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Inside Track: Tom Lord-Alge

I don't subscribe to SOS so I can't read the whole article. If you've read through it, without over thinking this question, what are the top things you were left thinking about after the article?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan15/articles/inside-track-0115.htm

Comments

anonymous Sat, 12/27/2014 - 13:04
There's no doubt that The Alge Brothers have most certainly carved their own niches into the world of recording and mixing over the last 30 years. Far be it for me to judge them, they've done more than I could ever hope to accomplish, and their credits reads like a "who's who" of the music industry's most acclaimed artists. I guess what I'm saying is, that I don't think you get to record Peter Gabriel unless you really know what you are doing, and beyond the tech knowledge, are also exceptional with the artistic side of the craft as well. I also know that they made SSL a lot of money over the years. LOL

All that being said, this struck me as odd:

"People have to wake up to the issue that there is no standard in the way things are recorded or archived. If you come back to a DAW mix in 10 years, there’s no way that you can be sure that you’ll still be able to play that mix back the way you mixed it. It’s easier for me to just play back a 3348 multi-track tape than to deal with the BS that goes with opening up an old Pro Tools Session..."


Hmmm... I didn't have access to the rest of the article either, so I really don't know what he is referring to when he says "If you come back to a DAW mix in 10 years, there’s no way that you can be sure that you’ll still be able to play that mix back the way you mixed it. It’s easier for me to just play back a 3348 multi-track tape than to deal with the BS that goes with opening up an old Pro Tools Session..."

I would assume his BS factor would have to do with certain processors/plugs that may be missing... (?) - after going thru computer changes (and maybe platform changes, too) over the length of time he is using as an example, or, if he means to imply that DAW platforms will change in the way that they address audio... (?) I don't know... I'm just guessing, as I didn't have access to the rest of the article.

My own knee-jerk reaction to that statement, would be to think that pulling out a 10 year old multi-track (or 2 track) tape from storage, loading it onto a deck (hopefully the same deck you used to record to begin with, at least you would think that, no?) and then making sure that all bias and alignment settings match the tape ... well, to me, that seems to be a far larger amount of BS than simply opening an old DAW project file.

All things considered, as long as all the processing/plug ins that you used are still resident, and that whichever platform you end up with in ten years will support the project file, there shouldn't be any reason that you couldn't get the mix you originally had. The tape avenue seems like it has far more potential for issues than the DAW does - unless I'm missing something...

I do know that I can pull out DAW projects I did 15 years ago in Sonar or PT, and they still play fine - and as long as the plugs that were used on that projects are still resident on my PC, I never have any trouble in getting old projects to play back in the exact same way that I last saved it.

I cannot say the same thing about the 2 closets I have that are filled with 2", 1", 1/2" and 1/4" Ampex 456, 499, AGFA 468 or 3M 966 tape reels.
They were recorded on so many different machines... with different bias settings, different alignments... some were encoded with Pre-Emphasis/De-emphasis DBX, and others were Dolby NR, ( A, SR, B, S) and while they all have alignment tones at the top and documentation sheets inside the boxes (speed, NR Type, Bias,) it would still be a monumentally big project for me to try and match those tapes to same-format machines for accurate reproduction. So, I'm at a loss to understand how he makes that particular comparison.


audiokid, post: 422790, member: 1 wrote: what are the top things you were left thinking about after the article?

What I mentioned above is what stuck out to me... what were you thinking?

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 13:28
DonnyThompson, post: 422792, member: 46114 wrote: What I mentioned above is what stuck out to me... what were you thinking?

Pretty much identical to you, Donny ;) I do sense the shill factor but who knows who's behind the purse on any of these. Maybe its a royal to goodness article. I haven't read the rest of it either.

If you come back to a DAW mix in 10 years
To expand on the ten years down the road. The fact we would even want to pull out a session and not "remix" it with new plugs is so lame, I can't even believe that was put like this. All I want are the raw tracks in ten years. In fact, thats all I want now.
I even sold two DSD's a few years back because, why would I want to preserve a two track on DSD in ten years. In ten years, I want to remix it all. Which is why I mix on one DAW and capture to another.

I kept thinking about the two DAW system and smiling.

