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#2054086 - 03/15/09 06:12 PM Article on the basics?
Donnie K Offline
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Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 3
Hi,
I've been a subscriber to EQ for a few years now and really enjoy every issue. I'm an old school analog multi-tracker trying to educate myself on the way things are done these days and often have questions regarding some subjects that perhaps many of your readers might find simplistic. For instance, I notice that most studios you profile have a mix of computer based and analog technology. How does all this stuff interconnect? What does one need to allow a nice old mixing console to be interactive with a modern computer based recording software? How do outboard effects get thrown into the mix (no pun intended)?
Have you ever done an article that was sort of a 'back to basics' to bring someone like myself up to speed? Are there other, more obvious references that I should turn to?
Thanks for your time and I'll continue to look forward to the next issue. smile

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#2054135 - 03/15/09 09:40 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: Donnie K]
miroslav Offline
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I run a hybrid analog/digital studio rig and still track to tape...dump to DAW...edit in DAW...then playback from DAW out through an analog mixer...using all outboard FX/processing.

I don't mix in the DAW or use any plugins...other then occasional "spot" EQ/FX during the edit process. I like working this way...and I think I get a better final mix.
I've also tracked direct to DAW...and I always found myself not liking those tracks as much. There was always a mild "grainy" quality to them....nothing major, but I just never like direct to DAW tracks as much as I do first going to tape.

I just tracked drums for three new songs tonight...and we went to tape. I do 2-3 passes using 4 tracks per pass (Kick, Snare and M/S Stereo Overheads). Sounds great, IMO...and I can hit the tape harder without freaking out about any digital "overs".

But this is *MY* SOP. It works well for me and I like working this way. This is NOT absolute...and many guys prefer going direct to DAW.

To each his own.... smile

AFA an EQ Magazine article about going back to basics ....as in "analog basics".....mmmmmmmm....don't hold your breath. I think those articles are long gone, as these days...everything is about digital, and 7-out-10 EQ readers probably have never touched an open reel tape deck (or even seen one grin ). Tape …you mean like duct tape? wink

But hey...you can always ask! thu
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#2054244 - 03/16/09 09:50 AM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: miroslav]
Donnie K Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 3
Thanks for the info. I don't mean a 'back to basics' as if we were still in the analog age - I'm thinking something more along the lines of how modern recording enthusiasts incorporate new and old, along with some explanation of some of the basics of the digital realm, perhaps highlighting some of the softwares available and how the features differ from one another.

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#2054366 - 03/16/09 02:04 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: Donnie K]
Anderton Moderator Offline
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Actually I like that idea. I've done articles before on integrating analog and digital, but they've always been on a case-by-case basis - e.g., adding external hardware effects to a sequencer. Bit it might make a good "big" article that touches on all the bases. Well, or at least as many as possible!

Also, Miroslav has pretty well encapsulated why people prefer to track to tape. His reaction is common among tape fans.
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#2054393 - 03/16/09 03:16 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: Anderton]
miroslav Offline
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I thought he was talking about a real "back to basics" with analog article...etc…
...which I really doubt you would want to do, Craig, as your target audience is pretty much well past the tape/analog days. grin

But hey...I do agree that there are still a lot of guys (pros and homebrew) who like the hybrid analog/digital approach (like I do smile )...so yeah, maybe something that covers the approach and process of working in hybrid mode..?

Of course...in the real PRO studios...analog/digital hybrid rigs are not quite the same as one might find in a smaller project or home studio...so again, you will need to focus on a specific target audience. Having "Joe Pro Engineer" talking about million dollar systems may not really hit home with the bulk of the EQ readership...but then, I do like reading about how the better half lives! grin

One main problem...the majority of today's young guns are pretty much already all-digital...mainly 'cuz it's the most cost effective way to get into recording....the "In The Box” approach…and most also feel they don’t need a formal studio space. Many will just setup in a cornet of their bedroom…etc. frown
And...many people who do it that way, tend to always comment about how they're just doing it for fun and not trying to be serious...as a way to argue the point of ITB and not wanting to spend big bucks...etc.
But I think often it’s just the budget that drives their decisions and their motivation…which I can understand, as it does take a lot of commitment to keep tossing money into the “black holes” we call studios!!! laugh

