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Do you transparent mic and preamp then color itb?
Old 23rd February 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Do you transparent mic and preamp then color itb?

I will just come out and say it, all the slutty mics and pres (and outboard gear for people still mixing hybrid) is really only doing what you can do later, and better with plugins. Cork sniffing is over, go in clean, load up your plugins and go to work, all the mic, preamp emulation, tube, transformer, transistor color and more than you could ever need is at your fingertips (with undo)
Old 23rd February 2020
  #2
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I should add that this is only half trolling and half just a bout of rage at myself because I don't do this...I wish I could have gone back said this to my younger self before I spent all that damn money on gear. No I can't take it all to the beach and mix there, unless I drag a 19" rack with me.
Old 23rd February 2020
  #3
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Oldone's Avatar
Ok, my experience as well as countless hours of observation is that, mics, preamps, outboard and performance should get you 75% of the way to a final mix. It should sound really good after you track otherwise the ITB process is much more arduous and time consuming. If this is not the case you need to focus on better mics, preamps and outboard. Can you course correct? Sure you can, but at many hours of effort.

The complete waste of human energy and time is crossfading and correction but absolutely necessary. Wish some DAW manufacturer could automate this process better. i.e. auto crossfade after a split or at least present the option. Additionally auto time alignment of base tracks based on transients would be useful, once again with an option of commit.

All of the above with live musicians of course. All you EDM and Hip Hop beat types....proceed as you see fit.
Old 23rd February 2020
  #4
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Drumsound's Avatar
I like my tracks to sound close with just faders. So, I use the tools at hand in the analog world during tracking. And If I want or needs something done in mixing, its mostly plugins. I've got the tools, so I use the tools.
Old 23rd February 2020
  #5
Tracking is purist, any colors are added later via analog gear. I like options and don't like painting into corners.
Old 24th February 2020
  #6
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The guys who are ahead of the curve don't use any hardware...guys like Tschad Blake and Andrew Schepps don't want to go near a piece of hardware, or even want stuff tracked with colored gear....they can do all the coloring itb....that is my point...transparent preamps and flat mics are all you need these days, slutty gear is just indulgence...in other words plugins are the only game in town.
Old 24th February 2020
  #7
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vernier's Avatar
I like hot and heavy gear with VU meters n' stuff, lol.
Old 24th February 2020
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Wish some DAW manufacturer could automate this process better. i.e. auto crossfade after a split or at least present the option.
Cubase has an auto crossfade option, user definable time too.
Old 24th February 2020
  #9
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

I prefer going clean because then I can do multiband distortion that I can automate to get the exact level of warmth with all the detail and without the rattiness.

I don't mind people doing the colour any way they want. But when they start to act superior, that just looks silly to me.
Old 24th February 2020
  #10
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good point about the multiband stuff, there are a thousand more advantages like that, I am passionate about the new digital church, an over-zealout...sell your LA2As before they are landfill
Old 24th February 2020
  #11
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Driver View Post
The guys who are ahead of the curve don't use any hardware...guys like Tschad Blake and Andrew Schepps don't want to go near a piece of hardware, or even want stuff tracked with colored gear....they can do all the coloring itb....that is my point...transparent preamps and flat mics are all you need these days, slutty gear is just indulgence...in other words plugins are the only game in town.
That is literally the oposite of how Tchad Blake tracks. He doesn't do a ton of tracking these days, but there are a TON of records where he was recording drums with the Sansamp, and putting mics in mechanical filters, and beating the daylights our of things with Spectrasonics 610s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Tracking is purist, any colors are added later via analog gear. I like options and don't like painting into corners.
It isn't painting one's self into a corner, it is informing the next step in the process.
Old 24th February 2020
  #12
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
ITB is the worst place to add “color”. And I mix 100% ITB. Plugins can help pull out more goodness from tracks, as long as they were recorded with quality gear. There is no substitute for tracking with quality mics and preamps and tastefully compressing and EQing on the way down.
Old 24th February 2020
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Driver View Post
The guys who are ahead of the curve don't use any hardware...guys like Tschad Blake and Andrew Schepps don't want to go near a piece of hardware, or even want stuff tracked with colored gear....they can do all the coloring itb....that is my point...transparent preamps and flat mics are all you need these days, slutty gear is just indulgence...in other words plugins are the only game in town.
Not even remotely true. You can watch a recent Andrew Scheps MWTM course where he records a band with — you guessed it — hardware. Yes, he mixes ITB. Not the same thing as tracking clean.