I think the article will fuel a lot more "er what" .o_O

Kurt Foster Sat, 12/27/2014 - 13:35
i see no issues with recalling anything recorded on tape other than tape shedding / sticking. if the tapes are well cared for and stored properly with tones and proper documentation, they should last indefinitely. the thing about analog tape is it was in use for over 50 + years and it was very common for projects to be moved from one studio to another. those machines were built to be compatible with each other. a studio who's tapes didn't "travel" was worthless. i used to calibrate and bias my MCI 24 track at least once a day .... maybe more depending on what projects were being worked on.

unless you are willing to keep (a) particular computer(s), i can see how it would be daunting to open old files on a newer machine with a different O/S and plugs / updates ....and you still need to fire that puppy up every once in a while so the H/D doesn't lock up and electrical components don't degrade. it's getting better but we're not there yet.

audiokid, post: 422795, member: 1 wrote: The fact we would even want to pull out a session and not "remix" it with new plugs is so lame, I can't even believe that was put like this. All I want are the raw tracks in ten years.

it's not what you would want to do .... it's what you are being paid to do. lots of old projects / records have been remixed / mastered and they need to be mixed in a way that they still are familiar to the listener. just improve the sonics but keep the effects and dynamics the same so you don't upset the listener. you can't change horses in the middle of the stream ..... Jimmy Page / Led Zeppelin just reissued their whole catalog in HI REZ digital ..... Page declined to say at what rate he did it at but he did insinuate it was very high and should insure they will be playable for years into the future.

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 13:56
Kurt Foster, post: 422796, member: 7836 wrote: it's not what you would want to do .... it's what you are being paid to do. lots of old projects / records have been remixed / mastered and they need to be mixed in a way that they still are familiar to the listener. just improve the sonics but keep the effects and dynamics the same so you don't upset the listener. you can't change horses in the middle of the stream ..... Jimmy Page / Led Zeppelin just reissued their whole catalog in HI REZ digital ..... Page declined to say at what rate he did it at but he did insinuate it was very high and should insure they will be playable for years into the future.

I agree, so why would anyone need the tracks then? Or plug-ins? Or these guys, lol, they are Mixers. My way of thinking, if you want old Led Zeppelin, use the master tracks that the ME have and transfer it to the new medium! Which at that point has nothing to do with Waves plug-ins, a DAW, etc or this article? See what I'm getting at?

Which is why I'm thinking, if I was part of the tracks in ten years, They would want it remixed, not a new 44.1 version of Pro Fools on tape . o_O

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 14:20
To add, and I've had this discussion with others over the years that left some scratching and spitting... How is anything recorded on Pro Tools today, going to be sounding better in 10 years from now?

This is where the whole archiving to a DSD is so ridiculous to me. You track onto Pro Tools, and archive it to DSD, Tape whatever. Like its going to sound better on the DSD or tape coming from a first gen Pro Tools 44.1 , 88.2, 96 what? It is what it is. That is the source.

I think there is some marketing here.

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 15:14
I love these conversations with myself!

I think we are headed for a vinyl and tape resurgence. I wish I could read the full article.
This is the only thing that will save this industry. And I am all for it! So, Tape and Vinyl, go go go!
Maybe these guys are investing in that, and this is really where we are headed as a last ditch effort.
I personally don't think it sounds better but if we think it does, and the buying populous is directed towards this, its a great thing and we should maybe be pushing the hell out of it too.

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 17:41
Kurt Foster, post: 422803, member: 7836 wrote: sorry, afternoons are nap time at the home .....

No worries Kurt, I am joking here. Donny and I have an on going joke about how I start a thread and pretty much go through it all answering myself! I talk to myself all day lol! You nap and I talk to myself! What a pair of canaries we are eh!


Kurt Foster, post: 422803, member: 7836 wrote: i think you are missing my point. i'm not sure but i think Page is going back to multi's and remixing ...
Gotcha,

Reverend Lucas Sat, 12/27/2014 - 18:35
I think Chris Lord Alge is also still using a 3348. I can't wrap my head around why mixers of their caliber are still using digital tape.

audiokid, post: 422799, member: 1 wrote: To add, and I've had this discussion with others over the years that left some scratching and spitting... How is anything recorded on Pro Tools today, going to be sounding better in 10 years from now?

