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#512591 - 04/21/04 01:02 PM Best way to use digital mixer with a DAW
System 8 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 236
Many have talked about this topic, and I wanted to add my 5 cents. Many digital mixers are pretty decent and have better sounding effects than the DAW's. I have done the following setup which for me works the best.

1. Record all your tracks through your digital mixer into your DAW.
2. Route all your channels from your DAW to a separate channel back in your mixer.
3. Now you can add any effect from the mixer to your signal, and check your levels through the meters.
Now you sum through the mixer and leave your DAW mixer levels set to 0. Doing it this way give you these great options.
4. Bus all the tracks on your digital mixer to a new stereo track back in your DAW

A You can now control the fader level of each channel in your mix. The slight movements will give you gentle increases. Many times when using the DM 24 or other controller, when you move the fader the volume may jump for -30 to -26, and not give you that smooth control of your volume. With summing in your mixer instead of your DAW, this is no longer an issue.

B. Pan control works

C. Mute and solo buttons also work though again it does not control your DAW mixer. But I have not found this to be an issue. If you want to just hear a track or mute another, the DM 24 does the job on it's own very well.

D. You can also add the effects of your mixer on tracks, which will also save CPU power on your computer. It is nice to have the option of using your DAW effects or the mixer since they both have their own sound. This gives you more options with your song.

E. You won't be summing in the DAW and mixer at the same time which can happen if your setup is not correct

F. You won't have the frustration of trying to make things work in your DAW with your mixer and will find working this very flexible mixer very enjoyable.

Then with the midi layer if you want you can control automation on your DAW if you choose.

What are your thoughts on this Yamaha and other digital mixer users?

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#512592 - 04/21/04 01:29 PM Re: Best way to use digital mixer with a DAW
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
My experience is totally the opposite.

I don't like the sound of the mic pres.

I don't like the sound of the effects (Yamaha verbs all have a high end diatortion that drives me mad... ever since the SPX 90. We have 990s, 900s, etc in our theaters and I hate them all.)

I prefer my external converters.

I don't need to worry about my CPUs. (Maybe it is a matter of style of working, but this hasn't been an issue for a long time.)

The software mixer in the RME TotalMix gives me some of what you look for from your mixer.

My audio software has 24 fully assignable stereo output buses.

Pan works in my DAW/Totalmix. But I don't really use it much. Timing is much better than pan for placing instruments in the sound field.

My DAW has some pretty comprehensive automation.

I agree that the 'faders' on my controller took some getting used to, as anything does. Working without a console was a real adjustment, as I am used to working with "Big Iron" desks on the road and in theaters. But once I got rid of my desk, it opened up my whole room. And I didn't really touch most of the knobs anyway.

Wasted space, mediocre pres and effects, mediocre converters.... I'm way happier without my digital console. (In fact, I donated it to the local symphony, along with four extra I/O cards.)

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#512593 - 04/22/04 10:33 AM Re: Best way to use digital mixer with a DAW
System 8 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 236
That's fine, and many people prefer to work the way you do. However I and many prefer to use a digital mixer for routing, hardware controls to work with, and the easy work flow of everything done on one unit. There is no right or wrong way, but you have to decide which way works best for you.

I thought about working your way, however in getting the new Apogee 16 A/D D/A converters, a mackie controller with expander, an analog mixer for routing... it just got too costly and too many wires routed all over the place. For what the Yamaha digital mixers and others offer for their price and sound it works pretty good for me. Prehaps if I had a pro studio, and clients rolling in, I would take a different approach. But as it is, I can only work in my studio after my day job, and when my kids are in bed.

I am just interested in those who use digital mixers and how they use them in their studios. I am trying to see how others use their digital mixer and if they have a more efficient way of using it over my config. Most people use outside mic pre's for vocals and acoustic guitars. But for electric guitars, bass, drums and keyboards the DM 1000, 02R96 and DM 2000 are quite respectable.

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