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Mixing with the DAW's plugins

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6476 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sat May 31, 2014 1:38 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:The point that I'm trying to make is that there is not a very strong causal relationship between using the best gear and being in the hot 100.


Agreed, I never said there was.

On the other hand, some big hits did not use the best equipment or techniques of the day, Rapper's Delight comes to mind here.


First, that was recorded to tape. Second, it samples music that was recorded in studios.

There are a lot of examples of hits that made it into the hot 100 that were recorded in home studios and for which the demos attracted enough attention to obtain backing


No one asked about this and I doubt anyone cares.

So, while you may not be interested in what demos are recorded on, I'm not either BTW, it matters a lot if you want to make a causal claim that gear matters to be in the hot 100.


Again, I never made this causal claim you're arguing against.
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ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4045 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 2:04 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Uncle E wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:The point that I'm trying to make is that there is not a very strong causal relationship between using the best gear and being in the hot 100.


Agreed, I never said there was.

On the other hand, some big hits did not use the best equipment or techniques of the day, Rapper's Delight comes to mind here.


First, that was recorded to tape. Second, it samples music that was recorded in studios.


Cmon, seriously, you don't think that I know that? It was recorded in 1979, three dudes standing in front of average mics next to each other in the same room. From what I understand, it was seriously low budget. Of course they didn't use plugins, the point is that being in the hot 100 doesn't necessarily mean the best gear or the best methods. Don't make me go looking for more examples, that's just what came to me quickly because I recently saw their documentary.

So, while you may not be interested in what demos are recorded on, I'm not either BTW, it matters a lot if you want to make a causal claim that gear matters to be in the hot 100.


Again, I never made this causal claim you're arguing against.

[/quote]


You said:

I was defining it as anything that's been on the Billboard 100 charts, which I think is closer to what the OP was asking for, even if those weren't the words they used.


The OP asked:

is it possible to make a correct and professional mix with the DAW's built in plugins?


Merging the two statements

is it possible to make obtain a mix like what's been on the Billboard 100 charts with the DAW's built in plugins?


Further, you asserted:

The most successful engineers in the world use the best gear, there's a reason for that.


You are implying, that the reason that the records that they mix are in the top 100 is the use of gear, that's the causal chain that is implicit in your statements.

i.e.

In order to obtain a mix like what's been on the Billboard 100 charts like the most successful engineers in the world do, then you need to use the best gear and not your DAW's built in plugins.


That's what I took from your responses to me disagreeing with my basic premise.

BTW: I love how the regulars here prattle on about bullshit while the OP ignores the responses.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6476 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sat May 31, 2014 2:34 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:You are implying, that the reason that the records that they mix are in the top 100 is the use of gear


Nope, I didn't imply that. You'll notice that I'm no longer even having a discussion with you, I'm now just stopping you from adding words that I never said.
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ghettosynth
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4045 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 3:26 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Uncle E wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:You are implying, that the reason that the records that they mix are in the top 100 is the use of gear


Nope, I didn't imply that. You'll notice that I'm no longer even having a discussion with you, I'm now just stopping you from adding words that I never said.


Dude, do what you like, but you are most certainly inferring that the hot 100 mixes are materially different from other "professional" mixes and that gear makes the difference.You point blank stated that we were "talking about different things" and that you were thinking in terms of the hot 100 and that this was the difference in why you felt aftermarket plugins were necessary. I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to take away from that.

Are we to assume that the OP has just been told that he's going to have to mix the next MJ posthumous hit and he's here asking if the cubase compressor is up to scratch for the studio that he's outfitting? I doubt that. I bet money he's talking about his basement, like most of us. If he was actually capable of mixing a hot 100 record, he would never have posted the question in the first place.

The hot 100 is a red herring, OP is talking about can he compete with others at his level without spending more money, of course he can, if he learns to use what he has.
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Hink
Rad Grandad
 
24713 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.

Postby Hink; Sat May 31, 2014 4:30 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

reading this thread two things come to mind.

1. I'm glad I have Samplitude, with the tools that come with Pro X Suite I have all the bases covered with top notch FX and DP. I like it this way, I dont have to chase upgrades. Maybe in the future I when my mixing skills improve I'll see it differently. But no way would I regret using what I have used, I dont regret using a Radio Shack stereo reverb with one of the first 4-tracks made (Cutec). I dont regret obstacles and work arounds, recently I sad that I have been fortunate because technology seems to grow on a similar scale to my abilities and sometimes that meant some crap gear. I may not have written hits using it but I sure did learn and grow, dont care about much more than that. Any problems in my mixes are the result of a loose nut behind the controls.

