Remastering

Discussion in '2488 and DP-24/32 Digital Portastudios' started by Micki, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Eh everyone. I'm interested in importing a finished master wav file track back into a newly created song in the dp-24 unit for further processing. How can I go about doing that?

    The wav file is from a fully completed song creation project that I performed entirely using the dp-24.

    My next question is that since my immediate goal after I import my wav file back into my dp-24, is to connect my external mixer to my dp-24 unit in order to run my original master file (now turned standard multitrack file) through it for sweetening and further processing and then back into a second track (remember this is a brand new song with only my original master file track that I just imported back into the dp-24) on the dp-24 unit, how do apply such a connection between both my dp-24 and my mixer? The ports and cables needed? The settings I'll have to use?

    I love the eq and tone adjustments, the effects, etcetera, on my mixer, and I'd love to use my master wav files from previous dp-24 sessions along with my mixer to do some remastering. I'm also going to use this same methodology in different ways such as doing remastering sessions without my external mixer connected, using only the dp-24 functions and features etc..
  2. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    Hi Miki. I do that all the time. Copy the file to the Audio Depot and import.

    The safest way to do what you want to do is use FX send 1 for left and FX send 2 for right and connect those outputs from the DP onto the two mixer channels you want to use as inputs. Set the FX sends to pre-Fader and pull the track fader down all the way.

    Route the stereo output of the mixer to two inputs on the DP machine and assign them to a stereo track.

    Arm the stereo track for record, and while playing back the song, bring up the individual FX sends on the source track, and adjust the levels until they mimic the meter on the source track.
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  3. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    The only thing I don't understand is the last paragraph, can you please elaborate.
  4. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    I think I understand after reading it again. I think you mean play back the song and not necessarily record it when adjusting the levels, thus when I do actually record the original track through the mixer and back onto the dp-24, do I just perform that task normally as I would do so any other typical kind of recording in multitrack mode?
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  5. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Lol haha oops I keep on forgetting to ask the kinds of cables to use?
  6. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Insofar as your last paragragh I thought you'd have to turn the sends all the way to maximum output. I'm not sure though. And regarding the cables, I think I should maybe use three-prong XLR Male/Female cables going from the dp-24 and into the mixer, and then use two three-ring TRS/three-prong XLR cables going from the mixer to the dp-24. If you or someone else can confirm that I'd really appreciate it and thanks again for explaining how you do it.
  7. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Insofar as your last paragragh I thought you'd have to turn the sends all the way to maximum output. I'm not sure though. And regarding the cables, I think I should maybe use two three-prong XLR Male/Female cables going from the dp-24 and into the mixer, and then use two three-ring TRS/three-prong XLR cables going from the mixer to the dp-24. If you or someone else can confirm that I'd really appreciate it and thanks again for explaining how you do it.
  8. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    DP-32, | 2A Mixer, A3440
    Hi Micki. Yes I do need to elaborate, and I'm sorry I didn't give you more detail in my first reply.

    The first thing I need to make clear is that, in order for this process to work properly your previously mixed song cannot be on a stereo track. It must be on 2 mono tracks because you cannot separate the effects sends left to right on a stereo track pair. If your recorded song is on the stereo track however all you need to do is go to the Audio Depot and export them. Then you can reimport them on separate mono tracks.

    Here is the process step-by-step, after you have the left side audio of your song on one track and the right side audio on another track:

    Definitions:

    Source Track(s): the 2 tracks, Left and Right, where your song resides on the DP.
    Destination Track: the stereo track where you will record your processed mix.

    1. Power off DP and mixer.
    2. The cables you mentioned are ok. The Sends from the DP are unbalanced, but using TRS won't hurt anything. Plug one into the Send 1 jack, and repeat for Send 2.
    3. Cable from Send 1 goes into the mixer channel for left. Pan that channel hard left.
    4. Repeat for Send 2 for right, and pan hard right.
    5. Connect Left and Right mixer outputs to inputs of DP machine as A/B, or C/D or E/F or G/H.

    Power the mixer up, and then the DP with all faders down on everything. Proceed to the next step:

    6. On the Assign screen, assign the input pairs to the destination track.
    7. Arm the destination track for record.
    8. On the Mixer screen, select the source track for left and set Send 1 to pre. Set Master full up.
    9. With Mixer screen still open, select the source track for right and set Send 2 to pre. Turn master up full.
    10. Play back the song and raise the Send levels until you see a signal appear on the mixer meters (assuming it has them). Remember only use Send 1 for left and Send 2 for right. Do not raise both sends together on either track. This will require you to use the Select button to go back and forth as you raise the levels. Adjust the Sends for a good level to the mixer.
    11. Raise the output of the mixer until you see the DP's meters respond. Watch for clipping on the DP inputs.
    12. Adjust the Sends to the mixer, the DP input levels and mixer output as necessary to achieve unity level with the Source tracks.
    13. Raise the destination track fader, but keep the Source track faders down.

    You are ready to record.

