of higher quality), could I then just use these on each successive instrument / input as I print tracks to disc, 2 at a time, rather than while creating / writing / experimenting on just one instrument / input. I know I'd have to patch the instrument I am printing to disk through the AD DA / Pre amp each time but this would give me a better recorded sound, wouldn't it?

    Did I make any sense at all?

    Simon :)
     
  10. blazer

    blazer Guest

    Jimmy G,

    I have a similar set up and disagree that your O1v is the problem. It is a great digital board for my money. You may want to try (I see a flame coming) running your mix out through an Aphex 104 (Big Bottom) and/or a BBE882. I know the gear snobs aren't going to like this, but it does fatten things up a lot, and adds sparkle, when used judiciously. You can use the compressors in the O1v, just don't squash the $*^t out of your mix. If you can, rent the Avalon 2044...use your ears....Good luck!
     
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    You'll likely want a different LD condensor. The NT-1 is a bright and spitty mic, it doesn't conjure up images of warmth and fullness. Check out large diaphragm dynamics like the EV RE20 or Shure SM-7; they're great for 'warmth'. Alternatively, a TLM 103 (they're so cheap these days) would really smooth out the upper midrange, which may be a big factor in the sound of your system. Check out Audio technica's 40 series as well.

    You don't say the type of music you do, but I remember you posting that vocals and bass were the main problem. Changing the mic will fix most of the vocal problems. For Bass, what's your DI, and what are you compressing it with (you are compressing the bass, right)? There may be some little upgrades you can do there....if your DI is poor quality it can load down the bass's pickups and make it sound tubby (Countryman is a good low'ish budget choice).

    The 01V isn't the best sounding digital mixer on the market, but I don't think its the weakest link in your chain. Try using your mackie 1604 for it's preamps, and go from the inserts (or direct outs) straight to the 01V. Definitely avoid that Mackie EQ if you can...

    But before you buy a preamp, look for a
    different mic.

    Kris
     
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    To day I got a Green Day style classic punky drum sound - especial the Kick & Snare. (didnt aim for it, just turned out like that)

    Kick
    AT25 pro - inside
    Royer 121 outside in a packing blanket tunnel. (w pop sheild)
    Both into API pres, then summed in a Pultec Mono
    mixer then sent to
    Neve 1073
    Tube Tech Lca 2A (tape style crumble/softening)
    Dbx 160 (wet fish slap)
    Apogee AD8000SE
    Pro Tools

    Snare
    Sm57
    Neve 1073
    Tube Tech Lca 2A (tape style crumble/softening)
    Dbx 160 ('pop'!)
    Apogee AD8000SE
    Pro Tools

    We were all out in a club after work, GD came on, hey! Thats our drumsound...!

    Anyhow it's no secret they like Neve boards, the drummer told me so himself.

    You could probably vaccinate half of Africa for the spend on the above gear.

    The real tip here is the Tube Tech, it has a bad rep but does someting v cool to the drum transients that sounds phat & tapelike.. And dosent cost the earth - second hand.

    :eek:

    Jules
     
  13. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    << ...can you explain to me what exactly word clock is and an example of a possible integration with a Digi 001 system... >>

    Do a search, I've covered word clock a number of times here on Recording.org. However, it is not possible to slave the Rosetta to an external word clock source.

    << I have a similar set up and disagree that your O1v is the problem. It is a great digital board for my money... I know the gear snobs aren't going to like this... >>

    It's got nothing to do with snobbery, it's common sense. You can take a little Ford compact, put low profile wider wheels on it, chip it and tune it up. If you are used to compacts it's going to feel pretty good but it's not until you drive a Ferrari that you realise how pathetic even a tuned compact is. It's not snobbery to say that a Ferrari is a better drive than a compact, it's common sense. If you want that fatter, high quality sound that the boys with Ferrari's make, no matter what you do, your 01v is just not going to cut it.

    Greg
     

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