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Thinking of selling outboard pre's & moving to console. Advice?.
Old 16th November 2009
Here for the gear
jhill's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Thinking of selling outboard pre's & moving to console. Advice?.

I'm having trouble deciding the next move for recording setup. Any thoughts?

I have a small project studio. I've been mixing ITB since I got into recording ~6 years ago. I'm sick of squinting and moving around a mouse. I have a fader port, but it just isn't that satisfying (also kinda loud).

I am far more a musician than a computer guy. When i've worked on consoles, things just seem to make more sense. I have never been a visual person, and something about mixing with a console connects what i'm doing with my hands to what i'm hearing, as if I was playing an instrument.

My current setup is an Imac 2.66ghz 4gb ram running Logic express 8 and recording at 24/44.1. I use a duet for 2 channels recording, a Onyx 1220 w/ firewire for 2-12 track recording. I have a Universal Audio 6176 and True Precision 8 for pre's. DBX 166xl. My mic collection is Sputnik x2. AT4040. AT3035. MXL 603s x2, MXL 990/991. AKG c430 x2. RE410. SM57. SM58. Audix i5 x2, D2x2, D4, D6, OM5. Sennheiser e838, e609.


I'm considering selling the Precision 8. I like it, I just don't know if it is too much compared to the rest of my setup. It is very clean, but i'm learning that i'm more of a "color" guy as well. I'd gladly sacrifice a little of the quality to movie into a hybrid ITB/OTB setup.

I'm thinking i'd replace it with a nice small mixer, like the Mixwizard 16, crest X 20R, or similar. Would I notice a MAJOR change from the True Systems to either of those console pres?

I would upgrade my AD/DA to 2x echo audiofire 12. I would track, mix, & sum through the mixer, into my Duet.

I have a line on a crest 20 channel for CHEAP!

Does anyone have any thoughts regarding this change? Am I going to lose considerable quality with this setup? I've been going back-and-forth about this, and would love some outside input. Thanks!
Old 16th November 2009
Lives for gear
3rd Degree's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I just bought a 24 channel soundcraft (well 20 channels plus two stereo channels), I am looking into the same interface but 2 of them.

I have done what you are talking about in a smaller format. I only had 10 channels of I/O. I found 2 things outside of lack of having total control through the mixer due to lack of I/O. First, I spent much more time making my mixes "exactly" how I wanted them because I couldn't just go back and change things. It didn't necesarily take more time, it just made me listen more critically. Secondly, I realized how powerful plug ins were and how easily they could be use with my mixer. If i needed a more comprehensive eq, use a plug in on that track as well as outboard (or by itself).

I found that even with a budget card (delta 1010lt), the quality wasn't much different than ITB for me. It was noticeable but not to the point it bothered me. Some minor eqing ITB on the two track brought it back anyway. The extra time I spent mixing actually improved the overall quality though.

My gear list doesn't compare to yours but I am planning on working like this again. The main thing I am going to do differently is not sum it to a 2 track. I have inserts which I can use as direct outs on 20 channels so I can still keep those tracks individual. Basically, I plan to mix on my board but record everything back into it's individual track so I can improve my mixes if I need to. I can be hands on but still reap the benifits of going outside the box.

I haven't done this yet due to me not upgrading my interface and having enough I/O. I am not sacrificing anything either, expanding instead. I am confident that I will enjoy this setup, I needed to expand my I/O and my mixer anyway, I just went further than I needed for exactly what you are talking about. Again, my only difference doing it a seperate time is the ability to keep all my tracks seperate this time, just incase.
Old 16th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Ca$h Marty's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
I am not in your exact situation but a similar one. I recently picked up an older Ramsa console (from the 80s) and I was debating integrating it into my project studio.

It certainly adds some noise and you are going to lose 100% recall. However, I think those factors are outweighed by the workflow. It's incredibly easy to solo tracks, add a dash of EQ, click on and off a hi-pass, setup a verb aux send.

It's possible that it's in my head but I think that the analog summing helps as well. Also, I find it simplifies my mixdown procedure.

So I am going to be using my cheapo board for playback/mixdown only. That way I dont get hit with the noise twice. Also, the talkback mic for the headphone mix is pretty handy.

I'm pretty happy with the change I have made - hope that helps.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
ohmicide's Avatar
why don't you just look for a decent summing console?
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Here for the gear
jhill's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Thanks for the feedback! I am definitely going this route...

Just put a used Crest XR-20 on layaway...$850...
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