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Tchad Blake - Printing the 2bus within the Session
Old 11th February 2020
  #1
Tchad Blake - Printing the 2bus within the Session

Good afternoon wise people....

I recently saw a video clip from MWTM where Tchad Blake is in discussion, and he mentioned a technique I've not heard anyone else discuss yet when it comes to recording the mix


I believe he is describing how he sets up his "master bus /2 bus" to send everything from the 2 bus into a new stereo audio track, within the same session.

So instead of bouncing /sending out the daw he records the final mix within the same session.

Im very interested in this from the point of view that andrew schepps seems to keep re-iterating....that the less D/A conversion you do to your mix before it gets to the consumers speakers.....the better. end of

....so i wanted to ask the "elders" if the following is a common technique and ive just arrived upon something well-established that ive somehow missed before


Is anyone familiar with this technique?

....and i am guessing this perhaps has advantages because you are printing the 2 bus audio from floating point bit rates? (rather than post dither? )


(....apologies if this post doesn't count as mastering/pre-mastering....bit of a grey area...and i do not have a MWTM subscription at the moment to check what he appeared to be saying )


many thanks for any advice given.

Last edited by ghostman; 11th February 2020 at 04:55 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 11th February 2020
  #2
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loujudson's Avatar
a. what is MWTM? - oh, I see, Mix with the Masters... I don't like videos for learning so I was unfamiliar with it. Seems a bit like older ballerinas teaching when they can[t dance any more... Gotta make a living somehow!

b. This was common with Alesis HD24 hardware

c. why not?

d. Much mastering occurs outside the original session.
Old 11th February 2020
  #3
Thankyou, so


a. what is MWTM?

sorry, "Mix With The Masters"


b. This was common with Alesis HD24 hardware

...ah ok , ill check that out

c. why not?


...well i didn't know if i was mis-understanding him as ive not heard/read of this before. SO would you then name the (printed 2bus) audio file and simply take a digital copy from the hard drive where the recorded audio file was written....and use/distribute this file for mastering



d. Much mastering occurs outside the original session.

Defo understand that
Old 11th February 2020
  #4
It's a workflow thing. It shouldn't have any impact on the final sound vs any other ITB method if everything in your DAW is set up correctly.
Old 11th February 2020
  #5
IIRC bussing the mix to a stereo track inside the DAW became popular back when the old Pro Tools TDM systems had some automation errors during bounce to disk.

That's not an issue anymore so bussing vs bouncing shouldn't matter sonically.

Now we have offline bounce which makes real time printing a time waste. Unless of course there's any outboard gear involved.
Old 11th February 2020
  #6
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loujudson's Avatar
I often bounce to disc and import to a new track. Then if there are minor changes needed, I can record to that track using overwrite files.

But this is for radio, live showmixes, and podcasts, not CD or Lp mastering, nor is it my own music. I'm an engineer, not a player :-)

I'm old fashioned enough to think that REAL mastering goes to a specialist a fresh pair of ears, not my own workstation. But even then, you can take your session with you for that! Even on a flashdrive or dropbox these days!
Old 11th February 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
IIRC bussing the mix to a stereo track inside the DAW became popular back when the old Pro Tools TDM systems had some automation errors during bounce to disk.

That's not an issue anymore so bussing vs bouncing shouldn't matter sonically.
.....intersting, thanks


thanks to you both.


Firstly, i didn't know if id misunderstood....and then

i was imagining perhaps there was some snake oil genius in the technique whereby you might get a better print / capture than you do when you bounce .


so no sonic advantages to the technique then?


I'm reading a bob katz book at the moment and as i delve deeper into the understanding of stem mixing/mastering i pick up on new things engineers are saying and realise what an ocean of knowledge and experience lies ahead of me re: mastering


so for now im focusing on getting the absolute most out of the mixing stage ...


i recently got a folcrom summing box and am enjoying contrasting/experimenting analogue and digital summing options.

However it Seems Tchad blake, Schepps and Mike Dean have all left the analogue summing party lol.)
Old 11th February 2020
  #8
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loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostman View Post
.....intersting, thanks


thanks to you both.


