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Mixing in the Box/Summing

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Anonymous
October 12, 2004 4:01:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

So it seems that the prefferred method of mixing/summing for most top
engineers is all Pro Tools tracks discretely outputted to the channels
of a nice console and analog summed there. It is said that the
digital summing bus in ProTools will produce a mix that is slightly
lacking in clarity and spatial depth.
So... Here are some questions from someone trying to get the best
possible mixes but without the funds for an SSL, API, Neve, etc at
this time:

Would there be any improvement (over mixing in the box) by outputting
discrete tracks to a Mackie 8 bus and mixing there - or is that making
matters worse?

Are all the DAW's equally lacking in the summing category? Has anyone
done comparisons for the sound quality in ProTools 6.4 vs Logic vs
Cubase vs Nuendo vs DP4?

Thanks for your input,

Dan Fox

More about : mixing box summing

Anonymous
October 13, 2004 3:35:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Upryz" <upryz1@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:9c00734a.0410121024.48d30d32@posting.google.com...
> So it seems that the prefferred method of mixing/summing for most top
> engineers is all Pro Tools tracks discretely outputted to the channels
> of a nice console and analog summed there. It is said that the
> digital summing bus in ProTools will produce a mix that is slightly
> lacking in clarity and spatial depth.
> So... Here are some questions from someone trying to get the best
> possible mixes but without the funds for an SSL, API, Neve, etc at
> this time:
>
> Would there be any improvement (over mixing in the box) by outputting
> discrete tracks to a Mackie 8 bus and mixing there - or is that making
> matters worse?
>
> Are all the DAW's equally lacking in the summing category? Has anyone
> done comparisons for the sound quality in ProTools 6.4 vs Logic vs
> Cubase vs Nuendo vs DP4?
>
> Thanks for your input,
>
> Dan Fox


I've had nicely expanded Pro Tools and later Paris systems, with 16 and
24bit converters respectively. Any Mackie mixer, and I've had them all at
various points since 1994., used as a summing device, trashed any ITB mix
every time. All individual tracks or stems, with individual tracks processed
(eq, compression etc.) within the DAW or not - rerouting those signals
through a Mackie mixer sounded more dimensional, alive, warmer, with greater
emotional impact. No subtle differences here. Yes, there might have been a
little less clarity or transparency, but it always seemed insignificant
compared to the benefits.

I finally sold my Paris system two years ago and ended up with a cheaper DAW
and a big nice analog console.

This is a highly controversial issue. You'll get a lot of completely
opposite opinions.

Predrag
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 6:38:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <9c00734a.0410121024.48d30d32@posting.google.com>,
upryz1@gmail.com (Upryz) wrote:
> So it seems that the prefferred method of mixing/summing for most top
> engineers is all Pro Tools tracks discretely outputted to the channels
> of a nice console and analog summed there. It is said that the
> digital summing bus in ProTools will produce a mix that is slightly
> lacking in clarity and spatial depth.

That's a commonly held opinion, but I don't think it makes any sense
technically. For one, you have to pass your signal through the dreaded
PT summing stage if you want to get the signal out of the box, even when
you're running each channel to a separate PT output. No ifs ands or
buts. My thinking is that the summing stage itself isn't the issue...
that it's really more to do with D/A converters, plugins-vs-outboard and
workflow habits.

I think this procedure makes sense when a person has a really fantastic
console, a lot of good outboard available, and has skills mixing on a
real console.

I think it's delusional when a person has a junky console, no usable
outboard dynamics and a poor console automation system. Yeah, they can
be part of the trendy "I don't mix in the box" crowd, but to what end?

> Would there be any improvement (over mixing in the box) by outputting
> discrete tracks to a Mackie 8 bus and mixing there - or is that making
> matters worse?

I personally would rather avoid a Mackie 8 bus as often as possible.
The faders are too goofy, the high end of the board sounds too brittle
to me, the EQ isn't fun and the automation stinks. I don't even think
it's sonically nice enough for quality PA, but that's me.

> Are all the DAW's equally lacking in the summing category? Has anyone
> done comparisons for the sound quality in ProTools 6.4 vs Logic vs
> Cubase vs Nuendo vs DP4?

Well, ProTools itself isn't one thing, so it doesn't have one sound
either. Version 6.4 can be run on Mix hardware, HD hardware and on
floating point, using the CPU to host the summing stage and not DSP
chips, and all three will sound different because they use different
summing algorithms, each with various weaknesses and strengths.

My advice is to worry about your control room, your monitor DAC and your
monitoring system, and stick with common grade floating point DAWs for
the moment. Improve your mix chops and your monitoring and you'll
improve your work more than worrying about some minor circuitry details.

The "digital summing" problem was indeed a real problem when ProTools
4.1 came out, supporting 24 bit audio files but with a mixer that
truncated each fader input to 20 bits. I and some other dedicated folks
made a stink about this (when... 7 or 8 years ago??) and it got fixed...
with version 4.1.1 to be exact. We even got a dithered mixer shortly
thereafter.

To hear people carry on to this day, not even understanding where the
whole thing started and _why_ it was important _then_ makes me cringe.
The generic floating point mixer you have today in many different audio
editors is way beyond even the 24 bit mixer we had with PT 4.1.1. The
dithered mixer that ships with HD is even nicer. Use it and be happy,
and look to other possibilities to make your mixes sound better.


Regards,

Monte McGuire
monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Related resources
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 12:06:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Monte McGuire <monte.mcguire@verizon.net> wrote in message news:<monte.mcguire-

> For one, you have to pass your signal through the dreaded
> PT summing stage if you want to get the signal out of the box, even when
> you're running each channel to a separate PT output.

How so?

> I personally would rather avoid a Mackie 8 bus as (...) the automation stinks.

What automation?

> Well, ProTools itself isn't one thing, so it doesn't have one sound
> either. Version 6.4 can be run on Mix hardware, HD hardware and on
> floating point, using the CPU to host the summing stage and not DSP
> chips, and all three will sound different because they use different
> summing algorithms, each with various weaknesses and strengths.

Really? I've often wondered about this. Have you listened for an
audible difference between the summing in HD vs LE?


Thanks for your input,

Dan
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 11:36:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Monte McGuire" <monte.mcguire@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:monte.mcguire-AD9DCD.22381213102004@news.verizon.net

> I think it's delusional when a person has a junky console, no usable
> outboard dynamics and a poor console automation system. Yeah, they
> can be part of the trendy "I don't mix in the box" crowd, but to what
> end?

I can't escape thinking that some people simply haven't gotten comfortable
enough with nonlinear editing and mixing.

