Ok Russell, we all know what you think of Protools, but we also know that you sometimes have to work with it (though it's not your preference). Is there anything you do specific when "making protools work" that you wouldn't normally do?
what i'll be talking about is mixing from pro tools with the outputs coming up on the SSL, not mixing ITB. this scenario i'm about to describe has happened to me a few times. okay, so about 75% of the time i'm mixing off tape right? and let's say i just finished an album project using only tape for the past 2 months. then someone books me to mix a song and for one reason or another, i have to mix from pro tools. when i first put up the faders, everything is so brittle and harsh sounding to my ears. so much so, that sometimes i'll check to make sure my speakers are okay or see if it's some other problem. until something like this happens to you or you don't have a reference to compare, then you won't realize just how much depth and warmth you lose in the digital domain. and i'm not talking about a bass track that doesn't have any bottom. it's things like vocals, cymbals, tambs, things like that which stand out and make it hard for me to listen. your ears and brain have their own way of tuning themselves to your environment. it's like a loud fan in the room that you get used to hearing and you tune it out after awhile. then when you turn it off, you're like, wow that was friggin loud!
so with that said, i don't know if there's anything specifc. i'm trying to get warmth and take the harshness out. so i'll try and eq that brightness out with pultecs or any other high quality eq's. i find i'm rolling off anywhere from 7k and above (depends on the source) for most of the brighter tracks and it does help calm the top down a bit. also warming up the tracks with some of my tube compressors helps. running through high quality transformers and tubes makes a big difference. pro tools or any DAW can't possibly give you the warmth and depth of analog circuits as it's really the nature of the beast. DAW's are only as good as your convertors and your clocking. and it's a simulation of the original sound instead of a sound that's physically on tape. so that's really it, i try to give it more character running it through my analog stuff. it does make a difference. use your ears and A/B things with each other. you won't know if you have no reference. but it's also perception, huh? i could perceive something to be overly bright and another person will think it's fine.