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ANALOGUE CONSOLE w/ DAW SUMMING vs DAW CONSOLE w/ ANALOGUE SUMMING Consoles
Old 21st August 2007
  #1
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ANALOGUE CONSOLE w/ DAW SUMMING vs DAW CONSOLE w/ ANALOGUE SUMMING

Summing this, summing that, summing, summing, summing! Bah!!
I'm now wondering if this summing "fad" has gone too far.

Let me explain how I feel about it all...

OK, so analogue summing was a way for the ITB guys to get some glue/mojo/x-factor/inter-modulation artifact... call it what you will...

Some folks are using summing boxes or line mixers for this, all power to them.

But some folks have both a DAW and an analogue console and sooner or later the thinking seems to go like this: "Hmmm, there must be a way to get the sound of analogue along with the benefits of the DAW...."

And so the idea was born to edit, eq and (maybe compress) as well as automate ITB, sending "stems" out to their analogue channels where maybe some additional "key" analogue compression can also take place. Once in there the whole thing gets sent down wires and electronic components and.....presto, instant x-factor! Who needs a summing box when you've got a whole analogue console?

But hang on a minute, are you sure this is the best way to use a hybrid of anlg console + DAW?

Why not use the console for most of the eq, compression, fx and levelling? That's what it was designed for, what it excels at, right? You know, all those wires and electronic components......

Oh, that's right, I remember why now, I forgot about the benefits of the DAW, the editing, the automation and recall....

"Hmmm, if only I could get the sound of analogue with the benefits of the DAW" you ask yourself again.

Well, for those of you who haven't thought about it enough, one way is to turn it upside down!

Yep, print every channel of your analogue mix (incl eq, dynamics, fx, faders) to a separate digital track in the DAW and sum in the box! If you use busses and direct outs, you can do this in 1 or 2 passes.

The tracks could originate from the DAW (perhaps via 2" tape) so you get original files to edit (like the ITB guys). You can still do level automation (like the ITB guys), and, because you have every channel (incl separate fx returns and paralell comps) rendered as separate digital tracks, you have total recall (like the ITB guys).

In my other High End thread 100% analogue recall! there is a discussion regarding how some of us are going about this and how certain issues are handled, but I was surprised how most folks thought this method falls down significantly due to the fact that it misses out on "analogue summing". OK, so here's my headline:

--An analogue mix captured, summed and played back as 64 "stems" in the DAW sounds equal to if not better than an analogue mix captured, summed and played back as a L and R pair (ie, analogue summed) in the DAW.--

Please, before you flame away, visit the other thread for more background, but I'd like you to return here with your thoughts on summing.

ANALOGUE FIGHTS BACK!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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no takers?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
Summing this, summing that, summing, summing, summing! Bah!!
I'm now wondering if this summing "fad" has gone too far.

Let me explain how I feel about it all...

OK, so analogue summing was a way for the ITB guys to get some glue/mojo/x-factor/inter-modulation artifact... call it what you will...

Some folks are using summing boxes or line mixers for this, all power to them.

But some folks have both a DAW and an analogue console and sooner or later the thinking seems to go like this: "Hmmm, there must be a way to get the sound of analogue along with the benefits of the DAW...."

And so the idea was born to edit, eq and (maybe compress) as well as automate ITB, sending "stems" out to their analogue channels where maybe some additional "key" analogue compression can also take place. Once in there the whole thing gets sent down wires and electronic components and.....presto, instant x-factor! Who needs a summing box when you've got a whole analogue console?

But hang on a minute, are you sure this is the best way to use a hybrid of anlg console + DAW?

Why not use the console for most of the eq, compression, fx and levelling? That's what it was designed for, what it excels at, right? You know, all those wires and electronic components......

Oh, that's right, I remember why now, I forgot about the benefits of the DAW, the editing, the automation and recall....

"Hmmm, if only I could get the sound of analogue with the benefits of the DAW" you ask yourself again.

Well, for those of you who haven't thought about it enough, one way is to turn it upside down!

Yep, print every channel of your analogue mix (incl eq, dynamics, fx, faders) to a separate digital track in the DAW and sum in the box! If you use busses and direct outs, you can do this in 1 or 2 passes.

