The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Hi-end digital mixer vs PT ITB Equalizer Plugins
Old 22nd August 2014
  #121
Erik,

Thanks for clearing this up

Yes - in short HC is an OEM device that is initially targeted at standalone units... of course if a manufacturer licenses HC then we are not going to limit the scope of the conversation.

I had assumed that this was merely a mis-understanding of what is actually on offer currently.

I take your point on the channel count/bandwidth question on the MADI vs Dante PCIe - you are correct that if n number of channels can get onto the PCIe bus then theoretically a channel is a channel.

All I can really say is that by the time the audio hits the PCIe bus, the OS is unaware of whether it came from a UDP/IP source or a synchronous serial (eg MADI) source.

A common misconception with the Dante PCIe card is that network traffic is bridged to the PCIe bus almost as if it were an additional network interface for the host machine- The IP stack of the Dante PCIe card is handled on the logic of the card itself - and the card appears to the host OS as "just" a soundcard. I'm not suggesting that anyone in particular holds this possible misconception... rather that it is a fairly widely held one.

I am very interested in the idea of getting really good sync between multiple playback machines to achieve high channel counts - a lot of my background is live work, and as the channel count grows in very sub optimal capture conditions (pumping sub bass literally shaking the hard drives into submission - I am aware of SSDs and I do have what many would see as an irrational fear of them - this is based on maybe now invalid experience)

There is that inevitable point where one just needs more channels than the system can support - whether this is 128 channels or 256 or whatever... the likelihood is that the host machine is the least expensive component in any case - I had a good discussion with a successful act today about this subject, their conclusion was that there isn't a magic bullet solution as of yet to get huge systems perfectly locked with transport control every time. I'm curious to know if this is your experience, or if you have solved it... or maybe even more interesting.... how this application can be addressed in a better way. This is almost certainly completely off topic- so I apologise!

Thanks

Kieran
Old 23rd August 2014
  #122
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
This is an interesting discussion (Dante vs MADI etc) that might need a new thread?
I record fairly high channel numbers for broadcast and DVD (we have triple MADI recording systems for 192 channels at 48khz per machine)
I am very interested in audio over IP solutions but for a new OB truck we're building we will choose multiple MADI ports instead of IP (this would be Ravenna as we're Lawo users) because there is no real advantage yet for us to use Ravenna (many reasons, long story)
The possible promise of recording say 256 channels or more via a network port without an audio interface excited me very much but this will never be possible it seems.
For more than 64 channels a dedicated card/interface will always be needed right?

None of the IP standards can record 256 channels over a single dante/ravenna/avb/AES67 port, I am kind of waiting for that.
Especially if all these standards would talk AES67.
Old 13th September 2014
  #123
Lives for gear
Getting back onto separate mixer vs ITB argument, I'd like to ask what the book keeping is like on a dedicated mixer versus keeping all this data inside the DAW.

I'm working in a multi room Fairlight facility, in Singapore; we have an extremely high throughput of programming (usually two hour long soaps/dramas mixed per day in our mix suite in shifts). It's been suggested to get a dedicated mixer for our premiere mix room - as opposed to an EVO or similar control surface - which we're also hoping to equip for Atmos/Auro3D mixing for the odd feature film that lands to us too (but 99% of our work is for TV).

Anyway, the thing I've not heard mentioned is about how easy is it to manage a dedicated mixer's information alongside the DAW, is it reasonably easy to reconform? Are there external programs that can manage this data and at least hack things into some sort of shape without requiring the stage?
Old 13th September 2014
  #124
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsSka View Post
Getting back onto separate mixer vs ITB argument, I'd like to ask what the book keeping is like on a dedicated mixer versus keeping all this data inside the DAW.

I'm working in a multi room Fairlight facility, in Singapore; we have an extremely high throughput of programming (usually two hour long soaps/dramas mixed per day in our mix suite in shifts). It's been suggested to get a dedicated mixer for our premiere mix room - as opposed to an EVO or similar control surface - which we're also hoping to equip for Atmos/Auro3D mixing for the odd feature film that lands to us too (but 99% of our work is for TV).

