Thread spin off - mixing with and without "stuff"

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by DonnyThompson, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    This is a spin off of the converters thread that seemed to have gone off the rails - particularly in relation to certain plug in processors - to use or not to use; are standalone converters necessary, who uses what during their mixes, and lastly, whether or not anyone wants to partake of a mix of a project of mine (that has been giving me fits).

    Initially, the test was supposed to be centered around whether or not certain pricey plugs -namely UAD - were deemed to be worth it - as Josh has mentioned, or, if the same processes can be done using stock plugs in a prog like Samplitude, as audiokid has mentioned.

    The topic of conversion then came into play, where Chris Perra has said that conversion was not as important as others were saying it was, and is saying that the converters in his ADA8000 were sufficient, that he is not hearing the phase issues or other anomalies that are indicative of cheap conversion that others are hearing.

    The conversation can either continue here - or not - but I thought it best to move the discussion to this thread as opposed to beating the crap out of the other one, having gone so far off topic.

    I have said that I would post tracks for those who wanted to work with them. The motivation behind it is up to the mixer. If it's focused on "UAD or No UAD", then that's between Josh and audiokid. If it's merely for individuals to take another swipe at the mix just to see what each individual can do with the tracks, then this too is up to those who wish to partake.
    I don't consider this to be a "mix-off". But it doesn't matter what I think.

    Beyond making the tracks available, I'm going to stay out of it. I don't really have a dog in this fight, as I don't own any UAD plugs, and don't have any plans to own any in the foreseeable future.

    Also, I don't need any convincing as to whether conversion quality is crucial or not - based on my own personal experience, I already know that it is, and in fact, I'm convinced that conversion quality does indeed matter greatly, and that it does not fall as far down on the list of important audio priorities as some here might claim.

    Whatever you guys decide to do is fine with me, and you can each set your own guidelines between yourselves as to that which you find agreeable.

    I have taken the time to export the tracks into an organized fashion, but I'm not going to take the substantial amount of time it will require to upload them if no one is interested.

    It's gonna have to be more than two people for me to take the time to do this on my end. It's not arrogance. It's logistical. I do have other clients and other projects to work on. I'll be glad to take the time to do this as long as there are enough people who want me to. 'Nuff said.

    I'll wait to hear from you guys...

  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hey Donny, it is very generous of you to propose your raw tracks.
    With total respect to you, the flaws you've identified yourself in the drum recordings will make this mix study quite hard and may take a turn in audio restoration or drum replacement. I'm willing to participate anyway because, I still have much to learn and may be inperfect tracks could be a better challenge.

    But, I'm just wondering if some free online stems could be a good neutral alternative. or other sources.
    I honestly didn't listen to any tracks yet..
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    No disrespect taken, PC... it's all good. ;)
  4. thewonders

    thewonders Active Member

    I'd be onboard to work with tracks you post, Donny.
  5. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    I will take a run at it using only Uad.. and a Waves Dither..
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    dither ???? lol! src/dither is the best way to destroy your audio. better to mix out in analog to a CD recorder or DAT / ADAT and then reload that into the workstation.
  7. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Better make sure that Cd /Dat or adat has wicked converters then.. ;)

    I've never tried doing that..Interesting old school way..will have to try one day
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    dither and Sample Rate Conversion is a destroyer of audio. so is summing itb. try this ... get a mixer, any mixer. even a a Behringer (eek!) a Mackie would be better. Sum your tracks from individual sends or even stems in the mixer. re record the summed mix via a stand alone recorder ... ADAT / CDR / HD24 / a second DAW, whatever ... at the target sample rate .. put that file back in to the work station and listen / compare to a the same mix mixed itb with dither and src. i think you will be surprised. it gets better with a better console / summing mixer and converters
  9. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    I've done lots of analog summing..

    Haven't done a mix into a Dat or other thing from a computer. ..only from analog pre computer Era.
  10. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    I'd love to give it a go Donny, I think it's a great opportunity to experiment and learn.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    We have had several threads in these forums in the last couple of years about audible differences between digital sample rate conversion and analog re-capturing at the target rate of a mix replayed at the recorded rate. Here's a thread example.

    This also links in to the "two-box" mix process that I have been banging on about over a similar period. audiokid adopted it and instantly was released from the sonic confines of a single-clock DAW.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Regarding MixBus:

    I love MixBus. If you want the closest thing to analog mixing ITB, then the Harrison prog is awesome. It's laid out like a classic Harrison console - not just one in particular, but based on several - and it really is a nice departure from working with other virtual mixers in DAW's like Sonar, PT, etc. It has some features that I do like, the EQ is very "musical", it includes a separate HPF (per channel) the Compression/Limiting/Leveler function (per channel) is nice as well, and while I'm not huge fan of Tape Saturation plugs, the Harrison model is the best I've heard to date.