I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear editing
and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. Using
the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
warm fuzzy teddy bear.
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 11:50:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear editing
>and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. Using
>the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
>warm fuzzy teddy bear.

But why should I? I don't see it buying anything for me. If I were still
doing film tracks, I'd probably look on it as a godsend, but for what I am
doing these days I don't see it being any real improvement.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 9:26:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
> I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear editing
> and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. Using
> the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
> warm fuzzy teddy bear.

Well, it's not like there's a requirement to mix in the box. With enough
I/O and some of the more modern consoles, you can have the best of both
worlds, although those consoles that will impart a "sound" still have a
hefty price tag, such as the new small frame SSL 900, along with still
allowing for automation.

I don't mind using the console but it's just not a fixable situation even
with the best of documentation. And there have to be some 500+ buttons,
knobs and faders on my console, so a manual reset for a mix fix is bound to
have problems, at the least.

I've been thinking about the Tascam 24 control surface, but obviously thats
not the same thing. If the control surfaces weren't so expensive,
especially for those that still have full console setups, then it might be
viable. At least one could have tactile response. Just a different kind of
carpel tunnel, though! <g>

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 10:20:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ckn3cj$1tc$1@panix2.panix.com...
> Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
> >
> >I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear
editing
> >and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that.
Using
> >the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
> >warm fuzzy teddy bear.
>
> But why should I? I don't see it buying anything for me. If I were still
> doing film tracks, I'd probably look on it as a godsend, but for what I am
> doing these days I don't see it being any real improvement.

For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I can
get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something, and
know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated console
to duplicate that in the hardware world.

My rule of thumb is simplistic: if your console cost more than your car, mix
on the console. If not, mix in the computer.

Peace,
Paul
October 15, 2004 12:50:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

what about just using an external summing box, like the Dangerous
ones? Or even just summing on a mixer instead of leveling/EQ/etc on
it? Or, is it maybe all the crosstalk or what-not that goes on when
"mixing" externally that has a bigger impact, not just straight
summing? I can imagine a huge difference when mixing on some Mackie
thing but with a really high-end mixer is the difference as much as
mixing/summing ITB?
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 1:22:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <d%Jbd.551711$OB3.86106@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net> pstamlerhell@pobox.com writes:

> For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I can
> get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something, and
> know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated console
> to duplicate that in the hardware world.

Ah, but if you mixed it right the first time, you wouldn't have to do
it again. <g> I like to finish projects. People who can't afford it
are too much into perfection.

> My rule of thumb is simplistic: if your console cost more than your car, mix
> on the console. If not, mix in the computer.

Scott's got that one covered. <g>

My rule of thumb is that if your computer costs as much as your car,
it's OK to mix on it.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers - (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 1:22:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <k--dnU4MzdieBfLcRVn-1w@rcn.net> rnorman@starpower.net writes:

> Well, it's not like there's a requirement to mix in the box. With enough
> I/O and some of the more modern consoles, you can have the best of both
> worlds, although those consoles that will impart a "sound" still have a
> hefty price tag, such as the new small frame SSL 900, along with still
> allowing for automation.

Usually the discovery that you need as many channels of D/A
conversion as you have tracks is what quickly deters people from
mixing a computer multitrack recording on a console rather than in the
computer. When they get to the "oh, I can submix the drums, and the
vocals, and the guitars, and the percussion so I can send that out the
8 channels of my Fireplop" maybe they can delude themselves into
thinking it sounds better than mixing in the computer. And it's only a
little more trouble.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers - (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 4:28:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I
can
> > get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something,
and
> > know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated
console
> > to duplicate that in the hardware world.
>
> Ah, but if you mixed it right the first time, you wouldn't have to do
> it again. <g> I like to finish projects. People who can't afford it
> are too much into perfection.

There's a big gap in logic between "mix it right the first time" and "I like
to finish projects". Mixing it right implies it's a strictly objective
process (which it isn't) and how you prefer to run your business is a
subjective issue, which has no bearing on how others should operate or the
objectivity of mixing.

I think there's other gaps represented there - studio downtime while the
client listens to the master ad nauseam looking for an excuse to change
something.

> > My rule of thumb is simplistic: if your console cost more than your car,
mix
> > on the console. If not, mix in the computer.
>
> Scott's got that one covered. <g>

A typical argument from someone whose console is worth more than their car.
With all due respect I don't think such people can really consider the
possibility that their consoles have become obselete. I'm not saying they
are, but even if they were, every SSL and Neve owner would flame any post
here that made any such suggestion to protect their investment, so it's fair
to say that a lack of anti-console posts is no proof of a console's
importance.

> My rule of thumb is that if your computer costs as much as your car,
> it's OK to mix on it.

Last I checked a Celeron sounded as good as a dual G5. IMO the computer
ends at the Hammerfall Digiface(s), so I don't see how you can spend that
kind of money on software. Preamps, EQ, and ADC sure, but console or not
you'll have to buy them either way.

My rule of thumb is that if the difference in cost between an in-the-box
system and a console system isn't at least the cost of a BMW M5, then it's
not going to offer any appreciable improvement.

But like I said in my other post in this thread, I consider any such
improvement to be a function of mastering, which is what we pay others for
already. So what I see is redundant coloration and comprimised versatility
on the one hand, an M5 on the other... hrmmmm...
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 4:38:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite <nobody@home.com> wrote:
>>
>> Scott's got that one covered. <g>
>
>A typical argument from someone whose console is worth more than their car.
>With all due respect I don't think such people can really consider the
>possibility that their consoles have become obselete. I'm not saying they
>are, but even if they were, every SSL and Neve owner would flame any post
>here that made any such suggestion to protect their investment, so it's fair
>to say that a lack of anti-console posts is no proof of a console's
>importance.

My console was obsolete when I bought it. So was my car for that matter.
I don't buy anything until it's obsolete; that way there's at least a good
notion of what goes wrong.

>My rule of thumb is that if the difference in cost between an in-the-box
>system and a console system isn't at least the cost of a BMW M5, then it's
>not going to offer any appreciable improvement.

A lot of it does have to do with the user interface as much as the sound
quality, and that is a very personal thing.

>But like I said in my other post in this thread, I consider any such
>improvement to be a function of mastering, which is what we pay others for
>already. So what I see is redundant coloration and comprimised versatility
>on the one hand, an M5 on the other... hrmmmm...

The mastering guys can't undo errors from up the chain. Once something has
been done to the signal, it can never really be effectively undone. That
is why a clean front end is important.

