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Anyone doing great mixes with Protools LE?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

Anyone doing great mixes with Protools LE?

I'm using Protools 8 LE for tracking but all my mixing was handled by a mixer in a pro studios on an SSL desk etc. I recently had a track mixed by someone using Logic 9 ITB and was really impressed.

I now want to handle the mixes myself but I'm using PT8 LE. Is the fact that I'm using LE software going to affect my mix badly...

or is it 'depends how good your eyes are' routine?

Is PTLE reverd or hated for it's mixing results????
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
Here for the gear
 

I've personally had a lot of success mixing in LE.

If you do it right and have a good set of monitors and a decent room and some nice plug ins you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish.

I have some people that skip big studios with HD and TDM setups to work in my studio because they like the sound.


I'm moving to Logic soon to see what the hype is about. I've heard a lot of good things.
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Pro Tools LE is more than up to the task. I have recorded and mixed many major-label projects using Pro Tools LE exclusively. Even the stock plugs are now very workable. I have never had a client tell me, "Well the mix is great, but it sounds like Pro Tools LE...". If it sounds good, it is good, and considering that some of the most popular music of all time was recorded on 4-track machines (and single-track before that), well...you get the idea.

BUT! If mixing projects "in the box" is your main focus, you're not married to Pro Tools' workflow, and you have an extra $500 sitting around, I would go with Logic. It comes with a killer set of plug-ins, 256 stereo audio tracks, delay compensation, and offline bounce (along with many, many other features). Sure, the editing features aren't quite as elegant as PT, but if the players were decently on in the first place it shouldn't be too much of a stumbling block.

Either way, get one and for the love of God stick with it! Don't fall into the usual Slutz trap of switching DAWs every 6 months because someone told you that your old one was inferior. Focus on the artist and the end product and you can't lose!
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post

Either way, get one and for the love of God stick with it! Don't fall into the usual Slutz trap of switching DAWs every 6 months because someone told you that your old one was inferior. Focus on the artist and the end product and you can't lose!
lol I'm falling into that trap. I think I need to get more tracks so either way I'll be forking out more cash (Logic 9 or PT Tool Kit). I would want at least 64 stereo tracks and I'm not getting them at the moment.

Noob question: If I get great plug-ins (I have a few good 3rd party ones) will it make a difference wether I'm mixing in Logic or PTLE?

I love the editing and recording features of PT8 LE but have never tried Logic so cannot compare.

I just don't want to be left behind with inferior tools for the sake of a few hundred pounds...
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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electricsound's Avatar
 

PTLE is more than capable. My mixes aren't "great", but my limitations are not within the software.
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
If you can't mix on LE, you won't mix any better ITB on Logic, HD or anything else.

I've had stuff released that I've mixed ITB at home on LE - I can't imagine it would have been any better had I had an HD rig at home.

Your choice of DAW is a long way behind ability, room acoustics and monitoring in the grand scheme of things.
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
lol I'm falling into that trap. I think I need to get more tracks so either way I'll be forking out more cash (Logic 9 or PT Tool Kit). I would want at least 64 stereo tracks and I'm not getting them at the moment.

Noob question: If I get great plug-ins (I have a few good 3rd party ones) will it make a difference wether I'm mixing in Logic or PTLE?

I love the editing and recording features of PT8 LE but have never tried Logic so cannot compare.

I just don't want to be left behind with inferior tools for the sake of a few hundred pounds...
Theoretically, there should be no sonic difference between RTAS and AU versions of the same plug-in. I know there's supposed to be a difference between RTAS and TDM, but I'll be the first to admit I can't hear it. Here's the part where some horrendous 'Slut brings in a bunch of numbers to prove me wrong. Again, I can't hear it.

If you like using tons and tons of plugs in a mix, Logic is the winner in my experience. Also, if you frequently use plugs that add noticeable delay, Logic wins again as it has ADC. On the other hand, working in LE has taught me to use fewer plug-ins and focus more on arrangement and automation (at which Pro Tools excels).

