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Beat out of the MPC's stereo out : sounds good!!! tracked in pro tools : not so good Audio Interfaces
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
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Beat out of the MPC's stereo out : sounds good!!! tracked in pro tools : not so good

yeah so I'm having this problem I just noticed.. I was working on a beat on the mpc earlier today. Thought it sounded good so I started tracking it track by track into protools (mpc -> Radial JDI -> Neve 1073 -> Fatso -> UA2192 -> PT LE)

Then ? Guess what, the beat didn't sound that good anymore. I started playing with a few plug-ins but the sound was just more clean and cold, not 'glued' like it was from the 2outs of the MPC. Any of you ever noticed something like that ?

When I was making the beat, I was monitoring from PT, with an AUX, so the sound was already going thru my preamps and converters. So I guess it's just Pro Tools' summing that really sucks ? It's not even a digital/analog summing issue, as the mpc is digital and -apparently- its summing sounds way better than pro tools' . (btw I'm talking about a 3000) What should I do ? spend my money on Analog Chanel ? I've tried it a while ago and wasn't convinced, so I can't demo it again, and actually I find it a bit too expensive so I don't know.
Old 9th May 2006
  #2
no ssl yet
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I'll bite.

How loud a signal are you tracking? If you are tracking with conservative levels this won't apply as much, but I've found in testing different versions of clipping converters vs clipping digitally etc...

Loud signals on aux tracks seem to not distort as quickly as loud signals on audio tracks

I cant explain it or give reason for it, it's just what I observed.


You should be using proper gainstaging anyway and if you are again, disregard all of my babble
Old 9th May 2006
  #3
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actually I make sure not to track too loud. I even tracked the beat twice at different levels to see if it would make a difference, but it hasn't been helpful.
Old 9th May 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitsville
actually I make sure not to track too loud.
If you are recording in a DAW, you ALWAYS want to track everything as loud as possible without clipping.

Man, that's a sweet chain you got there until the last part....
Old 9th May 2006
  #5
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get a fatso

also the mpcs sum in a certain way. often times i track certain types of sounds together summed thru the mpc as a stereo pair. **** total mix seperation if it doesn't bang the same way.
Old 9th May 2006
  #6
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hummm...
So everything was like 50 grand before it hit digital. Well... to me, it sounds like your converters is not all that happening. Your DAW should duplicate everything like the way you heard it before it hit digital. Research digital converters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
Man, that's a sweet chain you got there until the last part....
I second this!


I hope this help.
-AL
Old 9th May 2006
  #7
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Something's going wrong somewhere. If you're tracking a stereo pair from the MPC into PT, then summing is not an issue and it should sound the same (assuming the same signal path) as when you're monitoring thru an aux. Are you breaking the tracks out separately and then trying to duplicate the mix in PT ? It can be hard to get back that magic that's happening in the MPC.

I do agree with Disco D, there's somethings that just sound great coming out of the MPC stereo so I won't separate all my tracks though mix engineers want to kill you for this. But again, don't buy into the summing issue with your specific problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
If you are recording in a DAW, you ALWAYS want to track everything as loud as possible without clipping.

Man, that's a sweet chain you got there until the last part....
This is not even remotely true in a 24 bit world. Do a search on these forums on recording levels and you'll see all the technical reasons to give yourself a little headroom. Expecially on signals with fast transients that may not show up on your DAW's meters.
Old 9th May 2006
  #8
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Question

[QUOTE=hitsville]yeah so I'm having this problem I just noticed.. I was working on a beat on the mpc earlier today. Thought it sounded good so I started tracking it track by track into protools (mpc -> Radial JDI -> Neve 1073 -> Fatso -> UA2192 -> PT LE)


Why do you have a Radial JDi in your chain? That not a rhetorical question
Old 9th May 2006
  #9
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Imagearho's Avatar
 

^^^

The best solution that I have found for this exact problem is to send everything that was tracked from the mpc to 1 stereo bus, and do the same to all other synths ie:if you recorded seperated tracks from a motif then bus those tracks to a stereo aux track an then you have to compress that aux track to give it the "glue" that it had before you seperated all the tracks. It will then sound similar to what it did before you tracked everything out. Don't know if that makes sense, but if it dosn't then PM me for more info.
Old 9th May 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther

Why do you have a Radial JDi in your chain? That not a rhetorical question

so I can plug my MPC into the MIC input of the 1073 instead of the LINE input. I've noticed that it makes a big difference. The mic input is much more big sounding than the cleaner line input
Old 9th May 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix
Something's going wrong somewhere. If you're tracking a stereo pair from the MPC into PT, then summing is not an issue and it should sound the same (assuming the same signal path) as when you're monitoring thru an aux. Are you breaking the tracks out separately and then trying to duplicate the mix in PT ? It can be hard to get back that magic that's happening in the MPC.

