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  1. #11

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Thank you, Danny O for that very clear explanation as to why we like to have the option of recording e.q. (and sometimes compression) to our capture medium, no matter what it is, tape or digital.

    I would add to your examples another "problem" instrument: drums. Very often players insist on using their own kit, and their heads are less than ideal (putting it mildly). Over the 35 years I've been recording (starting with 2" analog), I can't tell you how many times drummers have come back into the control room after laying down their track and complimented themselves on how great their drums sound. They think the drums sound good at the source, and have no idea that I had to e.q. heavily to make them sound the way they do on playback. Now, if I don't print the e.q., they will come back in and hear what the drums REALLY sound like and then question my recording skills.

    I know, I know... many will say "you should fix it at the source". That's fine in the world of high-finance recording sessions, but after many years in the trenches, I've found that e.q. is still expedient (and necessary) in problem cases.

    And as you've noted, experience tells us how much or how little to affect the print. 'Nuff said. That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it.
    Richard
    Green Valley Recording
    My cats have nine lives; my life has nine cats.

  2. #12

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny O View Post
    THE MICROPHONE - Microphones do not hear sound like we do. A microphone response to sound is more or less linear in amplitude and frequency at a given SPL. As the sound diminishes(fundamental and harmonics) the overall response can change quite a bit, so it was customary to use a little EQ and perhaps some compression, to give the microphone some help, and to make the recorded sound be as close(capturing all aspects of the instrument) to the original acoustic sound as possible, as well as giving you a good signal to noise ratio.
    This I know: the frequency response of a microphone does not change with SPL unliess, maybe, it is driven into severe non-linearity, at which point the signal coming from it is probably complete junk (which is why there have been some microphones specifically built for high-SPL use). Frequency response is affected by distance from the source and which way the mic is pointed, neither of which is altered by EQ or compression.

    The resolution of digital recording (at 24 bit) is such that nothing at all is lost unless it is so quiet that it is much less than the ambient noise of the recording space or the hiss in the mic preamp. This includes high frequencies. Any top end boost needed can just as easily be done in playback.

    In getting myself adjusted to "the new normal" of digital recording, I put a LOT of thought and effort into these things.
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"
    www.chinesepuzzlerecording.com

  3. #13

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rupert View Post
    Thank you, Danny O for that very clear explanation as to why we like to have the option of recording e.q. (and sometimes compression) to our capture medium, no matter what it is, tape or digital.

    I would add to your examples another "problem" instrument: drums. Very often players insist on using their own kit, and their heads are less than ideal (putting it mildly). Over the 35 years I've been recording (starting with 2" analog), I can't tell you how many times drummers have come back into the control room after laying down their track and complimented themselves on how great their drums sound. They think the drums sound good at the source, and have no idea that I had to e.q. heavily to make them sound the way they do on playback. Now, if I don't print the e.q., they will come back in and hear what the drums REALLY sound like and then question my recording skills.
    One of the beauties of recording with a DAW is the fact that you can be working on a mix during the tracking process. Any EQ you would set up to pre-process drum sounds in tracking can just as easily and quickly be applied in the playback part of the chain. That means, with the same amount of time and effort, you can let the drummer hear your great sound when he comes into the room. He never has to know whether the processing of the sausage was "pre" or "post".
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"
    www.chinesepuzzlerecording.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    2,153

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Danny O,
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine
    ...This is scarey!

  5. #15

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary B. Cornett View Post
    One of the beauties of recording with a DAW is the fact that you can be working on a mix during the tracking process. Any EQ you would set up to pre-process drum sounds in tracking can just as easily and quickly be applied in the playback part of the chain. That means, with the same amount of time and effort, you can let the drummer hear your great sound when he comes into the room. He never has to know whether the processing of the sausage was "pre" or "post".
    Hi Cary,
    I'm just now experimenting with the SAW/SAC combination so will readily admit that I may be approaching it all wrong.

    Having said that, what I've set up are two scene templates; the first is a tracking scene with inputs coming from my converter/preamps. The second scene changes the inputs to come from
    SAW. I'll use this second scene for overdubs, and I had hoped, mixing
    . What I can't get my head around is a way (after all recording is completed) to send the SAC mixes through to record back to SAW and
    include any automation I could do in SAW
    . There may be a way; I'm learning more about this every day. But so far I haven't figured out how to do it since SAC is monitoring the "raw" tracks from SAW. If SAC were automatable, that would obviously solve the problem.

    It seems to me that when mixing, if I want to include any changes through the song and not have to do them in real time, I will have to do the mixing in SAW. And here is the rub; all the e.q., compression, panning, etc. decisions I've made along the way would not show up in SAW. I'd have to re-create all that since it didn't print as I had monitored it in SAC. There's also the other minor issue of having to render the mix in real time, but that's something I can deal with.

    I DO know how to mix IN SAW and record back to SAW while monitoring through SAC, but that's by monitoring the two-mix bus out of SAW; not individual channels.

    Again, I admit I'm underwater with this so far, and have only been experimenting in the house until I feel confident enough to move it to the studio. Any pointers or clarification from anyone will be accepted with gratitude and humility.

    Richard
    Green Valley Recording
    My cats have nine lives; my life has nine cats.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,016

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rupert View Post
    Hi Cary,
    I'm just now experimenting with the SAW/SAC combination so will readily admit that I may be approaching it all wrong.

