Audio Engineering

The Truth about Mixing In-The-Box

mixing in the box
Comments (21)
  1. Steve Striker says:

    Warren, I love watching your videos. I’m curious if you have every mixed anything on Harrison’s Mixbus DAW. It’s essentially created as an emulation of their analog consoles. It has a console workflow with compressors and eq on every channel strip plus dedicated mix busses with tape saturation. Their Mixbus 32C DAW includes expanded EQ modeled on their 32 C console. harrisonmixbus.com

    1. John Judge says:

      I am not Warren, but I HAVE used MixBus since it came out. I love the sound but NOT Ardour, the underlying DAW it sits on top of. Some like it, I dislike the workflow & how it reacts, both on Windows and Linux.

      I own the newest 32C and sadly I am using it like I always have, as a Stem Mixdown Platform.

      1. Simon Robert Champagne says:

        I do agree with John, it sounds awesome but the workflow while producing and editing is not the most intuitive, to say the least. Mix flow is excellent tho. And again, that sound.

  2. PMT Studio says:

    started on a teac than roberts than scully 16 than studer 24 than harris 40 for the tapes as for the consoles anything from home made to SSL including neve and host of others since 1972 as for workflow there is as many as there is clients and songs thru the workdays

  3. Loren Knight says:

    It is because of you that I was finally able to determine a direction for my future/soon to be studio. That will be the nice front end into the box. I’ve gone pretty much full PreSonus. Sitting next to my new PC build (still in boxes) I have a Presonus Studio 192 Mobil (USB 3, ADAT expandable, remote Fat Channel DSP on all I/O), into Studio One 3.5 Pro, out into a Monitor Station V2 then into Eris 5 monitors and NS10m’s. So what is left is the room build and the desk. I have an OK’ish Presonus Studio Channel to experiment with but future investments will be into a couple of nice pre’s. So far I’m thinking a Warm Audio Tone Beast and a Focusrite ISA One. But maybe I’ll win something from one of the raffles. I am also considering a Stam SA4000 with is a SSL stereo buss compressor clone that’s been getting rave reviews. I’m not sure how much benefit it will gain me but I’ve got a ways to go before that is an issue. Can’t wait to start mixing academy songs in my new room.

    1. Stuart Snyder says:

      Check out BAE products I love the 1066D and the 10DC!

  4. John Judge says:

    I grew up using a BiAmp 16 into a Fostex 1/2″ 8 Track, then a Fostex Console. When That was gone I had a Yamaha MT-50 with a Sunn Mixer as out board for all the extra toys.

    For the last 10 years mainly ITB using Reaper & Sonar, but I miss the feel of faders when mixing, and the USB-Midi control interfaces just don’t react the same….at all IMHO….

    Thus I am looking to going back to a board, and using the computer as a tape machine in the next year or so.

  5. Arnold Dawson says:

    I’ve just had Sonar Platinum for the last 2 to 3 years going in through a BR 800 digital 4 track….. OOPs Ha… Only because that’s what I owned before using sonar as it came with Sonar 8.1 LE I decided to give it a go and that lead me into the realm of DAWS have been getting to grips with for 2 of those years and have recently purchased a Roland quad curve as it has a low latency and I’m totally within the box using virtual instruments. Except for vox which was a sure PG mic now got a Beringer B1 and direct lines for guitars and bass. I have a varied work flow as I’m still trying to work out how to sound better. Writing stuff can begin any where some times from messing on the computer and thinking well that’s kinda OK to sitting at my guitar or electric piano just for an idea. I’ve noticed I need to get drums down first as beginning with a metronome I find instruments can sound in time but once ive started adding drums and a groove it doesn’t seem to gel as well.I then start with what ever gave me the idea and build from there in various ways trying to go with the feel. I’m still looking at what to do after I’m trying to think of it as a virtual rig as I don’t have amps either as I said totally in the box so virtual guitar rigs or plug in chains. Cool video as always Warren Keep on Keepin’ Marvellously well.

