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The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

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The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby RKS » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:23 am

Hi all,

Background

During my Windows 7 days, I purchased a Liquid Mix on the used market. It had gotten great reviews with comments that at higher sample rates, the differences between it and the original equipment being emulated were difficult to pick out.

Since Windows 8 came out, I have had no need for it as I am not doing as much mixing of contemporary music. That said, I knew from early on that the Liquid Mix would not work on Windows 8 without a fight as it requires the Legacy firewire driver in Windows.

This is easy to set in Windows 7 but Windows 8 does not allow it without disabling some security features and incurring a water mark.


Back to the Future. . . Past to the Future?
Heading title aside, I will be getting back into the contemporary recording and mixing in the coming months. I am extremely happy with Windows 8 except for some flaws in recovery and file permissions. It starts up very quickly and is quite snappy. Cubase and Pro Tools work great on it too.

If I can not get the legacy driver issue sorted in a way I like, I am contemplating dual booting with Windows 7 using the spare license I have. The performance need to dual boot with one OS being audio dedicated is long gone IMO. Processors have very much surpassed any demands that a recording and mix engineer could throw at it, though I am not including sample heavy users here. Maybe it is just me, but I have never had a system slow down due to a virus or from clogging the system with programs. Perhaps I just like to keep things clean in that regard which negates the need for a dual boot.


Is the Liquid Mix Worth the Hassle?
Is it worth it setting up the dual boot? I wont be coming into considerable disposable income for me to invest in a similar device or plug in pack as the Liquid Mix. The way dual boots have worked in the past have resulted in me getting frustrated that an OS switch is required to get work done and since I am so pleased with Windows 8.1, I would prefer to stick with the way things are.

I am planning on reinstalling W8.1 and then creating an image so I can quickly and easily deploy that in case there is ever an issue which a) The recovery can not fix and b) eliminates the program and setting installation hassle of a full reinstall.

If I am dedicating a day to do that, I may do it with a Windows 7 too so I wont be going out of my way to make system changes.

Thanks for reading!
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby BJG145 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:21 am

Another alternative might be to set up a cheap second machine as a slave. But either is a lot of hassle just to access some 2006 DSP. I'd forget it and move on.

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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby CS70 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:40 pm

I guess a lot depends on why you want to keep using it.

Assuming you're going back to mix things where it could be useful... I'd say that if you know it intimately, it's incorporated in your workflow and you can get exactly "that" sound out of it - with a lot of re-learning to do in order to get it with some other kit, then it's well worth the hassle.

If it's just to have a bunch of compressors and EQ emulations you can try and see if you're equally satisfied with native EQs and compressor plugins. After all, if you can't hear the difference, you can't make use of it..
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby RKS » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:09 pm

The second computer is an idea, though I do not have the connectivity or budget for that at the moment. With the required budget, it could be used towards something more competent anyway. That said, given the Liquid Mix is a convolution based system, there comes a point when you cant do any better in getting the sound of colourful equipment, which is the basis for the thread. How well does it perform taking its connectivity problems out of the equation.

With regards to the second post, I wouldn't be going back to old mixes that much, but now that it is mentioned it would be nice to be able to have that facility rather than dump the interface. The reason for posting is because I will be getting back into pop style recording where the past while has been classically dominated. I must say, the Liquid Mix is a very nice interface. No special visuals going on which suits me and on my old computer, the external processing was nice.

I am planning to upgrade to Cubase 7.5 which has an interesting set of channel strip options by default which may lessen the need for the Liquid Mix, but the LM has so many options on it that it would be a shame to forget about for the sake of a driver installation issue.

I will have another go at getting a working solution for W8 in the mean time.

Thanks
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby sambrox » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:56 pm

I'm a Liquid Mix owner and was very happy with it, until I heard that they wouldn't be updating drivers for 64-bit systems (I'm a Mac user). This forced me to start looking at alternatives, as I didn't want to suddenly find myself reliant on something that was no longer supported or compatible (a reality since OSX 10.8). I too was fond of the external DSP, especially as I often use heavy sample-based software instruments. Once I started to investigate other viable options though, not only did I find native solutions that did a decent job, but ones that far surpassed the quality of the LMs emulations, devoid of the quirks, bugs and limitations of the particular convolution technology used (do a quick search on YouTube). It just didn't seem worth the hassle of trying to find workarounds to keep the Liquid Mix in the mix...

