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Author Topic: External summing of DAW mixes  (Read 48228 times)

wwittman

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2008, 06:55:13 pm »

Bill_Urick wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 07:35

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.




Huge difference.

I've been using the Dangerous 2 Buss


The BEST thing is to come out into an actual console, naturally.
But given the choice between mixing entirely ITB and using the summing box, the summing box wins by a lot, for me.


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William Wittman
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jetbase

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2008, 07:16:58 pm »

I always do some level of processing & automation ITB, then transfer to my HD24, to mix on my Soundworkshop Series 40 console. Sounds better to me than mixing ITB. I use console eq, outboard dynamics & fx, so not sure if that counts to what you're referring to, but I notice a difference even before I apply any of that analogue processing. The main difference apparent to me is that, through the console, the mix has more depth & clarity & so can produce the illusion of real instruments in a room much more easily. Also, I generally find eq plugins really limited in their use-ability (if that's a word). Having analogue eq is really important to me because of this.

If I was just a 'computer guy' looking to get some kind of analogue mixing capability I'd be aiming to get one of those little old Yamaha boards (the ones that are alledgedly Neve copies, if that matters) because I like their sound, they're not expensive & I would be able to use it for location recordings on occasion.
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trock

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2008, 07:24:18 pm »

what you are asking about is exactly what i am doing with cubase and the n12. i track and mix in cubase, i do my automation as needed in cubase and use some plugs also. but then i send certain channels to grop channels in cubase and route them out thru the n12 since its templates are designed for this.

i then use the outboard eq, verb and comp as needed on the n12, hit the REC buttons on each track on the n12 and in cubase create a new stereo track and all ITB and OTB tracks go there for the mix

then i master that stereo file in another project

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Bill_Urick

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2008, 10:22:58 pm »

wwittman wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 18:55

Bill_Urick wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 07:35

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.




Huge difference.

I've been using the Dangerous 2 Buss


The BEST thing is to come out into an actual console, naturally.
But given the choice between mixing entirely ITB and using the summing box, the summing box wins by a lot, for me.





One Dangerous is 16 channels, correct? Are you using just one?
How do you usually configure the stems? What is your D/A?

Questions, questions, questions...
Smile
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wwittman

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2008, 11:33:02 pm »

It varies from session to session.
I don't worry a bout it too much.

I usually set one stereo pair to monos, and use that for bass drum and bass guitar, on one, and lead vocal and solos on the other.

then usually drums in stereo, guitars in stereo, keys in stereo, backing vocals in stereo, effects in stereo, more if needed.

so for example:
Drums 1-2
guitars 3-4
keys 5-6
Bass drum and bass 7
vocal and solos 8
backing vocals 9-10
effects 11-12
etc.

as I said, I find the more you just split things out instead of it all coming down that one stereo funnel, the better it sounds.
but HOW it's split doesn't seem to be a big deal.

this system has Digi 192 IOs

goes to an A&DR compex for stereo compressor before it comes back into ProTools to record the mix
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William Wittman
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Barry Hufker

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2008, 12:02:18 am »

I have to agree with Lance about Nuendo.  I don't know why, except it must be the software's "mix engine".  But the sound I hear when I am creating the mix in Nuendo and the resultant bounce to stereo are often quite different.  Often I am startled by that difference.

Have I resorted to mixing OTB? No, I like the extremely clean quality I get ITB and can't afford the gear it would take just to do an OTB experiment.

Barry

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Bill_Urick

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2008, 12:12:04 am »

Barry Hufker wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 00:02

I have to agree with Lance about Nuendo.  I don't know why, except it must be the software's "mix engine".  But the sound I hear when I am creating the mix in Nuendo and the resultant bounce to stereo are often quite different.  Often I am startled by that difference.

Have I resorted to mixing OTB? No, I like the extremely clean quality I get ITB and can't afford the gear it would take just to do an OTB experiment.

