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Mixing on a DAW vs. on a Digital Board
Old 12th March 2003
  #31
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Turpin
28 - kind of.

I've got 4 AES-EBU cards in it. So, at 44.1 or 48 I have 32 digital I/O going to 2 192 Digitals. Then there are also 24 analog available out of regular 192's that I can route to the remaining channels of the DMX how I like to end up with 56.

Of course the DMX gives you half power at 96k. So 56/2=28. What I didn't know when I started this was that (apparently) the AES-EBU cards give you half power too. So I only had 16 channels of AES coming in to the expansion slots! With a little futzing around in the I/O pages of PT and DMX - I routed 3 'enclosure' outputs from 192's to the DMX's 2T1 in and Aux5/6 and Aux 7/8 Inputs. This got me up to 22 digital inputs (which was how many tracks my session has). The remaining six are analog sends from the 192's coming into channels 23/34 and Aux returns 1-4 on the DMX.

Kind of a pain in the A*S*S - sounds good though.
Makes me want more channels. A DM2000 would be OK - but what I really want is a second DMX-R100, a couple MADI cards and Sony's new super Expander box for the DMX. Too expensive though. I also want a DMX-R200 or just and OXF-R3!


The Altiverb doesn't really run in 96k - it downsamples and then resamples back up. Also - there's no "NO latency" button, only a 'low latency/high latency' choice. But - other than that - it is super great in ProTools. I'm running it on a G4/933.
I have a DMX, and love it. TRhe 96K thing scares ma a bit though as far as the console is concerened, only 24 channels, 2 auxes... the big point I am hurting over is the lack of auxes at 96K... cascading another console will give you more channels, but still the same # of auxes... and not enough at that!
Old 12th March 2003
  #32
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've got a DMX-R100, but I'm perfectly happy to mix in the box! A friend of mine switched me onto this way of working about a year ago. he had for years worked in many major SSL/Neve equipped studios and reckoned it was a no boner. He told me about one session where they decided to mix through the desk and they thought there was something wrong with the kit as the sound was so bad. Two hours later and a lot of scratching of heads they finally realised it was purely what they were loosing through the long signal path of the desk.

The engineer in question is highly skilled with a good track record and having heard some of the productions that he has been involved with I have come to agree and now work this way myself. I would add one caveat, mixing digital requires you to think differently about how you mix. Things I would have done with an EQ on an analogue desk, I sometimes find myself achieving with an amp simulation pluging instead.

Regards


Roland
Old 12th March 2003
  #33
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bassmac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jeronimo
The thing is... I woud love to compare a in the box mix vs. digital mixer mix vs. summing box mix... what do you guys think?

Just make sure the PT mix has proper gain staging and headroom - so it gets a fair shake in the test.

I always wonder if some of those tests aren't overloading PT (unintentionally, of course) just to make the other stuff sound better.

Old 12th March 2003
  #34
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jeronimo
The thing is... I woud love to compare a in the box mix vs. digital mixer mix vs. summing box mix... what do you guys think?
What if I make a session on PT and send it to someone that have a summing box and to someone else that mix on a digital board? Could you guys help US with this?

It will be too difficult a comparison(you have to compensate for each one). Its the same reason you can't just dump your digital mix to a half inch and expect it to sound the same as if you were mixing through it.

What I have noticed about the three is that certain types of music lend itself better for certain formats.

Right now I am summing most of the pop/rnb PT stuff I mix through a SBM-2(with some analog comp/EQ) to a half inch or a Masterlink.


I can tell you that I am really liking it(and so are my clients).

But that doesn't mean I wasn't getting similar results doing it in the box alone(it just took longer). It just means that the dynamics and track counts being summed(96-128 PT tracks) blends well on analog format. I know in a few months I may buy another SBM-2. That will give me 32 outs to sum(much nicer for those crazy productions).
Old 12th March 2003
  #35
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jeronimo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by bassmac
Just make sure the PT mix has proper gain staging and headroom - so it gets a fair shake in the test.
What exactly do you mean? When I mix on PT I try to set my unity gain at -8dbfs. So, if we set the mix at -8dbfs on pt and then at 0db on the summing box and unity at the digital desk we won't be "fair"... do you agree?
We shoul compare all ways the same way, all at 0db or at -8db... I don't know... let's try to work this out...
Old 13th March 2003
  #36
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jeronimo
The thing is... I woud love to compare a in the box mix vs. digital mixer mix vs. summing box mix... what do you guys think?
What if I make a session on PT and send it to someone that have a summing box and to someone else that mix on a digital board? Could you guys help US with this?
Excellent idea. And guess what! It's currently being done in a major and well controlled way. Check out George Massenburg's forum over at musicplayer.com and you can read about the test being sponsored by Lynn Fuston which takes the same 24 tracks and sums them in 31 different platforms, including most well known DAW's, some digital boards and a few analog consoles. The tracks are being summed at unity, as well as with the faders pulled down 3 db and then compensated up 3 db in the master fader, to check out the allegations of "bad fader math" in various workstations. Most of the results are in and soon CD's of the resulting mixes will be pressed and circulated. This is the absolute best, if not only, comprehensive research done regarding this issue and I think the results will be fascinating. Stay tooned.

