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Setting up a hardware compressor as an insert in pro tools??
Old 25th January 2007
  #1
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Setting up a hardware compressor as an insert in pro tools??

The sad news about Disco D (R.I.P.) inspired me go back and read some of his old posts on GS. One thread in particular he mentioned how he wired his Empirical Labs Fatso to his Pro Tools rig. He used it during mixing as a bus compressor... feeding the signal of his entire mix to it and then directly back into PT.

After reading his thread I am still quite unclear on exactly how I might set up a rig like this for myself. Granted, he had an PT HD setup and I have a PT LE 7.0 Mbox setup, so it wont be quite the same... but I think I might be able to pull it off with just a little upgrading.
He said he assigned the main output as a "hardware insert", but I don't see this option anywhere in pro tools.

Can someone with knowledge of this please shed some light for me and explain in detail to me how I can accomplish this?


My guess it I'm going to have to upgrade to an MBox 2 Pro or a Digi 002 because I dont have enough I/O with the regular MBox (only 2) ??

But even after that... how exactly do I setup the I/O in pro tools to make it work?

Here is the original thread if it helps - https://www.gearslutz.com/board/rap-hip-hop-engineering-and-production/69423-fatso-question-disco.html

Thanks

Regards
Es
Old 25th January 2007
  #2
yes you're right - you're going to need more i/o. not sure if you're not seeing the option of hardware inserts because you don't have more than a stereo pair of i/o, but normally in PT (LE as well as HD) if you go to select an insert point, as well as your plugins, you should have the option of "hardware insert".

So to say put a hardware compressor on a mix, all you do is create a master fader, connect up your stereo compressor to a spare set of i/o (it needs to be a matching pair of i/o - ie out on output 3/4, returning on inputs 3/4), then instead of inserting a software insert, choose hardware insert and the pair of i/o corresponding to the i/o your hardware is hooked up to.

If you don't have the option of hardware i/o, you might need to visit i/o setup to configure it right (in fact, you can probably see with your Mbox setup, you don't have any i/o paths for hardware inserts set up as standard due to lack of i/o - hence the reason you might not have the option to use hardware inserts at the moment).

This is quite a powerful way of a hybrid approach to mixing. For example at Strongroom studios in London, they have a 5.1 mix room based around a ProControl, but with lots of analogue outboard, and all the i/o insert points labelled in PT i/o setup - so if you want to use say a real 1176, you just select hardware insert, choose the one labelled "1176"...then turn round and adjust the real piece of hardware sitting beside you!

Hope that all helps....
Old 25th January 2007
  #3
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Excellent explanation, this makes things very clear. I'd definitely agree with your reasoning for why the "hardware insert" option is not showing up, it seems to make perfect sense.

I appreciate the response and it's conciseness

Thanks very much!
Es
Old 26th January 2007
  #4
And there was me thinking I ramble too much...

Glad that helped you, and best of luck with your system.
Old 26th January 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azriel_7 View Post
A Distressor (or pair of Distressors) is cool to have on the PT inserts, but I doubt if I would want to run the Stereo mix through it.

Quite understandable, but when I read this thread - https://www.gearslutz.com/board/rap-hip-hop-engineering-and-production/53429-fatso-demo.html

and listened to the "before and after" samples that Disco D had uploaded, I think the FATSO on the full stereo mix sounded great
Old 27th January 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azriel_7 View Post
I hope you aren't associating the sound of the Fatso and the Distressor, they are quite different.
I can't comment on the sound of the distressor because I have no experience with it.

But it seemed to me like you were associating the sound of the distressor and the Fatso because you are the one who even brought up the distressor at all in this thread.
Old 27th January 2007
  #7
That won't work - the Mbox original is strictly stereo - as far as I'm aware, the SPDIF is instead or duplicating the analogue - you can't run it as independent IO.

002 is the way to go...Mbox pro might work in the way you suggest, but you'd still need an additional DA.
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