But, having tried to fix a friend's M5, I'll take a 2002 any day. Likewise
I'd rather fix a Neve than a Pro Tools install.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 5:35:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:D %Jbd.551711$OB3.86106@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
:
: "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
: news:ckn3cj$1tc$1@panix2.panix.com...
: > Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
: > >
: > >I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear
: editing
: > >and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that.
: Using
: > >the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
: > >warm fuzzy teddy bear.
: >
: > But why should I? I don't see it buying anything for me. If I were still
: > doing film tracks, I'd probably look on it as a godsend, but for what I am
: > doing these days I don't see it being any real improvement.
:
: For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I can
: get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something, and
: know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated console
: to duplicate that in the hardware world.
:
: My rule of thumb is simplistic: if your console cost more than your car, mix
: on the console. If not, mix in the computer.
:
: Peace,
: Paul


What if your car is worth $1500 bucks? I mix in the box.
Phil Abbate
:
:
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 7:31:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> >A typical argument from someone whose console is worth more than their
car.
> >With all due respect I don't think such people can really consider the
> >possibility that their consoles have become obselete. I'm not saying
they
> >are, but even if they were, every SSL and Neve owner would flame any post
> >here that made any such suggestion to protect their investment, so it's
fair
> >to say that a lack of anti-console posts is no proof of a console's
> >importance.
>
> My console was obsolete when I bought it. So was my car for that matter.
> I don't buy anything until it's obsolete; that way there's at least a good
> notion of what goes wrong.
>
> >My rule of thumb is that if the difference in cost between an in-the-box
> >system and a console system isn't at least the cost of a BMW M5, then
it's
> >not going to offer any appreciable improvement.
>
> A lot of it does have to do with the user interface as much as the sound
> quality, and that is a very personal thing.

Agreed, but that doesn't really apply to those that are accustomed to their
DAW's and are considering "upgrading" to a console on the basis of sound
quality.

> >But like I said in my other post in this thread, I consider any such
> >improvement to be a function of mastering, which is what we pay others
for
> >already. So what I see is redundant coloration and comprimised
versatility
> >on the one hand, an M5 on the other... hrmmmm...
>
> The mastering guys can't undo errors from up the chain. Once something
has
> been done to the signal, it can never really be effectively undone. That
> is why a clean front end is important.

But coloration is redundant and perhaps even counterproductive if you're
then going to pay a mastering engineer to (among other things) apply
coloration on much better suited gear. It's as much an error as digital
rounding, and is equally "un-undoable". I suggest that perhaps it's
prefered only because it sounds better pre-mastered, when in fact a DAW sum
can render just as good a result after mastering. I suppose it would take a
mastering engineer who's worked on many good examples of both systems to
convince me otherwise, either that or a controlled study.

> But, having tried to fix a friend's M5, I'll take a 2002 any day.
Likewise
> I'd rather fix a Neve than a Pro Tools install.

Agreed. Prior to MacOS 9 diagnosis and repair used to be civilized...
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 8:45:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

jerry wrote:

> I can imagine a huge difference when mixing on some Mackie
> thing

Check out Tonebarge's mixes on the RAP CD compilations, done on a 1604
and beyond instructive. Assumptions will fall by the wayside.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 8:45:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

hank alrich <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote:
>jerry wrote:
>
>> I can imagine a huge difference when mixing on some Mackie
>> thing
>
>Check out Tonebarge's mixes on the RAP CD compilations, done on a 1604
>and beyond instructive. Assumptions will fall by the wayside.

Yeah, but I bet it wasn't fun for him.

I can get good mixes on a Mackie, but it's a lot of work and the whole point
of _all_ of this gear is to make it _easier_ to get the sound you want.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 9:24:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Yeah, but I bet it wasn't fun for him.

Having spoken with him I'll suggest it is _lots_ of fun for him to mix
on that Mackie. It's not like he can't afford a different console if he
thinks that's necessary for quality or fun. After all, he spent at least
twice what most folks spend on a fairly fancy DAW or their console just
for two channels of mic pre.

> I can get good mixes on a Mackie, but it's a lot of work and the whole point
> of _all_ of this gear is to make it _easier_ to get the sound you want.

About 98.74352% of the sound he's after is already there before he gets
to mixing.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 10:37:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>I can't escape thinking that some people simply haven't gotten comfortable
>enough with nonlinear editing and mixing.
>
>I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear editing
>and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. Using
>the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a console is for them, a
>warm fuzzy teddy bear.

I think you're right. I got into the box only when I could afford it and would
never go back..not in my present business model. I hated the process of trying
to mix low budget projects without recall..caused more anxiety than it helped.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 10:38:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I can
>get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something, and
>know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated console
>to duplicate that in the hardware world.

Plus you can learn..the repeatability lets you compare things quickly..like
looping a drum track and trying different processors in a matter of
minutes..and learn.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 10:41:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>My rule of thumb is that if your computer costs as much as your car,
>it's OK to mix on it.

Nah..my computer costs way less than my care..but if I ahd to setup a studio
based entirely on hardware it would cost more than my house.

>Ah, but if you mixed it right the first time, you wouldn't have to do
>it again. <g> I like to finish projects. People who can't afford it
>are too much into perfection.

True..but what is "right?"..this way I get to redefine "right" as I learn
more.. even though I do like to commit to sounds in the recording process to
not make choices endless.




John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 3:49:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"hank alrich" <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote in message
news:1gloxr6.d3za6r1qmemieN%walkinay@thegrid.net...
> jerry wrote:
>
> > I can imagine a huge difference when mixing on some Mackie
> > thing
>
> Check out Tonebarge's mixes on the RAP CD compilations, done on a 1604
> and beyond instructive. Assumptions will fall by the wayside.


Very good mixes can be done on a Mackie. It doesn't have to be an expensive
console. Small, big, cheap, expensive - there was always a big difference
when I switched from ITB mix to an analog console. I've experimented with it
a lot, often with a Mackie and always liked it better than an ITB mix. YMMV
and you may still prefer it ITB, even soundwise, but I'm getting the
impression that people who continue with Mackie bashing or dismissing the
preference for analog summing as "old dogs, new tricks" have never actually
done the comparison. The difference is not subtle.

This is not about the operational aspects of mixing in or out of the box.
Total recall is a triumph of convenience. On the other hand, Mackies have
their own operational issues and surely wouldn't be my first choice.
However, that's missing the point. The original poster asked about the
possible sonic advantages of analog summing such as clarity and spatial
depth. At least for the latter there's no contest, IME. And yes, even with a
lowly Mackie, any model.

