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Old 02-11-2009, 02:21 PM
Maskeeper Maskeeper is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 158
Default Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

Any time I talk post production work flows with people, I always tend to hear the same phases about what "everybody else does" - however the actual processes they are insisting are used by the masses are often as varied as the people making the claim...

So I figured I'd go to some horses mouths and ask how you're doing it. While I wouldn't claim I'm a seasoned vet, i think I've seen the basic system setups and they seem to fall into one of two main categories:

Mix in the box, stay in the box.

Folks working on DAW systems like ProTools, mixing their material using these systems and routing the finished mixed material internally and re-recording into that same system -- using one system simultaneously as both the playback and the re-record system. The finished materials are digital files.

Mix in one world, print in another.

Folks, most of them still on DAW systems like Pro Tools, mixing the material and instead routing their finished mixed materials into a seperate system for re-recording. Some of the secondary recording systems including things like:
- Audio Tape Decks (i.e. DA88)
- Digital Hard Disc Dubber Decks (i.e. Tascam MX2424, DADR-5000)
- Secondary DAW (i.e. Second Pro Tools System)
- Direct To Video Layback (i.e. outputting from mix session direct to video tape deck)

I just wondered how the majority of you work - and if you experience limitations or problems in your chosen work flow.
Supervising Sound Editor - Los Angeles
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:49 PM
cjguitar cjguitar is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Sunland, CA
Posts: 561
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

We do a combination of 1 & 2. We're a two man/two system operation. Dialog and Music on one machine, FX and Foley on the second machine. Third machine is Video Satellite LE. We usually record all stems/printmasters into the main (Dialog) rig. Dialog, Music and FX + PM, etc. The drawbacks to this situation is the additional DSP/voices needed for all of the 5.1 tracks, as well as the routing, Dolby plugins, etc. Plus you need bigger/faster hard drives to handle playing back the mix as well as recording 25+ tracks of audio at the same time. If Sound FX need to be split out more (BG's, Hard FX, Foley, etc.) I'll often record all those in the FX machine. We've worked on some decent sized features with 100+ tracks per side in the last few years, and it has always worked out, but eventually it would be nice to have a third system to record to at some point.
Chris M. Jacobson, CAS
Re-recording Mixer, Sound Designer
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:06 PM
epm epm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 130
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

100% of our spot work is printed on the same system it's mixed on. Though in addition to printing stems in protools, we also do direct to video laybacks from the mix sessions. Long format goes either way depending on the size of the project, but always printing stems inside of protools or on another protools system.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:59 PM
emf1138 emf1138 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 532
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

My mix room has 1 PT HD5 system, so I am always re-recording my stems back into the same session. Whether it be a TV LtRt mix (usually 5-6 stereo tracks) or a DTV 5.1 (usually 25 tracks for the 5.1 stems and another 4-5 stereo tracks for the simo LtRts), I've had great success recording back into the same session. This is all off of a single FW800 drive.
Eric Freeman, CAS
Sound Supervisor/Re-Recording Mixer
Disney TV Animation
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:28 AM
jmattchan jmattchan is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 124
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

we are all in the box. 2 rigs - each recording their stems within their own sessions. never had any problems with it. we're considering getting a 3rd system for stem recording. a few freelance mixers have requested it in the past and we've brought in an extra system on those occasions..
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:54 AM
postprosound postprosound is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 198
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

For us, If it's low budget, then we almost always mix in the box. If we have different editors on dialogue and fx, normally, the sessions are pretty narrow, so we just make one 'uber' session, and mix that. The larger budget features we work on are mixed on either a Neve DFC or a Euphonix, and obviously get printed during predubs, etc... One trend i have seen, though is the move away from Akais, at least here in NY, (i know, we're finally catching up) and recording to a dedicated PT rig. One mixer even has those stems put back into the dialogue or fx editor's sessions, and then they are confo-ed by the editor, and played back during the finals from the dialoge, fx etc machines.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:56 PM
georgia georgia is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: NY,NY
Posts: 1,859
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

we perform stem printing in the box, and mult to Dolby DMU, and when requested DA98HR or similar tape. Any other stem printing is handled off-line.

georgia hilton CAS MPSE MPE

Hilton Media Management

Film Doctors http://www.filmdoctors.com
Me... http://georgiahilton.webs.com/
Stage 32 http://www.stage32.com/profile/6569/georgia-hilton
My Production Company http://www.hiltonmm.com

CREDITS (partial) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0385255/resume
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:06 PM
EarHole EarHole is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 843
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

I print in the box as well. If I have time I set it up so I can just hit the record button when finished and print the mix & stems all at the same time.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:14 AM
matt-o- matt-o- is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 227
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

Depends on the mixing stage, here in Germany. One Stage, which is mixed Fairlight and ProTools, finally has a dedicated PT-Recorder, which works fine and all connections are routable inside the MPC. Another stage usually records the stems and premixes to Tascam2424, but it is also possible to record on the ProTools System.

Usually I prefer recording to ProTools, because the handling of the material is way easier, if it is recorded inside ProTools, instead of importing from Tascam or MFX.
All smaller scale mixes I do in my private studio or in other studios is usually recorded in the box.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:51 AM
Noiz2 Noiz2 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Detroit MI & SF CA
Posts: 1,989
Default Re: Printing Stems/Mixes: What is "everybody" doing?

I print into the same session also. This is mostly ad's low budget films, though the ad's we usually are printing premixes to go to a stage not doing the final mix. With bigger projects that were headed to a stage I have done premixes and built a dedicated mix session. On the stage we were recording to dubbers.
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