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Awake77

What do you use to mix your synths down into your recorder?

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Right now, Im using a Layla24 with an M-Audio Octane linked via ADAT, giving me 16 inputs to route my synths into my PC. However, the level loss for the unbalanced signals sucks ass, its at least 6db lower than what it should be to take advantage of 24bit digital bandwidth.

 

Im planning on unloading the Octane and getting a mixer - just wondering what you guys are using. Planning on a Mackie Onyx 1620, as it will pretty much be an even swap for the Octane price-wise.

 

Anything else worth of note in the

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Using a Yamaha 01x mixer/audio interface with the i88x mLan expander. mics go into the i88x as it has better mic pre-amps.

 

As a bonus its also a mackie style daw controller and audio patch bay.

 

End result is 24 analog ins, 16 analog sends and full control of everything from a single console on my desk. All channels have EQ and dynamics if you need that for any reason - handy whn just jamming and not recording. If you have an existing ADAT a analog in/out breakout box - then you can use that with the i88x to get the full set of 16 in, 16 out as analog channels.

 

As for price - you might be able to pick up the i88x for

 

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I am using an 01v96v2. Honestly, some of the best money I have spent. Ive got an EMU card with ADAT i/o that I buss the audio into the PC with.

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Originally posted by rasp

yeah, me too use an 01x. although it has it faults its really good. versatile.
:)

 

Have you loaded up the latest 1.55 drivers that were release a few weeks ago? All issues I had with mLan functionality have been fixed (offsets, latency). Im now running 24 ins, 16 outs @ 44.1 with buffer size set to 128 (3ms or so, 4.6ms in Cubase SX) absolutely reliably.

 

For me now its by far the best balance of function, convenience, quality and cost on the market today I think. Prior to the 1.55 release, I have to admit, I had comtemplated getting rid of it all and finding a regular digital mixer + separate audio interface combo, but it was starting to look like it would cost close to $3000, maybe even $4000 to replace it with a similar level of functionality - would have probably been the 01v96 and rme or motu firewire audio interfaces and a mackie control.

 

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yes. i've instaled the 1.55 drivers. well it's stable most of the time and i love it, but still i sometimes get the wordclock issue and it drives me nuts, but at this price range it's a killer machine. :thu:

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I used to use a MOTU 828mk2 and a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro. That got a little messy until I picked up a patchbay. If I remember correctly, I think I ran the "Inserts" into the patchbay and used that as a direct out (I forget the "trick" for that...).

 

Anyways, I realised that was more than I needed, and too much hassle for what I was doing, and I also needed the money so I sold the mixer and just run everything right into the patchbay and from the patchbay into my 828mk2.

 

The neat thing about that is I can route synths, effects, samplers and my DAW in ANY combination very easily, and it also forces me to work with only a few synths at a time (which is a good thing!). I've considered adding an ADAT A/D expation thingy, but really don't need to, most of the time I just use G2, G1, MPC and one other synth and thats all I really need...

 

I think the MOTU UltraLite looks like a fine peice, very compareable to the other MOTU units for a lower price. I think UNFED picked one up recently, I'm sure he'd have something to say about it.

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Originally posted by rasp

yes. i've instaled the 1.55 drivers. well it's stable most of the time and i love it, but still i sometimes get the wordclock issue and it drives me nuts, but at this price range it's a killer machine.
:thu:

 

I have the 01x set as my clock master - and seems to be fine - I often run it standalone without the computer switched on so absolutely did not want the computer as the master.

 

The only trouble I sometimes have is very occasionally it seems to loose it patching so I have to open the graphic patch bay tool and reload the setup.

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loose patching? that's odd. never heard of an 01x do that. anyway, in my case its computer ralated. wouldnt expect much from a few year old 2ghz athlon:( really need to buy a new comp soon... but still i manage to push it 128 samples in cubase sx with 24 in and 16 out at 48k :thu: i really should change the latency, but i'm just stubborn.

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I recently ditched my Mackie 1604 VLZ mixer to go direct into my PC. Had mucho problems with the M-Audio Firewire 1814 with a PC running Sonar 4, so I just replaced it with a Mackie Onyx 400F. It's been great so far. Run my MoFx and Quadraverb as inserts. Just be sure to read Craig Anderton's review and all the discussion in the forums first before buying. Using ASIO (as opposed to WDM) drivers is a must.

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well...

been going back and forth and back and forth again between having my VS-1680 in the studio and out of it. I think I've for sure decided to leave it at the club for my DJ setup. I will miss the transport controls, faders, and familiarity i have with it. I'll definately miss the two FX cards in it. Wont miss the fan noise, small hard drive, or the boot up times.

