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I'm frustrated with the lack of mix space ITB...! DAW Software
Old 28th December 2010
  #31
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
OK, I've been working on a mix just now so I've refueled my bitching...heh

Like some said here, maybe it's the summing and maybe it's the whole thing I'm not entirely happy with. And maybe I shouldn't be comparing my mixes to major releases either which certainly depresses me further.

Or perhaps it's because on many of my songs I play all the instruments and since I know what I played, I then struggle to hear all the parts clearly and with enough separation to hear the details.
Focus on the song, not the parts. If you're invested in every hip part you recorded, you cannot be objective enough to move some of them to the back seat. Remember: a great mix is one that tells the story, not necessarily one that has so much clarity & separation that every part is on display, as if in a museum. If you give the listeners too many choices, they may not know where to focus their attention.

That said, I'm aware that your original question refers to separation, consoles and summing boxes. The gear is an important part of the equation, but not as important as your sense of aesthetics. It's no secret that I prefer OTB analog summing to summing ITB in Pro Tools, but if you force me to mix ITB, I'm still confident that I can make the song resonate with the listener on an emotional level.

With respect to your situation:
1.) In *my* experience, OTB summing with good converters provides better detail and more accurate imaging, enabling me to make better decisions, faster. YMMV. If you think it might help you, try a mix from the ground up, and find out if it gives you what you're missing.
2.) Console vs. summing box? It depends on what features you need. Summing boxes have fewer features and a shorter signal path, which could result in better fidelity & lower noise. Consoles, however, offer flexible busing and analog processing, higher maintenance & AC costs, and likely more noise & crosstalk.
3.) If you're mixing ITB, be mindful that *everything* you do to digitally process a sound will compromise the integrity of that sound. Whether or not you believe that statement is up to you, but I can assure you that simply instantiating a highly-regarded, marquee plugin was clearly audible at Bernie Grundman Mastering, which is very revealing. That said, if you need to change the sound, do whatever it takes to realize your vision, with whatever tools are available to you...and use as little DSP (i.e. fewer plugin instantiations) as possible to get the job done.
4.) None of the above should make enough of a difference to affect the chart position of a song.

IHTH. Let us know when you find what's been missing.
Old 28th December 2010
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
and it bothers me that I can't get it like I'm hearing it in my head...


The part in bold is really the crux of the matter.

Not the summing, DAW vs summer vs. console.

How you hear and feel things inside and can you get that to translate sonically in your mixes? This is a whole other matter which a switch in gear philosophy may not really help unfortunately.
Old 28th December 2010
  #33
Lives for gear
 

One thing I realized is that when dealing with stereo material (stereo tracks, mono tracks sent to stereo group buses, stereo fx returns, etc)... in the box, the left and right channels of these stereo tracks will usually have identical processing going on (identical eq settings, comp settings, etc). When I used an analog mixer I'd eq the left and right channels of a stereo group manually... trying to get them identical, but in reality, doing it that way will always produce subtle differences that will change the phase relationship in a way that creates the impression of more depth/space. This type of thing can really add up over a mix.

I started using plugins that allowed you to manipulate left and right channels independently (like Waves RennEQ) and I would set them very close... but leave subtle differences (or not so subtle depending on the context). Anyway, this helped me get closer to what I was hearing with my analog mixes.
Old 28th December 2010
  #34
Gear Head
 

Didin't read the whole tread, but I have tried the Harrison Mixbus, after reading a loooooong figthing in GS. Indeed, something happens with it, more space, pans are wider, " glue" is better, and more detail. I event eared some small imperfect fades or end of loops that were not well cut, and theses details were lost in my Ableton Live DAW ( main) and in my PTLE rig .

But the way I use Harrison mix is a hell : Bouncing all my tracks one by one in PTLE or Live, including the returns , switch my sytem oSx.4 to OSX.6 ( another partition), import in ardour / harrison, then a bit of EQ / grouping.... and somation to 2 tracks.

too much time....

But, definitly another color and more space.

Since i work with native DAW, I noticed the difference between soloing a track and back in all tracks. Something is missing.

If you can, like in Ableton, Freeze with one clic all your tracks with plugs , may be it can 'free' some power to get a better somation?

And forgive my bad english, I m French !
Old 28th December 2010
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
[/B]

The part in bold is really the crux of the matter.

Not the summing, DAW vs summer vs. console.

How you hear and feel things inside and can you get that to translate sonically in your mixes? This is a whole other matter which a switch in gear philosophy may not really help unfortunately.
I agree with this totally.
Old 28th December 2010
  #36
YMMV here's a list of things that have helped me away from "big mono" as suggestions... they are suggestions, not rules... if the suggestions work for you awesome - if not, disregard...

Back To Basics - Regardless of Format:

- No more than 24 MONO tracks if possible.

