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Warming up a mix!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by skramm, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. skramm

    skramm Guest

    Hi everyone.

    I am a fairly experienced home studio producer, but I have moved recently into a new genre of music whereby the production quality demands the best possible. . .

    I own a lot of outboard synths and samplers. Currently I am running a Yamaha 03d [little brother of the 02r], which I use basically as a monitoring device. Everything is getting converted from a/d in the 03d, before moving [2 channels at a time] via SPIDIF into my MOTU 828 [24/44.1] // and finally into Logic Audio, where I mix + mix down in software.

    Problem: after gentle EQing in the o3d, and a little more EQing in Logic using stock plugins... my mixes sound cold !! Not bad, but definately not as phat or as warm as I believe they should.

    Solution: What do you think? Switching to an analog console, such as a Soundcraft Ghost or Mackie 32/8 - and taking advantege of the full 24-bit a/d converters on the MOTU?? [since the Yamaha 03d converters are only 20bit]... Or possibly adding a nice compressor like a Manley or Avalon on the kickdrum and seperately on the snare to help warm the sound?? If that would work?

    Any suggestions would be great !

  2. Exmun

    Exmun Guest

    There's a lot of stuff you could do for this. The older Yami boards (I used the 02R extensively) are notorious for sounding rather "cold." Better preamps should do you well here. The conversion on the Yami board is not the greatest either. Yamaha did a much better job in the preamps and converter department on the 02R 24/96 board.

    I think you're on the right track by looking into another mixer or outboard preamps and going directly into the MOTU card. I was going to suggest selling the 03D, but on second thought it may be useful to have some faders to control Logic's mix engine via MIDI. A Mackie Logic Control is going to cost you at least as much as you'd likely be able to sell the 03D for... so keep it.

    The Soundcraft preamps are a noticeable improvement from the Yami 20 bit 03D's pres... but there are better preamps than the Ghost. I think it comes down to what $$ you have to add to improving your front end. If you've got a bit more, high quality outboard pres and compressors would be the way to go. If you're on a tighter budget, the Ghost pres would do you well until you could get better quality stuff. Rather than the Soundcraft, you may want to look into a mixer by Crest Audio.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Getting it warm at the source is the best way. The cold harshness likely comes from the converters, the DSP processing and mix bus of the 02r and the 03D. The Ghost would serve you well for getting a better mixing sound even if you leave the digial world to analog then back to digital. Whether it would get the sound of warm that you desire, only you could answer that. You don't always lose overall sound quality by going out digial to analog then back to digital. Ask or pay attention to most mastering engineers on how they work to get the best results. I consistantly get better sounding results with mixing digital with my analog board then most I encounter that use just digial mixers or do in all the DAW box. The analog board also is much better way to interface outboard gear as well.
  4. skramm

    skramm Guest

    Interesting tips. Thank you for the advice AudioGaff and Exmun.

    I have heard a number of engineers and producers talk about summing a mix on a board as opposed to the DAW, even with an extra a/d conversion. Certainly an interesting concept, however one that does not really make sense to me. You would think any software DAW could sum a 32 channel mix or what have you equally as well as any digi or analog board. I suppose this must not be the case ;) - I would be forced to purchase the lightpipe/ADAT interface card for my Yamaha if I were to try that... and consitering the age of this board, i think it be best to steer clear of that option.

    As I was saying earlier in this thread, I own a lot of outboard gear... im not really a guy that uses mic's [only 1], but my plethora of synths and samplers + hardware FX units really would make it awkward to function without a mixer. My budget for a new console would only be around $5,000 - $7,000 and thus... higher end boards are out of reach. I just do not want to "step backward" if you know what I mean, I would expect the new board to out-perform the Yamaha...and i know some people who rave on about the 03d's and 02r's... so it does make me wonder. Either way I am quite sure it would not hurt. . . .

    If anyone has any other suggestions, or recommendations plz feel free to post! :)
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Get a Great River MP2NV and use it for not only your mics but to DI your synth sounds to the DAW. If that doesn't warm up your recordings, nothing will.
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    AS Kurt suggests the GR NV would help give girth to keys/synths and such. I would first suggest the API mic pre DI, EQ and comp as well as the D. W Fearn tube DI as outstanding tools for your type of application.

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