But yeah...I think I may stay hybrid for a long time to come!
The minute you get into plug-ins for lots of processing...that pretty much kills the need or reason to have outboard gear (though not because plugs are better...rather just from that economic point...IMO).
And once you don't "need" outboard gear...you start to wonder what the big analog console is for, as you pretty much will end up wanting to just stay ITB....though some guys like to just "sum" via analog, and not do any analog/outboard processing.

I'm eyeballin' a few old Trident boards...and may upgrade to one of them from my current TASCAM console. cool
But it's going to be a tough decision to drop several $k on that….though a couple of them are in excellent shape, and would certainly serve a real springboard to upgrade my entire studio (and throw more money into that black hole…but you can’t take it with you. wink )

Going hybrid is by no means cost effective...as it may actually be MORE expensive than just staying all-analog...and certainly more expensive than all-digital (unless of course you get back into serious PRO territory with VERY high-dollar DAWs/plugs/converters....etc...etc.
Heck...what does a serious PT system cost these days...or some of the other high-end ITB DAW solutions...? And then you STILL need the high end mics, pres, and some other analog gear up front before you ever hit the converters.

CHA-CHING!!!!! $$$$$$ smile
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#2054849 - 03/17/09 05:35 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: miroslav]
Anderton Moderator Offline
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Probably the best type of article would be how to add selective outboard elements for particular needs...for example, if someone's using Ableton Live and wants a control surface, it might be less expensive and more flexible to pick up a mixer with an ADAT in, send signals via an audio interface's ADAT out, and do your mixing with "real" faders. Or using a tube compressor to add a different texture compared to a standard plug-in...that sort of thing.

Something work thinking about, for sure.
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#2057491 - 03/24/09 12:04 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: Anderton]
Donnie K Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/09
Posts: 3
OK - this is embarassing, but what the hey...perhaps some basic definitions, like what's a 'control surface'? I can guess, based on context, but this is part of where I'm coming from: sort of a basic overview education/explanation of some of the terminolgy and technology. I'm not sure what a mixer with an 'ADAT in' is, either, much less why it would be a necessary tool. Maybe a series of articles called 'Back to Basics' or something more clever to address these and other issues?

But from what we've discussed so far, am I to assume that the computer based recording softwares are all about recording and mixing using the various plug-ins (not sure I'm straight on that, either!) for effects, etc. exclusively, and to engage an outboard mixer/effects one typically records to tape, then dumps to the computer program to take advantage of the vast manipulation available in the digital format?

I mean, I look at photos of Jack Joseph Puig and his plethora of vintage gear in the same room with computer monitors and I'm wondering how it all comes together.

I'm sorry. Maybe EQ Magazine is too far ahead of where I'm coming from and it might be best for me to search the I'net for some answers and come back.

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#2057549 - 03/24/09 02:11 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: Donnie K]
miroslav Offline
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Registered: 05/23/00
Posts: 14215
Loc: NY Hudson Valley, USA
Mmmmm...you may want to just hang on some recording forums...read some "basics" books...etc.

I think for a magazine to do any in-depth "basics" article...it would have to be a rather big article and/or stretch across several months...not to mention that most of the readership is probably past the most fundamental stuff...but maybe not...I dunno...?

You just have to "dig in"...to a lot of reading and also get some hands-on with various gear before you can lay down a good foundation. One magazine article may only wet your appetite....
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miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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#2057880 - 03/25/09 12:33 PM Re: Article on the basics? [Re: miroslav]
Anderton Moderator Offline
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Registered: 01/28/00
Posts: 7377
Books are great for the basics. Magazines are more like updates for what you can read about in books, although we've made a conscious effort to make EQ's articles more "timeless" lately.
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Craig Anderton
*check out my podcast at www.cyberears.com

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Moderator:  Anderton