Specific send/return mixer, patchbay questions for synth studio
plikestechno
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#1
26th May 2013
Old 26th May 2013
  #1
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Thread Starter
Specific send/return mixer, patchbay questions for synth studio

So in my room of synths and drum machines I'm finally getting down to brass tacks and finishing getting the studio together but I am perplexed by a few things from what I read online and what I have in front of me. Everyone seems to have different opinions on everything.

The mixer is a Roland M-480. Not the new super fancy one but the older 48 input line mixer from the 90s.

Firstly, using insert cables with its jacks. As far as I know insert cables are for taking and returning the signal through a TRS cable through the mixer. But in the manual for my mixer the diagram seems to show the sends seem to be one jack and then the returns seem to have their own stereo return jacks. There are four effect sends, two aux sends and six stereo return pairs. So, I imagine I can use these returns as aux returns as aux returns aren't listed anywhere else. So instead, for my mixer do I use an insert cable in those sends to split it out to a L/R input on the effects processors and then take the stereo output returns on seperate cables through the stereo returns for those channels?

Secondly, it has four effects channels and two aux channels. I want to hard wire a dbx166 compressor to one of these channels. Originally I was thinking of using one of the aux busses for sending and returning the compressor into the mixer. Should I use the inserts or the auxes? Same goes for effects racks and eq. Which should I be using with which?

Lastly, the patchbay. I have your standard neutrik 48 point TRS one. Do all cables in the back and used in the front to patch things together used have to be TRS ones or can some TS ones be used with TRS ones at the same time. Where should I leave the normalling for these for using mixers, effects processors, compressor, eq and inputs in and out of my interface. Thanks.
#2
26th May 2013
Old 26th May 2013
  #2
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m127d's Avatar
 

That's a lot of questions.

Imo, you should not try to follow a recipe to build and wire your studio.

Think instead on how you work and how you would like to work, AND ONLY THEN write a recipe on your own and follow it.


For example, you are asking whether to use inserts or sends. The answer to that is: what do you need? what do you want to accomplish? The sends and the auxes are basically the same thing, they will mix your original audio with whatever you are using. On the other hand, the inserts will impose whatever the outboard is spitting out, plus they can usually be used on one channel only. Reverbs, for one example, are used a lot as sends/returns.

Same with the patchbay, use half-normalled or isotaled/split configurations the way YOU see fit you best.

Specifically about the TS vs TRS question, it is best to use the correct cables for both ends of the wired gear.
I have some Neutrik PB's. Mine are model NYS-SPP-L1. If yours is the same, it can handle both TS and TRS.
Here's a post about it I made elsewhere on one of the many ways you could use them: Patch bays

Stop reading too much online garbage. Follow your instinct, create your own way of doing things, **** recipes.




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#3
26th May 2013
Old 26th May 2013
  #3
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firby's Avatar
 

As a general "rule" compressors go on either channel inserts or group inserts. Group inserts are nice because then you can route to compressors without patching but whatever. Return the compressor to the appropriate group or channel return. So say groups, go group insert ---- compressor in --- compressor out --- group return.

EFX gear goes on auxes. If you have lots of extra channels you can return the EFX gear to empty channels like aux 3 --- delay ---- channel 31 or whatever. If you don't have lots of extra channels just return to the appropiate aux return. IE aux 3 ---- delay ---- aux 3 return.

All of these rules are completely set in stone and should never ever, ever, under any circumstances ever be disobeyed by anyone ever.

Unfortunately, the physical laws of the world will tell you what you can and can't do. No one ever learns without experience and experience is a cruel, yet very effective teacher.

What happens is this: You will be fiddling with something and suddenly you will get feedback so loud that that all of the hair on your body moves at once. This is a traumatic experience. You will now know not to do THAT ever again. This may or may not blow up your mains speakers or your amp or sometimes, the mixer itself. This experience will indoctrinate you into the wise realm of people who know what NOT to do.

Knowing what not to do is the first step. (First, do no harm.)

Good luck.
plikestechno
Thread Starter
#4
26th May 2013
Old 26th May 2013
  #4
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by m127d View Post
That's a lot of questions.

Imo, you should not try to follow a recipe to build and wire your studio.

Think instead on how you work and how you would like to work, AND ONLY THEN write a recipe on your own and follow it.
Well, this is my recipe for what I would like to do. Intergrating my effects with my mixers before sending it in to the interface. Will it blow up? I would basically like to integrate my effects with my various mixers in the studio with the Roland M-480 being the main line mixer with other mixers around the studio as submixers for modular, drum machine, TX816 etc. Should I leave the compressor in the patch bay or should I hard patch it on one of the 4 effects send/returns or 2 aux send/returns? As you can see in my plan I am not using either of the aux send/returns on the mixer. Yet.

