Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by grillwrecka, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. grillwrecka

    grillwrecka Guest

    Yo I got this producer friend who suggested that by using an analog console to mix on you could add a little warmth to your finished product.

    Of course he is using a Soundcraft Series 1600, and obviously the last thing the mix touches can't be analog (unless tape decks come back in style).

    Has anyone ever heard this? Any input? He is mixing on the console, straight to a real-time cd burner (CDRW900). Doing realtime "automation" as well.

    I was thinking since my project will be using a FW410 (which has 8 analog outputs) I would want a mixer with that many channels (really a 12-channel cuz I would need 8 faders) and 100mm faders. A new A&H board (wz3 16:2) would be out of my price range, but maybe a Spirit M8...any suggestions?

    Also since I have not actually begun working on this project, does anyone know that I can output the tracks individually to each output? I will be using Logic Pro 7, and eventually Live 5.0(when the Logic dongal runs out).

    Thanks guys!
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Yikes. So much misinformation out there.....

    I can't to answer your question about outputting tracks to an analong console, but that's not really the issue, I think.

    Simply routing digital signals through an analog console - no matter what the brand (Soundcraft, Mackie, Yamaha, etc.) - isn't going to warm up anything much by itself. The changes will be minimal and arguably not worth the hassle; you may simply end up adding noise and smear from analog EQ phase shift. (You may get better results tracking to analog tape instead, then going into the box and working with the DAW from there on out.)

    There are many many other things you can do to "warm up" a track, from the microphone selection to the processing and plug ins (virtual or real physical devices- tube compressors, etc.) to actual bounces to analog tape. IMHO, an analog console on its own isn't going to do much per se, and you'd probably find it a waste of your time and $$. (I'm guessing your producer friend didn't mention all the analog effects he may use in the process, in addition to the console itself. THAT could make a difference, of course.)

    You can find a lot of info on the web these days about adding warmth to digital tracks (and I'm sure folks will chime in here with their own tips and tricks for a warmer sound).

    But don't be taken by hype or a lure into quick fixes. The real trick is preplanning and selection of good gear; that way you can get the best of both worlds; digital workflow with analog warmth.

    Good luck with it, however you go.
  3. grillwrecka

    grillwrecka Guest

    Well, thanks for the input. I obviously am at least skeptical enough to do some research.

    He doesn't use any outboard effects really, besides tube pres and compressors, but thats all done on the way in.

    See, the reason I decided to check up on this is because I always wondered why interfaces like the fw410 or the emu 1820 had so many friggin outputs, so when he said that it clicked in my head that that might be the reason.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    There really isn't any pure digital signal path made. There are no true digital microphones. There aren't any true digital microphone preamplifiers. Everything is a hybrid combination made up of both analog and digital components. Where the difference lies is in how you combine the analog with the digital or the digital with the analog or the analog with the analog to the digital for the digital to the digital to the analog and back to digital etc. etc.

    Some engineers feel that when you mix inside the computer, the digital summing bus is an actual high-speed mathematical equation that along with the mathematics, there are inherent, minute, time delays which some engineers feel causes a smear or lack of focus in the sound. Those engineers like to do all of their affects processing within the computer and then feed the multitrack output from the computer back to their analog consoles where the signals are summed in the analog summing bus. There is no mathematics involved there and so there is no minute time differentials.

    Although sound craft consoles, are nice British consoles, they still don't sound like a classic API or Neve. Those consoles have been known to have a certain kind of warmth that many top engineers cherish. Sound Craft isn't one of them but to each their own.

    So there are both technical reasons and personal taste reasons why we all mixup our analog and digital signal paths. There has been a proliferation by some of the top console manufacturers to create an analog summing network, for just that purpose. But that is really for the big "boys" that really know what they're doing and what they want specifically.

    I specifically want another beer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Blacksburg, VA
    Lots of math Remy. Named after guys like Shrodinger and Maxwell. Sometimes engineers should stick to "I like the sound of the analog mixer better" and skip the "scientific" explanation.

    A beer is definitely in order.
  6. tallrd

    tallrd Active Member

    Madison, WI
    Home Page:
    There is *some* truth to the analog mixer being introduced to the signal path, but any gains you would encounter by doing so with a lower cost analog mixer would likely be negated by converting the signal from digital to analog and then back again to digital (unless you are using the "mastering" E-MU interface with the high-end converters--even then, the result might be marginal).
  7. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

  8. grillwrecka

    grillwrecka Guest

    so it turns out I need to get some neve channel strips, and make an 8 channel mini-neve console. Yeah I think I'll spend a rediculous amount of money on that and still use my m-audio interface.

    No, seriously thank you guys.

    And you're right about the Soundcraft board, it's a nice board but, there aren't even any tubes in it. I have to assume that tubes would be one of the main reasons for mixing through a console like that, feel free to correct me.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Pacific NW
    OK...Here comes yer correction. It is a snake-oil rumour that TUBES are needed to 'warm' a sound. While it is TRUE in some cases, it is NOT true in all cases. Some TUBE gear is built to be pristine and clean as anything imaginable. Some SOLIDSTATE gear will add harmonics and distortion to things that makes them sound all warm and fuzzy. The PATH of the electronics involved with a piece of gear and the DESIGN of the gear will determine what it will or willnot do. There are many many ways to skin it back......err....

    In your situation, you should absolutely use as much analog based gear as possible to TRACK the music. At MIX, you will have, in the digital realm, a series of warm sounding tracks which will require little if no, enhancement other than the day to day adjustments one finds himself doing to improve the sound coming out the monitors. This is , of course, entirely dependant on whetehr you have a clue as to HOW to TRACK instruments and various noises properly. So, YMMV.....
  10. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Mind if I use this as my new signature, or would that be offensive? This is really good stuff here.
  11. grillwrecka

    grillwrecka Guest

    awww why you gotta bust jokes?

    You can use it as long as you use the first line of the first post as well...

    "Yo, I got this producer friend..." -THAT is classic.

    Seriously though, you should be nice to noobs. I'm not sure why, but ummm, see how that would work out for me?
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Many people believe that the sound of API and Neve consoles are warm sounding yet clear and defined and they are all transistorized, no tubes. Much of the warmth comes from good-quality and/or bad quality transformers that are in the signal path. If it's smooth it must be warm. If it's edgy and crispy it sure ain't warm.

    Piña Colada's are cool warmth
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  13. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    OK then, here's some friendly advice: erase everything you thought you knew and start from the beginning. I get the feeling you are grasping onto little bits of knowledge from your producer friend (who may or may not really be as wise as he sounds) and taking them out of context and making up further assumptions based on ignorance (not stupidity, mind you) and internet marketing hype. Read around the forum and take in as much as you can, then do a bunch of hands-on experimenting with what you have learned, listen, and come to conclusions based on real knowledge. I think most of the BS gets weeded out or called out on this board, so you should be safe here for the most part. 8)
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Blacksburg, VA
    From what I hear, He is no slouch at binary math either.
  15. Rosemary

    Rosemary Guest

  16. grillwrecka

    grillwrecka Guest

    Well, thank you guys again. I am admittedly ignorant about high end/vintage gear, and that's why I'm here. Just wait Reggie, you'll say something stupid, and I'll be waiting there to pounce.

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