-R
Old 13th March 2003
  #37
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
Excellent idea. And guess what! It's currently being done in a major and well controlled way. Check out George Massenburg's forum over at musicplayer.com and you can read about the test being sponsored by Lynn Fuston which takes the same 24 tracks and sums them in 31 different platforms, including most well known DAW's, some digital boards and a few analog consoles. The tracks are being summed at unity, as well as with the faders pulled down 3 db and then compensated up 3 db in the master fader, to check out the allegations of "bad fader math" in various workstations. Most of the results are in and soon CD's of the resulting mixes will be pressed and circulated. This is the absolute best, if not only, comprehensive research done regarding this issue and I think the results will be fascinating. Stay tooned.

-R
Hey Rick,

I checked out the post on GM's forum.

It looks like Lynn is only using digital platforms(DAW's and digital mixing boards).

I think Jeronimo was asking about analog summing boxes as well.
Old 13th March 2003
  #38
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yeap... actually it's just an idea... I could track something here in my studio (ok, don't wait for the best tones ever) and send the files to someone that mixes on a digital console and to someone that mixes on a DAW out to a analog summing box...
Who can work this out with me?
Old 13th March 2003
  #39
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
You could track something.

Build a rough mix (including RECORDED as audio FX)

Then use a 'gain' audio suite plug in to re set the levels ALL to say -10 (whatever builds a perfect level at the mix bus)

Then export THAT flat, no eq mix as files to send to everyone.

All folks have to do is put all levels to -10 and follow PAN instructions (need to be provided) and we are set!

NO 'maxing' toys allowed after the Mix buss (L2, Tape simulators, plug ins)

Every one creates a 44.1 16 bit master.

to recap.

1) line up to -10
2) Pan as per instructions provided.
3) Bounce to disk or use an A/D converter to make a 44.1k/16 bit stereo file

Reluctant to partake in mixing 'cook offs' (I am too busy and hate mixing!) this is one EASY test I am very willing to partake in.

I think the person collating the entries should be able to Normalize" them all for maximum loudness. The method can be discussed and agreed upon.

What do you think?

Old 13th March 2003
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Jules,

Lynn Fuston just did something like this....I participated....


links are

1


2

....


'Drew
Old 13th March 2003
  #41
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
These are useful tests to see if there is any audible difference between mixing platforms, but useless for determining the "quality" of those differences, other than "they're different." The original mix will be compensated for whatever platform it was performed on, so any subjective observations will be based on differences from the "control", the original mix platform, which remains an unknown.
It will tell you "this is what happens when you break out a ProTools mix onto another mix platform," not what it would sound like if you performed the mix on that platform originally. A comparison of the latter sort would be near impossible to keep objective though...
Old 13th March 2003
  #42
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
You could track something.

Build a rough mix (including RECORDED as audio FX)

Then use a 'gain' audio suite plug in to re set the levels ALL to say -10 (whatever builds a perfect level at the mix bus)

Then export THAT flat, no eq mix as files to send to everyone.

All folks have to do is put all levels to -10 and follow PAN instructions (need to be provided) and we are set!

NO 'maxing' toys allowed after the Mix buss (L2, Tape simulators, plug ins)

Every one creates a 44.1 16 bit master.

to recap.

1) line up to -10
2) Pan as per instructions provided.
3) Bounce to disk or use an A/D converter to make a 44.1k/16 bit stereo file

Reluctant to partake in mixing 'cook offs' (I am too busy and hate mixing!) this is one EASY test I am very willing to partake in.

I think the person collating the entries should be able to Normalize" them all for maximum loudness. The method can be discussed and agreed upon.

What do you think?

Ahh!! But what if Bob Clearmountain is doing the PT mix and Joe Tape-op got let loose on the Neve 88?

I always hold that a good engineer will get good sound on a 4 track cassette portastudio. Bad engineers would still sound bad at the hit factory.

Regards


Roland
Old 13th March 2003
  #43
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Hey Rick,

I checked out the post on GM's forum.

It looks like Lynn is only using digital platforms(DAW's and digital mixing boards).

I think Jeronimo was asking about analog summing boxes as well.
Oops, my mistake. And I should know, I'm one of the testers.

I don't know if the analog thing is even testable. Any analog board is going to impart its sound, and you can like it or not.

-R
Old 13th March 2003
  #44
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by subspace
These are useful tests to see if there is any audible difference between mixing platforms, but useless for determining the "quality" of those differences, other than "they're different.".
You're assuming that the tests will reveal any differences at all. But if there are differences, your point is certainly well taken.

-R
Old 15th March 2003
  #45
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman
Oops, my mistake. And I should know, I'm one of the testers.

I don't know if the analog thing is even testable. Any analog board is going to impart its sound, and you can like it or not.

-R
Thanks to Rick and Drew and about 20 or so others who are helping with this testing. I don't think anyone knows yet what we will discover.

Every effort is being made though to assure that it is a fair and accurate sampling of these platforms. You can check out the guidelines, all five pages worth, at this URL:

http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...&f=19&t=000002

And the source files will be available so others can run the test as well and compare their results.

The results should all be compiled and confirmed by next week. I suspect it will all fit on 3 CDRs.
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