2. Speaking of 4-tracks, Bruce Springsteen's album Nebraska...personally not a Springsteen fan but I recall him doing that on the Tascam Porta-Studio and he probably did use some top grade fx but on a porta-studio the use of too many fx I'm sure was not all that...just sayin

:)
New Song LBS
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9503 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Sat May 31, 2014 4:39 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:
jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:
jancivil wrote:
djscorb wrote:I think it's pretty clear what that the OP wants to know.

However, a better wording of his question might be;

"Can I make professional mixes using only stock DAW and FREE plugins or do i need to spend a lot of money?"

The answer to that would clearly be yes you can get pro results without spending extra cash on plugins.
My honest answer will be, "I don't know if you can get pro results to begin with". And 'pro results', what is that exactly? So as a thread, it becomes a wider issue for discussion. I think to try and frame people's remarks as 'changing the question' from the OP is a distorting maneuver as though in service of winning an argument and not too useful.

I also think the term professional results is pretty well understood in this context by most of us here. Could a professional and skilled engineer get great results with stock DAW and free plugins? I think yes.
"ghettosynth" replied to Uncle E, 'you're changing the question from the original' by bringing up ease of use.
I don't agree actually that 'Pro results' is completely meaningful in itself. As you reframe it, it looks reasonable. :shrug:
Some 'professional results' are not 'good' to me. I'm sensing an EDM proponent and too much of that stuff is really badly mixed, to me.

You can't dismiss my example so easily. I used EDM records as an easy to discuss and difficult to refute example but they are certainly not the only example. Now you are introducing your own subjectivity into the equation by saying that you "don't like the mix" of some of those records. So what, they were mixed to be successful in a specific environment and they did exactly that.
Now it's about your example? I sensed it in the OP, let me be clear. So look, the subjectivity is there, I didn't introduce it. Your example is subjective.
Now you're arguing for the sake of arguing, or like there's a right and wrong here.
The point is, 'pro result' and 'good mix' are confounded now. "Pro result" is through your argumentation objective? Whatever.
ghettosynth wrote:Most of us on these forums do not mix for a living, I don't, IIRC, you don't either. As the PRO has told you, a skilled engineer can get a "professional" mix with just the DAW's tools.
Which engineer; what is 'can get'; 'pro' for me is 'you got paid'. It seems like the goalpost moves from specific to general and back as it's convenient to your talking point. & per the original post we both cringe at 'pro result', so what are you after? I think 'could a skilled engineer get good results with stock Cubase 5 only? Yes.' (note my changes) isn't that bad a statement. It does reframe the OP 'pro result' question, though.
ghettosynth wrote:So sure, other tools may make producing better mixes easier for some of us but that doesn't imply an argument of necessity in general. Now, for specific effects, it may be the case that a particular necessary technology may be absent from your DAW's tools and you simply will not get that result without something else.
So we actually more or less agree but you want me to swallow 'doesn't imply an argument in general'. I agree that your general argument becomes specific as it needs to.
:shrug:
Last edited by jancivil on Sat May 31, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4045 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Sat May 31, 2014 4:51 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Hink wrote:
2. Speaking of 4-tracks, Bruce Springsteen's album Nebraska...personally not a Springsteen fan but I recall him doing that on the Tascam Porta-Studio and he probably did use some top grade fx but on a porta-studio the use of too many fx I'm sure was not all that...just sayin

:)


And some SM57s nice.

http://tascam.com/news/display/226/

Note, there were some "top grade effects" used to master, but, according to the article, just the sound of the space and an old echoplex for effects while recording. If the article is to be believed, it was mastered from a two track cassette. The mixdown deck was an old boombox that spent some time soaking in a river and stuck in some mud, it dried out and came back to life.

FWIW: This is probably a great example, if not the best, of a "professional mix" that isn't particularly "good." There are a LOT of problems with the mix but I don't think that you can call a record that goes platinum anything but "professional."
Last edited by ghettosynth on Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6476 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:00 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:you are most certainly inferring that the hot 100 mixes are materially different from other "professional" mixes and that gear makes the difference.


I brought up Billboard charts as a measure of what I consider to be professional level mixes. Nothing more.

You point blank stated that we were "talking about different things" and that you were thinking in terms of the hot 100 and that this was the difference in why you felt aftermarket plugins were necessary.


Yes, you were talking about mixes done with pre-RE Reason as being professional. This made me think that the gauge you're using to determine what is considered professional might be different than mine. There's nothing wrong with your gauge and I acknowledged right away that it's more accurate to the OP's literal question.

Are we to assume that the OP has just been told that he's going to have to mix the next MJ posthumous hit and he's here asking if the cubase compressor is up to scratch for the studio that he's outfitting?


