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Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

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Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby cashhewn » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:31 pm

Hi,

Can anyone advise on a workflow that they’re happy with using Sonarworks and an analog console for summing to stereo mix?

Correct me if I’m wrong here but I just ordered Sonarworks and I’m imagining that I’m going to have to mix “uncorrected” from the DAW out D/A from the 16 channels of my converters then to the analog console and sum down to the mix bus/2-bus out and back A/D at the converter to a stereo track in the DAW with the Sonarworks plugin enabled to then evaluate the “corrected” mix... seems like a convoluted workflow but it’s the only thing I can think of at the moment without setting it all up and testing.

Any experience and advice much appreciated, thanks!
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Re: Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:37 pm

Hi cashhewn,

Yes, that does seem like a convoluted workflow setup, but if you want the benefits of both an analog console and computer-based Sonarworks EQ room correction then that does seem to be the only real way forward.

In your position I might have investigated loudspeakers with built-in DSP functions rather than Sonarworks software to tweak room response, which would have made your routing somewhat less complex.

Having said that, I use and highly recommend Sonarworks Reference 4 software myself, so the end result should hopefully be a good one.

One thought occurs - if you have a second computer (even a laptop would be fine) with a decent stereo-only audio interface then you could install Sonarworks on that and place this 2nd computer permanently between the stereo outputs of your analog desk and your amp/loudspeakers. THis would possibly make the routing less confusing, although to be honest once it's all up and running via a single computer then you'll probably forget the routing complexity and just get on with using it ;)


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Re: Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby cashhewn » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:44 am

Martin, thanks for that! I hadn’t thought of using a “second box” running Sonarworks. I do have both an old laptop and a Focusrite 4pre withering away in a drawer...

In any case I’m excited to get my speakers and headphones calibrated with the Sonarworks software and start mixing more confidently knowing that the end results will translate much more consistently between multiple listening environments. That’s the idea anyway!
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Re: Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:16 pm

cashhewn wrote:In any case I’m excited to get my speakers and headphones calibrated with the Sonarworks software and start mixing more confidently knowing that the end results will translate much more consistently between multiple listening environments. That’s the idea anyway!

Quite right!

In my experience, Sonarworks Reference 4 for loudspeakers can work wonderfully in tightening up your stereo imaging and flattening our frequency response anomalies, BUT ONLY if you already have some acoustic treatment in place, as hopefully you have.

Within limits (I tend to quote less than about +/-6dB of frequency response anomalies) it's great, but if you have bigger dips and peaks then you'll find your mixing sweet spot very small, despite the clever way Sonarworks attempts to account for several dozen positions around the sweet spot in its calculations.

It's always worth thinking about ways to shuffle your gear around in your playback space to get it more symmetrical from left to right, as this makes Sonarworks' job easier, and your sweet spot larger.

Good luck!


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Re: Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby ore_terra » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:36 am

It’s not going to be that complicated. You’re already working in the DAW, and the stereo mix has to come back to it for printing anyway.

In Cubase I have Sonarworks as an insert in Control Room. Whether I have similar workflow to yours with a summing mixer and mixbus processing or not (when I’m on the laptop), I dont have to touch Sonarworks.
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Re: Workflow for Sonarworks with analog console summing

Postby cashhewn » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:56 am

Gracias ore_terra!

Yes, I think you're right: I realized that I can probably just route my console's stereo mix/2-bus output to a Pro Tools "mix print" track and put that track into input monitoring mode, and have that track output back to one of the three unused stereo monitoring inputs that the console has available. That should give me essentially real time "corrected mix" feedback from Sonarworks as I tweak my outboard gear and console EQs etc...I think in theory it works anyway...haha.

I'm excited to get that Sonarworks and microphone package delivered and get it into use!
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