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ITB vs. OTB FINALLY A COMPARISON Studio Monitors
Old 17th August 2007
  #61
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indie's Avatar
 

I agree with you guys about the comparison....I guess it's not a "TRUE" comparison.
Oh well, fun anyway. Actually, I might change the title of the thread...

edit:

oh wait, I can't change the title!
Old 17th August 2007
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
OH...be aware that one is ever so slightly louder than the other...adjust if you will.
They're both too loud

(just kidding)

-R
Old 17th August 2007
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Quimper View Post
#1 by far.

It's much warmer and present, and the frequencies feel like they're blending together well, whereas #2 seems harsh and brittle and more disjointed.
+1

-R
Old 17th August 2007
  #64
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I vastly prefer #1, and there's no reason to believe you (or at least I) couldn't get that mix ITB. The brittle high end on #2 could just as easily come from analog eq's or compression, or from a different amount of Massy plugin, as anything inherently ITB.

Who knows? I think whatever you did to get #1 is the best way for you to work.

-R
Old 17th August 2007
  #65
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OK. I really appreciate everyone's input - this has been fun.

Like I said a couple of posts ago...I agree with the people who said this is not a real comparison and it's flawed in the sense that it was NOT SCIENTIFIC AT ALL. (I really should have titled it something more appropriate like 'ITB vs. OTB - same song, same mixer, pick your favorite mix'.

The mixes were done a day apart, by me. Since the band liked the ITB mix but weren't totally happy compared to the rest of the album, I remixed with stems on the board.



Here we go, the reveal:



"Blur1.wav is ITB. Mixed on my laptop with waves ssl, and the demo of the urs channel strip pro. The urs plug made this mix happen...it's ridiculous...I will buy it.

With the ITB mix...it sounded lame until I came out spdif through Radar converters into 2 channels on the Midas>>TG1( tickling it)>>Smart C1 doing it's thing.
THEN it came to life.
We felt it wasn't as aggressive as the other board mixes (which is what they want, aggressive)

Which Brings us to mix2:
Blur2.wav stemmed out 10 or 12 channels(can't remember) to midas with outboard..still using waves ssl etc.
I like mix 2 better because it fits what the band wants...
BUT..my ITB skills aren't perfect, so who knows.

I think a HUGE difference would have been if I mixed through an API or Neve...this is key.

This is the only song out of 2 I tried ITB that stood up to the board mixes. Maybe it's a case by case basis?

Anyway...thanks everybody!!


The band is "Local H"
Old 17th August 2007
  #66
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So I liked the ITB mix more...
that is good news, no need to buy a console or summing mixer, then
Old 17th August 2007
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
I really should have titled it something more appropriate like 'ITB vs. OTB - same song, same mixer, pick your favorite mix'.
Yeah, that would have made things a bit clearer.

Nice job & thanks for the fun!
Old 17th August 2007
  #68
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Sooo, my 1000% conviction was correct, my monitoring system is alright, my ears are well and ****, I still have to dream of having an opportunity of my own OTB system one day... Until then - I avoid everything I stated about not liking in ITB mixes and use UAD-1 Neve and other plug-ins to achieve that (as far as possible)

This test might not be perfect, but it was very obvious to me... To much mp3 listening going on these days - too much earbuds and cheap computer speakers in action - so people don't value the "right" sonic characteristics that were obvious even in this test...
Old 17th August 2007
  #69
Yeah cool test. Thanks!




So obviously this is a little flawed as we all pointed out but there is an upside. This is an in the trenches client mix, doing things in the real world not a controlled environment. While it might not be as scientific as it should be it does have some merit on it's own.

Also, you did use some outboard gear on the mixes, that is leaning in the OTB area right? It goes back to that old "what is mixing OTB vs. ITB anyway" discussion. I would call what you did on both mixes OTB mixing or many hybrid personally because you were using hardware on parts of the mix.

Either way, there is no question, even when taking levels into account, the #1 mix was better for me. And it goes to show my bias because I was sure it was the OTB mix myself.

Good work man, nice mixes.
Old 17th August 2007
  #70
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I cherish the vintage 4430's even more - they show differences amazingly - ugly... Complex accented hits in #1 are so obviously ITB compared to #2, that I cannot understand anyone not recognizing it... Maybe mixing on those speakers costs me too much time - not liking things I do for veeery long time...
Old 17th August 2007
  #71
Alo
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I hear ya about those drum hits, then again, I think it is the same property that gives the midrange in the guitars more definition and texture.