This is where the whole archiving to a DSD is so ridiculous to me. You track onto Pro Tools, and archive it to DSD, Tape whatever. Like its going to sound better on the DSD or tape coming from a first gen Pro Tools 44.1 , 88.2, 96 what? It is what it is. That is the source.

I think there is some marketing here.
Agreed. Any advantage DSD may or not have over PCM doesn't exist if PCM is converted to DSD.

Kurt Foster Sat, 12/27/2014 - 18:55
Reverend Lucas, post: 422805, member: 48050 wrote: I think Chris Lord Alge is also still using a 3348. I can't wrap my head around why mixers of their caliber are still using digital tape.

perhaps they are using them for archival reasons. i'm sure they edit on DAW and then put the edits back to the tape.

if the damn things would sync up reliably, i would still be using ADATS ..... imo all the mixes i did with ADAT and the JH636 sound much better than anything i've ever done on DAW ...

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 19:02
Fwiw,

Kurt, a DAW rocks once, I'm thinking they require a more "Less is more" approach. I'm also convinced there is something lacking on the 2-bus, but I think its more to do with monitoring.

These guys doing the round trip is a head shaker to me. We are so far ahead of this now.

Never the less, track and mix on the DAW and save to the adat uncoupled, Kurt? Can you monitor off your ADAT? I've never used one.

Kurt Foster Sat, 12/27/2014 - 19:06
i think it's the console.


...but hang on a minute grab a cup of tea and if your still having second thoughts about a digital console, read this - an interview courtesy of Studio Sound (Sept 2001 issue) with Peter Eastty who has been involved with digital and analog audio signal processing for the last 32 years!:
SS : What is wrong with analog consoles?
P.E :
Not much really. If you keep them serviced, manually controlled and test that everything works every day......
SS : What is wrong with digital consoles?
P.E :
The more general question is "What is wrong with digital processing?" And I'm sorry to say that in some cases the answer is quite a lot. Basically it comes down to either not enough silicon or not enough knowledge, or both. There are certainly digital audio products which are engineered to superlative standards but there's also a lot of stuff, particularly inside PCs which truncates (not dithers) the audio signal to ridiculously small internal word lengths, or doesn't interpolate coefficients, or uses on-screen controls with far to little accuracy or other basically silly techniques.



there's one of these for sale here for $600!

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 20:36
This article you refer to Kurt is dated along with that board. Even if it was resent, its still dated content to me. No disrespect intended but I also think a lot of these guys talking about consoles all are dated.
(We're not talking tracking)
I know many engineers can produce a finished product as good if not rival the best analog console on the planet for under $10,000 worth of kit. I am talking to someone as we speak who is in direct contact with a guy that has more hits than I even imagined, saying he no longer uses a console either, Kurt. Why? because it isn't worth the fuss anymore. He can do it all ITB. Anywhere he goes, he has his kit with him. Plugin and roll.

being said, who cares... if its what someone likes, Choose what you want and enjoy it. I personally don't care what anyone uses. Music is music.

If my kids asked me what I would do I would say, save your money and learn how to do it smarter, ITB. Thats where the business is going.

I bet it won't be long before we are tracking all online.

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 20:57
audiokid, post: 422809, member: 1 wrote: I bet it won't be long before we are tracking all online.
maybe this would include a console with a really sweet interface, who knows. Common sense tells me, the mass will be using pre's something like the MP32 that is connected to an online interface. I envision a group of musicians all playing into a rack of pre's , connected to an online workstation part of the music creation database that we pay to use that service. We will mix and sum it online and away it goes...

I much prefer the old way but I see a new world coming.

No DSD, no tape, most likely not even a computer that will host the DAW platform we choose.
We will be connected to a DAW platform that isn't effected by our conflicts , our dated OS or computer problems. We will subscribe to use the apps that connect to a DAW license and storage system. From there, we can either mix ourselves or be part of a user group. Most likely we will want to be part of the mass because thats where the populous lives. Where songs are created and published. "Liked" .

It will be fun to look back on this thread in 10 years.

