The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Mixing on a DAW vs. on a Digital Board
Old 24th October 2002
  #1
Mixing on a DAW vs. on a Digital Board

Ok guys, I don't know if any of you have tried this before, but I was hoping to hear something about how different a mix could sound if done on a DAW (let's say PT LE) and on a Digital Board (like the 01v or DM-24...).
Without using any plugins, only setting levels... should the mixer sound better?!
Old 24th October 2002
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
 

I have done a comparison between a Protools mix and a Yamaha DM2000 mix. Mixed the same song on the DM2000 with 32ch coming out of Protools.
I prefer very much the DM2000 mix over the Protools mix. The sound is more open, wider, more dynamic. I bypassed all the plugin in PT and used only the eq, compressor & fx in the DM2000.
Great micpre and AD in the DM2000 btw. The reverb sucks thow.....

/SlimJim
Old 24th October 2002
  #3
Nice... thanks for you reply!!!
Anyone with "cheaper" boards
Old 26th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
I prefer using a digital console also over mixing in a DAW. I get as good results from my Firlight/MAckie D8B form, as the same stuff mixed from PT's on an SSL 9k
Old 26th October 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 

Another vote for the 'cheapie' Mackie d8b/Samplitude system...I do the radical stuff in software (cut/paste, time aligning, etc) but for mixing, 70% effects, etc prefer the d8b...much easier to bump a slider than go thru the other processes, to me anyway.
Old 26th October 2002
  #6
Wait a few days and I will transfer this thread to out guest mod for November's forum!

See the announcement at the top of this forums page!

It's gonna be cooooool!

Old 26th October 2002
  #7
Gear Head
 

This is something I've run across a bit myself, and you wanted a reply from someone with a small/cheap setup, here goes -

A tiny bit of context - I track through a 16-channel Trident/MTA mic pre unit into an Alesis HD24. I monitor this through a Yamaha 01v, setting up rough mixes for overdubbing and such. At some point, I transfer the contents of the HD24 to a PC (lightpipe - Hammerfall 9652) running Samplitude, where I usually edit and mix.

Many times, I do actually prefer, at least at first, the rough mixes coming off the 01v - and I'm not sure I can tell you why - perhaps it has something to do with the tactile feel of throwing the mix up quickly with faders, verses the mixing with the mouse bit - perhaps it's illusion.

I have compared (test) mixes where I have not used EQ or other processing, matched levels as carefully as I could, and I found much less of a difference.

The thing is, the compressor plugins I use on the PC are so much better than the ones in the 01v, and the reverb plugins (which I don't use very much anyway) are about the same.

This is going to sound like a cop-out, but at a certain point, I decided that it was more important for me to be able to recall exact mixes, make and save changes, than it was to worry about the slight differences in mix quality between the two methods. Other people may come to a different conclusion, based on their preferences.

John
Old 26th October 2002
  #8
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnL
I have compared (test) mixes where I have not used EQ or other processing, matched levels as carefully as I could, and I found much less of a difference.
So you're telling us... you couldn't hear a difference... btw the 01v and the software you're using (which on is it again? )...
Thanks you guys...
Old 26th October 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

i know i know ...

all the stuff ive heard till today ( maybe it changes tomorrow ) out of the box either yamaha 02r , 01v , protools other daws sounded like dfegad crap .

i am not talking about " a classic recording " . i am talking about " production " . sure you can hook up a great band and record em to whatever medium and it will sound good , no matter if you use a tape deck .

but where are all those bands ??? [ different story ]

so i am talking about using samples , using real stuff , using midi all the stuff u need to make sound " on your own " .
ive read millions of threads about is digital any good ?
to my ears , its real helpful , but even my cheap mackie sounds ( i hate to say it ) better [ in fact of widness and bottom ] compared to my protools . if i have f.ex some " analog " tracks on my board and record it into protools , it sounds to my ears " totally different " like a tiger is morphing into a cat ... miauuu heh . the unbelievable thing , it sounds even better if i record it to my old yamaha 16 bit dat !!!???

i think the next price range in digital like the new yamha or sony desks are hopefully a different story . ( i am still waiting to have it all in the box as well ) .

i am not saying that a good eng cant make pt or daws sound good ??? some weeks ago a friend of mine mixed a song which was basically created " all in the box " . it sounded
after mixing on a big desk with outboard and a experienced eng it sounds like " mtv " [ i am not saying if thats good or bad ] .

i did the same once . created all the tracks @home . the result was soundwise nothing special . ( i am not an expert ) . after some helpful hands , tons of gear and a neve capricorn it sounded awesome .

i really would like to share those thoughts that a daw on its own sounds as good as the " real stuff " .

just a thought , dont kill me


someday i wanna have it all in the box as well ( reproduction ) . i hope i am not gonna lose to much sound and fun
Old 26th October 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I've had the chance to hear my DAW (Paris) do the same mixes from the same masters as were done on Neve VR Legend, SSL 9K, Sony Oxford, Euphonics CS3000, etc.

Paris has won every time. I kid you not. Not just my opinon. Mastering engineers, artists involved, producers/coproducers all agreed.

