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PT MIX plus or HD? Will MIX+ be supported in a year?
Old 4th September 2002
  #1
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cajonezzz's Avatar
 

PT MIX plus or HD? Will MIX+ be supported in a year?

I've posted earlier about putting a second rig together, primarily for our mobile rig. Thinking a 2nd TDM system out of reach I was leaning heavily toward DP3 as an option. I work on PT mix+ at a music only studio during the day. ( we have a 2408 just sitting around) I was never that excited about learning a new App, or dealing with the limitations incurred when transfering between the two platforms. The best case would allow me to bring work home to finish up, on a rig I own, shock mounted and ready to travel (I don't own the one I work on) to start/finish/edit personal and other projects that don't originate in the studio.
I'm VERY interested in developing chops for mixing for film (not a clue) and Surround (no time, or gear at the day gig to experiment at all, this would be on my own time) and my intention would be to have a room set up in the house with the monitors ready to go, just roll in the PT rig and start working. I'd have a few good mics and pres and some synths and stuff as well.
So the quandry is that while the mix + has come down alot, as have Macs, will I be shut out of software upgrades/osx support for Mix+ in the near future? I don't want to make the investment if it's gonna be left in the dust in the very near future. The positive slant on the MIX + is having a system that is solid, plugs are available, and would play nicely with the studio rig I work on every day (bill more hours)
Do I bite the bullet and go into debt with an HD rig or stick with a Mix+ and wait for the dust to settle, try to get the chops together and re evaluate in a year or so. Everything seems to be up in the air in the DIGI users camp. The one thing I do know is that while there are systems capable of doing the job (Nuendo, DP3, Logic etc.) My work flow RIGHT NOW is with DIGI and my possible ins in the film world are on Mix+ Procontrol blah blah working at 16 bit 48k, with no intentions of upgrading anytime soon .... could get the mix+ for 3700.00 and tax ..new. a couple adat bridges and Stereo mic pe w/ conversion....monitors etc. a new dual 867, bring a few plugins from the studio should have me up and running..Just really wanting to avoid buyers remorse if HD is a hugely better longer-term investment worried anybody doing surround / film stuff help a guy out here??? thanks , craig
Old 4th September 2002
  #2
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

My best guess right now .... I doubt it. With ProTools 6 and OS X in sight Digidesign is probably going to be confronted with some choices ..... drop support on MIX vs extend features for HD. I am sure they will drop MIX as soon as it comes to making that choice. Hopefully MIX will make it into ProTools 6 .... maybe with some less features on it like auto plugin delay for example. I expect PT6 and OS X to be the final end of TDM as we know it now. Probably the new HD hardware is allready compatible with that.

But then again they are the mother of alsihad .... and it wouldn't be the first time that they surprise the world .... in either way :


by continuing support for MIX or by pulling another ProTools PCI -> ProTools 24 -> ProTools MIX stunt on us all ....
Old 4th September 2002
  #3
Bite the bullet my friend. It will go down easier if u ad salt. HD is the future. It sounds better, you can get more tracks and its not that much of a stretch from a mix+ system. Like everything these days, a mix+ system will become yesterdays news including it support from the plug ins manufacturers. Do it now, cause something tells me with its popularity, it will soon go up.
Old 4th September 2002
  #4
Gear Head
 
dstagl's Avatar
 

I don't think they're going to stop supporting the Mix systems anytime soon. The next year is gonna be a bit dicey I think with OS X implementation where everyone who just moved to HD now has to upgrade the plugs they waited so long for once again. I'm still waiting for everything to settle before we upgrade our Mix system to HD.

However, if I was buying another TDM rig, I would go HD. It does sound better. If you don't go over 48k sample rates, you can take sessions to Mix or LE systems. Plus you're better off for the future. For the chunk of change investment that a TDM system is, I would dump the extra money on the HD for less headaches down the line.

Dave
Old 5th September 2002
  #5
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Guys, I need your help.

That makes two posts in this thread that state that PT HD sounds better than MixPlus.

Assume no use of plugins. Tracking/editing in PT at 48 or 44kHz. Individual outs to an analog desk. Apogee AD8000 converters.

How would PT HD (with AD8000s on the legacy port) sound better in this context than a MixPlus/Apogee system?

Thanks.
Old 5th September 2002
  #6
Go look at posts by a guy called Speer on the DUG.