    Having said that, what I've set up are two scene templates; the first is a tracking scene with inputs coming from my converter/preamps. The second scene changes the inputs to come from
    SAW. I'll use this second scene for overdubs, and I had hoped, mixing
    . What I can't get my head around is a way (after all recording is completed) to send the SAC mixes through to record back to SAW and
    include any automation I could do in SAW
    . There may be a way; I'm learning more about this every day. But so far I haven't figured out how to do it since SAC is monitoring the "raw" tracks from SAW. If SAC were automatable, that would obviously solve the problem.

    It seems to me that when mixing, if I want to include any changes through the song and not have to do them in real time, I will have to do the mixing in SAW. And here is the rub; all the e.q., compression, panning, etc. decisions I've made along the way would not show up in SAW. I'd have to re-create all that since it didn't print as I had monitored it in SAC. There's also the other minor issue of having to render the mix in real time, but that's something I can deal with.

    I DO know how to mix IN SAW and record back to SAW while monitoring through SAC, but that's by monitoring the two-mix bus out of SAW; not individual channels.

    Again, I admit I'm underwater with this so far, and have only been experimenting in the house until I feel confident enough to move it to the studio. Any pointers or clarification from anyone will be accepted with gratitude and humility.
    There isn't a right or wrong way, but there may be an easier way.

    You don't need to swap inputs.

    All inputs always go through SAC. You monitor back through a SAC channel assigned to your Master SAW output.

    All mix changes are done in SAW just like you would do if you were using SAW alone.

    You hear those changes on playback.

    If you want to hear them live first you can make adjustments in SAC and then import them to SAW in bulk or individually by selected channels. OPTIONS -> SAC LINK OPTIONS -> Import mix data

    You can also print the incoming SAC settings as you record by changing your SAW tap point (Source, Pre Patch, or Post Fader).
    - Source is at the top of the input chain (effectively just the raw input)
    - Pre Patch I believe is just before the effects patch points (gives you compression, gates and EQ)
    - Post Fader gets you the entire channel strip including any effects and allows you to ride a fader during the record process.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  7. #17

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post
    There isn't a right or wrong way, but there may be an easier way. You don't need to swap inputs.
    All inputs always go through SAC. You monitor back through a SAC channel assigned to your Master SAW output.
    All mix changes are done in SAW just like you would do if you were using SAW alone. You hear those changes on playback.
    Yes, I understand that method; the problem is you lose the separate monitor send mix(es) for overdubs... the mix coming out of SAW is what the monitors will get (unless I'm missing something here... please let me know if I am). Talent often wants a different mix from what I'm getting in the control room. And if I've been developing a mix, I don't want to change it. And if I'm overdubbing two players, they each often want their own mix.

    If you want to hear them live first you can make adjustments in SAC and then import them to SAW in bulk or individually by selected channels. OPTIONS -> SAC LINK OPTIONS -> Import mix data
    See? I missed that!!!! Thank you for pointing it out. That will really be helpful.

    You can also print the incoming SAC settings as you record by changing your SAW tap point (Source, Pre Patch, or Post Fader).
    - Source is at the top of the input chain (effectively just the raw input)
    - Pre Patch I believe is just before the effects patch points (gives you compression, gates and EQ)
    - Post Fader gets you the entire channel strip including any effects and allows you to ride a fader during the record process.
    Oh boy, that looks like another "biggie" I've missed. I really need to go back and experiment some more using these pointers. Thank you very, very much!
    Richard
    Green Valley Recording
    My cats have nine lives; my life has nine cats.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,016

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rupert View Post
    Yes, I understand that method; the problem is you lose the separate monitor send mix(es) for overdubs... the mix coming out of SAW is what the monitors will get (unless I'm missing something here... please let me know if I am). Talent often wants a different mix from what I'm getting in the control room. And if I've been developing a mix, I don't want to change it. And if I'm overdubbing two players, they each often want their own mix.
    !
    A couple of options that will help with this.

    1. Bring sub group mixes back into SAC instead of a single full mix (vocals, drums, keys, etc).

    2. Use a split console configuration (you have 120 channels to work with). This is something that was done on large consoles even in the analog days. I'm guessing your not tracking more than 60 channels at a time, or even 60 tracks at a time, so use another section of the SAC console as dedicated returns from SAW and bring back all the channels individually (or some hybrid of individual channels and sub groups).

    This would allow you to do completely separate mixes for anybody that wants it, and is more flexible than using AUX sends as monitor mixes.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  9. #19

    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    My main point of curiosity is what the difference is between using SAC or using the SAW mixer in "Live" mode for providing headphone mixes for talent with effects and/or processing in their phones.
    In your collective experience, is the SAW mixer just as effective?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
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    Default Re: SAC as the studio's front end - Pros and Cons!

    Quote Originally Posted by CurtZHP View Post
    My main point of curiosity is what the difference is between using SAC or using the SAW mixer in "Live" mode for providing headphone mixes for talent with effects and/or processing in their phones.
    In your collective experience, is the SAW mixer just as effective?
    In my experience its easier to use SAC as the front end, particularly during the tracking process. If your doing mostly mixing/production running SAW stand alone is fine and will work pretty much the same.

    SAC gives you an always on (live) low latency mixing console for channel inputs and playback and lets SAW work in the background as the multi-track recorder and mix down engine.

    Even though its two connected programs I personally find it simpler using SAC/SAW in combo.

    Others may have a different experience, but I like have the fully live mixing console.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

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