I do agree with Disco D, there's somethings that just sound great coming out of the MPC stereo so I won't separate all my tracks

no, no I'm not tracking a stereo pair from the MPC into PT. What I meant is that I was monitoring that way, thru an aux in PT, and it sounded good, but only then when I broke out the tracks separately in PT, it didn't sound the same.
Old 9th May 2006
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco D
get a fatso

I have one!

sending the whole beat tracked in pro tools into the Fatso got it sound closer to the mpc stereo outs sound.. but still not exactly, like some clarity got lost in the process.

"if you recorded seperated tracks from a motif then bus those tracks to a stereo aux track an then you have to compress that aux track to give it the "glue" that it had before you seperated all the tracks"

yeah I've tried that too. The sound got a bit closer, but still not exactly there.


I wish I could just track the stereo outs and leave it like that, but it's the WHOLE beat we're talking about, so that means if I wanna add some hi's to the snare or anything I'm ****ed..

one thing I might have to try though is to lay the tracked stereo outs of the mpc under the mix in PT
Old 9th May 2006
  #13
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con?one's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco D
get a fatso

also the mpcs sum in a certain way. often times i track certain types of sounds together summed thru the mpc as a stereo pair. **** total mix seperation if it doesn't bang the same way.
agree
Old 9th May 2006
  #14
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What version of PT??

also if I read correctly, when u track, you're not using a stereo track, but instead two(2) mono tracks to record the stereo signal out of the MPC??

but anyway if u r doing that. I'm sure u panned the mono tracks hard left and right. But the main thing is "PHASE". make sure the phase is flipped on one of the stereo channels that u are recording. If that's already done. check your converters and see what the clock is set too or what the session settings are..

and if your separating each track from the MPC and going into PT on separate tracks....some instruments will sound better if you record them as a stereo track instead of a mono track...such as a grand piano, etc Also if you're only recording 1 or 2 tracks at a time and using MIDI as your timing.....the groove will not be as smooth as recording all the tracks at one time.

I try to got the signal to sound good and the levels to just about touch the bottom of the on screen faders when recording in PT. been working out great.

Last edited by nukmusic; 9th May 2006 at 04:46 PM..
Old 9th May 2006
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix
This is not even remotely true in a 24 bit world. Do a search on these forums on recording levels and you'll see all the technical reasons to give yourself a little headroom. Expecially on signals with fast transients that may not show up on your DAW's meters.
Well, I don't need to search on this forum for the answer. I already know that I'm right. Not even remotely true? Ummmm....ok. So what's the point of 64 bit if recording levels don't matter at 24 bit? Since when do transients not show up on a DAW meter? That's insane. Analog, yes....but digital? Besides, you can clearly SEE the waveform on the edit screen. If it's clipped, then it's flat on top. Of course there's some headroom needed - instruments and natural waveforms are dynamic by nature...but you want your source peaks to barely be out of the red.

I mean, if you like the sound of dithering then go ahead and record low. I don't like digital "filler" on something that's not even a true waveform in the first place.

BTW - you have a beautiful studio. I'm a "L.A. studio guy", too. I'm surprised to hear you say these things.

Last edited by t.dizzle; 9th May 2006 at 04:51 PM..
Old 9th May 2006
  #16
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how bout instead of trying to track the whole thing out you try like 4 stereo stems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitsville
I have one!

sending the whole beat tracked in pro tools into the Fatso got it sound closer to the mpc stereo outs sound.. but still not exactly, like some clarity got lost in the process.

"if you recorded seperated tracks from a motif then bus those tracks to a stereo aux track an then you have to compress that aux track to give it the "glue" that it had before you seperated all the tracks"

yeah I've tried that too. The sound got a bit closer, but still not exactly there.