    However... there is no MIDI implementation at all in the Windows version. I think that the Linux OS version does support MIDI, but the Windows version does not. This makes it a bit tough for me to use it as my exclusive DAW of choice, because while I do quite a bit of organic recording with mics, I also do more than just a little with MIDI... primarily with things like Pianos and B3's, and sometimes synth pads.

    The workaround is to do your midi production in Sonar, Samp, or PT, and then export those tracks as rendered audio and then import them to Mixbus. It's not hard, just tedious, and if you decided you want to edit those tracks - beyond what basic audio editing would provide - you have to go back to a MIDI-centered DAW, and fix the things you want, then re-export, then re-import.

    But, if you are working with audio tracks alone, you should give MixBus a shot. It's laid out nicely, and if you came up in the age of analog desks as I did, you'll find it very familiar and a refreshing alternative to the other mixer views in other DAWs. Considering that it can be had for around $50 or so, to me it's a no-brainer.

    IMHO of course.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Regarding the mixing of the tracks....

    I need a place to upload these... preferably an FTP?, which is faster than uploading to dropbox, no?

    Remember that these are 44/24 .wav files, not MP3, so it's gonna take some time...

    All tracks are raw, although there are a few with printed effect. Stereo tracks are labeled as such in the file name.

    I've done my best to export these files as peaking at -6, with an RMS or around -15 or so.

    No gain reduction was used, beyond those tracks that had a bit of compression added on the way in, to rein in any possible transients - but nothing dramatic, I'm talking about 2:1 at a -10 db thresh... and not on every track, either.... just on tracks with possible hot transients, like kick, snare, bass, vocals.

    Whomever wants to mix these, for whatever reason, can set their own guidelines between themselves... Beyond offering up the tracks, I'm staying out of it.

    I won't lie... some of these raw tracks sound less than what I consider to be well-recorded. Much of the blame lies at the audio I/O that I was using. I have the Presonus now, but I didn't when I cut these particular tracks.

    I don't believe that there would be much debate as to whether or not the Tascam 1641 is a fairly poor I/O in terms of pre's and conversion. I'm not using this as an excuse. I'm just stating the obvious.

    I thought I'd start the upload with drums and bass, and then upload further in appropriate stages as my time allows, accordingly.... guitars, then keys, then backing vox, then lead vox, etc.

    Let me know what you want to do...
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Donny, where ever you upload the files, the upload will be as slow as your connexion is. One place I like the most is Google Drive, it allows to state the access to anyone having the link, without having to create an account. I think soundcloud also allow to set permissions to download.

    It will be fun to see what's in the bag of tricks of each that will participate :)
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I was under the impression that FTP was the fastest way because you're not also dealing with the other traffic that burdens public sites like DropBox or SoundCloud, that because it isn't accessible to everyone in the world, and only to those who know the address, that this was the quickest way - of course, depending upon your own upload and download speeds.


    However or whichever s the best way, I will leave up to those that know better than myself... which narrows down the list to pretty much everyone in the world except me. LOL

    I'll upload these file to wherever it is that anyone feels is the most efficient way to create a point of access for the files.

    I'm not the guy to do this. Someone who knows better should do it.

    And then, using very small words and visual aids like cartoons and sock puppets, explain to me exactly where to go and how to upload.

  16. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It's true that some FTP will accept higher bandwith but many public services are way faster than our own upload rate anyway (mine is 1.2meg)
    Also, FTP is kind of a more prive space on a server somewhere. My website host gives me an FTP access but I'm rather close to my limit already but I know were the servers are and the speed they share with other servers.

    Anyway, I suggest you take a place where you can start the upload of many files at the same time and leave your computer do the work alone ;)

    Dropbox, skydrive, Google Drive are all getting good reviews
  17. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    As a novice recorder/mixer (with essentially no plugin's beyond a few free ones and using Reaper) I'd like to try this as well -- mostly for the comparative element of listening to other mixes against mine. For me there would be three goals. #1 - attempt to produce a musically sound mix that allows the song to be listened to and enjoyed at a basic level -- ie - good balance and general sonic pleasantness. #2 - To compare mixes with the pros and identify after the fact elements of their mix that I didn't know to listen or look for in mine - and then apply some of that learning to my mix. #3 - Get a better sense of workflow for mixing - particularly using tracks that I myself have not recorded and am not vested in hearing with a personal bias (because I performed or recorded them), and develop an independent and more objective ear.

    For Donny I am appreciative of the generosity of offering his tracks to the community. I'm reminded of the old film "Quest for Fire" and I see the tracks being held and passed around like precious commodities in cupped hands.
  18. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    If you want a hand with uploading this stuff Donny, shoot me a PM, I'd be happy to walk you through it.

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