The tracks could originate from the DAW (perhaps via 2" tape) so you get original files to edit (like the ITB guys). You can still do level automation (like the ITB guys), and, because you have every channel (incl separate fx returns and paralell comps) rendered as separate digital tracks, you have total recall (like the ITB guys).

In my other High End thread "100% analogue recall!" there is a discussion regarding how some of us are going about this and how certain issues are handled, but I was surprised how most folks thought this method falls down significantly due to the fact that it misses out on "analogue summing". OK, so here's my headline:

--An analogue mix captured, summed and played back as 64 "stems" in the DAW sounds equal to if not better than an analogue mix captured, summed and played back as a L and R pair (ie, analogue summed) in the DAW.--

Please, before you flame away, visit the other thread for more background, but I'd like you to return here with your thoughts on summing.

ANALOGUE FIGHTS BACK!

I don't know if I'm reading you right ? If you have a great console and are doing all the parallel processing, EQ, FX, etc. via the console, then "printing" that processing to spereate DAW tracks, then why would you not want to sum via the console once more for final mixdown ?

Your whole argument seems strange to me, unless I misread it. It seems you are saying process the stems via analog console, and then once in the DAW bounce digital for the final 2 track mix. Again, why not send those stems to the console (if it is truly a good one) with a C2 strapped accross the mixbus to 1/2" tape for final mixing ?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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Thanx for the question Sage.

The analogue summing in the Neotek Elite seems so "neutral" that it may do more harm than good to farm the captured stems back through it (because of unnecessary conversions). A/B-ing the analogue sum vs the DAW sum reveals this as true for my circumstance.

As for the C2, I can still use that in the DAW summing stage as a hardware insert without needing to convert all channels out and in again through the console.

The analogue "goodness" is in the captured analogue stems! There is more analogue "mojo" going on in 60 analogue channels than there is in the L and R outs of a console.

Because of this, I'm becoming convinced that analogue summing is somewhat over-rated, but am happy to be proved wrong....
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
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Try your process on a console with a particular flavor. If you are throwing out the value of analogue summing simply because your Neotek is neutral, and then making the argument that it's better that way across the board, then you should have examples other than your one situation.

As I said before, your idea is great for backing up complex analogue mixes. I still think that if I did it myself, I'd still always utilize the summing of my console, ie. run the "recall print" back out through the board, because it sounds amazing. The A and B between my console and ITB are simply the difference between crap and awesome.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmctear View Post
Try your process on a console with a particular flavor. If you are throwing out the value of analogue summing simply because your Neotek is neutral, and then making the argument that it's better that way across the board, then you should have examples other than your one situation.

As I said before, your idea is great for backing up complex analogue mixes. I still think that if I did it myself, I'd still always utilize the summing of my console, ie. run the "recall print" back out through the board, because it sounds amazing. The A and B between my console and ITB are simply the difference between crap and awesome.
I hear ya b'tear.

I have owned and used vintage consoles like Harrisons for years and I always appreciated their "color", but I'd never run one of my finished Neotek mixes through their summing paths, even if I could, simply because I would not have allowed for that "color" throughout the mixing (and recording) process. The color I want is in the analogue channels and in the vintage outboard I use extensively. Indeed the colors I choose start with the mics and pres, not to mention with determinants such as "skill" and "taste"....

Alas, it appears that my little revelation is useless to folk that don't have a neutral summing path, because if you are mixing into a colored one and you print separate channel stems and sum those in the DAW, the resultant mix "isn't what you bought", it will indeed sound different, and probably not endearingly so.

OK, so let me then offer this suggestion to those of you who wanna go hybrid and are looking for a solution to your future: Consider, instead of a colored summing box, a good sounding analogue console with the color in the channels, not in the stereo summing path. That way your mixes can be stemmed to DAW and sound just like the analogue 2mix. From here you share most of the advantages the ITB guys have over us, particularly recall.

Analogue summing is less than maybe 5% of the sound of an analogue console, if you're not using the other 95% of it's potential, you may as well be 100% ITB and run your mixes through a "valve plugin thingy"...IMHO ...

