Advanced Routing Question


Dec 13, 2012
Long Island, NY
Gear owned
Dm 4800 imac Pro Tools 10
Ok , maybe not advanced, but thanks to the talent on this forum I've been able to at least move beyond noob! As a reminder, my typical application is tracking a rock or jazz band playing live with anywhere from 12-20 M/L inputs being recorded all at once, then recording vocals and overdubs, then all editing and mixing occurs in the box.

Anyway, after so much good advice on this forum I've got a stable, effective routing setup where I send pre-module signals direct to PT via firewire using input bypass, I monitor the stereo buss with various compression, eq and phase settings post fader by assigning those modules to the stereo buss, and I can give up to 6 individual headphone mixes using the aux sends to an ART headphone amp. So far so good. But I find that as I get better "getting sounds" with subtle eq, comp, phase settings on the board pre-PT, I'd like to record that sound and not have to redo all that tweaking in the box during mix. But, I want to do it in a way where I can still change the fader settings in the stereo bus that I monitor so what I'm hearing doesn't impact the level going to PT.

Does anyone have a clever routing setting that would allow me to send a post phase/comp/eq/effects but pre module fader signal to Firewire so I am still free to adjust the faders during tracking without varying the levels going to PT? I'm thinking about setting all the M/L input module faders at unity gain to get a signal to PT but not putting them in the stereo buss, and using the busses to actually monitor but not send them to PT. I know its backwards from the way we normally route. Anyone ever try this or have any other solutions?

On a related note, at what point in the signal chain does signal get sent to the aux's? I'm wondering if my individual headphone mixes will hear the comp/eq/effects changes or do the aux busses get their signal before all that?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and time.
Its a clever idea, but I believe that you still would need the Individual busses to route the effected signal back to PT.
There are so many options. You could monitor through your AUX channels, using the encoders as faders while the individual channels are going through your busses and those busses are assigned to FW outputs.
Or, if you still want fader control, you could assign those 20 channels to individual busses, assign those busses to your FW outputs, setting each Channel fader to unity. Make sure your Buss layer is also set to unity. Use your effects as you need pre PTs. You may need to set each channel to the stereo buss to get your effects just right. Just deselect the stereo buss when it sounds just right. THEN, using another layer on the DM, assign those same 20 inputs to the new layer of channels, using input bypass, to your stereo buss as you have it set up now. By doing this, the previous 20 channels are being effected as you need prior to going into PT, with all faders at unity, and the second layer would be your monitoring layer, with all channels going out through your stereo buss, like you have it now. You could make as many changes to this layer as you need without it effecting your recording.
Probably not the most creative, but certainly a way to do what you want.
I have a session tonight so I'm going to experiment with a few different options including your suggestions of the split board type routing, and I'll report back. I'm also going to be trying some new 500 series preamps in front of the board the first time so I'll report back on that as well.

I did consider monitoring AUX channels, but they are mono and I want to monitor in stereo.
Good point. Then the split layer thing should work for you. Have a good session.
The options are many, but I wouldn´t have any dynamics or eq on the recorded tracks, beacause what you hear live is a mix from the PA, wedges and backline, and you compensate for this with your eq´s and dynamics. You would probably end up disappointed with your multitrack. As you probably know, live mixing and studio mixing are two entirely different approaches.
Anywhos, best of luck ;)
There is no "live mix" its purely a recording studio project so no monitors, PA, etc. The only reason we wanted to experiment printing the board-applied eq, compression, effects, etc. is because we are of the philosophy that things should sound right before its tracked so the type of changes we apply from the board are things like setting phase between drums, minor eq tweaks to eliminate drum overtones, low pass filters on most tracks, etc. Just small stuff to make the instruments sound good before the recording happens and to free us from needing to do that basic work in Pro Tools during mix so our CPU is as unencumbered as possible for the mix processing we do apply.

We are still in the learning curve, always will be, so we are trying everything. This particular method produces great results but at the cost of lots more setup time and tweaking while the band sits frustrated and ready to record, so unless we get faster at getting the sounds perfect, we may go back to input by pass recording.
"we are of the philosophy that things should sound right before its tracked so the type of changes we apply from the board are things like setting phase between drums, minor eq tweaks to eliminate drum overtones, low pass filters on most tracks,"

There are numerous ways to skin a cat, and at least as many to eviscerate it. In a majority of cases - and with a few exceptions - I've never believed in printing efx, eq, dynamics, to recorded tracks because, more times than not, at final mix down, being painted into a corner is the last thing I want. That's why everything is done non-destructively so changes can be made all the way down the line. Trying to remove an EQ is far more difficult than applying a different one to a flat, dry track.

Oh - and I think you might mean 'HiPass' filters'; lo-pass on everything would made the mix sound like - well - I won't go there. :)


Definitely meant hi pass! And having tried it both ways I agree it's far easier and more flexible to capture the tracks dry and deal with everything in the mix. We have another tracking session on the 15th so will report back after that.

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