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Navigating Phase Issues with Outboard DSP

Dive into the complexities of delay compensation in mixing, particularly when integrating external processing units like Waves with a console that already has delay compensation capabilities. The focus is on demonstrating the effect of using external processors on signal phase and timing, and why internal delay compensation in a console may not be sufficient.

Key Points:
  • Before you can jump into making any adjustments, it’s important to understand delay compensation as a whole and its relevance when using external processors like Waves.
  • Walk through the difference in phase and sound when using a heavy plugin within the console versus using an external processor like Waves. This highlights how the console compensates for internal delays but not for external processing delays.
  • Phase issues arise when the signal is routing outside the console for processing and then re-introduced, which results in a noticeable degradation of sound quality due to phase cancellation.
  • Explore more complex routing scenarios, such as sending signals to different mixes and using external compression on a drum group, to illustrate how delay compensation within the console can handle internal complexities but fails with external routing.
  • While a console might have sophisticated delay compensation, it only compensates for delays occurring within the console itself. Any external routing, especially with multiple stages of conversion, introduces delays that the console cannot automatically compensate for.
  • Understanding the limitations of the console’s delay compensation is crucial for maintaining sound quality in complex audio setups.


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