Anyway, the thing I've not heard mentioned is about how easy is it to manage a dedicated mixer's information alongside the DAW, is it reasonably easy to reconform? Are there external programs that can manage this data and at least hack things into some sort of shape without requiring the stage?
I wouldn't say it's necessarily hard to conform console automation, but you obviously have to do the conforms twice, once in the session and then also for the console, and it is more difficult to determine if a mistake was made and if so, where. Also, you can't really finesse the cuts and smooth them out by adjusting anchor points like you can in a DAW. It's not the end of the world, but it's a lot more convenient to do the entire conform within the DAW.
Old 13th September 2014
  #125
Lives for gear
 

I think you sense that there will be some sacrifice in speed and efficiency if you put in a console; you have to decide if the functionality and ergonomics (as well as the client wow-factor) are worth the trouble. For higher-end work you may also be looking at working with mixers, chosen by your clients, who prefer stages with consoles (if not specific models), that you would not be able to bid for without the board. I would ask if anyone who you presently have on staff has done a lot of mixes on consoles in the past--ie are your people ready for this?

philp
Old 20th September 2014
  #126
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsSka View Post
Anyway, the thing I've not heard mentioned is about how easy is it to manage a dedicated mixer's information alongside the DAW, is it reasonably easy to reconform? Are there external programs that can manage this data and at least hack things into some sort of shape without requiring the stage?
On DFC it comes with an offline version of Encore so you can cut automation whilst away from the console - useful when working in reels so you can prepare other reels whilst the mixers are still working. Apparently the new version can read in more EDLs directly but I haven't seen this yet.
Old 13th May 2015
  #127
Lives for gear
 
NetworkAudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post

None of the IP standards can record 256 channels over a single dante/ravenna/avb/AES67 port, I am kind of waiting for that.
Especially if all these standards would talk AES67.
That is not the case.

To quote from this page:

Merging Technologies | Pyramix 9 - Professional Music, Post & Mastering Software

"Ultra-Large Track Count Recordings

A single Pyramix MassCore system is capable of recording up to 384 discreet audio channels at once. This has huge implications at 44.1/48 kHz, but is even more interesting when samplerates start to increase.
•384 track recording @ 44.1 / 48 kHz"
Old 13th May 2015
  #128
Lives for gear
 
huub's Avatar
I'm a Pyramix masscore user myself, the system can do that amount of inputs yes.
Possibly when using merging hardware you can even connect 256 inputs over ravenna?
But I'm talking about interfacing the multitrack system to mixers and/or interfacing different equipment over IP in general.
Old 28th June 2015
  #129
Gear Head
I'm seeing quite a lot of support for mix ITB with ICON. I do agree that mixing ITB is pretty much more convenient than mixing with high-end mixing desk, esp. for tight timeline such as TV work. But my personally taste in terms of sonically, I felt that mixes done on a Neve DFC somehow has this round fat sound than a mix done solely ITB. I'm not referring to things like music levels vs sfx levels, etc. I'm referring to the overall sonically character or flavor or whatever you call it. To my ear, I like the sound of Neve DFC on the first, and Harrison MPC on the second. ITB just sounded worse to my ear/taste. I'm not saying ITB sounds like ****. It sounds great too! But not as great when comparing to a DFC or MPC.

Once again, I'm referring to the overall sonically character/flavor, not the levels etc.
Old 28th June 2015
  #130
Lives for gear
 
minister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sj2six View Post
I'm seeing quite a lot of support for mix ITB with ICON. I do agree that mixing ITB is pretty much more convenient than mixing with high-end mixing desk, esp. for tight timeline such as TV work. But my personally taste in terms of sonically, I felt that mixes done on a Neve DFC somehow has this round fat sound than a mix done solely ITB. I'm not referring to things like music levels vs sfx levels, etc. I'm referring to the overall sonically character or flavor or whatever you call it. To my ear, I like the sound of Neve DFC on the first, and Harrison MPC on the second. ITB just sounded worse to my ear/taste. I'm not saying ITB sounds like ****. It sounds great too! But not as great when comparing to a DFC or MPC.

Once again, I'm referring to the overall sonically character/flavor, not the levels etc.
I'd love to know what films you mixed on a Neve DFC and which ones you mixed on the Harrison MPC.
Old 28th June 2015
  #131
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sj2six View Post
I'm seeing quite a lot of support for mix ITB with ICON. I do agree that mixing ITB is pretty much more convenient than mixing with high-end mixing desk, esp. for tight timeline such as TV work. But my personally taste in terms of sonically, I felt that mixes done on a Neve DFC somehow has this round fat sound than a mix done solely ITB. I'm not referring to things like music levels vs sfx levels, etc. I'm referring to the overall sonically character or flavor or whatever you call it. To my ear, I like the sound of Neve DFC on the first, and Harrison MPC on the second. ITB just sounded worse to my ear/taste. I'm not saying ITB sounds like ****. It sounds great too! But not as great when comparing to a DFC or MPC.