Firstly, i didn't know if id misunderstood....and then

i was imagining perhaps there was some snake oil genius in the technique whereby you might get a better print / capture than you do when you bounce .


so no sonic advantages to the technique then?


I'm reading a bob katz book at the moment and as i delve deeper into the understanding of stem mixing/mastering i pick up on new things engineers are saying and realise what an ocean of knowledge and experience lies ahead of me re: mastering


so for now im focusing on getting the absolute most out of the mixing stage ...


i recently got a folcrom summing box and am enjoying contrasting/experimenting analogue and digital summing options.

However it Seems Tchad blake, Schepps and Mike Dean have all left the analogue summing party lol.)
No comment on the summing question except - it seems to be a high end marketing scheme.


I must say something - lots of people seem to think that actual learning can be gleaned from watching a video. That may be true. Reading works of the masters such as Bob Katz is even more helpful, if one reads carefully and multiple times like a favorite record.

However, I must add that I learned much more from being in the presence - and sharing projects with - my mentor Bob Ohlsson.

If you want to learn and get good at mastering, attend some real mastering sessions, either as a fly on the wall (with permission) or even better having a professional do the mastering of your projects on their more perfect equipment.

I'll never forget requesting a small change in the sound of a mix, having Bob touch the computer keyboard, and HEARING a jaw-dropping improvement!

I learned two things from that memorable moment:
What I asked for was truly needed,
and
When I asked him what he did, he said I added one tenth of a dB at such and such a frequency.

Having his incredibly accurate and impressive monitoring system did not hurt at all.

Thanks Bob!
Old 11th February 2020
  #9
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
No comment on the summing question except - it seems to be a high end marketing scheme.


I must say something - lots of people seem to think that actual learning can be gleaned from watching a video. That may be true. Reading works of the masters such as Bob Katz is even more helpful, if one reads carefully and multiple times like a favorite record.

However, I must add that I learned much more from being in the presence - and sharing projects with - my mentor Bob Ohlsson.

If you want to learn and get good at mastering, attend some real mastering sessions, either as a fly on the wall (with permission) or even better having a professional do the mastering of your projects on their more perfect equipment.

I'll never forget requesting a small change in the sound of a mix, having Bob touch the computer keyboard, and HEARING a jaw-dropping improvement!

I learned two things from that memorable moment:
What I asked for was truly needed,
and
When I asked him what he did, he said I added one tenth of a dB at such and such a frequency.

Having his incredibly accurate and impressive monitoring system did not hurt at all.

Thanks Bob!
That’s great if you have Bob on speed dial (I’m legit jealous) or can walk into a mastering house or studio and ask to be a fly on the wall... BUT, since neither of those are realistic options for the vast majority of folks getting started in audio in this day and age, books and the web are pretty good starting points.

Also... as far as your intimation that every mixer doing videos is somehow past their prime or whatever your point was... I’d just say that I suspect that you’ve not the foggiest idea on the state of the modern record/music business... While there are plenty of never have beens doing tons of crap to great videos, there are several top-flight working mix guys doing these videos now... and why not? Mixers are now celebrities as they’ve never been before and can monetize their reputations and skills outside of the traditional record business... which is a good thing considering (a) how many people are doing everything themselves in their bedrooms and (b) the falling budgets and general decline of the traditional record label/recording industry relationship

So, again, good for you with Bob!
Old 11th February 2020
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post

When I asked him what he did, he said I added one tenth of a dB at such and such a frequency.
.. wow...these engineers ear training is unbelievable!

i agree 100% with all you've said and see it as good advice. Nice one!

Its funny you mentioned a db change.

My best takeaways from Bob Katz so far has been any change of greater than 0.5 db and you're usually doing something wrong ....and if you want to make something sound brighter....shave something off the low mid end don't boost the high (paraphrased)


im studying electrical science at the moment as well and have been blown away how much electrical science/physics/maths and psychoacoustics all sort of share a meeting point/relevance in this audio engineering field.
Old 11th February 2020
  #11
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loujudson's Avatar
I didn't mean to imply that all teaching videos are junk, just that I don't learn well form them. I prefer reading to videos (or movies).

And yes, it was truly a blessing to have BobO in my life. It was almost a fluke how we met. He's been about the most valuable person in my professional life.