From what I gather from them. The HD interfaces have their own custom clocking method. Forceing them to work with Apogee clock or ext clock or hooking up Apogee interfaces MAY (and this is just speculation) comprimise the Digi clock system.. When I pass this on you KNOW I am enshrouded in the mists of DUG voodoo vapor. I pass this on cautionary wichdocktor tale with a shake of my voodoo rattle.... IF you go HD, do it to use the interfaces and 96k & 192k for your clients editing of 2" and extra tracks, not for Apogee's running at thier highest 41.1k & 48k sample rate via the legacy port.....

....disapears in mist.............

MOOOOOO HAHAHAHAHH

Old 5th September 2002
  #7
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Hmmm...thanks witch doctor...I'll go see what Speer's been posting. I've always enjoyed his willingness to question things.
Old 5th September 2002
  #8
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Jon,


using the apogees as convertors to clock HD and recording at 44.1/48 .... using no plugins .... invidual outs .... no bus summing ....

there will be no difference at all between your mix and HD.


The improvements in HD are better convertors, better clock (fwiw ... I don't use the digi clock, I kept the aardsync II as Master and go to the sync I/O, which becomes loop master for the rest of the interfaces.) Higher track count, the new TDM II bus architecture, more efficient and higer count of time slots and mix bus summing numbers increased from 59 sources on a mix dsp to 68 sources on On a HD dsp before summing occurs and it's summing bus headroom was increased from 30 dB to 48 dB. PLus, no matter how many dsp you use to build your mixer in HD, the internal mixer path now remains 48 bit fixed at all times, even between different dsp's there is no more dither or truncation to 24 bit, it stays 48 bit internally all the way.


But all that is of no concern to you of course.


To be honest , if I was you , I'd only upgrade if I realy wanted to stay 100% compatible wit upcoming stuff like OS X - PT 6 and who knows what more.
Old 5th September 2002
  #9
Drum edits at 96k or 192K then back to the studer?

SHWING!

Old 5th September 2002
  #10
But all that is of no concern to you of course.


Hell yeah it should be a concern. The man just bought a 9000J. If more and more people start mixing in Pro Tools and using the big board as a gigantic monitor switcher, than yeah it would concern me. Also here in NYC, the K board at the Hit Factory is getting a lot of play(which is just a bunch hoo hah if you ask me). But hey, if it becomes the new standard it will drive the prices of the J down even more. And there are alot of studio owners that are still paying them off(probably for the next 10 years or so). A couple of leasing companies that leased 9000's are already out of business. Now adays unless you buy it out right, its a tough one to swallow. I recently spoke to an SSL dealer and he mentiones the most poular selling SSL right now is the new G+ with the black EQ's. Everyone all of a sudeden wants black EQ's.
Old 5th September 2002
  #11
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Thanks guys for the advice. Chris L., you've reassured me that I don't need to go HD...thanks.

Thrillfactor, we may actually move up to a bigger, almost-new analog desk with surround at the end of the year. The agreed-upon trade-in value of our console has dropped very little compared to its purchase price of 14 months ago...about 10%. Interest rates are low; I'm under 6% on my lease-to-buy. As for buying a major console outright, Chris Stone once said that only fools and the very wealthy pay cash...and I would tend to agree. As to G+ 'raven' desks, well, NYC is a particular market. It wouldn't be a good call in mine. I believe leases on big boards generally run for about 5 years, at least over here...10 would be very unusual.

Are you thinking of buying a VRP...why that desk, I'd be curious to know...

The thing is, I don't want to buy a PT HD system if I don't absolutely have to...just to remove the client's crud-ins (sorry, plug-ins) and send the outs to the desk. I'm loath to invest in anything digital right now. The 3348HR which I fortunately did not buy from the former owners when moving into this new space is sitting in my machine room, obsolete...as anything digital on the market now will be in 3-4 years. Meanwhile, the Studer A820 is rocking daily. Sometimes, the JH24 too.

Most of the mix work is coming in on PT, often with a PT mix in hand that the client is not happy with. Losing the PT mix and turning their stuff into a good record is what we are paid to do. For the moment, those PT mixes are a long way from being difficult to improve on. I don't feel that will change this year.

Sounds like we're in different markets.
Old 6th September 2002
  #12
Are you thinking of buying a VRP...why that desk, I'd be curious to know...