Barry




Have you tried just printing the mix rather than bouncing it?
Are you doing SRC and bit reduction during the bounce?
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Tomas Danko

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2008, 08:14:06 am »

Bill Mueller wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 21:58

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


Bill,

That was a very good post, to the point and about something very important that I cherish and value highly regarding PSW. I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe I should just have written +1, but that would not express my thoughts to the right extent.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Danko
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MDM,

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2008, 08:44:00 am »

from day 1 on the inferior digital systems of yesterday, I noticed that something was missing, squashed, grainy etc.

there is an analog summing 'sound' and a digital summing  'sound'

the analog summing 'sound' is more spacious.. i don't need to know why, because i hear it.

from the yamaha 01 I used when new (which sounded decent) to internal bounces of my old akai hard disk to the modern DAW's including pt etc. digital summing makes things grainy most of the time, and makes everything a bit flat..

usually as you add instruments and layers to a mix it becomes bigger.. with digital summing it seems that you can only go so far and then the mix begins to implode.. or crap out..

in other words the APPARENT resolution, or amount of light and shade, detail etc. SEEMS limited..

given that as a LISTENER the apparent end result is far more important than the scientific mechanism behind it, i value appearance above all, when judging a playback system.

I just recently did something with pt and an outboard mixer and I had the engineer spread out the stems because I liked the discrete outputs better..

it's not going to be essential for bedroom music perhaps..

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Byra

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2008, 09:02:24 am »

Has anyone here checked the difference between analog summing and simply lowering the faders of each channel ITB by 12 dB or so and then summing ITB? In other words, if its a question of too much signal for the digital mix buss to handle (even if its not clipping), wouldnt this help? I know there have been lots of posts praising the virtues of tracking at lower levels, so this seems like a logical extension of that.

I havent done the comparison because I dont have a way to do it, but I know that my mixes sound better when I lower every fader equally, even though none are clipping.

--Byra
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jyurek

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2008, 10:14:05 am »

Byra wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 09:02

Has anyone here checked the difference between analog summing and simply lowering the faders of each channel ITB by 12 dB or so and then summing ITB?


My anecdotal experience with this has been that things tend to sound better when the faders are higher or closer to 0.
I suppose that if you've already tracked at a nice, low level, you need not further attenuate (too much) when summing.

marcel

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2008, 10:27:13 am »

I like to come out as close as possible to track-for-track.  I will use stems (often 'keys' or 'guitars', almost always 'FX') if my track count exceeds available outputs.  

I know this is not very 'advanced' in the sense of what a DAW can do WRT making recalls easier, etc, but I made the decision at a certain point that I would make my investment in analogue equipment, which holds its value both financially and in terms of utility, rather than plugins, which are constantly being updated and must be kept current with the DAW.  

So in reality, I think this is a financial decision.  I run my own (small) place, so I'm in a different situation than, for example, William, who (I'm assuming) works in a variety of places and must be able to take his tools with him when he goes.  Further, I like to have analogue available when tracking, so why not expand my analogue options and then use them during mixing?

I think what I'm trying to say is that my decision has been made not on the basis of how the summing sounds, but on all the other things that my chosen workflow entails.
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eightyeightkeys

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2008, 11:26:15 am »

MDM, wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 08:44


...usually as you add instruments and layers to a mix it becomes bigger.. with digital summing it seems that you can only go so far and then the mix begins to implode.. or crap out..

in other words the APPARENT resolution, or amount of light and shade, detail etc. SEEMS limited..



That's a really good way of putting it.

Tracking and mixing at low-levels has dramtically improved my work though and the next step, for me at least, seems to be reducing top end, where appropriate, and just creating more "space" up there. Seems to be working so far.
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organica

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2008, 11:58:13 am »

Dave @ D D wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 11:26




Tracking and mixing at low-levels has dramtically improved my work  .....


Same here , yet with still much room for improvement .

Would anyone mind sighting an example or two of specific routing you're using when going through a summing device like the Dangerous 2 Buss ?   Somehow going back into the same DAW seems almost counter productive , yet it seems as though many do just that .
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wwittman

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Re: External summing of DAW mixes
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2008, 12:54:16 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Tue, 07 October 2008 00:02

I have to agree with Lance about Nuendo.  I don't know why, except it must be the software's "mix engine".  But the sound I hear when I am creating the mix in Nuendo and the resultant bounce to stereo are often quite different.  Often I am startled by that difference.

Have I resorted to mixing OTB? No, I like the extremely clean quality I get ITB and can't afford the gear it would take just to do an OTB experiment.

Barry





same thing in ProTools (and you can write your disagreement on all the 'white paper' you like Twisted Evil )

but that's why I DON'T "Bounce To Disk" and instead RECORD the mix back in, either through two busses ITB or out to the summer and back in through two A-D channels.


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