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Ear pleasing mixes

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Ear pleasing mixes

Postby akkk » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:50 pm

I don´t like too clinical sound that summing ITB gives (at least for me). So I run everything thru TLA audio ivory 2 valve comp. I use only valvestage, cause compressor is not so good for electronic music (too soft, no snappy at all). After that it goes to digital recorder.

Mix sounds deep, good bass and more pleasing to ear, maybe little bit too soft, but better than itb mix.

My questions are: Would u prefere this method or just record straight to the recorder? Are there some hidden things I should know like upper end eq loss or the low technical quality of TLA 5060? I want pro quality :)THanks.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:54 pm

If you've already decided which sounds best then why worry what anyone else thinks?

Personally I'd mix ITB, but that's my preference.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby The_BPP » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:02 pm

+1 for in the box.

Most of my tracks are recorded via a valve pre-amp, and that seems enough to give it that warmer feel.

A bit controversial perhaps, but, I fail to see how a bus-mix inserted analogue compressor such as your TLA is better than a GOOD emulation of a superior compressor (for example, neve, fairchild, etc... are all emulated quite accurately, these days).
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby snipsnip » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:25 pm

well i would always have something analogue in the mix chain because i think it sounds considerably different (in a good way) to digitally summed.

This is an old topic though.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby The_BPP » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:20 pm

snipsnip wrote:well i would always have something analogue in the mix chain because i think it sounds considerably different (in a good way) to digitally summed.

Digital summing is much better that it was. Sonar, for example, mixes in 64bits, even on a 32bit OS.

To those that think analogue-summing is inherently superior, I would like to introduce you to an Emperor, who is stark-b*llock naked, no matter what you claim.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Aliweasel » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:44 pm

At what stage does it really start to show (quality wise) when using a piece of analogue outboard to sum through? For instance an Ivory is a nice bit of kit, whereas a Behringer Composer Pro isn't really goin to 'add' anything is it? What kind of kit do people use to pass completed digital mixes through at the end, regardless of what they've tracked through?
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Michael Dow » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:18 pm

Yeah id really like a nice bit of outboard valveyness to run my synths, basses, guitars, and final mix through. But i just dont know where to start bothering with. Below 500 quid and its probabaly not a huge difference from using some nice bits of software. But i cant afford much more than that. Unless maybe i save for a good while and go all out

Has anyone used a focusrite c1? Looks nice and its a dual mic/instrument pre and also compressor too.

The problem is theres just SO much to choose from. And without having any experience with any of them its so hard to decide what to get when opinions are so mixed on each bit of kit. I wish i could just try loads of bits out and then decide!
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby tomafd » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:24 pm

Aliweasel wrote:At what stage does it really start to show (quality wise) when using a piece of analogue outboard to sum through? For instance an Ivory is a nice bit of kit, whereas a Behringer Composer Pro isn't really goin to 'add' anything is it? What kind of kit do people use to pass completed digital mixes through at the end, regardless of what they've tracked through?

An Avalon 747 valve compressor and an Avalon 2055 eq definitely do me nicely. Both picked up s/h for not much more than the price of equivalent hi-end plug-ins, and they have one considerable advantage. They exist, in the real world, and I won't have to update/upgrade/re-licence or do any of the other tedious bollox necessary next time I upgrade my computer. The 2055, especially, is one seriously excellent piece of kit, proper passive eq for lo and hi end, and very nice parametric mids. Gorgeous.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Michael Dow » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:35 pm

Yeah i nearly bought an avalon that went quite cheaply on ebay. But i missed the bid as i forgot to put a high bid in and wasnt at home when it ran out of time. Gutted. Was a really reasonable price it went for too. About 800 i think. Its a seriosly sexy looking thing and ive heard no end of good things. Do you use it for tracking instrumens/synths and as a mastering tool. Or just the latter?

Been thikning of getting a meek twin q but its not valve. But apparently it sounds as good as thigns thrice the price.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Pure-Tone » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:40 pm

Hi all

first of all..i'm surprised by elfs comment. not that i think he's either right or wrong. just that from his knowledgeable posts i kind of had the impression he would be an outboard "hot gear" enthusiast (kind of a compliment really elf)

heres my take on the whole thing. i know people with £100,000 studios with plenty of outboard valve gear, that still fail to create a pleasing sound, and it annoys the hell out of me.

i think you might be amazed at some of the kit some of the big players use. its not always instantly pleasing and warm. but they have found work rounds for the negative aspects (maybe eq tweaks etc) to make use of the one thing the unit does well that they require for the material.

digital can be exactly the same (well.....sort of) . some of the new emulation plugs have plenty to offer, but its sometimes not the obvious. the nomad factory fairchild 670 emu is a good example. dont expect great amounts of transparent gain reduction, but with careful choices this emulation can be a nice little tool.

after reading brauers articles on compression etc, he says about using some of the rare valve wonders he owns, and i quote "theres no compression going on" .

my point(at last) the right artistic decisions using the right choices of equipment. most things have something to offer.....its knowing the stuff well enough to make the choices.

get creative!!!

hope i helped rather than added confusion akkk


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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Michael Dow » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:10 pm

I agree on the notion of realising the tools you have got at hand and getting on with them.

