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Author Topic: maybe looking for new audio interface  (Read 23339 times)

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rnolan

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #30 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, all you ideas are good IMO, there's lots of ways to do it, I basically use (well did till the PC had a hernia) Pro Tools like you, a digital tape player.  You can do much of what you want with the software, the main players are quite feature rich. I always end up mixing on the PC as I have lots of channels and only 8 in/out I/O. But I record quite direct and don't eq to tape (well not always  ;) ). In the end it's whatever works for you.
R :wave:
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #31 on: Time Format »

Hey Richard,

    I don't use ProTools. I could never afford that. All I've used as far as DAW software was Sound Forge, or Vegas. I have Cakewalk but didn't like it, I also have a few earlier versions of Cubase, but they were confusing and had glitches in the recordings. There are a few other brands I have but they didn't work for me either. The way I used those was through what was called a "Breakout Box" to interface the audio with the computer. That was with the Lexicon Core 2 system. I still have all the Lexicon hardware and software, but the PC is a dead horse. Basically, the new audio interface and laptop, is to replace that setup.

    Thanks again,
     Harley 8)
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MarshallJMP

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #32 on: Time Format »

i would record it directly into cubase and do the mixes on pc.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #33 on: Time Format »

Hey MJMP,

    If you wouldn't mind, please elaborate on that a little bit. Why that method instead of pre mixing through the mixing desk?

      Harley 8)
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Peter H. Boer

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #34 on: Time Format »

    If you wouldn't mind, please elaborate on that a little bit. Why that method instead of pre mixing through the mixing desk?

It will give you a lot more control, and instant recall if you want to adjust the mix later on.

Peter  :thumb-up:
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MarshallJMP

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #35 on: Time Format »

Like Peter says a lot easier to work with.You'll see what we mean once you get to work with cubase.
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rnolan

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #36 on: Time Format »

A mate of mine bought a Yamaha 2 in out usb I/O thingy and it came with cubase, from what I could see it's very similar to protools. Either is fine, though it's good to learn one and stick to it.
While submixing is a valid way to record if you need to (like back in the 4 track tape days), keeping the tracks separated gives you more options later (as Peter said). It also depends on how many in/outs the I/O has and how live you want the recording. e.g. I generally like to get a live take so I set up 2 x drum tracks (electric kit) and a drum midi track (so I can separate the individual drums later and re-record them individually later), a bass track, a stereo guitar track (MP2 cab sim outs), acoustic guitar track and a guide vox track (58). Then typically the only overdubs were for vox and harmony vox (rode NT1) and sometimes a guitar solo or some keyboards. So I used 7 of the 8 digi001 I/O inputs for the first take and it was done live. The playback I feed back to the desk so I'm monitoring the overdubs and playback from the same place to avoid I/O latency.
Also while your mixing on the PC you can use the I/O to patch external FX by assigning one (or more) of the programs bus sends to the I/O ports and setup the FX returns via I/O inputs. I like this technique as I can use the features of the external FX unit but slight down side is it becomes part of the mix set up so you need to have it patched when mixing later (or you can record the returns to new tracks).  In my case I was using the aural exciter in a Behringer FX unit which I don't own so now when I go back to remix those tracks I don't have it on hand.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #37 on: Time Format »

Hey Peter, MJMP, and Richard,

   Okay. I understand that there will be more control if I do it into the DAW, maybe even easier as MJMP says. So if I understand what you're telling me, then, I wouldn't be recording instruments or vocals through the mixing desk, but straight into the audio interface and into the DAW. Here is why I want to use the mixing desk: One of the first melodies I want to record involves two stereo rhythm guitar layers, which I want to record a mix of both direct, and miced guitar. I love using this method because the guitar tracks have a much bigger sound. Mixing the miced cabs with the Microcab outputs is a fantastic way to get this. The lead tracks can come from the MP-1's in mono and go in the center of the mix with the vocals. The ryhthm tracks will come from the MP-2 and the Classic. Bass will be added by the MB-1 and the vocals will be miced direct, (effects added later). Now, if I understand what you guys are saying, then you are telling me to run all these lines into the interface, and skip the mixing desk altogether, and just use Cubase to blend and EQ each channel?
    That's another thing I'll have to overcome. The last time I tried to use Cubase, (earlier versions), I found it very confusing. Is the AI8 any easier to learn than it's earlier versions if you don't know Cubase?
    Sorry if I'm being a pain in the A$$ about this, but it's a little rough coming from the old school method of recording into this digital realm of doing it. Some of the pieces of the puzzle seem to be missing.

    Thank you for your patience with me.

