Demo sounding Mixes

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Mixxed UP, Jun 3, 2001.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Hi, you can mix in protools! It just takes a while to understand how to. If your tracking sounds good you haven't lost any ground.
    Maybe get someone else to mix it but go direct out on all tracks.
    Or stick at it, Once you get the hang of it, it is fantastic!
    I use the same session players quite often ,
    All the plugin settings I made for these guys that I saved from previous session are instantly recalled to use in new sessions & I am taking about 15 to 30 min a song to mix a 4 piece band with all the spatial stuff totally finished. I am listening to the mix & there is not a single thing I can do to improve it, so the mixes are the final ones.
    ProTools can work for you! It took me about 6 months to adjust to mixing totally within it. So if you have the time.
    If you haven't email me & I can talk you through it.
    You can download the setting through the Protools plugin preset co op site
    Regards Michael
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Hi guys!

    You said " Mixing internally within PT is an entirely different ball game. The fader outputs are not truncated but passed direct to the mix bus which calculates values based on 56bit resolution. The resolution of plugins is only 24bit, even those
    that use 48bit precision math have to then dither back to 24bit. Obviously in this scenario,mixing internally and adjusting volume with plugs, you are adding dither noise and working at a resolution lower than the mix bus. It's not massive but I've tried it both ways and can hear the difference, even in double blind tests."

    I admit to being more than a little dence on this kind of thing.. It's not clear to me which is "better" in the above post despite me re-reading it many times over! I would love clarifacation!


    I mix internaly.

    Out of more superstition than anything else, I use the optional "Dithered mixer"

    Presently I get a rough mix of static elements, then instance Waves Ren 4 eq's on each track and copy the fader levels on the mixer, on the plugs fader.

    I had it in mind this was getting me a fatter sound than using the fader to reduce the levels away from zero.

    Then I procede with mixing on a ProControl and use the mixers faders from there onwards.Most time they sit on or'around' zero.

    Could you please be so kind as to tell me WHAT I AM DOING!

    Is what I am up to a valid exersise? (I admit I am following advice I got a long time ago off the Digi site from another user) thanks in advance

    Long live PT!



    P.S. a refined discussion re the above practice and the use of RTAS plugs would also be of great interest! :) Am I correct in thinking that might even yeald a BETTER sound? (that is if I'm not already wasting my time with that 'mix fader on zero , level set with plug' trick!)
  3. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi Jules,

    First, the dithered mixer. In the original test between the dithered and undithered mixers I spent a lot of time trying out different mixes. Although I could hear a difference between them, I didn't think that one was particularly any better than the other. However, on an number of mixes I could hear a higher noise floor with the dithered mixer, due presumably to the additional dither noise. For this reason and because the dithered mixer uses more resorces I don't use it.

    I eventually got my head around the technical side of things regarding mixing levels with plugs rather than the faders. I then set up a test and low and behold the information supplied during the thread by Digi proved to be correct. Basically, the input and output of all inserts (and sends) in PT are 24bit. So in your case you feed a 24bit signal to your RenEQ which then changes the levels using 48bit precision maths and the resulting audio is then dithered or truncated (not sure which the RenEQ does) back to 24bit before being passed on to the fader and then the mix bus. However, if you use the individual channel's fader to control volume the resulting changes are passed on to the mix bus without truncating back to 24bit because the mix bus has a 56bit resolution. Obviously if you are mixing externally you are bypassing PT's mix bus and going direct out from a 24bit interface so the fader's output is truncated.

    In short, if you are mixing internally use the channel's fader to control volume rather than a plug. On the other hand if you are outputting channels through your interface you are better of leaving the fader at zero and adjusting volume using a plug. So in your case you should be mixing your levels with the faders (on your ProControl) as you would on any other system but your master faders, the channels which are going to be output at 24bit, should be left at zero.

    I'm not sure how well I've explain this. Let me know if you still have any confusion. BTW Jules, where are you based?

  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I'm based in North London.

    So! That stuff I am doing is a waste of time!

    Hmmm rats..

    And perhaps the ditherd mixer too!

    I alway understood that the trip away fron zero on the digi mixer - was bad voodoo.

    Oh, vell bek to zee olt drawink board zen!

    How about RTAS then, isn't that a higher 'resolution' or something like that??? (!) would the plug in trick work with that?


    I wonder what Speer thinks of this...Speer? You arround? (He is a Digi voodoo / user folklore beliver like me!)

  5. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi Jules,

    I seem to remember that Speer favours the dithered mixer. Each to his own. I think it depends on personal preference and to a large extent your monitoring environment. Perhaps my environment is more sensitive to the noise floor.