PreSonus is already starting this.... we just don't know it.

audiokid Sat, 12/27/2014 - 21:41
This is just a long shot guess but I see this as a serious look into where we are all headed in the next decade. I think PreSonus is run by some of the most innovative people in the business. This company is dripping with musical genius. Each year they bring us closer to what we dreamed about a decade ago.

This is a Division of PreSonus. Are they onto something huge here?

http://www.nimbit.com/

Kurt Foster Mon, 12/29/2014 - 21:23
Reverend Lucas, post: 422805, member: 48050 wrote: I think Chris Lord Alge is also still using a 3348. I can't wrap my head around why mixers of their caliber are still using digital tape.

i was making my morning visit to the "library" the other day and i read that Chris Mara from Welcome to 1979 just sold CLA a refurbished JH 24 ....

from what i hear/read, these guys (CLA /TLA/Mara) all have analog mixers and machines as well as other formats. they all have Pro Tools and the goal is to provide whatever the customer /clients want. they will mix itb, otb, mixing through a console or with a mouse ....... and i agree with that approach.

audiokid Mon, 12/29/2014 - 23:51
Kurt Foster, post: 422896, member: 7836 wrote: from what i hear/read, these guys (CLA /TLA/Mara) all have analog mixers and machines as well as other formats. they all have Pro Tools and the goal is to provide whatever the customer /clients want. they will mix itb, otb, mixing through a console or with a mouse ....... and i agree with that approach.

As a business , sure, why not. But as a pro with one goal in mind...the best ya got
full steam ahead.:D

kmetal Tue, 12/30/2014 - 00:15
Cla has his assistant do clean ups and rough balances for groups in PT and then has it routed to the 40 or so tracks on this ssl. He said that if he has to he'll go into pt and re balance and of the sub mixes, prefers the console, and OB, although said he uses a few plugins.

He's the first person I've heard say this, but he said he does t really tweak his compressor and OB settings in general. He said he leaves the. Where they are and just buys another one if they aren't giving the sound he needs. I'm he wasn't being literal, but still his back wall in his studio is stacked and packed. He also sticks w an older console for no other reason than his comfort level with it, even if it's not the best sounding or most state of the art.

Kurt Foster Tue, 12/30/2014 - 01:07
kmetal, post: 422898, member: 37533 wrote: Cla .... He's the first person I've heard say this, but he said he does t really tweak his compressor and OB settings in general. He said he leaves the. Where they are and just buys another one if they aren't giving the sound he needs. I'm he wasn't being literal, but still his back wall in his studio is stacked and packed. He also sticks w an older console for no other reason than his comfort level with it, even if it's not the best sounding or most state of the art.

i've heard that before ... he gets a setting on a comp and he never changes it ...... if he wants a different setting, he goes out and buys another comp. must be nice.

audiokid, post: 422897, member: 1 wrote: As a business , sure, why not. But as a pro with one goal in mind...the best ya got
full steam ahead.:D

"no man is an island to himself" .... if one wants to be successful in the studio biz, they need to cater to a clients wishes. it's not about what we think is best, but what the client wants.

of course if one doesn't have clients to appease, they have the freedom to pursue which ever path they choose.

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 08:41
Kurt Foster, post: 422900, member: 7836 wrote: "no man is an island to himself" .... if one wants to be successful in the studio biz, they need to cater to a clients wishes. it's not about what we think is best, but what the client wants.
No offence Kurt but for simple conversation, I think he is being miss quoted somewhere.
Tracking, why not if you've got all week to compare.
I can see it now... CLA, asking which console a client likes the drum mix through lol. To me, that is about the most ridiculous reason to have abundant choices of gear. He's choosing what he uses because it gets the track done the way he goes. I don't mix a track worse because some client likes it sounding worse than my other work. You don't get where he is by being a yes man.

Kurt Foster Tue, 12/30/2014 - 09:04
if you are referring to the last quote you just put up, those are my words. but the sentiment is what Chris Mara was saying. his preference is for analog. he loves direct to disk, loves tape but will record to PT if that's what his clients want .... interns must be PT fluent ...

