When it comes to mixing setups, there is no right or wrong setup, everyone will have a different opinion. Some have embraced modern technology and exclusively use digital setup, while others are more traditional and use analog gear. Some use a mix of the two. And in fact, this is what we are using here at Mex Music Productions with a hybrid mixing setup.
A mix of digital for its ease and accessibility and analog for its authenticity and human connection,
We asked Damiano Mex, why he started using a hybrid mixing setup.
Is a hybrid mixing setup really worth it?
Don’t get me wrong, I know technology has made giant steps in the mixing world and I love plugins just as much as you do, especially emulation-type plugins. I still very much use plugins, but I recently came across some examples of A/B testing between the real piece hardware and the emulation.
And not once during these tests did I feel that the emulation was sounding as good, as juicy and as accurate as the piece of gear. It really was different, at least to my ears.
And when I’ve been able to use the gear, I did feel that “voltage” passing through my skin and brain. When you touch the ends of those knobs it really goes through you, directly into your heart.
It was this realisation, this experience that drove me to start investing in analog gear.
What about the downside of a hybrid mixing Setup?
Does it have a downside? Oh yeah, there are plenty. Those machines can suck up quite a bit of power and at the same time be very fragile on the electrical side. You will need a power conditioner when you start working with and investing in hardware gear.
The gear also takes up physical space obviously. If you’re mixing at home in the bedroom, that rack full of gear next to your bed could have some serious implications on your relationship status. Without mentioning how hot it can get (I mean the surfaces of the gear). You’ll need a dedicated space for your work, even better an at-home studio (I’ll be sharing more on this soon).
Additionally, it definitely slows down your workflow while mixing. Especially when dealing with only a few INs and OUTs in your interface. Printing single tracks can definitely add extra time to your timelines.
After reading this you might be thinking, is hybrid mixing still worth all of this? Especially when you can simply chuck the plugin on that track and be done with it?
Oh yeh, it is!
For me, it’s definitely worth the extra time and effort. The more I use analog gear, the more I’m convinced about it. Mind you, my setup is still rather limited but now I’ve started the dance. Time will tell if more analog gear is to be part of my life.
Stay tuned as we will be sharing more about the hybrid mixing setup Damiano uses. If you have any other questions, get in touch. If you’d like to work with Damiano, head on over here.
ps. You can follow Damiano on Instagram over here at @mexmusicproductions.