Predrag
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 10:12:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< : blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) >>
<< I got into the box only when I could afford it and would
never go back..not in my present business model. I hated the process of trying
to mix low budget projects without recall..caused more anxiety than it helped.
>>

Well speed of session set up helps a lot when you are working alone. But
I like mixing analog not as much because of the summing buss quality which may
or may not be noticable, but because quality analog outboard gear will
*cumulatively* sound more interesting to me than plug ins *cumulatively* do.
It is more work for sure, but it's kinda like a Steam train vs. an Electric
train, it's just more visceral an experience to me.

And even on high end consoles recalled mixes never ever really - the truth
be told - sounded exactly the same. Nobody died as a result, and only the few
people really could tell.

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 6:09:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Sugarite" <nobody@home.com> wrote in message
news:exVbd.3954$q02.628588@read2.cgocable.net...
> > >A typical argument from someone whose console is worth more than their
> car.
> > >With all due respect I don't think such people can really consider the
> > >possibility that their consoles have become obselete. I'm not saying
> they
> > >are, but even if they were, every SSL and Neve owner would flame any
post
> > >here that made any such suggestion to protect their investment, so it's
> fair
> > >to say that a lack of anti-console posts is no proof of a console's
> > >importance.
> >
> > My console was obsolete when I bought it. So was my car for that
matter.
> > I don't buy anything until it's obsolete; that way there's at least a
good
> > notion of what goes wrong.
> >
> > >My rule of thumb is that if the difference in cost between an
in-the-box
> > >system and a console system isn't at least the cost of a BMW M5, then
> it's
> > >not going to offer any appreciable improvement.
> >
> > A lot of it does have to do with the user interface as much as the sound
> > quality, and that is a very personal thing.
>
> Agreed, but that doesn't really apply to those that are accustomed to
their
> DAW's and are considering "upgrading" to a console on the basis of sound
> quality.
>
> > >But like I said in my other post in this thread, I consider any such
> > >improvement to be a function of mastering, which is what we pay others
> for
> > >already. So what I see is redundant coloration and comprimised
> versatility
> > >on the one hand, an M5 on the other... hrmmmm...
> >
> > The mastering guys can't undo errors from up the chain. Once something
> has
> > been done to the signal, it can never really be effectively undone.
That
> > is why a clean front end is important.
>
> But coloration is redundant and perhaps even counterproductive if you're
> then going to pay a mastering engineer to (among other things) apply
> coloration on much better suited gear. It's as much an error as digital
> rounding, and is equally "un-undoable". I suggest that perhaps it's
> prefered only because it sounds better pre-mastered, when in fact a DAW
sum
> can render just as good a result after mastering. I suppose it would take
a
> mastering engineer who's worked on many good examples of both systems to
> convince me otherwise, either that or a controlled study.


This is a rather technical and clinical approach. Strategic coloration,
targeted at certain signals/instruments, can be a very expressive tool for
shaping of a sonic landscape. It can go a long way towards creating an
emotional charge within a mix. Analog outboard processors still have an edge
here, but not necessarily the most expensive ones. By delegating that to an
mastering engineer one loses control over one of the critical aspects of a
creative process, let alone the fact that the any interventions at that
stage are limited to overall processing of the entire mix. Which brings us
again to the stem mastering and opens a whole another can of worms.

There's too much talk of production of sound and too little talk of
production of emotions anyway.

Predrag
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 6:09:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > But coloration is redundant and perhaps even counterproductive if you're
> > then going to pay a mastering engineer to (among other things) apply
> > coloration on much better suited gear. It's as much an error as digital
> > rounding, and is equally "un-undoable". I suggest that perhaps it's
> > prefered only because it sounds better pre-mastered, when in fact a DAW
> sum
> > can render just as good a result after mastering. I suppose it would
take
> a
> > mastering engineer who's worked on many good examples of both systems to
> > convince me otherwise, either that or a controlled study.
>
>
> This is a rather technical and clinical approach. Strategic coloration,
> targeted at certain signals/instruments, can be a very expressive tool for
> shaping of a sonic landscape. It can go a long way towards creating an
> emotional charge within a mix. Analog outboard processors still have an
edge
> here, but not necessarily the most expensive ones. By delegating that to
an
> mastering engineer one loses control over one of the critical aspects of a
> creative process, let alone the fact that the any interventions at that
> stage are limited to overall processing of the entire mix. Which brings us
> again to the stem mastering and opens a whole another can of worms.

I've never heard of someone deciding to mix on the Neve instead of the SSL
for the reason that they think the Neve summing bus better suits that
particular mix, so I don't see the creative angle. Mastering engineers will
have much more versatility in that regard, so I would argue that they offer
more creative opportunity, just a matter of hiring the right one and
communicating your intentions clearly. And there's nothing stopping you
from using outboard analog processing with a DAW, and again it's much easier
to go back later and adjust the mix if need be.

> There's too much talk of production of sound and too little talk of
> production of emotions anyway.

What's there to talk about? In the case of music production, the production
of sound IS the production of emotions. But it's always important to
remember that the product is not the music itself, but rather the effect it
has on an audience.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 10:39:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ckn3cj$1tc$1@panix2.panix.com

> Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:

>> I suspect that for some people, getting comfortable with nonlinear
>> editing and mixing is mission impossible. Old dogs, new tricks and
>> all that. Using the DAW just as a recorder/player and mixing on a
>> console is for them, a warm fuzzy teddy bear.

> But why should I?

Same reason you embraced technological change in the past.

> I don't see it buying anything for me.

You stopped editing music?

> If I were still doing film tracks, I'd probably look on it as a godsend,
> but
> for what I am doing these days I don't see it being any real improvement.

When did you stop editing music?
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 10:52:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:
>
> My rule of thumb is simplistic: if your console cost more than your
car, mix
> on the console. If not, mix in the computer.


You obviously haven't seen my car...

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 11:06:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
> Ah, but if you mixed it right the first time, you wouldn't have to do
> it again. <g> I like to finish projects. People who can't afford it
> are too much into perfection.


That depends on what you're mixing. My day-to-day work includes
examples of situations where perfect recall is very important, even for
stuff that's "done." Like the promo we mixed for an HBO series that was
nominated for an Emmy shortly after we finished it. The producer wanted
to add elements that acknowledged that. Rather than have to remix the
whole thing from scratch, we just had to replace parts of the VO and
slide a couple things around. Since we did it in a DAW, the fader moves
followed the relocated tracks. That was a real time saver.

There are also cases where a music mix is perfect one day, but the next
day they change the show format a little and it doesn't fit anymore, but
"it would work if we just made the synth pad hit on the eighth bar
instead of the fourth." Again, the mix was fine, it just needed to be
altered to reflect a change in its application. Another example of
where using a DAW is a practical solution.