I wish I could just track the stereo outs and leave it like that, but it's the WHOLE beat we're talking about, so that means if I wanna add some hi's to the snare or anything I'm ****ed..

one thing I might have to try though is to lay the tracked stereo outs of the mpc under the mix in PT
Old 9th May 2006
  #17
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[QUOTE=nukmusic]What version of PT??

also if I read correctly, when u track, you're not using a stereo track, but instead two(2) mono tracks to record the stereo signal out of the MPC??
QUOTE]

nope, I use stereo tracks for stereo instruments, mono tracks for mono instruments, one track @ a time.

I'm on PT 7.1 LE

how bout instead of trying to track the whole thing out you try like 4 stereo stems?

umm sounds like a good idea actually I'm gonna have to try that !
Old 9th May 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitsville
nope, I use stereo tracks for stereo instruments, mono tracks for mono instruments, one track @ a time.
Wait a minute now. Let's not forget about the panning law. On some DAWs, -3db is default for stereo. I think this puts mono at zero if I'm correct.

For now, why not just record a simple nice beat on a stereo track just to see if your DAW will duplicate. Is this much better?
Old 9th May 2006
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
Well, I don't need to search on this forum for the answer. I already know that I'm right. Not even remotely true? Ummmm....ok. So what's the point of 64 bit if recording levels don't matter at 24 bit? Since when do transients not show up on a DAW meter? That's insane. Analog, yes....but digital?

He was referring to intersample peaks, which may or may not show up on digital meters. 24 bit recording provides for something like a 128 dB dynamic range which is plenty to capture most sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
Besides, you can clearly SEE the waveform on the edit screen. If it's clipped, then it's flat on top. Of course there's some headroom needed - instruments and natural waveforms are dynamic by nature...but you want your source peaks to barely be out of the red.

Its just not necessary with 24 bit. sure you want to get a healthy level, but no need to really slam the converters, your not gaining hardly anything. Some even argue that it sounds better when you keep plenty of headroom throughout the digital world, meaning never coming close to the red even on aux tracks and master faders. I tend to agree with them.

And if you can SEE the waveform, isn't it already too late? lol




check these links out for some info on the level debate...


http://www.digido.com/portal/pmodule...er_page_id=36/

http://www.digido.com/portal/pmodule...er_page_id=59/

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
I mean, if you like the sound of dithering then go ahead and record low. I don't like digital "filler" on something that's not even a true waveform in the first place.

BTW - you have a beautiful studio. I'm a "L.A. studio guy", too. I'm surprised to hear you say these things.

dithering? dithering is not applied when recording, or while A/D converting.

http://www.digido.com/portal/pmodule...er_page_id=27/
Old 9th May 2006
  #20
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Why are you tracking MPC drums in stereo? Are they stereo samples?....
Old 9th May 2006
  #21
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mars's Avatar
If you used the individual outs of the MPC, then that's your problem right there. The MPC 3000 (and S3000) has 18-bit converters on the stereo outs and 16-bit on the individuals. Also, some models (def. MPC 2000) used just 4 converters multiplexed across the 8 outputs instead of one per output (def. MPC 60). Also, I would not use the digital out of the MPC. A large part of the "MPC Sound' comes from the slight midrange rise of the D/A converters.
Old 9th May 2006
  #22
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hitsville's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
Why are you tracking MPC drums in stereo? Are they stereo samples?....
I'm not! nah my drums are mono

If you used the individual outs of the MPC, then that's your problem right there.

nope, I used the stereo outs
Old 9th May 2006
  #23
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mars's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitsville
yeah so I'm having this problem I just noticed.. I was working on a beat on the mpc earlier today. Thought it sounded good so I started tracking it track by track into protools (mpc -> Radial JDI -> Neve 1073 -> Fatso -> UA2192 -> PT LE)

Then ? Guess what, the beat didn't sound that good anymore. I started playing with a few plug-ins but the sound was just more clean and cold, not 'glued' like it was from the 2outs of the MPC. Any of you ever noticed something like that ?

When I was making the beat, I was monitoring from PT, with an AUX, so the sound was already going thru my preamps and converters..
When you were monitoring, was the the sound going thru the chain described above? Also, did you record via the aux?

