The catalyst of this make-over was a trip to Home Hardware for cable hooks, because I was drowning in guitar and audio cables. Once I had all my cables neatly hanging and organized, I was compelled to put these cables to use. My goal was to mimic the workflow to which I’d grown accustomed at Vogville over the years.
I do not have 48 channels on a Protools HD but I do have 8 outputs on my Fireface 800. Therefore, I am able to send 6 mono channels to the mixing board (or 3 stereo channels), saving the final 2 outputs for confidence monitoring of the mix in progress. This means that while I am mixing, there’s a stereo track in my DAW monitoring the input that is being fed by the main output of the mixing board. If I had just a few more cables left, I would take a parallel output from the mixing board and send it directly to my monitor matrix box, allowing me to hear the mix as it leaves the mixing desk outputs, and no longer requiring a monitoring track to be engaged within the DAW.
So far I have enjoyed the 3 stereo bus mixing concept, after delving into multi-bus-compression techniques involved with “Brauerizing”, a mixing technique developed by Michael Brauer. I have 6 channels of compression on my analog desk, but I also have 4 more channels of outboard compression to use as inserts.
Since the Yamaha MG166CX also has 2 mono aux sends, I set up a couple parallel processing chains:
Aux 1 goes to the Drawmer 1960 for compression, followed by the Carvin MP1000 desk for EQ and further tone-shaping, and back into the mixing board on the next open channel, for one final “hurrah” of EQ and gain-staging.
Aux 2 goes straight into a Fuzz Head pedal, typically used for guitar distortion, but offering another range of tasty parallel possibilities. Again, I return the aux to its own channel on the board.
For my Effects send, I inserted one of my personal favourites: The Line 6 Verbzilla, an obscure but efficient guitar pedal with the full gamut of standard options: Plate, Spring, Room, Hall, Delay, and more. I use a re-amp box to lower the effect send to guitar level before hitting the pedal since that’s what it was designed for. If I had a 2nd re-amp box, I would set it up on the my parallel distortion aux, but for now the effects are more important to me.
Here is the first studio jam to break-in my new setup. The viola and cajon have effect/loop pedals that are linked by MIDI.