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Do you think that effort can migitate difference between "ITB" and "OTB"? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 6 days ago
  #31
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IanBSC's Avatar
The best way to mitigate ITB is to do as little processing there as possible, and as much on the front end as you can. I think it might also help to track with some gentle low pass filters and even soft clippers so the sound is already smoothed a bit, and there is less high frequency content for plugins to struggle with. Higher sample rates help, but so do gentle ultrasonic filters ITB (cleaning up inaudible noise and potential intermodulation).
Old 6 days ago
  #32
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Another ITB vs OTB thread?!??! NOOOOOOOO!!

Quick personal view:
ITB - too fast and convenient not to use and sounds great
OTB (analog summing plus mostly analog processing) - sounds slightly better (sorry I trust only my ears) and is more exciting but is often a PITA compared to ITB

Great sounding mixes can be done with both!

Hybrid - The way to go until digital gets there 100% (for me)

In mastering - OTB rules (Still for a few years, not for too long I believe)
Old 6 days ago
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post

Quick personal view:
ITB - too fast and convenient not to use and sounds great
OTB (analog summing plus mostly analog processing) - sounds slightly better (sorry I trust only my ears) and is more exciting but is often a PITA compared to ITB

Great sounding mixes can be done with both!

Hybrid - The way to go until digital gets there 100% (for me)

In mastering - OTB rules (Still for a few years, not for too long I believe)
This should be the "Current state of ITB/OTB, 2019 Update" and close it out till next year.
Old 6 days ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
The best way to mitigate ITB is to do as little processing there as possible, and as much on the front end as you can. I think it might also help to track with some gentle low pass filters and even soft clippers so the sound is already smoothed a bit, and there is less high frequency content for plugins to struggle with. Higher sample rates help, but so do gentle ultrasonic filters ITB (cleaning up inaudible noise and potential intermodulation).
I do think that high cuts on everything and the addition of noise account for a lot of what makes a record feel legitimate.

I've realized this in the past year. I've been releasing records for 20 years, but my mixes have gotten a bit more "legit" sounding as I've more intelligently cut highs. Sometimes surprisingly, like hats cut at 7000hz.

One of the distinguishing traits I've come to notice, IMO, of a "legitimate" feeling record is that it exists in a contained space in some way. There's a feeling of a boundary to it. High cuts and added noise up top are a lot of what give it that feel.
Old 6 days ago
  #35
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
High cuts and added noise up top are a lot of what give it that feel.
Heheh . . . things that tape would have given you naturally. Funny how we are still so attuned to that spectrum of sound, even in 2019.
Old 6 days ago
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Heheh . . . things that tape would have given you naturally. Funny how we are still so attuned to that spectrum of sound, even in 2019.
Yes exactly.

With digital though, you have the ability to choose those boundaries precisely. Theoretically, sweeter spots should be out there to discover and uncover.

The error is in not choosing boundaries at all, letting things fall how they may more incongruently. That's the feel of the typical mediocre digital mix. It doesn't QUITE feel like "a record."

That's what something like the "Serban sound" is. He knows how to place everything in a space that feels legit. Its not the tape sound, but its a digital sweet spot that's similar in how it makes a record feel "legit."
Old 5 days ago
  #37
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
The error is in not choosing boundaries at all, letting things fall how they may more incongruently. That's the feel of the typical mediocre digital mix. It doesn't QUITE feel like "a record."

That's what something like the "Serban sound" is. He knows how to place everything in a space that feels legit. Its not the tape sound, but its a digital sweet spot that's similar in how it makes a record feel "legit."
Damn! So I guess putting a low pass filter on my mix buss won't make everything I do sound like a record.
Old 5 days ago
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Damn! So I guess putting a low pass filter on my mix buss won't make everything I do sound like a record.
I’m just speaking from an aesthetic perspective, if it helps the OP and others with this question at all. I’m not the most technical guy.

But intelligently done high cuts (individually, and then possibly at the bus and final too), and some kind of consistent light saturation to everything, with a bit of very light and subtile added noise to the whole thing, seems to be what gives a mix a feeling of “containment” or “boundary” or “existing in a congruent space” which then feels more like a “legit record” to me.

Last edited by newguy1; 5 days ago at 04:45 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
I’m just speaking from an aesthetic perspective, if it helps the OP and others with this question at all. I’m not the most technical guy.

But intelligently done high cuts (individually, and then possibly at the bus and final too), and some kind of consistent light saturation to everything, with a bit of very light and subtile added noise to the whole thing, seems to be what gives a mix a feeling of “containment” or “boundary” or “existing in a congruent space” which then feels more like a “legit record” to me.
More and more I believe that "record" sound is about EQ. And it doesn't have to be actual EQ of the signal, it could be like Al Schmitt with his philosophy that real EQ happens with mic choice and placement. And the room has a huge part to play too.

