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Old 28th March 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Mastering With Digital Console or Analog Console (+outboard gear) instead of DAW?

So what I'm trying to do here is figure out how to improve my setup with around a $5,000 budget. I know that sometimes the best option costs a little more, so if I need to go over budget so be it.

Right now, I record all synths and gear through a Focusrit Scarlett 18i8. I then mix and master in the box. I do everything. So currently I'm in the box. I would like to change that and improve my mixing and mastering, on top of being the producer/writer and such.

So I seem faced with three options:
#1 . stay in the box and get a really nice plugin suite
#2 . Get a 96khz digital mixer like the Allen and Heath SQ6
#3 . Get a Neve 5060 Centerpiece and master buss processor etc. Or analog desk and outboard gear

Now my question would be, from your guy's experience, and before I go empty my savings account, which option would YOU personally choose, if you had to start over?
I know a lot of people rave about the Neve gear, and I do like the sound of "highest quality" but.. it's pricey, and also I'm not sure how the whole stems workflow happens.. I would need the 5060, something like an Apollo 16 interface with analog outs cuz there's only analog ins on the 5060... I don't know how a setup with the 5060 works.

My fear with a digital mixer is little to no quality increase over the DAW, and a redundant 6 grand spent.

And I generally just hate mixing and mastering in the box, I want to touch a fader dangit. At the end of the day though, I want to be able to get the best mastering results possible, regardless of time and effort.