Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Choosing Gear to improve my Mixing


  • This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Michael.
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      Hi and Happy New Year - This is my second post and I set up a new Topic as suggested from my fellow forum people. I am new to the forum and thank you for the guidance so far. This is really new for me and I am excited about the feedback I got from just 1 day here! Thank you Simon Brown & Just Lisa for your comments - I hope the information I gave below clarifies my current situation?

      I was inspired to create a Mixing Studio (Just this weekend!!!) after watching Warren & Barry Rudolph explain the aspects of setting up a studio to mix in. That video was awesome, my wife and I both watched it and she gave me the go ahead to take a room in our home and create a studio to do our mixes in!

      In the past I used just about any space I had to do mixing in. I really want to improve my mixing but my Gear is causing issues when I start to apply these plug ins that Warren talks about. The system begins to tick and click when I start doing edits.

      Here is the Gear I am using and I am wondering if any of you folks could give me some advice on my gear and / or suggest a better path to go with - I am thinking that the bogging Issue will go away if I buy an Apollo MKII with quad core SHARC Chips? - I dont know any thoughts?

      Traction is the Editing Software I use - I have the latest version that I am familiar with. Its called Traction 7 - I also own Waveform but it seems really out there for me? (I feel that waveform is moving into something different than what I want too do) and I am thinking of moving to Pro Tools (The cost of buying a subscription is my only objection to moving to pro tools - However, with out actually having any experience with Pro tools I wonder if Pro Tools is better to use than Traction (at my level of mixing?) (which I am sure it is? but why? is that question? I think the issue really is none of my friends or family edit music like I do so I have no one to compare it with) I have used Traction since 1996 and I used Cool Edit Pro before that. (I used what I have felt comfortable and have had good success with it - plus they allow you to own the software and for me - I don't do this for anyone except myself so it seemed like a good idea at that time - But I would love an opinion on Pro tools if anyone has?)

      Computer Hardware - I bought this Computer from a Wholesale Dealer near me and he told me this was a good workstation - He has supplied me with computers for over 20 years and I Trust him. My guy upgraded my system to 32 GB of on board memory when I explained I was going to start doing Audio Editing, but he didn't seem to understand what I really needed in terms of a Audio System, But this system runs faster than previous machines I have had and fits my budget.

      PC - platform and I have a current version of WIN 10 Pro
      Manufacturer - DELL
      Model - Precision T7600
      System Type: x64-based PC
      Processor: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 0@ 2.00GHz
      BIOS Version/ Date Dell Inc A02, 7/5/2012
      SMBIOS Version 2.6
      Embeded Controll 255.255
      BIOS MODE Legacy
      BaseBoard Manufacturer Dell Inc
      Platform Role Workstation
      Installed Physical Memory 32.0 GB
      Total Physical Memory 31.9 GB
      Available Physical Memory 26.9 GB
      Total Virtual Memory 63.9 GB
      Page File Space 32.0 GB

      Hard Drive - 2 - 1 TB Solid State Drives, 3 - 4 TB 7500 rpm WD Storage Drives
      Video Card Radeon RX 550 Series PCI
      AMD RADEON Graphics Processor 1920x1080x 59 hertz

      I plan to install a Thunder bolt 3.0 card to support Thunderbolt so I can include a Apollo Quad 4 Audio Interface because now i am learning how to use Plugs and my system bogs when I use many of them? is that normal? I dont know? I can safely use 30-40 plugs now without bogging but I dont know if thats good or bad? when I see Warren Mix his systems never bogs down and thats why I am questioning if its my system? - When I start bogging I will render tracks with the plug to make room to work with an edit.

      Current Audio Interfaces;

      Behringer X32 Board
      UNIVERSAL CONTROL SURACE - Behringer X-touch & X-touch Extender
      Behringer X32 Rack
      Behringer S16 Stage box
      Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
      Focusrite OctoPre MKII

      YAMAHA HS8 Powered
      Alesis Monitor 1 Passive
      Kurzweil – KS40A Active Studio Monitors
      Rolls Head Phone AMP RA62

      Studio Command System
      Mackie - Big Knob

      Plug Ins
      - Large Assortment of WAVE Plugs
      - nearly all of the IKMEDIA Plug Ins
      - All of the Native Plugs for Traction
      - All of the Izotope Family of Plugs for Editing
      (Pretty much I buy VST & VST3 plugs that will work inside of Traction)
      - I also have an Ilock 3.0 but never learned how to use it

      (Sad to say I spent a fortune on Plugs - I seen that Apollo Interface allows VST Plugs as well as AXX - I dont know if my current plugs would work with Apollo but any advise here would be great?) I thought the Apollo would help crunch the data that my plugs use to help the system from bogging? but I cant read anywhere or get any validation of that from Apollos site?