Nothing says "not a record" like a sub-par instrument in a bedroom. (I should know, that's how all my stuff from the 70s sounded).

As far as ITB vs OTB, I think once you nail the frequencies and the balance, the differences become minimal.
Old 5 days ago
  #40
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
More and more I believe that "record" sound is about EQ.
I'd say spectral balance rather than EQ, but it's the same concept.

Quote:
And it doesn't have to be actual EQ of the signal, it could be like Al Schmitt with his philosophy that real EQ happens with mic choice and placement.
It's all about the performer, the performance, the instrument, mic placement, etc. Anything missed or exaggerated in this step creates trouble down the road.
Old 5 days ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
I'd say spectral balance rather than EQ, but it's the same concept.



It's all about the performer, the performance, the instrument, mic placement, etc. Anything missed or exaggerated in this step creates trouble down the road.
Curious how you would explain how a Serban mix of a track produced almost entirely ITB has that "legit" feel to it where others don't. I really want to get to the bottom of it, I'm close but that guy is next level.

My comments were more ITB related, where there may be some guitar tracking and of course vocals, but its essentially an electronic music production in aesthetic (most of the music on pretty much all of the charts these days.)
Old 5 days ago
  #42
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Talent!

But seriously, spectral balance and density are the keys. If all of the mix elements have a good harmonic structure you can move them up and down and around in a mix and they will still be heard, won’t be masked, won’t mask other things, etc. Can’t do that with things that are too bright or too dull or sibilant or resonant, etc.

ITB and OTB are just tools to get you there.
Old 5 days ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Talent!
Right. The hopeless answer

I've had two things mixed by him and he certainly made better use of the exact same parts than me. This was a few years ago though, I was less able to distinguish what was what. I'd learn a lot more if I could get another mix by him now.
Old 5 days ago
  #44
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12tone's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
ITB and OTB are just tools to get you there.
You would think so, but these days as much polemical talking points.
Old 3 days ago
  #45
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No Doubt’s “Rock Steady” album was mixed
entirely ITB. Great sounding record that
holds up to this day.

Lots of records out there mixed ITB.

In my experience, the key to a great mix is
a GREAT ARRANGEMENT. If a song is
arranged properly by a great arranger,
it will practically mix itself.

Crap arrangements (or complete lack of
arrangements) = crap record. Not to say
a lot of crappy sounding records dont become hits, they do. But people respond to the
songs because they resonate emotionally
with them. Ever heard someone say,
“I hate the song, but the mix is so great
I just can’t stop listening to it”? Probably not.

It’s not magic plugins, or knowing where
to cut or boost or pan or where to set
levels (although knowledge of all those
is helpful). It is the MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT.
Old 3 days ago
  #46
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Welp, this thread can only go down from here..
Old 3 days ago
  #47
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cemski's Avatar
New forum, PLEASE: ITB or OTB
Old 2 days ago
  #48
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
New forum, PLEASE: ITB or OTB
Entire new website.
Old 2 days ago
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Entire new website.
Entire new Internet!
Old 2 days ago
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Entire new Internet!
Then pull the plug on the servers..
Old 2 days ago
  #51
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soundmodel's Avatar
 

It's surprising that people here rave about EQ. I used to live briefly with the idea that EQ is sort of redundant. Except for removing "obviously bad sounding things". Since one can "EQ" by setting levels and with "compressor as EQ".

Lately I've come to appreciate "simple effectiveness" of careful EQ for creating the "tone". It can create dynamic variation and all, if one allows things to "breath between" others nicely.

Also one doesn't necessarily need "densening" plug-ins in order to make stuff dense. "Density" can be attained by careful EQ and "thinking in layers".

Surprisingly also, EQ can make stuff sound less digital (as was suggested earlier). If one allows "nonlinear parts" to shine through or layer nicely, using EQ. Thus one can also alter the "time period" aspect of the music.
Old 2 days ago
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The image collapsing is a classic symptom of mono dither and the depth collapsing is a classic symptom of no dither or incompetently-coded dither. Once the low-level detail has been masked by truncation distortion, it's gone forever.

