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Cannot Decide: mixer or uad2
Old 30th January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
kodomo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Cannot Decide: mixer or uad2

I really cannot decide, both has ups and downs, cannot weigh one over the other and do not have the resources for getting em both and going the slutz way.

I am currently using ableton live for my productions, I have been using it for quite some time and I am happy with it, I ve been regularly producing tracks, and plan on delving into music even more. Gotta a few tracks coming out on compilations have a few album ideas and blah blah...
I have a powerful desktop mac and a couple of analog synths, v.a. synths, high quality fx like the eventide and tc fireworx, happy with the soundcards converters, have some motu gear liek 2408mk3 and 8 pre...

Now the thing is mixing down part, it all started there. The better I got at producing the less I am happy with anything I do, especially the mixing. I really want eq control on every channel and with quality plugs it even kills my mac (it is a quad 3.ghz with 8gb ram) I really am not keen on freezing.
I want quality compressor for my master bus and my drum bus especially.

I have two ways to walk as I could figure out. One is to get the Toft ATB32 and a pair of EL8 and an API 2500

or

Go with an UAD2 card with say nevena32. And get some control surfaces like the new APC40 maybe.

Now there are many ups and downs about both of em. There is however one thing I am dying to learn, as I have mixed opinions about this. Some say that the mixer route will downgrade my soundquality and I would have spent so much more money but only get more immediate control but will be having a worse sound. I mean what is a worse sound, does it mean muddier, what is it? I am lost and it is not possible for me to test them in my country, which is a shame. I am really waiting to hear your opinions on this.
Old 30th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodomo ➑️
I really cannot decide, both has ups and downs, cannot weigh one over the other and do not have the resources for getting em both and going the slutz way.

I am currently using ableton live for my productions, I have been using it for quite some time and I am happy with it, I ve been regularly producing tracks, and plan on delving into music even more. Gotta a few tracks coming out on compilations have a few album ideas and blah blah...
I have a powerful desktop mac and a couple of analog synths, v.a. synths, high quality fx like the eventide and tc fireworx, happy with the soundcards converters, have some motu gear liek 2408mk3 and 8 pre...

Now the thing is mixing down part, it all started there. The better I got at producing the less I am happy with anything I do, especially the mixing. I really want eq control on every channel and with quality plugs it even kills my mac (it is a quad 3.ghz with 8gb ram) I really am not keen on freezing.
I want quality compressor for my master bus and my drum bus especially.

I have two ways to walk as I could figure out. One is to get the Toft ATB32 and a pair of EL8 and an API 2500

or

Go with an UAD2 card with say nevena32. And get some control surfaces like the new APC40 maybe.

Now there are many ups and downs about both of em. There is however one thing I am dying to learn, as I have mixed opinions about this. Some say that the mixer route will downgrade my soundquality and I would have spent so much more money but only get more immediate control but will be having a worse sound. I mean what is a worse sound, does it mean muddier, what is it? I am lost and it is not possible for me to test them in my country, which is a shame. I am really waiting to hear your opinions on this.

Ableton 7 is not sample accurate when it comes to ADC and FX returns
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
gransonik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In my opinion, if you're unhappy with your mixes, going OTB probably won't help much. I get good mixes ITB or OTB, it really doesn't matter. I use a soundcraft ghost for OTB but i also like mixing ITB. I always end up with what i had in mind ITB same as OTB. OTB sounds different but i adjust accordingly when i mix ITB.

However mixing OTB is alot more fun! It can really help your creativity.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Popbott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I dunno man, it just depends on what you are used to IMO. I was happily mixing in PT LE using a Digi 002 until I discovered how crappy my Digi 002 was summing my mixes. With my budget, going OTB with a decent mixer and having a better converter solved my mixing issues. I get way better low end, more separation and am very happy mixing all of my outboard synths this way treating my mixer like an instrument itself. Then again, I don't use Ableton live, my method works for me as I love producing music using outboard synthesizers, I even sequence outboard, I am just used to that.