Hi Jon,

I got a friend who is selling one at a ridiculous low price(I think he lost his shirt in the stock market). So i think I will help him out.heh Also there are certain types of music that just sound better on a VRP(pop/rnb/dance) than on an SSL. I work less on the VRP than on the SSL to make it sound good, and if that free's me up to be able to do other things than its a worthy investment to me. I know I probably won't be using the automation(Flying Faders), heck i don't even use the auto when I mix on a 9000J(does anybody anymore?). I'll just track all of the EQ's and comps combinations in the HD(in case i need to do a recall). And I'll use the automation in the HD.

Most of the mix work is coming in on PT, often with a PT mix in hand that the client is not happy with. Losing the PT mix and turning their stuff into a good record is what we are paid to do. For the moment, those PT mixes are a long way from being difficult to improve on. I don't feel that will change this year.

Sounds like we're in different markets.

Yeah I get a lot of this work to. Sometimes i just tell the clients that I'll remix it in Pro Tools and i will prove to them that it will sound better. I've had producers even come down to see my studio, to figure out what I use(what's funny is that its the experience and ears not the gear). Leasing companies here in the USA are different I guess. I think to be in debt to anyone, in the financial and unstable times in the US is suicide. A lease to me is like an albatross around your neck. Here , some leasing companies will not let you switch leases. You are stuck with your contract, until it is finished. Even if your product has depreciated over time(the 3348HR is a great example). I guess its different across the pond. Anyway good luck!!
Old 6th September 2002
  #13
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Good luck on the VRP purchase...sounds great. Would you sell the E afterwards?

Nothing against Neve at all, but's pretty much an SSL country over here. Service is an issue...SSL provide an excellent service here (with a main office and two full-time maintenance techs in town). Their techs both came around today to update/swap some channels and do a preventive check ahead of the busy autumn season. Man, with the tough environment out there, it's good to have a desk with zero problems and service like that. I really have nothing but praise for the SSL people and service so far.

Re auto, I know PT auto well...but don't use it anymore because of what that number-crunching does to the sound -- my ears don't like that veil. I also loath looking at the computer screen and place it on the central rack behind me (and I mute the console screen as well when not needed).

So yes, I do everything on the console with auto and motors on, including automated panning and fx. It's not intuitive, but once immersed in it, working it everyday, it becomes quick and 2nd nature. Hat tricks like Dave Reitzas' one-hour mix of Madonna's "Substitute for Love" on the J at the end of the vocal tracking day (what a feat btw) start to become possible (at least in terms of work speed).

What would you say are the various strengths/weaknesses of the VRP vs the E? My limited experience on the E was that it crunched well and musically...headroom was tightish in the low end...but I was perfectly happy to buy one if this deal hadn't come up...don't know the VRP other than that Ed C. spoke very highly of it before moving on to J's. My impression was that quite a bit of R&B in NYC was being mixed on J's...but that's hearsay.

How would you compare all those desks...tell us like it is, thrill...
Old 6th September 2002
  #14
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

(what's funny is that its the experience and ears not the gear).

Definitely, the experience and ears and how you use the gear are way more important than the gear itself. I'm sure your HD mixes crush, kill and maim the PT junk we're supposed to improve on.
Old 7th September 2002
  #15
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Good luck on the VRP purchase...sounds great. Would you sell the E afterwards?


Hi Jon,

Nah, the E is right now is in a studio in NJ making me cash. A friend rents it from me for a monthly fee. I never get to use it(I am in NYC), but I know each month I'll have $1000 to putz around with. RIght now they are doing sessions for JLO and Mark Anthony on it. So I may have to make an appearance
.

Nothing against Neve at all, but's pretty much an SSL country over here. Service is an issue...SSL provide an excellent service here (with a main office and two full-time maintenance techs in town). Their techs both came around today to update/swap some channels and do a preventive check ahead of the busy autumn season. Man, with the tough environment out there, it's good to have a desk with zero problems and service like that. I really have nothing but praise for the SSL people and service so far.

Agreed. NYC is either SSL or Pro Tools.

Re auto, I know PT auto well...but don't use it anymore because of what that number-crunching does to the sound -- my ears don't like that veil. I also loath looking at the computer screen and place it on the central rack behind me (and I mute the console screen as well when not needed).

Try the HD, it sounds much better. I grew up working on computers and midi(as a programmer and sound designer in the Unique midi rooms in the 80's). So a screen is like normal.

