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ITB with slutty outboard???
Old 4th July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
StefanM's Avatar
 

ITB with slutty outboard???

Hello all,
we had lots of discussion about mixing ITB latelely - and I do not want to open this can of worms again...yet I'd like to discuss a slightly different approach.
I will have to move around europe in the years to come and therefore I can not keep a large format console. So I had following idea: Keep my Nuendo rig with Mackie HUI _and_ keep my various outboard. (for example: dbx160xt, aphex 651, 700, 320, Lexicon PCM41, 81, 480L, tc 6000, M5000, 1140, KlarkTeknik DN410, ValleyPeople 440, Crane Song STC-8 etc........ pieces I really like very much) I would connect all these outboard devices directly to my audio interfaces and define them as "external plug ins" in Nuendo.
In your opinion will this make it possible to still make quality mixes - or is it not very much better compared to ITB with software plug ins?

Thanks for your input.
Stefan
Old 4th July 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM
Hello all,
we had lots of discussion about mixing ITB latelely - and I do not want to open this can of worms again...yet I'd like to discuss a slightly different approach.
I will have to move around europe in the years to come and therefore I can not keep a large format console. So I had following idea: Keep my Nuendo rig with Mackie HUI _and_ keep my various outboard. (for example: dbx160xt, aphex 651, 700, 320, Lexicon PCM41, 81, 480L, tc 6000, M5000, 1140, KlarkTeknik DN410, ValleyPeople 440, Crane Song STC-8 etc........ pieces I really like very much) I would connect all these outboard devices directly to my audio interfaces and define them as "external plug ins" in Nuendo.
In your opinion will this make it possible to still make quality mixes - or is it not very much better compared to ITB with software plug ins?

Thanks for your input.
Stefan
This is part of how I work. The day has yet to come that I like compression of f.e. a rock bass guitar with a plug in...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 4th July 2005
  #3
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Tetness's Avatar
You have some very slutty outboard. I think you'll be in good hands with that setup. I've been doing pretty much the same in Logic. I am using more and more outboard. My next purchase is a 480L, then a summing mixer. After that, 1" tape machine. Cheers!
Old 5th July 2005
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

at the risk of being a nasty tease, i am about to post the results of my first nicerizer mix vs. ITB. it is my hope, delusional bipolar that i am, that it will finally put to rest any fantasies that itb can come remotely close to analog summing.

please, i beg of you, stick the $80 'audio control module' from niche in your rack, 1RU of passive summing that blows away itb.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 5th July 2005
  #5
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blaugruen7's Avatar
ubik,
GO FOR IT!!!!

i am the first one who will listen to it.
Old 5th July 2005
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
StefanM's Avatar
 

o.k. I guess we agree that using quality and/or character outboard might give better results then using plug ins...
but: connecting my outboard leaves me with only 4 free stereo pairs of analogue outputs from my DAW. Is it worth using so little outputs for analogue summing???
Where would you see the threshold for this? Each signal needs a dedicated output?
Stereo subgroups? Thanks for your input...I will sum it in my head (analogue!)

Stefan
Old 5th July 2005
  #7
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Hi Stefan.

This is EXACTLY how I work. Since Nuendo has added the External Plug in option (with full delay compensation PT boys!) I have the best of all worlds.

Last week I was forced to Mix on a big Digital SSL and it took my twice as long and sounded half as good ;-)

I suppose the only improvement could be by using a valve summing buss with some stems going into it, but to be honest inserting an analog comp on the Master out widens the stereo image and adds a "summed"feel to it.
Old 5th July 2005
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Remember converters though guys.. each time it goes down then back up you are loosing some quality... Though not that much with good converters
Old 5th July 2005
  #9
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Yeah forgot about that converter side of things.

Apogee and RME on duty at the momment.

Modern cheap stuff is getting pretty good as well.
Old 5th July 2005
  #10
84K
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84K's Avatar
The main problem for me with ITB mixing is compression. There are not many great compressors in the digital domain. Sony Oxford is the best I have heard to date, but not many others in that league. If you use 2-mix compression, definitely use an outboard compressor (SSL, C2, Atomic Squeezebox, 162, etc.). thumbsup
Old 5th July 2005
  #11
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Since inserting the SSL G384 on the master buss I have stopped using Plug in comps on the 2-Buss.

Still use a bit of UAD on individual cahnnels (1176, la2a etc)
Old 5th July 2005
  #12
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

It seems indeed like you can go out and in with good convertors - even a couple of times - without perceivable loss.

Ruphus
Old 5th July 2005
  #13
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
It seems indeed like you can go out and in with good convertors - even a couple of times - without perceivable loss.

Ruphus
Yeah, try some blind testing for yourself and see if you can pick the difference going out and in again. In my opinion the added benefit of the outboard comps outweighs the loss, if even noticable, big time.

Remember, a lot of stuff is now recorded directly to harddisk, or transfered to harddisk and then through DA's mixed on an analoge desk. So basically there's at least one DA conversion on each channel....

