whats the point of outboard gear in a DAW?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by bencrud, Jul 5, 2002.

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  1. bencrud

    bencrud Guest

    Thats the question I need answered. If there areplug-insthat do just about everything, why have a compressor, effects processor, mixer etc? What are the benefits? I own a lexicon mpx110, bellari la120, RNC and i just ordered my new delta omni studio, do i still need my outboard gear? :D
  2. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    Hey Ben,
    I run a commercial recording studio using a DAW (Pro Tools HD) as my primary recording , mixing and editing platform). I have sold all of my outboard gear over the past 18 months and I do not use anything outside the box anymore unless it is a specific effect that is needed from a specific box.

    See my post in the Pro -Talk board:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    I have no objection to external gear, and if someone really needed a very specific sound like an LA-2 on a vocal I would rent one rather than try to emulate it with a plugin. That being said I have not had any requests for any rentals since I started doing everything inside the box.
  3. thedug

    thedug Guest

    I think outboard is important for the signal path prior to your pc. It is very important to keep your A/D & D/A minimal. I prefer to do it once. So I don't use outboard gear during mix. However some outboard gear is essential in tracking.

    1) Good preamps
    2) Compression - that rnc you mention does wonders on taming a wild bass player. That way you can still print really hot so that you get good A/D. You always get better A/D when you print hot. I normally run everything clean whil tracking and add it later. Except sometimes compression is handy to get things under controll.
    3) Also, I have some fx that are just really cool. So i print them to tape while tracking. Like my echoplex and my effectron. Also I keep a reverb around for "reference reverb" while tracking. I will run it down an aux send but not send it to tape, just so the singer doesn't have to hear their voice dry on tape. You could use plugins for this, but I use direct monitoring. :)

  4. thedug

    thedug Guest


    But most importantly.

    Get nice preamps, I said NICE preamps. The MAUDIO PC BUDDY doesn't count. NEVE, API, Mellinia, Grace, etc...

  5. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    Great Pre-amps are a must, when tracking.

    Also while you may want to track hot you want to make sure you don't track too hot. Many DAWs will sound best if you track around -14 to -10 dBFS. There is no need to get close to zero unless you are using a 16 bit converter (this is for A/D). On the D/A side you want to get as much level as is reasonable for the sound.
  6. bencrud

    bencrud Guest

    I assume the pre's on the Omni are not "great"
    thanks for the tips....
  7. suspec57

    suspec57 Guest

    i got rid of MOST of my outboard gear as well. a big thing to consider though is what if your system goes down during a session. for this me and my friends have other system hard drives that are set up exactly the same as the ones presently in our systems. but back to outboard gear... i have yet to find a sound card company that can give me the kind of mic preamp qualtiy i would like. plus if you have a ***er that can be used as a controller you can perform certain tasks more efficiently. even if its just trimming or panning a track, that few seconds of time saved verses having to use a mouse to do the same things does alot during a session. and as for effects...once i started using waves gold bundle and tc, i never touched my effects processor again so i sold it along with my compressor.
  8. llornkcor

    llornkcor Active Member

    May 8, 2001
    Brisbane, Australia (originally Boulder, CO, USA)
    Home Page:
    Tools. Usually outboard gear doesn't crash, doesnt cause pops and clicks. Usually has cool dancing lights, and is more fun. Knobs are fun to play with.

  9. ChrisStuckey

    ChrisStuckey Guest

    Exactly! Kinda like the difference between a soft synth and the real thing. Sounds great, but kinda hard to play it away from the desk.

    I will never give up my compressor, eq and sonic maximizer!!! :cool:
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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