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StudioLive 16.0.2
Old 16th October 2013
Gear Maniac
LeoRapture's Avatar

StudioLive 16.0.2

I have been using this as my audio interface for over a year now, and I'm wondering if my mixes are suffering because of it. I read all the time about these pricy interfaces like the Apollo just make the music sound amazing, and I'm wondering why my SL unit doesn't do this same thing...

I was under the impression that it had pretty decent converters, but my mixes always sound sort of 2-D, and kind of boxy. Is it my mixing, or is it the summing?

As far as experience, I have been mixing for a little over 3 years now, and I haven't had many complaints about the music I create for others, but I've never had anyone really blown away either. Is it worth upgrading to a nicer interface for this purpose alone? I don't use the preamps on the SL board, because I run very nice outboard pres(LA-610, Vintech x73, etc.), so pres are my least worry, but the audio conversion I feel may be holding me back from getting those results that I oh so desire...should I upgrade, or should I keep mixing and hope it improves/
Old 17th October 2013
Lives for gear

my honest opinion is not to worry about the A/D on the 1602. It's not holding you back whatsoever. The tough reality is it's probably just some things you're doing...or not doing that are holding back your mixes. The difference in A/D will not make your mixes better....especially for the money

I'm sure you've been reading posts and searching for ideas. This is a tough vocation, part painter, part electronic engineer, part luck, hard, hard work. 3 years is not a long time. patience. I've been at it 30+ years and it's still an oft elusive finish line. The good thing you have is awareness that something isn't right.

One can read to much on forums and think that a new mic or preamp will make it all right.

I have one of the 1602 and love it, even the preamps too. But are you mixing on it too, or ITB?

In my opinion it's the same set of things that make for a great recording in order of most to least value:
good song
good players
great singing and drumming
good arrangement
good sounding room
nice mics
reasonably clean preamps, or colored
reasonably clean A/D
good gain structure
EQ skills

then good mastering

something like that give or take some position swaps....

so often when i evaluate people's demos it's boxy and 2D because of one of these, but not limited to these:

-a poor drum capture, too many drum mics, too much bleed, all the drums sound boxed together. bedroom sound or untreated walls, close ceilings.

-direct or modeled guitars

- too many tracks. When I see/hear about track counts past 24 I worry.

-too much in the same frequency ranges. You have to paint from top to bottom, airy stuff up top, mid range on down.

- a poor arrangement with no space or holes for the parts, or layers that don't fit well together

-bad vocals...that's just a personal thing not related to 2d or 3d sound.

-too much compression squeezing things together.

-copied parts thinking you've created stereo

-not putting mix elements into a certain space...with either moving the mic or adding effects.
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