As for mixing a record, I love the look on a client's face when they
come in wringing their hands over something they didn't notice during
mixing but discovered listening to the one-off, and I fix it in sixty
seconds without changing anything else. That kind of customer
satisfaction has got to be easily as important as that last 2%
improvement offered by an exotic mix buss. (In fact, client
expectations may be part of the decision making process.)

I love the feel and sound and session dynamic you get mixing on a real
console, but sometimes the box is just a better approach. Like anything
else, "It depends..."

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 11:14:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< "Lorin David Schultz" Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca >>
<< That depends on what you're mixing. My day-to-day work includes
examples of situations where perfect recall is very important, even for
stuff that's "done." Like the promo we mixed for an HBO series that was
nominated for an Emmy shortly after we finished it. The producer wanted
to add elements that acknowledged that. Rather than have to remix the
whole thing from scratch, we just had to replace parts of the VO and
slide a couple things around. Since we did it in a DAW, the fader moves
followed the relocated tracks. That was a real time saver. >>

Well for that you dump off submixes, you make "stems" first right? Post
pro is a bit different than music mixing.

<<
As for mixing a record, I love the look on a client's face when they
come in wringing their hands over something they didn't notice during
mixing but discovered listening to the one-off, and I fix it in sixty
seconds without changing anything else. That kind of customer
satisfaction has got to be easily as important as that last 2%
improvement offered by an exotic mix buss. (In fact, client
expectations may be part of the decision making process.) >>

Yeah, but is it worth it to you to charge for a one minute session? At
least make it *look* like it takes a lot of time and effort. <g>



Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 11:54:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< "Sugarite" nobody@home.com >>

> There's too much talk of production of sound and too little talk of
> production of emotions anyway.

<<What's there to talk about? In the case of music production, the production
of sound IS the production of emotions. But it's always important to
remember that the product is not the music itself, but rather the effect it
has on an audience. >>

Well the *musicians* have to feel it first, then the crowd is moved. And
ideally I think if they are having trouble recording, their support team should
try to feel it and encourage them internally as they work. I think that makes
a difference anyway, it's a subtle aspect of artistic endeavor. I would never
work with cynical engineer who is bad mouthing the musicians behind their back
because there is a whole dimension of the Art of Music that gets destroyed when
that happens.


Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 2:30:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

upryz1@gmail.com (Upryz) wrote in message news:<9c00734a.0410121024.48d30d32@posting.google.com>...
> So it seems that the prefferred method of mixing/summing for most top
> engineers is all Pro Tools tracks discretely outputted to the channels
> of a nice console and analog summed there. It is said that the
> digital summing bus in ProTools will produce a mix that is slightly
> lacking in clarity and spatial depth.

Mixing in digital in my experience makes everything flat(ter) sounding
when compared to mixing in analog.

On your DAW try this experiment: place your cursor of a well recorded
full-range audio track at 0 dB and listen.

Now... place the cursor at -15 dB raise the control room volume pot on
your amps so that the level is the same as when the cursor was set on
0 dB.
you should hear a difference in sound for every position of the
cursor, within reasonable limits -- of course.

now when you have all the outputs at 0 db and there are no algorithms
modifying the ANALOG AUDIO wave in a numerical--digital fashion.

the best mixer that ever has been built electronically is a passive
resistive network with gain make up amp.

Since automation and digital effects etc are the meat and potatoes of
modern music you will either need an automated analog console like an
ssl -- which by the way distorts the sound quite a bit anyway.

If you have no rush, or need to record acoustic music or live
jazz/folk etc. you might want to look into a very simple but clean
mixer or build your own.
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 6:09:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Lorin David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message news:<Siecd.10263$cr4.961@edtnps84>...
> "Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
> >
> > Ah, but if you mixed it right the first time, you wouldn't have to do
> > it again. <g> I like to finish projects. People who can't afford it
> > are too much into perfection.
>
>
> That depends on what you're mixing. My day-to-day work includes
> examples of situations where perfect recall is very important, even for
> stuff that's "done." Like the promo we mixed for an HBO series that was
> nominated for an Emmy shortly after we finished it. The producer wanted
> to add elements that acknowledged that. Rather than have to remix the
> whole thing from scratch, we just had to replace parts of the VO and
> slide a couple things around. Since we did it in a DAW, the fader moves
> followed the relocated tracks. That was a real time saver.
>
> There are also cases where a music mix is perfect one day, but the next
> day they change the show format a little and it doesn't fit anymore, but
> "it would work if we just made the synth pad hit on the eighth bar
> instead of the fourth." Again, the mix was fine, it just needed to be
> altered to reflect a change in its application. Another example of
> where using a DAW is a practical solution.
>
> As for mixing a record, I love the look on a client's face when they
> come in wringing their hands over something they didn't notice during
> mixing but discovered listening to the one-off, and I fix it in sixty
> seconds without changing anything else. That kind of customer
> satisfaction has got to be easily as important as that last 2%
> improvement offered by an exotic mix buss. (In fact, client
> expectations may be part of the decision making process.)
>
> I love the feel and sound and session dynamic you get mixing on a real
> console, but sometimes the box is just a better approach. Like anything
> else, "It depends..."

You're really talking more about speed than repeatability. Everything
you talked about can be done working either way.

I'm not sure what types of htings you're taking about with the 60
second mix fix. My first insticnt was if their rening their hands
you're alking about an edit, not the back up vocal was 2dB to low in
the second verse. My reaction to that is, the mix shouldn't have
started unti the production was finished.

If it's a fader move or somthing that truly a mix move, you leave the
mix up on the board overnight and make a tweak the next morning.

When you do a recall, the premise of the recall is that the mix didn't
sound right, so does it really have to be 100% accurate? I do recalls
periodically and if I've documented right and read the documentation
right, I can't hear adifference. I'm sure it's not 100% exact.

Someone said it's not worth it for the 5% differnece in sound quality.
I think a 5% difference is huge. Especially consideing we make EQ
changes of .5 dB or fader moves of .5 or 1dB. I think it's hard to
make a 1 or 2% differnce in the sound quality of a mix. Is the
difference betwee an 1176 plug-in and a reall one 1%? Mybe, probably
less, but do go from the level of mix that's listenable or good, to
really great, you've got to accumulate all those little fractional
differnces and a 5% differnce is huge. I don't know that it's acutall
a 5% difference or if the difference is even measuaable, but obviuld
or clearly differenct is worth taking when making a piece of art.
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 6:17:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote in message news:<20041015143850.04253.00001477@mb-m23.aol.com>...
> >For me the nices thing about mixing in the computer is repeatability. I can
> >get the exact same mix tomorrow as I got today, then tweak something, and
> >know that the rest is still the same. It takes a heap o' automated console
> >to duplicate that in the hardware world.
>
> Plus you can learn..the repeatability lets you compare things quickly..like
> looping a drum track and trying different processors in a matter of
> minutes..and learn.
>
You can do that when mixing through a board.