...maybe we should mix guitars itb and drums otb?
Old 17th August 2007
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I cherish the vintage 4430's even more - they show differences amazingly - ugly... Complex accented hits in #1 are so obviously ITB compared to #2, that I cannot understand anyone not recognizing it... Maybe mixing on those speakers costs me too much time - not liking things I do for veeery long time...
thumbsupthumbsup
Old 17th August 2007
  #73
8070
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Definately like 2 better. Alot more open...vocals sound better...etc

D.
Old 17th August 2007
  #74
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Answers already revealed, but I generally preferred mix 1 (just listening on headphones).

I think what's interesting about this test is that so many preferred mix 1 simply because it sounded "smoother" and "warmer", and that people associate that with OTB (smooth and warm is not exactly in fashion, could be thought of as dull or old school, and yet I think many of us kind of like it that way, it's more listenable somehow). Also, that so many still think in the back of their minds that OTB is going to be better. I think, no matter how many people say ITB is just as good or has as much potential, most of us are still thinking it's second rate!
Old 17th August 2007
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I cherish the vintage 4430's even more - they show differences amazingly - ugly... Complex accented hits in #1 are so obviously ITB compared to #2, that I cannot understand anyone not recognizing it... Maybe mixing on those speakers costs me too much time - not liking things I do for veeery long time...
Ya know.. for me it's not about figuring out which is ITB or which is OTB. I made an assumption that the #1 mix was OTB because I liked it (wrong of me to do but at least I am honest there) not because I was looking for ITB or OTB characteristics. I didn't bother trying to see "Complex accented hits" (what the hell ever that means) I just rolled with the one that I liked best.

#1 was better IMO (all though there is a strange edit on the vocals that does not seem to be there on #2), who gives a toss if it is ITB or OTB? Part of our problem in the industry today is too much perfection and critical thinking and not enough emotional vibe. #1 had more emotional impact for me.
Old 17th August 2007
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
Answers already revealed, but I generally preferred mix 1 (just listening on headphones).

I think what's interesting about this test is that so many preferred mix 1 simply because it sounded "smoother" and "warmer", and that people associate that with OTB (smooth and warm is not exactly in fashion, could be thought of as dull or old school, and yet I think many of us kind of like it that way, it's more listenable somehow). Also, that so many still think in the back of their minds that OTB is going to be better. I think, no matter how many people say ITB is just as good or has as much potential, most of us are still thinking it's second rate!
I know.. so true. Expectation bias if I have ever seen it.

thumbsup

I am guilty as charged as well.
Old 17th August 2007
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
Answers already revealed, but I generally preferred mix 1 (just listening on headphones).

I think what's interesting about this test is that so many preferred mix 1 simply because it sounded "smoother" and "warmer", and that people associate that with OTB (smooth and warm is not exactly in fashion, could be thought of as dull or old school, and yet I think many of us kind of like it that way, it's more listenable somehow). Also, that so many still think in the back of their minds that OTB is going to be better. I think, no matter how many people say ITB is just as good or has as much potential, most of us are still thinking it's second rate!
You're regressing to the ITB/OTB thing.

They were 2 different mixes.

Someone had already EQ's the #2 mix to sound smoother, like the #1 mix.

It's a mix thing at this point...2 different ones done on 2 different days, w/o even trying to match them.

I've (and I'm sure everyone else) have done different mixes of the same material, with exactly the same equipment, and yet some come out better, some worse....even to the point of sounding less smooth, etc. The difference was me, the mixer
Old 17th August 2007
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
Ya know.. for me it's not about figuring out which is ITB or which is OTB. I made an assumption that the #1 mix was OTB because I liked it (wrong of me to do but at least I am honest there) not because I was looking for ITB or OTB characteristics. I didn't bother trying to see "Complex accented hits" (what the hell ever that means) I just rolled with the one that I liked best.

#1 was better IMO (all though there is a strange edit on the vocals that does not seem to be there on #2), who gives a toss if it is ITB or OTB? Part of our problem in the industry today is too much perfection and critical thinking and not enough emotional vibe. #1 had more emotional impact for me.
Funny - the way I hear it here (and it is really obvious) I have exactly the same sensations about #2 as you about #1. To me it sounded better and had more emotions - I immidiately recognized that #1 is a little louder, so I played #2 a little louder and it sounded better. I also tryed both at very loud levels... To me the #2 sounded warmer, rounder, etc. but still agressive (in a good way). Funny eh?
And only afterwards I applyed the analytical mechanism (ears/brains) to explain to myself why I like it better. I know very well how ITB sounds - my friends do it, I do it and I know exactly what the limitations I try to overcome with skills are... And I heard those limitations clearly when comparing the two mixes...
I belive in the great future of the ITB mixing (much can be done), but the taste of sound is degrading... Funny things get the title warm, round, midrange definition... to me it is not midrange definition - it is digital edginess VS. analog impact... I don't like the harsh guitar sound of many contemporary productions which some obviously call presence and clarity... Let's say - I liked the last Tool album or anything by "A Perfect Circle" - that is contemporary warm sound to me...
Really - the old JBL horns show harsness and lack of real impact really ugly...
And if the band who played the song chose the OTB mix - do you think they chose the one with less emotions?
Old 17th August 2007
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
You're regressing to the ITB/OTB thing.

