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New way of using Toft ATB? Consoles
Old 6th January 2008
  #1
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

New way of using Toft ATB?

First a story. When I had a Trident Series 24, a TLM 071 chip based low-end Trident, I often used it to transfer tracks from my analog 2" to Protools. Normally I'd just patch the JH-24 output straight into my converters and go, but then once I tried running the outputs into the input channels of the Trident, then taking the direct outs into the converters. This sounded much better--warmer, more analog and also somehow more "correct".

So I'm curious if anyone might be willing to try an experiment with their ATB. Instead of running your DAW tracks into it and mixing there, instead try putting each channel of the ATB as an insert in your DAW session. Send a track to the ATB, then return it to the DAW from the direct out on the ATB. So in essence you're using the ATB's eq's and line-in mojo (if any), but summing in the neutral and headroom rich DAW environment. (just allow me the latter assumption for the sake of experimentation).

Of course you need a sufficient number of both inputs and outputs on your DAWs to do this.

Worth checking out?

-R
Old 6th January 2008
  #2
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animix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
First a story. When I had a Trident Series 24, a TLM 071 chip based low-end Trident, I often used it to transfer tracks from my analog 2" to Protools. Normally I'd just patch the JH-24 output straight into my converters and go, but then once I tried running the outputs into the input channels of the Trident, then taking the direct outs into the converters. This sounded much better--warmer, more analog and also somehow more "correct".

So I'm curious if anyone might be willing to try an experiment with their ATB. Instead of running your DAW tracks into it and mixing there, instead try putting each channel of the ATB as an insert in your DAW session. Send a track to the ATB, then return it to the DAW from the direct out on the ATB. So in essence you're using the ATB's eq's and line-in mojo (if any), but summing in the neutral and headroom rich DAW environment. (just allow me the latter assumption for the sake of experimentation).

Of course you need a sufficient number of both inputs and outputs on your DAWs to do this.

Worth checking out?

-R
Rick,

No ATB here but I've got enough AD/DA's and outboard processors here to have done pretty much what you're talking about on 26 channels of audio in 32-40 track mixes. 24 of the 26 AD/DA's are RME ADI 8-DS units. I've got a Mytek Stereo 96 AD and Stereo 96 DA that lives on the mix bus interfacing with a Portico 5042. The RME AD/DA's handle this scenario well, though there's always the possibility that a rack of Myteks or something higher end would yield something more sonically transparent, but since that's not really what I'm looking for when I interface outboard, I'll just say that, IMO, as long as you're interfacing with good circuits and properly gainstaged, you get the sonic mojo/3D vibe of those circuits. I've never felt like I needed to sum outside the box since I got the 5042. I do think that having a high end analog mixer has some definite advantages other than summing though and that's one reason I've been looking at the possible addition of an ATB or something similar.

Regards,
Old 6th January 2008
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animix View Post
I do think that having a high end analog mixer has some definite advantages other than summing though and that's one reason I've been looking at the possible addition of an ATB or something similar.

Regards,
yeah, I'm still entertaining the idea of the Toft working as an outboard rack of eq's and analog mojo-izer. Maybe I'd have the faders disabled so I wouldn't be tempted to use them, LOL.

-R
Old 25th July 2008
  #4
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BradM's Avatar
I wanted to revitalize this thread because I think what you are describing is exactly how I'd like to use my DAW and analog gear. I'm perfectly content with the mixing, summing, and monitor mix capabilities of my DAW. I add color to the 2-mix outputs via preamps, EQ's, and tape decks hanging off the main outs.

What I do feel is lacking in the marketplace for the modern hybrid studio is a means to control and route analog signals to and from the DAW and outboard gear in the tracking and mixing modes that is NOT a traditional console. Like myself I'm sure there are many people using a DAW to capture audio and they want to interface their racks of outboard (connected to patchbays) to their AD and DA converters in a way that allows them to switch between tracking and mixing configurations. In a tracking configuration you may want to send a preamp output to a compressor to a tape deck and then to A/D. In mixing you may want to employ a hardware insert that sends signal to a compressor, EQ, and then back to the computer.