Am I the only one here that can't help thinking that analogue summing is a "fad" that will pass....?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #7
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Mixing ITB box has its advantages (total recall, automation, etc.), however the more tracks you build within you DAW, the more your mixes get smaller. I have mixed several records and when I am trying to get more punch and juice from a particular track or group of tracks, i always have to back up on the DAW faders because I am constantly clipping and it seems as though the mix is glossy and light lacking soul.

In contrast, when I stem my 75+ audio stems into a 16 channel summing buss system, the mix maintains it's integrity and the sound is punchier, richer and fuller. And I have spent many hours comparing ITB bounced mixes to summing mixes and every single time I would choose the analog summing mix.

It doesn't have to crunch numbers or do complex processes. Remember analog by definition is a mechanism in which data is represented by continuously variable physical quantities. Whereas digital represents small fragmented snap shots of the physical reality we live in.

Nate.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
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That's great Nate, but this is not what I was discussing. The "stems" I'm talking about are not digital tracks stemmed to an analogue path, but the reverse, ie, every analogue channel in my console outputing audio into separate digital tracks recorded back into the DAW, so that the analogue processed tracks (eq, inserts, fx, faders etc) sit in the session alongside the original digital tracks. Once in there the original tracks are turned off unless required.

What I am proposing is that when you do this, it can sound as good (console and converter dependent) as the analogue summed stereo mix from the same console (captured either in the DAW or other device).

The upshot is that the 40+ stems can now benefit the mixer and client by way of offering instant recall of what is essentially an analogue mix.
This is not about "ITB vs OTB" nor is it about "ITB alone vs ITB stems through analogue summing".
This is about "OTB mixed to 2 track digital vs OTB mixed to 40+ tracks of digital" -- for ostensibly the same result, but with exciting new possibilities.

I am trying to explain (obviously very clumsily), that in order to make this work, as I seem to have, one would require a neutral summing path in the chosen analogue console (stock or modded) so that the 40+ captured "stem" mix sounds like the 2 mix. And it is precisely for this reason that I bring into question the current penchant for colored summing. There is more color to be had in the dozens of channels of an analogue console with switched in eq and loaded inserts, than there is to be had with one solitary stereo mix buss.

And remember, each of the analogue console's channel's "color" can be captured in the DAW and still remain discrete.

Best of both world's if you ask me.....
Old 22nd August 2007
  #9
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Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
Am I the only one here that can't help thinking that analogue summing is a "fad" that will pass....?
i think many think like you do, myself included.

what won't pass, IMO, is the sound of good analog circuits, some of these imparting a certain color, like an A Range, 8068 or API.

your idea of rerecording the individual channels or stems for later recall and processing could work, why not, but it seems kind of convoluted to me. if i had a nice analog console i'd just print and be done with it, or record stems like in the old days: drums, vox, gtrs, verbs, etc., in case you want to change something later. same idea but less channels.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
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Ok...but how do u deal with the REAL sound of your mix after all is printed? I mean when u are summing analog you are printing the sound of your converters(DA).....then later on when you listen to the mix ... you get that mix plus the Sound of your converters again!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #11
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Another idea I've toyed with, but yet to try, is setting up each channel of the analog desk to be an insert on each protools track. This idea would bypass the benefits of analog summing, but give you all analog processing as well as DAW automation.

The only reason I haven't done it, is because most studios with large, analog desks, don't have PT controllers. I need to mix with faders, so I prefer to use the desk.

Anyone else try this?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #12
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It wouldn't matter if you stemmed the 40+ tracks directly into you DAW via your analog console, because once all those tracks are firing at the same time your headroom is going to suffer tremendously. But don't take my word for it...check out this link: http://www.gearwire.com/media/ssl-x-...g-features.mov
This is from gearwire concerning the SSL X-rack summing amp. They are running a mix in Cubase 4 and then comparing it (by stemming out 8 channels) to the SSL X-rack summing amp. This is a perfect example of what I meant when I stated that the mix sounds more open, punchy and dynamic. And regardless if it is a Alesis, Mackie, Allen Heath, or even Behringer or Phonic console, the results will be the same when comparing an analog summing amp to digital summing. Keep in mind, there are no numbers to crunch or process.

