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Thread: DAW vs Physical Hardware

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    a lot of my likes of hardware is embarrassing due to I like the mic plugs in the front! that seems supremely lazy.
    I have had a firepod interface for so many years it's almost vintage. But it has one feature that makes it enormously useful, and that is its inputs are on the front panel, and the inputs are all the combo type. That means at arms length I can swap in and out microphones, instruments and line-ins easily and conveniently. This is in contrast to interfaces whose inputs are at the back, or maybe just one or two inputs at the front. Having combo inputs on the back defeats the purpose of having them. They effectively become single-use inputs, because having to scrabble around the back to swap things round. And even a patch bay doesn't help, because you have to have choose either jack or XLR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post

    Most of the FX racks I see in articles about top studios contain gear that costs a shit load of money. Some of it so rare and venerated it is almost beyond bucks!


    That pretty much spells it out for me, unless your gonna go for the big bucks studio and get that extra 10% in sound quality just stay ITB and have great mics.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    Two thoughts, I won't argue what is best, because I really don't know. But I will say this, the journey is very important. I like the convenience of not having to plug in stuff, mess with miles of cables, but focus on what I am doing and using the same track and throwing crap on there, turning the controllers and hearing what I have.

    That is not to say, what I don't like, someone else loves. Lights flickering, needles bouncing, the smell of electronics in the room. All kinds of stuff happening. I can see the thrill of that as well.

    The journey is very important.
    Very valid points you bring up. The creative process is influenced by the environment one is in. If having gear rather than just a laptop, a 2 channel interface, a mic and a bunch of plugins (which can be used to do whole albums), makes you feel good and creative, you'll do better.
    The journey is important.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    The journey is very important.
    Yes...very much so, the journey is very important....but then, so is the final destination.

    Right now I have more ITB shit than I care to try and itemize, and I work in the DAW a lot. It's a fantastic editing/comping/fixing tool.
    That said, as I move forward with a new studio build...I'm going to include all the rack gear I currently have (well, I'll probably weed out some of the stuff I don't use or that's not blowing my skirt up)...and I plan to buy into more/better rack gear.

    TBH...I think for most folks, the choice between ITB or OTB or some combination of the two, all rests on budget and available space, and not so much on what's better.
    Folks that have no budget (or space) will swear that ITB is the best way to go...and folks that can throw down some serious bucks, will opt for much more involved OTB rigs, because they DO add something and they CAN sound better than a lot of the $29 plugins.

    I like both, but I'm kind all full up on plugins, most of which I don't even use, and I find myself going back more and more to the rack gear these days.
    Not saying the ITB stuff is shit...I get plenty of use out of it...but I just don't buy into the notion that you can replace a complete studio experience with a computer and some software....so yes, the whole journey is very important and where you end up too!
    Again...it all comes down to budgets and how far you want to take things...and then you find your level and settle into it, and for you, it becomes "the best" it's going to ever be...and that's fine.

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  6. #25
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    I like both, the small hybrid setup works well for me now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Folks that have no budget (or space) will swear that ITB is the best way to go...and folks that can throw down some serious bucks, will opt for much more involved OTB rigs, because they DO add something and they CAN sound better than a lot of the $29 plugins..
    I think that's a fair statement.

    Hey, if I had the bucks, I'd still be running 2inch reels of tape on Otari 24 tracks. Then I'd have 2 or 3 synched. I'd have techs and helpers and another engineer just to consult with over our tube Neve board in the other room or route it so the SSL board in this room.

    If I had the bucks, which I don't.

    Heck, I've had my lifetime fill of keyboard and mouse. If I had the bucks, my place would look and smell like Pinewood or Abbey Road or some high-amperage, tube toasting, head demagnetizing studio like those, and my staff would keep it in top nick. Okay, yes a full complement of top flight digital fx and synths, but only those with a comprehensive interface. The computer would be used for billing.

    Budget, budget, budget. It all comes down to that.

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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponder5 View Post
    Budget, budget, budget. It all comes down to that.
    Yeah.
    I wasn't really trying to state the obvious...but I think the obvious is often not mentioned or forgotten when people start posting their views on what they think is better.
    Like you (and me)...I'm sure most would embrace a full-tilt, rack-filled home studio if their budgets allowed.
    I also don't put equal weight on the opinions of folks who have only known a computer based studio, with maybe just some very basic OTB gear included...for them to say which is better or more preferable.
    We only know what we know.

    Is there a rationale for still going with lots of outboard and consoles and all that if you DO have the budget...or just keeping it ITB anyway...?
    Well, I think that's for each person to decide.

    I've got both options, and it's not been a difficult decision for me to keep the OTB and even expand on it, AFA my budget will allow. Maybe it's because I started into recording before "digital" was even a word anyone used in the same sentence with "audio" and "recording", or for me there is a touch of that nostalgia or whatever that keeps my interest in the outboard and the analog stuff going...but there's also been a lot of folks turning back to OTB and/or hybrid setups rather than just completely ITB. That also includes some of the younger guys who only knew ITB, but over time as they chased particular music styles and sounds, they came to the conclusion that going a bit "retro" would work better than just trying to stay ITB...and most that have, appear to stay with it.
    I can't say enough for the hybrid approach if you can swing it...both at the front end and the back end of your production process.

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponder5 View Post
    I think that's a fair statement.
    The statement gives two reasons for going ITB: budget and space. They may well be the reasons for some people to make that choice. But they are not the only reasons. I have space and budget, but I have little interest in hardware. I like the compactness and integration of operating ITB. While some enjoy the tactile experience of physical knobs and sliders, I'm happy with keyboard and mouse.

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    ...I'm happy with keyboard and mouse.
    You are certainly in the minority!
    I know many who like ITB...but generally most of them hate having to use the keyboard and mouse.

    AFA the choice to go ITB...for most it IS about budget and space especially in the home rec world.
    Last edited by miroslav; 03-23-2019 at 21:38.

  12. #30
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    I would still contend, budget or not, you buy a piece of hardware or a plugin because you are chasing sound. Always looking for that "something" that you will either get with a plugin or a piece of hardware. Very few buy anything just to be buying it. Some promise of better mixes, new sounds, ??? and therefore we continue to look.

    For me right now, I haven't really purchased anything for a couple of years mainly because what I have should get me pretty close to where I want to be and I am not there. I think we all agree there is no magic hardware/software that will just bring it all together. But for some, you have reached a level where you are now looking for special "spices" to make the recipe improved. But at the basics, ITB or OTB it is EQ, compression, reverb, delay, with focus on source and mixing environment. Now that said, just using those items should get you a really good mix, but it requires a lot of research and experimenting. You have to do the time.

    Anyone reading this that doesn't understand the items mentioned, needs to do research and experimentation. $60 bucks from Reaper and it gives you that (I think most DAWs give you that). Once you understand that, then you will get a good mix. The rest really is flavor to taste.

    Maybe I slid off the track on this post. I just thing the "what is better" doesn't make much since, if you know what you are doing it is always going to be good in or out.

    I do like when people are working with new gear and sharing with us their experience. Because hardware is not software and hardware is still pretty cool.
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