    Btw, if you don't mind overwriting the current mix file, alternatively, you could assign the DP inputs to the stereo bus and use Mixdown mode instead of recording to a stereo track. If you're not going to do anything more than passing it thru the mixer, that's what I would do.
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  9. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Thank you very much you and your directions are awesome! I do have unbalanced cables as well as balanced cables so that works out great! I must ask you, do I have to increase the gain, using the gain knobs on the dp-24 for the destination track? And lastly yet certainly not least, I agree with your way of doing it in mixdown, most of the time. There are times I'd rather do it as a regular multitrack recording due to wanting to have the option of possibly future processing within the multitrack of the machine, however, yes indeed, most of the time, especially for faster performance, it makes more sense to just do this type of task as part of the mix in the mixdown mode.
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  10. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    Micki, depending upon how high the output main is on the mixer, you might have to increase it, but, start with them all the way down, in the CCW direction. My guess is that the mixer has enough gain on the outputs to drive the DP inputs with the trim pots down. If you need a bit more, make small moves. Have fun!
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  11. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    The reason I'm doing this is because I did it already at a store and learned that it makes a huge difference with improving the mastering quality of a finished master file thus I'm eager to incorporate this into my regular workflow and try different options for final tweaks to each song's respective master file.
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  12. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    Micki, some engineers run their final mixes through small consoles like the API "The Box" specifically to warm up the audio. There are a number of devices specifically for that purpose. My friend Grady has designed such circuitry for decades. It's amazing what "pleasing distortion" can do for a mix.
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  13. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    I'm going to make you crazy with all of these questions but this question is maybe the most important: Alluding to one of your earlier replies, you said "..the safest way to..".

    I must ask, is there a more efficient and effective method for what I'm trying to accomplish?

    I'm more than open to using a different digital playback system such as a good old fashion stereo system or the like, in order to feed my master wav file signal into my mixer and back through into my dp-24.

    At the store the other day, I had my master files in my tablet and the rodie type guys at the store just used one of their cables and connected my tablet to their mixer which in turn was connected to their speakers, and then I had to jack up the volume on my tablet whilst they tweaked and played around with the mixer settings for about ten seconds flat.

    It was amazing how pristine and hi-fi my tracks sounded through that chain, thus I'm attempting to emulate it and capture it.
  14. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    Well Micki, I've been developing a theory that the Bounce bus could be used as a stereo send by setting the Monitor to Bounce and taking the Monitor out as the sends. That would require one to use the stereo outputs temporarily for monitoring but that could be easily dealt with. Anything sent to the Bounce bus would appear on the Monitor outputs in stereo, and the cool part is, that number is unlimited. The trick is to keep that audio from coming back into the machine inputs and onto the Bounce bus to avoid a loop, yet still assign it to tracks and the stereo bus only. But I believe it's possible. I have to experiment to see how the Bounce button interacts with an input signal's connection to it vs: the stereo bus.

    But, nothing is stopping you from sending the stereo bus to your mixer, and bringing it back into the DP and assigning it to a track but not allowing that audio back on the stereo bus. But if you do, you could blow something. Bad. So it's safer to use the regular FX sends.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  15. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    Of course! You can treat them as standalone recorders that can import and export tracks, so the possibilities are far greater than 2 analog tape machines. You don't have to actually MIDI sync them in order to benefit from having 2 machines, either. The lack of MIDI has put users off on using 2 machines, and it's true that without a sync methodology in place you can't play them back together in sync. But, you can have 2 or more machines in other rooms, or other countries, and and long as you're working with a common master track, everything will line up when you export/import, like a DAW.

    One cool thing you could do is set up an ultimate tracking room for vocals with a second machine. Self-engineering vocals is a thrash. Most control rooms in home studios are mainly performance rooms where guitar, keyboard, bass tracks, etc. are cut right in front of the monitors. No problem because most of that stuff is direct input - no mic. But adding a mic in that environment can be challenging. Stepping on the footswitch to punch in a vocal track may leave an artifact as the recorder starts recording before the sound of the switch dies in the room - because the room is big and too live. And depending on your auto-monitoring setting, the mic could be live as long as the track is armed. Raising the Monitor level could cause seroius feedback.

    But, to build a nice isolated vocal room around your second machine, with your expensive large-diaphragm German condenser microphone securely mounted right in the sweet spot? Yeah! At you fingertips is your second machine with the SD from the main machine loaded up. At a convenient height is your footswitch, on a carpet-covered shelf where you can silently press the buttons with your fingers. That cool vintage analog stuff you bought on eBay is there too, so you can make adjustments and see the metering on everything. You can get your headphone mix exactly how you like it without running in and out of the booth, and you don't need monitors in that room. And your main machine is sitting there in the exact same state you left it in, with your 2-mix all together and ready to monitor the new vocal tracks you've record, when you're done and put the SD card back in.

    2 machines means double the user presets too. All your customizations for recording vocals, including the specialised Mastering multiband compression settings you made for vocals only, is there on that machine. Same for any other user presets in the library. No fiddling with physical connections because you never undo them. Just Assign, EQ, FX, record.

    I think I want another machine too!
  16. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    The manual actually says the stereo outs are commonly used for speaker amplifiers, so I had to correct that, plus though, there's the headphone jack and the two monitor outs, plenty of outputs on these things haha lol.
  17. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Got to the party late, but wanted to offer this reminder. Be sure to use the the TRS inputs on the DP and not the XLR inputs, to keep it HiZ to HiZ. The DP trim pots at any position other than full CCW (left) reconfigure the DP Input to LowZ for Mic use. The incoming HiZ signal level to the DP should be controlled by the output level of the other device, not the Trim Pot.

    The Send 1&2 mono RCA jacks out, Monitor Out RCA L/R jacks, and the Stereo Out L/R jacks are all electrically identical. You can use any of those. The headphone jack is LowZ and not as quiet as the RCA output jacks.

    (There's a lot to catch up on in this thread. hope my post is on target.)

    EDIT: I also should have pointed out that the Monitor TRS output phone jacks put out substantially stronger signal than the RCA output jacks.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  18. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    Can I use any input though on the dp or do I have to use the h input?
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  19. Micki

    Micki New Member

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    I think your posts are awesome, you're an amazing technician!
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  20. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Any Input A~H. If H, just be sure the "Guitar" switch is Off. That switch changes the HiZ impedence to 1 million Ohms (because guitar pickups are typically 40kOhm). The HiZ ouput of most studio gear is about 22kOhm. Impedence matching is important for maintaining FR accuracy, audio quality, and for protecting delicate circuitry.
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