- Use Stereo Tracks Sparingly (Most Live Mics, Like Drums & Guitar Cabs)

- No Stereo Synths ie, Mono Them All and create your own stereo image

- Use Stereo Effects Sparingly many use phase relationships to create imagine (Synths Too)- start stacking those up and it's a nightmare

- Limited Channel Inserts (except EQ)

- Using EQ to cut conflicting freqs rather than to boost

- High Pass Filters are your friend - cut the mud from tracks that don't need low end rumble

- more extreme panning L,C,R

- more uses of subtle compression instead of extreme 2 buss compression

- don't try to master while mixing - create a mix you like, then master it (ie avoid strong limiters like the L2).

good luck.

oh yeah - and try to keep tracking levels down below -12db max ITB there's no need to squeeze out the headroom in digital, especially at 24bit recordings. Let it breath so the buss has headroom on mixdown.

again - this is one man's experience, YMMV... carry on...
Old 28th December 2010
  #37
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
When it comes to summing it really is a personal thing. After Fab from Dangerous sent me a 2-BUS unit to try out for a few weeks, I was hooked. Now let me state that my mixes are typically LARGE productions where I have roughly 100-channels of audio. These are intense, large-scale gospel concerts where I am already submixing busses to keep control of the final mix (Drums and Bass, Strings, Brass, Choir, Leads, Instruments/Band, Ambience). When I started breaking out my busses I was amazed at how much more headroom I had before clipping! This is much more significant than you might realize with live concert recordings as there is so much energy going on, the tracks fill up and get more intense. Often I would find myself running out of headroom---that problem pretty much went away. This also gave me better stereo separation, which again is critical with such a dense mix.

The idea of summing is to take the digital headroom limitations out of the picture by eliminating the intense mathmatical algorhythms in-place that often suck the life out of the over-all mix. Not all programs are the same, some are better than others while some just suck--literally. This is one of the things that I have long thought wouldn't matter being a ProTools HD user but sure enough even with PTHD, it does make a difference. I'm a firm believer in the Dangerous Music product line, it really does work. HOWEVER, summing isn't the answer for everyone. I've received calls and inquiries over the years about summing when what they really needed was better converters FIRST. IMHO before you can even think about having a summing solution for the benefit of what external analog summing provides---you must have the converters and monitors in-place, otherwise you're putting the cart before the horse. Okay, it's a nice cart mind you--but there should be a process here.

Others prefer summing even with low-track counts----and to certain ears with high-end gear already, there is a benefit to that user. Not everyone will experience the same results--it comes down to YOUR experience level and the level of gear that you're using.

With all of this said--would you please be so kind to let us know what you're using for your AD/DA conversion and what you're recording through? Likewise, what monitors are you using and how are you controlling them?
I can't wait to hear what the Dangerous d-box summing will do for my old Cubase sessions!!!!!
Old 29th December 2010
  #38
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fataltone View Post
I can't wait to hear what the Dangerous d-box summing will do for my old Cubase sessions!!!!!
Probably not what you expect if you simply stem the existing mix out to the D-Box. If, however, you're prepared to make some adjustments (i.e. toms might pop through the mix more, so you need to rebalance them) or you start from the ground up, you could be *very* happy.

All the decisions you made when mixing your old Cubase sessions were based on what you heard at the time. If you would have listened through a D-Box from the start, you might have made other creative choices and used different gain-staging.
Old 29th December 2010
  #39
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
I spend countless hours on my mixes, equing, compressing, panning all the elements. But as I start adding tracks, I always I start losing the space that was there with only say...7-8 tracks.

This is where it gets harder, when you have aside from LV, 3 guitars, 2-3 keyboards, drums, percussion and BV's all fighting for space it gets a little crowded...
A sample of your mix would be really helpful.
So I can only guess... well, I guess it's simply the arrangement
Old 29th December 2010
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
YMMV here's a list of things that have helped me away from "big mono" as suggestions... they are suggestions, not rules... if the suggestions work for you awesome - if not, disregard...

Back To Basics - Regardless of Format:

- No more than 24 MONO tracks if possible.

- Use Stereo Tracks Sparingly (Most Live Mics, Like Drums & Guitar Cabs)

- No Stereo Synths ie, Mono Them All and create your own stereo image

- Use Stereo Effects Sparingly many use phase relationships to create imagine (Synths Too)- start stacking those up and it's a nightmare

- Limited Channel Inserts (except EQ)

- Using EQ to cut conflicting freqs rather than to boost

- High Pass Filters are your friend - cut the mud from tracks that don't need low end rumble

- more extreme panning L,C,R

- more uses of subtle compression instead of extreme 2 buss compression

- don't try to master while mixing - create a mix you like, then master it (ie avoid strong limiters like the L2).

good luck.

oh yeah - and try to keep tracking levels down below -12db max ITB there's no need to squeeze out the headroom in digital, especially at 24bit recordings. Let it breath so the buss has headroom on mixdown.

again - this is one man's experience, YMMV... carry on...
+1 .
Old 29th December 2010
  #41
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 

All good suggestions and many of which I've been already implementing. As I said, I have songs that are just 6-8 tracks that I'm happy how they sound. My problem is when I start adding tracks and the count gets to 20+...

