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dasoundjunkie
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#1
21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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While the debate of analog vs digital rages

I have been working on some old material that I was never really happy with but using the wonderful new tools available from UAD, Slate, Brainworx, Steinberg ( Portico plugs ) and others. I just realized how easy it's been to get a particularly difficult track to do exactly what I wanted and to SOUND the way I wanted with a minimum of fuss. I also realized what I don't miss, namely. Dealing with patch bay and console recalls. With the giant electric bill and maintenance issues of having a large console, tape machine and a bunch of outboard that I can only use in a single track at any given time. All of this without sacrificing quality in any way. Yes I'm aware that there's a whole bunch of people who disagree and "...plugs can't match analog" and all that but to me, man, I really feel that digital has arrived to a point were the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools. This is a truly great time to be ITB!
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasoundjunkie View Post
I really feel that digital has arrived to a point were the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools.
hear hear

though i would replace "infinitely" with "a great deal"
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasoundjunkie View Post

the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools.
This has always been true even during all analog days.

Most of us that use consoles and outboard do so for workflow preferences.

To add to this how you capture the sound in tracking via mic placement and selection will have a greater impact on quality than any tool including plug ins.

If someone has recorded material they are dissatisfied with going back to the drawing board on the tracking side of things would help.
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasoundjunkie View Post
I have been working on some old material that I was never really happy with but using the wonderful new tools available from UAD, Slate, Brainworx, Steinberg ( Portico plugs ) and others. I just realized how easy it's been to get a particularly difficult track to do exactly what I wanted and to SOUND the way I wanted with a minimum of fuss. I also realized what I don't miss, namely. Dealing with patch bay and console recalls. With the giant electric bill and maintenance issues of having a large console, tape machine and a bunch of outboard that I can only use in a single track at any given time. All of this without sacrificing quality in any way. Yes I'm aware that there's a whole bunch of people who disagree and "...plugs can't match analog" and all that but to me, man, I really feel that digital has arrived to a point were the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools. This is a truly great time to be ITB!
I wholeheartedly agree. Can't beat getting to the fun of sculpting and making/dialing in sounds as opposed to having to set things up in order to get sounds right. For the difference in sonics, the benefits, IMO, far outweigh the negatives. Don't know that I'll ever get rid of my 2buss chain though!!
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#5
21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
Can't beat getting to the fun of sculpting and making/dialing in sounds as opposed to having to set things up in order to get sounds right. !
Wait, tell me this doesn't mean you're just throwing up mics in any old position, not critically listening prior to hitting record, and just trying to "fix in the box"?
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#6
21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by always_ending View Post
Wait, tell me this doesn't mean you're just throwing up mics in any old position, not critically listening prior to hitting record, and just trying to "fix in the box"?
I know all my equipment quite well my friend. Over the past 10 years I've been mic'ing the same drumset and amps. I've gotten pretty quick at getting what I'm going for once the client plays me their song in my live room. I did 6 complete albums and about another half a dozen EP's and demo's in 2011 and MOST clients used my Les Paul, my acoustic guitar, my drumset, my pbass and obviously my lead vocal mix. I've got a system that works that'll give every client who walks in the door the very sound they came to me for whether it be word of mouth, which is most of what I get, or by listening on my page. In my studio, the performance doesn't stay if it doesn't already sound decent coming in.

Please tell me you don't think what you capture is always perfect on the way in with no need for any editing at all after the fact? If you did ever acheive this on a mix, you'd quickly surpass the likes of some of the finest engineers of all time.
dasoundjunkie
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Case in point, I've been checking out the Maag eq and the thing literally saved me a bunch of time making everything that it worked on (doesn't always work but hell, what does?) sound spot on with almost no effort. If I had one I would be going crazy printing things through it while ITB it's as many as I could ever want. Having cut my teeth on analog I was soooooo against anything computer related but things have changed so much in such a relatively short period of time, it's just crazy! BTW I'm selling 2 of my 4 Distressors for $2,000 if anyone is interested. The UAD Fatso sr gets me there while mixing and my other 2 will stick around for tracking duties. I just can't stop grinning
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasoundjunkie View Post
I have been working on some old material that I was never really happy with but using the wonderful new tools available from UAD, Slate, Brainworx, Steinberg ( Portico plugs ) and others. I just realized how easy it's been to get a particularly difficult track to do exactly what I wanted and to SOUND the way I wanted with a minimum of fuss. I also realized what I don't miss, namely. Dealing with patch bay and console recalls. With the giant electric bill and maintenance issues of having a large console, tape machine and a bunch of outboard that I can only use in a single track at any given time. All of this without sacrificing quality in any way. Yes I'm aware that there's a whole bunch of people who disagree and "...plugs can't match analog" and all that but to me, man, I really feel that digital has arrived to a point were the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools. This is a truly great time to be ITB!
Whilst I agree with you, nothing wrong with ITB.
I think we will eventually end up doing full circle, as many peeps are heading back to consoles. Consoles rock, simple, and I think when you combine it with the DAW, it is just magical, yep the hybrid thang.

