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Author Topic: J - What's your current set up?  (Read 3439 times)

Thomas Lester

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J - What's your current set up?
« on: December 07, 2006, 01:36:21 pm »

Hey J -

If I recall... you recently ditched your analog desk to go ITB (or semi ITB).  I'm currently all ITB and debating on going hybrid (mix ITB, but use outboard inserts/sends) or implement a desk.

Can you tell us more about your current set up, why you went they direction you did, and how it's working out for you.

Thanks,
Thomas

j.hall

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2006, 11:01:57 am »

i have a sterling modular mastering console now.  there is a pick of it floating around my forum somewhere.

i have three 12 space bays on an angle right in front of me, and three 6 space bays below them.

left rack

4 3 band sphere EQ modules (with space in the frame for 4 more if i can ever find some again)

sontec MEP-250EX 5 band EQ

vent space

SSL 384 stereo compressor

DBX 162 stereo compressor

Ashly SC-50

Ashly SC-50

Middle Rack

17" apple display with a marathon computer rack mount kit

Dorrough loudness VU meter (calibrated to my digi hardware to monitor mix level)

Monitor panel (stepped switch for acurrate left right monitoring, dim, mute, mono switches, and source 1 - 2 selector switch

right hand rack

ADC TT patchbay (2" 24 track I/O, PT I/O)

ADC TT patch bay (tie line to all outboard)

vent space

Focusrite Red 3 stereo compressor

Mytek DAC

the rest of this rack is currently empty.  a stereo mic pre will be added and more compression

lower left rack

middle atlantic RFI shielded rackmount power strip

Parasound CD player with SP/DIF output (i'll explain in a minute)

custom built rack drawer with 4 smokey amps in it.

middle lower rack

Adcom stereo amplifier (feeds the quested H108's and the velodyne sub)

right lower rack

middle atlantic RFI shielded rackmount power strip

symmetra peak passive limiter

dbx 120xp subharmonic synth

here is how my monitoring is wired up.

my monitor console has two sources.

source 1 = mytek dac
source 2 = line out of the mac

mytek dac has two inputs
AES = PT output which the DAC reclocks
SPDIF = CD player (i do this so i can monitor CDs through the exact same chain as PT

i wired up the mac line out to source 2 on my console cause i got sick of shutting PT down so core audio would launch just so i could listen to mp3s friends send me.


my montior console has a parrellel output that fees my dorrough meter, so basically anything passing through the console to the amp and speakers also shows up on the dorrough, which is cal'd to PT, which the DAC is cal'd to PT as well.  basically i know how loud i'm printing mixes by having the meter, which helps judge my overall gain staging while working.

all of my rack gear that's in the upper bays is in use for every mix with the ashly SC=50s as the only exception.  i only use them when i want that sound.

otherwise, i'm using everything.  i have the patch bays patched up and they never change.  i just I/O things from PT to whatever I/O each piece of gear is patched to.

with PT's ADC (which i use every time) i don't have to worry about any delay of outbaord gear since digi knows the delay of their hardware and drops it in as soon as i insert an I/O.  i only have to deal with ehe converters which for individual tracks hasn't bothered me yet.

i bring the entire mix out to the sontec which hits the SSL and that returns to PT to a stereo audio track that i put in "input monitor mode" (so i can monitor through the device i'm printing to)  when it's time to print, i drop that track in record ready and hit record.

that's my setup.
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Thomas Lester

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2006, 11:19:30 am »

So...  how are you liking it?  It sounds like a pretty good/efficient set up and a good middle ground between OTB and ITB mixing.  

I think that's the route I'm going to end up taking.  I definitely need some analog love in my mixes, especially vocal, bass, and drum compression/EQ.  There are many things that work just fine with plugs.  But, for example, I have a hard time dialing in a good "snap" compression on snare with plug-ins where it doesn't make it sound really small.

Recall aside, has your work flow improved?

-Tom

Adam Miller

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2006, 11:57:23 am »

J, out of interest, how do you like that Red 3 comp? What kind of things do you typically put it to work on?
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redfro

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2006, 02:33:54 pm »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 08 December 2006 10:01



middle lower rack

Adcom stereo amplifier (feeds the quested H108's and the velodyne sub)





A couple of questions about your monitor rig.

Is that a passive Velodyne? Which one are you using?
I assume you're still using the 555. If the Velo is passive, how are you running both the H108's and the Velo on the single amp?

I ask 'cause I'm upgrading my monitor rig and have been looking at almost the same setup, so you input would be great.
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j.hall

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2006, 03:54:45 pm »

i'll do my best to answer all the questions.

