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Has anyone regretted the decision to mix OTB? DAW Software
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Has anyone regretted the decision to mix OTB?

Has anyone made the jump to OTB mixing and then regretted it because you couldn't hear a real improvement?

I would love to hear about your setup and experiences.

Also if you have moved to OTB and you love it now. I would love to hear about that as well.

I am seriously debating getting a mixer and going for it, but the investment is obvioulsy a big one. The more opionions I have, the better.

Thanks.
Old 15th August 2007
  #2
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Jon Harter's Avatar
I've never regretted mixing otb.
Old 15th August 2007
  #3
w2w
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My advice would be to mix a few songs of yours ITB & then go book some time at a studio that would have a console & setup similar to what you are thinking about buying & mixing the same songs OTB.Then take some time & listen & compare.It would be WAAAY cheaper & will help you decide if its the right move for you.

There would be nothing worse than investing a lot of $$$$ & then find out you dont like it.
Old 15th August 2007
  #4
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
The responses you get to this question will be on almost religious lines.

I have never for a second regretted the extra work or cost to work OTB (which is some time less OTB in many cases). I have however regretted doing some projects ITB.

Other people are going to disagree with me. That is cool. People are going to chime in and say there is no need to spend $100,000 on a console and that is probably true, but if you do lots of research and watch the market, you can find some wonderful consoles for for much less than the price of one Pro Tools HD 1 card (without the interface).
Old 15th August 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

I'd like to hear more too .
I am wondering at what quality level of console is the point you will notice a difference?

Probably mixing on a Radio shack mixer won't help.
What about a Mackie?
What about a Topaz Project 8?
Maybe at the Midas level?

I recently bought a Topaz to create headphone mixes on and was contemplating mixing a song in the box and the OTB, and compare. I need to get off my butt and do it....

Tom
Old 15th August 2007
  #6
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Thanks guys. Please keep the comments coming.

Note: If you haven't actually mixed OTB, but you want to post your opinions and theories about it, this is not the place. Your opinion is of no value to me.

I'm only interested in hearing from guys who have done it.
Old 15th August 2007
  #7
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_MIX View Post
I'd like to hear more too .
I am wondering at what quality level of console is the point you will notice a difference?

Probably mixing on a Radio shack mixer won't help.
What about a Mackie?
What about a Topaz Project 8?
Maybe at the Midas level?

Tom
Good question T MIX. I am specifically considering a Toft ATB console as the center of an OTB rig.
Old 15th August 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 
edyer's Avatar
 

I just use a ghost and it works better for me. The box still does all the automation. There is something about having the eq and effects out where I can play with them that makes it just easier to do? I do use some plugins though at times. As far as sound goes I can get the same basic sound either way. I think if you are doing a good job with what you have you should stick to it unless there is a compelling reason to change.
Old 15th August 2007
  #9
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semtek's Avatar
 

I used to mix OTB and have recently sold some gear to move ITB. The main reason? Recall. I found that the difficulties associated in setting up a mix if you wanted to go back and change it OTB outweighed the sonic advantages.

When I go back and listen to the old mixes now I do feel that there's something there which perhaps I currently miss. It's difficult to quantify. Kick drums, for example, do seem to sound more natural when they've gone through a desk and a nice outboard compressor/limiter, the software processors can make them sound quite strained.

However my current view is that most people listen to music in their car, their kitchen or on their computer, and the extra accuracy and definition afforded by software processors makes them better suited to mixing for the average listener.

If I were to start mixing OTB again it would be because I had access to a desk with fully-featured channel strips on each channel and total recall. It's the kind of situation where if you can't afford the top of the range then it's probably not worth it.
Old 15th August 2007
  #10
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BJohnston's Avatar
 

I do everything out of the box. Depending on what kind of projects your dealing with...you can't beat a good console. You're not going to reap the rewards from consumer type consoles...ie mackie...etc. What you get with Neves, SSLs, Tridents, for the most part, is quality mic/line pres, routing options for using real outboard gear, and the abillity to run your mixes really hot off of the 2 Buss It's really the only way to go...especially for rock stuff!