Outboard gear is just amazing, However i would never dismiss what the DAW can do and how easy it call can be done in the box.

I actually have come to a point where I accept both and i do not even bother comparing the two anymore. Waste of energy and time, find what works best and harness the power each offers. If you need to use the DAW for surgical EQ do it, want to combine that with some outboard ssl compressor do it. I think we should all embrace both and use both to create magic!
#9
21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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I fully agree with you when it comes to mixing, however, I still find myself going for a hybrid set up. I don't fiddle with EQ's OTB, that would entail some serious logging, which I can never seem to make a habit of. UAD & Slate Digital absolutely changed the game and I couldn't live without them. Most engineers that are moving towards an ITB mixing approach do so because of the workflow expectance that new projects require. Nowadays, things may be up in the air all the way up to the last print. The producer side of me honestly hates that but, it seems most artist are bent on making last minute changes. Is it something the artists want or, is it something that has been brought on by the shitty scheduling process of most labels. Initially being an artist myself, I understand the need for more creative time but, in the old days, artists didn't enter the studio until the track was completely written 10 times over.

From an engineering POV, I love the ITB workflow though, I still find myself patching a hybrid set up for really important projects. API pre's on the gtrs is definitely fun. The SSL buss comp we have is also fun over the whole mix. I also always seem to find a good use for my classic SPX50 on vocals. I have my settings up & I rarely stray from there so, this really isn't a recall issue. Honestly, it may just allow me to have some sense of tonal security. I still use the crap out of that Fatso Jr. & Sr. Not to mention the Manley, oh boy. I love UAD overall but, there are just certain OTB pieces that I can't not use. Well, I mean, I could go without them but, I think I'd seriously miss them. Might all be in my head. At the end of the day, artists come here for 2 reasons, our studio/production experience & our knowledge of the music industry. Everything else is just a means by which to attain a tone or a visual jerk off.
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21st February 2012
Old 21st February 2012
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What is the point of this thread? Each choice comes with it's own set of compromises and there is no point in relisting them, just read any of the existing threads. Glad the OP has found a set of compromises that work for him though his post sounds a bit like an ad for plugs. Hopefully with all the prior debate posts here, people will try out tools for themselves to figure out the best set of compromises for their needs.
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#11
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
What is the point of this thread? Each choice comes with it's own set of compromises and there is no point in relisting them, just read any of the existing threads. Glad the OP has found a set of compromises that work for him though his post sounds a bit like an ad for plugs. Hopefully with all the prior debate posts here, people will try out tools for themselves to figure out the best set of compromises for their needs.
The only point I'm trying to make is that I'm overjoyed at my current working situation plain and simple. And no it really doesn't feel like a compromise in ANY way.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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I use the UAD platform, some of their plugins are incredible, that Massive Passive EQ is absolutely brilliant, cant tell you if it sounds like the real thing, but I love what I hear, it is creamy, warm and subtle, such an incredible plugin.

I would buy the UAD platform just for that plug, love it.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Again glad you found the right set of tools that work for your needs. Perhaps you can share some specifics (settings-presets used with each task) that will be of more benefit to those who will be reading this thread and trying out those tools to figure out their right set of tools (not unlike some posts here on specific hardware unit's settings for a given task). I guess what I'm saying is instead of just saying "I caught a ton of fish" it would be more useful if you could show others how you did it.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
What is the point of this thread?
there's no place on the board to discuss this issue right now, I mean except for:

