Audio Engineering

My Journey Mixing ITB: Mixing with No Outboard or Summing

Comments (12)
  1. ljemusic says:

    I empathize with your journey Warren. What made me commit to in the box was less to do with mixing and reduced space and costs but more to do with the increased opportunity to edit, re arrange and generally change sounds and recordings so easily. With your help I have developed my own work process for consistent results. I couldn’t envisage going back to the old ways now.

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @plap-disqus-25ddc0f8c9d3e22e03d3076f98d83cb2:disqus Fantastic! That’s wonderful to hear! So glad to be able to help in any way I can! The Academy has been so incredible for all of us to be able to share ideas together! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  2. L Scott Knight says:

    Are you entertaining the idea of moving in the box fully? Sure you’d save duckets on electricity bills but can you really give up such a sweet lover as your ol’ SSL?

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @l_scott_knight:disqus Yes you are correct about those SSL electricity bills!! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

      1. L Scott Knight says:

        Well, I hope you are in no hurry to let it go. I guess I need to get the course to contribute to the cause. Haha.

        1. Warren Huart says:

          Haha no real hurry @l_scott_knight:disqus! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  3. Gustavo says:

    You know Warren, for a lot of people there’s no choice! If you live in a country where the dollar conversion rate and import taxes are very unfavorable, there’s no choice: you have to work ITB! So, thank you for sharing your knowledge, and thanks to all the software developers (plugin and DAWs) for making it happen!!

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @gustavojustusdoamarante:disqusNecessity is the mother of invention!! Yes there’s so many amazing plug ins out there! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  4. 3rdstone says:

    I’m about halfway through the second vid, great stuff, very in-depth! I’m going to enjoy mixing this…
    Nice to know the back-story on the writing, although I think the song stands up on it’s own too, I dig it. 🙂

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @plap-disqus-58a2fc6ed39fd083f55d4182bf88826d:disqus wow glad the course is working for you my friend! Thanks for the kind words! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

  5. Gary Regnier says:

    Hi Warren, I would firstly like to say congrats on your Youtube and PLAP successes. I have watched most of your content and like many people I have had the pleasure to work with over the years your enthusiasm shines through which in my experience is often the key to great performances and collaborations.
    With regard to mixing ITB I think we too easily get into a very narrow viewpoint of our task. I come from the days of starting out home recording on 2 cassette players, then an Akai 4000DS then hurrah a 4 track. After that came the obligatory Portastudio then combining with hardware sequencer and then an Atari for midi. I followed this with getting a digital 8 track still locked to the Atari and then finally moving ITB some years ago. In professional studios I recorded in 8,16 and 24 track formats. I give that brief history not as proof that I am a bit of a dinosaur (I’m still the right side of 60 for a few years at least) or to imply validation of what I will say next but as something we forget too easily. We really do seem to forget how we had to compromise in those times with that equipment and the things we did that had a huge impact on the finished sounds we made. How soon we forget about bouncing down sections maybe 2 or 3 times, sometimes more to build ensemble effects. How the Dolby or DBX noise reduction systems coloured our sound. How our delay lines, chorus effects and often reverbs added copious amounts of mud and muffle. But the resulting recordings were so often gloriously warm and glued together ‘so well that you couldn’t get a cigarette paper between the tracks’.

    So maybe we should be thinking retro not just adding retro plugins to our work flow. We have the ability to bounce/freeze via modern plugins to emulate quality loss and harmonic additions and to do this a number of times to degrade the sound as we did in the old days. We can still add the original back in later if needed, sort of parallel mangling like we use parallel compression. I have seen it suggested to use the same saturation/retro type or console plugin across all channels on a mix but to my mind that could produce the same harmonic content on each with a build up at the master which is not the full picture of what we had in the past. My suggestion is to use a number of different plugins with different settings and algorithms in sequence with a view to emulating our original 4 or 8 track analogue work flow. I feel this will bring us closer to our goal. As of now I am still experimenting with and defining/refining my own work flow to this end and early results are good. I no longer have that ‘hole’ in the middle of my mixes that I first had when trying to mix ITB.

    A final few thoughts. As we all know it really doesn’t matter what a track sounds like soloed as it is how it fits in the mix that counts. So by grouping guitars and bass for example before applying a muffling compressor and tape saturation effects we could be maybe making better judgements compared to treating each individually. The same goes for keyboard parts. We already accept that drums can be processed separately. ‘Pink Floyds’ Dark side of the moon has often been a reference standard when mixing and that is bounce bounce bounce throughout which provides some clue I think to the warmth and glue we all aspire to.
    Best wishes and happy mixing all

    1. Warren Huart says:

      Hi @garyregnier:disqus Thanks for your extremely kind words! I too started with 2 cassette players, then a 4 track cassette player, a MSR24, ADATs and then eventually Pro Tools. I agree for all the amazing things analog gave us there was also many things that weren’t so amazing, we just made it work! Great discussion! Have a marvellous time recording and mixing, many thanks Warren

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *