Originally Posted by kosmokrator
since I'm mostly mixing on my AWS900, I'm interested how your tracking setup on the board is. If once in a blue moon I'm tracking more than some channels at a time, I still tend to use the desk in a split setup.
So when you're tracking 24 channels:
How do you get back from your DAW? To actual channels, the stereo returns, or a EXT input?
How is monitoring for the musicians done? Auxes from the board or DAW?
The basic recording chain is:
MIC > MICPRE > EQ/COMP (if necessary, I try not to) > A/D CONVERTER > NUENDO. Normally those tracks won't go through the SSL, unless I am using the SSL micpres (which I like a lot on the AWS900) or something has to be mixed together, like the top and bottom TOMS.
Headphone mixes are done in the NUENDO STUDIO AUXES since it has latency free "Direct Monitoring" with the RME cards (so the artist will not have a combfilter in his headphones) then routed D/A into two channels of the SSL, which in turn are sent to the CUE/FB channels (only, not to the MIX BUS) and out to the headphone amps > headphones.
The monitoring is done via the MIX OUT in NUENDO > D/A converter > 2 channels in the SSL, which are assigned to the MIX bus and monitored from there.
The tracks to be mixed together/recorded, like the TOMS TOP/BOTTOM: MIC > MICPRE > SSL LINE IN. Then mix top and bottom mic together via one of the 8 bus outs > A/D CONVERTER > NUENDO. Don't assign those to the MIX BUS in the SSL
Since the signal in Direct Monitoring does not even go through the DAW while recording, there is no easy way of using plug-ins on anything, those will only happen on playback. So all signal processing happens analog before it hits the A/D converters in this case. Once drums etc. are recorded, I use plugs as necessary for monitoring. For headphone echo or reverb I use one channel of the SSL and send to FX units from there, then mix it into the headphones mix.
MIX: all mixing happens inside NUENDO, then 12 stereo groups (STEMS) are routed out to the 24 analog channels of the AWS > MIX BUS > STEREO PROCESSING: CraneSong STC-8 > Massive Passive > API 5500 > Chandler ZENER COMP > Chandler CURVE BENDER > BURL B2 > Crane Song HEDD > NUENDO. Monitoring through a Stereo track in NUENDO (MASTER TRACK) on input > NUENDO MIX BUS > BENCHMARK DAC_1 > SSL B inputs > SSL monitor section > ADAM S3X
A lot of outboard FX (BRICASTI, QUANTEC, RETRO 176, Chandler TG1, SUMMIT comps and EQs, LEXICON delays and reverbs etc.) are used during mixing. Those are either on a "external insert" in NUENDO or, in the case of reverbs and delays, used as an insert on a FX channel and sent to via AUX sends in NUENDO.
This is the basic setup, thing change as needed for each song.
Does all this make sense? It seems to work for me