Freaky. But that's why I use it. So I'm the wrong guys to ask about this subject, most likely, since I use an uncommon DAW not used by many other pro users.

It's also why I end up mixing for many producers that record in Pro Tools, but are not willing to mix there. They get to stay in a full recall DAW setting with better sonic results, in their and my opinions.

Since Paris is out of manufacture, this is likely not totally germaine to your question. However, it does demonstrate that DAWs don't have to sound bad for mixing.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 27th October 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
infiniteposse's Avatar
 

re: Mixing on a DAW vs. on a Digital Board

BrianT-

So what, in your opinion, is the difference in PT or the Paris system? Is it the convertors (AD or DA) or the internal way the signal is treated? It seems like once it's inside the PC/Mac, digital is digital... No? Not a challenge to your ears at all but more curiosity to understand where the magic lies or is missing...

I'm excited this thread has come up as I have questions about all this as well.

I use Logic Audio Platinum on a Dual 800 Mac, MOTU 2408MKII and a Logic Control as my control surface. Over a period of about a year now I've sold almost all my outboard synths/samplers, a Mackie 32x8 (I'm back to a 1604 vlz for monitoring what amounts to 2 outputs from the 2408) and I'm mixing everything inside Logic and bouncing internally as well. I use a variety of plugs (often the native logic plugs) and I hope to get a UAD-1 in the near future.

I too am addicted to the recall of mixes and the ease of bring up entire projects quickly. I'm not 100% sold on the sound of my mixes like this though. It does seem like my old mixes with the Mackies sounded maybe a bit more broad, like the sound field had more depth or something. A friend of mine once made a comment somewhat to the effect that when you mix digitally the sound kind of compacts/thins in the way that doesn't happen with an outboard analog mixer...which I'm not sure I buy, but it does somewhat explain what I seem to experience at times. I'd say an example of this for me would be that my larger mixes seem to sound smaller than my mixes that have fewer elements. This could also be explained by me needing to work on the ol' skills, which I'm the first to admit too

Another interesting quote along these lines is from last months TapeOp interview with Dave Amels of Bombfactory. He says when speaking of tracking in ProTools and simultaneously tracking onto tape while testing Mic Pres for comparison "...I think that's part of the problem when you really stack up tracks in ProTools. If you have a minimal arrangement or bring things in and out it can work, but otherwise everything seems to pile up in the middle." Perhaps this is another way of saying what I think I might be hearing at times when my mixes get more dense.

I've thought that the solution to this might be better mic pres on the way in and better AD comvertors, but I'm not sure to tell the truth.

Great discussion. I'm interested to keep hearing folks' thoughts on this

Be well-

Lee
Old 27th October 2002
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

think about this... with analog, the more you run, the harder you run it, the more power you drain from the board... [especially with low end analog] digital doesnt do this. so the harder you push digital, it just gets louder [well, until you hit 0dbfs... but even that you can go "past"] but if you make everything loud, then you will end up flattening out the image. dont do that.
Old 27th October 2002
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by jeronimo

So you're telling us... you couldn't hear a difference... btw the 01v and the software you're using (which on is it again? )...
Thanks you guys...
After I read most post, I realized that it didn't make a whole lot of sense... so I'll try to clarify...

If I set the levels the same on the 01v or in Samplitude, and switch back and forth (I use an external D to A, so this is easy to do), the difference is negligable. If I start to use plugins that I like in the computer, the chances of me liking what comes out of the computer go up quite a bit, since things like EQ and Compression are much better in the computer than the 01v. I do often overuse some of the plugins, and when I go back to the 01v rough mixes, I'm reminded that I may have killed some of the dynamics of the song by "overmixing" it in the computer. That's certainly not the computer's fault.

Also, as an aside to what 5down1up said, 95% of what I record is real drums, real guitars, and real people singing. The only samples I use at this point are of a Mellotron, and after having played a real Mellotron this past weekend, I'll take the sampler over it any day of the week. In general, though I think your post was more about "better gear makes better results," and I can't really argue with that. The thing is, even inexpensive digital is mighty good these days, certainly good enough to not be an excuse for doing bad work.

John
Old 27th October 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

2 BRIAN T :

i would really love to share your thoughts & experience :

how was your mixer - daw comparison test done ???

1) did u playback a recorded file through a mixer and compared it with a daw hooked up to some speakers ?

