Adding Mixer Channels to Old Reason files

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jeffkorea
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Post 19 Jan 2019

Hey Guys!
Wondering what to do when opening old reason files in Reason 10. All of the tracks and devices are present, but there are no individual mix channels for any of them. There is only one master mix track. I'm wondering, how do I route the devices correctly to the mixer? Is there an easy way? I tried to create a mix channel and then auto route, but I'm not getting any audio in the mix channel. Any help would be wonderful.
Cheers,
Jeffkorea

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rgdaniel
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Post 19 Jan 2019

I'm in the middle remixing old Reason 4 files into Reason 10, and I'm getting fairly confident in my approach. Basically, if the track has 10 mixer channels in the old mixer, I create 10 new empty SSL Mix Channels over in the second rack column. I make sure everything in the old side is in a combinator, if possible. Then one at a time I copy-drag each combinator from the old side over to the new side, under its correct new mixer channel. Then I flip the rack around and hook up each combi to its mix inputs. Create any equivalent automation lanes on the new side (volume, pan, pitch bend etc) and in the sequencer, one at a time, copy-drag automation data clips down to their respective new locations. You will have much tweaking still to be done. If you preserve everything under the old "Mixer1" SSL Mixer Channel, you can mute it/solo it to compare your old vs new, as you go about trying to get it sounding the same. Which it never will :) But good excuse to reimagine it. Otherwise just leave it in one channel and tweak it old school.

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selig
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Post 19 Jan 2019

Don’t create mix channels, just delete the 14:2 mixer, then carefully select each instrument (and nothing else) and then do an “auto route”.

Unfortunately the auto-route trick won’t work for instruments with multiple outputs, connecting only the main stereo outs of each instrument.


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rgdaniel
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Post 20 Jan 2019

selig wrote:
19 Jan 2019
Don’t create mix channels, just delete the 14:2 mixer, then carefully select each instrument (and nothing else) and then do an “auto route”.
If you delete the 14:2 mixer, you lose your automation lanes.

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2019

rgdaniel wrote:
selig wrote:
19 Jan 2019
Don’t create mix channels, just delete the 14:2 mixer, then carefully select each instrument (and nothing else) and then do an “auto route”.
If you delete the 14:2 mixer, you lose your automation lanes.
If you use mix channels you loose your 14:2 automation lanes. So you have to choose to either stick with the 14:2 or move on to the SSL - no way to do both.


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rgdaniel
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Post 20 Jan 2019

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2019
rgdaniel wrote:
If you delete the 14:2 mixer, you lose your automation lanes.
If you use mix channels you loose your 14:2 automation lanes. So you have to choose to either stick with the 14:2 or move on to the SSL - no way to do both.
As described, in my method I preserve the automation lanes by copy-dragging them into equivalent SSL automation lanes that I prepare. I'm DEFINITELY having it both ways until I'm happy I've got everything preserved. A/B-ing the old vs the new is super useful... (mute/solo the original SSL channel which usually comes in as called "MIXER"). When they're pretty close sounding, I mute the old MIXER channel forever, and eventually delete those tracks and devices. I also colour code all the old stuff in Graphite so I don't get confused while I'm still setting it all up. Takes me a half hour or so at most to get a coherent document with everything nicely preserved and organized under SSL before I'm ready to move forward with remixing.

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2019

rgdaniel wrote: As described, in my method I preserve the automation lanes by copy-dragging them into equivalent SSL automation lanes that I prepare. I'm DEFINITELY having it both ways until I'm happy I've got everything preserved. A/B-ing the old vs the new is super useful... (mute/solo the original SSL channel which usually comes in as called "MIXER"). When they're pretty close sounding, I mute the old MIXER channel forever, and eventually delete those tracks and devices. I also colour code all the old stuff in Graphite so I don't get confused while I'm still setting it all up. Takes me a half hour or so at most to get a coherent document with everything nicely preserved and organized under SSL before I'm ready to move forward with remixing.
Indeed, the automation lanes can be preserved, but they cannot be properly/accurately translated. Here’s why I’ve never been happy with that approach:

For example, unity gain is “100” on the 14:2 mixer, and it’s 734 on the SSL. But when you convert alien lanes when dragging automation from 14:2 to SSL faders, you get 787 on the SSL for unity (which is actually about 2 dB hotter.

But the problem is the relationship isn’t 100% linear, so you can’t just offset the levels and have an accurate translation between the two.

You can get unity for faders at 100 on the 14:2 by subtracting 55 after conversion to the SSL. But the rest of the levels will be off by at least 2 dB as soon as you move even 1/8 of the way away, getting worse as you move further away from unity.

In other words, there isn’t a way to translate automation and get accurate results since ±2 dB difference across all your tracks can give greatly different results.

But beyond that, I wouldn’t even try to translate automation because once you start using the EQ and/or dynamics of the SSL, plus any new REs you’ve acquired since the original mix was done, you’ll be in such new territory that most automation wouldn’t even make sense (and certainly wouldn’t represent the original).


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rgdaniel
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Post 20 Jan 2019

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2019
rgdaniel wrote: As described, in my method I preserve the automation lanes by copy-dragging them into equivalent SSL automation lanes that I prepare. I'm DEFINITELY having it both ways until I'm happy I've got everything preserved. ...
Indeed, the automation lanes can be preserved, but they cannot be properly/accurately translated. Here’s why I’ve never been happy with that approach:

For example, unity gain is “100” on the 14:2 mixer, and it’s 734 on the SSL. But when you convert alien lanes when dragging automation from 14:2 to SSL faders, you get 787 on the SSL for unity (which is actually about 2 dB hotter.

But the problem is the relationship isn’t 100% linear, so you can’t just offset the levels and have an accurate translation between the two.

You can get unity for faders at 100 on the 14:2 by subtracting 55 after conversion to the SSL. But the rest of the levels will be off by at least 2 dB as soon as you move even 1/8 of the way away, getting worse as you move further away from unity.

In other words, there isn’t a way to translate automation and get accurate results since ±2 dB difference across all your tracks can give greatly different results.

But beyond that, I wouldn’t even try to translate automation because once you start using the EQ and/or dynamics of the SSL, plus any new REs you’ve acquired since the original mix was done, you’ll be in such new territory that most automation wouldn’t even make sense (and certainly wouldn’t represent the original).
I don't disagree with any of that. But what my method does is get me to a starting point where I can begin to correct those discrepancies. Once I delete the mixer, I have no clue (or no reliable memory) of what I was automating, where and why. Preserving those lanes, however inaccurate they are, gives me a head start on the remix. Sometimes, granted, when I get into it further, I look at one lane or another and go "what was I thinking?", and start over or go a different direction. But at least I have a coherent starting point. If the goal is to get it sounding as close as possible to the original, but within SSL, I believe it's important to preserve those lanes, and adjust to suit. If the goal is a drastic remix/re-imagining, then maybe you can afford to blow off the old automation lanes and start from scratch. Lots of ways to do things.
Last edited by rgdaniel on 20 Jan 2019, edited 1 time in total.

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selig
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Post 20 Jan 2019

If the goal is to get it to sound as much as possible like the original, then why go through all this trouble?

I would think in most cases the goal would be to get it to sound better than before.

And in most cases we’re talking about re-visiting songs from 5-10 or more years ago, in which case our mixing skills have improved greatly over that time (as well as our tools).

So I “get” what you’re doing with your approach, and it’s totally valid - but it can only be for reference. In essence, I’m simply lowering expectations so folks don’t think they can just drag the automation and convert then manipulate until it matches. As you describe, it’s more of a reference than a conversion, which was also my point!
:)


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rgdaniel
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Post 20 Jan 2019

selig wrote:
20 Jan 2019

So I “get” what you’re doing with your approach, and it’s totally valid - but it can only be for reference.
Agreed, mostly. For me, it's vital to have that reference, to establish a useful starting point.

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