And if you want a clean transparent summing amp/mixer, I heard that the Ultramix by Speak Electronics is right for the job or (I am kind of ashamed to mention this) a Behringer Eurodesk Pro SL console. I did a banquet/concert with a 40 member choir with 3 condenser mics, 6 piece band, and 8 cordless hand held. They could not acquire the board of my choice Allen Heath GL Series, so they got this thing. I did the entire event with no problems at all and that darn board was extremely quite and transparent (although the build quality leaves much to be desired). However, if someone wanted 16 - 32 channels of transparent summing on a very modest budget......

Nate.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
Thanx for the question Sage.

The analogue summing in the Neotek Elite seems so "neutral" that it may do more harm than good to farm the captured stems back through it (because of unnecessary conversions). A/B-ing the analogue sum vs the DAW sum reveals this as true for my circumstance.

As for the C2, I can still use that in the DAW summing stage as a hardware insert without needing to convert all channels out and in again through the console.

The analogue "goodness" is in the captured analogue stems! There is more analogue "mojo" going on in 60 analogue channels than there is in the L and R outs of a console.

Because of this, I'm becoming convinced that analogue summing is somewhat over-rated, but am happy to be proved wrong....
I think the "printing" of stems in the analogue domain works well if you don't have a 100+ channel SSL, but you have very high track count mixes. If you have enough great outboard and a 32X24 bus console then you can divide you mix into subgroups (drums,gtrs., vox, keys, etc.), EQ all the individual channels the way you want, and then send to busses and "print" all of your stems. This way you can turn 32 channels into 12 or 16, and free up those console EQ channels again for whatever other stuff you need to mix. Hence a 32 channel console can become a 64 channel one, or perhaps more.

Still, I would only do my "printing" to 2" tape and not the DAW. Sync the 2" tape machine to the DAW and have the 2" playback the stems through your tape returns, and have the rest of the DAW ear candy coming thru the channels.

Truly the best of both worlds IMO, and it can double the number of slutty outboard gear you have as well.

Of course, some will say this is "dangerous" because you can't go back later and make changes to those stems if you made the wrong EQ and comp. setting choices. Blah, blah, blah! If you backup your original tracks you can always go back; but if you don't have good enough of an ear to be confident to print stems while you are building a mix, then maybe you're just a scary cat.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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Are summing boxes a fad?

Are sending/grouping tracks together via transformers and wires a fad?

Is wanting total recall a fad?

As long as people want recall they'll use computers...and as long as people want to add the proven sonic capabilities of transformers to their computer mix, they'll send stems through well made analogue paths.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis360 View Post
Are summing boxes a fad?

Are sending/grouping tracks together via transformers and wires a fad?

Is wanting total recall a fad?

As long as people want recall they'll use computers...and as long as people want to add the proven sonic capabilities of transformers to their computer mix, they'll send stems through well made analogue paths.
As this is only my second thread, I'm only just realizing what you chaps have probably known all along, ie, everybody takes these ideas so damn personally. Passionate buggers aren't you? Ok, so I'm sorry if, by referring to all you summers as fashion victims, that some of you were offended, but I was only trying to help, not to gloat. Honestly....

Transformers?... love 'em. Use 'em in my pres, my 2" machine's got 'em, use lots of OB with 'em, in fact I don't need any more trannies in the summing path. Kinda my point, if you can have analogue mojo in buckets, and DAW recall, wouldn't you go there? I say cease this antagonistic analogue vs digital mind set. If analogue is to have a healthy future it will learn to co-exist with the "open-endedness" offered by digital technology. You can't beat city hall kids, if you stuck to mono in the sixties, or if you never wanted to go beyond 4 track, you paid the price for being a luddite. Look what "sticking to your guns" did for the great Phil Spector (er, pardon the pun...).

DAW stems to summers are keeping analogue concepts alive and that's great. But I reckon that anlg console stems to DAW keeps analogue positively kicking!
Old 23rd August 2007
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Don't take it personally, PrincePlanet. What you have to take into consideration is the amount of theory that everyone puts into their process. Add to that the amount of money people spend to back up their theories, and you some serious "ruffled- feather" potential.

