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Add a sidecar or outboard gear?
Old 19th July 2019
  #1
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Liquidaudio's Avatar
 

Add a sidecar or outboard gear?

Hi guys,

So I have this custom factory fresh 16 channel SSL 4000 G in the studio now. I'm still working on the acoustics, the studio isn't finished yet. I might have budget availaible in the future for expanding the console with an 8 channel sidecar.

The question is would you think this is a real added bonus? Or should I maybe spend it all on outboard gear? I can comp a lot of stuff in Pro Tools but you know I just want to spend the money wisely. Main activity would be mixing and some overdubs.
Old 20th July 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

outboard all the way
Old 20th July 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

you will know when a sidecar makes sense ;-)
Old 20th July 2019
  #4
I vote for outboard. More flexibility and variety. Especially considering you’ll be consolidating tracks from the DAW to the 16 channels essentially processing instrument and or main two bus.
Old 20th July 2019
  #5
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Liquidaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
you will know when a sidecar makes sense ;-)
They say it's best to have more than you need, but 9000 dollars is a lot of dough. I have been saving for years, and I don't know if a really basic 8 channel sidecar will get sold quick again if I find that it works well by just combining tracks in Pro Tools.

If I happen to need more channels because it's just isn't working for me I would have blown it all on outboard and would have to start from scratch again. No way in hell I would sell outboard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I vote for outboard. More flexibility and variety. Especially considering you’ll be consolidating tracks from the DAW to the 16 channels essentially processing instrument and or main two bus.
True, more sonic options.

Does anybody have any other thoughts? Please share.
Old 20th July 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

depends on your needs and work style but i vote for a sidecar/larger desk: on how many channels do you really need to insert outboard? i'd rather have a larger desk on which i could spill out more channels: better overview and one can possibly get a mix going faster.
Old 20th July 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
depends on your needs and work style but i vote for a sidecar/larger desk: on how many channels do you really need to insert outboard? i'd rather have a larger desk on which i could spill out more channels: better overview and one can possibly get a mix going faster.
If I would get outboard I would have about 3 or 4 compressors, also maybe 3 EQ's and some hardware reverbs. And I would probably use them all the time.

Thanks for the reply man.
Old 20th July 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

it's really hard to judge someone else's needs so i just refer to my experience with my gear in the last 35+ years:

eq's - technically speaking (and in the days before digital recording/editing/mixing), i almost never had any need for an outboard eq except for those cases when the filters on my desks were not narrow enough to notch out an obnoxious frequency. very rarely it was fun to have a stereo eq on the mix bus for pseudo premastering although not really needed - to this day, i'm fine working with the stock eq'd of my desks (or else i would not have bought the desk!)

dynamics - i couldn't get enough and ended up having ca. sixteen compressors/limiters of all sorts, vca, opto, tube (and a bunch if expanders, dynamic eq's, transient designers, multiband tools, brickwall limiters... no need for gates though) - altogether, i got more dynamics than channels! and of course there is a processor on the mix bus...

channel strips - in recent years (well, maybe for 10 years by now) and if mixing fully analog (rarely these days), i found it useful to go with channel strips: a combined set of functions imo makes it easier to tweak sounds rather than patching and switching between assorted gear with much different interfaces/front panels, maybe in different rack... - so if i'd be buying some outboard, it'd probably be more channel strips than dedicated eq or dynamic tools. plus you get additional preamps almost for free! or can go on location and get a few channels recorded etc.

efx - could be that this pure nostalgia but i prefer hardware efx devices as i haven't come across anything that could replace a quantec (or eventide or tc - i have to admit though that i haven't been catching up with what's going on with plugins except for the fact that the lexicon pcm bundle does exactly the same as the pcm96; not even sure though whether this is still true when working in surround with the pcm96s - note the 's' makes a difference...).

___


my point is that you do not necessarily need to stick to a recipe of how to set up things (even though a specific setup works perfectly well for an engineer who's work you may like or 'cause you see/read about the majority of engineers setting up their rig in a rather generic way): imo you just need to find out what makes you happy - 'you can your own way'!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 20th July 2019 at 11:19 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 20th July 2019
  #9
Gear Head
 
Liquidaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
it's really hard to judge someone's needs so i refer to my experience with my gear in the last 35+ years:

eq's - technically speaking (and in the days before digital recording/editing/mixing), i almost never had any need for an outboard eq except for those cases when the filters on my desks were not narrow enough to notch out an obnoxious frequency. very rarely it was fun to have a stereo eq on the mix bus for pseudo premastering although not really needed.

dynamics - i couldn't get enough and ended up having ca. sixteen of all sorts, vca, opto, tube... - and of course there is one on the mix bus!

channel strips - in recent years (well, maybe for 10 years by now) and if mixing fully analog (rarely these days), i found it useful to go with channel strips: a combined set of functions imo makes it easier to tweak sounds rather than patching and switching between assorted gear with much different interfaces/front panels, maybe in different rack... - so if i'd be buying some outboard, it'd probably be more channel strips than dedicated eq or dynamic tools. plus you get additional preamps almost for free! or can go on location and get a few channels recorded etc.

efx - could be that this pure nostalgia but i prefer hardware efx devices as i haven't come across anything that could replace a quantec (or eventide or tc - i have to admit though that i haven't been catching up with what's going on with plugins except for the fact that the lexicon pcm bundle does exactly the same as the pcm96; not even sure though whether this is still true when working in surround with the pcm96s - note the 's' makes a difference...).

___


my point is that you do not necessarily need to stick to a recipe of how to set up things (even though a specific setup works perfectly well for an engineer who's work you may like or 'cause you see/read about the majority of engineers setting up their rig in a rather generic way): imo you just need to find out what makes you happy - 'you can your own way'!

I like the basic idea of yesteryear mixing where you would depend on mostly the console and tape. Maybe have a pair of Pultecs on the master or one la-2a and maybe two 1176's. I also love hardware effects.

I might just go with the sidecar because I really think I would not have the patience to do much processing ITB and coming out, it just seems too complex for me. I just want to send out the audio, mix it on the fly and be done with it. In that sense 16 channels will probably not be enough half the time. I could always add outboard later, they don't seem like primary concerns. Even when 23 channels (8 channel bucket on one stereo of the 16 channels console, so 23) won't be enough which I think it will for a lot of mixes I can still do the ITB comping, just not as much.

You first build the boat, then you add the outboard, right?
Old 20th July 2019
  #10
Maybe work with it for a while and see what (if anything) you are lacking to get the mixes/ sounds you want? They plan/ buy accordingly.
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