B
Old 15th August 2007
  #11
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pulsar modular's Avatar
 

No regrets here. Hey, I'm just a lowly hobbyist with a few high end pres, compressors and converters. Anyway, I struggled to get close to the sound I wanted to hear with Logic (though outboard compression helped) until I got this huge old 70s console. Instant bliss. But perhaps that's because I grew up in the 70s heh Don't feel I need 2-bus compression as much anymore either.
Old 15th August 2007
  #12
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
The responses you get to this question will be on almost religious lines.
rcm is so true, a very sensitive subject, i work OTB and would not have it any other way.
Old 16th August 2007
  #13
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lemix's Avatar
Strictly, religiously and fanatically 100% on the console.
I'm old and grumpy. Need my patchbay, my racks and my assistant to write notes.
Some PT automation and very few plugs are OK, but I live by the board's VCA automation.
It's an addiction and never did try the other way.
there...
BTW, what does "ITB" stand for ? heh
Old 16th August 2007
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptoolate View Post
Has anyone made the jump to OTB mixing and then regretted it because you couldn't hear a real improvement?

I would love to hear about your setup and experiences.

Also if you have moved to OTB and you love it now. I would love to hear about that as well.

I am seriously debating getting a mixer and going for it, but the investment is obvioulsy a big one. The more opionions I have, the better.

Thanks.
These days i only mix OTB if its on an SSL of my choice or a Neve of my choice.

Anything else to me involves compromises that are not really worth it.
Old 16th August 2007
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonaknt View Post
I've never regretted mixing otb.
Ditto.
Old 16th August 2007
  #16
Gear Head
 

I've been lurking on threads about this very topic for a while. Enough lurking, it's time
to comment.

I had been mixing solely ITB for some time now, even though I had a console. With the
addition of a couple compressors and some additional AD/DA I decided it was high time
to mix OTB and see what the fuss was about. It's possible the console I have is doing
some harm, but I think the good it's doing far outweighs it. I've been very happy with
my results and have found that it's a lot more fun with faders I can grab with my
fingers as opposed to with a mouse click. I don't regret the ITB years, and I'll probably
do it again if the project warrants it. For now I'm going to enjoy the combination of a
DAW and a console. It has certainly improved my workflow at the very least.
Old 16th August 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 

something to also think about are recalls ... if you cant afford to go back and book the studio for recalls if need ...

whats more important ..

you mixed on a neve or ssl but the vocals are too loud or the gtrs too low

or

you mixed ITB and were able to go back and dial in all the levels ..

now if you can afford recalls or nail it first time out ..then nevermind ..
Old 16th August 2007
  #18
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

I recently did some rough mixes on a Trident 80A after a tracking session. There was a small handful of nice outboard comps (pair of blue stipe 1176's and some of those nicer ADL's) Let's say about 10 minutes per tune, including printing the mix in real time.

Now that I'm actually doing the final mixes on the project ITB, I've spent hours getting the songs to the sound quality of the original OTB roughs through PT mouse mixing. When I'm done, the mixes will be great, and far surpass the original roughs, but it'll take time.

My eyes get in the way of my ears, and I'm distracted by the temptation to jump around all the time. I've been mixing ITB with a mouse for years, and it's still never as quick and intuitive as grabbing knobs and faders.

I suppose I'd be just as happy with an Icon as with a vibey analog console, as long as I could turn the screen off and interact. As much as any good console has it's own sound I think I'm into them more because of how they make me work more than because of the sonics.

"Get your eyes off the damn screen and stop obsessing" I have to tell myself. The ability to make decisions is inhibited when interacting with a screen, because the entire experience becomes intellectual rather than visceral.

Music is about feelings n' junk.
Old 16th August 2007
  #19
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

i have a mixwizard3 i use for tracking. been thinking about exporting a mix to 7 stereo groups and mixing down (without outboard compression :( ) and importing back into reaper for final 2 buss compression. just seems kinda dodgy to do that and hear an improvement. i think itd be a waste of my time opposed to ITB.
Old 16th August 2007
  #20
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle S View Post
i have a mixwizard3 i use for tracking. been thinking about exporting a mix to 7 stereo groups and mixing down (without outboard compression :( ) and importing back into reaper for final 2 buss compression. just seems kinda dodgy to do that and hear an improvement. i think itd be a waste of my time opposed to ITB.
Try it.