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 5th July 2005
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM
Hello all,
we had lots of discussion about mixing ITB latelely - and I do not want to open this can of worms again...yet I'd like to discuss a slightly different approach.
I will have to move around europe in the years to come and therefore I can not keep a large format console. So I had following idea: Keep my Nuendo rig with Mackie HUI _and_ keep my various outboard. (for example: dbx160xt, aphex 651, 700, 320, Lexicon PCM41, 81, 480L, tc 6000, M5000, 1140, KlarkTeknik DN410, ValleyPeople 440, Crane Song STC-8 etc........ pieces I really like very much) I would connect all these outboard devices directly to my audio interfaces and define them as "external plug ins" in Nuendo.
In your opinion will this make it possible to still make quality mixes - or is it not very much better compared to ITB with software plug ins?

Thanks for your input.
Stefan
I do this, been doing it since '97, works great on my old PT Mix 4 system.
If you can't make a good record on this system, give up immediately.



cheers,
spacewars
Old 5th July 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

You guys seem to mention only comps, but with my trials it appears like outboard EQ would be doing good too. It had been written somewhere that one should at best try to use the DAW only as a recorder. So with the last mix I tried going that path as much as possible. It seems like I can do slightly better with my cheapo TC 2240 than with software. Don´t have the top notch EQs like the Sony e.g., but the EQs in Samplitude while being of the neutral kind must belong to the better ones in the SW world and I get better results with the TC.
I´m can imagine how even better EQ s would work in comparison to SW.

Aside from the circumstance that turning knobs is so much more fun than using the mouse.

Ruphus
Old 5th July 2005
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Yeah, try some blind testing for yourself and see if you can pick the difference going out and in again. In my opinion the added benefit of the outboard comps outweighs the loss, if even noticable, big time.

Remember, a lot of stuff is now recorded directly to harddisk, or transfered to harddisk and then through DA's mixed on an analoge desk. So basically there's at least one DA conversion on each channel....

Greetings,
Dirk
I gotta disagree with you guys but you definitely hear the conversions the second time.

You also lose the depth and size.

The sounds become more converted sounding.

I hear it alot on the Digi 192 converters.

They are pretty flat sounding and the sound gets extra flat sounding when you reconvert it.

On an analog mixing console you have one conversion that should stay analog all the way through until mastering.

Only exceptions being digital processing like effects.

But even those you learn to live with the sound the converters induce.
Old 5th July 2005
  #17
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Not to appear smart, but I´d like to hear what you would find when trying that with the Lavrys.
I remember a guy who tried the loop for x times and yet couldn´t discern the files. Havn´t gone so far myself, but couldn´t make out any degradation so far with post treatment.
maybe I should set up a test for us to try ...

Ruphus
Old 5th July 2005
  #18
good quality switcher or patchbay. soundgeneration and treatment otb. good converters (duh). panning edititing recording itb. works for me.

tape is back I read. Do I have to learn cutting it?
Old 5th July 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
., but the EQs in Samplitude while being of the neutral kind must belong to the better ones in the SW world and I get better results with the TC.
Ruphus
Try the PSP MasterQ.....KILLS the samp stock eq's. YMMV
Old 5th July 2005
  #20
Gear Addict
I cant hear a quality drop with an extra conversion using inserts.
Old 5th July 2005
  #21
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Thank you sincerely for the tip Teacher, but I´m currently trying to do as much as possible per outboard. That might change some day again though.

I have prepared a listening test and I hope Thethrillfactor might appreciate it too.
Was intending to make a dozen or so cycles, however I hadn´t been thinking of that me gainstaged the chain lately so that the Lavry won´t give you same volume back. They way it is set up the volume lessens by 0,2 dB each time.
That means I had to raise the playback channel in the DAW for a corresponding amount and that the convertor couldn´t have exactly back what it had reproduced before.
So for the skewed practice I let the poor box alone after "only" 6 generations.

The files are 96k at 16 bit, thus very short, but you can loop it and it should work somehow.

So, one of these is the first bounce and the other is from 6 generations later, you guys tell me which is which.


Ruphus

PS: BTW, Teacher, I´m having a new Samplitude bug. The master gets bypassed at bounce. Works out to the soundcard, but not at bounce. Also won´t accept any settings on the master menue. ( You know, where you can set options like bypass FX on master etc. ) Got an idea?
Attached Files

Loop1.WAV (5.06 MB, 107 views)

Loop2.WAV (5.06 MB, 207 views)

Old 5th July 2005
  #22
84K
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84K's Avatar
Not to go off the subject, but Plugin EQs are better then the compressors.