I've been producing now at home for 6 years and feel i've come along a nice way in getting a good pro sound. I've got to the stage where i would really like to try tracking a few bits through some real nice gear rather than psp vintage warmer or the like. Also now that im doing less full on dance music and more dance music with instrumens in (bass and electric guitar) for my band portasound, i feel it would be great to trck instruments with some much more pro gear than my focusrite trackmaster "pro". Althogh i must say, the compressor is pretty sweet at making a real sharp transient for bass guitar sounds
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Mixedup » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:49 am

I think folk are getting confused between two different analogue v digital debates here... Running a stereo mix through an outboard compressor still means you're doing digital summing to get the mix down to stereo in the first place - unless you're running multiple outs to a summing device such as a mixer or dedicated summing amp before the compressor.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby snipsnip » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:54 am

The_Big_Piano_Player wrote:....To those that think analogue-summing is inherently superior, I would like to introduce you to an Emperor, who is stark-b*llock naked, no matter what you claim.

Im not claiming anything, im just saying you can hear a difference between pure digital mix's and ones which have involved somthing analogue in the mix chain. I know some people claim theres no difference, and some that claim the difference is not so much to do with the action of summing itself as just running the mix through some analogue circitry. Either way, i dont know, but if you're claiming theres no difference, you're just plain wrong.
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby The_BPP » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:27 am

snipsnip wrote:

Im not claiming anything, im just saying you can hear a difference between pure digital mix's and ones which have involved somthing analogue in the mix chain. I know some people claim theres no difference, and some that claim the difference is not so much to do with the action of summing itself as just running the mix through some analogue circitry. Either way, i dont know, but if you're claiming theres no difference, you're just plain wrong.

I clearly didn't claim there was no difference, I said analogue summing was not "inherently superior".
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:13 am

PURE-TONE wrote:first of all..i'm surprised by elfs comment. not that i think he's either right or wrong. just that from his knowledgeable posts i kind of had the impression he would be an outboard "hot gear" enthusiast (kind of a compliment really elf)

:blush: Shucks!

OK, I'll explain myself a little...

I balk at the premise that passing the whole mix through a piece of hardware is *inherently* a good thing. As mentioned in a previous post, there’s a world of difference between summing a number of signals in the analogue domain and simply passing a digitally summed mix into an external hardware processor – I’ll pass on analogue summing, because I have no current experience to call on. I wouldn’t be so cruel as to refer to the Emperor’s state of garb, but I do feel that there’s potential for self-deception. If I felt the need to pass an entire mix through something to give it an edge then I’d believe I'd failed somewhere in the tracking, processing and mixing.

I lived my early recording life having to put up with hiss, hum, limited bandwidth and the general nastiness of hardware – and don’t be fooled into thinking that was only the budget stuff! Along comes the age of digital recording, where I can finally nail down audio the way I hear it and… whaddya know? It's suggested that passing all my carefully crafted mix through hardware that adds random noise and distortion is good on the basis that it does 'something'. That’s not for me (though if it works for others I'll defend to the death your right to do it!).

BUT!

I will happily track individual sounds through weird and wonderful hardware. I have (in addition to shed-loads of analogue keyboards/synths) loads of odd boxes, radios, bench amps, valve amps, stomp boxes, kids’ toys and various paraphernalia – great fun. I’ll also pass audio out of my DAW to pick up this kind of strangeness and record it back in. But for a whole mix – nope, that’s not for me. Do I want my drums processed by the same signal chain as my Hammond? Definitely not. I don’t want valves touching my cymbal sounds, but I might want them making my Mellotron growl. Call it ‘surgical weirdness’. I want to *hear* these effects – I’m not necessarily trying to be subtle.

So, my analogue link in the chain is in as early as possible - make it sound good, capture it as faithfully as possible, then keep it that way.

And no, my mixes do not sound 'clinical'! :D

Hope this makes my position a bit more clear!
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Re: Ear pleasing mixes

Postby Michael Dow » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:26 am

Thats a pretty good take on the debate i feel. I've often wondered about the whole analog thing and adding random noise and distortion. It cant always make something sound better. It must depend on so many factors. Id say i probabaly have a similar angle regarding outboard gear. Id want there to be a good noticable difference in what im doing out of the box rather than subtleties that most people are never going to recognise. And i might even be fooling myself. I reckon there is a lot of that going on. The brain sometimes has already decided things. Some people want it to sound better because theyve just spend 3000 on a new unit. So it does sound better to them.
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