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I'm down.
Old 4th June 2002
Lives for gear
Blackwater's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I'm down.


Thought I would come and whine for a few.
U might have seen my post about wanting to liven up my mixes, but I'll just say this.

Sony DMX-R100
Tascam MX2424
Great mics
Some pretty cool and $$ Pre's
Mix to Blow Tools and dat for Back up
Waves bundle for mastering
Mackie H whatever speakers (big ones)
4 Great sounding large tuned rooms

Since I switched over to all this new gear last year, I feel as though I can't mix worth a ****. Mixes are lifeless and dull, sometimes even thin sounding. I have never been in this sort of funk before. If I don't get out of it I'm going to start loosing clients and that means my job is out the window.

Anyone else experience this funk when learning new gear??
fuuck me!
Old 4th June 2002
Jules's Avatar

Perhaps you need to a/b MUCH more than you used to (if ever...) while mixing..

Digital **** is HARD to get happy with...

I found a Fatso left me audio I wasn't so piss ed off about on my HArd drives...

OR strap a Cranesong Hedd (via AES) accross the mix...

If I flick mine in bypass... MY mix sounds cold and ****ty

.... I think you need a Hedd 192...

Spendy but warming and bigger sounding stuff eminates..

Also it would be your default converter for overdubs.. IMHO

Old 4th June 2002
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar
🎧 15 years
what was your old setup supposed to be ???
why did you change it ???
its kind of unbelievable that you had great sounding stuff before and now ... its all gone ???
or are you chasing a ghost pissed
Old 5th June 2002
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Needless to say, digital is a completely different animal from analog. I have been working with digital tape machines since they came out (in Germany) in 1983. We had a lot of problems with the early 3M machines with clicking and popping showing up on punch-ins, days after tracks were recorded, but in general I liked the sound of those machines better than analog. In the mid eighties there were a few digital machines on the market which didn't sound as good, so we went back to recording , at least the drums on analog.Then the Sony 3348 came out (and the Studer equivalent) and things sounded good again.

What was very clear at a time of using both formats next to each other, was that you had to treat the signals going to the digital tape different than the signals that went to the anlog tape. Analog tape is much more forgiving and has a certain sound of its own. With digital you have to create that sound by other means BEFORE you even hit the DAW / digital recorder and you're much more restricted in terms of levels and "overs". Some of my favorite mic pres (John Hardy M-1s) didn't work as well for every instrument going to digital, because they were too *clean* and I had to find mic pres which could somewhat emulate that analog tape sound. Those would mostly be tube pres or the old Neves/API in most any flavor.

And on the way out of the digital machine we were mixing through analog consoles, which would , for lack of a better word, soften the sound. We were relying on the D/A converters in the multitrack itself and after realizing that those might not be as good as it could get, we changed them to third party converters, like Apogees etc.

Now we are using a complete digital signal path and the only analog components are the microphones and the mic pres, maybe the occasional tube compressor / EQ, and it is more important than ever that those few components are absolute top quality = $$$.

The Sony console and the MX2424 are great sounding tools, but they are much more (again for lack of a better word) neutral and unforgiving. As you know, I use the Sony consoles as well and I find myself more and more looking (and finding) gear that can *mess up* the sound in a way that we have to come to love from analog tape. The EQ and compressors in the board are very transparent but also not very exciting, they just "do the job well".

Did you ever notice that you don't have to *crank* your panpot on a digital console as much as on an anlog console. IMHO that is because there is more space in digital recording, not as much noise, more emptyness (somebody put the right word in here, please). Try NOT to gate that amp noise as much, leave it on (if it's not killing the sound) and try to fill up the *space* that digital creates with harmonic distortion of an instrument or voice, dirty up your recording a little. We don't have the tools of distorting the tape, or overloading the channel in the console for sound reasons, so we have to find other means of distortion, which are pleasing to the ear.

It's very hard to describe, but the jist of it is to think about what was/is great about tape/analog sound and somehow incorporate that into your digital chain. Even though I had worked with digital recorders for many years, when I started using digital boards and a complete digital chain, it was not an easy switch. By now, I couldn't live without a dynamic EQ or automated aux sends or automated dynamics, I would probably have a hard time mixing on an SSL. In fact, I remember when we did a song for the movie "54" I had to do mixes in NYC on an SSL 6000 and ended up renting a couple of 02Rs for the mix, using the SSL for FX returnsfuuck heh

I would suggest you follow Jules advice and get a Crane Song HEDD. That will serve many purposes in your studio: You can use it as a harmonic distortion box on your way into the MX2424, you can use it as an absolute wonderful A/D - D/A converter or as a sample rate converter when you mix and strap it across your 2mix bus to insert analog equipment on your 2 mix bus.

Digital takes a while to get used too, especially when you grew up on analog and have to *unlearn*. Don't get frustrated, it happened to most of us. To me, learning to deal with new audio equipment is half the fun (the other half is listening to a guitar player getting his G string in tuneheh )

All that said, being a true gearslut, I bought the Chandler EMI compressor today, it really *messes up* the sound in a great way.

Sorry for rambling...
Old 5th June 2002
Lives for gear
Blackwater's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Thanks Michael and everyone for responding.
I guess that I'm going to have to invest in mic pre's again!!!
This is how I work: I track, for the most part, live drums, bass, rythym guitar (or 2) and scratch vox.
So that means I'm running 14-15 mics in a rythym section.
To buy 12 channels of great tube pre is going to cost me Mucho Gusto $. I have 4-5 ch. of good pre now and it's not the stuff I need for the front end of this digital path I guess.

Thanks for letting me bitch and moan. I feel a little better.
Guess that's the point right??

Old 6th June 2002
Jules's Avatar
"Thanks for letting me bitch and moan. I feel a little better.
Guess that's the point right??"

Old 12th June 2002
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
To me, learning to deal with new audio equipment is half the fun (the other half is l

mwagener said:

To me, learning to deal with new audio equipment is half the fun (the other half is listening to a guitar player getting his G string in tune )

Discuss why G strings aren't in tune even when they are. (on another thread if you like, this is interesting and seeing as you've done a load of must-be-incredibly-in-tune stuff, you must have something to say about it)

On the other hand, 4 fingers and a thumb.
Old 13th June 2002
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Re: To me, learning to deal with new audio equipment is half the fun (the other half

Originally posted by BevvyB
Discuss why G strings aren't in tune even when they are.
Great idea, will do.
Old 23rd June 2002
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I 'hate' that sony board. I hate the eqs, I hate the compression, I hate the functionality of it... I've tried about 10 times but I just can't make it sound good, but I never quite get there. (I usually give it a couple tries, but Jules seems to like the Oxford plug in so I thought I'd give it another go). I also hated the Oxford. I noticed a point where I started listening to Mick Gazuski's mixes and thinking "Damn this doesn't sound like the Mick I know", and then I found out he switched to an Oxford. I'm sure plenty of people here can make them 'rock', but I couldn't and you might be falling into the same catogory.
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