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Stupid question about ITB mixing in Pro Tools
Old 18th May 2006
  #1
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Stupid question about ITB mixing in Pro Tools

I'm not sure I exactly understand what many of the people on this forum mean specificly by "in the box" mixing.

Does ITB mean that the "bounce to disk" feature in Pro Tools software is used to make the final 2 track mix ?

Or does it simply mean that no external analog mixer is used ?

I'm curious because I've stated MANY times on this forum that I am unsatisfied with my ITB mixes when I try them out on consumer systems. I have been using the "bounce to disk" feature in Pro Tools and this is what I mean by ITB.

I would think that much better results could be acheived running my Apogee AD-8000's 2 balanced analog outs to a 1/2" tape machine, or even a 24 bit DAT ?

But would this still be considered mixing ITB ?
Old 18th May 2006
  #2
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ramjet's Avatar
 

my understanding is that no external mixer is used

cheers
Old 18th May 2006
  #3
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mixerguy's Avatar
mixing ITB just means no analog console (or summing box) for summing.

If you bounce to disc or record the mix to an audio track within PT - (or even go out 2 tracks to record somewhere else.... ) you are still summing the tracks ITB - thus mixing ITB.



maybe if your mixes are bad - you are the weak link?

and.... have you ever mixed on a real analog console?

and... analog summing can change the way things sound - sometimes for the better - in my opinion.

Old 18th May 2006
  #4
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
...... (snip)..... I would think that much better results could be acheived running my Apogee AD-8000's 2 balanced analog outs to a 1/2" tape machine, or even a 24 bit DAT ?

But would this still be considered mixing ITB ?
No - marginally better results - maybe.

and no - you are still mixing ITB.
Old 18th May 2006
  #5
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Thanks !


Well, if this is the case then my problem might not be as bad as I thought. I use both JBL LSR32's (powered by a QSC RMX2450 amp) and Genelec 1029As, and my mixes are SMOKIN in the studio. Not exactly as perfect as I'd want them to be, but definitely good enough to get my blood pumping!

It's only when I use the PT "bounce to disk" feature that all the life seems to be taken out of the mixes, ESPECIALLY the more complex heavy sounding stuff.

Perhaps mixing ITB will suit my needs alot better if I just avoid this feature in PT.

Maybe a good analog summing box (dangerous 2 bus ?) going to 1/2" tape would nullify the need for me to get that expensive vintage analog console ??
Old 18th May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
Hey MixerGuy,



Yes, I've mixed on a Mackie 32X8 w/ 24 E (56 ch.) before. I hated the mic pres for recording, but for mixing it was much better feeling than ITB for me.

I mixed a record of mine on that board that sold very well over the web and got many great reviews in a bunch of fanzines. Most were schocked that I was an unsigned artist at that time, because the quality of the record stands up against major label stuff.

This new record is much better. The ITB mixes sound good to most people, but I am not satisfied with them. Me the weak link ? Hardly. I'm an artist/performer, not a tech. I've become an engineer out of necessity, not choice

ITB is just flat and sterile. The automation in PT is a joke to me, and very confusing. Mixing is like playing an instrument. I like to mix dynamically live, so having real faders and knobs is just as important as great EQs and Mic Pres.

I keep trying to find a way to talk myself out of buying the high-end analog console, but I doubt I will succeed.

No record I admire was mixed ITB. ALL were on analog boards. But many have been tracked digital, then mixed down analog.
Old 18th May 2006
  #7
bhp
Gear Nut
 

