Hero Image

Take the Mixing Challenge: Pro Tools “In the Box,” Neve 8048, and Pro Tools HEAT

How sonically different are the mixes—and which do you prefer?

Many audio professionals believe that certain Neve consoles are the Holy Grail of analog mixing supremacy and are key to getting that coveted warmth in your digital recordings. Many others believe that you can get the same sonic richness mixing in Pro Tools, using plug-ins and no analog gear whatsoever. Still others believe that the answer lies somewhere in between, using analog inserts or summing boxes with an “in the box” Pro Tools mix.

We thought you’d be interested in finding out if your beliefs are in tune with your actual preferences. So, we did a fun experiment (similar to one we did several years ago with a vintage SSL console) at the world famous Village Studios in Los Angeles to see how closely a Pro Tools “in the box” mix being summed on a vintage Neve 8048 console compares with a mix done only “in the box” in Pro Tools—and “in the box” with our new HEAT software add-on, which brings the warmth and character of vintage analog gear to Pro Tools|HD mixes. We invite you to hear the results and judge for yourself.

Take the listening challenge

Our showcase track—“Believe” by Nimble Tailors—features several loops of the three mixes. Take our listening challenge and see if you can correctly identify which mixes are done on the Neve console, which are completely in Pro Tools, and which are in Pro Tools with HEAT.


Behind the scenes

See how and why we created these mixes in this behind-the-scenes sneak peek.   Hear from owner Jeff Greenburg about The Village and its high-profile clientele.

Discuss your results with others

So how did you do? Did you find it difficult to tell the mixes apart? Want more details on the mix experiment? Join the discussion with your fellow challenge takers in our open forum.