Mixdown question

I had read someplace that exporting each channel out to a wav file then importing them back into the DAW for mixing will give you a better mix. I understand why you might do this for MIDI, but to take a large project at say 24/48k and export each and every track out to 24/48k, then import back in, sounds like a heck of a lot of work. Does anyone do this? Does it really make a difference? By that time all your eq, effects, pan are all set so it seems its just really setting levels, master processing and dither. Thoughts? Experiences?

Sounds like BS to me.

all that does is decrease cpu load from all the plugins you were running I suppose. :confused:

Thanks guys, I kind of figured it was a lot of work for nothing. I never have hit a wall with cpu load, so that’s not an issue.

It can - but it all depends on what it is you are doing, and how you are doing it. Specifically what, if anything, is in the signal path when you go out and come back in. You may, for ex., put your tracks (audio and/or MIDI) through a good vintage Pultec EQ, and a good compressor, as well as other things. If you do this, you do in fact have the potential to give yourself a better mix, because each track is slightly ‘improved’ (improved being a relative term here). But if you just go out of your DAW and come back in 1:1, then no - there is no improvement, because the 0s and 1s are not changing.

Then there is summing externally, but that’s slightly different than what you mentioned.


ahh, I hadn’t considered outboard processing. Likely because I don’t have the equipment to do it. Not even sure my equipment has the ability, but that does make sense. Re: Summing, my understanding is thats really just to get more of an analog sound?

Potentially, yes. But again it depends. If you come straight out of your card into a real low-end peice of gear, ala Behringer/Mackie, might as well not bother. But, if you use a high-end D/A, and go into, say, a Neve console, then put a good stereo bus compressor in the chain on the way back in, then yes. How much better is it going to be? That is debatable.


I’m running an E-Mu 1010/1212 card and go firewire from a Phonix Helix MKII board. Don’t know what my outboard capability is as I’ve never considered it. I will now…
Thank you all for a very informative dialog. These are things I had not considered. If opportunity or finances permit, I will try to “play” with these ideas.