I have some very specific ideas about what such a product would do and not do and I think it would be a cost-effective problem solver for a lot of guys living in a hybrid world. For starters it doesn't have to be a mixing console. It could. Or perhaps be expanded to have that functionality. But with a basic feature set it could simply be a user-configurable signal router/switcher.

I think I'll start another thread in the near future to outline more details and thoughts.

Brad
Old 25th July 2008
  #5
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Isn't that kind of the idea behind the SSL Matrix...?
Old 25th July 2008
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrne View Post
Isn't that kind of the idea behind the SSL Matrix...?
i believe so, line inputs and the faders control daw.
Old 25th July 2008
  #7
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BradM's Avatar
I'm sure the Matrix probably does what I'm describing. But I'm talking about something that is all analog and is less than $5k.

Brad
Old 25th July 2008
  #8
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I'm sure the Matrix probably does what I'm describing. But I'm talking about something that is all analog and is less than $5k.

Brad
Then, you're describing the Toft ATB console. (Also gives you room to grow, evolve and change the way you work down the road.)

-a
Old 26th July 2008
  #9
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I've looked at the Toft and you are right, in some ways it does what I'm talking about, but not exactly the way I'm envisioning it...at least for my needs. I'm thinking of something with a smaller footprint and less of a "mixer" topology.

I'm in the process of drawing up some block diagrams. I'll have to post them when I've got something concrete. I have read though the literature for a number of consoles out there and the closest things I've found are the Speck Lilo, Speck Xtramix, and the Toft ATB. However, none of those are 100% what I'm looking for, although the Lilo comes close.

Brad
Old 26th July 2008
  #10
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Would you guys really want to use an ATB for this, though? I mean, from what I've seen here inasfar as a lot of comments go, is that it sounds very good, but they seem to have a lot of build or reliability issues.
Old 26th July 2008
  #11
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Originally Posted by DesertDawg View Post
Would you guys really want to use an ATB for this, though? I mean, from what I've seen here inasfar as a lot of comments go, is that it sounds very good, but they seem to have a lot of build or reliability issues.
The biggest issue of them all is the 2bus mushy smear of your entire mix. The EQs are pretty close to a real 80b though.
Old 26th July 2008
  #12
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
The biggest issue of them all is the 2bus mushy smear of your entire mix. The EQs are pretty close to a real 80b though.
Do you own one?


-andrews
Old 26th July 2008
  #13
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NoEgo's Avatar
I have a ATB32
It doesn't have build issues anymore. There were a lot of units given at a very reasonable price to a whole lot of people as a pilot project. These people got a good deal to be part of the pre release. The idea was to get all the bugs out, because it was the first time this type or quality of board was made in this price range.

I have had no issues with mine. Other than grounding, but that is because of the way it is built, and wouldn't be any different with a Trident or the like. I just had to ground my racks and any other exterior equipment. It was a first for me, after years with 48 channels of Mackie 8 buss, so it took some work but it seems to be fine now.

