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Where is the "Mix Bus"?
Old 24th July 2005
  #1
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Where is the "Mix Bus"?

Ok, there's a lot of talk about when mixing in the box about the "mix bus". But where is it exactly?

For example, take 3 setups here:

1. Pro Tools HD rig with Digi 192 interface running Pro Tools TDM software

2. Pro Tools LE rig with say an MBox running Pro Tools LE software

3. Pro Tools LE rig with an MBox with an Apogee Rosetta 200 for AD/DA

So in all three cases, where is the proverbial "mix bus"?

Is it in the software (ie. Pro Tools TDM, Pro Tools LE), is it in the audio interface (ie. MBox, Digi 192)? Or is it in the converter itself, so in the case of #3, getting an Apogee Rosetta 200 and putting it in front of the MBox improves the "mix bus"?
Old 25th July 2005
  #2
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The 'mix bus' was created by Rosa Parks back in the 60ies and was way frigging overdue.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 25th July 2005
  #3
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bongo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
The 'mix bus' was created by Rosa Parks back in the 60ies and was way frigging overdue.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch


I believe she put a lot compression on it.

But she didn't limit it.

It ended up being the most "open" mix in history.

Thank you Sista Rosa.
Old 25th July 2005
  #4
Quote:
Thank you Sista Rosa.

thumbsup
Old 25th July 2005
  #5
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Riad's Avatar
 

Stan's White Paper
Old 25th July 2005
  #6
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
Ok, there's a lot of talk about when mixing in the box about the "mix bus". But where is it exactly?

For example, take 3 setups here:

1. Pro Tools HD rig with Digi 192 interface running Pro Tools TDM software

2. Pro Tools LE rig with say an MBox running Pro Tools LE software

3. Pro Tools LE rig with an MBox with an Apogee Rosetta 200 for AD/DA

So in all three cases, where is the proverbial "mix bus"?

Is it in the software (ie. Pro Tools TDM, Pro Tools LE), is it in the audio interface (ie. MBox, Digi 192)? Or is it in the converter itself, so in the case of #3, getting an Apogee Rosetta 200 and putting it in front of the MBox improves the "mix bus"?
The Mix Bus is the 2-channel master output through which all the individual tracks go through. On analog consoles, the mixbus is built into the design (it usually has a red fader), but in Pro Tools you have to actually create a mixbus in the mix window - it doesn't appear there by default (unless it's in a template).

To create a mixbus in Pro Tools:
1) Under the File menu, scroll down to New Track
2) In the dialog box, choose Stereo, then choose Master Fader, then click Create
3) A stereo fader now appears in the mix window with a default title Master 1. That is your mixbus. It's helpful to double-click on the fader name and type in MIXBUS so it's easy to spot.

Your entire stereo mix outputs through this "master" fader to the monitor outputs of your PT rig, the headphone mix, etc.

Note that there are inserts on this mixbus fader channel; you can insert compression plugins, EQ's dither etc. on this master fader which will globally effect your entire mix.

There's more, but that should get you started.
Old 25th July 2005
  #7
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Thanks for the informative (and funny) replies! heh thumbsup

From reading the white paper and CD's reply, it appears that the "Mix Bus" is actually a software algorithm within the host audio software.

So for example, even if I was running a MBox or Pro Tools HD on Logic, I'd actually be using the Logic "Mix Bus".

So given then, anyone ever done any comparisons between the Pro Tools LE and Pro Tools TDM "Mix Bus"?

The reason I'm asking all this is because I just had an eye-opening experience this weekend. I've been mixing in the box on Pro Tools HD w/192 interface for quite awhile now and last week I was able to use a well maintained Neve console with 16 channels of Neve 10xx modules so I bounced out 16 stems and mixed on the console.

And you know what? The in the box mix actually sounded slightly better.

I'm pretty surprised because of everything that was read here, I really expected the Neve console mix to be a LOT better and make a dramatic difference in quality. Other than some very very slightly rougher edges (ones that I know from experience get smoothed out in mastering), to me it really wasn't worth it to go outside of the box.