I'm certainly not trying to turn this into an LE vs Logic dfegad contest. God knows we've had plenty of those for this lifetime. My best advice to you would be to go ahead and get Logic. You can continue to record and edit in LE, at least while you get more comfortable with Logic if not permanently. Even if it doesn't become your DAW of choice you'll still have it for sessions requiring higher track counts or gobs of FX. It's also cheaper than any of the Toolkit options.
Old 12th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 

one of the biggest issues i have/had with mixing in the box was summing and color, but once you have that figured out, it's really a lot of fun. make sure you either track with great gear, nice pres, and to tape if you can, and then once everything is glued together first on the way in, it makes mixing it sooooo much easier but if not, you are going to have to try and emulate that stuff with plugins, i.e. saturation,summing, and tape plugins. simply putting the waves ssl channel or urs strips on every insert is not really going to do it for you in my humble opinion. but try to emulate a real studio work flow the best you can if you are only in the box(as i am) and you should have much more pleasing results.

As to get "that sound" in a real studio, an example workflow of your vocal or guitar or whatever would go though a mic pre(color) into a some console(color) in the control room, then that level would be sent out and recorded to analog tape(color) then converted(jitter color) into pro tools for editing and comping, then sent back out vi converters(jitter color) back to tape again(color) for mixing into on a console(more color) and then routed though other outboard compressors and eqs(even more color) and finally printed back to analog tape(more color). and thats just mixing, as most people compare their work to masters, which also goes though it's own leaps and bounds after all of that

as i remember when i first started i invested in an pro tools mix+ tdm system and had a lot of plugins i read about people using, and still no matter what, my mixes did not sound even close to commercial mixes, so i think you could turn out solid mixes on pretty much anything as long as you understand the basics of recording and mixing techniques that your comparing your work to.
Old 12th November 2009
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekn0 View Post
one of the biggest issues i have/had with mixing in the box was summing and color, but once you have that figured out, it's really a lot of fun. make sure you either track with great gear, nice pres, and to tape if you can, and then once everything is glued together first on the way in, it makes mixing it sooooo much easier but if not, you are going to have to try and emulate that stuff with plugins, i.e. saturation,summing, and tape plugins. simply putting the waves ssl channel or urs strips on every insert is not really going to do it for you in my humble opinion. but try to emulate a real studio work flow the best you can if you are only in the box(as i am) and you should have much more pleasing results.
I do 99% of my work "in the box" and I've never found myself thinking about analog summing or coloration or trying to make my mixes sound like a console with saturation plugs and the like; I simply try to make it sound as good as possible. Keep in mind that music was around long before analog tape or transformers, and it will still be around when we're writing and mixing with pico-circuitry implanted into our brains. I understand this is Gear Slutz, but technology is supposed to help, not hinder our creativity.
Old 12th November 2009
  #10
Gear Head
 
erockrazor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
or is it 'depends how good your eyes are' routine?
I'm not sure but eyes aren't much of a part of this equation. But your ears really come in handy when making mix decisions!

Pro-Tools LE mixes wont be hindered by your recording DAW. Like has been said, there are other things that will effect your mix much much more than your platform. In fact, I'd believe that the DAW should have no real effect on the sound.

Point being, the person who mixed your tracks in Logic. Well, he could have made them sound just as good in pro-tools LE (assuming he knew the same functions that he used in logic and had the same plugs). There's much more to the equation.