(BTW, just the 1073 alone would have been more than enough IMHO!)
Old 9th May 2006
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mars
(BTW, just the 1073 alone would have been more than enough IMHO!)
i wholeheartedly agree with this statement. less is more, K.I.S.S. and all that.
Old 10th May 2006
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic
What version of PT??

also if I read correctly, when u track, you're not using a stereo track, but instead two(2) mono tracks to record the stereo signal out of the MPC??

but anyway if u r doing that. I'm sure u panned the mono tracks hard left and right. But the main thing is "PHASE". make sure the phase is flipped on one of the stereo channels that u are recording. If that's already done. check your converters and see what the clock is set too or what the session settings are..

and if your separating each track from the MPC and going into PT on separate tracks....some instruments will sound better if you record them as a stereo track instead of a mono track...such as a grand piano, etc Also if you're only recording 1 or 2 tracks at a time and using MIDI as your timing.....the groove will not be as smooth as recording all the tracks at one time.

I try to got the signal to sound good and the levels to just about touch the bottom of the on screen faders when recording in PT. been working out great.


Uhhhh Nuk, Why would he be flipping one of the channels outta phase again?
Old 10th May 2006
  #26
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hitsville's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mars
When you were monitoring, was the the sound going thru the chain described above? Also, did you record via the aux?

(BTW, just the 1073 alone would have been more than enough IMHO!)

yep, same chain when I was monitoring. But i recorded directly into audio tracks.

actually the only 'extra' would be the fatso, the UA2192 is the AD converter, the JDI only allows me to plug the mpc directly into the mic input of the 1073s.

but anyway the fatso doesn't do much for the tracking, just adding a bit of saturation sometimes. I sometimes use the tranny & compressor for the bass, not this time though.

i'll have to post some audio.. my 1073 just stopped working though so I'll have to get it fixed first
Old 10th May 2006
  #27
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Dan DeTora's Avatar
 

this might be irrelevant, but what's your H/W buffer size? the MIDI clock sways like a bitch at high settings... i've gotten myself into trouble tracking MPC's @ 1024 samples.
Old 10th May 2006
  #28
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512 I think.. but I don't think this is a timing issue. Everything seems to be on time, but the whole just sounds a lot cleaner, kinda loses its mojo
Old 10th May 2006
  #29
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robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle
Well, I don't need to search on this forum for the answer. I already know that I'm right. Not even remotely true? Ummmm....ok. So what's the point of 64 bit if recording levels don't matter at 24 bit? Since when do transients not show up on a DAW meter? That's insane. Analog, yes....but digital? Besides, you can clearly SEE the waveform on the edit screen. If it's clipped, then it's flat on top. Of course there's some headroom needed - instruments and natural waveforms are dynamic by nature...but you want your source peaks to barely be out of the red.

I mean, if you like the sound of dithering then go ahead and record low. I don't like digital "filler" on something that's not even a true waveform in the first place.

BTW - you have a beautiful studio. I'm a "L.A. studio guy", too. I'm surprised to hear you say these things.
Wow, I hope I'm never so arrogant to believe that I have nothing to learn. I say these things because I've done the research. But anyway:

As rickrock (and some of the threads I've listed below) so eloquently stated most digital meters will not show intersample peaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz
A conservative, "very safe" maximum peak level for your 24-bit mix as measured on a simple sample-reading digital meter is -3 dBFS, because the simple digital meter does not read the illegal levels.

I have no idea what 64 bit recording is going to accomplish when 24 bit recording provides for up 144db of dynamic range. Though we all know that most convertors are lucky to reach 110db of dynamic range which is still plenty.

Here's some excellent sources on digital recording levels by some pretty high level cats:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...cording+levels

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...cording+levels

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...cording+levels

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...cording+levels

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...cording+levels

This has nothing to do with dither.

And don't forget to check out those Bob Katz links !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



.

Last edited by robmix; 10th May 2006 at 08:12 AM..
Old 10th May 2006
  #30
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

Did you try just patching output of the MPC directlly to your converter? seems like a stupid question, but is worth a shot. I wouldnt have all of that stuff plugged in by default no matter how good it is..
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