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Hi, I am stoned but ...

 

If you would like to complete a fully functional studio for mixing your synths by FL, Logic, Ableton as DAW in front (or end) of your long chain ... how would you do that?

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Do you mean using synths that are native to each of those programs, and not available in any other format? I don't know about FL, but Logic and Live both have ReWire capability, so if FL does too then you could use Logic as the master and use the other two ReWired into it.

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No.

 

I mean: "What do you need for building a complete audio recording studio for you synths?"

 

Hardware synths - you missed this, I guess :)

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Old school setup:

 

A computer used only for MIDI. MIDI into synths.
Synths into a mixer, then the master bus / stereo out of the mixer into a DAT recorder.

 

My setup now is similar but the I use a computer for recording rather than DAT.

 

You could also "mix in the box" where you replace the mixer with computer inputs.

 

You could either have enough inputs for all your synths. Eg an interface with 8 or so analogue inputs for example.

Or use an interface with a few inputs and record synths a few at a time. (which requires working in a bit of a different way which some people prefer)

Getting DAWs to play with external hardware can be a bit tricky sometimes because of latency. The software has to account for the time it takes to send midi to a synths and then get it back into the computer.

Your question is a bit vague.

You could use the DAW just for MIDI (as i do right now) and mix hardware synths with a hardware mixer. Or the DAW for both MIDI and recording audio.

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Oh, well you'd need a MIDI interface, audio interface, and monitors at least. That's assuming you can run all the synths into the audio interface for monitoring. If the interface didn't have enough inputs, or you just wanted to do it differently, you could get a hardware mixer for monitoring. That's how I do it.

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You could also "mix in the box" where you replace the mixer with computer inputs.

 

You could either have enough inputs for all your synths. Eg an interface with 8 or so analogue inputs for example.

 

Or use an interface with a few inputs and record synths a few at a time. (which requires working in a bit of a different way which some people prefer)

You got it :) Yes, my question is pointing on connecting and mixing audio from hardware synthesizers. What is the better solution?

  1. Mixing by mixer which could be a bit noisy and needs external filters like delays, flangers, reverbs;
  2. or plugin' the synths into TESCAM US-1800 (is there a bigger audio interface with more inputs?) for example for mixing and recording their audio on DAW's audio mixer?

We should talk later about problems of latency but yes - lets sequence the synth parts by a DAW software first ;)

 

I will tell you why I ask this all. I think mixing in a box is the best common method for recording and arranging audio clips from synthesizers. It don't require any external effects which are more expensive and harder to work with because of latency, synchronization and stuff. But ... in the case some analogs offer more audio outputs than one there is no audio interface which would work well for this job - without unplugging and replugging your synths. 8 or 10 audio ins on an interface are a bit too less for connecting your beat machine which has separate audio out for each percussion instrument, your Clavia which has 4 outputs, your bass beast with mono out etc. Right? I made a scheme which shows Clavia connected to gear and Ableton. Be honest - tescam's interface offers 8 audio ins I guess. 8 audio inputs are reserved for just 2 synths ins in my case - where to plug in the rest?

 

midi01.jpg

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So what's the problem you're trying to solve?

... in the case some analogs offer more audio outputs than one there is no audio interface which would work well for this job - without unplugging and replugging your synths.

-

 

How many total audio outputs do you have?

 

4 + 5 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 19

 

I think about combining 2 interfaces like http://www.uaudio.com/interfaces/apollo-16.html What do you think? But I found a solution for 24 track recording http://www.motu.com/products/pciaudio/24IO/body.html

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Both of those are good options. The Apollo may be short on inputs for you, but may have a bit better converters, and most importantly has UAD processing. UAD has some seriously awesome plugins.

 

There's also another option that may be cheaper. Assuming you don't need to record all 19 inputs at once, you can get an interface with fewer inputs, and run all your synths into an analog mixer that lets you choose which inputs go to the record outputs. That way, you also run the output from the computer into the mixer, plug the monitors into the mixer, and you can record the synths one or two at a time. That's what I do. I don't have 19 synth outputs, but I run my hardware synths and computer output into a mixer and record the hardware tracks one at a time.

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I understand very well, but my goal is specifically aimed sound and synchronization.

 

What about DIGITAL mixers? Maybe they work noise free and can be used as a multi channel sound card and MIDI controller for a DAW mixer?

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I guess you're right, but the effects and filters of your digital mixer more easily accessible, although you can add a surface control to your DAW and edit these settings in real time, including when recording automation.

 

Other than that, I forgot to mention that latency can be circumvented because in your DAW you should have a per-track delay feature that offsets your tracks by a few milliseconds according to the latency of your audio interface. This calibration needs to be done just once. It can even be done automatically by the application for perfect accuracy and beat alignment accross the tracks when listening.

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I guess you're right, but the effects and filters of your digital mixer more easily accessible, although you can add a surface control to your DAW and edit these settings in real time, including when recording automation.

 

Waaah! :o ... and external record the output. Nice gear for mastering with tools typical for this job ;) But the mixer is fat, haaaa? :)

 

 

Other than that, I forgot to mention that latency can be circumvented because in your DAW you should have a per-track delay feature that offsets your tracks by a few milliseconds according to the latency of your audio interface. This calibration needs to be done just once. It can even be done automatically by the application for perfect accuracy and beat alignment accross the tracks when listening.

 

I know but the analog effects and multieffexes ... are expensive :unsure:

How much ms are you set average - I can not hear this.

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Btw, what means this optical connection? How to extend such interface to 16 INs?

 

liquid_saffire_56224.jpg

 

It says right in the specs:

 

http://us.focusrite.com/firewire-audio-interfaces/liquid-saffire-56/specifications

 

Those are ADAT optical ports (also called ADAT Lightpipe), or they can be reconfigured for optical S/DPIF format. Google those things to figure out how to use them.

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