I still keep it around for the sake of a few old projects, but my advice would be to first check out the stock plugins, then check Mike Senior's list of free plugins, then if you still feel you're missing something, maybe have a look at investing in one decent EQ and a compressor that covers a few bases.

Cheers,
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby Billum » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:06 pm

Yes this is the thing - which of the emulations do you like in the LM? I kept it around for a long time because I loved the PYE compressor and Manley Massive EQ models, and a couple of others, but I've now got them as Waves and UAD versions which are better suited to my workflow, now that LM is non-64 bit and everything else is.

It is a great box of good quality toys, but it is a bit temperamental too, and I find the interface a bit of a fiddle tbh. And as a 32-bit plugin it won't stay compatible with every DAW forever more.

If it'll get your job done, I'd say stick with it for now, as your familiarity with it and liking of its models counts for a lot, but its life is limited unless you're not going to update the rest of your kit in the foreseeable.
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby Red Mastering » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:36 pm

why win8? this is first question, what gives you win8 over win7 ? Personally I run my daw with slimmed down win xp 32bit - for about 7 years, and I do work professionally with audio, (I run my humble mastering studio). "If it works - it works":). Anyway easy solution is VmWareplayer, it;s a freeware which allows you to install system within the system.
I have a laptop with win7, and I like it, but win8 - I won't touch it as it;s kind of win millenium - not really an upgrade from 'old' win7 (but it's my personal opinion)
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby johnny h » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:23 pm

RobKellySound wrote:Hi all,

Background

During my Windows 7 days, I purchased a Liquid Mix on the used market. It had gotten great reviews with comments that at higher sample rates, the differences between it and the original equipment being emulated were difficult to pick out.

Since Windows 8 came out, I have had no need for it as I am not doing as much mixing of contemporary music. That said, I knew from early on that the Liquid Mix would not work on Windows 8 without a fight as it requires the Legacy firewire driver in Windows.

This is easy to set in Windows 7 but Windows 8 does not allow it without disabling some security features and incurring a water mark.


Back to the Future. . . Past to the Future?
Heading title aside, I will be getting back into the contemporary recording and mixing in the coming months. I am extremely happy with Windows 8 except for some flaws in recovery and file permissions. It starts up very quickly and is quite snappy. Cubase and Pro Tools work great on it too.

If I can not get the legacy driver issue sorted in a way I like, I am contemplating dual booting with Windows 7 using the spare license I have. The performance need to dual boot with one OS being audio dedicated is long gone IMO. Processors have very much surpassed any demands that a recording and mix engineer could throw at it, though I am not including sample heavy users here. Maybe it is just me, but I have never had a system slow down due to a virus or from clogging the system with programs. Perhaps I just like to keep things clean in that regard which negates the need for a dual boot.


Is the Liquid Mix Worth the Hassle?
Is it worth it setting up the dual boot? I wont be coming into considerable disposable income for me to invest in a similar device or plug in pack as the Liquid Mix. The way dual boots have worked in the past have resulted in me getting frustrated that an OS switch is required to get work done and since I am so pleased with Windows 8.1, I would prefer to stick with the way things are.

I am planning on reinstalling W8.1 and then creating an image so I can quickly and easily deploy that in case there is ever an issue which a) The recovery can not fix and b) eliminates the program and setting installation hassle of a full reinstall.

If I am dedicating a day to do that, I may do it with a Windows 7 too so I wont be going out of my way to make system changes.