So yes, I do everything on the console with auto and motors on, including automated panning and fx. It's not intuitive, but once immersed in it, working it everyday, it becomes quick and 2nd nature. Hat tricks like Dave Reitzas' one-hour mix of Madonna's "Substitute for Love" on the J at the end of the vocal tracking day (what a feat btw) start to become possible (at least in terms of work speed).


Hey i totally understand. If i worked on it everyday I would probably not be able to live with out it either. I think Pro Tools will either become the next SSL or the next Euphonix. A lot of guys hated the auto on both. Some guys hated the sound of both, but if you worked on it everyday, you got use to it and learned how to get an excellent sound on both. The SSL stayed around and what was that...Euphonix who?

What would you say are the various strengths/weaknesses of the VRP vs the E? My limited experience on the E was that it crunched well and musically...headroom was tightish in the low end...but I was perfectly happy to buy one if this deal hadn't come up...don't know the VRP other than that Ed C. spoke very highly of it before moving on to J's. My impression was that quite a bit of R&B in NYC was being mixed on J's...but that's hearsay.


Tony Maserati, Dexter Simmons, Rob Chiarelli, Dave Pensado, all of the top RNB mixers mix on the 9000J. Only Jimmy Douglas i think(a great guy by the way) mixes on the Neve VRP. I think its part stature(some labels will only work on the 9000J because of the name), its part looks(the 9000J is a great looking board, and clients just cream their pants when they see it), its part novelty(the RNB world is alot about the name, what are you using that's new? The other guy does this, can you and better? Its a lot of personality BS). And of course the sound(I like 9000J for the reason a lot of guys like it, it can handle many inputs happening at once. Its not unusual to be doing mixes with as many as 128 Pro tools tracks, heck its normal. So you need a board that won't get crushed in the melee of 128 tracks, all of the subs(Drums,vocals,percs,bass etc), all of the effects. When ever I do a mix on the J i use every fader. The only thing I noticed is when you do this, it starts getting a little thin on the bass. And if you hit to hard the size starts to collapse a touch. I actually heard this is what they fixed on the new one. Because the board is becoming a standard in the film world, mixes with over 200 tracks is normal and they noticed the same thing. So the new K is built for this.

How would you compare all those desks...tell us like it is, thrill...

Honestly I love my E. I got it a low price from Avatar, and it needed a lot of tender loving care. They modified it though, so its actually one of thickest sounding SSL's I've ever heard. It works great for Rap. I love the J when i need the opposite, a hifi sounding mix(there I say digital without the brittle ness), but no balls!!! The Neve, just sounds good of the bat, definitely thick, big sounding. very warm(as in temperature). I always remember a mix I got hired to do at Right Track on the VRP(which I had never used at the time). It was for a dance single, and i lobbied for the label to book me in the SSL room, but they insisted that the producer wanted the Neve. Boy was he right on this one, it sounded great and I didn't have to kill myself with the outboard. I've never forgotten that. I've used a bunch of times since and it still sounds good. This is a personal purchase for me. Hey my friend may change his mind(the stock market is doing a little better). So who knows?

Old 7th September 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 

By the time I stopped mixing analog about 3 years ago, I had migrated almost exclusively to the VR Legends,

IMO, simply less work for me to get to the finish line than an SSL, most of the time.



Regards,
Brian T
Old 7th September 2002
  #17
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Interesting stuff...thanks, guys.

Brian, was it more the sound or the layout/computer/auto you liked on the Legend?

I'd like to try the 88R one of these days.

Thrill, thanks for your reply. It seems to me the E I worked on had less bottom end headroom than my J and didn't go quite as low down in frequency, but mine is a 9048 so perhaps it's not enough tracks to achieve the high-track bass pinch you mention. All LF and SF faders running for those R&B mixes...know whatcha mean there. I had to buy tons more patch cables, too. Anyway, the "balls" on the E's seemed to come from its crunch or harmonic distortion...I played with the line input gain settings a lot to find the crunch sweet spot. The J is less ruff n crunchy, more transparent...maybe that's what you meant by hi-fi and digital-like without the brittleness....what do you think. And yeah, I agree there's no point in hitting the J buss until it starts to break up, whereas that can be a cool thing with the E.

When you worked on the J, which EQ curve did you tend to use the most?

At first I liked the regular curve over the E one, and often forgot to try them both. But after a few mixes, I began to notice that the E curves came out sounding warmer and more musical on nearly everything. That's what I use now probably 90% of the time.

How would you compare the 6048E's EQs to the black EQs (same thing?) to the J's "E" EQs...
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