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  #1  
Old 01-11-2023, 01:10 PM
scremedy scremedy is offline
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Default Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

As my subject suggests, I own two Carbons (used in two different studios) for tracking, but I miss having a desk for the joy of having a desk. Thus i'm considering either an API 1608 or The Box 2. I have not read/seen any articles around using Carbon and it's DB25 interfaces with an analog desk. Are there any reasons why this wouldn't work? Any suggested workflows?

Thanks much.
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Old 01-16-2023, 07:42 AM
trimix trimix is offline
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Default Re: Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

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Originally Posted by scremedy View Post
As my subject suggests, I own two Carbons (used in two different studios) for tracking, but I miss having a desk for the joy of having a desk. Thus i'm considering either an API 1608 or The Box 2. I have not read/seen any articles around using Carbon and it's DB25 interfaces with an analog desk. Are there any reasons why this wouldn't work? Any suggested workflows?

Thanks much.
I think being a console guy directly led to me being a Carbon early adopter. I like a tape machine style tracking workflow, so my preferred routing is to set the first aux on each track as a unity direct out to a channel on the desk. I'm using a 16x8 Trident Trimix with the control room mix on the faders and cue mixes on the aux sends, so I'm experimenting with mix blends and EQ'ing from the moment we get the mics up. Carbon lets me hear those inputs latency free and preserves that monitor mix while doing punch-ins without any latency work-arounds, as deciding what's working within a given mix as it's going down is kind of the whole game to me.
Similarly, I've started to lean into subgroup processing on the desk during tracking, then printing those stems back to PTs as we move through the overdub process to capture the context those decisions were made in. I'll typically end up with a 'split' style PT session, with a lot of mono unprocessed tracks on the left and multiple stereo group tracks on the right that have the console EQ + outboard dynamics and effects printed on them. I can go back to the raw tracks if we change direction, but typically I'm building left to right on the decisions made throughout the recording process to where the final mix is about finessing the dynamics between parts of the song, not carving it out from the raw tracks.
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Old 01-18-2023, 12:39 AM
scremedy scremedy is offline
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Default Re: Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

Thanks TriMix for your info. May I ask, are you round tripping 16 channels to your trident via the ADAT to AD/DA or 8 channels via DB25? Sounds like you have hardware that you route / effect and print back so perhaps 8 channels is enough ?

Appreciate your info.

Scott
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:06 PM
trimix trimix is offline
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Default Re: Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

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Originally Posted by scremedy View Post
Thanks TriMix for your info. May I ask, are you round tripping 16 channels to your trident via the ADAT to AD/DA or 8 channels via DB25? Sounds like you have hardware that you route / effect and print back so perhaps 8 channels is enough ?

Appreciate your info.

Scott
I use the 8 line outs on DB25 plus both ADAT outs feeding a MOTU 16A at 96k for D/A. Generally, the 8 line ins on DB25 are enough for capturing stems back.
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Old 01-19-2023, 12:55 AM
scremedy scremedy is offline
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Default Re: Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

Much obliged for your info Trimix. Have not run into many stories of this integration. Best.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2024, 07:23 PM
noah330 noah330 is offline
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Default Re: Integrating Analog desk (such as API The Box 2) with Carbon

I'm using The Box (4 channels) with Carbon.

I'm running an SSL AlphaLink via ADAT, which runs to the 16 channels of summing. I really wish Carbon had 24 ADAT instead of 16, because I've got 8 channels sitting there doing nothing.

With a console and Carbon plan on a patch bay. I have two.

I can do direct out of Box into 4 Carbon inputs. I added 550 and 560, so it's four channels with EQ. Recently, I added an API 3124 and a lunchbox. I use a pair of BAE 1073s and a pair of Trident EQs - so eight great-sounding preamps.

Using The Box 1-8 I can get all the ins I need. With the SSL, I could either get 16 more analog ins or use the insert points on The Box as well. It's not something I need, but it's nice to know I have them.

Where the real magic happens is during mixdown. When I run my tracks into The Box via ADAT something magical happens. I run 16 tracks out of ProTools (usually a mix of individual and subgroups) into The Box and use its compressors on my master, which I run back into ProTools by patching the Program Buss out into two Carbon ins.

The cool thing is that during mixdown, The Box lets you patch into the summing channels. So (for example) I can use my 500 eqs or hardware comps (2 LA-2A, 1 1176, 2 160As) as needed.

The Box has one thing I don't like - no FX returns. It has sends but no returns. I'm using an old LARC, so I have that on my patchbay. When I was using Omni, I had it SPDF, but there were issues with the word clock shutting down my 300, which would have to be reset. Running it analog has solved the problem.

One neat trick I've started doing is to setup the 527s on a mix and print without them. Then, I'll run the final mix to sum 1 & 2 and use the insets to do some eq (Ultraviolet until I can afford some Pultec) and then engage the comps. This puts any final eq before the compressor and seems to work well. If needed I'll do the same thing but use Weiss ITB before the mix goes out of the box to The Box.

All in all, I love The Box. It blows my mind how good mixes sound running into it. It's like those old THX commercials. I used to have an Omni and A2D, which was cool. The Box is unreal.

YMMV





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