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Tracking with Console vs Rack Pre's Consoles
Old 30th September 2016
  #31
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It wouldn't be "night and day" in the first place...anyone who says so is exaggerating!

It might be a "noticeable difference on A/B". In your example, the chandler is providing line amp/routing facilities so it's a similar path - but there'll be differences due to different gear.

I really think you're overthinking this. Just make it sound good. If you need the chain above to do so - use it. If you just need a pre and a touch of compression - do that. Don't get hung up on making the signal path "correct" - that's putting method before results, and you can't hear method.
I am overthinking it actually lol. However, I've heard over and over again that outboard mic pres just can't compete with the "magic" of consoles. And quite honestly that gets to me, it makes me think I cannot get the big commercial sound. Have you had any experience with an A/B shootout between the two? How drastically different would you say the two are? Is it even audible to the average listener?
Old 30th September 2016
  #32
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noba772 View Post
I am overthinking it actually lol. However, I've heard over and over again that outboard mic pres just can't compete with the "magic" of consoles. And quite honestly that gets to me, it makes me think I cannot get the big commercial sound. Have you had any experience with an A/B shootout between the two? How drastically different would you say the two are? Is it even audible to the average listener?
Consider what a console actually is. It's the centerpiece of the standard recording environment, and its purpose is to enable and improve the various recording processes (tracking, mixing, etc.). The console has developed and evolved over many decades, and it's been finely tweaked and tuned over time by highly skilled and trained professionals. By its very nature, a high end console can be relied on to sound great.

Now, remove the physical console and build an alternative recording environment using a patchwork of the highest quality outboard gear connected to a DAW. While the individual components in this system might be superior to the components in any console, the system overall was not designed by a professional to work as a cohesive unit. So, while it may have the potential to sound as good or better than a console, there is a risk that an alternative system will provide unsatisfying results.

I would ignore any suggestion that a system designed around outboard gear can't compete with a console in terms of sound quality, but just remember that consoles also have so much more to offer: they're convenient and fun to work with, and less energy is spent patching, routing, and keeping track of numerous outboard components.
Old 30th September 2016
  #33
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
If anything outboard has more in the path than a console strip because its usually converting unbal -> bal and then bal -> unbal between each pre/EQ/dynamics section.
Console:
Preamp>EQ>insert>buffer(dynamics)>fader buffer>bus>summing amp>fader buffer>line driver
un. un. bal. un. un. bal. bal. un. un>bal
Old 1st October 2016
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noba772 View Post
I am overthinking it actually lol. However, I've heard over and over again that outboard mic pres just can't compete with the "magic" of consoles. And quite honestly that gets to me, it makes me think I cannot get the big commercial sound. Have you had any experience with an A/B shootout between the two? How drastically different would you say the two are? Is it even audible to the average listener?
If you're talking non-live band recording, the vast majority of single sources I would say are recorded without a console. Vocal chain direct to computer. So yes - it's totally possible without a console.
Old 1st October 2016
  #35
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
If you're talking non-live band recording, the vast majority of single sources I would say are recorded without a console. Vocal chain direct to computer. So yes - it's totally possible without a console.
Yes. If all goes as I'm planning then everything tracked without a console would be non-live with the exception of guitars and vocals and piano. The latter will run through either a Neve or SSL console. The rest is all analog synths and drum machines - no bass or live drums will be recorded (I make edm).
Old 1st October 2016
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noba772 View Post
Yes. If all goes as I'm planning then everything tracked without a console would be non-live with the exception of guitars and vocals and piano. The latter will run through either a Neve or SSL console. The rest is all analog synths and drum machines - no bass or live drums will be recorded (I make edm).
by all means "run through" the console if you're using the mic pre in the console.

If you're patching other things into the console just to use the routing because you think that's going to add some magic - I think you're looking in the wrong place.

Especially with an SSL or non-vintage neve, where you've got ICs not transformers. It's not the same thing at all!

By "non live" I mean unless you're tracking a band with many channels where a console's routing makes things easier, most people would avoid the console electronics these days. I'm in a studio with a Neve right now (admittedly a "modern" neve, not a transformer based one!) and I'm tracking piano and vox via external pres and other processing straight to the DAW. Why would I put it up the console?
Old 1st October 2016
  #37
Gear Nut
I would say it largely depends on how good the pre amps in the console sound. In my case I have 8 e channels in the SSL g which happen to have traffos on the inputs while the rest are g transformerless preamps. I tend to run the drums through the E channels and the rest through outboard API's (CAPI) Neve 32102 (kick and snare). There is a definite advantage to patching the outboard pres into the insert returns of the console. That way you can ride the faders down a little and get more saturation from the outboard pres with out blowing up the daw inputs. Another advantage to bringing outboard pres into the desk is for headphone sends (in the analog domain-0 latency) as well as metering. Lastly there is in my view a lower noise floor to be realized by using console powered preamps as the psu's are beefier than what most outboard pres come equipped with (some brands excepted).
I struggled trying to get the sound in my head using daw and outboard. That all changed when I got a console. Ultimately these are just my opinions on the matter but there has to be some reason why this technology has developed to the point it has and why people are still paying through the nose to maintain and cool these beasts. They facilitate music recording very effectively.
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