Mara is a big time analog guy. he worked for Blevins for years in Nashville and is striking out on his own now after building a great rep and cultivating relationships in the biz. i am sure he and i have had several conversations over the years when i had an all MCI studio .... one time comes to mind, when i needed to replace the automation mother board in my JH636. i'm pretty sure it was Mara i dealt with on that deal.

but the point is; it doesn't matter what we think is the best or worst. if i were operation commercially, i would work on a 4 track potty studio or bouncing back and forth between 2 cassette decks if that's what the client wanted.

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 09:53
Kurt Foster, post: 422933, member: 7836 wrote: his preference is for analog. he loves direct to disk, loves tape but will record to PT if that's what his clients want .... interns must be PT fluent
of course!

Kurt Foster, post: 422933, member: 7836 wrote: i am sure he and i have had several conversations over the years when i had an all MCI studio .... one time comes to mind, when i needed to replace the automation mother board in my JH636. i'm pretty sure it was Mara i dealt with on that deal.

cool

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 11:45
This is sure to piss off those investing but what's a day without demystifying pro audio.

My thought: There is nothing more rewarding than lining up tracks better, fixing the mud and crud and giving it back with a simple step called, lining it up and using HPF. This can be done anyway you choose but its the easiest and sonically superior using digital technology. The key is hearing what you are doing, better than the last guy.

REASONS to GO OTB
  • I like it and don't care
  • I want to help support the industry

  • "drum roll!"... : I see it as a way to market business better (mass can't afford it, it will put me on a pro level just by having gear in the studio).
class="xf-ul"> Whether you invest small amounts or thousand into hardware and a console, gear will surely create a buzz for your business! It worked for me.

Keep in mind, the longer the loop, you will look at a super clock, plan on that.

Here is what I would like to see:

Don't take anyone's word on this just yet. Lets ask for examples and hear it for ourselves through comparisons:
For mutual advancement, make your best analog mix public, post it on recording.org and allow the public to mix your work so we can compare notes.

I do think there are pros and cons with both platforms, and even greater ones when combining (hybrid). I think hybrid is really cool but it is full of cons people aren't sharing with the public openly. And believe me, I keep a few things to myself and it is all about bypassing as much copper at the end of the day.

Make an analog mix available and lets see if some kid with a DAW can do better. My money is on the kid with a DAW.

Kurt Foster Tue, 12/30/2014 - 13:40
Chris, no matter how much you repeat it, the fact (for me) still remains that everything i have done on DAW itb fails to reach the quality of anything i have done otb. working itb frustrates me while getting outside the box is very rewarding and well worth the expense and bother. you yourself have compared recordings i did of the same song itb or otb and have picked the otb .... and the otb was 16 bit while the others were 24 bit ....

with a new DAW, someday i may get some mix's itb that sound as good as stuff i did on the MCI console but i am not betting the ranch on it.

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 13:54
I know, and agree. I liked your mix but thats because you did it seriously a decade or more ago before we knew what we know now.

To those on edge, with hopes and dreams:
Save a shit load of trouble and look to the front end, treatment and monitoring first which I'm pointing toward the monitor section, as are a lot of other people now figuring this out.. I'm convinced its in the monitoring, not the console and would love a shoot out lol.

So, I'm not posting this for you or me. Its to whomever is on the edge thinking they should keep buying into this all. "Like I've done and so many others are doing because no one is questioning the upper crust hype or demystifying it enough".

So, is it a preference or fact? I'm getting mixed messages all the time from people.
Whats wrong with questioning these top level guys or calling it out instead of believing it? I think its total BS, spreading thick as cheese. ;)

Kurt Foster Tue, 12/30/2014 - 14:03
i will agree on that but for me it still remains that in spite of listening environment (which i will never dismiss as most important) i could take the same mix itb and otb ... and the otb sounds better! simply bringing the mix out of the DAW in stems ... it can be as few as 3 or 4 stems and then summing them on an external summing network yields a vast improvement.

as far as the affordability of DAW vs. "traditional" ways of recording, i know DAWS are a false economy. the most anyone can get is about 5 years out of any computer. OS and DAW software doesn't last even that long .... it's a constant money pit of updates and replacements ... i see no difference between this expense or that expense. in the end the only difference is a lesser degree of workflow disruption if you stay analog. in ten years, i only added to my inventory of equipment and most of it appreciated in value. then i bought ADATs ... 2k a pop i bought 3 computers and 3 interfaces (at varying expense) and now all of the digital gear have become door stops. i can't give the stuff away. it's all going to wind up in a landfill. my analog gear however is still valuable.