here

here

here

here

here

here

or

here

I mean, you could find some old stuff, like if you went back 3 weeks, or 4 weeks instead of 2. But that's old, plug-ins have gotten better since 4 weeks ago.
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dasoundjunkie
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Again glad you found the right set of tools that work for your needs. Perhaps you can share some specifics (settings-presets used with each task) that will be of more benefit to those who will be reading this thread and trying out those tools to figure out their right set of tools (not unlike some posts here on specific hardware unit's settings for a given task). I guess what I'm saying is instead of just saying "I caught a ton of fish" it would be more useful if you could show others how you did it.
Fair enough, (although maybe I should have posted this on the good news channel) Something that's become a starting point has been the UAD Studer followed by VCC on all channels. I start out with just a general balance and the first thing I mess with is the tape type, speed ect. on the Studer. Once I find a setting that flatters the elements of the mix as a whole I usually start with drums on API, bass on Neve, electric guitars usually start on the Neve but go either Trident or API depending were I feel they punch better. Vocals don't have a starting point for me simply because I haven't seen a consistant pattern. Just doing this helps define the individual elements in a way simple eq, saturation or compression alone have never done for me. Right there it sounds wider, deeper and things become much easier to place, petty much like everything I love about analog. The UAD ATR is the last plug on the Mix buss, on the first slot is a VCC that usually starts on SSL but can just as easily be the Neve or the API. On the mix the Trident and the Tube really haven't done it for me but maybe it's that I haven't had the right source for them. The Fatso and the Massive Passive are also just great, great tools. The Massive is spot on to the original so I imagine that the Fatso is gotta be there too. I actually got the Sr version sounding really close to my Distressors but not having owned the original I can't be sure.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomood View Post
I use the UAD platform, some of their plugins are incredible, that Massive Passive EQ is absolutely brilliant, cant tell you if it sounds like the real thing, but I love what I hear, it is creamy, warm and subtle, such an incredible plugin.

I would buy the UAD platform just for that plug, love it.
I had the original for five years and I can tell you with a great big smile that they nailed it. The only between them as far as I can tell is that the plug has a slightly tighter low end which I actually prefer, go figure
#17
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasoundjunkie View Post
I have been working on some old material that I was never really happy with but using the wonderful new tools available from UAD, Slate, Brainworx, Steinberg ( Portico plugs ) and others. I just realized how easy it's been to get a particularly difficult track to do exactly what I wanted and to SOUND the way I wanted with a minimum of fuss. I also realized what I don't miss, namely. Dealing with patch bay and console recalls. With the giant electric bill and maintenance issues of having a large console, tape machine and a bunch of outboard that I can only use in a single track at any given time. All of this without sacrificing quality in any way. Yes I'm aware that there's a whole bunch of people who disagree and "...plugs can't match analog" and all that but to me, man, I really feel that digital has arrived to a point were the mixer's taste and skill will matter infinitely more than the tools. This is a truly great time to be ITB!
I agree! I have 2 hardware pieces on my master fader. Other than that, it's all plugins. I love being able to open PT and have my session ready to go. I also love loading my mix template which saves a TON of time in setup and allows me to really just concentrate on mixing. I think one of the most under-estimated features of mixing ITB is creating and using templates. You don't realize how much time it saves you until you really start using them. I love mixing ITB.
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#18
22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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I couldn't agree more.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Can we move this tread to the good news section now?
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Indeed a great time for ITB and Digital... and it will keep getting better. If there's anything holding me back now, it's my own skills... NOT the tools.
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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those intangibles can't be replaced. Yes, digital may be a close approximation but no plug could beat the sound of a vintage LA-2A, etc. 0s and 1s are 0s and 1s.
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dasoundjunkie
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22nd February 2012
Old 22nd February 2012
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Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
those intangibles can't be replaced. Yes, digital may be a close approximation but no plug could beat the sound of a vintage LA-2A, etc. 0s and 1s are 0s and 1s.
I guess we'll agree to disagree. I've been doing this a long time and only recently have I been happy with the way things can sound ITB. The things that convinced me were me coming back from a gig mixing on an ssl and trying out the VCC. It felt, from a sonic standpoint, very much like what I had just been working on when set to the 4k emu. When I participated in the blind shootouts that Steven did were you had to guess correctly twice I, along with almost everyone who participated guessed wrong. I was sure I'd picked the console both times and I had picked one of each. My partner who has one of the best ears of anyone I've ever known, picked wrong as well. I also had a "what the hell?" moment with the Massive Passive plug from UAD. As I said before, I had that unit for 5 years and used it every day. The plug nails the sound, period. I really don't expect everyone or even most to agree with me but if people learn to really listen to stuff truly objectively instead of with their insecurities, I really think most would be very surprised at what can be done ITB in a completely convincing manner. I suggested this on another thread, let's have someone with a completely analog setup do a mix and I'll try to match the texture, color, balance ect of the mix using only plugs. The tracks should be supplied by a third party and if nothing else it'll be fun
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