2) or did you have some tracks on a mixer and rerecorded them and then compared the two results ?

if there would be no comparison , right i wouldnt hear it heh

if i hook up my daw for playback either :

1) to a analog mixer ( with miles of cables )
2) straight to the speakers

i agree that no.2 is the winner in that case .

but for recording i still have that feeling that my daw cant capture the way it sounds over my small budget console .

whats the deal ??? maybe someone ???

peace yall
Old 27th October 2002
  #15
I'm with infiniteposse... I only mixed once in analog and it sounded... deeper and more defined than all my digital mixes... It's like... it sounded more like the records I'm familiar with... But what alphajerk said make sense... a lot actually...
Maybe I should practice a little more
Old 27th October 2002
  #16
My next step now is start sending 8ch out at a time and then record back a stereo track from my console and see how it sounds... I think I'll like the result...
just need to make a few more cables...
Old 27th October 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

2 JOHN L :

" better gear makes better results "

sad but maybe true . but that was just a part of my point i didnt want to stand out that much . i just wanted to ask those guys who say " you can have same results " compared to x . ( just to have the chance to improve my quality as well ) . i like to have the possibility to record in a good way . ( i am not sitting there comparing cds all day long and go " damn it sounds better " ) .

its just about sharing "some ideas"

good luck
Old 27th October 2002
  #18
One Sony DMX 100 owner I met LOVES it. He thinks it's funny that he doesn't feel the need to buy a load of Mix Farms for his PT rig... He likes useing the board eq & comps...

Old 28th October 2002
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by 5down1up
2 JOHN L :

" better gear makes better results "

sad but maybe true . but that was just a part of my point i didnt want to stand out that much . i just wanted to ask those guys who say " you can have same results " compared to x . ( just to have the chance to improve my quality as well ) . i like to have the possibility to record in a good way . ( i am not sitting there comparing cds all day long and go " damn it sounds better " ) .

its just about sharing "some ideas"

good luck
Right, and at some point, I had to stop comparing, and just get to "doing" - the differences were minimal, and not neccesarily repeatable - some things sounded better on some days. It's much tougher to get a great take than a great sound, many times.

John
Old 28th October 2002
  #20
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by JohnL

It's much tougher to get a great take than a great sound, many times.
thats the absolute truth... and sometimes is harder to get a great song than a great take.
Old 28th October 2002
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

The DMX is a really cool console. there is nothing in the 20 K market that can touch it IMHO...
Old 28th October 2002
  #22
Gear Addict
 

I've always enjoyed mixing in the mixer rather than ProTools - and this became even more true when I got my DMX-R100. I still use plug-ins and ProTools automation - but then run direct outs into the board (up to 48 digital + up to 24 analog = 56+spares/auxes) . I often compress in PT and EQ on the DMX. Of course this is why I needed to buy a lot of 192's! (although I did save some on getting many 192 Digitals).

Since going HD I have switched to running mic pres directly into the 192 AD - then monitoring direct digital outputs out of the DMX-R100. This is so far the best way for me - although it does mean I need more mic pres (which should have been the case anyway).

Unfortunately - this week I'm mixing in the B room - which means I'll probably mix entirely in ProTools HD for the first time. I'll let you know if I'm disappointed. I'm sure it'll be fine. It won't be a very accurate view though, because I think the tracks I have to mix sound much better than previous projects.

It'll also be the first time I've used altiverb much in a final mix.
Old 28th October 2002
  #23
How many tracks at 96k on the DMX?
Old 28th October 2002
  #24
Altiverb on PTHD? Did I miss something?!
Old 28th October 2002
  #25
Yes you did!

It has been RTAS for a while now (few months)

Go fer it!
Old 28th October 2002
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
How many tracks at 96k on the DMX?
28 - kind of.

I've got 4 AES-EBU cards in it. So, at 44.1 or 48 I have 32 digital I/O going to 2 192 Digitals. Then there are also 24 analog available out of regular 192's that I can route to the remaining channels of the DMX how I like to end up with 56.

Of course the DMX gives you half power at 96k. So 56/2=28. What I didn't know when I started this was that (apparently) the AES-EBU cards give you half power too. So I only had 16 channels of AES coming in to the expansion slots! With a little futzing around in the I/O pages of PT and DMX - I routed 3 'enclosure' outputs from 192's to the DMX's 2T1 in and Aux5/6 and Aux 7/8 Inputs. This got me up to 22 digital inputs (which was how many tracks my session has). The remaining six are analog sends from the 192's coming into channels 23/34 and Aux returns 1-4 on the DMX.

Kind of a pain in the A*S*S - sounds good though.
Makes me want more channels. A DM2000 would be OK - but what I really want is a second DMX-R100, a couple MADI cards and Sony's new super Expander box for the DMX. Too expensive though. I also want a DMX-R200 or just and OXF-R3!


The Altiverb doesn't really run in 96k - it downsamples and then resamples back up. Also - there's no "NO latency" button, only a 'low latency/high latency' choice. But - other than that - it is super great in ProTools. I'm running it on a G4/933.
Old 29th October 2002
  #27
RTAS... so it works on LE?
Old 29th October 2002
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Anything that uses RTAS!

I run it on HD.
Old 29th October 2002
  #29
Cool! I'll look for it... uh huh
Old 12th March 2003
  #30
The thing is... I woud love to compare a in the box mix vs. digital mixer mix vs. summing box mix... what do you guys think?
What if I make a session on PT and send it to someone that have a summing box and to someone else that mix on a digital board? Could you guys help US with this?
πŸ“ Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
πŸ–¨οΈ Show Printable Version
βœ‰οΈ Email this Page
πŸ” Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
πŸŽ™οΈ View mentioned gear