  6. musicampus says:

    Happy New Year, Warren!
    Thank you so much for your valuable efforts!

    I did my first recordings on a Yamaha MT8X, using Alesis passive nearfield monitors, Alesis poweramp, DR-5 as a drum machine and a Sennheiser Blackfire mic. Effects: 2 Alesis Microverbs used for delay and reverb.

    For a Rock’n Roll Band called The Marvellous Fireballs I recorded three songs in a renowned studio in Bremen, Germany (Studio Nord Bremen) with equipment I could never afford (Neve, U87, U47 just to name a few). We printed the tracks in Pro Tools and sent them to a mixing engineer in Berlin who mixed all the tracks in Mixbus 32C. At last a mastering engineer in Berlin finalized what we started in Bremen. This joint venture worked perfectly well (www.fireballs.biz – The Marvellous Fireballs).

    Because I can’t afford the equipment the Studio Nord Bremen uses, I fiddle about optimizing my workflow – just to get the best out of what I’ve got.
    Voice: SM7B, JoeMeek JM-47a, Rode NT-2A into my Reussenzehn Mic Mic which I love so much (http://www.reussenzehn.de/de/studio/roehren-mikrofon-vorverstaerker/mic-mic.php) or directly into my audient ID22 (amazing)
    Guitar: Vox AC30/ Fender Hot Rod Deville/ Engl Jive/ Amp1/ directly into Blubox (connected to id22) and into Palmer PDI-03 (connected to id22)
    Bass: DI id22
    Drums: Native Instruments Studio Drummer/Abbey Road Drummer
    Piano/Organ/ Synths etc.: Plugins like Beatzille, Logic Instruments
    DAW: Logic Pro X (tracking, arrangement, editing)

    After recording instruments and midi-tracks, all editing takes place in Logic. Afterwards I print audiotracks from the instruments. These audio files will be imported to another project file in Logic. Emulating a console, I insert Softube’s Console 1 (SSL 4000 E or Summit Grand Channel emulation) in every track and I do slight EQing and compressing. At last all tracks will be exported as single audiofiles.
    In Mixbus all the audiofiles will be imported an mixed.
    For me this works very good. Although I’m not a professional mixing engineer the results are not too bad 🙂

  7. Cris Sabater says:

    Great topic Warren and one I am very familiar with! I was one of the original mix in the box guys having been doing it since 2000. it was far more limited in function back then as the technology was no where near what it is today but with imagination and a passion for what I was doing it got results. The guy that pioneered in the box was really Dave Pensado as it was he who acclaimed that it was possible to get good results in the box. Of course so many laughed at the thought but some listened like myself and of course he was absolutely correct!
    I both Produce and mix in the box and producing in the box needs some thought! As Warren suggested if you don’t have analogue gear then you need to emulate it. Plugin replicas are always going to be a good source but I never try and use a plugin in the same way as I would with the hardware as you probably won’t get the same vibe in general. I also never worry about what emulation I am using either as it is more about using your ears and using your taste in the particular sounds you are looking for. I think an often over looked factor is the use of EQ. If you know anything about tape you will that it has the tendancy to both compress the sound plus also take off some high end. Now this is one of the first things I learned Producing in the box. By taking some high end off of tracks your are minimising that pure and digital sound which a lot of people had a problem with early on because like on a console they pushed the high end causing that digital shrill everyone hates. Just like producing in a studio with top analogue gear if you get the sound right in production in the box it will be far easier to mix. I also tend to print all tracks in Production so that when it comes to mixing my options are clear! I mix what is there and I have been working this way with my band and getting great results. So have an idea of what you want your tracks to sound like and be brave and go for it. One thing is for sure it is absolutely possible to get world class Productions and mixing in the box as long as you know how to go about it. YouTube has been very misleading in this respect to a lot of people starting out but Warren is one of the few who actually is clued up and can communicate this to people in an easy to understand way! Cheers. 🙂

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