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Does an Audio Interface Dictate the Quality of Mixdown?
Old 3rd June 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Schwarzwald's Avatar
Does an Audio Interface Dictate the Quality of Mixdown?

I've heard alot of mixed information about this.

Some people say that "ITB" sounds "ITB" no matter what.

Others say that your audio interface's conversion dictate the quality of your mixdown.

Others say that your audio interface doesn't directly affect your mixdown quality, but your VST's are rendered through it, and therefore, a higher end interface will result in higher quality sounding VST's. (Thus, a better sounding mixdown.)

Is there a definitive answer here?

I am a terrible person and mix alot at work, I then save the project to my USB Drive, take it home, remix it, and then either save it back to the USB drive to be arranged/whatever at work the next day, or just bounce it out right then.

However today, I brought in an already mixed (I mixed it last night at home WITH all my equipment, monitors/headphones, interface, yadda yadda) and brought it here to listen to it through one of my jobs laptop speakers, and do a little tidying (a few minor sfx problems/arrangement issues).

I'd like to render it now and upload it, but will rendering it through the computers stock audio interface result in a loss quality?

Meh, if only my job would take a hint and just install RME PCi cards to the desktops, we wouldn't have this problem.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #2
mp3
Lives for gear
 

The DACs have an impact on what you hear, and thus your mix decisions. But unless you're processing signals through them (e.g. if you have a hardware eq or compressor that you're processing individual tracks with), then the DACs don't directly affect audio quality.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mp3 View Post
The DACs have an impact on what you hear, and thus your mix decisions. But unless you're processing signals through them (e.g. if you have a hardware eq or compressor that you're processing individual tracks with), then the DACs don't directly affect audio quality.
This.

/thread
Old 3rd June 2013
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
People have holy wars about DAW summing algorithms.

If anything of the sort happened on the audio interface, they wouldn't be talking about the DAW summing algorithms at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwarzwald View Post
I'd like to render it now and upload it, but will rendering it through the computers stock audio interface result in a loss quality?
To emphasize once and for all: the rendering process does not require an audio interface at all. Try it - deactivate your soundcard completely, load up a 100% ITB project, and render it; it won't complain about the audio interface not being there.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #5
It's all about small degrees.
The biggest factors by far are your skill/ears and your basic sound design.
If you have great original sounds and are skilled at crafting fabulous mixes, you will beat out lesser sounds in unskilled hands using the most expensive interface money can buy.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #6
In a word no.

1. ears
2. monitors/dac
3. room


.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
WinnyP's Avatar
Unless you are using outboard hardware you are never "rendering" through your conversion, just monitoring. No worries.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
your DAC doesn't impose itself on the signal when you mix down ITB. if you recorded the out of your DAC to something else, then your DAC plays a role in that case. these days, DAC's are pretty good quality as a rule.
Old 3rd June 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post


To emphasize once and for all: the rendering process does not require an audio interface at all. Try it - deactivate your soundcard completely, load up a 100% ITB project, and render it; it won't complain about the audio interface not being there.
That seems really obvious now you say it
Old 28th July 2019
  #10
Thanks before this thread it used to be a hot topic imo. Done deal
Old 29th July 2019
  #11
Gear Nut
"terrible person and mix a lot at work" LOL!!!!!
I basically made a whole album at work once. If only they knew...
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