audiokid, post: 422941, member: 1 wrote: REASONS to GO OTB
  • I like it and don't care
  • I want to help support the industry

  • "drum roll!"... : I see it as a way to market business better (mass can't afford it, it will put me on a pro level just by having gear in the studio).
class="xf-ul">

..... and i have no trouble with any of that. i submit that if we had stuck with that philosophy 15 years ago, the audio / recording industry would be in a lot better shape.

this one, "mass can't afford it, it will put me on a pro level just by having gear in the studio" i like especially. it can also be translated as; "i know what gear to buy because i am more informed and have better taste than some "Buggie" type", or "i sacrificed everything else and bought all this gear because i am passionate about audio." it was a way to separate the adults from the children. unfortunately with the "democratization" of audio, we have all been forced into the kiddie pool.

something i learned a long time ago when i was giving guitar lessons. you have to charge for services, otherwise no one will value you. the more you charge for services, the more people will respect and value you.

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 14:30
Well, I used to be in that camp too until I joined the camp, studied the gear most praised and then stepped back and analyzed it from a parallax POV, and came to my senses.
What is creating this improvement, Kurt? Is it a $200,000 console and racks of gear CLA uses or something as simple as a change in the signal path or maybe even the simplest break in the 2-bus summing path? Well I bet all those who have bought into this aren't going to be asking some kid on a laptop to try and mix a really well recorded mix either. That would be too easy to mix or master. I wonder how many songs CLA has to mix that are tracked like shit? Good mixes mix themselves. Thats the first clue I discovered. And crap tracked or produced music its nothing but a big pit of never winning. So, there is the store. Keep buying plugs and hardware.

If its a personal approach, who cares what we use. But when the guys on the top of the food chain are telling all the dreamers they need another $20 grand in hardware to win the mix contest, I have a serious problem with this now. The reason I went through all this was to find out for myself, currently find out, then challenge those who are spreading the BS thicker than its palatable.

And for fun, if you read everyone of my posts, I am trolling for the challenge not to win, but to clear up one thing. Its about hearing and having good work to work with in the first place. I do agree there is something about the 2-bus and uncoupling, but after that, its a simple path of less is more and learn how to make music. Which has nothing to do with all the stuff the top level guys are shilling.

I hope CLA or one of the other guys we read about in these articles would actually take the challenge; and in public view. That would shut me up. And get us all on a better track imho.

audiokid Tue, 12/30/2014 - 14:40
Kurt Foster, post: 422954, member: 7836 wrote: i will agree on that but for me it still remains that in spite of listening environment (which i will never dismiss as most important) i could take the same mix itb and otb ... and the otb sounds better! simply bringing the mix out of the DAW in stems ... it can be as few as 3 or 4 stems and then summing them on an external summing network yields a vast improvement.

as far as the affordability of DAW vs. "traditional" ways of recording, i know DAWS are a false economy. the most anyone can get is about 5 years out of any computer. OS and DAW software doesn't last even that long .... it's a constant money pit of updates and replacements ... i see no difference between this expense or that expense. in the end the only difference is a lesser degree of workflow disruption if you stay analog. in ten years, i only added to my inventory of equipment and most of it appreciated in value. then i bought ADATs ... 2k a pop i bought 3 computers and 3 interfaces (at varying expense) and now all of the digital gear have become door stops. i can't give the stuff away. it's all going to wind up in a landfill. my analog gear however is still valuable.



..... and i have no trouble with any of that. i submit that if we had stuck with that philosophy 15 years ago, the audio / recording industry would be in a lot better shape.

this one, "mass can't afford it, it will put me on a pro level just by having gear in the studio" i like especially. it can also be translated as; "i know what gear to buy because i am more informed and have better taste than some "Buggie" type", or "i sacrificed everything else and bought all this gear because i am passionate about audio." it was a way to separate the adults from the children. unfortunately with the "democratization" of audio, we have all been forced into the kiddie pool.

something i learned a long time ago when i was giving guitar lessons. you have to charge for services, otherwise no one will value you. the more you charge for services, the more people will respect and value you.