This is the Roland M480

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6217/6...0917fec5_z.jpg
http://medias.audiofanzine.com/image...480-217310.jpg

Patchbay Inputs

1 Roland M480 Effects Return 1 L
2 Roland M480 Effects Return 1 R
3 Roland M480 Effects Return 2 L
4 Roland M480 Effects Return 2 R
5 DBX 166 Compressor Input L
6 DBX 166 Input R
7 Korg GR-1 Gated Reverb Input L
8 Korg GR-1 Input R
9 Speck 316 EQ Input 1 (using every second input to have six eq points)
10 Speck 316 Input 3
11 Speck 316 Input 5
12 Speck 316 Input 7
13 Focusrite Pro26 I/O Interface Input 1
14 Focusrite Interface Input 2
15 Eventide Eclipse Input 1
16 Eventide Eclipse Input 2
17 Zoom 9010 Input 1
18 Zoom 9010 Input 2
19 Ensoniq DP/4 Input 1
20 Ensoniq DP/4 Input 2
21 Soundcraft Pro Tracker (Modular Mixer) Return L
22 Soundcraft Pro Tracker Return R
23 Cyndustries Anything Module Stereo Return L
24 Cyndustries Anything Module Stereo Return R

Patchbay Outputs

1 Effects Send 1 L
2 Effects Send 1 R
3 Effects Send 2 L
4 Effects Send 2 R
5 DBX 166 Output L
6 DBX 166 Output R
7 Korg GR-1 Output L
8 Korg GR-1 Output R
9 Speck 316 Output 2
10 Speck 316 Output 4
11 Speck 316 Output 6
12 Speck 316 Output 8
13 Focusrite Interface Output 3
14 Focusrite Interface Output 4
15 Eventide Eclipse Output 1
16 Eventide Eclipse Output 2
17 Zoom 9010 Output 1
18 Zoom 9010 Output 2
19 Ensoniq DP/4 Out 1
20 Ensoniq DP/4 Out 2
21 Soundcraft Pro Tracker Send L
22 Soundcraft Pro Tracker Send R
23 Anything Module Stereo Send L
24 Anything Module Stereo Send R

Hard Patch

Roland M480 Effects Send 3 L to Vverb Pro In L
Roland M480 Effects Send 3 R to Vverb Pro In R
VVerb Pro Out L to Effects Return 3 L
VVerb Pro Out R to Effects Return 3 R

Roland M480 Effects Send 4 L to Speck 316 13
Roland M480 Effects Send 4 R to Speck 316 15

Speck 316 14 Out to Effects Return 4 L
Speck 316 16 Out to Effects Return 4 R

Kawai MX8BR (Yamaha TX816 mixer) Effects Send 1 L to Ensoniq DP/4 Input 3
Kawai MX8BR Effects Send 1 R to Ensoniq DP/4 Input 4

Kawai MX8BR Effects Send 2 L to Speck 316 Input 9
Kawai MX8BR Effects Send 2 R to Speck 316 Input 11

Ensoniq DP/4 3 Out to Kawai MX8BR Effects Return 1 L
Ensoniq DP/4 4 Out to Kawai MX8BR Effects Return 1 R

Speck 316 10 to Kawai MX8BR Effects Return 2 L
Speck 316 12 to Kawai MX8BR Effects Return 2 R

Rane SM82 (Percussion Mixer) Send L to Zoom 9010 Input 3
Rane SM82 Send R to Zoom 9010 Input 4

Zoom 9010 Output 3 to Rane SM82 Return L
Zoom 9010 Output 4 to Rane SM82 Return R

Focusrite Inputs 1/2 Patch Bay Inputs
Focusrite Input 3/4 Balanced Input Roland M-480
Focusrite Input 5/6 Balanced Input Soundcraft Pro Tracker
Focusrite Input 7/8 Balanced Input Akai S6000
#5
26th May 2013
Old 26th May 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
m127d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plikestechno View Post
Should I leave the compressor in the patch bay or should I hard patch it on one of the 4 effects send/returns or 2 aux send/returns?
It's up to what you want/need. Hard-patching the compressor to s/r will prevent you from using it as an insert.
Parallel compression and "direct" compression do not sound the same.

The way I set up my outboard/patchbays/mixers was minucious and comprised of long testing "real-life" sessions. Theory and blah blah are one thing, real life experience is another and owns their ass.

At first, I got the gear, created a configuration for the whole thing, and then started producing immediately. While producing, I would make side annotations on the obstacles I was encountering.

When I had enough changes written down along with any new gear or wiring needed, then I knew an overhaul was warranted.


It depends on the producer/engineer, but, the way I see it, the evolution of a studio is a never ending process... Your studio evolves with you and your knowledge/experience.


So, to summarize, the best advice I can give you is work principles instead: a) put your ideas to work no matter what (like your current config. idea, don't give a darn, and try it out, let it "blow up", it's fun anyway), b) keep track of the obstacles you encounter for your workflow as a result of your brilliant ideas, c) constantly fine-tune your ideas (your workflow-approved good ones, of course), d) don't be weak/lazy when it comes to warranted change, e)tc.




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