No one said that mixning through a board means you can't use plug-ins
or submixes.

Certain things, like a really specifc delay effect or automating a a
fader move of part of a word to fix a problem are somtimes easier in
ProTools. SO you do 80% or 90% of your mix on a board where you can
work quickly with two hands, no mouse, no layers of windows
obstructing your view, where you can move speverad faders or knobs at
the same time an get the mix happeneing really fast. Then you can
choose where you do the detail work. It doesn't have to be so black
and white.
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 6:19:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

willstg@aol.comnospam (WillStG) wrote in message news:<20041016021202.22383.00001986@mb-m17.aol.com>...
> << : blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) >>
> << I got into the box only when I could afford it and would
> never go back..not in my present business model. I hated the process of trying
> to mix low budget projects without recall..caused more anxiety than it helped.
> >>
>
> Well speed of session set up helps a lot when you are working alone. But
> I like mixing analog not as much because of the summing buss quality which may
> or may not be noticable, but because quality analog outboard gear will
> *cumulatively* sound more interesting to me than plug ins *cumulatively* do.
> It is more work for sure, but it's kinda like a Steam train vs. an Electric
> train, it's just more visceral an experience to me.
>
> And even on high end consoles recalled mixes never ever really - the truth
> be told - sounded exactly the same. Nobody died as a result, and only the few
> people really could tell.

And you're recalling becuase you didn't like the sound of the first one...
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 7:46:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Caffrey wrote:

> You're really talking more about speed than repeatability. Everything
> you talked about can be done working either way.

How do you quickly reposition any particular hit using aplayback machine
and a console?

> I'm not sure what types of htings you're taking about with the 60
> second mix fix. My first insticnt was if their rening their hands
> you're alking about an edit, not the back up vocal was 2dB to low in
> the second verse. My reaction to that is, the mix shouldn't have
> started unti the production was finished.

The production was finished. Then the production garnered awards and in
light of the production's intended use, those needed to be reflected in
VO. So aspects of the production needed to be redone.

This "arguement" comes down to individual situations. I enjoy console
mixing, without automation, much more than DAW mixing. But DAW mixing
now gets the bulk of my attention, because lots of folks don't have
enough time at one time to be able to go straight through a project,
whether it be tracking or mixing, let alone both.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 9:02:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< walkinay@thegrid.net (hank alrich) >>
<< How do you quickly reposition any particular hit using aplayback machine and
a console?
>>

Well if you're using what used to be a top of the line machine, a Sony 3348
DASH deck with sampling, you record the hit into ram and rerecord it back onto
tape. You can use the rehearse punchin function and adjust the new position in
milliseconds.

Of course rewind time is tedious compared to a DAW, but as long as they
are billable hours...

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Off the Morning Show! & sleepin' In... / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 1:21:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

walkinay@thegrid.net (hank alrich) wrote in message news:<1glsksf.p5kezk1btyr5sN%walkinay@thegrid.net>...
> Mike Caffrey wrote:
>
> > You're really talking more about speed than repeatability. Everything
> > you talked about can be done working either way.
>
> How do you quickly reposition any particular hit using aplayback machine
> and a console?

I don't do that stuff during a mix session I do that before. The
producer job is to take care of that before mixing. The nature of
working in a DAW has allowed people to change the working process so
that people accept fixing a perfromance issue during a mix session as
normal. I can see the argument towards mix as you go, but I'd still do
a mix from scratch if it was a situation that I had any say in.
Building a mix from scratch can tkae so long that I can see how people
would rather stick with what they have so far.
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 6:58:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Caffrey wrote:

> I don't do that stuff during a mix session I do that before.

I addresssed a situation where whatever place you put it before, it now
needs putting elsewhere. I think the problem here is that some folks are
insisting that everyone else must always be able to work the same way
they do, and the world doesn't run like that. Different situations call
for different approaches.

My favorite way to record doesn't separate the tracking and mixing
stages. People play together and the mix hits storage. But that's not
often feasible for many musicians.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 7:05:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In support of-
> Certain things, like a really specifc delay effect or automating a a
> fader move of part of a word to fix a problem are somtimes easier in
> ProTools. SO you do 80% or 90% of your mix on a board where you can
> work quickly with two hands, no mouse, no layers of windows
> obstructing your view, where you can move speverad faders or knobs at
> the same time an get the mix happeneing really fast. Then you can
> choose where you do the detail work. It doesn't have to be so black
> and white.

I mix on a Ghost with 24 outputs from my daw and the difference is
tremendous compared to my previous D8B. All automation is done within
the daw. If I need to put any dynamics processing pre automation, I
use an i/o plugin. MAny times, I don't even need pre automation
dynanmics, like for vocals, because the level-riding done in the
computer helps the vocal hit the compressor the right way anyway. I'm
sure all major sequencers have this. I also patch my aux send from the
board into "live inputs" and now I have a ton of plugins at my
disposal from my board sends -POST FADER- so I can really mix off the
board. With a fairly medern computer, latency is not an issue. And for
reverb sends, even if it is an issue, you can subtract the latency
from the desired predelay and get it spot on. Anything specific will
go on individual tracks or within submixes coming out of the daw.
Anonymous
October 19, 2004 8:32:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <9c00734a.0410140706.755b52c5@posting.google.com>,
upryz1@gmail.com (Upryz) wrote:
> Monte McGuire <monte.mcguire@verizon.net> wrote in message
> news:<monte.mcguire-
>
> > For one, you have to pass your signal through the dreaded
> > PT summing stage if you want to get the signal out of the box, even when
> > you're running each channel to a separate PT output.
>
> How so?

Every output on a PT system has a mixer assigned to it. More correctly,
when you assign a PT mixer channel to an output, a small mixer plugin is
created and given the task of preparing the signal sent to the selected
IO output; your channel's output is routed to a free input on that
mixer. That's the only way you get to the output channel. If a PT
mixer channel is already assigned to an output channel, then assigning
another mixer channel merely connects your new mixer channel to a free
input on the existing mixer. if there's no free input, the mixer is
"grown" to create a few more inputs.

It matters not whether you're summing one, two or 100 channels to that
output, they all must pass through a copy of the mixer software to get
to an IO interface. There's no direct path whatsoever. This is why
there's always a master fader available for each output - it's a built
in feature of the mixer. So... any master fader tricks used to get
makeup gain (like left or right shifts etc.) that cause truncations or
other problems will also apply to the "one channel to an output" case as
well.

