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Analog sounding mixes- turning point!@ Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 20th December 2002
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Analog sounding mixes- turning point!@

OK guys I am at a crossroads in my mixing journey - I like most of you have gone from complaining about the mix buss to buying stacks of outboards to being convinced I needed to buss out to SSL etc...
Finally I am at a crossroads in that I need to make a decision about the sound I can acheive mixing inside protools. I think this decision is now purely an asthetic one but it is one that needs confirmation from peers.
I have concluded that mixng inside protools will never be exactly the same as bussing out to a great console HOWEVER me thinks that it is totally possible to get a warm/fat/organix mix using the infamous Mix (not HD) summing buss.
What I would like to do is post one of my works and get feedback from the rest of you as to weather or not I would benefit from mixing again through a great board ie would it be worth the expense? This is not an attempt at self praise, I just need confirmation that my stuff is good enough to be brought straight to the mastering guy. I dont have the budget to do a try and see if that SSL will take it to another level.

Old 20th December 2002
Lives for gear

So post it.
Old 20th December 2002
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
One of the things I've found over the years is that I can not "critically examine" anything I'm not working on. I can comment on it musically... maybe even make a suggestion or two on how I might have produced it differently... but from an engineering perspective... I'm clueless as a boat anchor.

As a 'spectator' [even as an educated specator], I don't know what the intention was, nor do I know what the tracks were... so how they fit together is something that is best evaluated by the people/person who were fitting them together.

When I hear someone's work, I hear a finished song. I may hear a sound or two within the song that I may feel could have been a bit more _______... but frankly, I have no idea that if it were a bit more _______ that it wouldn't have totally ****ed the arrangement or the balances of the other instruments.

May I suggest that you live with the mixes for a while, make notes on what you like and what you hate about them... remix the stuff... repeat the process. Sometimes that helps... sometimes it's a waste of time... sometimes my wife hears something I did and says "why didn't you do _____".... which I go back and do and it works like charm.

Best of luck with the project... wish I thought I could be of some assistance... but frankly, I seem to really suck at that sort of thing.
Old 20th December 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar

I need a wife like that.
Old 20th December 2002
Yesterday, unable to get into Sony Mastering Studios London, UK. I tried out Masterpiece. For a 3 track single coming out next year.

When I called to tell them I was bringing in 96k mixes on a Masterlink (and a Cranesong Hedd to play em back through) , the junior engineer...said he would look into it as the room HE used was all 44.1 digital... (this worried me a LOT)

When we arrived I found much to my delight that the session had been 'upgraded' to their best 'analog room'! Hooray!

The engineer did some eqing with a GML 8200 put it on Half inch, then eqed it and limited it (with a cool Sony system STP????) on the way in to Sonic Solutions for fades, timings and PQ encoding..

Good service and the guy Simon had a good sound.. his reason for bouncing it onto (Studer) 1/2" was to make the vocals sound better...

I dug it...

Actually the A side was Ray Staff's work at Sony he just used that untouched... But the Simons work on the B sides was excelent.

We threw the Masterink back in the car and drove away happy...

Old 21st December 2002
Re: Analog sounding mixes- turning point!@

What are you comparing it to?

Why can't you just book time in a studio with PT and SSL and try it?

That's the only way you will know.

I could only reccomend and analog console if I heard the unprocessed tracks, but if you are playing a mixed track than its almost impossible to say.
Old 21st December 2002
Lives for gear
Renie's Avatar

Great insights Fletcher , a refreshing take to the subject of feedback.

I personally like to have a go and like it when people give me feedback too. My ideal feedbacker would be someone with your attitude but who still told me their thoughts/ideas!
Old 22nd December 2002
Gear Head

Thread Starter
ummm - When I post it should I worry about it being an mp3 file?
I will encode at 160 kbps -
Any feedback on how to best do this post thingy? Jules?
Old 23rd December 2002
No one can post audio files on Gearslutz - only small file sized photos or in some cases Gif cartoons.

There is no MP3 mechanism.

There are a zillion music based mp3 sites, use one and post a link to it like anyone else.

If folks are interested they will download it..
Old 24th December 2002
Capitol Studios Paris
jon's Avatar

Re: Analog sounding mixes- turning point!@

Unfortunately, that is the only way for you to know.

