Shuriken

Recording Equipment

   34 votes

  1. 1. Recording Equipment, what do you guys use?

    • Firewire
    • USB
    • PCI/PCI-e/PCMCIA card
    • Onboard Soundcard
    • Standalone Multitrack Recorder

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43 posts in this topic

I was curious what most of you guys use for recording songs. I have a Phonic 302 Firewire interface, but with 2 channels it can't quite keep up with my growing synth collection.

So i am in the market for something new. Not sure which direction to go yet.

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Hm, you could keep the interface and invest in a mixer with dedicated sub-busses, which you can record and to which you can switch your instruments by the push of a few buttons. I did long research and for me it was a good solution ;-) :rolleyes:

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Hm, you could keep the interface and invest in a mixer with dedicated sub-busses, which you can record and to which you can switch your instruments by the push of a few buttons. I did long research and for me it was a good solution ;-) :rolleyes:

Ofcourse i have a mixer. Not sure if that's the best solution for recording as it's adding another analog audio path. I did loads of research as well. It's starting to drive me mad :tongue:

Edited by Shuriken

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heheh, yes, it can be driving one mad... :)

- a high-end solution (which i did not have the money for) would be a digital mixing deck with an integrated audio interface for every channel... but it is costly (ca 2k for yamaha 1v96v2). Offers nifty features...

- a lower-end solution would be to upgrade to a many-channel audio interface, there are relatively cheap ones with up to 16 channels 96khz/24bit, but you have to do everything on your pc/mac then.

- i did not see too many problems with adding another bit of analog audio path to reduce the number of channels to a recordable quantity... but an audio purist will avoid that, ofc :)

Edited by Hawkeye

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heheh, yes, it can be driving one mad... :)

- a high-end solution (which i did not have the money for) would be a digital mixing deck with an integrated audio interface for every channel... but it is costly (ca 2k for yamaha 1v96v2). Offers nifty features...

- a lower-end solution would be to upgrade to a many-channel audio interface, there are relatively cheap ones with up to 16 channels 96khz/24bit, but you have to do everything on your pc/mac then.

- i did not see too many problems with adding another bit of analog audio path to reduce the number of channels to a recordable quantity... but an audio purist will avoid that, ofc :)

I don't think i deserve a high-end solution yet. And besides i am not willing to spend 2k. I did see a second hand Korg 168RC for sale with an RME adat card for 400 euro. The Korg is a full digital desk. But it's way old 1996-1998. So not sure if its worth spending money on it.

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I just use a cheap firewire interface, 8 lovely channels with software mixer, 2 lovely preamps.

It's in my rack, with a snake in the back so i can route however i want - a rack patchbay thingy would make things a bit easier though, but i very rarely re-cable anyways. Personally I would be very bothered having to go through a hardware mixer too + the fact that i can record 8 inputs to single tracks in my DAW in a jiff really amuses me - i couldn't do that with a mixer and a 2chn soundcard.

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I use a Behringer DDX3216 with ADAT to go into my DSP Factory cards with ADAT interface. The Behringer I got from e*** for cheap, and I replaced the NJM 4580L Opamps with NE5532 types - it is really silent now. Plus a set of analog patch bays on the Behringer's inputs.

Unfortunately, all that is packed away at the moment... sigh.

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Using PCI EMU 1820. Has 8 analog ins/outs but that's about it. You can add a 1212 to get 4 more ins I think.

Was going to sell it to try to get Lynx or RME but just can't afford em right now. 1820 is ok, nothing special.

I would think with the 8 1/4" inputs you could hook up a 4 bus (stereo) mixer to route all your 15 synths to what any of the 4 stereo recording pairs to at least get some stuff recorded with one pass while monitoring the tracks your not recording with the analog mixer.

It seems to me that there are 4 price brackets for interfaces:

maudio,EMU,behringer-low end

maudio firewire, saffire, presonus,a&H fire wire mixers-mid end

RME-mid high end

Apogee, Lynx, Lavry, benchmark, Lucid, mytek, prism, metric halo -High end

I would love to get a dedicated PCI interface that I can grow over time, just run synths directly in with super duper quality and lynx keeps popping up. RME seems to be the cheapest higher end stuff available that can be chained PCI cards or firewire as well (up to 3 units. This would make sense if not wanting to use an analog mixer.