Good luck, Eric
Old 12th November 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
I do 99% of my work "in the box" and I've never found myself thinking about analog summing or coloration or trying to make my mixes sound like a console with saturation plugs and the like; I simply try to make it sound as good as possible. Keep in mind that music was around long before analog tape or transformers, and it will still be around when we're writing and mixing with pico-circuitry implanted into our brains. I understand this is Gear Slutz, but technology is supposed to help, not hinder our creativity.
Im just mainly speaking from my own personal experience, when i was a beginner, i remember when i started writing with amp farm and other amp sims and the original drumkit from hell for giga studio(all late 90's), and i would do a mix and be like "why does it not sound anything like this rage against the machine record i like so much", and it was really because i had no idea how things happend in real studios, and i think thats a huge issue with people getting into recording and mxing their own stuff, just like i did, (as i was born into the pro tools generation), that a lot of us missed recording 101.

we pick up an mbox and a few plugins and start going...which is great but then we go crazy(at least i did a few times) trying to figure out why all our stuff does not sound "right". even though i have this great 1176 emulation on my drums and vocals. i just thought my opinion my help at least someone in a similar situation. as for some people they might think "duh" but for me it took years to figure something so simple like that out, simply because i missed recording and mixing 101. and i dont think it matters if your writing goa trance, recording a rasta tune on a Revox B77 at 7.5ips(jab heh) or banging on congas in the jungle, if it's on CD or mp3 it got recorded, mixed, and mastered, somewhere some how, and i think a lot of the current pro tools plugin generation might not really understand that process is much of what makes up a HUGE part of the final sound, not so much as what platform you mix it on, and i dont know a single person that does not compare thier stuff to other peoples work, so i think a basic understanding of how others got there would help them a lot along our own way.

Also some of the top mixes in their fields have been quoted on this very board saying how they could not mix in the box without any summing or analog color to bring it all together, and they are mxing things which i assume have been recorded with the highest level on analog quality. the topic might be something you may want to look a little further into.
Old 12th November 2009
  #12
Gear Head
 

I refuse to work in Pro Tools LE or M-Powered due to the lack of plugin delay compensation. With any kind of serious mix, your tracks will often become misaligned unless you manually update track delays or use a system like Auto Time Adjust from Mellomuse (Mellowmuse Software).

There are cheaper alternatives that have PDC, including Reaper, Logic Express, Ableton, Sonar, etc.
Old 12th November 2009
  #13
Moderator
 
Oroz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
It's also cheaper than any of the Toolkit options.
Not quite:

Digidesign Music Production Toolkit 2 = $ 395

Logic Studio 9 = $499
Old 12th November 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oroz View Post
Not quite:

Digidesign Music Production Toolkit 2 = $ 395

Logic Studio 9 = $499
I stand corrected!
Old 12th November 2009
  #15
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

yep...for years now.
Old 12th November 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekn0 View Post
Also some of the top mixes in their fields have been quoted on this very board saying how they could not mix in the box without any summing or analog color to bring it all together, and they are mxing things which i assume have been recorded with the highest level on analog quality. the topic might be something you may want to look a little further into.
There are certainly professionals that feel that way, just as there are those who never mix in the box, and still others who only mix in the box. I have no qualms with outboard summing or tape emulation or the like. It's proven technology! I just hate to think how some people still consider digital recording technology to be intrinsically flawed, that digital recordings can only sound good by being "warmed up" in the mix with tubes, transformers, tape, or emulations thereof.

Totally agree with you on the front end!

Old 13th November 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
There are certainly professionals that feel that way, just as there are those who never mix in the box, and still others who only mix in the box. I have no qualms with outboard summing or tape emulation or the like. It's proven technology! I just hate to think how some people still consider digital recording technology to be intrinsically flawed, that digital recordings can only sound good by being "warmed up" in the mix with tubes, transformers, tape, or emulations thereof.

Totally agree with you on the front end!

Nice Rack! heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
It's also cheaper than any of the Toolkit options.
While it's been pointed out that this is technically incorrect I actually agree with you because Digidesign want to charge me Β£280 for an extra 16 tracks (and they're not even at 96k) and a few more plugins!!!

I can agree with the guys saying that you should be able to do good mixes on LE (or at least as good as on Logic) but the lack of tracks puts me right off.

I know 48 tracks is enough to make a decent record but sheesh if one has the option not to bounce down and have full freedom at the mixing stage then that is a great selling point for Logic...

