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Author Topic: External summing of DAW mixes  (Read 47438 times)

Bill_Urick

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External summing of DAW mixes
« on: October 06, 2008, 07:35:50 am »

I have tended to dismiss this, but am reconsidering.

Are you doing it? Do you feel that it makes a significant difference? What are you using?

Thank you.
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

MDM,

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 07:41:35 am »

there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.
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Bill Mueller

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 11:12:54 am »

MDM, wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 07:41

there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.

Max,

As usual, spoken like a real authority.

Now, PLEASE explain why, using technically acceptable language and a minimum of hyperbole and opinion.

Best regards,

Bill
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"Don't take it personally. But this shit is a science." J.J.Blair

“The Internet is only a means of communication,” he wrote. “It is not an amorphous extraterrestrial body with an entitlement to norms that run counter to the fundamental principles of human rights. There is nothing in the criminal or civil law which legalizes that which is otherwise illegal simply because the transaction takes place over the Internet.” Irish judge, Peter Charleton

marcel

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 12:12:31 pm »

Not to be a vibe killer (!), but there is extensive discussion about this topic here and elsewhere on the net:

here is a good start

Should keep you busy for a week or so, LOL.
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Vertigo

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 12:43:22 pm »

Quote:

there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.


This may not have been the authoritative answer you were looking for, but it sums up my own observations 100%.

I know that using Nuendo there is a definite difference between the sound of summed tracks ITB versus console. I find that the individual tracks seem to retain much more of their definition OTB and I really find the Nuendo mix bus to be terrible in comparison; although that's not to say that I've been entirely displeased with it. I've done ITB mixes that sound great, but I still like the sound of my analog console mixes much better.

If you're thinking about going this route I'd definitely recommend investing in some good outboard. Plug-ins tend to sound much different OTB...

-Lance

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Harland

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 02:30:32 pm »

Analog summing is different than digital summing. When you experiment a little for yourself you'll soon know which you like and why.
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Bill_Urick

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 04:26:57 pm »

marcel wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 12:12

Not to be a vibe killer (!), but there is extensive discussion about this topic here and elsewhere on the net:

here is a good start

Should keep you busy for a week or so, LOL.



So true. But I'm really interested in the experience and practice of members of this board at this time.

A few years ago I did a comparison of the same tracks played from PT ITB and from RADAR through a Soundcraft Delta. Clearly (Edit-In my opinion  Smile )  the RADAR/Soundcraft mix was more satisfying. But this is not the same as running stems though a box.


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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

MDM,

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 04:39:05 pm »

Bill Mueller wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 10:12

MDM, wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 07:41

there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.

Max,

As usual, spoken like a real authority.

Now, PLEASE explain why, using technically acceptable language and a minimum of hyperbole and opinion.

Best regards,

Bill



I don't need to explain why Bill, I am not a teacher by profession, and therefore am not limited in my perception by having to explain the technical aspects of what my senses tell me.. and only believing in that which I can explain..

this ain't a court of law.. tis a forum
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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy .. in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
John Adams (1735-1826) 2nd President, United States

Bill Mueller

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 04:58:44 pm »

Vertigo wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 12:43

Quote:

there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.


This may not have been the authoritative answer you were looking for, but it sums up my own observations 100%.

I know that using Nuendo there is a definite difference between the sound of summed tracks ITB versus console. I find that the individual tracks seem to retain much more of their definition OTB and I really find the Nuendo mix bus to be terrible in comparison; although that's not to say that I've been entirely displeased with it. I've done ITB mixes that sound great, but I still like the sound of my analog console mixes much better.

If you're thinking about going this route I'd definitely recommend investing in some good outboard. Plug-ins tend to sound much different OTB...

-Lance



Hello Lance,

For the last few years I have been immersed in a culture of absolutes. If you burn so much propellant for so much time, you generate so much force which accelerates so much mass to such a speed. At the same time, the rocket scientist genius types that run the program, go to great lengths to state their opinions as OPINIONS in exactly the same way you so appropriately just did.

This forum sometimes takes me to the other extreme of the experience, with some people stating their unsubstantiated opinions as FACTS. A simple, "In my opinion", or "I believe" or "as per my observation" would take these discussions in a much more productive direction. The reason I am such a stickler for such decorum, is because this is a well respected forum and there are many young engineers coming here for knowledge and wisdom. I don't want them to get those valuable commodities confused with opinion and conjecture.

Best regards,

Bill
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"Don't take it personally. But this shit is a science." J.J.Blair

“The Internet is only a means of communication,” he wrote. “It is not an amorphous extraterrestrial body with an entitlement to norms that run counter to the fundamental principles of human rights. There is nothing in the criminal or civil law which legalizes that which is otherwise illegal simply because the transaction takes place over the Internet.” Irish judge, Peter Charleton

Harland

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 05:09:03 pm »

Running stems through a box is a combination of digital and analog summing.  If pure analog summing sounds way better than pure digital, it might be worth it to make the compromise, but I guess you would reach a point of diminishing returns - like a 96 track DAW mix stemmed into 8 channels of analog summing, say. Maybe at that point it wouldn't be worth it.
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marcel

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 05:14:03 pm »

Bill_Urick wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 13:26

So true. But I'm really interested in the experience and practice of members of this board at this time.

