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is a clean console a better device to mix colored sounds?
Old 11th November 2007
  #1
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shangoe's Avatar
 

is a clean console a better device to mix colored sounds?

i mix for some years now, but dont have to much experience with diferent kinds of consoles, so i cant compare. the console i work on now is a chip desk from the 80ties which is heavily modified for more headroom and sounds nice and clean....

even so i like some color and feel i have to work more with my transformer- outboard or other kinds of distortion to get somewhere near the sound i like to achieve..

at one go i asked myself often: i have to work more but have even more (clean colors) which i also like.

would you say only a discrete or transformer based console is capable to bring some beef to the sound or would you say a clean desk is maybe better because its like a bigger canvas and you get the same ore better results. (given that you have to do more with colored outboard)

im talkin about mixing only, not tracking.
Old 11th November 2007
  #2
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

I also have a fairly clean desk, a 1994 DDA that sounds really good. Cleanish-good.

What I did to beef up the sound was to sum subgroups of the mix outside the console.

Works like this: I group my mix into 4 main subgroups: drums (sometimes drums+bass), guitars/keys, vox, fx returns and various (sometimes the bass is here too). I use the 2-buss plus 6 busses for this. Each buss goes usually to some processing and from there to....

.... a passive 8-into-2 summing buss that I built myself. It's a balanced, floating resistor network similar to what you find in older neve consoles. For the make-up gain needed I ordered a custom stereo 1272 clone from www.vintagedesign.se

I return the mix for monitoring to the console's 2-track input.

The 1272 is great for my setup. Lots of nice iron color (st Ives x-formers) and headroom for days. Makes my console sound *expensive*

Old 12th November 2007
  #3
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Sigma's Avatar
hey man don't get racial
Old 12th November 2007
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by shangoe View Post
i
would you say only a discrete or transformer based console is capable to bring some beef to the sound or would you say a clean desk is maybe better because its like a bigger canvas and you get the same ore better results. (given that you have to do more with colored outboard)

im talkin about mixing only, not tracking.
Its a big misnomer that a so called "colored" console can't give you a clean mix.

A well maintained Neve 8068 sounds both big,effortless and open. I never feel like i am fighting the sound. I do feel at times though that the EQ choices are limiting when you need to carve into the lower mids. Also the lack of inputs can be a downer and makes it not a realistic choice for a large track mix.

On the other hand mixing on a "cleaner" console i feel like i am chasing my tail more to give it a sound and it never feels like its enough. Also you end up using way too much outboard which makes mixing & recalls a pain.

But to be honest if the songs are produced,recorded & arranged well its a moot point because either choice is really doable.
Old 12th November 2007
  #5
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thanks thrill. i hoped you would answer to this thread, because i know you are into this subject...

"I never feel like i am fighting the sound" this is THE point which makes me want to get more experience on other desks, because this was my feeling when i fist tried my cadac 16channel custom desk. i am restoring it right now and cant wait to finish it.

the eq of this thing is like:
"ok i can make this sound in 20 ways and neither will sound bad, just diferend".

all my other eqs are like:
" ok i found one setting whis is acceptable"

so this board will help me alot, as a second board. its limmited because of 16 channels but thats ok for now. i will never be able to get some big Neve 8068, so i have to find another way.

my main concern was the fact that it is DOABLE on a good non discrete desk, accepting that it will be more work...


some more oppinions?
Old 13th November 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by shangoe View Post

"I never feel like i am fighting the sound" this is THE point which makes me want to get more experience on other desks, because this was my feeling when i fist tried my cadac 16channel custom desk. i am restoring it right now and cant wait to finish it.

some more oppinions?
This is your best bet.

You'll find some consoles are just easier to mix on than others in terms of how the overall sound brings everything together.

But along the way you'll find out that the better ones are expensive and there is just no way around it.
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