     Harley 8)
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El Chiguete

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #38 on: Time Format »

The thing that I think you are not understanding is that a DAW is a mixing desk and beyond! jeje So you can only use it for mixing just like you would do on a one in real life.

PS:
Try out http://www.reaper.fm/ this is the DAW I use and I think is really good.
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MarshallJMP

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #39 on: Time Format »

Like EL says,the DAW is your mixing desk and you can go straigt into the soundcard and record  6 things at a time.Maybe a drum is to big to do it through 6 channels but here you could use your analog mixer and premix it to 6 channels.But for the rest i would us the soundcard directly unless of corse you're in a live position,but if you do everything seperate use the daw.

Cubase is not that hard to learn,there are a lot of YT video's available how to set it up and to use it.I also come from the old analog style of recording and it took me a week or so to get the hang of cubase.It's a real powerfull daw with lots of options.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #40 on: Time Format »

Hey EL, MJMP.

   EL, I do understand that it is a mixing desk, and I have Reaper already. I'm still more familiar with Audacity and Vegas, although Vegas won't run on Win 8.1. I downloaded Reaper from cnet quite a while ago, it's not bad at all.

   MJMP, Yes, you are correct it would be difficult to record a drum mix directly with only six inputs. Sometimes it would be difficult to record my guitars through only six channels as well because I've been know to use as many as 10-14 channels on the mixing desk for my guitars, 4-8 direct, and 6 miced. This is why I have a 32 channel mixing desk. Live recording situations are difficult to do at a recording session, which is why I use a professional studio for those and leave it up to the engineer to sort out all the anomalies. I would like to be able to get that live "feel" on recordings through a DAW, which is why I'm reluctant to bypass the mixing desk when recording into the interface. I think the mixing desk adds something to that live sound. I don't know, I'll have to get it all connected and record a few things and see how it turns out.

     Thanks for all the input Gents, I have a lot to consider here about which audio interface to purchase and how to apply it. I will go watch some of the YT vids on Cubase and maybe that might help me in the choice of which interface might be better suited for what I'm trying to accomplish. I'll keep you guys posted on what develops.

     Harley 8)
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Peter H. Boer

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #41 on: Time Format »

  MJMP, Yes, you are correct it would be difficult to record a drum mix directly with only six inputs.
With that limitation, I'd go kick, snare & 2 overheads direct into the interface, use the mixer to make a stereo submix of the toms on the mixer before going to the interface.
(I rarely use a separte mic for the hihat, as it's mostly too loud in overheads and snare mic anyway)

Sometimes it would be difficult to record my guitars through only six channels as well because I've been know to use as many as 10-14 channels on the mixing desk for my guitars, 4-8 direct, and 6 miced. This is why I have a 32 channel mixing desk.
That's indeed more of a challenge  ;)
But 3 miced and 3 direct per guitar take would be more than enough, as you will most likely also be double tracking.

Cubase really is a very powerful tool, and I feel I'm only scratching it's surface after having done some 5 albums and various projects on it now.