I think you have a good idea. Go with it! And the idea, though it is perhaps not for EVERYONE, is appreciated.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #17
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hey dere Priceplanet, believe it or not I actually wasn't emotional at all when I wrote that, it was more just a quick reply as I'm at work.

I've heard a few people say that summing boxes are a fad, I mean it could be but I don't think it is because the physics of these devices adds up. I dont' think companies like the Tube Tech (SSA 2B), Neve (8816), and Inward Connections (Mix690) would put their company name on the line for a quick fad. Besides, look at what you're paying for in these products. Is it a fad to pass a mix through an SSA 2B, bristling with tubes and transformers on each input/output? Will such summing architecture not at the same time allow you to mix ITB but reward you by giving you the option of maintaining a spacial sense/depth by allowing you to pass stems through a very high-end but simplified mixing topology?

My point is that transformers are not a fad and the sound of tubes are not either, these are well researched, highly implemented designs that sonics can benefit from. In today's ITB world it makes sense to have such solutions.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #18
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also it's all a bit silly...I mean I played the Pro-tools mix versus the Inward Connections mix for my wife and her 3 friends. They are totally lay persons in all respects.

In a blind test they always picked out the Inward Connections mix...why? Because it sounds A LOT better, it's positively that simple. This isn't something only Audio Engineers/Audiofiles are beating their chest over, it toally ****s on the PT file all this from a little MP3.

Having attended a few demos I can further attest that fad or not these devices (Neve, Tube Tech, Inward Connections) do exactly what they say on the box.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis360 View Post
Are summing boxes a fad?

Are sending/grouping tracks together via transformers and wires a fad?

Is wanting total recall a fad?

As long as people want recall they'll use computers...and as long as people want to add the proven sonic capabilities of transformers to their computer mix, they'll send stems through well made analogue paths.
Not to hijack the thread, but are there not analog consoles that offer total recall-then the only thing that one would need to do is reprint the outboard processing, correct? I am very interested in this subject because I am in the process of trying to decide if I can mix ITB and then sum to a analog desk and be able to add outboard processing, or if I can find a mid-size desk with automation and still enable me to use my outboard gear!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis360 View Post
also it's all a bit silly...I mean I played the Pro-tools mix versus the Inward Connections mix for my wife and her 3 friends. They are totally lay persons in all respects.

In a blind test they always picked out the Inward Connections mix...why? Because it sounds A LOT better, it's positively that simple. This isn't something only Audio Engineers/Audiofiles are beating their chest over, it toally ****s on the PT file all this from a little MP3.

Having attended a few demos I can further attest that fad or not these devices (Neve, Tube Tech, Inward Connections) do exactly what they say on the box.

I actually think that perhaps it is only the AE, audiophiles, and a very few record companies that are truly concerned. The end user (consumer) will never get the chance to A/B and choose the sonically superior mix. They will either buy it or they won't: it is still the song that sells the music. The AE uses the best tools at hand and his/her skillset out of pride, convenience, and finances. It would be rare the AE who refused to record Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones all jamming with Jason Bonham simply because only Scotch cassette tape and a Radio Shack mixer were available. How about an impromptu Dire Straits reunion? Sorry, sonics be damned, song and performance rule unless something renders the recording so useless as to be unusable. Clearly this is an extreme example, and for most of us these will never be the tools at hand, but the point stands: the music matters more than we (Engineers and our tools) do.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #21
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yup Capt Crunch the song matters more...but you're bringing up a perennial debate

but I also think your underestimating the general publics desire/knowledge for music of a higher sonic calibre

Goldfrapp write good tunes and their music sounds incredibly high fidelity...Sigur Ros, Ennio Morricone, Norah Jones, Led Zep...people like this music not only because of the song but because they are fantastic recordings, the sonics are PART of the song

There are great songs I don't really listen to because they've been recorded terribly...Daniel Johnston's 4 track stuff? Yucky.