    << So! That stuff I am doing is a waste of time! >>

    Afraid so. If you were taking all of your channels out individually and mixing on an external desk then what you are currently doing would give the best results, but not if you're mixing internally within PT (or via a ProControl).

    << How about RTAS then, isn't that a higher 'resolution' or something like that??? (!) would the plug in trick work with that? >>

    The resolution of the plugin itself makes little difference as it's output still has to be truncated or dithered back to the 24bit resolution of the TDM bus. When mixing internally your main channel faders are not truncated or dithered because the output is passed straight to the 56bit mix bus. Theory, common sense and my own experience dictates that truncating/dithering every individual channel in a mix has got to represent poorer quality than if you don't.

    North London eh? I'm just a little way north of London myself.

  6. bradz

    bradz Guest

    i seem to remeber reading somewhee around here that it's advised to not use bounce to disk, but to send the mix out, and back in to a new pair of tracks. what's the thinking behind this, and is there any truth to it?
  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<hr>Originally posted by BZ:
    i seem to remeber reading somewhee around here that it's advised to not use bounce to disk, but to send the mix out, and back in to a new pair of tracks. what's the thinking behind this, and is there any truth to it?

    I have done a couple experiments. Upon reversing polarity and blending the 2 versions together, the only differences left were in "random" elements such as dither noise and complex reverbs.

    There have been people who did the same type of experiment and perceived a loss of dimensional quality. I propose a few UNtested theories to explain this.

    1. Inferior Sync. If ProTools is using internal sync, perhaps there is some type of jitter induced when the BTD function is used. When I did my experiments, external sync was used.

    2. "Random" based effects algorithms (such as those in reverbs) carry a lot of the weight for spatial qualities in many mixes. Maybe the processing for such algorithms really is suffering from some artifact in the BTD function? If #1 is true, this is the first places jitter will be likely to have a detrimental effect.

    3. Automatic application of inferior digidesign dither not disabled?

    4. Imagination.

    5. Digidesign ^#$%ed up, and they know it. But they still won't admit it.

    If anyone cares to explore these, I'd love to hear the results. To tell the truth, all my own suggestions sound out on a limb to me. Fortunately, I don't have much need for BTD.

    For those who need a bottom line: If YOU hear a difference and you don't like it, don't BTD. If you don't hear a difference, or you do and it's not enuf to make you lose sleep, go ahead and BTD till the cows come home.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
  9. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi Angelo,

    Like you I carried out some bounce to disk tests and I couldn't detect a difference. However I don't have much need of this feature either so perhaps it only occurs on certain types of mix. BTW, again like you my system is properly clocked.

    As to your point 5, although Digi do sometimes blow it, they are generally reasonably good at admitting it. You can never be absolutely certain though.

  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Convert after checked ? A new feature in 5.1.1 ?

    WTF is that?

    It's "supposed to sound better" say the digi witch doctors



    Were the f^^*k is it anyway?

  11. lwilliam

    lwilliam Active Member

    Oct 6, 2000
    Santa Clarita, CA USA
    Home Page:
    Yeah, in 5.1.1 you have to select whether you want your BTD converted "during" the bounce, or "after" the bounce. This would make more sense if you're converting 24 to 16 bits or to MP3 format, but it's there even if you're just doing a 24-bit BTD to the native sdii format. If you select "after", then once the file is created, it then does something to "convert" it to sdii format. You watch as the little window pops up and shows the file being processed with a "progress bar". It doesn't make much sense when you're just doing sdii files at the same bit depth, but it's there anyways.

    To MixedUp: The clock source can make a pretty noticeable difference in the depth and spacialness of a mix. Getting a Nanosync or even a Rosetta will definitely improve the sound from the better clock in those. I only have an 001, but since adding the RME to my system, the mixes have definitely stepped up a notch.
  12. Todd Farone

    Todd Farone Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    We haven't heard from Mixxed up in a month... I hope everything is alright... Should I call the Police? Yo! Mixxed up... How are those mixes coming?
  13. Jonkan

    Jonkan Guest

    my guess is that its not the gear, but the engineer thats causing the demo sounding mixes.
  14. eez!!The wants list just keeps on growing doesn't it? It never ends funding it well hey, that's another holliday (sic) down the toilet then.....

