Mixing in the 21st century

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by sdevino, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    OK how many of you have joined the 21st century and at least attempted to mix entirely within a DAW (occaisional inserts allowed).

    - Did you use a mixer at all?
    - Did you track dry?
    - Have your mixes improved over time?
    - What are some of your favorite DAW mix tricks?
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I'm on Alishad,

    Yes for monitoring and some track laying ... mixing room and direct sounds for guitar ...
    Oh! .. and the drum kit.

    Tracked dry and wet ... mostly dry I think in the last 12 months or so.

    Mixes have improved ... but I think it is down to the sources have improved.

    Fav mix tricks is quite simply, more automation, more subgroups than my analog mixer and most of all ...

  3. Steve,
    Firmly in the 21st century- I love mixing in PT. I do like to run stuff out to analog compression and miked amps (vox and keys for FX), but everything else is PT. I love the automation capabilities- everyone thinks I'm crazy because I like to draw volume automations across single notes to bring out feel. Cheers, Doc.
  4. Steve,
    BTW I love automatingplug-insas well. Try that on yer outboard gear. Cheers, Doc.
  5. cutflower

    cutflower Guest

    No problem. MIDI was made for the job. It doesn't seem to work on my Great British Spring though.
  6. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Home Page:
    Schitzoid Man here! Been trying to do mixes in PT for since 1996 with various results. I use my mixer as a router and for tracking drums which still go to 1/2" 8 track here. I track with a little eq and compression but generally don't print effects except with guitarists. Have my mixes improved?... I cannot answer this question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself. One of my favorite tricks is taking stereo tracks and collapsing them to mono for mood and efect... then opening them back up for a dramatic build. It's a nice trick for an option to the "phone filter" breakdown/intro in a song.
  7. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Oh I've joined the 21st century alright...I actually got caught in a worm hole some where around 99 and got dropped here...it's been 3 or for years all at 2002....finallly you guy's got here..whew

    But seriously, I've been doing lot's of all pro tool stuff for the last three years...and I still prefer to mix analog when budget allows. For Demos, song writing, tv, etc all pro tools is more than fine...but for doing a great sounding record I still prefer mixing on a great analog console. It's about the actual depth and blend and feel for me. Although...I do all my PT work with a mouse...were I to consistently sit in front of pro control my attitude might change...except for the depth issue...they'll get that eventually.

    Gettin' it on tape right...that's the real trick. The least amount of processing, the better-except for exceptions (there's always those).
  8. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    I think I'm mixing in 1995. No DAW. Up to 7 Adat XT's and/or the 1" 16 trk through three O2Rs to 1/4" tape @ 15 ips or Adat or DAT.

    Use all outboard mic pres and compression, track dry. O2Rs provide cue mixes, monitor mixes and automation. Most stuff stays digital when mixing, although "problem" tracks go out for analog compression, serious EQ, and/or gating. O2Rs are used for light EQ, light compression, and the afforementioned automation.

    In my dream world I would have a big automated analog console with multiple RADAR units.

    My mixes have improved as I got more facile at getting rid of lower mid-range mud, and learned how to use the automation better.
  9. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    In my dream world I would have a big automated analog console with multiple RADAR units.

    That's a good dream
  10. volodia

    volodia Guest

    I mix with Alishad and a console .Yes my mixes have improved . I use the loop a lot and It makes things go faster . I don't track dry I tend to try and get the best possible sound when tracking. I spend some time to get my regions absolutely clean . I cut the tom tracks when the toms are not playing . I will only dees the places where it's needed (the "s" itself ,thank you automation). I prefer to use a console because I have the impression that it sounds better when I use separate outputs than a stereo bus inside Pro tools . :w:
  11. 1. Watched the other guys tracking to ADAT in the studio this week. Ugh! Did I mention how much I love tracking to Pro Tools? No bad punches, waveforms, looping, undo/redo, I love it. Of course I was hosed because my hard drive died- only 6120 days until files recovered according to my tech team! Have configured new back-up HD to prevent this happening again. Live and learn.
    2. Like the automated desser idea.
    Cheers, Doc.
  12. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Might i kindly suggest (if your recording you own drums) that you read this thread:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Properly recorded, toms should not need to be muted....because when you get it so that you don't need to mute them, they contribute to the bottom end of the snare.

