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Author Topic: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?  (Read 145183 times)

mumbles

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2005, 03:40:12 pm »

Hi there,

    We are in the middle of CONSTRUCTING our own desk because we hate mixing on a DAW so much.  I mixed in the CPU, using Digital Performer, for years.  I mixed on a shitty little Mackie once and it was all over.  Sure, it sounded like a Mackie (grainy, cartoonish), but I could see (hear) the potential.  
    We plan on using an HD recorder for tracking and mixing down to 2 on our Frankenstien board within a month or so, and I know that I'll never look back.  

Automation is nice, but you have to choose your battles.

Seamus
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Seamus
Upstate, NY

wireline

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2005, 03:54:15 pm »

Right now, totally ITB with Samplitude...was using a digital mixer that was OK, but I never got what I WANTED from it...eventually used the mixer only as a cue send system...and eventually, I want to go the stems route...

But I am curious of the operative definition of 'using a board':  are we talking about submixing in DAW then stemming, or are we talking about the huge format boards?  I would think it makes a difference...
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Ken Morgan
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Dave Peck

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2005, 06:25:08 pm »

wireline wrote on Fri, 29 April 2005 20:54



But I am curious of the operative definition of 'using a board':  are we talking about submixing in DAW then stemming, or are we talking about the huge format boards?  I would think it makes a difference...


Here, it means tracking through a good two channel A/D converter into the DAW, then bringing 24 channels of D/A out during mixdown. If I have more than 24 simultaneous tracks to mix, the more critical tracks come out one track per D/A channel, and a few of the less critical tracks may get submixed in the DAW and come out on a single channel or stereo pair. The final stereo analog mix goes back through a good converter to a Masterlink at 24/96 or 24/88.2 (bypassing the Masterlink converters).
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Touchwood Studios

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2005, 08:32:52 pm »

I must in the the minority ITB for the last 5 years although I do so outboard analog eqs & comps. I need to remain compedative in my market with several projects on the go at once and up to 3 different sessions per day I need to switch back & forth lots.
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gwailoh

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2005, 03:52:59 pm »

Some questions for those objecting to the sound of ITB mixes.  I hope these questions don't seem stupid!  I'm researching product choices for my new studio and the issue of ITB mixing or not is one I've wrestled with.

When you talk about ITB mixing, are you "bouncing" mixes to disk, which I understand is the preferred method in PT?  Or are you summing to a stereo bus and sending digital or analog output to an external 2-track device?

What sample rates and bit depths have you experimented with?  Do you find them all equally mediocre?  What about 192/24?

What's your clock source?

What are your stereo image sources?  Are you generally recording stereo tracks, or mono tracks which you pan-in-the-mix and treat with stereo effects?

How are you monitor mixing?  Do you do that ITB, or do you use your external console?

Some of the posters in this thread mention that they mix to an external console because they like the sound of analog better.  Have any of you experimented with the "FATSO" from Empirical Labs inserted across the stereo bus at mixdown? The box seems to have a positive buzz, I'm curious whether any of you have opinions.

DigiDesign has a "white paper" on ITB mixing: http://www.digidesign.com/digizine/archive/digizine_april04/ techtalk/.
What do y'all think of this?

Thanks!

compasspnt

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2005, 07:19:16 pm »

gwailoh wrote on Sun, 01 May 2005 15:52

...Have any of you experimented with the "FATSO" from Empirical Labs inserted across the stereo bus at mixdown? ...


In that case you would still be summing inside the computer, then just inserting an external analogue simulation device across the stereo buss.

That's not  at all the same as coming out track-for-track (or even with some submixes in stereo) into an analogue console, and summing there.  In fact, with the console scenario, you could still use your "FATSO" if you wanted to.
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gwailoh

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2005, 11:53:54 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 01 May 2005 16:19

In that case you would still be summing inside the computer, then just inserting an external analogue simulation device across the stereo buss.

That's not  at all the same as coming out track-for-track (or even with some submixes in stereo) into an analogue console, and summing there.  In fact, with the console scenario, you could still use your "FATSO" if you wanted to.