I did so with my old MixWiz 2 years ago, and now I'm allowed to make comments on threads about cheap consoles vs ITB on GS.

It will definitely sound different than ITB. For me, it wasn't worth doing with any regularity. However, I'll never regret trying it, or how well a couple of those mixes came out.
Old 16th August 2007
  #21
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PMoshay's Avatar
 

You can always mix ITB ........... even if you have a OTB setup, but not vise-a-versa.

i never regret having a console........ especially when i try to mix ITB and get the same results.

If great sound is your goal, give yourself choices to have great sound.
Old 16th August 2007
  #22
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Watersound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMoshay View Post
You can always mix ITB ........... even if you have a OTB setup, but not vise-a-versa.
That's a good point. I mix OTB most of the time and for me it is a much better experience overall and sure, I think the end result is better. But there are times I mix totally ITB if the project is going to demand several recalls/etc, and though I hate the process, I can get good results. I don't think you should look at it as a matter of a huge quality of sonics increase but more along the lines of a much more rewarding and freeing process of working. If you are going to have to always be going back and changing things then you should probably stay ITB. I recently listened to a couple of mixes I did 3 yrs. ago totally ITB with much less quality gear than I have now, and was very surprised at how good they sounded. You can get awesome results ITB but man would I be miserable working that way all the time. Merge the two and get the best of both worlds!
Old 16th August 2007
  #23
13036
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
snip... as long as I could turn the screen off and interact.
Music is about feelings n' junk.
This may be what I miss most about mixing on a console.

Ben
Old 16th August 2007
  #24
jhg
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jhg's Avatar
 

Excellent points. Kudos to fossiltooth.

I've gone otb - itb then out again, then retreated into the beast for certain tasks(post, mastering, pyramix fun)

Recall is a bitch. That's the regret as far as otb. As far as pulling a mix together with more expediency, the board is a boon. Pulling it back together later - not so much.

Of late, I've started to turn off the screen once everything is settled in the computer - editing done, have markers set at beginnings of verses, chorus, can jump around with controller, etc. It's an odd phenomena. The mix goes from the eyes to ears, kind of like some sort of aural expectorant. ****ty description, yeah, but try it.

Regards,

jhg
Old 16th August 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 

Nope,I like mixing on the console,only thing that bothered me is monitoring.
Before I had the desk it was clear path between me and monitors,it was very easy to work.
Desk introduced many acoustical problems,
so I'm trying figure out now how to minimize its effect on monitoring and treat the room acoustically as good as it can get.
It took some time to learn how to mix on the console,but for me that is the way to go.
Old 16th August 2007
  #26
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post

Other people are going to disagree with me. That is cool. People are going to chime in and say there is no need to spend $100,000 on a console and that is probably true, but if you do lots of research and watch the market, you can find some wonderful consoles for for much less than the price of one Pro Tools HD 1 card (without the interface).
Care to share what those consoles might be?

Brad
Old 16th August 2007
  #27
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china jam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Care to share what those consoles might be?
I was thinking the same thing - please share!
Old 17th August 2007
  #28
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

OTB is a must !!!
Old 17th August 2007
  #29
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Care to share what those consoles might be?

Brad
some D&R, Neotek, Amek. Of course I am talking about the used market.

I bought my 36 channel D&R series 4000 mk-II for $1500 and invested about $300 to get it fixed up. I prefer the sound of it over any ITB option I have ever heard.
Old 17th August 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
 

I mix OTB but do all my automation ITB (Nuendo)with a few plugs here and there.,its kind of the best of both worlds....I believe to get the sonic benifits of a console you have to have a great soundinding console first.....Neotek , Neve , Api, Quad 8 or at least a D&R i am sure theres a few others I have missed....but my point being a Mackie or any Procosumer mixer will not make your mix sound better it would be better to stay ITB...the advantages are only there with a great sounding analog board.



Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
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