Thanks for reading!
Solution 1: use Windows 7. Use liquid mix.
Solution 2: enable legacy driver on windows 8, don't care about the 'watermark' crap, use liquid mix.
Solution 3: sell liquid mix, use windows 8.
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby RKS » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:57 pm

Red Mastering wrote:why win8? this is first question, what gives you win8 over win7 ? Personally I run my daw with slimmed down win xp 32bit - for about 7 years, and I do work professionally with audio, (I run my humble mastering studio). "If it works - it works":). Anyway easy solution is VmWareplayer, it;s a freeware which allows you to install system within the system.
I have a laptop with win7, and I like it, but win8 - I won't touch it as it;s kind of win millenium - not really an upgrade from 'old' win7 (but it's my personal opinion)


Very easy decision regarding Windows 8 for me. On my older Core2Duo based DAW, it was quite a bit snappier and faster to boot and shut down than Windows 7 was. I can related to XP though, I held on to that for a while before adopting W7. I run in 64bit mind you, once I switched from 32 to 64 with to make use of a RAM upgrade, I was extremely happy with it and I am unsure how well 64bit XP was implemented in terms of driver support. Finally, XP doesn't formally support my DAW.

Somehow, I don't think the easy solution is VmWare. Picking which OS I want to use is =P

On the new DAW, Windows 8 with a start menu program is a fantastic piece of kit. Aside from the driver drawbacks I have outlined, which I agree is me wanting to keep an old piece of kit in the workflow, it is a better OS for day to day tasks then W7. Day to day tasks is another use for the machine.

Windows 7 is a great OS though, combines how solid XP became with a fast interface. But W8.1 is just that bit faster in some respects. With audio, the difference is marginal at best from what tests have uncovered, which means I am not swung either way by either OS on an audio basis. Expect maybe the LiquidMix which is what I am considering the the weeks before a decision has to be made.

Thanks
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby RKS » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:01 pm

johnny h wrote:
Solution 1: use Windows 7. Use liquid mix.
Solution 2: enable legacy driver on windows 8, don't care about the 'watermark' crap, use liquid mix.
Solution 3: sell liquid mix, use windows 8.

They are indeed some of my available options :lol:

The water mark is the same as the water mark which denotes Windows not being activated as it happens, which is a watermark I do not want to explain or have on the screen. Each to their own on that respect.
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby johnny h » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:57 pm

RobKellySound wrote:
johnny h wrote:
Solution 1: use Windows 7. Use liquid mix.
Solution 2: enable legacy driver on windows 8, don't care about the 'watermark' crap, use liquid mix.
Solution 3: sell liquid mix, use windows 8.

They are indeed some of my available options :lol:

The water mark is the same as the water mark which denotes Windows not being activated as it happens, which is a watermark I do not want to explain or have on the screen. Each to their own on that respect.
Yeah, depends how much you value being told what to do my microsoft and how much you value being able to use your hardware effects unit. I value the former at zero.
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby RKS » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:17 pm

I wouldn't agree with that conclusion exactly for me personally, but again each to their own. :D
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby buggymusic » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:29 pm

I personally think its poor of focusrite to drop support for it when it cost over £500 at launch


In ProTools you can still use it in version 10 - so one way is to open your session in v10 - send the audio output to an audio track and use it in v11 - YMMV
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby Dave B » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:15 pm

buggymusic wrote:I personally think its poor of focusrite to drop support for it when it cost over £500 at launch

All gone into fairly recently as to _why_ in another thread (possibly in the mac forum) - when most sensible people read the facts behind it's end of life-ing, they understand. You want to slate them for the fact that since 2006 (8 years ago) OS and DAW people have made insane changes to their products then fine .. but that's ignoring the realities that product makers face.

If, on the other hand, you were to think that it's a crying shame that support for the Liquid Mix became too expensive and so lost us one of the most useful bits of kit in our armoury - then I'm with you 100%.

Of coure, we _could_ just build a decent system and run it : ignoring all the latest whizz bang updates to the OS and shiny new versions of applications completely and still have a kick-ass system. Says the man with a Mac Pro running 10.6.8 and Logic 9, with a Liquid Mix, Duende PCIe, Powercore and Lexicon PCM96
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Re: The Focusrite Liquid Mix - Still Relavant?

Postby johnny h » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:01 pm

Dave B wrote:. You want to slate them for the fact that since 2006 (8 years ago) OS and DAW people have made insane changes to their products then fine .. but that's ignoring the realities that product makers face.
If you disagree with the move to 64 bit then nobody is forcing you to upgrade. In my opinion the 64 bit move should have come much earlier.
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