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I don't want to buy an analog console, but....
Old 28th January 2009
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🎧 15 years
I don't want to buy an analog console, but....

My mixes sound dimensionally satisfying while playing back but seem to be flattened a bit when opened up in a two track editor.
I'm getting really tired of the bounces being just a little off the mark when I open them up in my editor and needing to retweak them a bit to get that dimension back into the bounce. It's not too time consuming, but it's getting increasingly annoying.

I'm using Cubase 4.5x and I've got a fairly substantial amount of outboard gear permanently patched into to AD/DA's that are enabled in my tracking and mix templates as external processors/FX. These are not all patched into any project on sends/returns or inserts at any given time and unnecessary input and output channels that would be patched to AD/DA's that were, in turn, patched to various preamps or cue outs are removed from the project before mixdown starts, but any AD's and DA's that are patched to outboard compressors or EQ's and any digital I/O that is patched to FX processors are all enabled as external processors in the Cubase templates so that they can be accessed without my adding an external processor on a per song basis every time I want to use one. We're talking 20 analog comps/EQ's interfaced with AD/DA's and 7 x outboard FX processors interfaced digitally. I can access my outboard just like I would a plugin under these circumstances...consistently, project-to- project without having to reinvent the wheel each time I open another project. I know, I know.....I can save certain setups, but that's just another PITA step. I want everything available, any time, all the time. I am running my monitor sends out digitally to a Benchmark DAC-1 and bouncing internally.

In theory, if these processors are not enabled in a mix on a send or insert, they shouldn't affect anything but as I said, I'm getting subtle differences in what I hear during mix playback and what I hear in Wavelab when I open a two track bounce. I have heard other Cubase/Nuendo users complain that they aren't getting truth in their mixdowns. I don't know if my configuration situation is the issue or not and I don't care. I want to keep things as they are. My configuration is very much about workflow and easy and consistent recall of projects that have outboard gear patched in and since my DAW is fighting me on this and it's becoming a PITA, rather than change my outboard configuration/workflow, I may be experimenting with analog summing or summing to a tape deck and monitoring off the repro head, though I think I'd rather slit my wrists than start having to mix into and maintain another deck. Maybe just sending the two track to an external burner and monitoring off the burner's outs would give me what I need. I don't know. I do know I'd rather sum to digital and be able to access that two track really quickly. Would a Masterlink provide this capability? Can it be networked and the bounce accessed over LAN?

I know this analog summing scenario has been thrashed to death on every forum imaginable. I really like having recall capability. I've listened to a few shootouts between the stem summing devices and they are all pretty close to my ears. They are also all over the map pricewise. The Neve 8816 appeals to me due to it's recall capabilities in software. Anyone out there using one of these? Is the recall software working properly? Any issues with it? Other recomendations relative to recallable summing devices would be welcome as well.

I'm not looking for "phatness" or enhancement necessarily. I seem to be able to achieve whatever degree of that I want ITB. I would, of course use whatever capabilities the summing mixer might provide if they did no harm. As I said, I want to keep my current external patching situation in Cubase and also have a situation wherein what I am hearing during playback is accurately and consistently shat to some kind of media....preferably a digital one, and what plays back from said media sounds exactly like what I'm hearing when I'm monitoring my mix playback in Cubase.
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