The success of the endeavor depends highly on the choice of engineer. You need one who knows how to translate the potential of the SSL room into a better-sounding mix.
Old 25th December 2002
Gear interested

You could of course post a file somewhere. And you would get a lot of opinions. And then what? How would you evaluate those opinions, mostly from people you've never met, and make a decision?

To me it sounds more like you should cut your internet connection (or at least stop reading all the meaningless fluff on the bulletin boards) and trust your own instincts.

I suddenly one day discovered to my surprise that my mixes sounded silky, deep and clean and yet I had used almost no processing and few add-ons. Either I was going deaf (or death) or ProTools HD really is that much better or maybe I was starting to get some tiny grasp on how to use all this stuff. I have no idea, I'm just trying to walk further down that particular road ...

After that day the stuff I see on the internet mostly seem like the Manson family. Just look at the number of people who base their whole identity on writing strange stuff about the voices they claim to hear in the ProTools/Alsihad mix-bus ...

They're like the old folks who get free TV-time just because they claim to hear hidden messages recorded backwards in anything from Christina Aguilera to Ray Conniff.

If you are seriously interested in what an SSL could do for you I suggest you go visit a facility with a good reputation and talk to the engineer face-to-face (you seem to know PT yourself), it's the only way you could get a reasonable opinion.
Old 26th December 2002
Lives for gear
Curve Dominant's Avatar


Even in 001 land, the mixes are licensed to ill. Warm chocolately sounding mixes in Digi001 PT - we got 'em. Email me with a land address and I'll send y'all a sample.

Count me among those who do not see the problem with PT.
Old 26th December 2002
Gear Head

Analog warmth plugs (like DUY or McDSP) can do wonders to the clinical base Pro Tools sound ... also during mixing I like to add harmonics or fatten things up a bit. There's a lot to be said for putting a track back through a mic preamp again and again ... anything put through good outboard mic pre (EQ or Comp) can add astounding clarity, depth, and detail (i.e. warm/fat/organic)

I believe it's a balance between DAW & O/Board ****.

Wayne Gardner
Producer/ Engineer
Forestville Sydney Australia
Ph 61 2 9975 6568
Mobile 0412 077748
Old 26th December 2002
Lives for gear
atticus's Avatar
Actually PTLE has a completely different summing buss then PT TDM does. It really does sound better. BTW, how do you get a license to ill? I've really always wanted one heh
Old 27th December 2002
Gear Head

Fletcher, while i respect your opinions for the most part but this has to be the most politically unsavvy response to a simple request Your not the only one I notice some others followed this extremely politically correct route. It sounds to me like the guy just wanted to dip his feet in the water a little and thats all. I reckon the guy has now been given a potential inferiority complex. Superb advice

And after he has done all that he posts again and you will have to give the same answer. What difference is it if he has remixed and lived with them for a while especially if you consider what the original question was. Are the remixes going to be any better? Would it not be best if he had some pointers now if they were needed?

Yes you do fletch and no offence intented. Surely if the guys mix was way off track you could say that? or if it was perfect to your ears you could say that. Its not difficult. Is he right now remixing an already perfect sounding mix?

To the opriginal poster. provide a link. Have no fear. Many are very interested and you wont get your head bitten off. Either way you will know if the mix is good or bad.

Music is for sharing ....just thought I should mention that.
Old 27th December 2002
Gear Head

Some people CANT tell if they have a good mix or song. Not everyone is as confident as you.
Old 27th December 2002
Gear Head

Are you serious?

were talking about the mix, the sound whatever. Never mind the actual song. what if film/music reviewers all just said this.

"I cant say if this is good or not. My stance is now a refreshing one whereby i cannot comment on an album or movie because I wont listen to it or watch it. I suggest that the film maker or album maker simply remixes and re-works the entire project. even then I cant listen to it or watch it for I have no opinion"

Makes no sense to me. And Fletecher did actually admit that he isnt a particulary good barometer in situations like this.

I remember one review of a film 'Shawshank Redemtion' The guy was creaming himself over it. I went to the movies to see it based on the review and I was glad i did.

