No, I don’t have motorized fader packs. After getting used to doing it the way I do, I can’t envision a good reason to want to use them, either - but as you said - I’d have to live there to understand where you’re coming from.
Since you run a commercial studio, I can see why you’d do it that way, since you can automate several tracks ‘on the fly’ at once, then go back and adjust any moves that you didn’t nail the first time. You want a good result - but you also want to make the most efficient use of your time and get the client ‘finished’ and move on to the next project.
I’m in no hurry. I enjoy the process of mixing the way I do - and I don’t think you could argue that there is a more
precise way of controlling the fader moves (and fx moves) than in the automation subtracks. I have pinpoint control over not just the track volume and fades - but I like to experiment with the length and intensity of delay tails at the end of vocal phrases and on solos. Compared to working on the subtracks, IMO moving the faders with your fingers is a more clumsy way of doing it.
And mixing in the arrange window doesn’t mean that somehow I’m not using my ears. What else would I use?
It’s just that I have no problem -really- taking my time with a mix. Especially when it’s near completion.
At the end of a session I may think it’s done. After saving and coming back the next day with fresh ears, I realize that there’s more tweaking to be done. So I fix the things that aren’t quite right - then come back again the next day.
I like this process of seeing a mix ripen over several days or even a couple of weeks.
Maybe one day it’d be fun to stop by your place and see you in action, Tom.
I’ve helped a few local friends who got into digital recording, and they learned a lot in a short time by
being in the room with me and sometimes one can learn more by seeing it done rather than reading about it.
I’ve never had the opportunity to sit side by side with a power user who was willing to explain what he was doing.