And for the record, there’s nothing wrong with tracking clean IF it suits the material. But that’s the thing; it often DOESN’T suit the material. And when that’s the case, it’s becomes really difficult to compensate after the fact.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 24th February 2020 at 11:08 AM..
Old 24th February 2020
  #14
FWIW ,

i love the current sound of American R&B/Hip Hop and Trap/Soul Productions a la Seth Firkins (RIP) ...so as much as i can i mimic the Atlanta approach into the box.

Top mic, Avalon , C1 B and straight in....everything else ITB

....so I'm happy going for the cleanest i can get with (don't judge me lol ) my SE Electronics Valve mic...SSL Six Pre-amp and touch of compression (SIX) and then ITB Softie CL1B MK2 and on into the chain.


Im v happy with the results i ca produce ITB . Its all budget defined though.

If i had £10000 for outboard expenditure....it would probs all go on my A/D D/A

My understanding of Andrew Schepps advise is, at the end of the day you could have an incredible array of hardware but what are your a/d convertors saying..and that makes perfect sense to me.
Old 24th February 2020
  #15
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___GLM___'s Avatar
 

many good and different opinions and approaches here... that was to be expected.

My 2cents: the (room) mic/pre combo is for me the most important thing to get the desired sound. I have yet to find a technique and the tools to make any clean combo sound like 251+redd47 or a U47+retro powerstrip combo or whatever in post. I think that is a very difficult, if not impossible thing to do. I tried. I tried very hard, because it would safe me much money if one clean mic and clean pre could be turned into everything afterwards.

Think about slates digital virtual mic system if you prefer to paint with colors afterwards. Never tried it, but the idea seems to fit your approach.
I listened to demos of this system, sometimes I liked the results, sometimes not when compared to the real thing. I´m a bit nostalgic and also just like having the real tools.
Old 24th February 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
It isn't painting one's self into a corner, it is informing the next step in the process.
More like limiting options in the next process.
Old 24th February 2020
  #17
The way a preamp reacts with a mic is difficult to duplicate ITB, even if you knew what the result would be of that interaction ahead of time. Personally, I tend to pair certain mics with certain preamps to attain just the right amount and type of color so that it sounds closer to done when the faders are pulled up. Much easier that way than trying to recreate it later. Mixing becomes easier. It also forces you to be a better engineer by getting it right ahead of time. IME, the best mixes mix themselves.
Old 24th February 2020
  #18
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
More like limiting options in the next process.
That's the point.
Old 24th February 2020
  #19
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Driver View Post
The guys who are ahead of the curve don't use any hardware...guys like Tschad Blake and Andrew Schepps don't want to go near a piece of hardware, or even want stuff tracked with colored gear....they can do all the coloring itb....that is my point...transparent preamps and flat mics are all you need these days, slutty gear is just indulgence...in other words plugins are the only game in town.
Old 24th February 2020
  #20
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

As soon as I say to myself, "I like the sound of this mic more than that one," I'm opting for a kind of color. I have never, ever said to myself "That is the perfect amount of meh to allow me to manipulate with plugins later, although even more meh might be better."
Old 24th February 2020
  #21
Addressing the actual thread title question rather than yet another ITB vs. OTB slugfest, my opinion is I do whatever works for the project. The closer I can get to sounding like a record during tracking the better the performances are going to be. The better the performances are the easier it is to mix. Sometimes that means GML level transparent on the way in, sometimes not. I also print eq/compression/fx on the way in quite often. And I don't often work ITB but if I did I would still have the same workflow. 95% of the work of making a good record happens before mixing in my opinion.
Old 24th February 2020
  #22
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bicarbone's Avatar
Better avoid those real transformers and tubes in your signal chain, with all the bloody non-linearities and thickness they leave behind, as it will only be messing with the algorithms of the plugins trying to recreate ITB what they do.
Old 24th February 2020
  #23
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bicarbone View Post
Better avoid those real transformers and tubes in your signal chain, with all the bloody non-linearities and thickness they leave behind, as it will only be messing with the algorithms of the plugins trying to recreate ITB what they do.
And don't have them on your mix bus, because they'll take the things the two channels have in common and make them less identical. Which is to say, more stereo.
Old 24th February 2020
  #24
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Yes! Think about how much BETTER the Classic Sinatra Albums would have been...