Looking at Behringer Xenxy right now to go into the 1820 though. Gonna try it out for a couple months.

Let us know what you try!

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Still loving my MOTU 828mkII. And as a bonus, its audio outputs can output control voltages to drive your analog synth / modular / monotron / etc using Volta or the awesome Silent Way.

The Allen&Heath Zed R16 is damn sexy though...

Allen-Heath-ZEDR16-300x165.jpg

16 bidirectional firewire channels on a great-sounding mixer. Similar to the Mackie Onyx 1640i.

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By the way, most of my synths are plugged directly into a 24-channel Soundcraft Spirit Studio mixing console. If you have lots of hardware synths, IMHO you need an analog mixer if you plan to create music with any spontaneity.

What happens when something comes in WAY TOO LOUD, or a mic starts feeding back? On a mixer you can grab those channels instantly. What do you do when you want to play a synth while your computer is turned off? Do you want to go behind your rack every time you want to patch in a different instrument?

Besides, there's nothing wrong with having a little more analog in your signal path, as long as it's good analog. And as a bonus, decent mixing boards often have nicer sounding EQ than typical DAW EQ.

FYI: I picked this puppy up for $600 used, nothing wrong with it!

soundcraft_spirit_studio24_005.JPG

Edited by nebula

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+1 for the statement regarding computer-free playing - you need a nice desk :)

would love to do an "a-b listen-comparison test", a without the mixer and b with the mixer in the analog chain :-)

argh, nebula, thats how many busses on that soundcraft? dammn ;-)

by the way, some mixers (like some allen & heaths) have options to reduce the analog audio path from your line signals:

a) preamp bypass (preamps are only necessary for mic-level inputs, not for "strong" synth line inputs)

b) eq section bypass

finally, there often is a "direct out" feature, which allows you to grab your most important channels and capture them unmodified using your audio interface.

regarding old digital mixers - be careful, they may be your weakest element in the processing chain, e.g. if they offer only 44khz/16bit sampling rate per channel.

Edited by Hawkeye

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regarding old digital mixers - be careful, they may be your weakest element in the processing chain, e.g. if they offer only 44khz/16bit sampling rate per channel.

Such equipment would be really difficult to find today... Yamaha DMP7 anyone?

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Such equipment would be really difficult to find today... Yamaha DMP7 anyone?

you´re right, most of the old digital mixers are 24bit already... so no problem on that front... it all depends whether you think that 96khz are necessary or not - the yamaha 1v96 version 1 may also be interesting, if you are looking into "affordable" old digital decks.

otoh some people in the fully digital domain now employ analog summers to circumvent the (in my opinion not audible) degradation in sound quality, when many channels are digitally mixed together, e.g. sampled @ 44khz/24bit and are then being downcalculated to a single channel @ 44khz/24bit. At some point it all drifts off into mythic "high-end" discussions, e.g. of the audability of the difference of using 1m of standard copper audio wire vs. using 1m of high-end-oxygen-free audio-cable of the same diameter. Entire wars have been fought over that matter :).

Edited by Hawkeye

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get a PATCH and coloured patchcords : costless, easy to integrate, no electronic

it took me 5 years to get one and it is my best invest ... sometimes i am a bit dummy

Edited by julienvoirin

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soundcraft_spirit_studio24_005.JPG

I have the exact desk :). But drummer as well, so I sub mix through a Mackie 3204 (4 sub groups) and the 8 busses on the Soundcraft go to an RME FF800 (there's two extra ADCs when you wanna get real' freaky). Very happy with the results!

* Much easier to set up foldback/monitor channels on an analog desk. *

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I use a Roland M-480 Rack mixer connected to a creamware Scope PCI Card with analog I/O.

(24 Stereo Inp. -> 2 x Stereo Outs; 6 Aux rails, 4x AF, 2x Pre/AF selectable)

All my rack Synths are hardwired to the Inputs;

PCI Card In is feed by SubOut.

