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just a little question
Old 8th December 2019
  #1
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just a little question

hello, if usually or most often a mix doesn't exceed 16-track to 24-tracks including 8-tracks connected at the inputs like synth/keyboards, ipad, ... and the rest of the tracks are in the daw,and wanted to add adc/dac & summing mixer make the daw hybrid before making the mix into 2-channels .. is it ok to not exceed 8-channels out of the box? like connect through adat to 8-channel dac then from dac to the summing mixer the the two-channels from the summing mixer then to stereo compressor then to stereo equalizer then back to two inputs of the audio interface to the master channel in the daw

what to do with the tracks inside the daw? or the channels out the box should be equal in number to that used in the daw?

i'm confused how to make the 24-tracks to 8-tracks without sending to the master channel or summing them inside the daw
Old 8th December 2019
  #2
Quote:
i'm confused how to make the 24-tracks to 8-tracks without sending to the master channel or summing them inside the daw
You cant maker 24 tracks into 8 tracks, unless you bounce some tracks and that is not a good idea.
If the summing mixer has only 2 channels, then you can only send 2 mono tracks at a time through it, so this 8 track theory of yours doesn't matter

If you want to take 24 tracks out of your PC at one time, then you need an audio interface with 24 line outs and 24 line inputs, to take it back into the DAW. But then your summing mixer only has 2 channels,. so all is for nothing, yes?
Old 8th December 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walidantar View Post
is it ok to not exceed 8-channels out of the box? like connect through adat to 8-channel dac then from dac to the summing mixer the the two-channels from the summing mixer then to stereo compressor then to stereo equalizer then back to two inputs of the audio interface to the master channel in the daw

what to do with the tracks inside the daw? or the channels out the box should be equal in number to that used in the daw?

i'm confused how to make the 24-tracks to 8-tracks without sending to the master channel or summing them inside the daw
As far as I can see most people are doing some summing inside the DAW. I'm saying that because I think most people end up with more tracks in the DAW than they have inputs on the summing device. And if you think about it contemporary music projects often have way more than 8 or 16 or 32 tracks. Getting analog summing for 32+ tracks gets expensive real quick.

So if you're going to do analog summing then 'yes', I think it is ok to sum in the DAW first and then output whatever you have 'left' to the analog summing device and sum that there. I don't think there's anyway around that except for buying more summing devices (pricey) or using fewer tracks (limiting).

Having said all of that I don't do summing personally and I don't really have much of an opinion about how valuable it is. I suppose some people will have opinions about just how much you gain/lose by different amounts of tracks summed in analog and which elements to sum in the DAW before sending them out.
Old 9th December 2019
  #4
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[QUOTE=CJ But then your summing mixer only has 2 channels,. so all is for nothing, yes?[/QUOTE]


2-channels on output 'summed' but 8-channels on input

you mean by bounce some track group some tracks inside the daw?
Old 9th December 2019
  #5
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i want to return to the daw only two tracks just to record it, not return all the tracks back
Old 14th December 2019
  #6
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Quetz's Avatar
Not good workflow.

You have to either sum inside the DAW yes, or sum outside, otherwise how do you think you get your 24 tracks to 8?
Better idea is to send 8 tracks of drums (for example) through the summing mixer then record that as your drum stem.
Then do the same for all your synth tracks.
Then for all your guitar (or whatever) tracks, etc.

That way you could apply some compression and eq to those stems too, rather than doing it in the daw (if you wanted to).

Then send those stems through the summing mixer and thus through the stereo comp/eq or whatever.
In general you don't want to make loads of passes through the converters and summing mixer, but if they are both good quality and won't degrade the signal too much each time then it's not really a problem.

Just experiment with some different passes and see what you like the sound of.
Old 16th December 2019
  #7
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@ Quetz , thanks you
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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from what I'm reading it sounds like you want to mix in analog and send the stereo sum back to the daw for mastering or distribution.

