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Old 2nd April 2004
Gear Maniac
charleslee's Avatar

Lightbulb THE BOX


I've considered mixing in the box. I'm using PT LE, got two 001s, one on MAC (OSX) and one on PC (XP).

However, these two machines are not synced up yet for 32+32 audio tracks coz they are in two different rooms.

Althought the main bulk of my work in the studio is actually audio post for television programmes, we do occasionally mix music for people.

The last time we did it, we had all 16 outputs from the 001 pacthed into an analog mixer (SoundTracs TOPAZ 32)

Then the output of the mixer is routed to two aux tracks in Pro Tools for the final mix and bounce to disk this way.

The 001's sync is set to my DTP (Digital Time Piece) via SPDIF.

I'm not sure, but I remember reading somewhere that if we bounce to disk, even if PT LE is set to synced to a good external clock, it will still use internal? or is this statement not true?

Anyway, inorder to keep everything in good quality, there is a need to get good A/Ds and D/As.

So, I am wondering, if I just mix everything inside the box (I've got a faster Mac now, Dual G4 1.25Ghz) will all the good A/Ds & D/As not matter anymore?

Assuming all trackings were done elsewhere and nothing needs to be A/D'ed or D/A'ed when i mix.

By the way, this is Charles Lee, not Charles Dye
Old 2nd April 2004
FX smörgåsbord user
Charles Dye's Avatar


When people say mixing "everything in the box" they still may be summing in one of at least three ways and each one has a different answer:
  • Analog Summing - Mixing out to an analog console or buss

    With this technique the qualities of your DA's and clock source a very important, because they will be apart of the sonic signature, along with your console or summing buss, that will be applied to your mix.

  • External Digital Summing - Mixing digitally out to a digital console

    Here the quality of your clock source is important, because a poor clock source can color your mix, but your DA's aren't being used at this stage and won't affect your mix in any way.

  • Internal Digital Summing - Staying inside your DAW

    By using your DAW's summing buss and internally "bouncing" your mix to the systems drives your DA's aren't used and won't affect your mix.
There are other issues at play with the above choices, but as far as the DA this should be a complete answer.

Regarding the other reasons to use analog or digital summing I believe they clearly deserve their own thread.

Hope this helps.
Old 6th April 2004
Gear Maniac
charleslee's Avatar

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the short, sweet and summarised answer

So, (just to reconfirm what I understand from your comments), if I am just doing mixing for jobs that were already tracked somewhere else, and if I want to stay inside the box and bounce internally, a good clock or AD will not be useful anymore?

And for good and accurate monitoring, I should get one of those DA that I can connect my monitoring speakers to, so it is represented as close as possible? (Assuming the acoustics is perfect in my room)

Old 7th April 2004
FX smörgåsbord user
Charles Dye's Avatar

Because I have little to no experience with 001's I can't comment with any accuracy re improvements made by using external clocking. I'd prefer to leave that to someone who has. Anyone?

I do believe using a high quality DA for monitoring when mixing would be very helpful.
Old 7th April 2004
Lives for gear

whatever your situation, whatever your mixing philosophy, a great d-a is always valuable. check out the benchmark dac-1. it's seriously killer. and it's got a heaphone output too with a volume control knob.
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