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Electronic Music Mixing
Old 19th August 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
BigAl's Avatar
 

Electronic Music Mixing

I use hardware and software synthesis. I use good pres for the hardware synths.

If I mix the software synth ITB, will it make a real big noticeable difference if I bus the software synth into a outboard pre because the stereo bus is going into a slam or something anyways from the masters? I know it got to be some difference, but if it's not big enough to notice it, I can work on something else. I do dance music for the clubs and the people just want a good beat.

I'm just curious because I don't have enough pres for all of those tracks.

--AL
Old 15th August 2006
  #2
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

it makes a huuuge difference. it takes away the synthy" sound of the synth...

i used a manley tube pre comp and gml eq and i ran all the softsynths through that and it did a big difference. all the tracks got a deeper-better stereo placement in the mix. i ran almost all the synths through the same config and recorded back the results. then i tweek a little with comp/eq plugs.
in my opinion softsynth sound kinda weak , and its more noticible when u stack them up in a mix.

same as when u record a whole song w one beringer pre, wont sound that bad on one track but after 12+ tracks it sounds like crap.
but if u use some neves avalons etc itll sound great.
Old 15th August 2006
  #3
yes, it makes a big difference. also that some preamps when stacked start to sound messy is true, so better get a couple of nice ones, instead of many mediocre IMO. If you go after that vibe, that is. plenty of ppl. mixing ITB with UAD cards, etc. The plugins are really good now URS UAD etc. And those sometimes get a good fat sound. But in my world it doesn't cut it. I experimented until I got a nice setup. some mean, some soft and warm, some clean & precise, some just plain rude. It doesn't have to cost the world, you don't have to buy 1073s inmediately , you could get a lunchbox and fill it slowly with some mean mofos. that would be a great option: more options for that format are coming, so you can pick YOUR sound, and you can have your lunchbox grow.

I see you have outboard synths too. So you are already OTB. Preamps: That'll work fine, but the outboard eq and comps are IMO the logical next step, and you should also calculate that.

When you've made your mind up, sell one of your kidneys to pay for your signal chain heh

and post on GS thumbsup
Old 15th August 2006
  #4
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rids's Avatar
 

Yeah, I find it funny to listen to tracks I made a long time ago that didn't use any outboard gear and compare it with using preamps, and it makes a big difference. In my opinion, it makes or breaks your music whether or not you choose to use outboard gear. It's important to me and my sound.
Old 10th September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
i used a manley tube pre comp and gml eq and i ran all the softsynths through that and it did a big difference. all the tracks got a deeper-better stereo placement in the mix. i ran almost all the synths through the same config and recorded back the results. then i tweek a little with comp/eq plugs.
Run the soft synths one by one to the outboard or as a package/bus etc?

I normally bounce the soft synths to audio tracks (the computer power is not enough for too many software synths). Does it make any difference if running the software synths to the outboard before or after bounced to audio tracks?
Old 10th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Artist4's Avatar
very interesting...i have to ask..im i doing something wrong?

i also produce dance music, mix ITB, a few hw synth and a lots of soft synths,

i dont have a pre in my studio, i only use the pre on my Motu Ultralite, even for my mics,

can i use the pres of the Motu for the softsynths..?

god i feel so amateur..
Old 10th September 2011
  #7
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artist4 View Post
very interesting...i have to ask..im i doing something wrong?

i also produce dance music, mix ITB, a few hw synth and a lots of soft synths,

i dont have a pre in my studio, i only use the pre on my Motu Ultralite, even for my mics,

can i use the pres of the Motu for the softsynths..?

god i feel so amateur..
Don't feel bad, that's what forums are for, to ask questions

The advantage most are talking about are when you run the signal through medium to high-end pres that give you that transformer sound, like a Neve 1073.

The MOTU is a good value, but it is trying to pack a few things into one box (converters and pres, etc), so the pres probably aren't that great (not bad, just not great), so I think you'd be better off staying in the box.

THAT said, give it a try, ya never know! COULD be a great secret weapon.

-andrews
Old 10th September 2011
  #8
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
I use hardware and software synthesis. I use good pres for the hardware synths.

If I mix the software synth ITB, will it make a real big noticeable difference if I bus the software synth into a outboard pre because the stereo bus is going into a slam or something anyways from the masters? I know it got to be some difference, but if it's not big enough to notice it, I can work on something else. I do dance music for the clubs and the people just want a good beat.

I'm just curious because I don't have enough pres for all of those tracks.

--AL
Man, you have that fawesome Manley Slam, which I envy so much! Tell us how do you like it and all. Oh yes, you should use it on everything or at least for the most important parts of each track.
Old 10th September 2011
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Does anyone have an A/B example of a mix mixed into pres, and one without?
Old 11th September 2011
  #10
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cdog's Avatar
Theres tons of examples of that stuff around, just look.

For me, outboard compression and EQ isnt necessary or convenient, but outboard FX are necessary, if unconvinient.
Old 11th September 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
BigAl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
Theres tons of examples of that stuff around, just look.

For me, outboard compression and EQ isnt necessary or convenient, but outboard FX are necessary, if unconvinient.
Hey Cdog,
Have you used a plug-in yet that comes close to outboard FX? That EMT 140 by UAD is off that chart. Check it out!
--Al
Old 11th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatflux View Post
Does anyone have an A/B example of a mix mixed into pres, and one without?
yes that would be great
Old 12th September 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 

+1 on an example of hard/soft synths being A/B'd into pre-amps and not.

Why would you need to run hardware synths through pre-amps anyways, they're line level enough as it is aren't they?
Old 12th September 2011
  #14
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quadrafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post

Why would you need to run hardware synths through pre-amps anyways, they're line level enough as it is aren't they?
To get some flavor of the pre. I send my hardware synth through pre's > comp > eq. Makes a huge difference, esp the comp stage.
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
Hey Cdog,
Have you used a plug-in yet that comes close to outboard FX? That EMT 140 by UAD is off that chart. Check it out!
--Al


Yeah I have the UAD EMT140, its awesome. But there are some FX boxes like my Mangler and Eclipse, and certain guitar pedals, that I just cant emulate completely ITB. Little known fact: studio electronics used to make guitar pedals!
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadrafunk View Post
To get some flavor of the pre. I send my hardware synth through pre's > comp > eq. Makes a huge difference, esp the comp stage.
To get added flavor on to your synths , isn't there better options than pres? Rather than converting down to mic level? Like effects, processors and mixers, things that seem to me to be more essential and have more of an impact? If you have a high end mixer already, I don't get why you'd also want a high end pre. Maybe for a mixer-less workflow? I guess I'm skeptical of the bang for buck argument for pres, though I'm not ITB at all. ymmv.
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
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blinky909's Avatar
to really hear the music when mixing, turn off your computer monitor and listen to the music, in a dimly lit room. the completely ITB people might not be able to do this and that might explain a few things.
Old 15th June 2012
  #18
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OneWerd's Avatar
 

I've been raised, mixing wise, by a lot of perspectives I hear on GS. As such, a lot of it kinda becomes gospel in my mind....so I've been surprised to go online and see well-respected, successful electronic artists mixing things entirely in the box, using virtually zero hardware, in untreated rooms on KRK monitors. Their mixes blow mine out of the water, and they've gained themselves fairly respected names in their respected scenes. I always have trouble reconciling these two perspectives.
Old 15th June 2012
  #19
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crufty's Avatar
at the end of the day its just sound
Old 16th June 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
to really hear the music when mixing, turn off your computer monitor and listen to the music, in a dimly lit room. the completely ITB people might not be able to do this and that might explain a few things.
Why? Does working itb stop you from turning the lights off, or closing your eyes?
Old 16th June 2012
  #21
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atma's Avatar
i don't think it will make a noticeably huge difference. have you looked into virtual summing plugins like the waves NLS or Sonimus Satson, etc.?
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