That being said, my tracking chain involves AMS Neve 1073 into vintage 1176 and/or vintage LA2A so that probably helps a lot but still, I really expected the mixing on the console to be a major revelation and dramatic improvement and sad to say but it was not.
Old 25th July 2005
  #8
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Oldone's Avatar
There are also sub-mix busses. You may want to learn about those too.

They all end up in the mix buss, sometimes called the master buss or 2-buss.
Old 25th July 2005
  #9
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PT le sans Mix bus

I've started doing mixdows without a master fader in Pro tools LE. I think it sounds different maybe... However, i started doing this after recording tracks with a Portico 5012... maybe it's that...
Old 25th July 2005
  #10
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_if
I've started doing mixdows without a master fader in Pro tools LE. I think it sounds different maybe... However, i started doing this after recording tracks with a Portico 5012... maybe it's that...
How does one do mixdowns without a master fader in Pro Tools TDM/LE?
Old 25th July 2005
  #11
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
How does one do mixdowns without a master fader in Pro Tools TDM/LE?

yes? how? U can't see if its clipped or not........you dont always hear very small clips.
Old 25th July 2005
  #12
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Faderjockey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
How does one do mixdowns without a master fader in Pro Tools TDM/LE?
Not sure what he was talking about... but if you don't create a Master fader it still defaults to output channels 1 & 2. Not sure how it would sound different with or without. But you never know.....I have not been using a Master Fader. I'm running out to a Folcrom.
Old 25th July 2005
  #13
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Zarathustra's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
Ok, there's a lot of talk about when mixing in the box about the "mix bus". But where is it exactly?
I believe Pete Townshend said it best in 1966, predicting the wordlwide overuse of digital audio workstations...

Magic bus, magic bus, magic bus ...
I said, now i've got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
I said, now i've got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
I drive my baby every way (too much, magic bus)
Each time i go a different way (too much, magic bus)
I want it, i want it, i want it, i want it ...
Every day you'll see the dust (too much, magic bus)
As i drive my baby in my magic bus (too much, magic bus)



Look for the dust.

Z
Old 25th July 2005
  #14
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gsharp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
How does one do mixdowns without a master fader in Pro Tools TDM/LE?
Don't create one. The result is exactly the same as having a master set at 0, but you lose the convenience of metering on the output, the ability to trim the output up or down, and the ability to insert plug-ins or hardware on the output.
Old 25th July 2005
  #15
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HudHudson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
The 'mix bus' was created by Rosa Parks back in the 60ies and was way frigging overdue.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
LOL! At age 99, my ex-wife's great-grandmother told us about riding the bus home in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 (the correct year) when there was this big commotion about a "colored lady" sitting in the "wrong" section of the bus...she had no idea she was a witness to history!
Old 25th July 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faderjockey
Not sure what he was talking about... but if you don't create a Master fader it still defaults to output channels 1 & 2. Not sure how it would sound different with or without. But you never know.....I have not been using a Master Fader. I'm running out to a Folcrom.
Select it then "Delete selected tracks"... However, unless u have an external meter or use it at "0" gain to set the track levels (so clipping is avoided) then remove it, bounce to disk, DAT, 2 Track, hell that's more work than i thought... I'm putting it back in! No wait... It's sooo out again!... It's in.... Hang on... I've decided I'm not using the mix bus EVER AGAIN!!!! FOREVER!!!........................................... It's in.....
Old 25th July 2005
  #17
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
... last week I was able to use a well maintained Neve console with 16 channels of Neve 10xx modules so I bounced out 16 stems and mixed on the console.

And you know what? The in the box mix actually sounded slightly better.

some folks simply prefer the clarity and transient character of itb, you may be one of them.

the main question that comes up for me is, did you spend time building a mix into the neve, or did you take a mix that was created mostly/completely itb and simply sum it? i ask because my experience is that mixing into something from the beginning has a huge impact on where i end up.


gregoire
del ubik
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