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Old 5th May 2003
The Distressor's "daddy"
Dave Derr's Avatar

I/O Delays is another of the big problems that keep the "On the Clock" Pros from moving away from their favorite analog boards and analog processing. Anytime they wanna do parallel processing, (often even with digital plug ins etc), they have to start double thinking about whether the phase or delay has been altered, and then dealing with it. The problem is compounded by the fact that different converters have different delays coming in and out of a system to an engineers favorite analog gear. This means an engineer cant become familiar with the delay of one system and think he can apply that same delay adjustment to the next system.

I heard of a time align plug in a few years ago but it doesnt seem to address the situation adequately (I forget the name of the plug in?).

This problem isnt peculiar to Protools etc, of course, because I have seen people fuss with Neve Capricorns, and Sony Oxfords to re-align tracks also.

I dont know if there is a tidy answer for this problem. Putting a pulse out thru all the channels, 50 dB down or something, and then seeing what tracks come back skewed seems pretty obvious, but what if the engineer has already offset some tracks on purpose? He would have to tell the system to "ignore" certain tracks for phase alignment. Does this make sense?

Many, many things can be done "off the clock" now at home on the engineers Protools (or other) system, but I have a feeling many big projects and many major engineers well still be running to their SSL's, Neves, and other large format analog boards for years, and years to come, and one of the reasons will be this dang track re-alignment problem.