And the only real mastering sessions I have been to were on my own projects. Perhaps if you ask a mastering person to work on your project, they might let you attend some other sessions first.

I do a lot of mastering on various projects at my home studio, due to budget constraints like you, but the lessonss I have learned go a long way to making them better.

It's time for me to go re-read Bob K's book again!
Old 11th February 2020
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post

Perhaps if you ask a mastering person to work on your project, they might let you attend some other sessions first.

I do a lot of mastering on various projects at my home studio, due to budget constraints like you, but the lessonss I have learned go a long way to making them better.

It's time for me to go re-read Bob K's book again!
Old 12th February 2020
  #13
As others have mentioned there is no longer any sonic advantage to printing over bouncing. Although, I do think there are a few organizational and workflow advantages to having your tracked final right in the session.
Old 12th February 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
a. what is MWTM? - oh, I see, Mix with the Masters... I don't like videos for learning so I was unfamiliar with it. Seems a bit like older ballerinas teaching when they can[t dance any more... Gotta make a living somehow!
Tchad has forgotten more about recording/mixing than you'll ever know.
Old 12th February 2020
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
As others have mentioned there is no longer any sonic advantage to printing over bouncing. Although, I do think there are a few organizational and workflow advantages to having your tracked final right in the session.

Thanks for your feedback

A consensus in these things is very helpfu in regards to learning from others past experience as well as my own
Old 12th February 2020
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I read this book a while ago. These engineers regularly recorded a live band or orchestra directly to master tape. As far as sonic quality goes, it was much easier then, as their studio was outfitted with all tube gear.

Interestingly, they consider parsing out the band for individual tracking sessions was the worse thing that ever happened to the industry. They say it took away the feel of the music. They also say that tracking with more than eight channels is micro management.

When I grow up, I'm going to record exactly like them.

https://www.amazon.com/Downbeat-Viny.../dp/1589098307
Old 12th February 2020
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcbiz View Post

When I grow up, I'm going to record exactly like them.

]
Ha, for real

I have done a bit of live sound /PA and a night that sticks in memory and speaks to what you’re saying was The Wailers (as in Bob marley and the ....)

Incredible musicians , completely in the pocket all night .

Wearing my musician hat ...I have to agree with you , a live feel is something above and beyond overdubs and clicks imo
Old 14th February 2020
  #18
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Brian Campbell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
As others have mentioned there is no longer any sonic advantage to printing over bouncing. Although, I do think there are a few organizational and workflow advantages to having your tracked final right in the session.
I always print stems so I record the full mix and the stems in the same session that way it's all done in one pass. Also fixes can be punched in using destructive punch in Pro Tools.
Old 14th February 2020
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Campbell View Post
I always print stems so I record the full mix and the stems in the same session that way it's all done in one pass. Also fixes can be punched in using destructive punch in Pro Tools.
None of that is applicable to mastering, though.
Old 14th February 2020
  #20
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Brian Campbell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
None of that is applicable to mastering, though.
Just responding to the post which doesn't seem specific to mastering.
Old 15th February 2020
  #21
Gear Head
 

It's handy printing within the session - you can keep an eye on meters while it prints, immediately check the waveform for anything unusual. And if you do revisions you can print them onto a new playlist or adjacent track, and this makes comparisons between different passes really quick and straightforward - they're all lined up at the same place and you can switch between playlists/tracks in realtime.

You can also print the mix and an additional 'loud' pass with a limiter on at the same time.

Regardless, the print should always end up stored inside the session (muted or routed out a different output of course), so that if/when you come back to it down the line you can reference that the Pro Tools session does in fact match the print 100% (if someone sends me a session I always insist there's a print inside so I can check nothing is missing, arrangement is identical etc).

Also slightly beside the point here but I still don't trust offline bouncing. In Pro Tools if you commit tracks with Melodyne on them, you'll occasionally hear little glitches of what appears to be time bits of compression/expansion occasionally. Not sure if it's a PT issue or Melodyne issues but printing the Melodyne to a new track in realtime is always 100% reliable. Ever since I noticed this I just avoid committing/bouncing offline. If you bounce offline you still need to listen to the whole bounce before sending to a client, so you might as well just print it in realtime.
Old 15th February 2020
  #22
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i've been recording my mix or (pre)master back into my system since the days of fairlight (which is now maybe 35 years ago?!) so nothing really new...

