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  #1  
Old 09-24-2015, 10:02 PM
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Default How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

Addmitedly, this may be a dumb question. But, I've always always mixed in the box or on a digital console, I've always wondered...

What is the process for using an analog mixer in Protools? How are the inputs and output routed (both to and from Protools)?

When you see guys mixing on older large format analog consoles and still using Protools, what is their method for assigning the console input channel strips to a Protools channel during the mix?

Or are most of them just using the console as the input device and routing the direct output of each channel to an input to the Protools interface? And then once the audio is on the hard drive, they are just mixing in the box?

I understand this process when using a digital console, or a cntrol surface. I'm just wndering what the process is when using an analog console.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2015, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

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Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
I understand this process when using a digital console,

Essentially it's the same. And there are many ways to do it.

1. PT strictly as a Multitrack recorder. 1 channel on the console per track in PT, both In and Out.
2. Console as a "front end" to your system, basically pres and EQ/DYN for recording, then all ITB from there.
3. Opposite of #2, lots of tracking of individual mics, but then each track out to the console for mixing/summing.
4. any combination in between. i.e. drums individually out to the desk while everything else comes out in groups, or is mixed all ITB.

Really, there are no rules. Do what you like/need. Of course you do have to be careful about things like adding compression on the console to a track coming from PT that has automation on it. Your automation will be "pre" compression instead of the normal post like if you did on the desk.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:03 AM
elicious elicious is offline
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

Just to add what Drew says
since, based on your other threads, it looks like you're trying to set up your own studio.

you can run all signals through a patchbay.

In the patchbay the connections can be "normalled" between either ProTools or an analog deck and the analog desk.
that way there's no need to run cables, ins and outs are already patched in,
and when you want to patch around it, that's easily done at the patch bay.

(we also use an Elco connector so we can switch between ProTools or a Studer multi track as the tape deck.
In our case, with 192's we have 24 in and 24 out to match the analog machine.
or you could add a 2 track deck to bounce mixes through, as well. )

When tracking, all the mic pre's on the analog console are in the mic position,
and then simply reverse those to line in when mixing through the board,
or use the small faders to create a monitor mix.

In the old days you would set all the ProTools faders at zero
and then do all the level balancing from the analog board;
that's no longer necessary, you can use the automation from ProTools quite well.

And of course the nice thing is once the signal is out in the analog world
it's easy to patch in things like 1176's or other hardware processors.
e
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:23 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is online now
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

Not a dumb question at all Good stuff already, but I will add this for consideration; if you don't have an HD, HDN or HDX setup with plenty of analog IO, I wouldn't bother, unless you have a small desk that sounds really good, and will use it just for analog summing.

As for hardware inserts, again, unless you have lots of IO, its pretty tough to find hardware these days that doesn't have a really good virtual replacement(and my Waves Puigchild cost a boatload less than a Fairchild at $18K). I use a few hardware compressors for tracking, but also mix all ITB.

Every time I start thinking about an analog mixer, I just look at the control surfaces that are available and the old mixer idea goes out the window pretty quick for me If I can find the cash, an s3 will do a lot more for me than any analog console I can afford(if you can buy a Neve....I am all for it)
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

I would be fine mixing everything in the box also, and just use a control surface. I think it makes for sense with the automation ability in Protools also and automated faders and settings, etc..

My partner on this project likes the idea of a big analog console. We'll see if I can't persuade him change his mind on that.

Having said that, I'm still just a little mystified about the actual hook, routing and operation of the analog console/DAW set up.

Anyone have a system diagram for such a system that they would like to share?
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

IMO, there isn't a newer analog console that's worth it. They all lack the sound of the older consoles and many don't even have recall features. A few summing boxes with a tone may work better ala Chandler minimixer, burl b32, aurora audio sidecar, etc.

Older consoles with a sound come with a whole host of other issues. High electric bills, maintenance costs, and HVAC.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

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Originally Posted by Wall2Wall View Post
IMO, there isn't a newer analog console that's worth it.
What about the newer hybrid consoles from SSL? Like the AWS?
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2015, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

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Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
What about the newer hybrid consoles from SSL? Like the AWS?
For me it would be a question of "is it the best way to spend the $ at this time". If money was no object, sure.

I wouldn't buy one looking for sound and tone. Running some stems through a Chandler MiniMixer will easily give you more sound and tone. But if you want the flexibility of a console, especially if you record bands/orchestras, it's a good choice. Tracking is where a console cannot be beat. The DAW control is rudimentary, but recall is pretty fast with so little channels. Really good on electricity too. Whatever you decide get an in person extended demo beforehand.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

Apogee Symphony I/O into a Burl B32 into an API 2500 here and it feels/sounds like a console to me!!
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:48 AM
RiffVomit RiffVomit is offline
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Default Re: How do you use an analog mixer with Protools?

Hello all! I am recently running into something almost exactly the same. I want to use my Yamaha MG16 in conjunction with Pro tools. Someone once said routing from mic / line source to the main channel input that running from the inserts to the interface(s) would work, and I found that they do ok if I’m doing like a studio recording and not running the mixer through my power amps for vocals, etc. when trying to do a “live recording”. When I attempt this with a “live” recording for a band, the inserts mute my main outputs and monitor outs for whatever channel I have the insert plugged into. Right now I’m basically summing them from the aux. sends (1 & 2) to two inputs on the interface as a stereo track and that’s where and what it prints. Is there another way to do this and still hear what the band needs through the PA while ensuring I can get each channel into and individual track for mixing and edit purposes? I’m currently running PT19 with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and Octo Pre. Any advice would be highly appreciated!
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