Now, there are tricks to minimize the processing done by the mixer, such
as leaving the channel and master faders at 0dB, but even this won't
remove the effects of any truncations present, and depending on which
mixer you're using, there are some potentially bad sounding truncations
along the path.

> > I personally would rather avoid a Mackie 8 bus as (...) the automation
> > stinks.
>
> What automation?

My point exactly. No good sonics, no automation... what's the point?
At least with an SSL, you get some nice automation and usable dynamics
on each channel for the sonic penalty you take going through the 8 foot
wide summing stage.

> > Well, ProTools itself isn't one thing, so it doesn't have one sound
> > either. Version 6.4 can be run on Mix hardware, HD hardware and on
> > floating point, using the CPU to host the summing stage and not DSP
> > chips, and all three will sound different because they use different
> > summing algorithms, each with various weaknesses and strengths.
>
> Really? I've often wondered about this. Have you listened for an
> audible difference between the summing in HD vs LE?

I haven't had an LE system around long enough to really try to build
complex mixes on it, but it is possible that there are some differences.
A true 48 bit dithered to 24 bit mixer has more resolution than a 32 bit
float mixer, and I bet it might make some numeric differences in at
least a few situations.

What is probably most important, and what I do have experience hearing
is that many poorly coded plugins that sound bad on any sort of TDM
system sound much better on LE, since floating point is more forgiving
of poorly written DSP code. Some of the bad TDM plugins throw away a
few of the bottom bits upon input, and depending on your gain staging
this can end up causing resolution problems at much higher levels. This
level shifting is much less damaging in a floating point plugin, and
won't cause the same problems.


Regards,

Monte McGuire
monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Anonymous
October 22, 2004 3:11:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite <nobody@home.com> wrote:


> But coloration is redundant and perhaps even counterproductive if you're
> then going to pay a mastering engineer to (among other things) apply
> coloration on much better suited gear. It's as much an error as digital
> rounding, and is equally "un-undoable". I suggest that perhaps it's
> prefered only because it sounds better pre-mastered, when in fact a DAW sum
> can render just as good a result after mastering. I suppose it would take a
> mastering engineer who's worked on many good examples of both systems to
> convince me otherwise, either that or a controlled study.

I think you and I have vastly differing ideas of what mastering is for.
It's not the mastering engineer's job to provide tonal richness in my
recordings. It's his job to make sure that MY tonal choices and my
recording's tonal richness arrives intact at the ears of all different
kinds of listeners, regardless of the system they use to play the
record. It's his job to make sure that there is continuity of tonality
through the progression of an album. And it's sometimes his job to
make sure my exuberance in applying my choice of coloration doesn't
interact negatively with the limitations of typical playback equipment.
But it is definitely not his job to try and slap some tone onto my
finished recording.

ulysses
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 4:54:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > There's too much talk of production of sound and too little talk of
> > production of emotions anyway.
>
> <<What's there to talk about? In the case of music production, the
production
> of sound IS the production of emotions. But it's always important to
> remember that the product is not the music itself, but rather the effect
it
> has on an audience. >>
>
> Well the *musicians* have to feel it first, then the crowd is moved.
And
> ideally I think if they are having trouble recording, their support team
should
> try to feel it and encourage them internally as they work. I think that
makes
> a difference anyway, it's a subtle aspect of artistic endeavor. I would
never
> work with cynical engineer who is bad mouthing the musicians behind their
back
> because there is a whole dimension of the Art of Music that gets destroyed
when
> that happens.

I'm of the opposite opinion. What I consider to be a professional musician
does not share attributes with a 6-year-old. They do not need their
favorite dolly and a staff of nannies. Some diva wannabes take that route,
and consequently are not my clients.

I know a drummer that got blood poisoning, narrowly got to the hospital in
time, and played a televised awards show the following day with a hidden
intravenus rig. I assure you, after a near-death experience he did not
"feel the music" as he played, but he got the job done, and the crowd was
"moved" all the same.

And while music is an art, music production is a craft, with little or no
flexibility for subjective whims. What works works, and what doesn't
doesn't, no matter how you feel about it. I'm a strong proponent of knowing
what works before even setting foot in the studio. The benefits of thorough
pre-production are vastly more important than the cosmic well-being of the
performers as they play. Once a pro knows exactly what needs to be played
or sung, they can do it in any mood. When an ill-prepared hack fishes for
the right chops and comes up empty, that's when emotions dictate the
outcome.
Anonymous
October 26, 2004 5:40:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > But coloration is redundant and perhaps even counterproductive if you're
> > then going to pay a mastering engineer to (among other things) apply
> > coloration on much better suited gear. It's as much an error as digital
> > rounding, and is equally "un-undoable". I suggest that perhaps it's
> > prefered only because it sounds better pre-mastered, when in fact a DAW
sum
> > can render just as good a result after mastering. I suppose it would
take a
> > mastering engineer who's worked on many good examples of both systems to
> > convince me otherwise, either that or a controlled study.
>
> I think you and I have vastly differing ideas of what mastering is for.
> It's not the mastering engineer's job to provide tonal richness in my
> recordings. It's his job to make sure that MY tonal choices and my
> recording's tonal richness arrives intact at the ears of all different
> kinds of listeners, regardless of the system they use to play the
> record. It's his job to make sure that there is continuity of tonality
> through the progression of an album. And it's sometimes his job to
> make sure my exuberance in applying my choice of coloration doesn't
> interact negatively with the limitations of typical playback equipment.
> But it is definitely not his job to try and slap some tone onto my
> finished recording.

Coloration and tone aren't necessarily the same. Similar to color
correction in film (when not applied as an overt effect), coloration can
simply be enhancements made to do exactly what you're talking about - same
tone, just more refined and defined, exactly how an analog sum can sound
better. But a selection from a variety of high-end tube compressors and
EQ's is going to offer much more precision for that process than using the
same colored sum bus for every artist of every genre.

And the recall advantage of a DAW ensures that continuity and coherence
aren't a problem. I make a point of doing the drums for every song, then
the bass for every song, then the guitars, etc. That way I have complete
awareness and control over the similarities and differences from song to
song. If such a heavy-handed adjustment were required in mastering, I would
hope the mastering engineer would alert me so I could correct for it at the
mixing level, which again is much easier thanks to a DAW's total recall
capabilities. Actually, I get a discount from a mastering house when they
know the process is going to be global, without adjustments from
song-to-song. Still they do use different gear/settings from album to
album.

But the idea that analog summing is unilaterally better though definitely
less precise means that different consoles sum differently, so in order to
match the effectiveness of a good mastering house, you'd need an assortment
of high-end consoles, plus the understanding of each of their summing buses
to pick the right one before you even start mixing. This thread suggests a
general lack of understanding of the precise nature of analog sum bus
coloration. I say leave it to mastering. They know all about it. Plus
it's way cheaper and you're paying them the same either way.
Anonymous
October 27, 2004 5:45:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite wrote:

> > I think you and I have vastly differing ideas of what mastering is for.
> > It's not the mastering engineer's job to provide tonal richness in my
> > recordings. It's his job to make sure that MY tonal choices and my
> > recording's tonal richness arrives intact at the ears of all different
> > kinds of listeners, regardless of the system they use to play the
> > record. It's his job to make sure that there is continuity of tonality
> > through the progression of an album. And it's sometimes his job to
> > make sure my exuberance in applying my choice of coloration doesn't
> > interact negatively with the limitations of typical playback equipment.
> > But it is definitely not his job to try and slap some tone onto my
> > finished recording.

> Coloration and tone aren't necessarily the same. Similar to color
> correction in film (when not applied as an overt effect), coloration can
> simply be enhancements made to do exactly what you're talking about

Apparently you do not understand what Ulysses is talking about. Your
approach to coloration can be applied only to the overall sound when in
mastering instead of to individual sources when applied in the tracking
and/or mixing stages.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 27, 2004 6:26:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > > I think you and I have vastly differing ideas of what mastering is
for.
> > > It's not the mastering engineer's job to provide tonal richness in my
> > > recordings. It's his job to make sure that MY tonal choices and my
> > > recording's tonal richness arrives intact at the ears of all different
> > > kinds of listeners, regardless of the system they use to play the
> > > record. It's his job to make sure that there is continuity of
tonality
> > > through the progression of an album. And it's sometimes his job to
> > > make sure my exuberance in applying my choice of coloration doesn't
> > > interact negatively with the limitations of typical playback
equipment.
> > > But it is definitely not his job to try and slap some tone onto my
> > > finished recording.
>
> > Coloration and tone aren't necessarily the same. Similar to color
> > correction in film (when not applied as an overt effect), coloration can
> > simply be enhancements made to do exactly what you're talking about
>
> Apparently you do not understand what Ulysses is talking about. Your
> approach to coloration can be applied only to the overall sound when in
> mastering instead of to individual sources when applied in the tracking
> and/or mixing stages.

Right, so you imply that an analog summing bus can apply more coloration to
one track than another? The other components to the console and outboard
hardware can sure, but there's nothing stopping a DAW from using outboard
hardware too y'know.

There is a valid point here though - once you're using enough outboard
hardware such that the required converters cost as much as a console it can
certainly be a good argument for going analog, but here it's been suggested
that the analog sum bus alone is an upgrade from mixing ITB.

With that in mind, I've presented evidence that digital summing buses can
render neutral results with absolute precision, so if an analog sum bus
sounds better it's thanks to coloration. Any coloration applied by the sum
bus itself is unilateral to all program material and therefore a mastering
process. If your argument is that coloration shouldn't be added in
mastering, then it certainly shouldn't be done in summing.
Anonymous
October 28, 2004 2:08:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Right, so you imply that an analog summing bus can apply more coloration to
one track than another? >>



I don't think it's a question of "applying coloration". There are two
different processes. Only in a DAW does "summing", striclty speaking, occur.
Numbers are added (actually multiplied, I think, but it's math) and the result
is, well, the answer to an equation. Since it's math, if done correctly you
can stipulate that the result is accurate, or at least accurate enough. It's
all verifiable. Check the math. If it is correct, the resulting sum is
accurate, independent of how it may sound.

In the misnamed analog "suming box" however, numbers are not summed, signals
are blended. As they are blended they interact with each other, often in
nonlinear ways, which doesn't occur in a DAW. It's harder to say what
constitutes an accurate blend in this case, because there is no standard of
reference, such as 1 plus 1 equals two, that can tell you objectively when
you've combined the signals accurately. Every analog mix setup will have its
own topology that will combine signals in a way that will have its own sonic
character.

I don't see how you can just add something like this after the signals are
mixed.

-R
Anonymous
October 28, 2004 2:08:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"R Krizman" <rkrizman@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041027180803.22356.00002430@mb-m16.aol.com...
> << Right, so you imply that an analog summing bus can apply more
coloration to
> one track than another? >>


>
> I don't think it's a question of "applying coloration". There are two
> different processes. Only in a DAW does "summing", striclty speaking,
occur.
> Numbers are added (actually multiplied, I think, but it's math) and the
result
> is, well, the answer to an equation. Since it's math, if done correctly
you
> can stipulate that the result is accurate, or at least accurate enough.
It's
> all verifiable. Check the math. If it is correct, the resulting sum is
> accurate, independent of how it may sound.
>
> In the misnamed analog "suming box" however, numbers are not summed,
signals
> are blended. As they are blended they interact with each other, often in
> nonlinear ways, which doesn't occur in a DAW. It's harder to say what
> constitutes an accurate blend in this case, because there is no standard
of
> reference, such as 1 plus 1 equals two, that can tell you objectively when
> you've combined the signals accurately. Every analog mix setup will have
its
> own topology that will combine signals in a way that will have its own
sonic
> character.
>
> I don't see how you can just add something like this after the signals are
> mixed.

Mixing is in fact summing, regardless of whether there's numbers assigned to
the waveforms or not. And the interaction you describe is called
intermodular distortion, which can happen even with a mono signal passing
through certain circuitry, and is common to coloration of most types,
including many that are available to mastering engineers. The coloration of
analog summing may be unique, but it's not imperative and there are other
far more economical and versatile types that can replace and improve upon
it.
Anonymous
October 29, 2004 12:49:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Mixing is in fact summing, regardless of whether there's numbers assigned to
the waveforms or not. And the interaction you describe is called
intermodular distortion, >>



My point was that by using the word "summing" for both processes you imply that
they are the same sort of activity. Seeing the differences can help to
understand this issue. And no, I wasn't referring to intermodulation
distortion (is that what you meant?), even though that at times is a result of
track interaction.

-R
Anonymous
October 29, 2004 1:14:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 28 Oct 2004 20:49:32 GMT, rkrizman@aol.com (R Krizman) wrote:

>My point was that by using the word "summing" for both processes you imply that
>they are the same sort of activity.

They are, and in fact, must be, the same sort of activity.

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
October 29, 2004 8:41:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< >My point was that by using the word "summing" for both processes you imply
that
>they are the same sort of activity.

They are, and in fact, must be, the same sort of activity.

Chris Hornbeck >>



I guess that's why you get the same results either way.

-R
!