I run all outdoor pres and occasionally the Toft pres, and use the Toft for mixdown.
I think to answer the OP, I like to have the sound of those individual pres for whatever particular source I am recording. I often thought of running it through the Toft, but it will definitely add noise every time you run through. I feel that once on return with the ability to run my outboard at the same time, compressors, verb, delays etc, is enough to warm up and glue things.
Then again, I have been at this for so long, I like the tactile feel of real faders, and pots
and maybe that is just me. The advantage is you have a push pull arangement with having a fader in the box and another outside the box, as it gives you input before fader and output after fader adjustments for more precise signal gain staging.
I also only like a few plug ins on the market. Don't get me wrong, I have been using a DAW for about 15 years now, it's not new to me. I just like the sound of a circuit more than an emulation.
Lastly...mushy 2 buss? huh? I am not sure what that means. What levels are you riding sage? Just curious. I am not sure if I am on track here, but I find, everyone wants to master at the mix stage when it comes to out of the box. Maybe I am off base and I apologize if I am, but levels are levels. I don't slam anything in a mix just glue it with compressors, eq whatever, Then the 2 track print of that can be dealt with for final levels and comp and eq to bring it to what ever it needs to be finalized......just my opinion.
Old 28th July 2008
  #14
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Quote:
I'm thinking of something with a smaller footprint and less of a "mixer" topology.
It sounds like Phoenix's Nicerizer 8 may be along the lines of what you're looking for...if it's still available...
Old 28th July 2008
  #15
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NoEgo's Avatar
He needs inserts though. For outboard, unless I am misunderstanding.
Old 28th July 2008
  #16
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BradM's Avatar
You know I was looking at the SSL Matrix info again and it seems that the way they have organized the analog sections of the board is mostly what I'm talking about. The key thing is that it needs a second switchable insert. So start with a Matrix, lose the DAW control part, add a second switchable insert (in other words, double the matrix router input/outputs), and simplify the master section, and you'd just about have what I think would be a great product that could maybe sit at a really affordable price point.

Brad
Old 28th July 2008
  #17
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NoEgo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
You know I was looking at the SSL Matrix info again and it seems that the way they have organized the analog sections of the board is mostly what I'm talking about. The key thing is that it needs a second switchable insert. So start with a Matrix, lose the DAW control part, add a second switchable insert (in other words, double the matrix router input/outputs), and simplify the master section, and you'd just about have what I think would be a great product that could maybe sit at a really affordable price point.

Brad
You know I have thought about this for years. Why don't they just put inserts and sends in interfaces, so you can run analogue gear as well. Done right?
Old 28th July 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
The biggest issue of them all is the 2bus mushy smear of your entire mix. The EQs are pretty close to a real 80b though.
Do the 2 mids bands interact as well?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th July 2008
  #19
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoEgo View Post
You know I have thought about this for years. Why don't they just put inserts and sends in interfaces, so you can run analogue gear as well. Done right?

YES! Exactly! Thank you. Just make the damn DAW audio interface have an analog send/return section that can replace a patchbay. Make it a separate box if you have to. MOTU put an insert send on two inputs of their new 828Mk3...baby steps I guess.

Brad
Old 28th July 2008
  #20
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

BTW, the Toft 2-buss is great and can be even better.

Can't help but notice that "Sage691" hasn't been able to answer my question about whether he's even USED the Toft ATB console when he claims the 2-buss is mushy... perhaps defending his own 80B?

I'm guessing he at best used a "friends" and came to this conclusion upon this in-depth experience.

Funny thing, people assuming new gear isn't as good or "If it isn't expensive, it must not be good," or dare I say the "defend your own gear" agenda.


-andrews
Old 28th July 2008
  #21
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I think a few of the new A range strips would be good for this kind of thing as they have inserts built in.
Old 29th July 2008
  #22
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Hey guys,

We have been vocal about the A- Range modules coming soon. We are in the process of getting about 6 pre-production units to send out to our beta testers for final approval and or tweaking.... So these will be available in 5 to 6 months if all goes without problems.

Malcolm is also in the final stages of a new console that while I do not want to reveal just now, but may fit this bill.... When we get closer, we will release details on this new console. The prototype is just now getting ready to be built up for testing....but I hear what you guys are looking for.
Old 29th July 2008
  #23
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Please consider...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhyatt View Post
Hey guys,

We have been vocal about the A- Range modules coming soon. We are in the process of getting about 6 pre-production units to send out to our beta testers for final approval and or tweaking.... So these will be available in 5 to 6 months if all goes without problems.

Malcolm is also in the final stages of a new console that while I do not want to reveal just now, but may fit this bill.... When we get closer, we will release details on this new console. The prototype is just now getting ready to be built up for testing....but I hear what you guys are looking for.
Alan,

As you know, I have been a big and positive public supportive of you and your TOFT ATB because it is well deserved.