I'm gonna try both, especially now that I've found out that my MBox2 Pro will work with Logic (I mainly use an API A2D and a small Joe Meek compressor/EQ for tracking so only need the Mbox as an interface...)

Wow. What a minefield this PT LE vs Logic has become
Old 13th November 2009
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancanderson View Post
I refuse to work in Pro Tools LE or M-Powered due to the lack of plugin delay compensation. With any kind of serious mix, your tracks will often become misaligned unless you manually update track delays or use a system like Auto Time Adjust from Mellomuse (Mellowmuse Software).

There are cheaper alternatives that have PDC, including Reaper, Logic Express, Ableton, Sonar, etc.
Nonsense.

As I keep pointing out to those who state this, MOST plugins incur no latency or 1 sample latency. Plugins that come under this include Massey, Waves SSL/Neve/API (except the graphic EQ), Reel tape saturation (the flanger has a huge latency), all the digirack stuff, SPL transient designer and so on.

Plugins that DO incur latency include the API graphic, Autotune EVO (I just shift before tuning), and of course any sorts of hardware DSP solution like Duende, UAD etc (which I don't personally use).

Apart from this, you can't send in parallel (as you would in analogue, for example using an aux to send to a compressor). That's about it as far as limitations go for me.

To be perfectly honest, given the comments regarding Logic's delay compensation, and having had personal experience of HD not being flawless, I'd rather know where I stand even if I have to manually compensate for the odd plugin.

So the above statement is to be quite honest nonsense. By way of example, I'm in the process of wrapping up a mix at home for a band - not on a major label any more, but previously signed to sony BMG so they expect quality, and they're also on one of the biggest management companies in the UK. It's a huge mix, and I've totally run out of busses (my own major gripe with LE) - but it's 100% in the box (tracked through some pretty nice outboard), and I've apart from the bussing issue, I've not found LE to be limiting at all. Both they and I are very happy with the mix.

I've also just finished an entire album mix on LE - again, huge tracks, lots of keyboard parts, totally maxed out the track count in LE - sounds great to both me and the band, and will be released on an indie label in the new year.

FWIW I've a lot of experience in "real" studios as well - that's the "day job" - so it's not like I have nothing to compare it to.
Old 13th November 2009
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post

I've also just finished an entire album mix on LE - again, huge tracks, lots of keyboard parts, totally maxed out the track count in LE - sounds great to both me and the band, and will be released on an indie label in the new year.
So how do you cope with the low track count in LE? I guess you do a lot of bouncing down and this is not a problem?
Old 13th November 2009
  #21
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
My best advice to you would be to go ahead and get Logic. You can continue to record and edit in LE, at least while you get more comfortable with Logic if not permanently. Even if it doesn't become your DAW of choice you'll still have it for sessions requiring higher track counts or gobs of FX. It's also cheaper than any of the Toolkit options.
Thanks for the advice! thumbsup
Old 13th November 2009
  #22
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
lol I'm falling into that trap. I think I need to get more tracks so either way I'll be forking out more cash (Logic 9 or PT Tool Kit). I would want at least 64 stereo tracks and I'm not getting them at the moment.

Noob question: If I get great plug-ins (I have a few good 3rd party ones) will it make a difference wether I'm mixing in Logic or PTLE?

I love the editing and recording features of PT8 LE but have never tried Logic so cannot compare.

I just don't want to be left behind with inferior tools for the sake of a few hundred pounds...

Most of the 3rd party plug-ins are compatible with your native system, meaning it will work on Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Pro Tools, Cakewalk, etc...

Just check before you buy.
Old 13th November 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
So how do you cope with the low track count in LE? I guess you do a lot of bouncing down and this is not a problem?
Is 64 tracks a low track count?

I've got the MPT so that's 64 stereo tracks - I don't tend to work above 48k.

Instruments and Auxes don't count towards this track count.