Sonics for such bands go hand in hand with the material, the public know it, want it, and expect it.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
I actually think that perhaps it is only the AE, audiophiles, and a very few record companies that are truly concerned. The end user (consumer) will never get the chance to A/B and choose the sonically superior mix. They will either buy it or they won't: it is still the song that sells the music. The AE uses the best tools at hand and his/her skillset out of pride, convenience, and finances. It would be rare the AE who refused to record Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones all jamming with Jason Bonham simply because only Scotch cassette tape and a Radio Shack mixer were available. How about an impromptu Dire Straits reunion? Sorry, sonics be damned, song and performance rule unless something renders the recording so useless as to be unusable. Clearly this is an extreme example, and for most of us these will never be the tools at hand, but the point stands: the music matters more than we (Engineers and our tools) do.
I grow tired of thread latecomers who seem to gloss over the discussions only to add "hey guys, you're missing the point, it's the song, the song, THE SONG!"
we know, we know, WE KNOW!!!!!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis360 View Post
yup Capt Crunch the song matters more...but you're bringing up a perennial debate

but I also think your underestimating the general publics desire/knowledge for music of a higher sonic calibre

Goldfrapp write good tunes and their music sounds incredibly high fidelity...Sigur Ros, Ennio Morricone, Norah Jones, Led Zep...people like this music not only because of the song but because they are fantastic recordings, the sonics are PART of the song

There are great songs I don't really listen to because they've been recorded terribly...Daniel Johnston's 4 track stuff? Yucky.

Sonics for such bands go hand in hand with the material, the public know it, want it, and expect it.


Where is this apparent? Look at the charts. Look at the RIAA awards for what is selling. Look at Itunes and the MP3 explosion. There is no evidence that recording or playback quality usurps the consumer and gets him/her to purchase differently. Most peoples exposure to mass music is through some media association (TVs and movies), car radio, or friends. Can you really say there are more choices in live venues for music in your city than in the past? Music is portable, increasingly in the background for the majority, and fighting against other media for attention. The whole ITB/OTB is irrelevant to the consumer as they don't care and won't hear the sonically superior options. Dynamics, per the consumer, are for live performance, not the recorded medium. Try pushing a release with some retained dynamics; consumers want loud. There is no perennial debate. Engineers may debate the tools, but the end product serves the artist and their intended market.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
I grow tired of thread latecomers who seem to gloss over the discussions only to add "hey guys, you're missing the point, it's the song, the song, THE SONG!"
we know, we know, WE KNOW!!!!!

Considering there were no responses to the thread until yesterday, there are no latecomers. You can suppose all you want about the tools of the trade, and theorize about the applications of those tools, but the fact remains that as an engineer you serve the artist. You worrying over ITB/OTB and summing, etc...is, in fact, a tradesman's concern, not one of an artists'. If sound quality mattered, Studer would still be king and PT the hobbyists domain, SACD would be our delivery format instead of MP3, and real studios would be raising rates instead of shutting down.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
Considering there were no responses to the thread until yesterday, there are no latecomers. You can suppose all you want about the tools of the trade, and theorize about the applications of those tools, but the fact remains that as an engineer you serve the artist. You worrying over ITB/OTB and summing, etc...is, in fact, a tradesman's concern, not one of an artists'. If sound quality mattered, Studer would still be king and PT the hobbyists domain, SACD would be our delivery format instead of MP3, and real studios would be raising rates instead of shutting down.
OK, maybe you're not a latecomer, but you are defeatist. Hell I wouldn't care if the whole world managed to convince me they could care less about sound quality, I need to get a "vibe" off what I'm hearing out of my monitors if I'm to keep doing this gig. And besides, if I please me first, then maybe the artist and the guy who buys the record will get the "vibe" too.

Now you can't argue with that, cap'n...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post

>snip


Yep, print every channel of your analogue mix (incl eq, dynamics, fx, faders) to a separate digital track in the DAW and sum in the box! If you use busses and direct outs, you can do this in 1 or 2 passes.

The tracks could originate from the DAW (perhaps via 2" tape) so you get original files to edit (like the ITB guys). You can still do level automation (like the ITB guys), and, because you have every channel (incl separate fx returns and paralell comps) rendered as separate digital tracks, you have total recall (like the ITB guys).

In my other High End thread 100% analogue recall! there is a discussion regarding how some of us are going about this and how certain issues are handled, but I was surprised how most folks thought this method falls down significantly due to the fact that it misses out on "analogue summing". OK, so here's my headline:

--An analogue mix captured, summed and played back as 64 "stems" in the DAW sounds equal to if not better than an analogue mix captured, summed and played back as a L and R pair (ie, analogue summed) in the DAW.--

>snip

ANALOGUE FIGHTS BACK!

