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mixing through pre amps
Old 7th August 2020
  #1
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mixing through pre amps

I am planning out my gear set up for the new (first) studio when it is built, I can go into more detail (and this might sound a bit weird without the detail) but in principle is there any reason why I wouldn't track and mix through my ISA 428s. So the idea is

Tracking

Audio will come in via the XLR inputs, and be instantly captured as a raw signal by Dante and recorded onto a raw track,
Meanwhile, I use insert/send on the ISA to put another signal through some outboard, then instead of returning it to the insert return (which would impact the first raw signal on the Dante network, I instead put it into the external xlr inputs which gives me another input on the Dante network, via the 8 input Dante ADC card (shipping soon!😄)

This way I get two of everything.
A signal processed by hardware, reducing cpu strain (and chances of software problems) which I can send back to the band for nice vibey monitor mix , and also have a half done mix to listen to and choose best takes from etc, without getting involved in a lot of detail too early in the process.
A pure raw untreated signal captured at the same time which is always available to be retrieved if we need to mix from scratch, because we committed to too much colour on the demo.

Mixing

Being as all the ISA channels are hooked up to outboard, I could use this same set up to mix by sending tracks or stems out of the DAW through my DAC and then back into the system using the line inputs on the ISAs.

So I am basically avoiding having to do any repatching, between tracking and mixing. The outboard is mainly saturation of a couple of sorts that I have multiple channels of, so everything gets an extra pass through the transformers and valves.

This makes perfect sense to me, what do you think?
Old 7th August 2020
  #2
Quote:
mixing through pre amps
A pre-amp is used for microphones and instrument to bring them up to level. I never heard anyone mixing through pre-amps and i cannot think of any reason why I would ever mix a song through pre-amps..

BUT, if it works for you, then who is to say you cannot do it. All that matters is what makes you happy.
Old 8th August 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
A pre-amp is used for microphones and instrument to bring them up to level. I never heard anyone mixing through pre-amps and i cannot think of any reason why I would ever mix a song through pre-amps..

BUT, if it works for you, then who is to say you cannot do it. All that matters is what makes you happy.
Thanks Mastering, it's not really that I 'want to' mix through preamps .... it's just that if it is possible and all my outboard is routed through the inserts and that's my re entry point to my Dante network then it looks like a really simple solution to what would otherwise be a load of patch bay pain. the ISAs are made to take line level inputs and they can be plumbed in at the same time as the XLRs with just a flick of a switch between tracking and mixing, is there any reason why I wouldn't? isn't this effectively what a channel on a console does?
Old 8th August 2020
  #4
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Pale Pyramid's Avatar
Sounds good to me. Give it a spin both with and without.
Run a song through and see what you think.
Old 8th August 2020
  #5
Quote:
Thanks Mastering, it's not really that I 'want to' mix through preamps .... it's just that if it is possible and all my outboard is routed through the inserts and that's my re entry point to my Dante network then it looks like a really simple solution to what would otherwise be a load of patch bay pain.
What Pale said is correct, try it and see how it comers out.

Music making is a process of 1000 fails and 1 success at times, especially when you are learning the ropes.
You cannot succeed unless you fail. Failing and experimenting on different things is part of learning.
Old 8th August 2020
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
What Pale said is correct, try it and see how it comers out.

Music making is a process of 1000 fails and 1 success at times, especially when you are learning the ropes.
You cannot succeed unless you fail. Failing and experimenting on different things is part of learning.
Thanks CJ & Pale, I'll give it a go then...
Old 8th August 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Music making is a process of 1000 fails and 1 success
Now that’s a quote to remember
Old 8th August 2020
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
A pre-amp is used for microphones and instrument to bring them up to level. I never heard anyone mixing through pre-amps and i cannot think of any reason why I would ever mix a song through pre-amps..
Just for color, plain and simple. People reamp through preamps it all the time. It's sometimes called "re-preamping"

It is of course totally 'superfluous' (as preamplification) if your signal is already in the computer, but I have some vintage tube EQs that I often reamp things through without boosting or cutting any frequencies - for the same kinds of reasons. Technically I am not "EQing" with them.

Many summing mixers are totally passive and require you to insert some kind of preamps into the output channels. The choice of preamp to use with them is how the summer gives you color.