I only bounce things down if it makes sense from a workflow point of view - for example, if there's multi mikes on a guitar, I'll most likely sum them and process them together even if I had limitless tracks, so I may well bounce them down. Sometimes if I'm really up against it, I'll put stereo BVs (once edited) onto a stereo track. That's about it.

I can't remember the last time I had to bounce things down further - maybe if I was doing a lot of RnB, but I try to avoid that to be honest.
Old 13th November 2009
  #24
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Is 64 tracks a low track count?

I've got the MPT so that's 64 stereo tracks - I don't tend to work above 48k.

Instruments and Auxes don't count towards this track count.

I only bounce things down if it makes sense from a workflow point of view - for example, if there's multi mikes on a guitar, I'll most likely sum them and process them together even if I had limitless tracks, so I may well bounce them down. Sometimes if I'm really up against it, I'll put stereo BVs (once edited) onto a stereo track. That's about it.

I can't remember the last time I had to bounce things down further - maybe if I was doing a lot of RnB, but I try to avoid that to be honest.
Very encouraging! So if you have say 10 instrument tracks with a Vacuum synth on it (stock LE instrument), those 10 tracks do not take up part of your 64 tracks??

Old 13th November 2009
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
Very encouraging! So if you have say 10 instrument tracks with a Vacuum synth on it (stock LE instrument), those 10 tracks do not take up part of your 64 tracks??

that's right.
Old 13th November 2009
  #26
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Mix Master's Avatar
 

Mixing in LE can absolutely be pulled off with good results. You kinda answered your question in your op. It comes down to seat time. While HD does indeed sound better, at this point in your experience it wouldn't make too much of a difference. I like analogies because it's easier for me to wrap my grape around topics such as this: I can hand Tiger Woods my crappy clubs and I can grab his customized set and he would friggin' dominate me on a course of my choosing. Just keep mixing, you'll get better with each one.
Old 13th November 2009
  #27
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The Elf's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancanderson View Post
I refuse to work in Pro Tools LE or M-Powered due to the lack of plugin delay compensation. With any kind of serious mix, your tracks will often become misaligned unless you manually update track delays or use a system like Auto Time Adjust from Mellomuse (Mellowmuse Software).

There are cheaper alternatives that have PDC, including Reaper, Logic Express, Ableton, Sonar, etc.
+1. Life's too short to be messing around setting your own delays. First time out every plug-in I tried to use meant re-setting delays across tracks.

Until LE has PDC it's off my list.
Old 13th November 2009
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mix Master View Post
Mixing in LE can absolutely be pulled off with good results. You kinda answered your question in your op. It comes down to seat time. While HD does indeed sound better, at this point in your experience it wouldn't make too much of a difference. I like analogies because it's easier for me to wrap my grape around topics such as this: I can hand Tiger Woods my crappy clubs and I can grab his customized set and he would friggin' dominate me on a course of my choosing. Just keep mixing, you'll get better with each one.
HD doesn't "sound" better, it just has more features, more power and makes certain things easier to accomplish. Other than that, I agree with the analogy.
Old 13th November 2009
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Max3000's Avatar
 

@psycho monkey You make good points and I've certainly learned off you. But I will need more than 48 tracks and paying Β£280 for them is really weird especially when i've just sourced Logic on amazon fo Β£299.

I will need to ponder more and thanks for your replies you dirty gearslags!
Old 13th November 2009
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max3000 View Post
@psycho monkey You make good points and I've certainly learned off you. But I will need more than 48 tracks and paying Β£280 for them is really weird especially when i've just sourced Logic on amazon fo Β£299.

I will need to ponder more and thanks for your replies you dirty gearslags!
well, you can usually find people selling just the 64 track expansion bit if you look on the digi classifieds/ebay etc for quite a lot less.

MPT is much more than this though - you get a great reverb, hybrid, multitrack beat detective (I've not used logic's new flex...but if this month's SOS guide is anything to go by, it looks fiddly and imprecise!), and more.

But at the end of the day...it's your choice.
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