Had a scare this week where my iBook didnt work when i unpacked it after the bike ride to the club, so I decided I'd just keep a setup down there, and the 1680 combined with the emu card in my PC is a very nice match for Traktor. Got the faders of the 1680 controlling the crossfades, EQ's, booth monitor, and other sundry tasks.

 

um, oh ya, mix down

got a MOTU 828mkII, at the moment it's the master mixer.

My rack audio channels sort of collapse into themselves and feed a spdif cable to the MOTU, the way that goes is- VariOS into the SP-808EX, optical in. XT, JP-8080/SRV-3030D into the inputs of the G2 engine and that mixes down into the AUX input of the 808- the 808 feeds the spdif.

Then, my other synths get their own channels, except the D2 piggybacks into the TD-20's mix in, and my MC-09 feeds the audio in of my SP-505.

My Beige G4 is looped into the motu via the OASYS adat, and my analog is feeding directly into the Korg's, appropriately enough, analog inputs.

 

That leaves me the two XLR mic inputs free for vocals.

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I totally forgot about the Yamaha 01X! So have the latest driver updates fixed most of the issues with Sonar? I was really interested in this when it first came out, but wrote it off after I found out about the troubles people were having with mLan.

 

I could part out my existing I/O rig and easily afford a used 01X/i88X...worried about compatabilty/latency issues though. But the level of audio quality and control that system gives, it sure is tempting.

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I think Mac users are still waiting for an update. But for a PC user - there nothing to compare now. Reliabilty and latency seems inline with the best as well now.

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i have the motif es6 with mlan card, a motif es rack and a p200 piano as my controller...PC based with an i88X...i've read some much crap that i've been hesitant to try it...also...i should have bought the ES8 because as a piano player i like having the 88 keys to be my main axe...the advice i have gotten tells me to run everything thru the ES6...and it sits on top of my P200...does MLAN really work? or is it truely a PITA..and how would you configure my setup? add a drum machine etcetc

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i dont quite recommand getting a interface that its input latency will introduce 2x the ASIO latency if you like to play/record midi of a hardware synth with ur other vsti and recorded wave tracks

 

can't u boost the signal from your Octane

swap octane for a mixer.... why?

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Originally posted by dxdreamer

i dont quite recommand getting a interface that its input latency will introduce 2x the ASIO latency if you like to play/record midi of a hardware synth with ur other vsti and recorded wave tracks

 

That comment doesnt make alot of sense...

 

If driving a hardware synth via midi, than either I'm running it at near zero advance because its being externally mixed for zero latency montoring purposed (and so is exactly in time with whatever the DAW is doing), or if I am routing the synth's audio back in to the DAW to process its sound and only monitor via the DAW, then I'll set it up with an advance on the midi.

 

Either way - its perfectly in time.

 

Where latency does beomce a pain in the ass is where Im playing a synth, *AND* part of the sound is dependent upon VST processing (rather than just the synth+hardware fx). There is simply no way around that other than a best effort though finding the lowest latency audio interface you can.

 

My alternative way to deal with it is I have some mininal cheap outboard (and using fx/eq/dynamics in the mixer) that I use for roughly sketching a sound in hardware (instead of using a VST), for eg Ill often want brutal compression over reverb, and I want that when Im playing - not as post processing. Once I have recording the dry synth - then I'll use the desired VSTs to replace the sketch sound processing.

 

 

Im very picky about allways having zero latency monitoring when I am recording.

 

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can't u boost the signal from your Octane

 

No - the Octane's ins are line level only, as are the inputs on the Layla24. Theres a +4/-10 db switch to go between balanced and unbalanced - but even on my loudest synth (The DW8000) - Im still about 3db lower than I want to be - a real bummer not to have input gains for softer passages too, I cant capture the full 'body' of the sound.

 

The Latency on the Layla, being a PCI interface is really low - about 4ms on my AMD XP 2600+. The converter quality is really excellent to. Multiple ins arent as important to me as quality input - Ive even thought about replacing the Octance with a nice 2-channel pre and just using a patch bay when I need each synth. (although would be limiting for sure).

 

I wish this was out:

 

http://aes.harmony-central.com/119AES/Content/Mackie/PR/ONYX1200F-sm.jpg

 

Im leaning toward one of the soundcraft mixers myself. They're a bit less expensive than the Onyx series used, but I guess they're pretty nice, based on reviews ive read.