Once again, I'm referring to the overall sonically character/flavor, not the levels etc.
The DFC has the best sounding, most transparent EQ and compression of any console I've ever used. Ergonomically it is a PITA, and I mixed on one for years, so I knew it like the back of my hand. Sometimes the quality of the processing can't make up for the time you lose. When I edit and mix these days, very little of the processing is done on the stage because I've done the vast majority of it in my edit/mix suite, so the mix is more about levels and reverb. The primary advantage the DFC has sound-wise in that situation is the incredible amount of internal headroom, which Pro Tools doesn't have.

Last edited by ggegan; 28th June 2015 at 02:03 AM..
Old 28th June 2015
  #132
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Isn't Protools 32 bit floating at this point?
Old 28th June 2015
  #133
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sj2six View Post
I'm seeing quite a lot of support for mix ITB with ICON. I do agree that mixing ITB is pretty much more convenient than mixing with high-end mixing desk, esp. for tight timeline such as TV work. But my personally taste in terms of sonically, I felt that mixes done on a Neve DFC somehow has this round fat sound than a mix done solely ITB. I'm not referring to things like music levels vs sfx levels, etc. I'm referring to the overall sonically character or flavor or whatever you call it. To my ear, I like the sound of Neve DFC on the first, and Harrison MPC on the second. ITB just sounded worse to my ear/taste. I'm not saying ITB sounds like ****. It sounds great too! But not as great when comparing to a DFC or MPC.

Once again, I'm referring to the overall sonically character/flavor, not the levels etc.
Sorry.
Calling BS on this.
Emperors new clothes effect.

I've heard enough stuff mixed on both, that sounded like ****e.

Last edited by Henchman; 28th June 2015 at 04:00 AM..
Old 28th June 2015
  #134
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Sorry.
Calling BS on this.
Emperors new clothes effect.

I've heard enough stuff mixed on both, that sounded like ****e.
I'm going to have to completely agree with henchman here. You'd have to mix the same film on two different systems to get a difference you could quantify. Yes they might have a different sound, but I'd venture to say that there are a whole lot more that has more effect than what board you mix on. Things such as whose hands are riding those faders, that material going into said systems, and how much time you have, all have MUCH more effect than which system it was mixed on. People have their favorites, but let's be honest, Hench or Gary gegan or Gary rydstrom or Tom Fleischman mixing on a system they are less experienced on will produce a mix that is light years ahead of a hack on the best stage in the world.
Old 28th June 2015
  #135
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Sorry.
Calling BS on this.
Emperors new clothes effect.

I've heard enough stuff mixed on both, that sounded like ****e.
You would never be able to tell what console a film was mixed on by listening to the soundtrack of a movie, however that does not mean that some processors aren't much more flexible, cleaner and more transparent than others. I don't know anyone who has mixed on a DFC who hasn't fallen in love with the EQ and the compressors. I would pay top dollar to be able to buy them as plugins if they were available because there is nothing comparable on the market that I've found, but that's not what makes a mix great, it's the mixer. I've done some of my best mixes on really pitiful gear by today's standards, and those mixes still hold up, but I'm always in the market for better tools.
Old 28th June 2015
  #136
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Isn't Protools 32 bit floating at this point?
32 bit float signal paths and 64 bit summing. Or in other words, for all practical purposes, unlimited headroom.

Alistair
Old 28th June 2015
  #137
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Sorry.
Calling BS on this.
Emperors new clothes effect.

I've heard enough stuff mixed on both, that sounded like ****e.
Agreed. If the Neve changes the sound when summing or leveling, it is broken IMO. A digital console should be transparent. If it doesn't, then it is just up to the processing and whatever plugin you are comparing to ITB. As there are countless choices of plugins ITB, there is always something available that sounds great.

I chalk these kind of pronouncements down to expectation bias. (Or possibly comparisons to less good ITB plugins).

Alistair

Last edited by UnderTow; 28th June 2015 at 11:04 AM..
Old 28th June 2015
  #138
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
32 bit float signal paths and 64 bit summing. Or in other words, for all practical purposes, unlimited headroom.

Alistair
I still get clip lights on plugins and sends. Are they just for show?
Old 28th June 2015
  #139
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I still get clip lights on plugins and sends. Are they just for show?
In PT 11? On sends, yes it just means your signal has reached 0 dB FS but the signal doesn't actually get clipped. On plugins it depends. Some plugins clip at 0 dB FS (usually due to internal calculations done with integer maths). Some might also just show a clip indicator without clipping. Most will simply pass the signals on regardless of whether they are above or below 0 dB FS.

