"Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
logancircle
tinnitus
Posts: 1091
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 8:45 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

"Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by logancircle » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:25 pm

There is a risk when tracking instruments/vocals/drums through a channel strip? I've always liked it, when I had access to one.
I'm in the market for something basic -- dbx 286s, ART Pro Channel II or something on that level.

Any recommendations for an all-around channel strip?
Image
You get it. A lil analog squeeze and shine goes a long way to "Getting It Correct" before it ever hits the A/D converters. It is risky, but it's fun. Less/no saturation/coloration plugins in DAW, and less cleanup later.

Anymore when mixing, the tracks I get from people are already well cared-for, and that's very nice. Not overly-processed, but just right.

Thanks!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I run the recording & video studio at the DC PUBLIC LIBRARY in Washington, DC. We have good days and bad.
IG: stormydanielson

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

User avatar
joninc
deaf.
Posts: 1899
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:02 pm
Location: canada
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by joninc » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:40 pm

i'm gonna try and say this in a non-gearslutz kinda way

bottom line is "if YOU think it sounds cooler - go for it". Whatever is inspiring you is good.

I'm a big proponent of commiting to sounds on the way in and using as much outboard as I can get my hands on while tracking to make things sound great and therefore inspired better performances and therefore get a better end result. What's the risk?

HOWEVER - i've sold off almost all gear that is "transparent" and lacking in "character" and "mojo" as I've found it is no better than plug ins and in some cases a lot worse.

I've owned a lot of the cheaper stuff that gets talked about like RNC, RNP, ART TUBE preamps... as I've had $ to replace with better gear. Over time my ears have also developed and I have a different point of view now on what I think sounds good and why.

So my opinion now in retrospect would be to wait longer and buy higher quality things, "

1 at a time, as you can afford them

and learn them really well.

Start with a great pre amp. There's a lot of good choices - 500 series, whatever.

Then add a compressor and then maybe later an eq.

Hopefully you have at least a decent mic or 2 - don't have to be expensive - an SM7 is a GREAT MIC.

Learn to place that mic in the best spot possible - and don't clip your converters going in!

I just don't think a ART, Presonus, or DBX channel strip is gonna sound way better than a Focusrite scarlett pre amp and a few WAVES plugins (or whatever) for $29 will give you some decent compression (CLA-2A or CLA-76 for starters) and then some plug in eqs. SO many of the native plugins that come with DAWs are already really good and some are even kinda vibey.

That's my 2 cents!
the new rules : there are no rules

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:17 am

I have a Universal Audio LA-610 - probably closest to "channel strip" that I own - and I use it quite a bit. Great for some vocals and some bass tracks. The EQ is limited, but the pre and comp are nice. I've also got a Yamaha PM1000 that has pre and EQ, but no comp... so not a full channel strip I suppose. otherwise I also choose a pre I want to color (or not color) on the way in, and then do the rest in the box.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2617
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by kslight » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:19 am

I’ll be totally honest, I’m in the “not convinced that any of the above brands will add any of the kind of mojo that I want to commit to” category. Yes, I’ve owned or used some of them.

I do agree that committing to sounds is a preferable way to work, just not sure that these are the way I would go.

User avatar
logancircle
tinnitus
Posts: 1091
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 8:45 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by logancircle » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:15 am

I get what you're saying about these units not being much better than plugins (if you dive deep into how to really use plugins). I think I'll wait!
I used to have the original Grace 101 pre and it was better than my Mbox :blush:
joninc wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:40 pm
Learn to place that mic in the best spot possible - and don't clip your converters going in!
Mic placement is the ultimate EQ! That took a long time to learn, but it's the most fun part about having a modest home studio situation (2 mics, 3-day-vacation, parents out of town, neighbors overseas, big open house) You have to get in there like a scientist and move the mics around.
As far as
learning well
compression took me a long time to learn, how to play one off of another in series, etc. I agree that, once learned, you can get good results with a couple of Dyn3 and some EQ.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I run the recording & video studio at the DC PUBLIC LIBRARY in Washington, DC. We have good days and bad.
IG: stormydanielson

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6765
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by drumsound » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:32 pm

After doing this for a while you start to know what you want from tracks. There's nothing wrong with tracking with compression or EQ. In some ways, it helps to inform the rest of the production. You want to fit each overdub into what is already recorded. So, if you've committed a sounds early, you can make sure easier decisions as the productions evolves. Its a big part of the reason I like to do basic with multiple people. You can hear more of the whole, and make better decisions on sounds as well as performance.

To that end, we all must remember that we need to start at at the source. Swap instruments,and sometimes change the part, some things need a different amp or pedal. Then think about mics and placements, EQ, compressors, and whatnot.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by vvv » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:08 pm

I really like my Pre/Comp/EQ Meeks, the VC1Q for everything but especially vox, and the VC3Q mic'd and DI bass. They're like, instant colour green to me, thick and kinda gooey.

I also think the Eureka is one of the best available hardware deals going, pretty transparent if ya want, but able to color, also; it's a go-to for me on vox when I want to hear the mic (a nice tube or ribbon or FET mic, in particular).

That said, I do my drums recordings with a ZOOM R16, and then process ITB, as a matter of convenience and due to space limitations.

If I could, I'd use a pair of Eureka's on OH's, my 1589b Altec into a compressor (1176?) on snare, and the VC1Q on kick (I'm just riffing this).

BTW, an 1176 can be used without a pre (I've DI'd bass and it works well); I'm sure some other 'pressors can be, also.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4877
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:22 pm

logancircle wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:25 pm
Any recommendations for an all-around channel strip?
Thanks!
These are great and not horrifically expensive for what they are.

Don't waste your money on the ones you mention.

https://heritageaudio.net/#

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

User avatar
losthighway
deaf.
Posts: 1923
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Re: "Getting it right on the way in": Channel strips, risk

Post by losthighway » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:35 pm

I think some people above were kind of getting at this:

There's nothing wrong with doctoring a signal on the way in if you know what you want and you trust what you're hearing/deciding.

This is not channel strip dependent. I'd take a good pre and a dbx 160 over a lot of the prosumer all-in-ones. The channel strip could also be a few separate boxes you cultivate over time.

Or you can buy my Focusrite Trakmaster on the cheap. It's not going to do bad things to your recordings, but if you stay in the game long enough, you'll end up selling it later.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests