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Tobiah Tobiah is offline
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Default Defeating digital mixer in audio interface.

My interface has an option that disables all internal
mixing. No monitor mix available, and I guess, one would
have to do all other routing within the DAW. Why would
a person want to do this? Is anything gained in fidelity
by sidestepping an ADC or DAC someplace? With such a
configuration is there no way to monitor an input other
than by round trip through the computer?


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Mike Rivers[_2_] Mike Rivers[_2_] is offline
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Default Defeating digital mixer in audio interface.

On 12/17/2019 6:12 PM, Tobiah wrote:
My interface has an option that disables all internal
mixing.* No monitor mix available, and I guess, one would
have to do all other routing within the DAW.* Why would
a person want to do this?


There could be any number of reasons, but here's my guess. There's a
little history here.

In the early days of the DAW, there was no means of monitoring the input
directly. If you wanted to hear what you were recording, you had to
listen to the DAW output and, with that, its associated delay. The first
fix for that was the "monitor controller" that allowed you to route your
input source through a box that could mix it with the DAW return signal.
Then we started seeing interfaces that had this capability built in. It
was cheap and easy as long as you had only one or two inputs and were
adept at mixing your recorded tracks on the fly to add them in with the
source. It was a simple analog mixer.

The DSP mixer came along with the multi-channel interface because it was
cheaper to build a mixer from a DSP chip and some software than to
include all the analog components to mix a bunch of sources and DAW
playback channels.

But the problem here was that most people weren't clever enough to
figure out how to turn off the (delayed) input signal coming back from
the DAW so they heard an annoying echo - the direct-through-DSP source
plus its DAW track. The interface manufacturers couldn't tell you how to
disable input monitoring on the DAW track that you were recording, so
they gave you the option of turning it off in the interface's mixer.

You still had the DAW latency, but in the past dozen or so years,
software and hardware became good enough so that the latency was small
enough for most users to tolerate or ignore. Also, DAW makers figured
out how to implement "tape deck monitor switching" that would send the
track input to the mixer output when you were in Record and switch to
the track playback when in Play. And without the interface's nearly zero
latency monitoring turned off, you heard only one version of the track
while recording, plus the track's live source was turned off in the DAW
mix when playing back.

So, in summary, DAWs now work well enough so that, in theory, you don't
need to have an independent monitor mixer. In practice, well, you need
to have a fast computer and tweak it well in order to not be bothered by
the unavoidable latency.


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geoff geoff is offline
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Default Defeating digital mixer in audio interface.

On 18/12/2019 12:12 pm, Tobiah wrote:
My interface has an option that disables all internal
mixing.* No monitor mix available, and I guess, one would
have to do all other routing within the DAW.* Why would
a person want to do this?* Is anything gained in fidelity
by sidestepping an ADC or DAC someplace?* With such a
configuration is there no way to monitor an input other
than by round trip through the computer?


Probably no benefit other than catering to those who have a desire to
minimalise their AD/DA experience, maybe bypassing some interface DSPery.

geoff
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Scott Dorsey Scott Dorsey is offline
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Default Defeating digital mixer in audio interface.

In article , Tobiah wrote:
My interface has an option that disables all internal
mixing. No monitor mix available, and I guess, one would
have to do all other routing within the DAW. Why would
a person want to do this? Is anything gained in fidelity
by sidestepping an ADC or DAC someplace?


The less processing you do, the better. The fewer things you have in your
signal path, the fewer things there are to do wrong. Any time you change
gains, you have the chance of something going wrong. Not to mention that
it's one more set of things to get misadjusted accidentally.

With such a
configuration is there no way to monitor an input other
than by round trip through the computer?


Sure, through an analogue mixing console. In most cases if you're tracking
through a normal console, you just use the console to make cue mixes. Way
more convenient and direct than using wacky mixing hardware in your ADC.
--scott

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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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