...but out of habit, i mostly use an external hd-recorder for redundancy :-)
Old 17th February 2020
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundGuyLance View Post
It's handy printing within the session - you can keep an eye on meters while it prints, immediately check the waveform for anything unusual. And if you do revisions you can print them onto a new playlist or adjacent track, and this makes comparisons between different passes really quick and straightforward - they're all lined up at the same place and you can switch between playlists/tracks in realtime.

You can also print the mix and an additional 'loud' pass with a limiter on at the same time.

Regardless, the print should always end up stored inside the session (muted or routed out a different output of course), so that if/when you come back to it down the line you can reference that the Pro Tools session does in fact match the print 100% (if someone sends me a session I always insist there's a print inside so I can check nothing is missing, arrangement is identical etc).

Also slightly beside the point here but I still don't trust offline bouncing. In Pro Tools if you commit tracks with Melodyne on them, you'll occasionally hear little glitches of what appears to be time bits of compression/expansion occasionally. Not sure if it's a PT issue or Melodyne issues but printing the Melodyne to a new track in realtime is always 100% reliable. Ever since I noticed this I just avoid committing/bouncing offline. If you bounce offline you still need to listen to the whole bounce before sending to a client, so you might as well just print it in realtime.

....verrrry interesting thank you. I can see exactly what you're saying in all your points.

you and brian both mentioned the availability/convenience of the printed mix inside the session for punches/alterations/checks....great point! i can see how sensible this is......Ill be taking this into practice thank you



Also, Ive always felt a bit suspicious of the bouncing offline process, I'm always disappointed by the fidelity of the bounce (pro tools/logix both)...but im aware this is just the disappointment of finally coming down to 16bits after all those days writing/mixing at 24.

To add a little back into this thread having received gratefully GS's input...


i noticed one of Atlantas successful young engineers Kesha Lee asking this on my twitter feed/time line yesterday


"I honestly don’t know.. but how to print stems or a single track with mix busses? Wouldn’t the track running through the aux by itself have a different effect on the plugin chain than when printing all the tracks bussed to the aux? Or am I just overthinking it" - K. Lee


....this is something i'd wondered about quite a bit too.

how would you best print out your grouped stems for mastering if you're mixing with a shedload of processing on your 2bus as a part of your mix sound.

Thankfully i don't. I use a Micheal Brauer style mix template......actually 6 group buses going to the master bus....and print with nothing on the 2bus (in advance of mastering)..while writing I use a little SSL G comp on the 2 bus for glue , (max 1.5 db , 30ms attack, auto response , hi threshold)

...theres so many different ways round to this mixing/mastering thing lol

Mike deans answer was :


"I print stems with no bus. And then put the bus on the stems on a group."


.....ive copied michael brauer, so i was quite pleased to seem to be working along the lines of my engineering heroes

...thanks for all the feedback everyone
Old 17th February 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostman View Post
.....intersting, thanks


thanks to you both.


Firstly, i didn't know if id misunderstood....and then

i was imagining perhaps there was some snake oil genius in the technique whereby you might get a better print / capture than you do when you bounce .


so no sonic advantages to the technique then?


I'm reading a bob katz book at the moment and as i delve deeper into the understanding of stem mixing/mastering i pick up on new things engineers are saying and realise what an ocean of knowledge and experience lies ahead of me re: mastering


so for now im focusing on getting the absolute most out of the mixing stage ...


i recently got a folcrom summing box and am enjoying contrasting/experimenting analogue and digital summing options.