PCI Card Out -> Inp. 47/48 (last stereo Inp.)

Main Out goes to the Monitor LS

As you already mentioned, any kind of analog HW mixer is essential for PC-less jamming /playing.

Even my wife can activate & play my rig :rolleyes:(she's a music teacher). This is essential for me to justify frurther investments :wink:

One big advantage over conventional tabletop Desk is its vast functionality in its small 6U 19" Rackspace.

Regards

Jo

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PC-less jamming /playing.

AAaargh, what is wrong with you people :D Computers are lovely!!

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you start to question ´em when you have something nice in mind and it takes 5 minutes until the os is booted, the daw software is started, the default project is loaded, the vsts have fired up and then in the middle of the (then already unsuccessful because of annoyance) recording session windows says, it wants to reboot now because of an important driver update :-) (i know, you can suspend that). I love hardware :laugh:

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you start to question ´em when you have something nice in mind and it takes 5 minutes until the os is booted, the daw software is started, the default project is loaded, the vsts have fired up and then in the middle of the (then already unsuccessful because of annoyance) recording session windows says, it wants to reboot now because of an important driver update :-) (i know, you can suspend that). I love hardware :laugh:

Well, Windows... with a proper OS, this doesn't happen.

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I have an m-audio Delta 1010LT 8x8 PCI audio interface and a Lexicon Alpha USB interface.

The Delta is used in our rehearsal venue in cinjunction with another Delta, so we have 16x16 recording capability there.

The Alpha is used as my interface for everything I do these days.

And I must say, I am very content with both of them.

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A question of pure interest - does Mac OS allow hibernating from within e.g. Ableton, with a full reconnect of audio-drivers when waking up? Like switching on the laptop and being able to press "record" directly afterwards without the necessity to restart the DAW? This then would be indeed a very nice upgrade path. (In my windows 7 environment, the crappy m-audio drivers very often refuse to work after "suspend from disk", a reboot is necessary).

Edited by Hawkeye

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Roland M-16DX.

http://www.roland.com/products/en/M-16DX/

You can find them used for 250-300 euro or $300-350 US.

Nobody knows about this thing - it's got 18 simultaneous analog to USB adc inputs, so you can record every single input AND record the main mixdown. It also works as a midi control surface.

The cool/strange part is that you can move the mixer around anywhere you like because it's only connected with one data cable to the I/O box.

M16DX.jpg

EdirolbyRoland.EdirolM16DX16ChannelDigitalMixer10587.jpg

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you start to question ´em when you have something nice in mind and it takes 5 minutes until the os is booted, the daw software is started, the default project is loaded, the vsts have fired up and then in the middle of the (then already unsuccessful because of annoyance) recording session windows says, it wants to reboot now because of an important driver update :-) (i know, you can suspend that). I love hardware :laugh:

Hehe, ironically enough i've used several types of computersystems for musicmaking in the last 15 years or so, and i never had any of those problems happen to me - not even on Windows

....btw, you really turn off your computer??? I wish i could do that too :D

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Well, Windows... with a proper OS, this doesn't happen.

Aw, please.... come on!

In fact a wellknown musicsoftware developer just had a huge webserver breakdown because of a recent update. 80% of the followers began bitching about Windows platform... until the dev himself responded that the webserver actually is running Linux!!111

My guess is, that if ppl had better understanding about computers, they wouldn't get into problems that often.. and that's a general statement, regardless of OS, hardware, everything. I can't build a house f.ex... but that doesn't mean that i should think 'bricks are bad' :D

Anyways, this thread is about recording equipment, and i use computers for recording all the time. In fact a lot of huge studios uses computers too, to make multimilliondollar hits. Tons of worldtouring international artists has half the stage full of computer rigs - I'm sure they would use hardware-only if it yielded better results :)

Sorry for derailing the debate :flowers: back to soundcards and mixers

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....btw, you really turn off your computer??? I wish i could do that too :D

It would be nice to have the comp on 24/7, but da gurl says "darn, hawkeye, keep da frickin' energy bill down" :)

Edited by Hawkeye

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