A few years ago I did a comparison of the same tracks played from PT ITB and from RADAR through a Soundcraft Delta. Clearly the RADAR/Soundcraft mix was more satisfying. But this is not the same as running stems though a box.


I think the results are going to depend on the quality of said 'box', in all fairness.  There is a massive range of quality in analogue mix busses, and probably PT is going to seem (forgive me for this, Bill Mueller) 'more satisfying' than some and 'less satisfying' than others.

If it's PT vs. a Mackie, I'll probably take PT, but if it's PT vs. track-for-track thru good converters and an API Legacy, I'll probably take the console mix.

Is your question specific to summing boxes, or do consoles count?  If consoles are used, can the console EQ's and dynamics (if onboard) be used?  I know that's not fair in the scientific sense, but mixing OTB opens up a whole lot of 'other' options in terms of workflow.

Complicated.
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Bill Mueller

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 05:37:04 pm »

marcel wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 17:14

Bill_Urick wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 13:26

So true. But I'm really interested in the experience and practice of members of this board at this time.

A few years ago I did a comparison of the same tracks played from PT ITB and from RADAR through a Soundcraft Delta. Clearly the RADAR/Soundcraft mix was more satisfying. But this is not the same as running stems though a box.


I think the results are going to depend on the quality of said 'box', in all fairness.  There is a massive range of quality in analogue mix busses, and probably PT is going to seem (forgive me for this, Bill Mueller) 'more satisfying' than some and 'less satisfying' than others.

If it's PT vs. a Mackie, I'll probably take PT, but if it's PT vs. track-for-track thru good converters and an API Legacy, I'll probably take the console mix.

Is your question specific to summing boxes, or do consoles count?  If consoles are used, can the console EQ's and dynamics (if onboard) be used?  I know that's not fair in the scientific sense, but mixing OTB opens up a whole lot of 'other' options in terms of workflow.

Complicated.

Hello Marcel,

First let me say that ALL is forgiven, you can come home now. Very Happy

Also, I want to point out that you exactly define my circumstances. I record to a stand alone digital recorder through a stand alone digital console. Am I mixing ITB? I don't think so, but I'm not sure what the exact definition of ITB actually is. I can tell you that I don't experience the "crumbling" of fidelity as track count climbs, that I hear from those mixing within the DAW environment. I also don't use plug ins so I don't experience the degrading effects of them either.

Best regards,

Bill
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"Don't take it personally. But this shit is a science." J.J.Blair

“The Internet is only a means of communication,” he wrote. “It is not an amorphous extraterrestrial body with an entitlement to norms that run counter to the fundamental principles of human rights. There is nothing in the criminal or civil law which legalizes that which is otherwise illegal simply because the transaction takes place over the Internet.” Irish judge, Peter Charleton

trock

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 06:19:54 pm »

I feel kind of outclassed in this forum but i am just now starting to mix my songs back out of cubase 4.5.2 with stems thru my yamaha n12 mixer, using the comp, eq and verb on the mixer and then back into cubase on a stereo wav file "pre master"

i def hear a diff and well also use less cpu obviously. i hear more depth????? it just sound fuller and not as thin as my cubase mixes by themselves ITB.

i actually like it so much i am going to be getting another n12 so i have 16 mono and 4 stereo tracks to mix back out thru

not sure if this helps but i am also really enjoying this mixing out of the box. the fact the n12 is written for cubase makes it great because i can use cubase's automation and plugs and other plugs if needed at the same time as the tracks being routed back out thru the n12, so the combination is pretty cool

i hope that observation might help
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MI

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 06:24:22 pm »

The only grain of salt I can add to this is provided I start and end in the same format (console vs ITB vs passive summing) I can achieve a nice sound with either one. Provided I don't compare between formats because each has a slightly different sound. I work to getting the final sound in my head with that format. If you switch halfway through, there will be certain elements that don't translate well.

AFAIC, it's not a competition. Merely what works best for me with a given client.

I feel I can mix quicker by using the console and outboard gear because plug-ins take a little long (for me) to set up. However the advantage I'm digging with ITB mixes is for people who want to sit during the mix but are working on an indie budget and can't get to everything at once - even though I think it's a bad idea because you're in that perpetual state of "can we change that or add this?" rather than making a proper descision, there's always a "bailout" plan (kind like society these days)...Nowadays everybody loves the recall.

MI
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Bill_Urick

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 06:50:41 pm »

marcel wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 17:14



Is your question specific to summing boxes, or do consoles count?  If consoles are used, can the console EQ's and dynamics (if onboard) be used?  I know that's not fair in the scientific sense, but mixing OTB opens up a whole lot of 'other' options in terms of workflow.

Complicated.


I'm specifically referring to the practice of using automation and processing ITB and then running stems out to some device, be it a Dangerous Two Buss or an analog console. You are then doing a combination of ITB/OTB summing of course, so it's not gonna be the same as a console mix.

If you're doing this as a regular practice what are you using?
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.
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