    Oh...and I love to De-ess through automation with PT also...the best " de-esser" ever ( did any body say bye-bye 902?)
  13. volodia

    volodia Guest

    I'm a trained engineer and I've been recording drums for a long time in many ways (even three mikes set up) .I'm not a purist . it's just a matter of what I want to get in the end . if the sound I'm aiming at means doing things that might sound unnatural to other ears I don't mind ,it's the final result that counts . I don't think there's only one way to do things right . we're not necessarily looking for the truth (nobody listens with his ear stuck to the snare) but what will fit the track . recently I striped-silence a vocal , cut away all the breaths and it gave the track something special .The music leads my choices. ;)
  14. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Yes, and No. Yes..I stay in the digital domain as much as I can get away with but I use as many tools (dig and analog) as needed to translate the artists vibe as far as it needs presenting to get that sound that is very special to the song...the meaning of the song, the inner feel of the vibe..yes..even some mistakes will be there in performance for that human touch..if they are acceptable to the artist. I will not limit myself or my artist *if* staying in one domain will hamper a special need that I know I can get from an analog piece that we mutually agree is "better" for the tune. Silly things like using the analog input of the standalong CDR for making CD's can actually improve certain performances. I cannot remember ever doing any two songs the exact same way..I bring out the kitchen sink..if it will help the session. As tidy as doing it all on the screen is, the overall phattness of my mixes using the tools I choose is just on a whole different level from what I have heard using "DAW" only. This is not to say I am against DAW only. Certain projects can be done this way and come out rather suiting. The best way is the way that gets EVERYONE closer to the artist..on the back end...then I master to the next level of closeness...and this can go either or both ways as well. I like to think I do it in the 22nd century!..(shameless self promotion LOL)

    Use what works for you and your artists.
  15. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hmm. The 21st Century huh? Mixing totally in your DAW - with or without controllers? Well there was a time, back in the 20th century (anybody remember that one? Picasso, Jaguar cars, Teddy boys and B/W television - not even on a plasma screen) when I thought not only that that was possible, even desirable. Now...well this is the 21st century.
    Kind regards :cool:
  16. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    - Did you use a mixer at all?

    - Did you track dry?
    YUP! I note my exact settings in my database, too! That way when I have to go back a few days later for punches, OD's or retracking, I know where the mic was and the gain settings to boot!

    - Have your mixes improved over time?
    I dunno... nobody's asked for their money back... yet. (GULP!)

    - What are some of your favorite DAW mix tricks?
    I use digital as a storage and editing media. I'll fly stuff in/out of DP to DAT or ADAT then mix down to 1/2 track, CDR-W or DAT.

    The two mixes I tracked and mixed entirely by mouse were ok, but seriously, didn't hold a candle to what I can get with analog... I just can't find anything to beat real tube distortion or a PCM 91.

    Hope I'm not needing to don flame retardent underwear for this reply guys, but there's just alot that seems to be lacking in 100% digital workflow. HOWEVER, I'm still looking at some of the different digital consoles for my new studio.

    Definitely RADAR... Possibly a couple of Sony DMXR1000's, a Fairlight Dream Console or the Yamaha DM2000. That way I think I'd get the best of both worlds... Unless someone's got an API Legacy w/5.1 for sale... cheap!

    I love my Mac and can even get one to do stuff that'll make ya wonder how the heck it did that?!? But, I just don't seem to be able to get what I want by mixing entirely by mouse. Windoze is such a vastly inferior and unstable OS that I refuse to go through the PITA factor of dealing with PARIS or PT. Is there anything out there in Linux-ville on either the Alpha or Intel platform yet?

    My (flame retardent underwear) .02 worth,
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