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Topic: Are big studios wasting their money?

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  1. #1

    Are big studios wasting their money?

    I couldn´t help to notice that large studios always have those ultra-expensive digital mixers with surround capabilities, blundled FXs and automated faders, while in 95% of time they use Pro-Tools like systems that ALREADY have digital mixers bundled, which makes everything doubled in fact!!!
    Once I was talking to an experienced sound engineer (that began mixing when computers didn´t even exist in the audio domain) and he just couldn´t realize what I was trying to tell him, because he just couldn´t mix without touching real faders with his fingers!
    Is that a waste of money, or am I missing something here?

  2. #2

    Re: Are big studios wasting their money?

    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Guga Bernardo
    I couldn´t help to notice that large studios always have those ultra-expensive digital mixers with surround capabilities, blundled FXs and automated faders, while in 95% of time they use Pro-Tools like systems that ALREADY have digital mixers bundled, which makes everything doubled in fact!!!
    One reason I can think of is that DAW systems tend to have latencies that make them unsuitable for monitoring, so if you're recording a lot of people and thus have a complex monitoring signal flow, you'll need sophisticated routing with low latency (this is also an issue with digital mixers, but most of them have lower latencies than most DAWs).

    Besides that, some people (not only zealots, but some serious producers aswell) argue that the PT mixing engine itself has somewhat mediocre sound quality compared to good mixing desks... I don't have enough experience with PT to confirm or refute that.

    The "I need real faders" argument was certainly plausible in the past, but since the rise of sophisticated hardware controllers (for PT anyway), I can hardly see why this alone would justify a dedicated mixing desk... but then again, if you have money to burn, you can at least impress some gullible clients this way

    Cheers,
    jan

  3. #3

    Re: Are big studios wasting their money?

    [QUOTE=
    The "I need real faders" argument was certainly plausible in the past, but since the rise of sophisticated hardware controllers (for PT anyway), I can hardly see why this alone would justify a dedicated mixing desk... but then again, if you have money to burn, you can at least impress some gullible clients this way

    [/QUOTE]

    I see the argument as being both for hardware controllers and mixers. Remember, several devices serve in both capacities, such as Tascam's DM 24. Either way, I think that controller surfaces are a very big deal and can be worth paying for. As far as any of the other aspects, e.g. having lots of ins without needing massive soundcards (i.e. external sub-mixing) or latency issues, I leave those to other people to deal with.
    :-)

  4. #4

    Lightbulb Re: Are big studios wasting their money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guga Bernardo
    Is that a waste of money, or am I missing something here?
    Computers are designed for one-at-a-time processes, with those actions happening so quickly that we perceive them as being simultaneous. To a certain degree, the devices that we use to control the computers follow that model. Likewise, the actuators for those controllers are switches in most cases (with the mouse wheel and track ball being notable exceptions). Does anyone remember what a revolution it was to have a mouse attached to the computer?

    At one time I was in the camp of "I can do it all in the computer, therefore I *must* do it all inside the computer" but now I'm not so sure. I have the TASCAM FW-1884, and I must say, it's everything I remember from being in front of a good console - only this is better - as at the time I was learning about mixing, fader automation was the sole province of top-end studios. I love the ability to "simultaneously" control several things at once, to build a whole that is greater than the sum of the individual parts - at least, that's the way I perceive it at the time of creation.

    In truth, I'm still doing all of my mixing "inside the box", as the FW-1884 is an audio interface and control surface (and MIDI I/O/router). I like the look and feel of the various controllers - when I want to jog or scrub - I grab the jog wheel, not the mouse. This is not important to those that were never schooled on a real console, but it's at the risk of missing out on an important part of the creative process. I can't think of a better way to achieve a true "gestalt" in the world of audio and music.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

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