Hardware lets me work lots faster while I need to work in short bursts with software in order to maintain focus.
Hi Bob, what do u mean by mono Dither? Where would u use this? I would just dither hardware outs (mono or stereo) and dither the main mix.
Old 2 days ago
  #53
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Mono dither is the use of an identical rather than a random dither among multiple channels. Digidesign made this programming error back in the '90s and it pops up in new software from time to time. Dither is required to preserve the low-level information related to imaging whenever the bit-depth is reduced. It ought to just be an integral part of software design with no adjustments required. Unfortunately, dither is misunderstood by many developers and even university professors so we users are stuck with the need to take care of it.
Old 2 days ago
  #54
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Effort probably doesn't mitigate it, but skill can.
Old 2 days ago
  #55
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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The problem with effort is that after a bit you lose perspective.
Old 2 days ago
  #56
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It takes effort to build skill though.

There's a balance, you can only put so much effort into any one song, because of the loss of perspective. You essentially have to surrender constantly along the way and re-start the next one from a slightly higher skill level.

Except then there are the guys who spend 15 months on a track and it becomes a hit. So any way can work. This is usually the story behind the young electronic music producer that comes from nowhere though, not those already in the grind of the reality of music life.
Old 8 hours ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Mono dither is the use of an identical rather than a random dither among multiple channels. Digidesign made this programming error back in the '90s and it pops up in new software from time to time. Dither is required to preserve the low-level information related to imaging whenever the bit-depth is reduced. It ought to just be an integral part of software design with no adjustments required. Unfortunately, dither is misunderstood by many developers and even university professors so we users are stuck with the need to take care of it.
That’s really interesting.
Old 7 hours ago
  #58
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One important detail in all of this is high end vs low end. To try and nutshell the thought, I can present it like this:

Worst results: Low end hardware
Midlan results: Standard plugs
Good results: High end plugs (UAD, SSL Native, Stuff written for specific cards, MX4 card for example)
Best results: High end hardware

The rating is only quality of results. Software (ITB) can be much more efficient in terms of time, cost, recall, etc.

In most cases, hardware sound better than software when comparing apples to apples. Good case example is Distressor hardware vs UAD, Waves, Slate, Aurouser, etc... I think the hardware sounds best. But to spend $1.5K per track you get to use it on is steap vs. even the best plug, that I consider to be UAD in this case.

The other side of this coin is that software does things hardware can't.

In the end, we have a new cross section of tools. Hardware and Software. Use both for it's advantages.

I use all the hardware I can afford. That's the end game. The term "afford" is driven by time available for a given task more than anything. Even if you have the hardware, you may chose software because it's faster and you don't care about the extra quality and you want the recall ability to edit things later.

So the argument of ITB vs OTB is more a function of, what sound do you want, and what's the best tools to get there. Sometimes it's not hardware, some times it is. The big shift happens when you have the hardware, and know the right tools to use for a given situation.

All the big studios have a set up chain they found works best for each task. Say: Overheads, Snare, Kick, Guitar cab, Vocal, Mic/DI for bass. Each chain may have $5000 of stuff in the path to get every last bit out of the mic. In the early 70's you would see U87's over every tom of a huge kit. You don't see that often these days.

Another area that makes all this gray is Softsynths & Drum replacement. I have both a Kronos and Software in the box that is a duplicate of the Kronos (Karma). So I gess a workstation is part of the box.

Using a softsynth is almost never as good as the real thing, if the real thing is in top condition, played by talent, and the right recording chain used. But once you don't have the real thing, a softsynth sure is nice. I would love to play a 9' grand piano at home, but the Kronos german piano will have to do.

OTB is better than ITB. But it costs a #$%^TON more. If you are in buisiness, hardware is not worth it for the cost to results other than one thing: Mic's and speakers are analog devices. Because we are starting with a mic, the extra expence to alter the analog mic signal before it's converted is the differance in quality levels.


The argument vs. my last thought is that: Say you are recording a band in a hurry. You don't want to adjust anything while they are there and Adjust everything after the performance is captures. I have worked that way too. So then the advatages of the harware (Other than preamps) go away. Unless you want to use bouncing...another story.

If you are not starting with a mic. Using samples, and softsynths. You have already taken a quality hit right there. Even recording a synth then playing it back, you lose something. That something is already lost when you start with a softsynth.
Yet another detail of the ITB. vs OTB argument

This point's to the adavantage of a big boy studio. All the set up recording chains.


Now back to the starting question.....No effort can't make up the difference. However, creativity with new tools should be able to blow away the old ways of working.

Is an Opera better than a movie? Not for my tast. Guess I't take the digital for the creative freedome.

The problem is our standards for quality are set by landmark albums.

Last edited by elegentdrum; 7 hours ago at 02:41 AM..
Old 6 hours ago
  #59
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cjogo's Avatar
We have been partial ITB since about 1995 -- generally mixing/processors = OTB -- mastering down to a separate analog or digital box --never even rendered to a PC >> until two years ago ...

Last edited by cjogo; 4 hours ago at 05:28 AM..
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