Okay, I fully agree on all this.

kmetal Wed, 12/31/2014 - 02:20
I think the biggest snake oil sector is the acoustic treatment sector, it's as overpriced as it is overlooked, and room correction, and speaker simulation stuff is overblown as well. People refuse to accept physics and realize that sound takes space. bedroom acoustics reach diminishing returns quickly after the basic mirror points and contender traps are in, and those don't have to be expensive at all.

Even the recording done all analog like foo fighters and jack whites, don't seem to have the same charm. My current concept is OB for tracking, a mix bus chain I to a capture system, and I'm toying w the idea of a coulle of analog bus setups. Like drum bus, vocs, rythym, so the individual tracks or track buses get sent individually to the alanolog buses, then those feed the analog master bus chain. Basically keeping the daw a multi track, and digital splitter/router for the most part, and keeping the analog bus sections simple.

I think avoiding recall hell just requires diligent organization and a solid workflow. Everything should be printed and kept organized I think. Keeping the computer in charge of audio data as much as possible I think is gonna go a long way toward the long term recall ability of projects. I dunno the whole thing is murky.

One thing I'm not a fan of is track it flat as a rule. Daw mixing is a lot less obvious when the some work is done in tracking, and I'm finding multiple small mix changes are better than one drastic one. Thru fewer channel i sterns, and more groups and busing, 'processing points' there seems to be less over degradation, since I've been messing w this lately.

audiokid Wed, 12/31/2014 - 08:32
kmetal, post: 422996, member: 37533 wrote: Even the recording done all analog like foo fighters and jack whites, don't seem to have the same charm. My current concept is OB for tracking, a mix bus chain I to a capture system, and I'm toying w the idea of a coulle of analog bus setups. Like drum bus, vocs, rythym, so the individual tracks or track buses get sent individually to the alanolog buses, then those feed the analog master bus chain. Basically keeping the daw a multi track, and digital splitter/router for the most part, and keeping the analog bus sections simple.

processing "parts" of tracks on one DAW via the Round trip is a common practice but you could consider this.

I personally would avoid otb processing "parts" of tracks or stems and returning back to the same session. This creates the need for latency compensation and one DAAD away from the other tracks.
I use a console to insert gear OTB, making sure the the entire mix arrives together rather than parts.
Once OTB you choose which tracks to have character and which do not, but everything always arrives and leaves together at a constant SR to which it was originally tracked at.

This is why a transparent hybrid mixing or summing console is ideal. You process only the stems needing the mojo while others stay true, but still at a constant SR.

Summing the session all together to an uncoupled capture at this point is the bonus step. Mixing into your capture DAW, while monitoring from there, even better.

Taking advantage of two different SR while they are uncoupled has additional advantages.
You work the magic from the tracking/mixing DAW, use the automation features the DAW provides while taking advantage of the otb processing in one step.
But during this entire process, you are monitoring from the capture system (DAW2)
Nothing is out of sync, no need for a super clock,, its all in one step and you are always hearing exactly what the capture sounds like at its destination SR. Nothing needs to be bounced.
There is nothing more awesome than this.

kmetal Fri, 01/02/2015 - 08:28
The uncoupled daw is part of the plan, has been for a while since, I've been quietly watching your threads and you and boz's reasonings. My concern w round trip, is just latency and phase issue that would crop up. These kind of things occur w the digital busing and pluggin delay compensation, as they are not quite perfect yet to my ears. Or should I say to my ears, once they had been pointed out to me. So add to that a round trip thru the same set of converters, and it seems impossible that this would not have a fair amount of errors.

At this point 44.1 is on its way out as a final resolution, probably the type of quality we'll see from streaming services, or 48. My new personal setup is gonna most likely be at 96 for tracking and mixing. And as we move into 64bit systems at the studios, that will be our default sample rate, or at least mine. This is also why my personal system is more focused as a capture daw, as I'm going to bring it around w me to sessions, and have little need for more than my tablet and phone for my home demo ideas.

Lately I've been noticing more than ever, the sonic difference between the multitrack, and the resultant digital bounce in DP 7. Volume matched and all, it always seems a bit smaller/closed down, and a bit limited and bandwidth. I could very well be imagining it, or its the tiredness getting to me at that point in mixes, but I don't belive that's the case.