DW Fearn even sells a box that takes line level down to mic level to simplify the re-preamping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philbop
This way I get two of everything.
As for the OP's concept, personally, I usually have no problems committing to the color of my analog gear. The amount of times that I wished I had a dry version to revert to is so infrequent that getting the "two of everything" would have to be extremely automatic and extremely transparent to make it worth my while.

If it could be permanently set up and left up all the time, I could see getting into it.

Hard drive space is cheap and superfluous tracks can be deactivated to save CPU. So that's not the problem. But if patching the extra signals in and creating and arming and routing these extra tracks in the DAW takes too much time, then forget it.

"Two of everything" also implies the cost of eating up your available inputs.

Quote:
the 8 input Dante ADC card
So that means if you were recording a drum set, you could only use 4 mics?
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Old 10th August 2020
  #9
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Just for color, plain and simple. People reamp through preamps it all the time. It's sometimes called "re-preamping"

It is of course totally 'superfluous' (as preamplification) if your signal is already in the computer, but I have some vintage tube EQs that I often reamp things through without boosting or cutting any frequencies - for the same kinds of reasons. Technically I am not "EQing" with them.

Many summing mixers are totally passive and require you to insert some kind of preamps into the output channels. The choice of preamp to use with them is how the summer gives you color.

DW Fearn even sells a box that takes line level down to mic level to simplify the re-preamping.



As for the OP's concept, personally, I usually have no problems committing to the color of my analog gear. The amount of times that I wished I had a dry version to revert to is so infrequent that getting the "two of everything" would have to be extremely automatic and extremely transparent to make it worth my while.

If it could be permanently set up and left up all the time, I could see getting into it.

Hard drive space is cheap and superfluous tracks can be deactivated to save CPU. So that's not the problem. But if patching the extra signals in and creating and arming and routing these extra tracks in the DAW takes too much time, then forget it.

"Two of everything" also implies the cost of eating up your available inputs.


So that means if you were recording a drum set, you could only use 4 mics?


Thanks very much Joeq. That all speaks to my thinking and makes me feel like not an idiot!😂

I actually have 4 * ISA 428s so with the Digital cards I get 16 genuine analogue preamps and a further 16 analogue intuts to the Dante network so I am okay for inputs and am planning 8 tracks for drums. Totally agree it needs to be super automatic, which I am hoping the Dante solution will be. (Coupled with DAW templates).

I suppose the main reason for not wanting to commit to too much colour is that I am aiming the studio at tracking only clients (my mixing skills are not financially economical if you know what I mean) but I am trying to create an environment where people want to come and be and play together, I just make sure it sounds wonderful in their ears but more skilled mixers can take the cleanest stuff away. That way they can pay me for a really clear service and I can get on with the next tracking session.

I am secretly hoping that my colour choices during tracking will become my signature sound and people will come for that but, can't really bank on getting it right first time.

P x
Old 10th August 2020
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philbop View Post

I am secretly hoping that my colour choices during tracking will become my signature sound and people will come for that
it sounds like an interesting approach, especially if you can get the 'redundancy' aspect going with minimal patching and clicking. Perhaps a template with tracks already in "pairs". There is still record-enabling, monitoring and muting things you will have to work out. Tasks like punching may require a bit of extra focus.


Quote:
but, can't really bank on getting it right first time
.
even if you are not doing the mixing for your clients, you should practice mixing these tracks. Even if just for your own edification.

Mixing is where you "find out" if the decisions you committed to in tracking were good decisions or bad decisions. Which can help you at the next tracking session.
Old 20th August 2020
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
it sounds like an interesting approach, especially if you can get the 'redundancy' aspect going with minimal patching and clicking. Perhaps a template with tracks already in "pairs". There is still record-enabling, monitoring and muting things you will have to work out. Tasks like punching may require a bit of extra focus.


.
even if you are not doing the mixing for your clients, you should practice mixing these tracks. Even if just for your own edification.

Mixing is where you "find out" if the decisions you committed to in tracking were good decisions or bad decisions. Which can help you at the next tracking session.
thanks again Joeq, I think I know where I am heading. Yes certainly templates are the name of the game.
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