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DAW automation with Analog Consoles
Old 20th November 2002
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
DAW automation with Analog Consoles

We are installing an analog desk to go with our Pro Tools HD rig. We are planning on doing all our basically leveling on the desk and then using Pro Tools for all the remaining automation.

Is this the way most of you are doing it or should I be looking at adding automation to my console? Are there any other techniques that are good?

Also, a question to Jules. When using the Dangerous 2-Bus, how are sending your drum reverb and vocal since there are no auxes on the box? Are you sending the signal unprocessed from Pro Tools? How is that working out?

Thanks so much.
Old 20th November 2002
  #2
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ideally, in terms of sound, the desk would have moving fader (not VCA) auto and would do all the moves....PT faders at unity, no PT plugs, no PT auto, no PT math, all tracks individually outputted to the desk.
Old 20th November 2002
  #3
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Good question, I find mostly the pre eq sending workable.....I do a lot of eq-ing in PT with Sony Oxford plugs so its usually not a problem but well spotted! - it CAN indeed be a PITA on ocaision with a lead vocal.. So I sometimes route back to PT a 'floated' **FX send only** parallel (mult) version on either an aux in or a track in 'record ready' and add FX to that.

Perhaps 6 of the direct outs have radical outboard patched across them, but the other 8 are just mix stems flowing into the D2B from direct interface outs of PT and hit no outboard and simply join the mix' to get sumed.

heh

Old 20th November 2002
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Joh,

I now that moving fader automation is the ideal, but it would cost me multiples of what I am paying for the console. I am just wondering if DAW automation will be doable especially if I set the base level using the board faders trying to keep most of the Pro Tools faders at 0.

Jules, thanks for the work arounds. I figured you would doing something like that.

One thing I use alot when DAW mixing is automation of the sends. I am planning on returning some of my sends from the console back into PT to automate the sends. Hopefully that would work.
Old 20th November 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jkasko

I now that moving fader automation is the ideal, but it would cost me multiples of what I am paying for the console. I am just wondering if DAW automation will be doable especially if I set the base level using the board faders trying to keep most of the Pro Tools faders at 0.
This method works fine for us. Big moves, pans, are automated in PT.

Quote:
Originally posted by jkasko
One thing I use alot when DAW mixing is automation of the sends. I am planning on returning some of my sends from the console back into PT to automate the sends. Hopefully that would work.
That's a little trickier... (Assuming you're talking about external fx routed analog in your mixer)... You'd have to record your external auxs into new tracks in PT first, and then play those back into channels on your mixer. The trick is that you can't monitor them while you record them (feedback). Only after. So its a 2 step process, but it will work.
Old 20th November 2002
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Keep in mind that if you automate from PT and have compressors patched into the console you'll be hitting them harder or softer. That's kind of a drag.

BTW, I just got an email from someone selling an Uptown moving fader rig for $12K. Tempted?!?
Old 20th November 2002
  #7
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"Keep in mind that if you automate from PT and have compressors patched into the console you'll be hitting them harder or softer. That's kind of a drag."

True but then some folks LIKE to ride levels into a compressor, say when doing vocals...

Old 21st November 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I start with the DAW faders at unity and assign each track to a discrete output. Then I do the basic balances using the board's input trims, as well as it's panning. EQ is a mixture of the console and plug-ins. I use the board's FX sends/returns, as well as it's sub-groups. I'm only using analog compression on busses at the moment, so doing my automated channel moves in the DAW is not a problem.
My solution for automating tracks with analog dynamics, sends, or busses would be one of the modular VCA units that's controlled via midi. A couple of the Niche units would give you 16 channels of automation that could be patched in wherever you need it in the analog domain. Then you'd simply create a midi track to automate it the same way your audio tracks are. Seems like the easiest approach for keeping all your automation data in one file.
Old 21st November 2002
  #9
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Keep in mind that if you automate from PT and have compressors patched into the console you'll be hitting them harder or softer. That's kind of a drag.
Typically I adjust the compressor to the maximum gain reduction I desire at the processed track's peak volume at any given time. In a way that's great too because there is less reliance on the compressor for leveling, and it comes across as more natural with a little something extra for the tone from the compressor.
Old 22nd November 2002
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Joe,
Do you have your Neotek yet?
Old 22nd November 2002
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Tony,

It is going to be installed starting Monday. Hopefully it should be up within a week or two.

How is your Elan? I was talking with Mike at Sytek/Neotek and he said his Sytek pres were a much faster pre than the ones in the Neoteks. He suggested I keep my Syteks to use on drums. What do you think?

Also, how is the Optifile automation on your console? Do you think I will be fine with DAW automation?
Old 23rd November 2002
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Subspace,

How are the VCA's on the Niche audio modules. I have found a few for like $50 each. Will they degrade the sound or are they pretty transparent?

Thanks. Conceptually, they would work out really good for me. I could set up a bunch of midi faders in Pro Tools and automate using the HUI controller.
Old 23rd November 2002
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jkasko
Tony,

It is going to be installed starting Monday. Hopefully it should be up within a week or two.

How is your Elan? I was talking with Mike at Sytek/Neotek and he said his Sytek pres were a much faster pre than the ones in the Neoteks. He suggested I keep my Syteks to use on drums. What do you think?

Also, how is the Optifile automation on your console? Do you think I will be fine with DAW automation?
I haven't used the Sytek pres so I can't comment on them. I can say that the Neotek pres sound great on drums. They are very present. The Neotek seems to love bass drum. I can do all kinds of EQ to them and it all sounds good. I just let the song decide.

I haven’t used the Optifile yet. I've got a monitor on the way.

We should get together.
Old 23rd November 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I used an Optifile system a couple of times some years ago and it was a pretty solid system. I don't remember it sounding worst than an SSL G vca system. Of course the fact that it was fitted to a vintage Neve might have helped too...
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