    Welcome to the world of digital audio and marketing. Sure, we can sell you a 24-track work station for $1000. BUT, in order to record 24 tracks at once you'll need interface XYZ2000, $2500srp. AND, if you need more than twenty minutes of recording time, you'll need the optional SCSI card and 20Gig drive: $1400srp. Oh, you want to hear all this "perfect" data? Then you'll need optional analog I/O card ANL500: $799srp. You see where this is going.
    Of course, since it's all digital, our stuff won't work with their stuff, so don't even think that when we said "SCSI" you could hook up any old drive to our bus: BUY OURS!
    Think I'll hug my old JH.
  15. Mixxed UP

    Mixxed UP Guest

    The mixing/recording of our current project hit a snag due to our Bass player being an army reservist...
    Anyway, the project has progressed with some of the tracks re-recorded and processed with the Purple Audio compressor. They sound better, but not always the same tones in all cases :) .
  16. jo

    jo Active Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Home Page:
    Hi everybody

    I'm a bit late, but I have a question regarding Pro Tools Fader levels: Why should I set the levels in a plug in , while I'm mixing on an analog desk with automation?
    I'm doing it the old way: mixing desk with nice outboards/efx. So I go direct out to the desk with all channels - every signal gets tuncated to 24 bit (but my files are 24 bit, what gets truncated?

    Thanx to everyone - one of the best threads about pro tools and I read a few.
  17. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi Jo,

    << So I go direct out to the desk with all channels - every signal gets tuncated to 24 bit (but my files are 24 bit, what gets truncated? >>

    If your faders are at unity and you've got no plugs on the channel, then nothing gets truncated as like you imply, there is nothing to truncate. However, the act of moving a fader off unity or putting a plug on the channel introduces mathematical calculations on your 24bit file. A large part of the result might end up being outside the 24bit window. Let me give you an example: Let's say you record a track leaving a bit of headroom so that you are using 22 of the 24bits available. You then lower the fader half way to infinity. You have halved the resolution, you are now only using 11 of the 24bits. The other 11bits of your 22bit recording fall outside the 24bit window and have been discarded (truncated). To get around this problem PT calculates the results of the fader moves at 48bit resolution. So even when you halve the resolution with the fader all 22bits of your track are retained. Of couse you now have a 48bit file stored internally by PT which at some stage you have to get back to 24bit to output. You can either do this with truncation or dither + truncation. In reality the maths don't quite work as I have indicated but the principle is the same.

    There are two main ways of using PT: As a recorder/editor or as a recorder/editor/mixer. If you are using PT only as a recorder/editor then use it as a recorder/editor and don't be tempted to use any of the mixing functions, that's what your external desk is for! The problems that seem to have arisen are if you are using PT as a recorder/editor and mixing externally but decide to do some of the mixing in PT, like changing the gain or using some plugs. If you absolutely must do this then you may get better results by changing gain using a 48bit precision plug that dithers it's output rather than using the main faders.

    Jo it seems like you are doing it right so you've nothing to worry about.

  18. jo

    jo Active Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Home Page:
    I'm not worrying, because it sounds good to me, but everyday I learn something new - so I'm alive.
  19. crazy_guitar

    crazy_guitar Member

    Nov 28, 2001
    I agree with some people here, he just needs more experience. I've heard some near-pro mixes done with crappy 8-track digital devices.
  20. Mixxed UP

    Mixxed UP Guest

    While working in a local studio, I have been able to isolate the problems with our approach. Generally speaking, I have found that many projects submitted locally for "Mastering" suffer from the following:

    1-Over compression or heavy limiting
    1a-over-used analog tape compression simulation

    2-Unfocussed/distorted low end of mix

    3-wandering stereo image

    Although some of the problems can be attributed to the producer, generally the problem resides in use of low-cost "budget" equipment.

    I've found that major improvements to our sound can be wrought by two simple improvements to our system.

    1-Recording a project in full 24-bit using a high 88.2 or 96k sample rate.

    2-Full spectrum reference monitors - that do not rely on use of a subwoofer.

    Due similar project studio submissions, I have made this assessment. Any comments???? I have found that projects recorded 24/96 throughout sound best and end up producing the best mixes. I suppose we will all be saying the same of 192 and 384, but really 24/96 does produce better sounding 16-bit 44.1k final mixes.

    Anyway, with this in mind, We fully expect to be upgrading to the new PT's (when available). I've been reading about a new and improved hardware/software system release soon. We will upgrade the AD/DA converters to take advantage of the new recording resolutions. Also, we will upgrade the reference monitors (probably this will be upgraded first).

    My time in the studio has proved very beneficial. I will be applying my hands on knowledge on our current gear in the mean time.

    Mixxed Up

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