Forums > MaxMSP

Mixing console with aux sends through computer (slightly OT?)

June 26, 2007 | 1:26 pm

Hi everyone,

If I may, I should like to tap into this vast pool of collective experience, to see if I can avoid causing a lot of trouble for myself trying to realize this little idea I’ve had.

What I want to do is to mix my DAW recordings with an analog mixing console, then feeding the output (the mono or stereo mix) from the console back into the sound card again to record it with e.g. Max/MSP or maybe even the same DAW.

Now, my question is, is it wise, or even advisable, to feed the AUX sends from the console back into the sound card to use them with software effects (e.g. through Max/MSP patches or, say, built-in Logic plug-ins) and then back again into the mixer throught the AUX return.

The whole point of this (for those scratching their heads at this point) would simply be to gain a more tactile, hands-on feeling when adding effects to the tracks, and to be able to mix MSP effects with DAW effects without the hassle of software-based routing.

Or am I going to cause myself a lot of grief trying to pull this off? Am I ignoring some obvious problem here?

I’d be most grateful for any input you might have, and I do apologise if this topic only regards Max/MSP in a quite oblique manner…

Finally I’ll just sketch my proposed set-up:

Logic 7 sending an 8-track output through MOTU Ultralite —-> Mackie Mixing console —-> back through the MOTU to record mix (mono or L/R).

Mackie AUX sends through other MOTU (I have 2) —-> diverse effects, Max/MSP, MSP-built stand-alones, Logic plugs —–> back again through AUX return to enter the channel strips.

Oh, this turned out to be a long post… again, thanks for any thoughts you might have.

Kristian


June 26, 2007 | 5:54 pm

Here are a couple of thoughts:

1. I don’t think you’re going to find the solution you propose significantly less troublesome than software patching via Soundflower, etc. You’ll still have to set up routings to/from the mixing console and possibly re-patch. I just don’t see that as a big time-saver.

2. You’re going to add multiple D/A & A/D conversions to your path, each of which will add some amount of delay on those tracks, as well as conceivably alter the quality of your audio (though if you’re happy with the converters in your interfaces, this latter factor may not be a problem). The timing issue is more troublesome for your aux sends/returns. If the conversion and signal processing result in a significant amount of time delay, you’ll get some phase-related coloration of the signal, which is unlikely to sound better than keeping things within the computer. This will be especially problematic any time you don’t return a 100% wet signal.

3. If you were going out of the computer to access the summing buss of a world-class mixing console, that would make sense to me. It’s actually reasonably common practice in studios with large-format SSL/Neve/AMEK/etc. consoles to take stems out of Pro Tools for summing on the expensive desks. Personally, I’d rather mix within the DAW than go through a Mackie console. Your mileage may vary.

4. Perhaps you already own all the gear in question, but might it make more sense to purchase a high-quality control surface? That would give you tactile control while allowing you to remain within the computer at all times.

Hope that helps, and good luck,
EH

Quote: Vinter wrote on Tue, 26 June 2007 08:26
—————————————————-
> Hi everyone,
>
> If I may, I should like to tap into this vast pool of collective experience, to see if I can avoid causing a lot of trouble for myself trying to realize this little idea I’ve had.
>
> What I want to do is to mix my DAW recordings with an analog mixing console, then feeding the output (the mono or stereo mix) from the console back into the sound card again to record it with e.g. Max/MSP or maybe even the same DAW.
>
> Now, my question is, is it wise, or even advisable, to feed the AUX sends from the console back into the sound card to use them with software effects (e.g. through Max/MSP patches or, say, built-in Logic plug-ins) and then back again into the mixer throught the AUX return.
>
> The whole point of this (for those scratching their heads at this point) would simply be to gain a more tactile, hands-on feeling when adding effects to the tracks, and to be able to mix MSP effects with DAW effects without the hassle of software-based routing.
>
> Or am I going to cause myself a lot of grief trying to pull this off? Am I ignoring some obvious problem here?
>
> I’d be most grateful for any input you might have, and I do apologise if this topic only regards Max/MSP in a quite oblique manner…
>
> Finally I’ll just sketch my proposed set-up:
>
> Logic 7 sending an 8-track output through MOTU Ultralite —-> Mackie Mixing console —-> back through the MOTU to record mix (mono or L/R).
>
> Mackie AUX sends through other MOTU (I have 2) —-> diverse effects, Max/MSP, MSP-built stand-alones, Logic plugs —–> back again through AUX return to enter the channel strips.
>
> Oh, this turned out to be a long post… again, thanks for any thoughts you might have.
>
> Kristian
>
>
>
—————————————————-


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