I don't think getting a fancy control surface will give you a better sound, it would just be contolling what you already have differently. If your problem is in mixing, perhaps Ableton is not giving you the results you are looking for. If you are going to drop that much cash, maybe a Protools HD system with a nice converter will give you better separation/mixing abilities. Start of in Ableton and transfer your tracks to PT HD and mix there.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Anytime you can get hardware over software or DSP, go for it. The Toft, El8, and API2500 will do you goood things that ITB will never get you.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I would grab the UAD-2, upgrade your converters, and buy a couple pimp pieces of gear for your 2-bus. thumbsup
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would (and did) do both. You can choose whether to insert hardware processing on the desk inserts themselves, or on the audio tracks before they leave 'the box' and come into the desk, same difference.

You can mix and match your hardware and virtual effects sends, choose to keep the virtual returns in the box or bring them out to the desk too.

Surgical eq with the UAD plugs on tracks that then come out to the desk where you can add character eq.
The possibilites are endless, no point thinking either/or, it's a wonderland out there, make the most of it
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
same idea about that.
AND instead of OR
how do you deal with latency?
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Definitely upgrade your converters first. There's no sense in using a great mixer when you feed it the output from a 2408. Your mixes might also rapidly improve with better converters because you actually hear what you're mixing.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
cosmos's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacosWhenTwisted ➑️
The Toft, El8, and API2500 will do you goood things that ITB will never get you.
+1
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
jaakkol's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Popbott ➑️
I was happily mixing in PT LE using a Digi 002 until I discovered how crappy my Digi 002 was summing my mixes. With my budget, going OTB with a decent mixer and having a better converter solved my mixing issues.
Which mixer & converters did you get?


Jaakko
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
jahala's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A mixer would give you a more "hands-on" experience, and might be fun to work with for a while. However, if there is no recall function on the mixer - working with several different projects at once, or loading old projects will be really time consuming as you would have to write down all the fader, compressor and eq positions on a piece of paper and manually dial everything in...

I prefer to work ITB with UAD because I don't have to spend any time on anything else than working with music. The most important thing for me is to be able to be instantly creative, to work fast when I'm "in the zone", and to be able to capture an essence of a song and arrangement in a very short amount of time. After that I can go nuts with the technicalities and spend weeks mixing and mastering..

I rarely finish projects if I don't get most of the idea down in 3-4 hours.. And working with hardware makes the whole process a bit more time consuming... imho


- J.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahala ➑️
....snip...
I rarely finish projects if I don't get most of the idea down in 3-4 hours.. And working with hardware makes the whole process a bit more time consuming... imho


- J.
in some ways this is true (arranging etc.)
OTOH I get lost sometimes in software. I don't lose the idea but I lose the vibe. I think it has to do with processing visual information on an LCD, instead of turning knobs, and not look at something that moves all the time.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
thx1138
Guest
[OT]
I don't see a difference in working with software vs. hardware just that I seem more engaged when I work with hardware or acoustic instruments for that matter. I too get lost in the infinite possibilities of a modular or software, though.
[/OT]
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi ➑️
Ableton 7 is not sample accurate when it comes to ADC and FX returns

So? You can bring external sounds in through tracks, which do have accurate ADX
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahala ➑️
A mixer would give you a more "hands-on" experience, and might be fun to work with for a while. However, if there is no recall function on the mixer - working with several different projects at once, or loading old projects will be really time consuming as you would have to write down all the fader, compressor and eq positions on a piece of paper and manually dial everything in...
Digital mixers are your friend..
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by filin ➑️
So? You can bring external sounds in through tracks, which do have accurate ADX
i like Ableton for what it is but wouldnt rely on it for mixing if im willing to
spend as much money as the original poster
if he is aware of Abletons phase issues fine
wouldnt mind to know how he solves them
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
make shure you like the sound of toft first.
try searching gearslutz for mp3 files.

go to a music store that allows you to: try before buy
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Shim's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I agree with the both/and concept.

In the short term, UAD-2 will give you lots of processing power and flavour for your money, but it won't hold it's value in the long run because it's software...and it will become outdated and incompatible in time.

Hardware will only be able to cover a few needs at once, and it will cost a lot. Now I'm not going to touch the ITB OTB sonic quality debate, because with UAD your not getting some ****ty plugins... they sound at least good enough by 99% of peoples standards. The real upside that noone ever seems to mention is that 5-10 years down the road you will still have the outboard, and it will still sound good. You can keep it and watch your studio grow.

Computers are very powerful, BUT they are incredibly temporary.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
kodomo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
cheers guys for all the input

I know my converters are not top notch but they are quite ok, and I have designed my room for better acoustics and my mixes seem to sound quite right (like I want them to sound) when I listen to them in a few different systems.

For Ableton, yes you have to spend some time on phasing but it can be done, I am feeling so home with it, cant really think of switching to another program, but yeah some of my friends were also suggesting making the track in ableton, mixing; summing in Logic as well...

I will have the chance -it seems- to try and hear the uads in action so now its a plus for me.

The controller and mixing was related in a way for immediacy to control the eqs of track while listening.

It seems one solution is to get the uad 2 nevena and use the eq s on it, get a decent hardware compressor for the two bus , and get a good controller for hands on approach (my uc33 is not quite enough).

Later on I can get better converters, but it seems to me they re not the priority.
Old 2nd February 2009
  #21
Gear Nut
 
*iIIiCit*'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
UAD....no question! or do u wanna get a neve console?
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Popbott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaakkol ➑️
Which mixer & converters did you get?


Jaakko
A modular 32 Ch Soundcraft Series 500, Jim Williams mod on the master section. For my converter I use an Alesis Adat M-20 limited to 24 bit at 48kHz via optical.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
vibralux's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would not buy either*– instead invest in :

1) Acoustic treatment
2) Books*- Bobby Owsinski stuff, Bob Katz „Audio Mastering”

Nothing helped my mixes more then those two things – and I have some funky hiend stuff in my studio including Amtec Eq's , Aurora 16 converters and MC77. I repeat*– non of the above helped more than a big chunk of knowledge.

Wheter You invest in mixer or in UAD*– its all fetish thing and it will change things, but not necesarilly for better if You wont use them properly.

It ain't the instrument baby ;-)

cheers
marty
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
kodomo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I definetly think in the same vain
I come from architecture background (I am an interior architect and environmental designer), and I studied acoustics as well.
My rooms response is quite ok, I already have invested in my room and its acoustic treatment and have been planning for my next room
I am continously reading about how to improve my mixes as well and working on it as much as possible...

but yeah this is a fetish, and I like it that way
My dayjob is different, so for the rest of my time, I like investigating about, shopping and working on my hobby
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I agree - invest in some high-end plugs (UAD2 / Duende) + a nice bit of hardware for the 2 Buss / drums (API 2500 or Alan Smart C2) . Perhaps also a nice Pre-amp for recording the synths. IMO that set-up is the best of both worlds...But my O - aint gospel...

It seems in theory working ITB with great plugins and sending out tracks for analogue processing is a great combo. Im not sure how big the benefits of mixing over a console would be *****for the project studio producer****. Yea if we all had the money and room a large console/desk would have its benefits no doubt - but I think for many of us the balance between 'performance gain' vs 'cost (and often space)' is the goal....
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Strobian's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I've gone the UAD route myself. I use them for a lot of applications. I still use outboard effects as well. I think having a great bus compressor is a nice icing for tunes. I've also considered a summing mixer again recently.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Here for the gear
 
seandrinkwater's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
UAD-2 Duo and an API 2500?

I also support the idea of some basic soundproofing and whatever books you can get your hands on.
πŸ“ Reply

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