The ease of use, price and recall ability of the latest plugins for sure make them the core of any computer based recording system. To be quite frank, it is a fine way to make a record from beginning to an end using just what is in the box ( computer) therefore the whole process could be made in the box at a real good quality. There are many examples of records that are made in the box and sound great. That being said, there is still lots of analog hardware that is here to stay for a while. Processing and mixing outside the box is more rewarding if you know what you are doing. So there it stands, the choices : should we mix digitally (in the box ) or by going thru an analog chain ( summing all the signal from all channels to a mix bus) Digital summing has one crucial problem; that the output bit depth is equal to or less than each of the internal signals. This means that when signals are summed, some data must be thrown away. Moreover the volume of data discarded in this process increases with your track count. It would, of course be unfair to suggest that modern software performs this data reduction indiscriminately or with especially poor results, however many engineers and producers have found there to be something lacking in their digital mixes – often employing an analogue console purely to make use of its summing bus. So what’s so special about the mix bus on a big console? Well... only the highest of high end, large format consoles employ balanced mix buses to reduce crosstalk and fend off noise. And this is precisely the kind of mix bus you’ll find in our studio, in the Audient ASP8024, delivering the sound of it’s large format console.
Not only is Audient’s summing bus as clean as a whistle, it has frighteningly high headroom. This is particularly important because adding signals means adding their levels, too. The more signals you add, the more level you’re likely to find on the sum bus. Consequently, Audient console has been designed to handle levels in excess of +26dBu. This means that ASP8024 can take whatever you throw at it without distortion or noise. Another feature of large format studio consoles is the inclusion of a compressor over the main stereo bus. Consequently, the bus compressor from the ASP8024 is a flexible, high quality compressor capable of polishing a mix to perfection.
To cap it all off, the monitor section gives you hands-on control of your playback level while the external input allows you to A/B your mixes against some reference material, or listen to the playback from your master recorder. While having 8 subgroups in the console we patch some of the subgroups thru an external compressor or eq we have in our rack that will add definition to your drum mix, vocal etc…Therefore our choice is mixing outside the box ,bottom line , it will get you a better separation, nicer stereo image , higher level handling before you master so in the mastering the limiter will not work as hard and therefore will not be noticeable as much. So yes , mixing in the box would get you a good mix if you a good mixing engineer but taking a few extra steps ( extra time and money in this case ) will deliver a superior quality to the one mentioned and that is what we are capable off doing.