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Tracking and Mixing w/Analog board and DAW


I'm thinking of buying an analog board to use with my Protools setup.
Which is: -Powerbook 15/1.5/2gig
-002R PT 7
-Behringer ADA8000
-Command 8
-Yamaha MSP5's
-Seagate 160 FW HD

I guess my thinkig is saving some resources with not having to put an EQ up on every track ,less page jumping to adjust an eq.I guess I just want a little easier hands on approach.I just don't really like mixing ITB.

My question is would I be better off buying a board with tape returns so I could have monitoring tracking and mixing through the board without having to re-patch alot.Does this make sense?Looking at a Mackie 24/8
Any help is appreciated! Thanks!


Randyman... Tue, 04/11/2006 - 14:16
That 002R will only do upto 16 outs IIRC (if it can even do that many). You would only have 16 "Sends" to your desk (not 24).

I would also say that some basic EQ and Compression should not take too much CPU power. You'd still depend on the PC for Dynamics and effects anyway. You could probably surpass the Mackie's quality with the included PT-LE plugins IMO. The Mackie Mix Bus isn't all that hot - but certainly useable.

I'd invest the $1000 or so into a new PC/MAC that is more powerful opposed to spending it on a "Pro-Sumer" Analog Board... You will eventually get used to mixing ITB - it just takes a while. You can even sell your MAC Lappy, and put that back into your new computer!


RockRBuddy Tue, 04/11/2006 - 16:54
THanks you guys for the replys!

The 002R can have 18 outs w/SPDIF.I Know I don't need a board w/24 inputs but I thought that the tape returns would let me keep everything patched in for Mixing/Tracking.My PB. does alright up until its time to mixdown(especially w/PT7)I can't seem to run near as many plugs since I installed PT7.Anyway,My overall plan would be have an outboard mixer w/outoard reverb and delay.That way I could have multiple verbs and
Vocal FX without Killing my PB.Then Mixdown into a CDRW out of the board.(another issue after you get a mix ITB w/alot of plugs it might playback but half the time its to much to buffer)I guess i'm leaning towards an analog mixer after my friend who owns a Studio w/ 25+ years experiance,and has done some work for major labels.He recently purchased PT HD2 rig.He mixed a project ITB,then through the board( D&R Orion)I know it's a long way from a mackie,but it sounded more open,warmer,and a board is much faster to get around on than a command 8(though much nicer than a mouse).A new Desktop would help out in some areas but my main factor for the "lappy" was portability.
I've benn mixing ITB for a year and a half now and just not really diggin it.Mixing through banks of 8 and a page per band on an eq's just too much extra work IMO slows the workflow.

Randyman... Tue, 04/11/2006 - 17:17
True - but do you really want to mix on a Mackie? I mean, they don't "Suck", but you will not get anywhere NEAR the sound of that D&R out of a Mackie and poor Behringer conversion IMO. I see moving to a Mackie as a step down in fidelity, but a step up in having tactile EQ and Faders per channel.

Maybe consider a Control-24 or something else with more controls?

Totally up to you (obviously). Just don't expect to get the D&R Sound (probably a $100,000 board) out of a SMT Mackie that runs about 100x less ;) . I bet your friend had very good converters feediong his D&R - where you will be struggling with Behringer and 002 converters - this will also create a large "Gap" in the sound you want and what you will get (16 channels of Apogee will be in the $3000 range w/o a console!).

Lots to consider - and plenty of reasons to re-consider IMO. A Mackie is not a "Step Up" from PT-LE as far as the Mix Bus and quality of EQ is concerned IMO.


RockRBuddy Tue, 04/11/2006 - 17:45
Randyman thanks again for your response.

I definitly have to agree with you.I not expecting to achieve those same results obviously.But I just think theres something to be said about mixing down through an analog board.I mean I have LE I'm not expecting HD results,but I would like to have "some" of that analog sheen on my recordings.As far as my conversion that I know sucks but just a stepping stone piece of gear until I can afford something quality.(I figured I'd pick up the Behringer ADA800 for $200 instead of like a Digimax or Octopre for $1K(after ADAT card),saving $800 on something thats better but not by leaps and bounds.Do you have a board preferance in the $1-$2 range.I'm not married to getting a mackie.Allen & Heath look pretty nice,and I've heard alot of good things about them(Good EQ,quality Parts,Durable)

Randyman... Tue, 04/11/2006 - 18:09
I don't have any suggestions on a $1000 board. The common logic is that is takes a pretty darn good analog board and DA conversion to surpass what a DAW can do internally (above a Mackie for sure). Then, you also talk about external effects and external 2-Track Recorders. This all adds up and up - but your end result might not equal what you could have done ITB. Also consider ALL of the cabling this will take. Expect to spend another $500-$1000 there, too (seriously).

ITB with a more powerful PC and a good control surface is probably the "bang for your buck" methood of choice. Using a few channels of "Killer" channel strips (mic pre's, and a Comp or 2) to get into the box will have pleasing results (opposed to using a "Mediocre" analog board for tracking and mixing after the fact). Going to an Analog Board can have excellent benefits, but the price goes up exponentially if you want quality.

There is so much to deeply consider. It becomes highly personal preference as well. If you just don't feel comfortable ITB, then your mixes will always suffer. In that case, a $1000 analog board (and a $500 CD-Recorder, $1000 in effects units, $1000 in cables, and a desk for the console, etc etc) might help your mixes (but the DAW still has more potential IMO).

If it was ME (you are NOT me), I would get a few good Mic Pre's (smoke a Mackie's pres easy), a stellar compressor (LA2A, 1176, etc that will smoke VST plugs), and a new computer that will allow some serious processing. This would end up about the same investment, but your tracks will be so much fatter and more lively than recording+mixing through a Mackie IMO.

Take one Mackie channel - A Cheap Mic Pre, Cheap EQ, some cheap busing, and a cheap mix bus (add 24 of these and a power supply, and it ends up at $2000 or so). Take a high-end channel strip - Insane Transformer balanced Mic Pre & fully discrete, tasty musical EQ, and maybe a descent compressor - for about $2000. 24 Chanels of "Entry Level" strips, or 1 channel of "Gold"? Do you want instant gratification, or are you "Aiming for the Stars" in the long-term?

See if others will give their $0.02. I'm just one man :)