They were 2 different mixes.

Someone had already EQ's the #2 mix to sound smoother, like the #1 mix.

It's a mix thing at this point...2 different ones done on 2 different days, w/o even trying to match them.

I've (and I'm sure everyone else) have done different mixes of the same material, with exactly the same equipment, and yet some come out better, some worse....even to the point of sounding less smooth, etc. The difference was me, the mixer
I'm not regressing. I generally agree with what you're saying.....I'm saying the test was more about mix approach/style and also people's perceptions.
Old 17th August 2007
  #80
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Regardless I kind liked the tune in a "Jet" sort of way. The song is screaming to mixed on an API man.

Btw "indie" I thought you did a good job either way. I definately got into the tune...that's what it's about right!
Old 17th August 2007
  #81
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Seems that you guys are cabable of continuing the old ITB vs. OTB without me!

I listened only with my AKG K240 headphones, but here's my two cents worth:

#1 is maybe more "open"

#2 has more "girth" and if you played it in comparison to an expertly (professionally) mastered CD it would sound best/better.

Still, there sounds like there is A LOT of compression and general jacking around with stuff on both versions.
Maybe less "processing" overall would help the who thing.

You have to do a better job at cleaning up vocals!
The vocal is chopped off on both versions.

later,
Danny Brown
Old 17th August 2007
  #82
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Interesting to see you back here Danny.
Old 17th August 2007
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by van Overhalen View Post
So I liked the ITB mix more...
that is good news, no need to buy a console or summing mixer, then

123!!!!
Old 17th August 2007
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post

#1 is maybe more "open"

Hmph...go figure?

#1 definately sounds more 'pinched'....to me.

D.
Old 17th August 2007
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
Interesting to see you back here Danny.
Well, to be honest.....

I was over on the Music Computer Forum trying to see if any of the complete computer geeks could answer a question for me about specific software for video and multitrack audio recording.

Curiosity won out and I jumped over to this forum and what was the first topic I saw?
This one! The good old ITB vs. OTB debate rages without my input!

So, I listened to the guy's mixes and.... commented.

I've been so busy at work and then re-building my MCI538c when time permits that I don't have time for Gearslutz.

Hey... maybe #1 sounds more open because there is less low end girth/body?

I hate to be the bad guy here, but the "problems" that I have with the mixes presented in this comparison are happening regardless of the fact that it is either ITB or OTB.

This is why some of the general gearhead debate(s) have ceased to interest me.
A lot of putting the horse before the cart so to speak.

later cats!
Danny Brown
Old 18th August 2007
  #86
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And watching all the back-pedaling is almost more fun than the shootout itself! LMAO

Thread of the week!

Really though, props to all the guys who had the balls to lay their cards on the table and comment on the mixes before the reveal.
Old 18th August 2007
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
Thread of the week!

Really though, props to all the guys who had the balls to lay their cards on the table and comment on the mixes before the reveal.
Old 18th August 2007
  #88
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So #1 was the ITB mix wich I liked best, thats cool...'cause I mix ITB!

I think the only thing we can learn from it, is that it all depends on taste, habbit (I guess NSN is older than me, and so is used to mixes being OTB, for me it's the opposite), and the bottomline, if I may state, is that it doesn't matter what u use, if u do a great mix on it, it's just fine. The sonic differences are debatable, also judging by the amount of topics created on the subject it's not a gigantic difference, and if a board full of pro's can't agree on it, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DEBATING ABOUT!!

Pzz & it was fun!
Old 18th August 2007
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Seems that you guys are cabable of continuing the old You have to do a better job at cleaning up vocals!
The vocal is chopped off on both versions.

later,
Danny Brown
edit...
oops. this isn't the final final....I did clean it up. everything else is the same.
Old 18th August 2007
  #90
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By the way, don't you guys think Blur1 is bloated compared to other albums? If you put like CLA mix up, like 'My Chemical Romance' (which is killer) mix 1 seems very bloated...that's another reason we didn't like it. Blur2 seems to match up better to commercial rock records. (remember it's not mastered though).
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