As said before, I wasted my youth learning to engineer with crap gear. That might have been fine if my goal was to be an engineer but it wasn't, my goal was to be a musician and I only engineered because I couldn't afford to hire engineers. I wish somebody had told me to get a few quality key pieces and record everything with them, maybe I would have had an easier time making decent mixes and could have spent more time being a musician.
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Tp3
KVRAF
 
1574 posts since 7 Feb, 2007

Postby Tp3; Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:58 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

As said before, I wasted my youth learning to engineer with crap gear

Maybe you just honed your skills ? but then you attribute it to the gear that surrounds you ? (as if the gear operates itself...)
The whole notion of Analog vs Digital emulation has long gone haywire...
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6476 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:26 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Tp3 wrote:Maybe you just honed your skills ?


Yes but those weren't skills I wanted to hone. Even now, nearly two decades later, I do much better mixes on my desktop with all the UAD and Powercore plugins than I do on my laptop with Studio One's or Maschine's built-in plugins.
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djscorb
KVRist
 
332 posts since 3 May, 2007, from UK

Postby djscorb; Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:52 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

Yeah but surely your desktop is in your main studio space in the sweet spot.

Your laptop with headphones or elsewhere?

Why would you be using your laptop in your main studio space?

Tools aside, I've made plenty of mixes which were spot on using less plugins on a day I was really on it than some other track that was a real struggle with expensive "decent" plugins slapped on every channel.

One thing for sure is that stuff I am most happy with usually has the least amount of plugins on.

When you are working on your laptop surely you're in a different place; creatively, mentally and physically.

Cheers

Scorb
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AstralExistence
KVRAF
 
1941 posts since 19 Sep, 2011

Postby AstralExistence; Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:04 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

ghettosynth wrote:
Of course this is right, there is always a middle ground, but, the tools in cubase 5 are certainly sufficient to obtain a good recording.


im sorry but cubases vst fx plugins are garbage both in 5 and 7. studio ones are much better. not to mention that steinberg is annoying the way they keep using old code in whats marketed as new plugins in both there vst/i plugs. i wish they would stop that shit. cubase is not a professional daw anymore and is plagued by instability and bugs. if the idea of professional to is to master using cubase with out crashing then professional it is. the grove agent kits sound like gm drums. good riddance! allen morgan or not, his drum samples are the pits. they need to hire wave alchemy for modern drums and goldbaby for vintage stuff.
Last edited by AstralExistence on Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tp3
KVRAF
 
1574 posts since 7 Feb, 2007

Postby Tp3; Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:05 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

djscorb wrote:One thing for sure is that stuff I am most happy with usually has the least amount of plugins on.

Yea, me too.

It is usually like that.

It is at that point that you understand that the more you have (be it "PRO" stuff or amateur rubbish) the less SKILL you use.

Uncle E wrote:Yes but those weren't skills I wanted to hone.

Your skills don't really ask you to be honed. they just do :D
The whole notion of Analog vs Digital emulation has long gone haywire...
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6476 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:36 pm Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

djscorb wrote:Yeah but surely your desktop is in your main studio space in the sweet spot.


No, that's not it. I often use my laptop in the same room.

Your laptop with headphones or elsewhere?


PMC TB2's, Yamaha NS10M's, B&W 602's, Dynaudio BM6's, and Tannoy System 800's. For headphones, I use Sony V900's and AIAIAI's.

Why would you be using your laptop in your main studio space?


To check the work that I did when I was out.

Tools aside, I've made plenty of mixes which were spot on using less plugins on a day I was really on it than some other track that was a real struggle with expensive "decent" plugins slapped on every channel.


Can you post an example?

When you are working on your laptop surely you're in a different place; creatively, mentally and physically.


That's true. I do enjoy working on my laptop, it's just that I concentrate more on writing in that case and focus on the original elements, not the mix.
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ghettosynth
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4045 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:07 am Re: Mixing with the DAW's plugins

"I use Sylenth, one compressor, Ableton Live and its basic effects. I like to keep it super simple. It's actually pretty boring but it works for me and it keeps me making music."


Says Flume, ARIA producer of the year 2013.
http://www.musicradar.com/us/news/tech/ ... 013-587027

He goes on:

"I'd probably say, don't make the mistake of thinking you need heaps of equipment. A lot of people say they can't produce without awesome monitors, and maybe do a remix they don't like and blame it on having shitty monitors, but it's a poor workman that blames his tools.

"You don't really need jack shit; you just need to learn how to use Ableton Live or whatever DAW you feel comfortable on. I think all the DAWs are good. There isn't one that's ultimately superior to the others. Whatever you know and whatever works for you is what you should use."


I've seen the same advice come from a lot of the EDM guys that are making and selling records, i.e., are producing "professional" mixes.

YMMV.
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