Bob Katz book, really opened my eyes to how digital works, and error rates, and what not. 12years ago w audition, and a sound blaster, I started w digital and loved the idea of unlimited tracks, after a having only four tacks. I was under the misunderstanding that digital is perfect, in a sense that what goins in goes out. It's close, but what I think were hearing is digitals inability to fill in what's not there. Analog will ad noise, or whatever, to kinda fill in the holes.

What we re hearing as harsh and edgy, is quite possibly, just holes between the samples that have been mangled, but never 'filled in'. I guess what im getting at is that I think what we are hearing is exaggerated, non-linearities in digital tracks. Which is to me is probably why higher sample rates, don't always sound better to everyone, and don't necessarily even sound 'better' in an enhanced sense, as much as 'less degraded' or 'more accurate of a representation.

This is my journeyman pipe theory, as I'm (very)slowly grasping a deeper understanding of computers, and electronics, now that I'm a bit more sure of myself behind the board, and the day to day things like that. I'Ve even started building a basic soldering setup, as I'm sick organizing slack of pre made cables lengths, and should haves basic repair skills like swapping caps, and ic chips, as well as being able to swap pickups.

Next after that, is lessons from a couple pros on how to setup guitars and basses, as well as how to have a more methodical appraich to drum tuning, and be able to executed different methods (like bottom head down a Minor third or whatever)

audiokid Fri, 01/02/2015 - 10:52
kmetal, post: 423068, member: 37533 wrote: Chris are you saying that harware inserts should be used in the daw? And that any type of OB should be done between the mutiltrack, and capture daw? Or that the capture daw is only necessary why changing SR?

No, quite the opposite.

My process sounds complicated but it is very simple:

Analog hardware is inserted OTB either through a transparent summing console or between the DA AD of the converter mixer (OR NOT AT ALL!). 2 uncoupled DAW's is cool enough. I never insert hardware and return it back to the same DAW.


  1. DAW1 = tracking and mixing step. This feeds the entire workflow. I am always mixing here.

  2. Analog console or summing box = stem or summing colouring step. NOTE: Not all stems (lanes) need to be colored. Even though I have 32 DA arriving OTB at my disposal, just because I have 32 available, I don't use all of them to insert hardware. I dedicate specific channels for specific flavors or effects and leave some clean. I route "DA" the entire session through individual channels or groups (bus's and Aux') to the hardware lanes which ( again) are always controlled by the tracking and mixing DAW, follow? The beauty of transparent stem mixing and summing is, I don't colour (sonically degrade) the entire session like you unfortunately have no choice with a character console. This is why a dedicated summing system rivals a vintage console summing solution. Some channels might having nothing on them but they still arrive OTB, unscathed, in phase and head to the summing system. Everything is eventually summing together in one pass regardless of what channels have gear between the 32 lanes. To add additional features, I also include a Dangerous Master which comes "after" the 32 analog channels. In other words, I send 32 channels OTB and feed the entire session eventually into the Dangerous Master. This step is my dedicated 2-bus Matrix. This is where specific 2-bus mastering gear and M/S processing happens. NOTE: All through this process (recording, and summing) I am hearing cause and effect pre or post at its destination point. Do you now see how I dedicate each step for specific tasks? Each step is connected to a monitor system where I am always able to hard bypass cause and effect signals too. Follow? From the Dangerous Master, I now connect the Second DAW, which is uncoupled from the first DAW.

  3. DAW 2 is the Summing and Mastering Step. This is where I hear everything at the destination SR and where the mastering processes are ready! Being able to mix into the destination SR has clear advantages. DAW2 is where I base all my decisions and where the final processing remains . I mix into DAW2 as if it was the mastering bus on DAW1. Follow? So, I am basically bypassing DAW 1's mastering section, inserting analog gear in between the two DAW's and summing it all on another computer which is loaded with summing and mastering software. DAW1 SR is @96k DAW2 is 44.1.
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    Each step of this process is uncoupled from the next but share a common monitoring system that is connected to all 3 sections (DAW1, Analog, DAW2) so I am able to hear cause and effect from the time the mics are up to how it ends up on the internet.

    Make more sense?
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