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Some please explain "mixing out of the box"
Old 2nd August 2005
  #1
Gear Head
 

Some please explain "mixing out of the box"

Hello,

I have a Soundcraft M12 that has 16 channels total (12 Mono 4 stereo) and a Laya that has 8 in 10 out (2 are mon. sends). With this set up, can someone please explain mixing "outside the box" to me? do i record the direct out then send the signal back through the board?? help

justin
Old 2nd August 2005
  #2
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

route track outputs to the hardware outs of the layla. bring these back on your mixer, and then mix away!

if you're using more than 10 tracks, you'll have to submix some in the box. you might try submixing drums and/or guitars--it will all depend on your track count.

do the same mix both ways, and see which one a) gives the better sonic result and b) makes for the easiest way for you to work.

--jon
Old 3rd August 2005
  #3
Gear Head
 

hmm, i see. So, I could technically run the outs through the board (alteit some submixed) and back in to the computer? I am so confused, maybe i would be better off mixing inside the box.

justin
Old 3rd August 2005
  #4
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SparkyCanada's Avatar
If you take the outs from your Layla into your board - do the mix on your board & only send a stereo mix to either your computer or another recording device.

Hope this is helpful...

SparkyCanada
Old 3rd August 2005
  #5
The point of mixing 'out of the box' (usually done via an analog board) for some combination of:

- to aquire the "warmth" (flattering/desirable distortion) of analog circuitry (some people will tell you simply running a signal through certain brands of channel strip, say Neve, will impart a magical presence to the sound).

- to use hardware FX like compressors and EQ that impart a particular character (flattering distortion) to the sound (often -- but not limited to -- classy tube/FET/other gear).

- to avoid perceived negative effects of digital summing in DAW software. Obviously, this is one place where running through an outboard digital board would presumably have little positive value -- unless one believed that the summing algorithms employed by the digital mixer were superior to those of one's softare.


I actually started out mixing 'out the box' (as I used to say back then) back in '96 because I used a whole bunch of live MIDI and folded it into the 8 channels coming out the ADATs I used as i/o. (I typically ran a set of submixes depending on the materail. Usually one or two stereo mixes and then some solo channels.)

When I started, my computer (a Pentium 'one' 133 Mhz) was pretty well busy just outputting everything -- and I was already used to mixing to DAT, so I continued doing that. But after I built a P3-500, I had power to spare ( heh ) and kicked the DAT out of the loop, just recording my mix into two new tracks and exporting them as my mix later. (In those days, I would then usually 'master' in Sound Forge. Now, often as not, I get my mix and then engage an eq and compressor across the final bus and 'master' right in my live DAW project. It's kinda wild. Kinda kinky. And very felxible.)
Old 3rd August 2005
  #6
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

yes. that's correct. behold the following:

in the box:
advantages- 1)no added noise from analog gain stages (found in the soundcraft, and any other console) 2) the ability to re-visit a mix anytime with minimal setup (all your plugins are still there, all your faders are still set). 3) no extra d/a & a/d conversions.

disadvantages- 1) DAW is now doing the summing. some think it isn't as good as outboard analog summing & 2) you don't get to use cool outboard compressors, eq's, etc. for the mix.

outta da box:
advantages- 1) analog summing that may sound better than the DAW's summing (depends a lot on the console's sound, i.e. neve vs. mackie) 2) you get to use your outboard gear for mixing.

disadvantages- 1) you've got extra conversions (the d/a coming out of the layla, then another a/d going back into the DAW, or masterlink, or CD-R, etc.) 2) you can't re-visit a mix as easily.


this just touches on a few topics. hope i helps a bit.

--jon
Old 3rd August 2005
  #7
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

sorry, "theblue1" i was typing my above response when i got the email notice that you'd responded. we basically said the same thing. redundancy is a good thing, no?

--jon
Old 3rd August 2005
  #8
Thanks for mentioning the 'automation' angle!

That's huge.


Coming up in the world of tape and then mixing OTB as I did the first 5 years I was used to driving myself flippin' nuts with wacked out, stand on your head, release-two-mutes-as-you're-engaging-three-while-doing-a-smooth-fade-on-three-channels-on-different-sections-of-the-board-all-simultaneously style mixes.

I'll admit, in the studio it could be kind of fun lining up the guys in the band to all do different things at once as you're mixing... but if someone misses his cue that's bucks, right there... and they add up.


Yeah... I do plan on doing some rudimentary analog vs. digital summing tests (although I ain't got no Neve heh ). There, I'll be using everything at unity.

But I really don't imagine myself going back to dancing around my board, creating hard to perform mixes. That's over... for me, anyhow.
Old 3rd August 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

surely you could have just automated the level coming out of the box?.... I guess that would stuff up your compressor settings though
Old 3rd August 2005
  #10
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Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

i think you are confused as to how the board and layla route things. the board sends every direct in to the master bus that goes out to your monitors. the layla sends all ins to your DAW, and all outs back out to the board. The input and outputs on the layla have no relation to each other. ie the outputs do not just play whatever is coming into the inputs, you must assign what they play in your DAW.

also in order to record your mix you will have to mix REALLY loudly through your monitors. you can get something called a monitor attenuator to solve this problem. the atty come well recommended here.
Old 3rd August 2005
  #11
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumadrum
in order to record your mix you will have to mix REALLY loudly through your monitors.
i'm sure the soundcraft has a seperate monitor section (with a volume knob).

Quote:
Originally Posted by username
surely you could have just automated the level coming out of the box?
the idea of mixing outside the box is to prevent the DAW from doing *any* math. if you write volume automation in the DAW, math is being applied to the signal. this is a point brought up in the great summing debate, that a mix with a neve's faders at zero and all automation done in PT, will sound different than a mix with PT's faders set at zero and the neve's faders automated.

i tend to ride the middle ground. i love to mix through a good console, but i dont' have one at home (where i do most of my work), so in the box it is for me. i don't think i'll buy an external summing unit, as i haven't been convinced by them (yet).

--jon
Old 3rd August 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
beatzz's Avatar
 

I have not used to Soundcraft M12, but i mean can the analog summing on that really sound more pleasing to the ear then when done in a DAW?

Maybe a Neve or SSL but a Soundcraft?
Old 4th August 2005
  #13
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

probably not.

however, if the original poster works easier being able to actually touch faders and knobs, then he is likely to get a better result that way. it's how we use the tools we have, ya know.

--jon
Old 4th August 2005
  #14
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Possibly Obvious

You could still achieve semi-automation and the benefits of analog if you did your multitrack fader moves in the box but routed the digital output through your D/A converters into the analog board with the analog faders on a static setting. This would also afford you any supposed benefits of analog summing if you use the Mix out of the board. The only thing you wouldn't get is automated eq settings if you resort to the analog eq & outboard.
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