Using real-time mixdown instead of Bounce
All DAW programs have a ‘bounce’ feature available to create a stereo or multi-channel mix of your current multi-track project.
In Digital Performer, this ‘bounce’ process occurs offline, and usually happens faster than real time.
What this means is that if you have a 2 minute sequence, and you bounce to disk, it takes less than 2 minutes [usually] to create that bounce audio file.
But many times the resulting ‘bounce’ file contains errors.
It simply does not sound like the mix you’ve been working on for the past week!
Automation nodes get cut off, or CC data curves controlling VI parameters get inaccurately rendered. Maybe it’s a midi data bottleneck somewhere, who knows.
These errors do not happen all of the time, or even the majority of the time. But it happens enough that Bounce to Disk is not 100% reliable.
And this is not unique to Digital Performer.
Over the years I’ve experienced the same problems with Logic as well.
So how can you get a bounce that truly sounds like your mix during playback?
Simply do a ‘Real-Time Bounce to Disk’.
This is nothing more than routing all of your audio/VI/aux tracks to a single bus output and then recording that bus output
onto a new audio track.
Here’s how it’s done.
In this example, you can see my Tracks Overview window.
The midi tracks on top and the VIs on the bottom.
There are no audio tracks in this project, but the procedure is the same for audio or VI tracks or aux tracks.
Notice the Track Folders [Project–>Track Folders] for easy viewing:
Virtual Instruments routed to hardware outputs.
Step 1: change the output destination of the Virtual Instruments to a single stereo bus.
You can do this one by one, or first select all the VI tracks in the TO window, and then use the Audio Assignments window [Studio–>Audio Assignments] to change them all simultaneously:
The Audio Assignment window can be a time saver
After doing this, here’s how things look:
all virtual instruments now sending their audio to a stereo bus
Step 2: Create a stereo audio track.
Name it something useful, like ‘final mixdown’.
Step 3: Set the input for that audio track to the same bus you chose for the VI output. Bus 1-2 in this example
The mixdown track's input needs to be the output of all your audio/VI/aux tracks.
Step 4: set the output of your mixdown track to your main audio output [connected to your speakers for monitoring] so you can hear what is happening during mixdown.
Record enable and input enable the mixdown track.
Step 5: rewind to the start of the sequence. Tap record. Now all of your tracks are being mixed down to a single audio track.
Here’s the finished result:
You can have any number of audio tracks/midi VI sound sources/Aux tracks filled with effects plugins/stems/submixes
and the process for real-time mixdown is exactly the same.
Just route all of them to a single bus, then record the bus onto a dedicated audio track.
I have yet to get a single mixdown ‘error’ when using this method instead of bounce to disk.