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How do you route/bus with many vocal tracks?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by GuitarMaestro, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. 2012

    2012 Member

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    I use doubles all the time, but never two exact doubles underneath the lead. YMMV.

    I don't know anything about Cubase, but in Pro Tools it does not make a difference because you can still write all the automation in the individual tracks, and you still have a fader for every track.

    When you need to print vocal up +.5, -.5, +1, -1, etc. mixes having an Aux Track fader there at mixdown makes the adjustments a lot faster than adjusting the automation on every track. When making a stem the individual tracks still have to be routed to another Audio channel to be printed, so what difference does it make if there is an 'Aux Track' in between or not?

    Pro Tools labels it's "sends & returns" in the I/O setup as busses. There is no need to get angry. 'Sends' are used to route the signal to the buss, and the 'Output Assignment' of the 'Aux Track' is used to "Return" the signal wherever you want it, but nowhere in Pro Tools is there anything labeled "Return."

    Every console is different, and so is every DAW. Knowing how an SSL4000 G+ works isn't going to help you mix inside a DAW, and vice versa.

    :kickass:
     
  2. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Haha. You wanna piss...

    Not true about Vocalign. In fact, most of us experienced engineers and producers laugh at the very notion. Same goes for doubling...If you're worth your salt as a producer, then the double will work or not work in the end if that's what the song needs. Regardless, most major productions have a lot of vocal tracks.

    Back in the 90's, this really famous artist asked me if I knew Pro Tools. I didn't have a clue, but I said "YES!" - for obvious reasons. Then he left the studio and I taught myself Pro Tools in 18 hours while assembling his album. But hey, thanks for the lesson.

    Printing a + or -2db vox mix isn't expected by any label (+1 or -1 would be the norm), and by even doing that you're telling them that you don't have a lot of confidence in your ears. I don't do anything besides Main, TV, A Cappella and Instrumental. I agree with you on the "Aux track" for the vox up or vox down versions...but that's not what the original poster is using it for. Listening, looking, thinking of the tracks individually, to me, is an important part of doing what you can *as a mixer* to add dynamics and feel to a mix. Another reason why I rarely use groups is because I'll make changes and vocal rides all the way up to the 12th hour (because like I said, vox are the most important part)...And having them all on one fader becomes a pain in the ass that you don't need after listening to the same damn thing for 12 hours straight.

    Btw - what you're calling an "Aux track" is called a group track by professionals.

    What's an "OP"?

    You're joking right? Who gives a rats ass what it says in the gd I/O setup!?!?!? On the damn mixer in Pro Tools it says SEND. In the frickin' manual it says SEND. The RETURNS come back as faders or stereo fader on the board. Again, that's the term used by professionals - RETURN. And shitloads (all) of analog boards say RETURN right on the damn front. And I'm not angry. I'm helping you.

    Wrong on both counts. After you learn Pro Tools really well, you don't need to read the manual for any other DAW to get the job done. As far as analog consoles go, it's a nice feeling to be able to walk into any studio or any live venue and be able to have total control - regardless of the equipment. Staring at a screen all day can be detrimental to one's development as a professional.

    Learning how to mix on an SSL will help make you a good engineer regardless of the platform or medium.
     
  3. 2012

    2012 Member

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    Wow.

    Nevermind.

    Hopefully you helped the OP (original poster) with his question.

    All the best.

    :kickass:
     
  4. AudioPhile777

    AudioPhile777 Mathew Cohen

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    The last couple of posts felt like Daddy just slapped Mommy at the dinner table and everyone got quiet.

    :loco:
     
  5. 2012

    2012 Member

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    :puke: :worship:

    :err:
    :zombie:


    :Smokin:
     
  6. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    agreed
     
  7. Jevil

    Jevil Pro Evolution Fucker

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    Why 2 tracks for main vocals or why combining backings to 1 stereo?
     
  8. 2012

    2012 Member

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    Ye be the one usin' caps and multiple exclamations.

    If you're worth your salt as a producer?! What does that have to do with the ability of the vocalist to nail a double spot on for intonation, modulation and drift? I don't care how much "production" you or any other producer "worth their salt" throws down, some vocalists aren't very good at it. Why do they need to be? I don't triple the lead vocal.

    You're the one trying to give a lesson, but you're not teaching me anything. You're overstating the obvious to someone that doesn't need it.

    So what "really famous artist" was it? You might as well divulge, you know you want to!

