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Preamp into a Preamp

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:21 pm

There was a thread about altering the way DAW meters responded so that they didn't show tiny waveforms when recording at -20dB or lower, cannot remember what it was called though.

The idea was to make it look as if you were recording more analogue like levels.
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Luke W » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:36 pm

lordmike wrote:This is like a ray of sunshine guys! I think you're absolutely right and I don't have to spend any more money on an interface! :bouncy:

That’s one of the great things about these forums, you avoid all of the “expert” advice about absolutely needing the most expensive this, that or the other that is so common in lots of other places. It can be a real time and money saver. :thumbup:
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby lordmike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:10 am

I feel like I'm on the edge of the next big jump in my abilities so it is easy to get pulled in by the shiny new toy. The thing I guess I haven't stressed enough is that my mixes sound really pretty good, I'm just after that indescribable something to bump it up to the next level. That proverbial "sparkle" that means something different to everyone else. My band is thrilled by my mixes but they just lack something to me. I hope somebody out there gets what I'm talking about. Anyway, thanks for the tips everyone. I started to employ some of them on a track I'm working on tonight.
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby zenguitar » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:44 am

This is the paradox. No one else see's the 'problem' other than you.

There are a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first is that you ARE doing good work. The second is that being dissatisfied is what drives you to get better. The paradox is that BOTH are simultaneously true.

But the hardest lesson you are beginning to learn is that it's NOT all about the gear. Most salesmen at music stores are sincere and genuine, but never forget that it's their job to sell you stuff. There are salesmen out there that really know their stuff, but the majority are informed by the internet rather than experience. They may be well meaning, but 2nd hand experience is a poor advisor.

The way to get your mixes better is to focus on further refining your listening skills, really learning your reference tracks on a range of systems (monitors, headphones, and domestic hi-fi systems), and improving your room.

Remember, if the rest of your band LOVE your mixes, there's nothing wrong with your gear. If their was, they would have let you know. You've been given some great advice in this thread from some seriously experienced professionals and highly skilled amateurs alike. Your tools are just fine, you just need to get better at using them and understanding them.

You have what it takes, just use your dissatisfaction to make yourself even better.

Best wishes in these tough times,

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby MOF » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:00 am

This is the paradox. No one else see's the 'problem' other than you.

It might be worth farming out the mix to a full time remixer or submit it to SOS for the Mix Rescue section.
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:02 am

zenguitar wrote:This is the paradox. No one else see's the 'problem' other than you.

There are a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first is that you ARE doing good work. The second is that being dissatisfied is what drives you to get better. The paradox is that BOTH are simultaneously true.

But the hardest lesson you are beginning to learn is that it's NOT all about the gear. Most salesmen at music stores are sincere and genuine, but never forget that it's their job to sell you stuff. There are salesmen out there that really know their stuff, but the majority are informed by the internet rather than experience. They may be well meaning, but 2nd hand experience is a poor advisor.

The way to get your mixes better is to focus on further refining your listening skills, really learning your reference tracks on a range of systems (monitors, headphones, and domestic hi-fi systems), and improving your room.

Remember, if the rest of your band LOVE your mixes, there's nothing wrong with your gear. If their was, they would have let you know. You've been given some great advice in this thread from some seriously experienced professionals and highly skilled amateurs alike. Your tools are just fine, you just need to get better at using them and understanding them.

You have what it takes, just use your dissatisfaction to make yourself even better.

Best wishes in these tough times,

Andy :beamup:

Cracking post Andy. Spot on! :clap: :thumbup:
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:17 am

I'd definitely recommend getting in touch with SOS about a MixRescue. They don't just do 'save the project from the bin' work, they also do 'take it to the next level' stuff.

Given where you are with your mixing, it's probably worth looking at some one-to-one tuition. The Elf and Zukan both offer this (in the UK) at very reasonable rates.

Disclaimer, whilst I know both of these guys it's a genuine recommendation from a paying customer! :)
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:17 am

The Elf wrote:
Tomás Mulcahy wrote:if the mix is clipping you can just lower the master fader until it stops clipping there
I really need to pick up on this! :D

I accept that technically this is fine, but if you have to do this it says to me that you have lost control of the mix.

So I say NEVER touch that master fader - leave it at 0dB.

As you were! ;)
It's OK, I use a limiter :beamup:
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:29 am

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Tomás Mulcahy wrote:if the mix is clipping you can just lower the master fader until it stops clipping there
I really need to pick up on this! :D

I accept that technically this is fine, but if you have to do this it says to me that you have lost control of the mix.

So I say NEVER touch that master fader - leave it at 0dB.

As you were! ;)
It's OK, I use a limiter :beamup:
:lol:
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby lordmike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:16 pm

blinddrew wrote:Given where you are with your mixing, it's probably worth looking at some one-to-one tuition. The Elf and Zukan both offer this (in the UK) at very reasonable rates.

I'm a teacher so I'm always open to learn from other teachers... constantly seeking knowledge is kind of my thing hahaha. Does the 1-to-1 tutoring happen online or does it have to be in person?

If you guys are still game, I could I upload the mix I'm working on here in a week or so when it is finished?
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:57 pm

lordmike wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Given where you are with your mixing, it's probably worth looking at some one-to-one tuition. The Elf and Zukan both offer this (in the UK) at very reasonable rates.

I'm a teacher so I'm always open to learn from other teachers... constantly seeking knowledge is kind of my thing hahaha. Does the 1-to-1 tutoring happen online or does it have to be in person?

If you guys are still game, I could I upload the mix I'm working on here in a week or so when it is finished?

I believe both The Elf and Zukan offer 1-2-1 tuition both on site and online, although at the moment only the latter is of course feasible.

As for uploading a mix, sure - the easiest way is to put it on Soundcloud but not publish it, and then give us the non-public link so only we know it's there ;)


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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby lordmike » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:16 pm

Ok, I'm not out of the woods just yet. I think I want to at least upgrade to a Scarlett with a line in for my preamp and extra outs for re-amping. They have the 4i4 and the 8i6. The 4i4 feature set is closer to my needs but it is bus powered. Is there an advantage to going to an interface with its own power supply?
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby MOF » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:30 pm

Is there an advantage to going to an interface with its own power supply?

There are some devices that have improved headroom/signal to noise figures on a separate power supply (if they’re also able to be bus powered).
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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:35 pm

lordmike wrote:The 4i4 feature set is closer to my needs but it is bus powered. Is there an advantage to going to an interface with its own power supply?

Bus powered can be convenient if you need an ultra portable system, but the power capability is pretty limited and that rends to compromise the analogue signal headroom and general performance. So, unless you're keen on portability I'd advise a mains-powered interface where possible.

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Re: Preamp into a Preamp

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:44 pm

lordmike wrote:Is there an advantage to going to an interface with its own power supply?
Yes, more i/o :D With the Focusrites, it doesn't change the audio performance (2i2 has same specs as all the others).
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