Originally Posted by Fenris
You don't need console automation. You can get a basic DAW for a few hundred bucks, buy some older converters (which as I mentioned earlier are about as good as newer ones), and let the DAW handle mutes and volume automation. You can record stems into the DAW alongside your mix so that you can make small volume changes without having to do a full recall.
When you mix on an analog console with analog outboard and analog effects, it's a lot easier to get the mix right the first time. You don't NEED endless recalls to get it to sound right.
There are a half-dozen older consoles in the under-$5000 range that are a good deal if you do your homework. The console provides mic pres, EQ's, summing, and monitoring all in one package. Even a $20,000 console with automation is a better investment than spending the same amount on a DAW and then trying to fix its inherent shortcomings by purchasing outboard preamps, EQ's, summing boxes, control surfaces, etc.
Wow, that's really great advice, I'm just trying to get a handle on it here. So basically you are saying DAWs, summing boxes, and digital suck, consoles and analog gear are great (love to see what you can do on a budget with your "analog only" effects), but now you are saying not to use a console and analog gear only, but use them with a DAW. Makes perfect sense to me.