There was a thread here that I read not too long ago where somebody said they had over 70 tracks and over 18 gtr tracks and keys, brass, percussion and who knows what else ITB. I'd like to hear what that mix sounds like cause after 18 tracks my mix starts to suffer from claustrophobia.

I truly don't believe you can have unlimited number of tracks ITB and have it sound like it would on a SSL 9000J. Anybody says that I don't believe it...

Maybe I should watch my inserts as I have 2-3 on each channel and headroom but I find it hard to believe that's what's causing the lack of space. More than my mixes I really think it's the summing ITB that I'm unhappy about...
Old 29th December 2010
  #43
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnyc View Post
I own a Dangerous 2-bus and I've mixed tons ITB and hybrid. Here's what I've found makes my ITB work to the point that I no longer really use the 2bus.

Insert a trim plugin on every track as your first insert.
Bring your faders to unity
Use the trim to Trim down all the audio to a basic rough mix where all instruments are peaking at ~ -20db.
Then use your fader's to fine tune.

There are too many reasons to list why this gain staging is better for ITB mixing. But I urge you to try it. My mixes opened way up.

this is must for anyone mixing the box....

big time mixing engineers on this forumn have been telling folks this for a while I came by a thread on this it's a 105 pages thread dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and I'm very glad I'm coping this and putting it in my need to do when mixing
I'm so hyped up folks
Old 29th December 2010
  #44
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mu6gr8 View Post
Probably not what you expect if you simply stem the existing mix out to the D-Box. If, however, you're prepared to make some adjustments (i.e. toms might pop through the mix more, so you need to rebalance them) or you start from the ground up, you could be *very* happy.

All the decisions you made when mixing your old Cubase sessions were based on what you heard at the time. If you would have listened through a D-Box from the start, you might have made other creative choices and used different gain-staging.

thanks for the info.. the toms thing you're talking about is this live drums????
I will be using V-drums with BFD drum vst module so.. maybe I won't have that problem but yeah I'll listen and adjust....
Old 29th December 2010
  #45
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Halloween's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
I'm talking about mixes containing over 20 tracks...

My frustration comes from trying various approaches from the way I track to trying different FX's, panning etc, but in the end, I'm not getting the separation that I'd like to hear in a mix. I have an H8000 and PCM92 which I use quite a bit for reverbs and delays and it helps some but they can't perform miracles.

I'm considering a summing box or buying a console. Maybe I'm getting a bit picky here since nobody I work with has mentioned this or has turned down my material for this reason, but I know it can be better.

Am I the only one here who feels this way ?
I cant say I completely understand because I find myself in exactly the opposite situation constantly. I will go ahead and assume you have some very good converters. And that you are using at least Pro-sumer microphones. I do want to ask what conditions you are recording in. Are you doing all separate tracks? Like Scratch GTR then Drums, then bass, then guitar, then, vocals?

Or are you doing more of a traditional setup with multiple players in the same room?
Old 29th December 2010
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by fataltone View Post
this is must for anyone mixing the box....

big time mixing engineers on this forumn have been telling folks this for a while I came by a thread on this it's a 105 pages thread dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and I'm very glad I'm coping this and putting it in my need to do when mixing
I'm so hyped up folks
if you are gain staging ITB the way you do OTB it's not gonna sound the same. gain staging is important and you can't overdrive a digital signal.
Old 29th December 2010
  #47
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
I have no idea why no one has bothered to ask you for an example of the source tracks yet.
The sound starts WAY before the microphone.
Old 29th December 2010
  #48
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnyc View Post
Insert a trim plugin on every track as your first insert.
Bring your faders to unity
Use the trim to Trim down all the audio to a basic rough mix where all instruments are peaking at ~ -20db.
Then use your fader's to fine tune.

There are too many reasons to list why this gain staging is better for ITB mixing. But I urge you to try it. My mixes opened way up.
Some trim plugs alter the sound ever so slightly.

What trim plug do you use?
Old 29th December 2010
  #49
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fataltone View Post
thanks for the info.. the toms thing you're talking about is this live drums????
I will be using V-drums with BFD drum vst module so.. maybe I won't have that problem but yeah I'll listen and adjust....
I mentioned toms as an example, but it could be any element that was originally tucked in, yet all of a sudden magically moves to the forefront.

Frankly, I would look to the future with your D-Box rather than revisiting the past...unless you want to try to beat your original mixes. In that case, start over. Just my $0.02, based on past experience with ITB vs. OTB via either summing boxes or large-format analog consoles....
Old 29th December 2010
  #50
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringItBack View Post
Some trim plugs alter the sound ever so slightly.

What trim plug do you use?

that's my question!!!!! I'm using Cubase 4.. I need to load it back up on my computer and see if there a stock trim plug-in

I been using Cubase VST 5.2 for so long.. just move over to Cubase 4 two years ago and I haven't really recorded much since the group I produced broke up.. just been making instrumentals getting ready to start my non profit label...
music sponsoring clean up in "the hood" urban areas and supporting church youth groups... planning many more ventures I'll be sure to keep you guys up on what I'll be doing
I think it's just amazing thing.. sorry for ranting off topic
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