If Capitol had used one of today's "microphone emulation" virtual systems, instead of that U48!
Chris
Old 24th February 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicarbone View Post
Better avoid those real transformers and tubes in your signal chain, with all the bloody non-linearities and thickness they leave behind, as it will only be messing with the algorithms of the plugins trying to recreate ITB what they do.

Chris
Old 24th February 2020
  #26
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Yes! Think about how much BETTER the Classic Sinatra Albums would have been...

If Capitol had used one of today's "microphone emulation" virtual systems, instead of that U48!
Chris
Apples to oranges ... they also had Don Costa, Nelson Riddle and Quincy Jones, a slew of big band veterans and professional recording engineers who worked long hours recording everything from show albums, comedy records, film scores and rock and roll as their day gig ....all those people learned a few things they brought with them to those "classic" sessions. And then there was that room, that incredible space.

Then there's Frank ... of course.

All of those things far outweigh transformers and specific mic's ... but it doesn't matter, because what they used is what they had at the time, no one sat around and lusted over mic pre's, mic's and, gasp, transformers!!! They were the tools of the trade (what engineers did want was less distortion, however).

It's not the 50s and 60s any longer - no emulation software or purchase of ancient equipment will ever bring back those specific results - which is one reason period films always seem a bit off, it's not possible to completely nail that sound.
Old 24th February 2020
  #27
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

It all depends, right?

Whenever you dial up a guitar sound with distortion, a phaser or delay etc., and record it, you're committed to that result - you can't kill the delay or lessen the distortion, but you can increase those things.

This is why, conversely, some of us will record direct through an amp simulator (the sim is for monitoring only), print the dry signal then reamp later and print with distortion and effects - it's more work, but it gives you more control.

Sometimes it's better to use the former, sometimes the latter.

Every so often you'll discover a cool sound by accident, like slamming the crap out of drum overheads with compression and distortion - and you'll print it live cause it's cool, it's THE sound. Or the bass player has just the right amount of distortion for a particular track or tune, so you go with it.

There's no right or wrong, it's just preference for a particular technique at a certain time.
Old 24th February 2020
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
Apples to oranges ... they also had Don Costa, Nelson Riddle and Quincy Jones, a slew of big band veterans and professional recording engineers who worked long hours recording everything from show albums, comedy records, film scores and rock and roll as their day gig ....all those people learned a few things they brought with them to those "classic" sessions. And then there was that room, that incredible space.

Then there's Frank ... of course.

All of those things far outweigh transformers and specific mic's ... but it doesn't matter, because what they used is what they had at the time, no one sat around and lusted over mic pre's, mic's and, gasp, transformers!!! They were the tools of the trade (what engineers did want was less distortion, however).

It's not the 50s and 60s any longer - no emulation software or purchase of ancient equipment will ever bring back those specific results - which is one reason period films always seem a bit off, it's not possible to completely nail that sound.
You're right. I was "mostly" having a little fun with all this.

Recently, UA did an excellent shootout of Classic Analog gear, versus their
emulations. Very close, not quite there with the Plugs-yet.

"Great enough" to make great records with Plugs, in any case...
Chris
Old 24th February 2020
  #29
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
You're right. I was "mostly" having a little fun with all this.

Recently, UA did an excellent shootout of Classic Analog gear, versus their
emulations. Very close, not quite there with the Plugs-yet.

"Great enough" to make great records with Plugs, in any case...
Chris
Cool, no problem!
Old 24th February 2020
  #30
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Dpro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Driver View Post
The guys who are ahead of the curve don't use any hardware...guys like Tschad Blake and Andrew Schepps don't want to go near a piece of hardware, or even want stuff tracked with colored gear....they can do all the coloring itb....that is my point...transparent preamps and flat mics are all you need these days, slutty gear is just indulgence...in other words plugins are the only game in town.
I don’t know about Tschad Blake but this is not how Andy Schepps works . I am not sure where you got this infoLol

I have even talked to him about it. He uses Analog outboard gear while tracking. Its actually completely opposite of what you are talking about . He prefers to capture it as it sounds going in if processed then processed. He does not record dry and then add it in the box.
He does say once its in the box it stays in the box and does mixdowns in the box but as far as the tracking side goes he uses analog gear going in.
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