You can of course do that so long as you know that's the mix you want. Doing all that work simply to add a stereo compressor seems like a huge waste of time to me however. Maybe if it was some high end compressor from God and you had a superb mixer for adding analog color it might be worth all that hassle, but I'd still be challenged to whether It would actually do any better over using a virtual mixer and manipulating the controls with controller so you have some hands on control.

If its a PA mixer I wouldn't even bother. Most PA mixers suck for recording work. Their EQ's are designed to prevent feedback and make microphones loud. High Fidelity and low distortion/noise is merely pot luck on any one channel. Of course the real trial is mixing it both ways then doing an A/B comparison. If you like the analog mix go for it.

I had a pretty good analog setup for recording and when I was first switching to digital I tried every comparison possible. Did allot of scientific testing too using frequency analyzer's, pink/white noise and frequency generators to discover the range of loss when you pass a mix back through a mixer after its already converted to digital. The closest I could get was maybe a clean signal below 16K and practically nothing above. Not a whole lot below 50Hz either but that really wasn't that big a deal because I'd roll allot of those sub frequencies off anyways.

In short, I had full frequency and practically no additional noise or hiss contaminating the mix and no fidelity losses or artifacts added by the analog additional D/A and A/D, conversions. Every time you convert, either direction you have algorithms and converters rounding off bits and changing the original quality.

How much can occur before you begin to hear it is the real crux of the matter. If you "only" converted in one direction or converted to analog and back to digital without doing anything to alter the sound, then compared the before and after sound waves using a Frequency analyzer it should show you little change as would your ears. When you convert "and" add digital and analog effects, you can force the fidelity to take a nose dive very quickly, especially if you don't know how to properly gain stage and use low quality gear and converters.

Working at 16 bits I can clearly hear fidelity losses and artifacts creeping in often times only using a couple of plugins. When you add in the low fidelity of Digital radio playing MP3's, cheap computer speakers, cellphones and ear buds, you're asking allot of those tracks being able to survive being put through that meat grinder. You should always remember, when working in audio, digital or analog its always subtractive. You don't add anything to make the mix sound better its at best an even trade or a sacrifice. You may remove some bad tone EQing for example but you always take some of the good when removing the bad. Even with digital, you may gain some reverb in trade for some uncolored dry sound.

If the effect benefits the mix that's good but there is always a reshaping and loss of bits in trade for what you've gained so making wise decisions is paramount. Converting back to analog just so you can exercise using a few knobs doesn't qualify as a gain in my book. It adds up to a big loss in fidelity most of the time.

My tests showed me I was far better off just recording straight through the interface and using its mic preamps then staying in a digital environment until the product was complete and made ready to be played back on analog gear. With my setup its simple to loop hardware effects if I choose. I have 24 channels in and 24 out so looping anything is simply a matter of rewiring a patch bay. Thing is most of the analog gear I have isn't much better then some of the plugin's I have. I can choose to waste additional time looping and tweaking in hopes it might be better or putting that time towards making a better digital mix. I find I get better production and quality sticking with digital tools.

If I had some really cool and unique piece of gear that gave me sounds I couldn't get digitally, I'd be using it but its pretty easy to take just about any piece of analog gear, split a signal and loop on through the analog gear and the other through plugins then manipulate the software to match the hardware then simply save a preset for the digital plugin. Maybe do a few for different gain levels or music tempo/genre so you have a little variety. If the two sound the same when swapping channels you can pretty much eliminate the need of that hardware and probably free up allot of clean headroom as a bonus.

You'll have to make your own decisions however. People can lost all the benefits and negatives for you and maybe even inspire you to blow a whole lot of cash on hardware. When the rubber meets the road you're the one using it and in the end, its the end results that matter. If you go from not making a dime mixing to earning a living full time or better then you might want to stick with that formula analog and digital and simply refine and expand it using additional substitutes. If its cleaning out your bank account and you got nothing coming back in then I'd rethink what you're doing from the point of making wise business decisions. Pro studios do this all the time. They reinvest a portion of the profits back into the business to become even more competitive. You want your customers to funding your new gear and the education you get using it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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@ wrgkmc , thanks you , i really appreciate sharing your experience
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