Analog mixing, here's why...for me - Gearspace.com
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Analog mixing, here's why...for me
Old 8th August 2005
Lives for gear
gainreduction's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Analog mixing, here's why...for me

Killed some time reading a lot of in the box- vs analog mixing/summing threads that have appeared here lately and I think there's something essential missing in that discussion. The focus seems to be on sound difference only in a scenario where you first mix in the box then run the stuff through a summing box and find no major difference.

To me it's all about workflow, making decisions and not having too many things disturbing the creative part of my brain while mixing. Stearing at the screen all the time is definitely a distraction for me. And trying to dial in eq with a mouse is a pain in the ass, first of all you never get the amount you really want. You wanna go with +1,5 dB of something and the plugin jumps between 0,6 and 2,1 and nothing in between. It makes me freak out. An hour of that and I have absolutely no feeling at all left. Doing it analog (yes, tracks coming out of a DAW but mixing on a desk with mainly outboard processing) GIVES me vibe and feeling. I love turning a real knob where actual current passes by, it's vibe. It's cool and I like it and that makes my mix much better because my creative side of the brain gets a kick.

Second, I do a lot of parallel processing and worrying about delaycompensation to get stuff somewhat in phase is another major feeling-killer for me. So I avoid it.

That's why my mixes sound better when mixed analog, not necesserily because of the equipment used. Just my opinion, peace all.
Old 8th August 2005
Lives for gear
Bob Ross's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I gave a brain-dump in response to a similar thread on rec.audio.pro 3 or 4 years ago, and, as my comments then still hold true for me now and remain germane to this topic, forgive me if I just copy & paste them here:

>>I had an epiphany not too long ago: Since "embracing" random-access hard disc recording and small-format digital consoles, my mixing techniques have become totally coerced by the equipment. All the stuff I used to love to do to make something special happen (push this fader with your elbow while twirling Aux 6 on three adjacent channels with your lower lip and then kicking the Infinite switch on the PCM-41...) has been replaced by lazily drawing bezier curves with a freakin' trackball! Mixing used to be a performance, with as much magic and mojo and inspiration (well, if I was on a roll) as a great musical performance. Now it's a litany of meticulously scrutinized decisions...hardly something to feel good about when it's all said and done, and excrutiatingly boring and anal while it's being done.<<

>>Even with a full size control surface, the fact that you can endlessly and anally obsess over minutiae means that inevitably you *do* endlessly and anally obsess over minutiae. At the end of a DAW project I sometimes find myself listening for
the litany of "things I've done", mentally checking off the list of procedures
that were involved. Whereas with an analog desk I find mixing is much more of a performance; if I'm in "the zone" I can do things that are as inspired as what the musicians who played on the tracks did (if I say so myself). There's a more organic flow to working with a conventional large-format console and analog outboard gear; some would say it's more of a right brain process. When listening to a successful analog mix, even if I can pick out specific engineering procedures I find myself more aware of the trajectory of those moves rather than a list of
individual moments.<<
Old 8th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
"rather than a list of
individual moments.<<"

This concept is SOOOOO true. Any time I am mixing a band with someone who has a protools rig at home, I find myself hearing things like : the guitar should come up just at the top of versse two, but back down right away, and that third snare hit should be a little quieter...and...and"

NO overview. None. What is funny is that it seems to be the old "more me" phenomenon, broken all the way down to the millisecond. Amazing. How about the life and breath of human interaction, along with the development of a song?

Amazing. Just an observation. Doesnt bother me either way.
Old 8th August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
themaidsroom's Avatar
🎧 15 years
people use my room a lot to mix pro tools records through my daking console and
my beautiful daking plate onto 1/2" tape.....
there is simply no resemblance from their cd that they sent from home to the
one they leave with...........the depth and space issues are somewhat resolved.....
i don't know why...
i don't really care....
one woman last week told me it was the first time she
had really heard her tracks.......

while we are people, not analog or digital.....
the momment when we are hearing things
from a speaker is always analog........

be well

- jack
Old 8th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Nut
TedF's Avatar
🎧 15 years
It might also be something to do with struggling with graphs and pictures of EQ, deciding what you might like to apply, dialing it in and the result being disgusting.

or fighting with a software compressor that makes everything sound completely flat.

The sad thing is that there is infinitely more to sound (and mixing) than can be specified to the digital programmers.... and that's only the beginning!

Yes, there will be engineers who are comfortable with working in the digital domain (at the current level of excellence) but there are many more who feel disturbed and stressed at having to combine thinking about computer operations and the esoterics and emotions of proper production.
Old 8th August 2005 | Show parent
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar
🎧 15 years
i have no issues with working ITB and rather prefer it. i like that i can do everything i want to do to a song and have ideas i would of NEVER thought of with the analog approach... and execute them and perfect them. i ride faders still organically "playing" with the music.... and i can tweak that to its EXACTLY how i hear it in my head and want for the finished product.

sure you are checking things off while you mix... but when you are DONE, and you hear a well orchestrated mix... you no longer are listening for the "things" you have dont and sit back listening to the forest sing in harmony.

do it whatever way that pleases you most. know its what works BEST for YOU, but dont expect the whole world to work that way as well and think it too is the best and only way of working.... because then what will make us all unique?
Old 8th August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
DirkB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by Joel Hamilton
NO overview. None. What is funny is that it seems to be the old "more me" phenomenon, broken all the way down to the millisecond. Amazing. How about the life and breath of human interaction, along with the development of a song?
Very well put. The problem is that too many clients have just enough little knowledge about a DAW to be dangerous. When they hear that I actually still have an old P3 and run W98SE they are already worried, because "we can't run many plug ins!"... Well, I'm mixing on a digital desk with outboard FX...

All these tiny automation edits are really annoying when the mix is already happening.

Old 10th August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
audioez's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Here's why for me

analog mixing:

Old 10th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Guru
Sounds Great's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Analog mixing stays where you left it. An our later. A month later. Unless you have a cat on the loose. heh

And start up and shut down time are near zero.

But most importantly, mixing on a console versus using a computer, is a no brainer, literally.
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