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IndridCold 17th August 2019 05:17 PM

Bouncing Mix for mastering
 
Is there any advantage quality wise to printing a finished mixed in the session and exporting with the outputs as Printed Mix -> Master Bus? Does it matter? I am just trying to understand the best way to deliver a file for mastering. I know you should bounce it at 32bit WAV form. I was just unsure if summing it down somehow led to a better quality bounce.

Thanks!

Fired Wire 19th August 2019 04:53 PM

Not 100% sure I follow you, but for myself, I'm recording my mix back into my Pro Tools session (I use an analog board with an A to D). Then I'm Bouncing that file down as the Mix File for a Mastering Session. It's the Control K combination bounce so that the actual file is saved, not a traditional real time bounce in this case.

Not sure if that's the best method on my part either, but just adding some context into what people do.

bgrotto 20th August 2019 03:25 PM

Assuming you haven't made any mistakes in selecting your bounce down options, and assuming your DAW handles off-line bouncing correctly, there's generally no difference in audio quality between an offline bounce and printing a mix back into the session in realtime.

The main exception is that some plugins have an option to use increased oversampling when bouncing offline. In those cases, there is a mathematical difference, but whether you'd actually hear it comes down to how you're using the processors (and of course, your experience level and the quality of your monitoring).

On the other hand, in terms of workflow, printing back into your session offers a few advantages.

First of all, you can punch into a mix, so if you find a glitch or make a small change, you don't have to re-print the entire selection. Very useful for revisions, or, for mixes where the CPU is taxed and you get some audio dropouts or other occasional gremlins.

Speaking of those gremlins, you can listen in real time as you're printing, so if you hear em, you can stop the print and address it. If you bounce offline, you'll only potentially discover those gremlins upon listening back.

Along the same lines, I've found that some DAWs' plugin delay compensation and handling of automation timing can be flakey in terms of how it works in offline bounce mode vs. real time printing. My philosophy is that I want to hear the mix as it's happening, so i can be sure it sounds exactly as I expect it should.

bgrotto 20th August 2019 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fired Wire (Post 14157574)
Not 100% sure I follow you, but for myself, I'm recording my mix back into my Pro Tools session (I use an analog board with an A to D). Then I'm Bouncing that file down as the Mix File for a Mastering Session. It's the Control K combination bounce so that the actual file is saved, not a traditional real time bounce in this case.

Not sure if that's the best method on my part either, but just adding some context into what people do.

To clarify: the command-shift-K (which i think is what you meant, or maybe it's a mac vs pc nomenclature thing) is export, not bounce. That's an important distinction because a bounce asks the DAW to crunch a whole lot more numbers as it processes and sums a bunch of audio streams, whereas export is basically like telling Finder to copy-and-paste the selected file (or, very importantly with regards to making the distinction v. bouncing, files) in your DAW.

Fired Wire 21st August 2019 08:29 PM

So then Ctl-K-Shift is good right? No further processing is taking place to the mix I just dubbed back in from my analog board?

bgrotto 21st August 2019 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fired Wire (Post 14161451)
So then Ctl-K-Shift is good right? No further processing is taking place to the mix I just dubbed back in from my analog board?

That's right, unless you change the export settings away from the native sample rate and bit depth of the session.

psycho_monkey 23rd August 2019 12:38 PM

Ps you don’t need to export a 32bit float wav. You’ve been monitoring a 24bit fixed audio stream the whole time.

Unless you’ve been clipping your converters the whole time and haven’t noticed, in which case there’s probably bigger issues than delivery format at stake!

Fired Wire 1st September 2019 03:45 PM

Thanks bgrotto, so in exporting and changing sample rates, say from 48 and 24 to 44 and 16 as an export of a WAV file.....is that a problem? Is there bad conversion happening there because of it being an export as opposed to a bounce?

bgrotto 2nd September 2019 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fired Wire (Post 14178427)
Thanks bgrotto, so in exporting and changing sample rates, say from 48 and 24 to 44 and 16 as an export of a WAV file.....is that a problem? Is there bad conversion happening there because of it being an export as opposed to a bounce?

Yes, there would be a conversion in that case. And there's always going to be a compromise in sound quality when changing sample rate or bit depth, but it's generally not gonna be too dramatic. But, if you're just printing a mix to send off to mastering, there's no reason to send anything but the native sample rate and bit depth.