Peter  8)
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rnolan

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #42 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, well each to their own but I always use a desk for the inputs and then into the digital I/O, much easier to control the input gain even when you DI from the inserts.  BTW I wouldn't call the PC programs a DAW.  DAWs are purpose built "appliances" with everything in one chassis/case and internally they probably use a cut down Linux OS, not windows.
I'm from the same era as you it seems and I think you'll find it all much easier to understand with the way you do it with the subgroups (even not "sub-mixing" on the desk just using them as outputs to the I/O).  Moreover, not that I'm keen on eq-ing to tape, the eq in your desk is analogue and will stuff with the sound less. Digital eq is getting better but requires very wide backplanes (128 bit or wider) to get anywhere close to decent analogue filters (eqs). Mastering engineer guru Bob Katz had a good article on this topic. Although as I'm sure you're across, when you sub-mix you make the call at that point so for better control in the final mix, separating all the tracks on record is sensible.
Both qubase and protools have 2 main views (windows), the wave edit window (for copying, pasting, looping etc) and the mixer window (laid out like a desk). I suggest you do what I did, just use the mixer window. I very rarely use the wave edit window, only if I have to to select tracks to "bounce to disk" (= mix to master tape but makes a digital file (you select what file type and resolution)). It sounds better if you mix to analogue tape then re-sample at the quality you want so you don't have to use the programs "dither" algorithms (if you have a decent tape player, (I use a Nakamichi cassette deck but if ever come across a valve studer 1/2" mmmm)). Dithering is used to throw bits away when you go from higher quality formats to lower (e.g. 48k 24bit to CD qual 44.1k 16bit). the tape also warms the sound.
The final mix (unless you have a 32 ch I/O) has to be done on the PC. Again I use the mixer window, it's presented as channel strips (like you're familiar with) but you get a lot more flexibility as you can set up a whole bunch of aux sends and returns (e.g. put a reverb plug in on the return) or "insert" multiple plugins on each channel (eq, compressor/limiter/gate etc).  You then mix it in the program like an automated console (e.g. Neve, SSL etc) so you "record" the fader changes, mutes etc. When your happy, bounce to disk (is what protools calls it). This is the point you select your output format. If you are going to a lessor quality format (which mostly you are, you should insert a dithering plugin on the master fader channel. Hit the go button and the mix plays in real time (no fader control anymore) and makes the output file (either on the fly or after (selectable)).
If you plug direct into the I/O channels and then monitor from there (i.e the I/O device and not use a desk) you get affected by the I/O latency. Early sound cards were very bad, they have got better (BTW the I/O device you are buying is basically a sound card). So you get time discrepancies (latency) when you listen to the sound card playback (I/O) while recording an overdub. Using a desk, you monitor the I/O output and your new track input at the desk and they happen at the same time, so you avoid the whole latency problem (and it's easier for guys like you and I to understand).
In the mixer window you create channel strips ("new channel" in protools), generally: mono input (assign the I/O input to it), stereo input (displays as a stereo pair with one fader), Aux input (stereo or mono) assign it to channel sends and insert a plug in (FX) on it, master fader (normally stereo pair) assign channel outputs to it (you can set up multiple like subgroups and assign the sub group outs to a main master), and midi channels (records midi data and plays it back, assign to midi channels and return the audio from the midi device (internal in PC or external) into either input channels, Aux channels or master channels etc). So it's all just like a desk but with lots more flexibility and you can save it off as a template for future use for other recordings.
The plugins are DSPs (digital signal processors), qubase and protools come with a bunch of standard ones. Qubase has a large user community who write their own which you can add (generally the free ones are pretty ordinary from my experience) or you can purchase them. E.g. protools used to offer a really nice lexicon reverb plugin (not available anymore  :facepalm: ).
All the things above can be done in the wave edit window but I don't find it intuitive.
When you record tracks you can select destructive recording (like tape, wipes the previous data on the track, saves disk space) or not (it keeps each take and you can go back to previous takes for the mix etc), this gets harder to keep your head around as each take just points at a "region" on the disk and you can make any of them the "current" region.  I always use destructive recording, but when I got into protools (win 98 days) high speed disk was expensive (and you need high speed disk or the programs sh$t themselves), so minimum 7200 rpm drives or better, I had a couple of 10GB 10,000 rpm scusi server drives (which fill up very fast).
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #43 on: Time Format »

Hey Peter, Richard,

   Peter, that is exactly why I have to use the mixer for the drums, The Mic kit comes with a Kick mic, snare mic and four tom mics. I have other mics I can use for the overheads, and you are absolutely correct about the high hats. I never mic those.
   With the guitars however, there are a few things that absolutely have to be miced since there is no other way to record them, for example: The old Fender Twins which I use two as a stereo rig for clean tones ( split with a stereo chorus pedal ). When I use my old Leslie 760, That has to have two mics, one at the top and one on the bottom at least. There is no other way to capture that old machine. There is an A/B/Y switch on the Fender rig that allows me to use the guitar amps/ Leslie/or both together if I want that sound. This rig blends in better with the ADA stacks when it's mixed through a board. There is a lot more punch to these amps than I get with the ADA rigs, so that has to be tamed down a bit to mix with the ADA's.

  Richard, I understand what you're saying here, and a lot of what you are referring to here is on step 5 whereas I'm trying to get to step 1 with this digital method of doing things. I do have a 1/2" Mastering Deck but it's a Tascam not a Studer unfortunately, I couldn't afford the $15,000.00 price tag on one of those. As for Lexicon or Eventide effects, I have every possible one I could use and more with my outboard gear. Once again, I patched these effects in with the Mixing desk, So I'm sure if I wanted a Lexicon Reverb effect on a certain track, I should be able in theory, to run that audio track out from the PC to the board, hit it with the effect, and record it on a new track in the DAW. If Cubase is that good, then it should work just like a mixing desk and everything there is all about the routing of the signal. You see, when I had the Core 2 system running, that also gave me a lot of Lexicon plugins to use with my tracks, but I had better quality effects from my outboard gear, with much more control over the effects than the plugins gave me. This is why I like to keep using the gear that I have, and I'd like to incoporate that into this new system somehow.


    Harley 8)
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: maybe looking for new audio interface
« Reply #44 on: Time Format »

Hey Gang,

    After looking around at what's available out there, (the choices are overwhelming), I'm looking at getting this audio interface. What do you guys think?

     http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Scarlet18i8G2
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