Your thoughts on mixing ITB vs. mixing to a standalone deck

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by TheBadAssCanadian, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Sorry if this gets long winded.... please bare with me.

    As an artist and budding producer, i've been recently working on honing my engineering skills in my home studio, by working with other artists. I'm really getting the hang of recording and mixing and have been able to produce some stuff that really stands up against "proffessional" cd's in both tone, balance and production. Every passing project gets me a little bit further and it has come to the point where I can finally see the limitations in my own skills, my setup and in not having a " proper" acoustic space to record in. (all this will be dealt with in due time)

    While that is another can of worms, this post is aimed at the difference in sound quality that I've noticed from mixing ITB vs. to an outboard deck.

    I am using nuendo 2.0 out of a Motu PCI-424 (2408 MK II as the interface) connected digitally to an RME ADI-8 PRO DS A/D converter.

    At 24 bit playback, my mixes have the right balance but when i export it to a Wave file and burn it to disk within the DAW, something happens. I've tried many different dithering and SRC settings but I'm convinced that there is something very wrong with mixing this way.

    Today, as an experiment, I ran my mix out of the RME converter's analog output and into an HHB CDR-850 (the only deck i have kicking around, unfortunately.). Even though there was an unnecessary conversion from D/A and back to digital, to get to the CD-r, my mix translated very well and the high highs and low- lows were all present as they are on playback in the control room.

    #1 Can someone who knows much about the internal mix engines of these software based programs, shed some light on the subject? I'm very thirsty for all the knowledge I can get and am well read so you don't need to keep the lingo simple. I'll understand.

    #2 - While mixing to a 16 bit burner is good to reference the mix on other systems, i will need a deck that can interface digitally to my RME ADI-8 and be able to accept a 24 bit/48k signal so that i can get the final mixes to a 24/48 cd to send to the mastering facility.

    I was looking at the Alesis masterlink, but is there any others that are as good, or better... I've been a bit out of the loop in regards to this so if someone could reccomend a great deck. (money isn't really an issue)

    Any other things I should know, in regards to my final mixdown?

    Thanx in advance and i look forward to a great discussion on inboard vs. outboard.
  2. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2002

    I only feel problems when I am working at 48k/24 and need to go down to 44k/16.

    I have been a pro tools TDM user since 1999.

    I decided to work mainly at 44k/24. To my ears frequency conversion does some harm to the overall quality.

    I dunno if this happens witihin other daws, but no matter I limit my mix at -0.2dB and need to do the bit reduction with dithering, as I open the 44k/24 file at a new session in my Pro Tools Daw, the peak levels got always F!!! up. So I need to go back and lower it even more.

    Some mates have reported that the highs become somewhat harsh after the bounce. I have not had such probelms on here.

    You may also consider buying a TASCAM DSD DECK.

    You probably live in the USA, so I guess it is not expensive, probably in the same price league of a DAT.

    HOpe it helped ya
  3. Thank you,

    and YES... The high's tend to get harsh. That is one of the biggest issues. I noticed it, especially in the vocals. It was getting to the point where I was intentionaly mixing them to sound muddy so that when I brought it out of the room to another player, they sounded ok.

    It isn't necessarily the room at fault, either because any pre recorded material sounds fine. The vocals sound sparkly and there's a sheen on everything. My mixes always had that same type of polish until I summed to 2-track.

    The sparkly top end kinda gets fudged up and sorta gets honky for lack of a better term. I am not equipped to move up to 24/96 as of yet so I'm stuck with 24/48. The biggest reason is lack of compatablility with my outdated soundcard and also some of my favorite plugins won't work. I'd be out some mad cash if I had to upgrade everything. I'd love to but it just isn't in the cards, right now.

    I will definitely check out that deck.

    thanx again.
  4. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2002

    YA wellcomed.

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