    This isn't the 90's anymore, and the rules of engagement are different when doing music videos.

    Well, I don't. Having a 'Group Track' (i'm calling it this so you don't get all angry and start yelling again) doesn't change anything about the mix. You can still do rides up to the 12th hour. You can still look and think about the vocal tracks individually. It does not change anything. Leave the 'Group Track' at 0. What difference is it going to make other than you don't like it?!

    Bullshit! It's called both. I've also heard it called a "Sub Master", so don't freak out.


    Capitals = yelling. Multiple exclamations = excitement.

    In the mixer it says "send"? I know.
    In the manual it says "send"? I know. (i thought you didn't read DAW manuals!)

    The "returns" come back whever you want them, whether it is on an "audio track" or an "aux track" or a "master fader". Does that make the audio track a "return"? If so, when I'm explaining what I want to the PT engineer on duty, I can just say "Set up a return for these FX, Joe." and he'll know that I want it coming back in on an audio track? Are you the one who is joking?!

    :lol:

    You want clarification of terminology but you're refusing to accept that people ITB do not have a need for console terminology. It doesn't help. I'm sorry, but you are not helping me. The original poster is the one who needed help. I'm doing just fine.

    In some other thread you chimed in to tell me that my post was "too late" and you had already answered it, even though I had provided a more thorough answer for the original poster.

    The fact is, even an avid user (pun intended) of PT would not be able to just "walk into a studio" running Samplitude and have no issues. The same goes for Logic. Pro Tools is a very easy to understand DAW. The other two I mentioned are a lot deeper. I don't work outside of PT HD studios and PT LE systems on the road and at home. When I'm at studios with consoles, we hire an engineer to run the board. The bigger projects are sent out to be mixed.

    There is nothing wrong with me or the knowledge I possess. I choose not to learn consoles because that isn't a priority to me. I prefer the instant and total recall of a DAW environment. I don't need to "do myself a favor" or rethink my "nutty methods", but thanks for your "concern". I'm a musician and composer, not a studio engineer, nor a freelance mix engineer who knows how to work in every facility.

    No. That will make you a good mixer on an SSL. There are plenty of old-school mixers who work on consoles that can't get the hang of mixing ITB and vice-vesa. There are different approaches to making a good mix ITB, like proper gain-staging for example, sampling rate, panning laws, plugins, etc.

    The original poster needed help getting his CPU usage down. Nobody was asking for a lesson on signal flow in an SSL. The terminology used was used for the purpose of learning within the DAW environment. There are a lot of mentions of "aux tracks" and "bussing" on this board. You have some work to do if you plan on policing everyone who calls an Aux Track "Aux Track".

    I will call it a Group Fader when talking to you, though!

    :lol:

    :kickass:
     
  9. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    'Nuff said.
     
  10. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    @all:

    Thanks for your answers.

    The reason I dont use automation from the start ist to avoid the hassle. I like doing the rough mix and the if needed I do some automation in the end.

    Some of you wrote that they are no fan of doubling vox etc. The way I usually do it is to have a main voice and use a double take to emphasize certain words/passages when needed. Or I mix it underneath the main voice to make it sound fuller. I never mix them to have the same level, because that to me takes away a little personality, etc. More of a subtle touch....

    @metalkingdom: Why do you think it's bad to use a bus for vocals?
    Every producer/engineer I saw working does that. A bus for drums, a bus for vocals, a bus for the guitars, etc. Why should it limit the dynamics etc. in your mix? I put no plugin in the vocal bus and still automate the single vocal tracks if needed. I absolutely makes no difference in how things work/sound. The only difference is that you have a master fader for vocals. Which comes in very handy if you decide that the overall level of vox has to be different. Instead of going throgh 10+ channels of automation data a simple move of one fader does the trick....
    Maybe we are talking about a different thing here? What I call a bus (dont know if it's the correct term but thats not the point for me) is just a special channel in Cubase that I route all vocal tracks too in order to use it as a master fader for voc's.
     
  11. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    I don't know who you saw, but before I became freelance I was a 2nd engineer at a major Los Angeles studio and worked with lots and lots of super badass and reknown producers and engineers. Hardly any of them grouped tracks together...And when they did, they almost always ended up ditching the idea by the time the mix was ready to print. Partially because you're degrading the signal by going out of the busses, into the patchbay, out of the patchbay, and back into the console. The other part is because you end up making so many changes *after* you think that you're done, the group fader becomes an inconveinience (especially after automation has been written to it) when you're freakin' tired and irritated. Some of it is just zen, and you just won't understand until you understand.

