2 daws question

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Smashh, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    So I ve read a few threads about 2 daws and bouncing from one computer to another .
    Ive got my macbook pro which I use all the time , and also have access to an iMac .
    My only interface is persons 16.0.2 .live .

    How would I go about hooking both computers to the studio live desk ?( there is 2 firewire ports )
    Would the desk handle two computers at the same time .?
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    That sounds like a question for our resident Presonus guru, Dave Hawk ( @dvdhawk ).

    :)
     
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  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    As is true with virtually everything, @Boswell would have a much better explanation.

    I don't think there's any good way you can do it without acquiring another interface. But if you could somehow hook both computers to the SL mixer they would share the same clock, and that would defeat the purpose of having the 2 DAWs. The clocks need to be decoupled, and the DAWs need to run independently of one another.

    As I understand your situation, you would hook the mbp to the SL16.0.2 and use that as DAW#1 for playback, take the analog Left/Right Main outputs from the SL16 into a 2nd interface that can handle line level inputs, which is connected to the iMac running DAW#2. You would then Play DAW#1 and Record the stereo mix on DAW#2 at the desired sample-rate and bit-rate (for instance 16-bit 44.1kHz if it's an audio CD). The only connection between the 2 DAWs would be the (unclocked) analog stereo signal, and instead of letting some algorithm calculate what those multi-tracks sound like when they're mixed down to stereo (while also converting the sample-rate), you're simultaneously playing the multi-tracks in real-time (in their native higher sample-rate) out a stereo bus to the 2nd DAW, which only has to capture the resulting stereo pair in real-time (in the correct sample-rate for your CD).

    I suppose hypothetically, you could come out the analog line out or headphone jack of DAW#1 into 2 channels of your SL16 connected to DAW#2, but I find it hard to believe even the best computer headphone output would be of high enough quality.

    Hopefully Sir Boswell will jump in with his advice (and any corrections).
     
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  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    Over the years when I've done a 2 DAW method, since it is the very last step, I take that stereo analog signal and run it through some nice outboard hardware that I feel enhances the sound. And since it's the last step, I will try to set the record levels on DAW#2 to optimum output with no 'overs' - like you would have mixing down to tape in the ancient days. Identifying the loudest moments in the song is useful since this is transferred in real-time. An 'over' or 'clipping' 3 minutes into the song means stopping, adjusting, and starting again. You may choose to put a compressor or limiter on the inputs of DAW#2 to catch those 'overs' (or not) depending on your personal preference, and philosophy.
     
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  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    You really do need independent audio interfaces, one on each of the two computers, although it's likely that one of these interfaces could indeed be your SL mixer. However, just as on most FireWire equipment, the two FW sockets on the SL mixers cannot be used independently, and are meant for daisy-chaining multiple pieces of FW gear on to one host FW port.

    If you are considering doing some serious experimentation using the two-box method, the critical component in this process is the 2-channel (stereo) ADC on the capture computer. It's pointless using, for example, the built-in sound card on the capture computer's motherboard or a $25 converter built into a USB cable. You need at least an external audio interface, and the higher the quality of this, the better your result will be. If you give an idea of how much money you might be prepared to spend on a 2-channel interface, we could give you some suggestions of what you might look at.

    The Presonus SL mixer could well work as the output interface for box 1. I'm not sufficiently familiar with using this range of mixers as an output interface, and Dave H (dvdhawk) would be the best to advise here, but you would need to be able to perform (digital) mixing of channels of data replayed via the FW interface without incurring extra D-A-D conversions. The D-A conversion is done at the mixer's two-track main outputs, and these would be cabled into the analogue inputs of the interface on the capture computer (box 2). This is the point at which additional analogue hardware can be inserted, as Dave mentioned.
     
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  6. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    yep ,the only way I could try at present would be by use the internal on macbook pro running pro tools and out of the headphone jack ,then in to the SL desk and the other daw at 44.1 /16bit.
    How is the sound card on the macbook pro ?
    BTW thanks for the replies . :)
     
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    do you have an old dat or cdr recorder? that will work just as well as a second DAW.
     
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  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I have a different take on this. Although I am in love with a 2 "DAW" workflow, I also don't recommend doing this unless you dive in deep meaning, use the main components that Chris Muth began this journey when he came up with the Dangerous hybrid workflow. I follow that but take it one step further and include 2 DAW's and uncouple the pass as Bos describes so well.
    (being able to avoid bouncing down)

    That being said, based on extensive use, I wouldn't step into the 2 DAW or box system unless you involve two excellent convertors, an external (3 point hybrid monitoring system) and have at least one good analog summing section with its own (monitor out) as well . To my extensive use, passing audio through some mid level analog pass is not much different than the standard round trip processing people have been doing on the same daw for almost 20 years now.
    The reason I am so adamant about implementing external monitoring like the Dangerous Monitor ST, external monitoring exposes most of this as a lot of hype and wasted money. The analog "hybrid" pass is cool but it is shifting the audio more than it is actually improving. However, that might just be all that is desired too)
    To my test however, this same effect can be achieved ITB through clever transient processing. From this POV, one has to wonder if any investing in analog "hybrid" expense is worth it when you can just to shift the waves ITB, if not better.

    So, this is why exceptional ADDA and a very high quality analog summing system is so important to those who hear whats good and bad about hybrid mixing and mastering.

    I'd rather see this done properly over reading endlessness humbug comments saying, "I did it and heard no different, etc" Its all bunk etc. Or... its so amazing, digital audio sucks, hybrid is so much better.

    Its a big topic and not easy to fully grasp or explain. The Dangerous Monitoring approach takes you deeper into the journey of listening for "cause and effects" of what we do from the start of recording, mixing and mastering. The two DAW system is more about listening and avoiding bouncing down to what analog gear adds to a hybrid mix. Personally, don't waste your time on this unless you include the main hybrid workflow as well.
     
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  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    we have to agree to disagree on this one Chris or i am misunderstanding your remarks? is what you are saying is don't even try unless you have 2 $5000 DAWs and a $5000 summing and monitor system?

    i don't think anyone needs to make that kind of an investment. i've heard a marked improvement with a simple solution such as a Mackie mixer and an old Fostex CDR recorder. one doesn't even need to bring that many channels out of the DAW for summing. 3 to 8 channels is enough to make a huge difference in imaging, depth and clarity. it's like lifting a blanket off the sound.

    it's a simple thing to test. do one mix itb and a second through whatever summing method you want and which ever recorder you have. does it make a difference? if so is the difference an improvement? if so, then you're a convert. season to taste.
     
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  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Yes and no. You can fool yourself all you want but if you aren't using excellent ADDA, that is your first loss. If you aren't using an external monitor system, you are also at a big loss. But what does Chis Muth know right... or the mass who actually take the steps to prove to themselves that improved listening come to the conclusion that "OTB mixing" is mostly hype today.
    I'm more inclined to the believe, invest in analog front and for the most part, once ITB, stay ITB. There are some exceptions going OTB because some processors are unavailable ITB. OTB mixing for the most part is a lot more about distracting the obvious bad tracking over any sonic improvements. However, its definitely a lot of fun and on those merits, might be all that matters.

    Well I have to disagree on this. What you are really hearing is the shifting of audio and the smearing of raspy AD conversion. When did you do this and what converters did you use when you did this?

    Cheap converters have a raspy 2 to 8k edge that any analog pass improves. Or I should say, smears and masks. That is what you are liking.
    Excellent tracking doesn't need extra hybrid analog smearing to improve it at all.
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Hybrid audio is 80% monitoring breakouts to me (meaning being able to hear cause and effects better). The other 20% is being able to avoid bouncing down and possibly putting a simple analog effect processor in the middle of the pass for coloration or emulation. Pretty cheap in comparison to the money you think is needed Kurt.

    The expense and benefit to what I call a "2 DAW system" is in the monitor system and converters. The rest needed is optional, personal and very subjective.
    ITB mixing/mastering and well coded software excels imho. ;)
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    well all i am saying to readers is try it. what i have heard is an improvement to my ears and i didn't have to take out a second on the ranch to do it. most of us probably have what we need already.

    as far as smearing imo that happens when a mix is done itb, more than which converters are used. why it sounds better to me isn't as important to me as than it just sounds better. would i love to have a rack of BURL gear? sure. but it makes no more sense for me and most home studio enthusiasts to make that kind of investment than it does to go by a new API. and if it sounds "better", what's the harm?

    what i think is hype is the idea that someone needs $20,000 worth of equipment for a home studio. the only one who benefits are the manufacturers. i've got a whole shelf of digital junk sitting out in my shop. expensive converters are a black hole people throw their money into. there's always a next best thing. how many different set ups have you been though in the past 5 years Chris? Of course Chris Muth advocates your position. It' all upside for him.

    unless work is being done that pays for the investment, what's the point? what matters is the song, the arraignment, the musicianship, the performances. anyone who can't cook a tasty snack on the cheapest of gear offered these days, is in the wrong business. plenty of great recordings are being done on Zooms and Boss potty studios.
     