Additionally, I think there is no denying that PMI has benefitted greatly from GearSlutlz for marketing (but as a mutually beneficial resource).

My ONE word of advice or request would be: Please make sure the upcoming console and other products are truly ready when you let us know. I know there are benefits to be had on both ends by beta testing, etc., but there is a fine line that turns into virtual "vapor-ware" feeling experiences with products that end up being a year delayed or so. The meter bridge being a frustrating example for all of us (you included).

So please, I say from a caring place and hope you take it into consideration.

-andrews
Old 29th July 2008
  #24
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Ya Think! Not meant to sound disrespectful...

That is why I am keeping my mouth shut on any details....but we are working on several new exciting projects....
Old 29th July 2008
  #25
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BradM's Avatar
Hey Alan,

If I may throw my two cents into the mix for new console design...

1. Have dual line inputs on each channel: one for mic pre outputs and the second for DAW D/A outputs.

2. Please have two separate sets of fullly balanced inserts (separate send and return) that are switchable from the console. Allow the aux sends to be configured pre or post insert #2. Have the direct channel output be located post insert #2, but configurable to be pre-fader as well so that the faders could be used to create the control room mix independent of what is being sent to the DAW. The thought here is that insert #1 would be wired upto a patchbay that has compressors and EQ's in it. Then insert #2 would be wired upto an analog tape deck (some of us use them still!). So you could create a monitor mix via the aux sends that includes the outboard gear in the rack, but not the tape deck. Why? Because the output of the tape deck is being sent to the DAW's A/D and it has a delay from record to repro head. In other words I want to send the tape repro output to the DAW for capture, but monitor the tape deck input. The DAW is configured to automatically align the tape deck tracks with the direct-to-disk tracks. I think more of us would be using our tape decks if our consoles were set up to allow them to be incorporated into the modern world of DAW's.

Feel free to contact me offline if you'd like more input. I can supply signal flow diagrams about what I am talking about.

thanks for listening,
Brad
Old 30th July 2008
  #26
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Hey guys,

I am listening, but will not reveal details. This unit is pretty much design done. It is going into prototype. I still encourage you to send us ideas for anything you are thinking about as you never know when it becomes a product
Old 30th July 2008
  #27
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BradM's Avatar
Fair enough. Can you reveal the color? heh

2009 is looking to be the year of the console...

thanks again,
Brad
Old 30th July 2008
  #28
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhyatt View Post
Ya Think! Not meant to sound disrespectful...

That is why I am keeping my mouth shut on any details....but we are working on several new exciting projects....
Wow, that IS disrespectful, especially considering the amount of goodwill I've supported you with.

"Ya think!" Huh? You say that as if it is obvious to you... uh, it may be now, but it WASN'T and I can drudge up plenty of threads to support that.

I tried to be constructive with you and was met with this dick sarcasm.tutt

Losing a fan...

-andrews
Old 30th July 2008
  #29
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
Wow, that IS disrespectful, especially considering the amount of goodwill I've supported you with.

"Ya think!" Huh? You say that as if it is obvious to you... uh, it may be now, but it WASN'T and I can drudge up plenty of threads to support that.

I tried to be constructive with you and was met with this dick sarcasm.tutt

Losing a fan...

-andrews
I think Alan was agreeing with you, especially after having his head handed to him on several occasions here. It's a New York kinda humor.
Old 30th July 2008
  #30
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animix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoEgo View Post
You know I have thought about this for years. Why don't they just put inserts and sends in interfaces, so you can run analogue gear as well. Done right?
I am interfacing 44 AD's and 44 DA's here so that I can do exactly this. I've got 20 outboard preamps intetrfaced with 20 of the AD's. I've got the rest interfaced with outboard processors. I just insert the preamp and/or outboard processors as inputs/channel inserts wherever I want them. No more hassles with patchbays either. Everything is directly patched to it's own AD or AD/DA and all patching is done in the DAW mixer interface.
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