Thank you for your reply.  This wasn't what I was thinking though when I asked the question.  I'm really just asking if people have used the box in the configuration I suggested and whether it addresses any of the sonic objections to ITB mixing which have been expressed.  Thanks though!

plughead

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2005, 01:09:39 am »

FWIW,

Been mixing ITB for many years, with a few exceptions mixing out to a console. I agree to an extent - mixing out to a console can often be an asset, but I think one of the points rarely acknowleged is what STYLE of music we are mixing. I believe for hard music (rock/metal/emo/etc) it IS better to mix OTB, as loud, distorted sounds (electric gtrs, etc.) tend to get ugly in digital: analog rules in heavy music, and it's strengths are slamming inputs, and summing. OTOH, mixing jazz or classical is often better ITB - less noise, colouration, and true to the performance. These are vast generalizations, and obviously subject to vary, but I think the biggest thing killing mixing ITB is smashing the hell out of the tracks: tracking inputs far too hot, running all tracks @ 0 dB, combining 32 - 100+ tracks of it - what do you think is going to suffer? Digital is not analog, and vice versa. They cannot be treated the same way, nor should they. Digital has it's limits, and we all realize what those limits sound like.

If we could ever get back to mixing music with dynamics, and not be bent on red-lining everything from input to output, we'd be enlightening ourselves to what's really ruining our mixes, and music in general...

My opinion only - YMMV greatly,
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N. Jay Burr
PlugHead Productions

Timeline

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2005, 09:18:42 am »

OTB API 8200 x 24
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Gary Brandt
Timeline

Jules

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2005, 01:35:52 am »

out of DAW via 16 Prism converter channels feeding a Fulcrom summing device... level boosted via API mic pre's

Mixing ITB pisses me off but it is on buget for me...

Anyway I ALWAYS hated mixing... it pissed me off on analog too...

So no change there whatsoever....

I want an SSL AWS 900 !!!!

tom eaton

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2005, 06:59:20 am »

Mixing out of the box here...one of the things Ilike best about my Otari Elite is that I can bypass all the faders and eqs with three button pushes, turning the thing into a 48 input summing mixer (using RADAR and two MOTU1296s as d/a), or I can use the moving faders to do real desk mix.  Recalling pan pots becomes the only real job, which takes about 30 seconds using the Eagle automation's "image" (total) recall.  I've always felt that the ITB mixes sound choked compared to summing with the board...pretty much the same experience as everyone else.

-tom

Keyplayer

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2005, 11:52:39 am »

Is there something way more complicated about doing automated mixes on a desk? It seems like once everybody started using DAWs, they're doing their automation inside and just past the stems through the desk for "analog sweetening." Why is that?
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LawrenceF

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2005, 12:49:32 pm »

Keyplayer wrote on Thu, 05 May 2005 11:52

Is there something way more complicated about doing automated mixes on a desk? It seems like once everybody started using DAWs, they're doing their automation inside and just past the stems through the desk for "analog sweetening." Why is that?


It depends on the desk.  I use a d8b whose automation system is great but the automation in SX is just so much easier and sample accurate where the desk automation is driven by MTC.  Even if I had an analog console with automation it would have to be pretty good system to make me use it instead of the daw's automation.

It all depends on what desk you use and what you prefer.

Lawrence
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bobkatz

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2005, 09:57:33 am »

Tomas Danko wrote on Sat, 23 April 2005 16:13



For whatever harm my DAC's are doing to the audio, my console is more than making up for it in mojo.

Sincerely,

Tomas Danko





I think the key word here is "mojo". Digital summing is technically nearly perfect. Analog summing is technically far from perfect. It MUST BE, by DEFINITION, the imperfections of the analog summing and the additional analog circuits that the signal goes through that are so attractive to many of us. I can live with that  Smile

And let us remember that an API sounds different from a Dangerous Two Buss from a Soundcraft Ghost from an SSL 4000 (E or G?). So to generalize too much about the sound of "analog summing" is also a dangerous concept.

BK
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J.J. Blair

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Re: DAW & Desks: Is ANYBODY actually still mixing on their desk?
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2005, 12:26:22 pm »

Jules wrote on Wed, 04 May 2005 22:35


I want an SSL AWS 900 !!!!




Jules ... why?  Christ, the 4000 series has more character than the 9000.  If you just want to sum your channels, get the Inward Connections box or the Manley.  The 9000 series EQs are only outdone by the Neve Capricorn in terms of most boring EQ ever in a high end console.  The AWS900 looks like it makes a perfect boat anchor.
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