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IN THE BOX vs. out of the box
Old 25th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
IN THE BOX vs. out of the box

hi guys,
i'm new here,
i am a self-teaching producer and mixer on the make.

there is one thing i wanna ask:
is it possible to record, produce and mix a song/album COMPLETELY IN THE BOX and let it sound awesome, punchy, great - industry standard?

i only have an MBox 3 and Protools 9 and logic 9 and some Waves Plugins and a few other plugins and no outboard stuff (except my midi keyboard, mic and guitars .. ;-)

I am still not satisfied with the results of my mixes,
so does it make sense at all just to work this way with my Mac?

when i was at the shop once for buying new monitors the guy there said i would not have better results from just better monitors as long as i don't have good outboard devices (another guy refused, by the way)

what do you think?


thanks for answering in advance.
toni

...

Last edited by toniwater; 25th September 2012 at 02:38 PM.. Reason: grammar/expression
Old 25th September 2012
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by toniwater ➑️
is it possible to record, produce and mix a song/album COMPLETELY IN THE BOX and let it sound awesome, punchy, great - industry standard?
I would've answered "no" but then you added "industry standard" so the answer is now "yes"
Old 25th September 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
ok, i meant industry standard in the sense that a good radio would play it.


so you say i cannot make it sound great, punchy and living as long as i am working just in the box?
what is missing then?
Old 25th September 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
when you have a serious background in the analog domain and you know exactly what you want to hear in the final mix the answer is yes. At least that is my personal experience.
Old 25th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
toniwater if you do a search of this site there's volumes written about it.
Old 25th September 2012
  #6
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by toniwater ➑️
hi guys,
i'm new here,
i am a self-teaching producer and mixer on the make.

there is one thing i wanna ask:
is it possible to record, produce and mix a song/album COMPLETELY IN THE BOX and let it sound awesome, punchy, great - industry standard?

i only have an MBox 3 and Protools 9 and logic 9 and some Waves Plugins and a few other plugins and no outboard stuff (except my midi keyboard, mic and guitars .. ;-)

I am still not satisfied with the results of my mixes,
so does it make sense at all just to work this way with my Mac?

when i was at the shop once for buying new monitors the guy there said i would not have better results from just better monitors as long as i don't have good outboard devices (another guy refused, by the way)

what do you think?


thanks for answering in advance.
toni

...
Hey Toni,

First thing you gotta ask yourself is why are you not satisfied with your results? Evaluate what is going wrong, find the reasons. Move from there. Engineering is about Problem Solving. Every engineer has different problems to solve, and you've gotta nail the issues before moving forward with your goals.

We can only do our best with what we have, in the time we have to work with.

Yes, I say improvements are always possible with the acoustics of your monitoring environment and I think monitors within that space are strongly personal to each individual. It is impossible to generally classify in one direction of another. You simply have to try a few out in your purpose built room to see how you feel while working with them. Translation is important for sure, but also feeling is critical. You ARE going to be working on these things all day, so that is important too. I think not only getting the gear improvements in place, it is also the technique's and clever problem solving abilities that push you over the edge.

My motto is "things can always be better, and they always will"

This includes me as a person.

"Every wrong attempt discarded, is another step forward"

The projects goals, your preferences for the sound in your head. Really try to diagnose it, beyond what you hear elsewhere that may, or may not involve more resource and skill than what you have. That is all irrelevant to your space and output. Just continue being more awesome Chasing other unrelated objects will only end up badly, as you simply cannot deduce the results to one thing or another. It is many things. Probably including the people who crafted it, than the hardware or software it was crafted with. I say, be your own unique individual and give the world a new color we do not have yet. That is what artisanship means to me.

As an engineer, I feel I am always working with the law of compromise, no matter what I use. So, in this respect, it is best to simply know what your using and why you are using it. I say, yes, it is possible to achieve high quality results, with what you have, and that is because of YOU and not any of these boxes, cartoons, wiz bangs, or whatever. Upgrading gear, and making room/monitoring improvements can surely make a difference, but for me, it is the technique and aesthetic that is driving the entire thing. If you are a talented artist, write great songs that have performances with feel, vibe, emotion, nuance, magic, and everything in between, then you will be able to make ANYTHING work.

may the force be with you,

peace
a/b
Old 25th September 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You hear pop songs every day that have been recorded each way and nobody can tell the difference. Yeah there is a whole big debate going on, but at the same time, both sides of the debate are getting work and making money. For the beginner it makes little sense to buy a million dollars worth of outboard gear, console, large acoustically treated room, killer monitors and converters and all the rest of it. For the guy who already owns this stuff, why should he sell it? People get used to working within their own paradigm and any the way is 'wrong'. But it is all basically bull. What makes a good recording are the skills of the people making it, assuming an equal quality among the other pieces/parts.

So a beginner, with little money and little experience, no good recording space to speak of, and lowest common denominator gear is going to be hobbled with all of those down-sides. Becoming good at any craft is a function of work, learning, maybe a little talent.

Don't expect a free software compressor to sound like a Cranesong Trakker. Don't expect a $99 Chinese knock-off microphone to sound like an Elam 251. Good gear doesn't make a difference. Working ITB or OTB is a matter of preference. Being good at either? That is on you.

Salesmen (At least, at the low end...) want your money. They really don't care about you and many if not most of them only know about what they are trying to sell. Get your information elsewhere.
Old 25th September 2012
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Short answer: YES. I agree with a lot that has been said previously in response to your post. Mixing is a craft, and needs to be honed. If there is a sound you hear 'in your head,' but aren't achieving that sound, that is not necessarily a matter of tools at your disposal, but the ability to use your tools. True, the old adage 'garbage in, garbage out' is a saying worth something. But that doesn't always relate to quality of gear. Another issue at hand is if your tools are going to be able to actually give you a certain timbre or sound you are going for, e.g. you can't make a strat sound like a Les Paul. So you have quality of gear, and then gear that is only able to produce certain results due to the sound it is inherently able to produce. Buying new gear or outboard gear for that matter is not a quick fix. You can have industry standard tunes produced from solely in the box, out of the box, or a combo of the two. This might not be a case of what tools you're using, but learning how to use them. We all have to start somewhere!
Old 25th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
NYCruiser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Yes. You can get a great mix ITB today, no problem. The answer isn't buying more gear.
Old 25th September 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Not only is ITB mixing the norm, in my experience OTB mixing is a luxury that most folks cannot afford.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysanfel ➑️
Not only is ITB mixing the norm, in my experience OTB mixing is a luxury that most folks cannot afford.
True, but quite a few of us already had existing studios when digital audio came along, and converted quite happily after running hybrid for many years. I sold 80 rack spaces of vintage gear and replaced it all with software and have not missed it at all. Three multitrack tape machines, and three consoles, too.
Old 11th October 2012
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you all for your words.
I'll probably go for the monitors and not for the outboard gears
πŸ“ Reply

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