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  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Better tracking, better converters are way cheaper to the hybrid path. Hybrid mixing (meaning stemming out to racks of gear or a large format console is a dated process to me.

    Which is why I use a second well coded DAW like Samplitude apposed to just a capture box. I'm not intending to use analog gear as a replacement to mixing. The analog pass is only there as a breakout to insert something like a Bricasti or tranny, which is why hybrid monitoring works so well, you can hear it when the monitor controller is able to switch to each section of your breakout (tracking, mixing, mastering (mixdown). Big subject, impossible to grasp until you are actually involved in hybrid mixing and have an actual hybrid monitoring system.

    There is a lot of misinformation on the web about it and a lot of people completely engulfed believing hybrid mixing is so much better.
    The topic makes fun discussion but I personally don't buy into most of it today. My focus is and has been for many years now, about improving my listening skills, how my monitors connect to each breakout section of my workflow and finding better ways to make the computers faster and better.

    I'd love to have an analog console for tracking but I'd rarely if ever use it for mixing. Hybrid mixing is expensive and a big waste of money.
    I'm happy for those who think differently. In the end, its just art.
     
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  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    that's not the issue i have run into. in fact summing itb sounds dull and flat to me opposed to analog summing. itb sounds like i'm losing presence and dimension to me. i am not dealing with thinness and raspyness, rather dull and flat. taking my mix out of the DAW summing 2 buss and summing in analog just sounds better to me. i don't even need to do any processing. like you i usually just add some verbs and perhaps some time domain effects (delays / Eventide H3000) for ambiance.
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I agree.
    Eventide OTB is a beautiful thing. I use one and love it.

    But, I think you owe yourself a favour to at least know that some of your opinion is based under the older crop of ADC and DAW systems (pre 2006) .
    Good converters sound beautiful. Or should I say, very natural and dynamic. They sound open and life like as you are in the room. The older crop of converters (cheaper ones) are more one dimensional and have and obvious upper freq harshness, boomier bottom end, honky mids.. Cheap gear equals the need to EQ more, thus rendering smaller sounding mixes.
    When your take smaller sounding mixes and pass them through something analog, the analog (being what analog does so well, which is a constant change) and what I call "swing" , 2 buss processing between the left/right does a nice stereo shift creating a wider sound. The old time line shift trick... A mono pass simply does the same when it goes back into the DAW or capture box as well.
    Not to mention, a degradation of digital edge comes off too. Is that degradation good? Well it sure is when the track was recorded using edgy converters.
    When people are mixing for a living, having all sorts of things from analog to digital, the analog hybrid process is ideal for smearing and softening tracks. If something was recorded beautifully in the first pass, I see no advantage degrading it just because you have gear. In fact, people that have good ears will instantly know you reduced the bandwidth to their beautiful recording. ITB mixing keeps things pretty exact.

    In 1998 I bought into digidesign Pro Tools Mix and used digi converters. They sounded absolutely like $*^t. We all went from warm analog 80's sound to transparent brittle lifeless 16bit and by the time 2006 came we were all so backed from it, we still haven't got over it all.

    But I blame part of that sound to how I was tracking too hot, processing too much and bad digi converters. Banging the meter in red lol!

    I believe to accomplish a more pleasing warmth you recall has more to with how the left and right is crossing over transients which isn't a bad thing. Analog does that smoother and this is one of the reasons I like having an analog pass but that also comes at a price ($ and sonic degradation). (I also believe this same shift we like about analog is possible with digital processing.

    In the end, whatever works for what we have is all that matters. I just don't want to be constantly miss quoted as the guy suggesting you need to spend thousands of dollars to get the effects of what hybrid mixing does with one thing apposed to racks and racks of gear. I think good ADC and some simple but high quality analog processor goes a long way.
     
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  16. Smashh

    Smashh Active Member

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    Interesting discussion . Looks to me like the thing for me to do is maybe wait until i can
    afford an interface/desk that does 192 kHz . :unsure: , and great ADDA converter

    Thanks for the info on the 2 daw set up

    I think Im barking up the wrong tree here , after reading your responses ,i realise
    that Im looking for a cure to some ailment that I created .

    Getting back to learning more about listening (y)


    I love to learn about techniques for mixing , but I am fast becoming a fan of doing next to nothing
    and maybe use 1 plug in per track max on the raw material .:cool:
     

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