However it Seems Tchad blake, Schepps and Mike Dean have all left the analogue summing party lol.)
Yep no advantages or disadvantages. There is nothing wrong with analog summing either if it suits workflow. Watch the great Eric Valentine’s YouTube channel. He set up an elaborate various multiple stage summing system. It sounds better when he does as A/B. To be clear that may well be due to the make up gain of cool preamps at various stages. The summing effect itself is probably not so significant. If u are using various bits of analog gear though, it might make sense to sum. Keep in mind, mixers are balancing convenience, ability to recall etc with sound. It’s often said that people who own a bunch of gear are biased in saying OTB is better. Well sure but the same is true in reverse. People who are ITB will convince themselves it’s just as good. This happens at all levels. Personally as someone who does 50/50, actually more ITB lately, I significantly prefer OTB. This is highly dependent on personality, preference, gear owned, psychology etc. What is clear is that brilliant mixers can be done either way. I just do better OTB. This is probably because I’m not as good as those top guys and the OTB gear does some work for me.
Old 17th February 2020
  #25
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Sigma's Avatar
tried it before with a inside bounce and a BTD they null so no difference
Old 17th February 2020
  #26
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One of the advantages of printing the 2 bus to a new stereo track is that you can make changes in real time. You can also stop, make a change and continue from where you left off. You can also punch in sections of the song if you want to dial in different treatments. You can also make playlists of your mixes, try a bunch of different approaches and then quickly comp a final mix from the various passes.

It's a work flow thing that gives an advantage to folks that are making real time changes to a mix and/or treating the mix as a one off "performance".
If that's not your workflow don't worry about it. It doesn't make any difference to the sonics.
Old 17th February 2020
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
IIRC bussing the mix to a stereo track inside the DAW became popular back when the old Pro Tools TDM systems had some automation errors during bounce to disk.

That's not an issue anymore so bussing vs bouncing shouldn't matter sonically.

Now we have offline bounce which makes real time printing a time waste. Unless of course there's any outboard gear involved.
Real time printing is never a time waste, as if you do an off line bounce you still end up having to listen back to the result anyway, before you can send it to anyone.

And as soon as there is even one bit of outboard running live which is obviosly very common even for 'itb mixers' if merely across the mix bus, then you have no choice anyway.
Old 17th February 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkshop View Post
try a bunch of different approaches and then quickly comp a final mix from the various passes.
....such a great idea...

it makes me wonder if this is how mike dean works because he brilliantly mixes/engineers songs that have radically different (sonically ) sections...but the different sections all segue perfectly into each other through the course of the arrangement (there's no perceptible change in the apparent loudness of any of the instrument groups in the mix even though the component instruments in the groups totally change)

I really like the ideas that this approach offers.

who needs MWTM when you have GS

Thanks !
Old 17th February 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Watch the great Eric Valentine’s YouTube channel.
..thank you i will, ive not heard of his channel.


I have a growing pile of notebooks from my evenings geeking out watching and learning from the legends discussing their workflow.


Bruce Swedien
Bob CLearmountain
A. Schepps,
Mike Dean
M Brauer
Tchad Blake

...and some of the younger fellas

Jaycen Joshua
Seth Firkins
P. Pigliapoco
Josh Gudwin


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
The summing effect itself is probably not so significant. If u are using various bits of analog gear though, it might make sense to sum. Keep in mind, mixers are balancing convenience, ability to recall etc with sound.

yeah i hear you, i think andrew schleps seems very fair in his assessment of the drawbacks of analogue being the impossibility of recalling mixes in the exact same way you can digitally and the ability to mix multiple projects at the same time....and also escaping the necessary timetabling / logistics if you work in analogue, needing to wait for artists/A&R/Producers to all find a time that's good for everyone to come in and listen to a mix before you can zero the desk and move on to a next mix .


re: analogue summing,
I have an SSL SIX and took a decision to add a little more summing power to my set-up...and then i watched a brilliant lecture by Andrew schleps at oxford uni where he breaks down the whole argument to basically being about how good are your a/d ...d/a convertors....

and why would you want to keep bringing things in and out of the analogue/digital domain more than once

(tracking in........and then the stream into the consumers speaker )


id not long received the fulcrum and then looked at it and thought [email protected]%k should have bought a 2nd hand Orpheus

you study and you learn

its really a great lecture , id highly recommend it to anyone

Andrew Scheps at the University of Oxford - "What Comes Out Of The Speakers".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCdrYbUVW8
Old 17th February 2020
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Yeah but as Scheps says, all that matters is what comes out of the speakers, and here that often means the benefit from some analog gear tones outweigh conversion losses. And that's not just me hearing it like that. Just to point out that his angle on that one is subjective, as opposed to technically correct.
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