    If you feel that it works for you, then do what you need to do. Just remember what I said in 5 years if you're still doing this.
     
  12. GuitarMaestro

    GuitarMaestro Member

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    We were talking about DAW's....I have not much expirience with consoles but for a DAW it makes no difference in the signal.

    As long as you do not automate the group fader there is zero difference between using a group fader and using none. And if you automated the single tracks it would not make much sense too automate the group fader in most situations(at least I never had a need for that). The only difference is you easily change the overall balance of mix IF you have too. Cannot see how this could be inconvinient....
     
  13. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    please lnclude the name of the person you are quoting within the quotes.
     
  14. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    dammit, i missed out on a fight. :(

    screw it.. i'll get a couple licks in anyway. k.... ready?.... s'go!

    semantics of how to properly refer to the sources and destinations of busses aside, MK is correct on a very important point: that while there are no rules it is standard, and for good reasons (CPU usage in a DAW, and physical amount of of patchbay points and outboard gear when dealing with hardware/large format recording/mixing consoles) that inserts are used almost exclusively for dynamic and spectral processes (EQ, Compression/Expansion, Gates)... which is why all large consoles have most/all of these processors built into each channel strip. It's necessary to load plug-ins for these in most DAWs but the theory is the same... you want to apply these, in general, separately. sometimes eq-ing a group is fine if all the source tracks in the group sound exactly the same spectrally and represent very similar performances that are meant to blend together... such as 4 guitars all done with the same guitar and amp settings, or even with non-similar sources such as when setting up a parallel compression bus.. but by and large each track needs individual treatment in these regards.

    with time based FX though (reverb, delay, flange, phaser, etc.) it's best to set them up in the path between a Send and a Return... sending some of each channel you want effected to it from each channel's FX sends. this is true in the hardware domain and the DAW "mixing ITB" environment... if for no other reason than for judicious management of resources, whether hardware based or cpu related. that's besides the fact that you will then also have the freedom to process the FX return separately from the tracks which are feeding it, as in throwing a hpf on a reverb return without affecting the low end of your source track.... etc. The only reason to Return FX to an audio track is when you plan to record them there... in which case you very obviously tell the engineer that you want to render/print the FX in question.

    2012 also had a point: grouping tracks neither cripples the ability nor obviates the need to sometimes individually adjust tracks separately from the group.... it's not even a hassle. true whether you're talking "VCA" group or a "summed group" as in several tracks bussed to a mono or stereo Return.... ITB anyway, which as GM just pointed out, was what he was asking about originally.

    basically though this was a "you say tom(ay)to, i say tom(ah)to" debate. well fuck all y'all bee-aatches... cuz i say 'mater! :heh:
     
  15. scorpio01169

    scorpio01169 Member

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    yes you are right about them usually being used for dynamics....however if you have a channel that is not using dynamics and you want to use an fx on that channel only you can use the insert for that channel. you yourself may have not seen it done before but i have seen it. i have also see peeps use the insert to send a signal to a fx unit and return it into another channels input. there are many different ways and like you said there are no rules.
     
  16. metalkingdom

    metalkingdom the kinder, gentler me

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    Thanks for your eloquence. I willing to bet that you don't group your vocals as a standard practice, right? Maybe it's just a total mouse generation thing and I'm old.

    And fuck you too, beeyatch. :)
     
  17. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    im starting to find this when i do a 'drum' bus..
    getting to be an utter pain in the arse having to keep taking the level of the whole kit down , or using trim to keep it from clipping the internal bus..
    i do still have a parralell compression bus though, love that stuff
     
  18. AudioPhile777

    AudioPhile777 Mathew Cohen

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    You're all fucking wrong! You send everything to the 2bus, volume cranked and and for every 15 seconds of music you pound a shooter of rum!

    Sorry... just trying to break the tension in this thread... I'm leaving now. :lol:
     
  19. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    i already did that... you're a late hitter... the yellow flag had already hit the turf.... if this were pee-wee football an enraged parent would be rushing from the stands right now to slam you to the ground right before being arrested on felony child cruelty charges. thiiiiiink abowwwdit. :loco:
     
  20. James Murphy

    James Murphy Member

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    *in best Ed McMann impersonation*: You are co-RRECT!

    \m/
     

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