Opinions can and do matter. Musicains/Producers do have to come into the real world and sometimes or at least try and put on a pair of ears that belong to the general public. Fletcher has his wife, perhaps our poster doesnt have a handy set of General publics ears at hand. I certainly know that I have to let general public hear my productions if I dont I go way up my own ass.
Old 28th December 2002
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
Ok, so why do people keep using something that makes them feel inferior?

Just as there are ****ty DAW's theer are ****ty 2" machines, ****ty analogue consoles. Would you have bought a console or 2" machine knowing in advance that it didn't sound great? Do all you guys keep gear after you find out it blows?

I really just don't get it.
Old 29th December 2002
Gear interested


You just want to start a war, don't you?

On one hand, I wouldn't want to say that everything's completely relative. On the other hand, crappy equipment, in the right hands, can produce very interesting results musically. Why fight it?

Lots of artists go to great lengths to find the right kind of crappiness that gives the proper mood to whatever they're creating.

For instance, on Xmas day, I watched Fiddler on the Roof. Afterwards, a commentator explained how the director got the look he got on film. Evidently, the whole film was shot with some kind of grungy gray stocking (that the director actually bought from some old lady who was wearing them) over the camera lens.

To get the look he wanted, the director consciously degraded the capability of his equipment (i.e. made it more crappy). How do you think Karl Zeiss felt about that?

Lee Blaske
Old 29th December 2002
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
No, I don't want to start a war. But this is the Umpteenth post I've read like this. And I am just amazed that even people who are experienced will pass off their problems with the "digital is different than alalogue". No ****. But it shouldn't stand in the way of good basic engineering, and make otherwise competent engineers, start doubting their abilities.

It's just plain crazy.
Old 2nd January 2003
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Sorry for the delay- new years and all - and yes I am still gonna post cause I can take the criticism - just got to convince the artist and sort out this site thing..stay tuned
Old 2nd January 2003
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Robin, babe, I'm not worried about getting my head bitten off, and I'm not worried about "offending" anyone, and I'm certainly not hung up about being 'Politically Correct'.

The truth is, I don't ****ing know what he was shooting to accomplish. I find it impossible to dissect any particular aspect of a production. Is the drum sound what the artist/production team had in mind? I don't ****ing know. Are the guitar tones sitting where the artist/production team envisioned them? I don't ****ing know. I can listen to the song and say "yeah, that's cool", or "that kinda gets in my way from enjoying the ____", but it's just a bull**** opinion that has no bearing on the actual product.

You mention films in another post... a great analogy. When I see a film, I will notice if the dialog sucks, if the directing sucks. This is because the film isn't an all encompassing event. You mentioned the 'Shawshank Redemption'... I thought that was a damn near perfect film. I found it remarkably compelling from the beginning to the closing credits.

On the other hand, I really want to find that 'Wolfgang' mother****er that wasted 2 perfectly good hours of my life with that crap called "The Perfect Storm" and beat him senseless. Perhaps it's because some of my best friends have worked on boats, or perhaps it's my geographical proximity to Glouster, MA... but the dialog in that film really made me nauseous.

Now... I can tell you that I didn't really notice the editing in either film, which to me says the editor did a fabulous job. I can't really notice the camera movements in either film, which says to me that the "DP" [Director of Photography] did outstanding work... but one film entertained me, and one film pissed me off.

I consider things like recording and mixing akin to the work that film editors and DP's do. It should support the musical product, and basically not be noticed. When I go to a movie, I see a finished product. When I listen to a song, I hear a finished product. The elements that are involved in the creation of that product are the vision of the person(s) who are creating that product... unless I'm on the production team, there is no ****ing way I have jack **** to say about any of it.

There are productions that stand out to me... some of the **** Prince ["the artist", "squiggle", whatever the **** he's called these days] was doing with drum samples was amazing to me... but not so much as an individual sound, but how they affected the overall vibe of the release. On an individual level, many of those samples sounded like absolute "lo-fi" ****... but in context, to me they were genius. Did I like the song? .... well... not often. Did I appreciate the craft? Hell yeah.

Unless I'm in direct contact with the production of the record, I will not hear the elements of that recording that comprise the final product in an objective manner. I will hear the elements of the recording as the final product... a product I will like, or dislike, but will be incapable of stating which element of the production [other than song writing and possibly arranging] struck me in a positive or negative manner.

This is why I'm a gear pimp and not an "audio reviewer".
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