Sylvia Massy Discusses Analog Workflows!

brandonshireConcepts, Mixing, Plugins, Production, WorkflowLeave a Comment

I just saw this awesome youtube video from Mix With The Masters featuring the legendary Sylvia Massy discussing an analog recording workflow while recording The Melvins!

This one’s just really cool, because you get a glimpse into the entire tracking workflow. From tracking through a split Neve console with Neve *1081 EQ’s, to committing to a dbx 160 on the snare on the way in, and more! Fans of analog hardware will drool!

But this video reminded me of my first ever “Mix Minute” episode, which described how to get an analog console workflow in the box using plugins and track freeze! This approach mimics the one Sylvia describes, but is using plugins to commit analog flavor to digital sounds after tracking. Of course, if you’re using zero latency analog models, you could track through some of these plugins and commit on the way into your DAW! After all, Slate’s VMR is zero latency!

So here’s a breakdown of the split console workflow Sylvia describes.


  • Source
  • Neve Preamp into…
  • Neve EQ (1081 in this case) into…
  • Neve Channel into…
  • Tape Machine (Pro Tools).


  • Tape Machine (Pro Tools) into…
  • Neve Channel into…
  • Neve EQ and whatever else you need for the mix.

So the source passes through the Neve twice in this vintage analog workflow. And if you’re not using a real console, and happen to dig the sound of the console emulations out there, you can emulate this in the box using track freeze as demonstrated here!

If you enjoyed Sylvia’s video above, I’d highly recommend her book “Recording Unhinged“! There’s a banner for it on the right among our affiliate banners, so you can buy your own copy on Amazon! And please check out “5 Questions With Sylvia Massy” while you’re at it!

Have you ever used a split console? Tell us your stories, and what you loved or hated about it in the comments!

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* – To learn more about the Neve 1081 EQ, check out our “Waves Plugin Wednesday” featuring the Waves V-EQ4.