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since your running, playingback ur audio tracks at 3ms in ur DAW

the added midi latency on midi interfaces varies from 1~3ms , so it's not going to affect much with ur case

i do not know about other DAW software, but in cubase sx3 the midi/audio inputlatency will be automaticlly compenstated when the synth track is being recorded

 

however, i can't not afford to use 3ms latency as i uses UAD1 and powercore and many compressors/eqs and varies software effects while sequencing the midi tracks for hardwares/software synths at the. i norally setup 13ms ASIO and hardware synths with 13ms input added to the output, so in order for me to hear the track correctly before bounce into waves i need to manually add latency to other recoreded or vsti tracks.

in my case direct monitoring isn't going to work becasue first generation motu firewire only have 2 ch directly moniotring and if i use it, i cannot mix with software effects and will be playing 12ms faster than the software. 12ms may not be too noticeable in slow music, but is in fast pace projects.

 

if in my case i have to use yamaha 01x or i88, then i will really feel a bit uneasy to cope with 13ms+ 26ms (input latency) latency for playing/recording midi with my realtime input devices while having software effects channing on the hardware synth inputs.

and if i dont need to mix with effects, directly monitoring will make my realtime keyabord playing/knob turnning midi track 12 ms faster than the software playback. maybe adding midi or audio latency will solve this problem

 

 

with this issue Cubase sx3 let you setup ur hardware synths as vsti, so you can setup the right latency for the inputs and the hardware synth's actual latency. however in order to bounce the synth into waves, the added vst effect will also be recorded.

which i prefer to record actaul signal from the synths and be able to mix and change vst effects settings after being recoreded.

 

 

Originally posted by Khazul



That comment doesnt make alot of sense...


If driving a hardware synth via midi, than either I'm running it at near zero advance because its being externally mixed for zero latency montoring purposed (and so is exactly in time with whatever the DAW is doing), or if I am routing the synth's audio back in to the DAW to process its sound and only monitor via the DAW, then I'll set it up with an advance on the midi.


Either way - its perfectly in time.


Where latency does beomce a pain in the ass is where Im playing a synth, *AND* part of the sound is dependent upon VST processing (rather than just the synth+hardware fx). There is simply no way around that other than a best effort though finding the lowest latency audio interface you can.


My alternative way to deal with it is I have some mininal cheap outboard (and using fx/eq/dynamics in the mixer) that I use for roughly sketching a sound in hardware (instead of using a VST), for eg Ill often want brutal compression over reverb, and I want that when Im playing - not as post processing. Once I have recording the dry synth - then I'll use the desired VSTs to replace the sketch sound processing.



Im very picky about allways having zero latency monitoring when I am recording.

 

Awake77, can't you use Octane's preamp to boost signal?

i never really have problem with not being loud eough with +4 setting on my 896 and 828, many of my synths' volume knobs are set at 12 ~3 oclock or max depends on the patch/synth.

tango24 is now at -10, but still fine if i crank the gain close to max

and ONYX1200F... for that price ....:freak:

Layla24 is great, and if you go with firewire you will feel more CPU being eatup by each plugins, and no 2X asio latency added to the inputs and its quiet, so use software to boost the signal shouldnt be that bad, and make sure none of you cables are RCA with 1/4 adapters as the signal will be even lower :p ... currently 3 of my synths are using that kind of connection but still loud enough with max gain~

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Dx, I still dont get why you think this is any different to any other audio interface?

 

Or are you referring to its asymetric I/O latencies? Ie 3ms out, 6ms in in my case with the settings I use?

 

I run a similar setup - Cubase SX3 and UAD-1 currently and will probably add a poco later in the year. All the synths I use are external hardware synths. I dont have any defined as external instruments or externals fx.

 

Either way - the only way I can get stung by latency is if I need to be using plugins in the processing chain of what I hear when I recording what I am playing. For midi playback and bounding midi to audio - Cubase is compensating.

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during midi playback for external hardware synths and monitor thru software monitroing with vst effects, the latency isn't compensated

during recorded audio track and other vsti or other VST effects playback, the additional latency from certain plugins with extra latency is compensated

 

asymetric I/O latencies? i guess so @_@

01x ASIO @3ms, input will be 6ms, resulting latency for using software moniotring will be 9ms, and 6ms slower than other audio/vsti tracks. but most others have ASIO @3 input is also @3

as i use 13ms, it will become an issue for me during midi sequencing (can be solved by adding latency to other chennals) and especilly the greater latency during realtime inprovising, as i dont bounch the synth track right away and find another sound and sequence and bounce that sound rightaway

and i also uses software samplers so will need them to be sync

but to those uses full hardware setup with multi chennals software monitoring for all the synths at once, there isn't going to be any latency issus as all synths are getting the same latency

 

anyway by no mean it's a bad interface, just i would not recommand to those have similar work flow as me, and those need to use lots plugin that can't afford to have near zero latency but still require lots realtime playing and controls to record midi audio mixing for their hardware synth, guitars with vst amps

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