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What to use for mixdown from a daw/console? Sound Enhancers & Exciters (HW)
Old 13th May 2018
  #1
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What to use for mixdown from a daw/console?

Looking for a mixdown deck for my home setup. Recently sold the studio and that was always mixed down to half inch tape. At home I am working on more electronic stuff and I have a bit of a hybrid setup with rack gear and a mac pro to track everything. I do have a soundcraft console to mix everything. Only thing is I can't fit a tape machine at home I've been looking at the tascam solid state records and also I do have two macbook pros I could run an interface and mix down onto that? Any ideas? I'm up for buying used gear off ebay etc for recorders or interfaces!
Old 13th May 2018
  #2
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zvukofor's Avatar
It depends on what you need, i think.
I'd had no problems recording from console to any good 2 channel interface connected to macbook.
A lot of ways to skin the cat.
Maybe using a uber-clean AD, like Prism/Lavry, or using Burl/JCF instead to get some grit.
Or using clean AD and some stereo mojo box, like LTL Silver Bullet or Zulu or something like that.
Old 13th May 2018
  #3
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It sounds like you need a 24 channel IO converter. Then you can mix analog and use the EQ's from the mixer and not tax the CPU.

If you want the lowest lag, get a PCI/MADI setup. It's not cheap, but gives you the lowest lag to feel like a tape machine.

The largest short fall of most in the box systems when used to tape is the quality of the transport buttons. I went for a Nucleus controller just for good transports and faders.

I was hell on wheels with the ADAT BRC, it had good transport buttons. Back in the days of live punch-in's to tape.
Old 14th May 2018
  #4
Not entirely sure if you are after some sort of digital recorder or just a 2bus solution? If it's a 2bus solution, I love the LTL SilverBullet, it puts back what the DAW takes out. I always thought a great setup would be a Silver Bullet into a Burl 2 channel A>D for your final print for some sweet iron love. Note the SB can run on your console on the master insert to give character and density after summing if that's what you're after. However, I abandoned my small home console after getting the SB because I just didn't feel the need for it anymore.
Old 14th May 2018
  #5
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If you are going to use your analog desk for mixing then you will need a converter channel for every channel you put through it. As you will be using a laptop this limits your interface options unless you pony up the extra money for an exterior PCIe slot extension box via Thunderbolt to the Mac laptop. Hit the Computer section here and start reading as others have been in your shoes and discussed the options to narrow down your interface / converter choices.
Old 14th May 2018
  #6
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Unless the analog gear is stellar and has an excellent sound quality worth capturing I wouldn't even bother trying to mix analog. Between the losses you have converting back to analog, the losses analog causes then the conversion back to a digital format, it typically isn't worth the effort. Given the quality of the plugins available now its usually better to just stay digital all the way. If you like hands on just get a controller.

On my setup I have matching numbers of ins and outs. I can easily connect to a mixer and mix outside the box, but then what. Its not like a reel deck or another digital recorder is going to improve anything. I'd have to send it back to a digital format for burning CD's or any kind of digital distribution. Audio can ONLY diminish in quality when converted D/A or A/D and any audio circuitry is going to reduce fidelity to some degree or another. When using analog gear you attempt to make the things that sound bad diminish at a greater level then the good things you want to keep but you will always loose some of the good when trying to minimize the bad.

Personally when I use analog gear I use it on the front end when tracking. If I wanted to use any analog effects I'd set up an D/A A/D effects buss and simply loop the signal out through the interface then right back in again. I can simply record the analog processing to a new track (its essentially re-amping except you're looping through an effect). I'd get some noise from the older analog gear but I'd at least be skipping the tone suck of an analog mixer. back when I first went digital I incorporated a mixer for tracking and mixing and in my quest to improve the sound quality found out its just a redundant piece of gear. The mixers I used were absolutely necessary for recording to tape but digital it makes no sense at all.
Old 14th May 2018
  #7
just print back into the computer.
Old 15th May 2018
  #8
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Thanks Everyone, I have really good conversion to the console. Also I have some great outboard gear at home as well. What I don't have is a 2bus to mixdown. The macpro does all the recording obviously but I'm not sure I would want to be recording back into the macpro when playing to the console etc? So I could utilize one of my free macbooks for that 2bus job.
Old 15th May 2018
  #9
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I got rid of my Masterlink a while back after realizing that printing back into the DAW makes it easy to print stems. I'd go out of the console 2 bus through a compressor and EQ to a good AD back onto a stereo track.
Old 15th May 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by costas14 View Post
Thanks Everyone, I have really good conversion to the console. Also I have some great outboard gear at home as well. What I don't have is a 2bus to mixdown. The macpro does all the recording obviously but I'm not sure I would want to be recording back into the macpro when playing to the console etc? So I could utilize one of my free macbooks for that 2bus job.
Why not? just reserve a stereo pair - print to 2 inputs, monitor through 2 outputs, patched up an external input on the console, as a sort of virtual 2-track.

Sure - some people print to an external machine, but it's not necessary, and it complicates archiving, stem printing etc.
Old 15th May 2018
  #11
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I get it now. Get a second computer and 2 channel IO. Since you wont tax it much, it could afford to be on the net to deliver files. Keep the multi track computer off line.
Old 15th May 2018
  #12
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What Psycho Monkey said, just record back to your computer as you already have the converters - interface in place and you are not taxing the computer much playing back your tracks to go out to the desk and recording 2 tracks in at the same time.
Old 15th May 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by costas14 View Post
Thanks Everyone, I have really good conversion to the console. Also I have some great outboard gear at home as well. What I don't have is a 2bus to mixdown. The macpro does all the recording obviously but I'm not sure I would want to be recording back into the macpro when playing to the console etc? So I could utilize one of my free macbooks for that 2bus job.
Why compmicate things more than they have to be. I would just print back to the same session.
Old 16th May 2018
  #14
Gear Addict
 

tascam da3000

get a tascam da3000 and mix down to dsd. if you print back into your computer than you are hitting your converters one time more than is necessary.

i sold my revox 77 stereo mixdown deck as soon as i got the tascam da3000 working. i love how expansive dsd audio is.
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