Great Plugin EQ's:

Hydra Tone
Oxford GML
GML (other then the ambiguously gay graphic) tutt
Filterbank
The EQ section of Channel G

So-So EQ's:

BF Pultecs
Everything URS


Between all of those, there are plenty of ways to skin the cat (EQ-wise)
Old 5th July 2005
  #23
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM
connecting my outboard leaves me with only 4 free stereo pairs of analogue outputs from my DAW. Is it worth using so little outputs for analogue summing???Stefan

you guys are all talkin' my language!

stefan, analog summing of 4 stereo pairs makes all the difference in the world.

these are my stems:

- drum and bass
- guitars
- synths
- vocals and effects

dividing things that way means that my daw submixes as little as possible, and what little summing it does tends to be spread out left to right, while the nicerizer takes care of the front to back stacking and thus preserves all my depth. depth and width are the first things to fly out the window on itb mixes.

but with all your gear, why would you bring things back into the box? why not go daw->outboard->summing? the audio control module i mentioned allows you to do analog volume automation via midi, and it's zipper-free.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 6th July 2005
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
Not to appear smart, but I´d like to hear what you would find when trying that with the Lavrys.
I remember a guy who tried the loop for x times and yet couldn´t discern the files. Havn´t gone so far myself, but couldn´t make out any degradation so far with post treatment.
maybe I should set up a test for us to try ...

Ruphus

Hi,

There are 2 issues at work:

1)Processing in the analog domain

2)How the outboard gets loaded from a console as opposed to a converter.

On the first i am speaking of analog processing across a whole bunch of tracks(24-48) not just 2.

And on the latter a lot of the classic outboard are not used to seeing the load that a converter puts out,

Its used to seeing something more like itself.

That takes some experimentation.

Which is part of how you develop your pallete of sounds.

How different gear interacts with each other.
Old 6th July 2005
  #25
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turk sanchez's Avatar
Would it be worth it to send 4 stereo stems to a Mackie Onyx from a 002 rack and then print the mix on a stereo track in PT? I don't have the outboard...but I could send each stem thru an aux and insert comps/eq or whatever in the box.
Old 6th July 2005
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanM
(snip)... pieces I really like very much. I would connect all these outboard devices directly to my audio interfaces and define them as "external plug ins" in Nuendo...(snip)...In your opinion will this make it possible to still make quality mixes - or is it not very much better compared to ITB with software plug ins?
that's what i'm doing now w/PT - and the diff. between outboard vs. ITB is huge, and that's with 192s.

i agree with thrill that going out/in & out again definitely starts taking it's toll, so i'm looking forward to switching to 16Xs soon + an analog board - can hardly wait!

but even with this triple conversion process through 192s, i end up inserting analog stuff every opportunity i get (eq,comps, verb, even DDL, everything!).

sony plugs are cool though (except the EQ, which IMHO is ok at best). hydratone rocks, but RTAS only and a hog. hope this helps some.
Old 6th July 2005
  #27
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Hi,


And on the latter a lot of the classic outboard are not used to seeing the load that a converter puts out,
How so? The outboard gear doesn't know it's a converter, it just sees an analog signal. Is there an impedance difference? What's the difference between that and the signal it sees, say, from a tape deck or console insert? And for that matter, if you're going from the analog device to a summing box rather than back into a converter, the analog device is still seeing the same load from the converter, right?

I go in and out of my 192's all day and it seems very transparent to my ears.

-R
Old 6th July 2005
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
How so? The outboard gear doesn't know it's a converter, it just sees an analog signal. Is there an impedance difference? What's the difference between that and the signal it sees, say, from a tape deck or console insert? And for that matter, if you're going from the analog device to a summing box rather than back into a converter, the analog device is still seeing the same load from the converter, right?
i don't think it's a matter of what the analog device 'sees' in this case - the converter adds it's own color to it, pleasing or displeasing, as does a console, digital or analog. it's just a matter of choosing what you prefer.

Quote:
I go in and out of my 192's all day and it seems very transparent to my ears.

-R
do an A/B - i think you'll notice a difference. even with an AMS verb, which is grainy and '****ty' sounding (in a very cool way), it gets weird to me going ITB and out again. for some things it may actually be cool. i kind of liked it with an AMS-DMX last night for example, but i'd have to compare (when i get the board) to make a decision on that one. for now, i have no choice.
Old 6th July 2005
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
How so? The outboard gear doesn't know it's a converter, it just sees an analog signal.

A lot of the converter technology in use today has been developed in the last decade and a half.

They are designed for a different purpose than they were lets say in the 80's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
Is there an impedance difference?.
Sometimes.

The differences differ from gear to gear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman

What's the difference between that and the signal it sees, say, from a tape deck or console insert?
Same as above.


I have and will always patch a tape output into a processor but i never use inserts.

To me there is a difference sonically in the way things load when chained together.

Big difference than using inserts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
And for that matter, if you're going from the analog device to a summing box rather than back into a converter, the analog device is still seeing the same load from the converter, right?
Again alot of these summers are designed to pair up with the modern converters.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman

I go in and out of my 192's all day and it seems very transparent to my ears.

-R

As long as you are happy with what you are doing that's what should count to you.

To me the 192 converters flatten and dull out the sound.

It makes the sounds to me very 2 dimensional.

You have to work really hard in the analog domain to give the tracks size and character and they still end up sounding glossy and very 2D.
Old 6th July 2005
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I have and will always patch a tape output into a processor but i never use inserts.

To me there is a difference sonically in the way things load when chained together.

Big difference than using inserts.
hey thrill, could this have anything to do with some desks' inserts being unbalanced? i haven't mixed with an analog board in awhile, but when i get mine one of the 1st things i'm gonna try is inserts vs. direct ins.
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