"Bounce to disk" is part of your problem. Never use this feature.
Instead, set up a bus path for your stereo mix or use the AD 8000 to turn the mix around, the main output is the input for your mix audio track. Be careful not to loop and feedback, keep the stereo mix audio track muted while recording or on input.
Old 18th May 2006
  #8
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GYang's Avatar
Bounce to disk kills ITB mix finally, but if you don't dig 2d flatness of typical mix you get on PT you're probably in same boat as I was several years ago.
Yes, you can improve your skills and make ITB mixes betters, you can polish plug-in usage and make things sound more pleasant and wider.
But finally you'll need to GET OUT OF THE BOX.
Sorry, but no other way for the time being.
Than you'll start to add analogue processing (say - analogue compressors and limiters, sum to tape) and various paths to add what disappeared ITB.
Still no full satisfaction.
Summing and processing hand in hand is key. Not one without another.
So, question is simply are you ready to spend your time, money, energy etc. to put all that together and reach the target. From my experience don't expect to do it with less than 30k, 50k is more realistic. Add 1-2 years to digest all.
In real situation it makes real, very concrete difference, mixes are undoubtly better and we don't talk about imagination and some nuances.
Some gearslutzs could add that you might need high-end analogue console or analogue multitrack machine. I don't agree. It can be done that way, but not necessary.
So, before spending much more time and money with doing some partial and compromising steps, think about your targets in music production and it might be cheaper just to make tracking and editing in PT and to bring submix stems to studio with good analogue gears and good engineers. You'll get better, faster and cheaper results by doing that way, but you'll probably miss the pleasure of doing this by yourself (as real gearslutz).

Anyway goodluck.
Old 18th May 2006
  #9
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691


Well, if this is the case then my problem might not be as bad as I thought. I use both JBL LSR32's (powered by a QSC RMX2450 amp) and Genelec 1029As, and my mixes are SMOKIN in the studio. Not exactly as perfect as I'd want them to be, but definitely good enough to get my blood pumping!
How loud do you mix? Maybe some Fletcher/Munson/Robinson/Dadson effect happening?
Old 18th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
If you don't use "bounce to disk", and just run it back into the same session as a 2mix, you still have to bounce it to disk to get it down to 16bit...

I guess you mean have a mastering engineer do this...
Old 18th May 2006
  #11
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espasonico's Avatar
 

I don´t understand why everybody says how bad is bouncing. I have bounced and after that I have recorded thru S/PDIF, time align the 2 mixes, flip polarity and it cancels !!

I have tried that on a PC PTLE system with an Apogee Rosetta 200.

Any comments?
Old 19th May 2006
  #12
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
I used to get so frustrated using bounce to disk in PT, but it was simply because I was overlimiting and getting pumping artifacts. Once I learned some basic proper gainstaging, eq'ing, and 2-buss processing techniques, I quickly eliminated any audible difference in my bounced to disk two track mix and the 24 bit multi-track mix...and my mixes are louder now as well. When it comes to dynamics, the better you are at eq'ing a mix, the more transparent your limiting, and the more of it you can apply to your master bus. Perhaps you are trying to make your mix as loud as possible and squashing it from 3d to 2d?

It is so easy to blame the gear, especially here on gearslutz, but I'm willing to bet if you pull the faders back and apply no more than 4 db's of gain reduction on your master bus, you will hear a marked improvement.


-Chris
Old 19th May 2006
  #13
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Bounce to disc is exactly the same as going out digitally or using busses or whatever, I'm so bored of hearing that it changes something...It sounds identical to my monitoring throughout the entire mix (on my HD system at least). This is the whole point of using digital...numbers are numbers.
Bounce away.
-Brian
Old 19th May 2006
  #14
TML
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpatural
Bounce to disc is exactly the same as going out digitally or using busses or whatever, I'm so bored of hearing that it changes something...It sounds identical to my monitoring throughout the entire mix (on my HD system at least). This is the whole point of using digital...numbers are numbers.
Bounce away.
-Brian
I dunno...when I've printed a mix to a masterlink using their internal converters.....there's always more spread width wise and the base seems more complete in the first 2 octaves ymmv
Tim
Old 19th May 2006
  #15
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Well, thats going from numbers to signal to numbers again. I'm talking about about when bouncing/bussing/digital in out.
-brian
Old 19th May 2006
  #16
MWP
Gear Maniac
 

I'm still a novice using pro tools, but I do agree with what Chris said. I noticed a great improvement when I lowered the faders.

MWP
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