Thomas, my work flow has greatly improved.  with my old rig, the Mac display was off to the right almost against the right wall.  that made monitoring a real challenge as i'd have to be in front of it to make changes but the mix position was 3 feet away from where i was.  VERY ANNOYING.  aside from that, all my outbaord is literally at arms reach while still planted in the mix position.  so i can make very quick changes that are informed, in real time.

adam, i use the Red 3 on the stereo buss a lot.  it is not uncommon for both the 384 and the red 3 to be on the stereo buss.

redfro

the velodyne is powered, and can take line level or speaker level in.  IMO it is wise to run the sub at speaker level so it gets the exact same signal the questeds do.  the sub is set up for the questeds to run full range.

i have a DLS-3750R
http://www.velodyne.com/velodyne/products/product.aspx?ID=12 &sid=936g120c

you can find them brand new on ebay for crazy cheap.

so my monitor path from PT goes like this.

PT AES out - Mytek DAC AES in
Mytek analog out - monitor console source 1 input
console output - adcom input
adcom output - H108s, and velodyne DLS-3750R

more a mix room, this is a pretty killer monitoring chain.
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Thomas Lester

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2006, 05:09:14 pm »

J. -

Are you mixing with a mouse or do you have a control surface?

-Tom

j.hall

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2006, 09:41:53 pm »

kensigton trackball and keyboard.  and no, my keyboard doesn't have all the little PT stickers all over it.
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Thomas Lester

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 04:30:32 pm »

Hey J. =

Thanks for all the great info.  One more question for you...  how big is your room?  Mine is approx 12' x 12' and sounds pretty good.  I'm working on the focus of the bass, but other than that, I'm very close to where I want to be.  

I'm just curious.  From photo's, your room looks longer and narrower than mine.

-Tom

j.hall

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 05:45:20 pm »

my actual mix room (not counting my machine room and closet.  is 10' by 15'

the bass in here is very focused.  the low mids were the biggest problem, but that's all under control (as much as it can be) now.

the velodyne sub really helps smooth out some low end and low mid problems as well.

just a not about the 384 and red 3 chained together.

i just printed a mix that has close to 4dB of gain reduction the 384 and 2 - 3 dB of gain reduction on the Red 3.  this is very aggressive 2 buss compression, i don't normally hit them this hard.....but it can be done....and the results can be awesome.

i also roll off the bass to the sidechain input of the 384.  basically the mix hits the unit in mono with a 70Hz HPF on it.

it makes a huge difference in the bottom end.  the Red 3 has great low end and i haven't needed to do this same thing to it.  the differences in how these comps work really makes them a great fit with each other.
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Adam Miller

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2006, 10:10:41 am »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 15 December 2006 22:45


just a not about the 384 and red 3 chained together.

i just printed a mix that has close to 4dB of gain reduction the 384 and 2 - 3 dB of gain reduction on the Red 3.  this is very aggressive 2 buss compression, i don't normally hit them this hard.....but it can be done....and the results can be awesome.



Nice! I was hiring a red 3 this week to do some mixing through- sounded like it was doing more compression than the meters suggested... brought everything together really niceley just tickling the meters, but any more and it just seemed to mess around with the mix too much. I'd still buy one if I had the cash!
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TheViking

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2006, 12:12:49 pm »

I also have a Red 3.   Just got it in fact.   The rumor is that it's pretty much the same design as the Neve 33609.   I haven't used it enough to make the comparison, but plan to.   SOM Studios here in town has a 33609 and I plan on doing a shoot out with mine soon.
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craig boychuk

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2006, 02:38:38 pm »

So J, you were thinking of a Dangerous summing box at one point...why did you ditch that idea?


10-q!

-craig
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j.hall

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2006, 04:14:40 pm »

i heard some good mixes that were done through some nice summing boxes then the same mix done ITB.  level match them and i couldn't tell the difference.  some masteing friends put an ear on it as well and agreed.  i spent the money on killer buss compression.

the red3 is a tricky box.  you have to keep in mind that the slowest attack time is around 350msec.  on the 384 the slowest you can go is 30!!!!!!!  so, IME, the red3 is more difficult to dial in just in the fact that the attack and release parameters are vairable and much longer then is necessary on a 2 mix.

the auto release is also really cool in some applications.

i've found that the red3 does somethiing you just can't get with any other comp i've tried.

the 384 has a very aggressive rock sound to it.  even on "vibier" bands (which i work with a lot) it still has a pleasent edge.  the red3 has a great low mid thing it does, and it really helps to stick the guitars to the drum kit ina cool way.
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craig boychuk

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Re: J - What's your current set up?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 09:31:21 pm »

j.hall wrote on Sun, 17 December 2006 15:14

i heard some good mixes that were done through some nice summing boxes then the same mix done ITB.  level match them and i couldn't tell the difference.  some masteing friends put an ear on it as well and agreed.  i spent the money on killer buss compression.

the red3 is a tricky box....etc  


Cool. I've recently been making an effort to keep my levels lower in PT  (a la the suggestions on that sticky in the Massenburg forum) and have been surprised and impressed with the results. Makes me feel better about the whole ITB thing, especially when folks like you are saying stuff like the above...

I like the red too. It is finicky, but works well when it's dialed in just so. I like the amount of room you have to maneuver with the controls - especially the long attack time - but I hate how you can't really notate your settings for a super accurate recall. Maybe that's part of the charm...!

-craig
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