      Thank you everyone I hope one day I can help others like this with the knowledge I have learned and the skills of mixing I am already enjoying in my mixes!

      Happy New Year


      Guido tum Suden

        Hi Michael,

        you've got an impressive amount of studio equipment there. Okay, maybe it's not what the big studios out there would use but it's always good enough. That said, I can't quite understand why you want to buy an Apollo Interface.

        In my humble opinion your next steps should be: Room treatment. This can easily be the amount of 2 to 4 time what the Apollo costs. But it's more important. Depending on the room, see that you have the right floor, ceiling, bass traps and don't put napped foam on the walls. 😉

        You could think about better monitors, but if you are used to the HS8 stick with them, since they are very good in that price range.


          Thank you Guido - I have been at the hobby side of recording for at least 25 years but using 4 tracs and upgrading my equipment for over a life time. I agree on the room treatment That has eluded me for the longest time - I got the approval from the Boss - (Wife) to convert a room in my home, we never used, to this project. Had I not shown her that Video that Warren and Barry made on "Setting up a Studio" this may have never come true.

          The Apollo appears to be just another rabbit hole I am going down and I believe your right. I was reading that the apollo helps crunch the use of VSTs and third party "plugs" - I have been in amazement at how they help process my mixes but the computer bogs when I use too many. I "thought" the DSP chips in it helped with that?

          Anyway, I am starting today to work out the room nodes and speaker placement - its quite exciting - I think I am gonna put money aside to upgrade my monitors as well.

          Thank you for the feedback Guido, I plan to put your advice to work!


          Guido tum Suden

            You have a better computer than I have and I'm often at the end of its CPU use, as well.
            Especially when using console emulating and saturation plugins.
            I do use a lot of "Alternatives" in Logic, maybe Traction has something similar. It's a copy of your project that uses the same recourses as the other alternatives. You can switch between alternatives from within the DAW.

            I start with a "Edit" version of the mix, where I do cleanup, a rough mix and put on plugins that are simulating recording. Console emulation, EQ, and compressor(s), sometimes Tape emulation and other saturation plugins.
            I then print all the tracks, often committing to kick, snare and/or background vocals mix-downs. Now the tracks all sound like I want them to and I have, hopefully, fewer tracks.

            I then create an alternative, delete all the content and all the plugins and load the newly printed tracks.
            Next part would be adding effects and do automation. The tracks usually don't get plugins at this stage anymore, maybe a simple EQ for corrections.

            If I want to use Abbey Road Chambers I may have to freeze that track because my computer can only handle one or two of those.

            If I want to record tracks I'll have more alternatives. In my recent project I recorded and edited drums and then added recording plugins and committed to the tracks. The next alternative was the new drum tracks and the recordings of bass and guitars.
            I committed those again and added software instruments and bounced the single tracks with plugins.
            The next alternative would be a rough mix of audio files only to record the vocals.

            When I encounter mistakes that need to be fixed I just go back to the alternative where I edited that track, fix the mistake and bounce the track again, overriding the old one. So when I go back to the alternative I was working on the mistake will be gone even if I already edited that specific track.


            Simon Brown

              Hi Michael,

              As I mentioned in my other reply to you, the Apollo can help reduce the load on your system, but it will [b]only[/b] run plugins which have been designed for it, which will very likely rule out all of the VSTs you currently own. The Universal Audio plugins are very good, but if you're expecting to buy an Apollo and to have it help with the plugins you use right now, it won't.

              What I would say, now that I've seen your setup, is that as you already have a big Focusrite audio interface, buying another audio interface might not be the best idea and if you wanted to add some DSP power to your rig, getting an UAD DSP Accelerator card might be a better plan. Then you (maybe) don't need the Thunderbolt interface card either.

              The UAD DSP Accelerators are the same DSPs as in the Apollo interfaces, but they're in PCI Express card form and don't have the audio interface part attached. They're [i]just[/i] the DSP.

              But I have a lot of non-Universal Audio plugins and if I was looking at dropping £1000 or so on updating a rig that had a seven-year-old CPU at the core, I'd think about upgrading the heart of my system (CPU, motherboard, and new memory to go along with them), purely because it'd make everything about my system run faster, not just one specific set of plugins. That, for me, would be a smarter investment.

              What I'd [b]really[/b] recommend you do, though, is work out which of the plugins you own are the real system hogs and see if you can get away with using fewer instances of them, or if you have alternatives which sound just as good but take up less resources. And like Guido says, look at room treatment.


                Thank you Simon & Guido - I am gonna scratch the Apollo and move to room treatment - thats the next step for me - I am happy to see its not just me that has a lot issues with plugs - and your work a rounds appear to be the very same I am doing! -
                Thank you both for the guidance! Have fun Mixing!


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