The archival nature of what you are saying is great, but I don't follow it RE: $$$. What I mean is, you are either running up the studio clock rate to achieve this on a limited per channel basis (ie the new API 1608) or are required to own an expensive large format console. This seems almost like a point of diminishing returns. Charles Dye has proven that a quality mix can be had ITB (even if you don't like the music, the man has talent) without summing. This has been my point which you glossed over in such a glib manner. The business interest of an engineer (and survival) is served in finding the balance between relative value of gear (in this case lower investment for ITB mixing) and the final product. The heavy hitter mix engineers have major investments in gear so they use it. Charles Dye et al... are but the vanguard of the next wave. The artist isn't served at all by high recoupables merely because engineers think extra gear will make something sound better/richer/deeper/wider. That cost has to be shouldered by someone. The artist will decide when good is good enough.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
CaptCrunch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
OK, maybe you're not a latecomer, but you are defeatist. Hell I wouldn't care if the whole world managed to convince me they could care less about sound quality, I need to get a "vibe" off what I'm hearing out of my monitors if I'm to keep doing this gig. And besides, if I please me first, then maybe the artist and the guy who buys the record will get the "vibe" too.

Now you can't argue with that, cap'n...
I am a realist and a capitalist. I too have major investments in gear hoping to bring about a better recording. In fact, just took delivery of two Fearn EQs (thanks Jonathan!). I simply believe the value is getting lost somewhere. The months spent tweaking vocals for Shania Twain is (to Mutt Lange) about getting a "better sound", and to him, that's valid because he has the gear/time/money to do that. But are most artists served by the gear brought to bear on records? Your engineering ears should be paid for the talent they bring to the table, yet that value is diminished when the tools become more fashionable than the results of the engineer. Is OTB mixing _that_ much better to justify the extra expense? In some cases, maybe so. The client will decide when it serves their purpose. How can you (as a for profit entity) justify an expensive tool that only sounds better under ideal conditions? That costs you $$$ and, as such, raises rates for your clients, or at the very least, may require additional time (client $$$) for you to process the channels if you have a smaller console. I'm as much a gearslut for great sounds, fantastic gear, and killer vibe as anyone (ask my wife!), but until there is a watershed event in music, it seems the only ones concerned enough to pay for quality are the engineers.
Old 24th August 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
I am a realist and a capitalist. I too have major investments in gear hoping to bring about a better recording. In fact, just took delivery of two Fearn EQs (thanks Jonathan!). I simply believe the value is getting lost somewhere. The months spent tweaking vocals for Shania Twain is (to Mutt Lange) about getting a "better sound", and to him, that's valid because he has the gear/time/money to do that. But are most artists served by the gear brought to bear on records? Your engineering ears should be paid for the talent they bring to the table, yet that value is diminished when the tools become more fashionable than the results of the engineer. Is OTB mixing _that_ much better to justify the extra expense? In some cases, maybe so. The client will decide when it serves their purpose. How can you (as a for profit entity) justify an expensive tool that only sounds better under ideal conditions? That costs you $$$ and, as such, raises rates for your clients, or at the very least, may require additional time (client $$$) for you to process the channels if you have a smaller console. I'm as much a gearslut for great sounds, fantastic gear, and killer vibe as anyone (ask my wife!), but until there is a watershed event in music, it seems the only ones concerned enough to pay for quality are the engineers.
Yep, let the client decide. And as long as they decide they like what I'm doing, whichever way I'm doing it, and as long as they are willing to pay the asking fee, then everybody's happy. Drop it cap'n, or move it into the Moan Zone...
Old 24th August 2007
  #29
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
The artist isn't served at all by high recoupables merely because engineers think extra gear will make something sound better/richer/deeper/wider.

that rather depends on the artist and his or her goals, no?

then there's the separate question of what actually serves the art.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 24th August 2007
  #30
What about us analog console/analog summing folks? We are responsible for all those classic records you love and compare against.

The third way = the original way.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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