Of course sticking to good fain staging is always a good idea even if you can go over 0 dB FS. In the end, the signal has to be below 0 dB FS before it hits the converters (or is exported at 24/16 bit fixed point).

Alistair
Old 28th June 2015
  #140
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
In PT 11? On sends, yes it just means your signal has reached 0 dB FS but the signal doesn't actually get clipped. On plugins it depends. Some plugins clip at 0 dB FS (usually due to internal calculations done with integer maths). Some might also just show a clip indicator without clipping. Most will simply pass the signals on regardless of whether they are above or below 0 dB FS.

Of course sticking to good fain staging is always a good idea even if you can go over 0 dB FS. In the end, the signal has to be below 0 dB FS before it hits the converters (or is exported at 24/16 bit fixed point).

Alistair
I'm on PT12HD now.

If they aren't actually clipping then I was under a false assumption of what a clip light actually indicates. Maybe they should find a more accurate term.

Anyway, I use the clip lights as an indicator to adjust my gain staging, however that doesn't always avoid the clip lights. They light up most often on TV mixes when I'm hitting the Stem limiters hard in order to try to push FX through when the DX/MX mixer is slamming the music. I know the ideal solution is to just reduce the volume of the MX, but I have never found it either effective or diplomatic to tell the lead mixer how to do their job.

Getting back to the original conversation, After a couple of decades of mixing films on various conventional analog and digital consoles I have been an ITB guy for several years now and only mix on conventional consoles when I am working at facilities that don't offer ICONs. I much prefer the ITB workflow and I don't think the quality of my mixes has suffered at all, quite the opposite actually. I still would kill for plugins that replicate the DFC EQ and Compression and the DFC faders are great, too, but not having those tools at my disposal is not a deal breaker.
Old 28th June 2015
  #141
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I'm on PT12HD now.

If they aren't actually clipping then I was under a false assumption of what a clip light actually indicates. Maybe they should find a more accurate term.
The same applies to PT 12 as with PT 11. Both use floating point maths and can bring the signal over 0 dB FS without clipping. (As long as the signal is back below before hitting the converters).

The clip lights got their name when they indicated exactly that. It is just that things have changed with the advent of floating point maths in DAWs. I doubt the name will change any time soon. Too many people know them under their current name and the "Over 0 dB Full Scale Light" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Quote:
Anyway, I use the clip lights as an indicator to adjust my gain staging, however that doesn't always avoid the clip lights. They light up most often on TV mixes when I'm hitting the Stem limiters hard in order to try to push FX through when the DX/MX mixer is slamming the music. I know the ideal solution is to just reduce the volume of the MX, but I have never found it either effective or diplomatic to tell the lead mixer how to do their job.
As long as you are not hitting one of the few plugins that does clip at 0 dB FS[1], it doesn't really matter whether that clip indicator turns on or not. The signal isn't actually clipping.

[1] Off the top of my head I can only think of the Waves Linear Phase series. (LinEQ, LinMB etc).

Alistair
Old 28th June 2015
  #142
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Clop lights have historically always been setup to light up 3db before hitting fullscale.
Old 28th June 2015
  #143
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
The same applies to PT 12 as with PT 11. Both use floating point maths and can bring the signal over 0 dB FS without clipping. (As long as the signal is back below before hitting the converters).

The clip lights got their name when they indicated exactly that. It is just that things have changed with the advent of floating point maths in DAWs. I doubt the name will change any time soon. Too many people know them under their current name and the "Over 0 dB Full Scale Light" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.



As long as you are not hitting one of the few plugins that does clip at 0 dB FS[1], it doesn't really matter whether that clip indicator turns on or not. The signal isn't actually clipping.

[1] Off the top of my head I can only think of the Waves Linear Phase series. (LinEQ, LinMB etc).

Alistair
Thank you Alistair for educating me about this. This takes a load off my shoulders since I have always put a lot of effort into trying to avoid those pesky lights at all costs and now it seems that all I really have to concern myself about are the outputs to the converters, which is much easier to deal with.
Old 28th June 2015
  #144
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
Thank you Alistair for educating me about this. This takes a load off my shoulders since I have always put a lot of effort into trying to avoid those pesky lights at all costs and now it seems that all I really have to concern myself about are the outputs to the converters, which is much easier to deal with.
You are welcome. I've always had the clip indicator hold time set to 3 seconds because in the end what counts if whether you can hear any clipping or not. The lights are just an aid so there is no need to keep them on indefinitely.

Btw, due to Hench's comment about the level at which the indicators come on I went to check the manual (they come on at 0 db FS. Not before) and found the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT 11 Reference Manual
Because Pro Tools uses 64-bit floating point calculations for the mixer, there will never be any internal clipping in the mixer. However, it is possible to clip at the converters on your audio interface. It is
also possible to clip when writing audio to disk in fixed point audio files (16-bit or 24-bit files only, 32-bit floating point files will not clip).
This confirms what I posted earlier but it also says the following:

Quote:
Master Fader Track Clip Indicators

Master Fader track clip indicators display red when the audio signal exceeds 0 dBFS, causing clipping at the output converters on your audio interface. This behavior is mirrored in the Output Meters in the Transport.

Audio Track Clip Indicators

Audio track clip indicators display red under the following circumstances, otherwise they display yellow:
• When an audio track is record enabled or set to input monitoring and the input assignment is set to a physical input signal that exceeds 0 dBFS causing clipping at the converters.
• When an audio track is recording to a fixedpoint bit depth (16- or 24-bit) and the audio written to disk exceeds 0 dBFS causing clipping in the file.

Auxiliary Input and Instrument Track, and Sends Clip Indicators

Auxiliary Input and Instrument tracks, as well as Sends clip indicators display yellow when the audio signal exceeds 0 dBFS (even though there is no internal clipping). This provides a warning that these audio streams can clip at the output converters or when writing fixed-point file formats to disk.
So in theory you shouldn't be seeing any red clip indicators unless you are going to physical outputs. They should be yellow.

Alistair
Old 28th June 2015
  #145
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
You are welcome. I've always had the clip indicator hold time set to 3 seconds because in the end what counts if whether you can hear any clipping or not. The lights are just an aid so there is no need to keep them on indefinitely.

Btw, due to Hench's comment about the level at which the indicators come on I went to check the manual (they come on at 0 db FS. Not before) and found the following:



This confirms what I posted earlier but it also says the following:



So in theory you shouldn't be seeing any red clip indicators unless you are going to physical outputs. They should be yellow.

Alistair
Where I often notice the clip indicators is on the Icon buttons, which flash at FS. The VCAs are often the culprit. Also, even though I am working in PT 12, many of the dub stages in facilities where I mix are still on PT10, so am I to assume that it isn't really safe to ignore yellow indicators in PT12 for those situations?
Old 28th June 2015
  #146
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
Where I often notice the clip indicators is on the Icon buttons, which flash at FS. The VCAs are often the culprit. Also, even though I am working in PT 12, many of the dub stages in facilities where I mix are still on PT10, so am I to assume that it isn't really safe to ignore yellow indicators in PT12 for those situations?
Basically if you are working on a floating point system you should be fine. Native and HDX are floating point. If you are on a TDM system, then clipping is real clipping and should be avoided. And of course, physical outputs should never go over 0 dB FS on any system.

Alistair
Old 29th June 2015
  #147
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
Thank you Alistair for educating me about this. This takes a load off my shoulders since I have always put a lot of effort into trying to avoid those pesky lights at all costs and now it seems that all I really have to concern myself about are the outputs to the converters, which is much easier to deal with.
Gary, have you worked in 32bit file wise? it is really nice- and as Alastair mentioned, the signal will not clip internally - for practical purposes-

it does eat up disk space. but the benefits are not trivial
Old 29th June 2015
  #148
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Gary, have you worked in 32bit file wise? it is really nice- and as Alastair mentioned, the signal will not clip internally - for practical purposes-

it does eat up disk space. but the benefits are not trivial
I have not, Charles, although I would be interested in checking it out. How are you using it and how does it work when you have 24bit delivery requirements? I am not worried about disk space, it's relatively cheap.
Old 29th June 2015
  #149
Lives for gear
 

Sense all audio in the flowing through the PT 32 float mixer is 32 float, how would using 32 float audio files help? The only instance I can see 32 float audio being an advantage is AS processing at levels over 144 dB or 24 bit. These audio files will not clip. Who does that in post?
Old 29th June 2015
  #150
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
The only technical reason I can see for using 32 bit float files is for rendering audio that goes over 0 dB FS or that is so quiet that the 24 bit the noise floor becomes an issue. In my workflow that is ever needed. (Neither in post nor in music production). Let's not forget that TDM uses 24 bit interconnects between every plugin, bus etc. That never stopped people from making great mixes so I don't see why someone could not manage with 24 bit audio files. Of course there might be workflows that need such extreme dynamic range in the files but I am not familiar with them.

Alistair
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump