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Specific interfacing/mixing solution
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Alexander Dunnet
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#1
29th February 2012
Old 29th February 2012
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Specific interfacing/mixing solution

I've re-written this post a fair few times now, it's really hard to be clear about what I'm trying to do but I'm gonna just write it down and not worry about the length so much.

If anyone can help me with this next gear purchase I'd have mucho appreciation! There is a crazy wealth of knowledge of this forum and I just know that there is some slutty gear just right for me.


So, I've got an SM58 and a cheap Les Paul copy that I'm way happier with than I should be- I guess I've just learnt to use them. I've made myself up some nice Redco instrument and balanced cables with all Neutrik connectors, sound fantastic to my ears. Now I want to record and get gigging! I'm buying a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx very soon to simulate effects and guitar cabs, and I'm thinking about locking in on the QSC K12s for live and maybe some Dynaudio BM5As for monitoring. All thanks to Gearslutz so far!

I know what I want at the moment component/feature wise, but I just don't know which form factor/actually bit of gear to go with. What I've really got in my head is:
  • Atleast one really high quality preamp. Might be stand alone, in an interface, or in a firewire mixer for all I know, but I need ONE high quality preamp for my mic and auditioning new mics.
  • Atleast one channel of high quality A/D-D/A. Again, could be an interface, or in a newer mixer, or something else I haven't even thought of yet.
  • Ability to mix the digital out of my Axe-Fx with with the microphone
  • Low enough latency that I can use plug-in compression, reverb etc on my vocals and maybe even guitar live, and record tracks.

I wish there was a box that could interface my Axe-Fx and microphone into, into the computer, record it dry, send the sound with plug-ins back out to the PA, be able to have presets of the levels/panning and be able to bring them up on the computer with a midi floor switch live for different songs.

It seems all the mixers that have low enough latency, and really good preamp/s and A/D-DAs have waay more channels than I need and the price is through the roof.. and all the interfaces, well, I'm thinking it's going to be an interface I just need to figure out which one I'll be able to use live. Maybe I'm missing something vital like a certain interface which has live mixing/recording software, or a little mix breakout box or something.

GEARSLUTZ UNIT!
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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You don't mention what computer/DAW, but if you are on a mac running logic or GB, X2 on the apogee duet.
Alexander Dunnet
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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PROS:
  • I've heard great things about the preamps and A/D-DA in the Apogee units. No problems with getting a MBP if this is going to be the device for me.
  • $660 for a new Duet 2, well within the budget and I'm thinking I can take the balanced out to my PA and the headphone out (also balanced?) to my monitors or a wedge?

CONS:
  • Not even sure if this is a con yet, but how am I going to go about getting the volume, panning, plug-ins etc setup for each song? If I buy Logic or GB can I set up songs so I can move through the setlist with a footswitch of some sort?
  • Not sure how expandable it will be if I decided I wanted to add a drummer/bassist down the track.
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Alexander Dunnet
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Apple MacBook Pro 13" i7 2.7Ghz/4Gb/500Gb/DVDRW/WiFi/BT/Mac OSX Lion $1500.00
Logic Pro 9 $199.99
MainStage 2 $29.99
Duet 2 $660.00
$2390

Still looks good price wise, MainStage 2 looks bloody perfect mate!

How do you move between the songs that you setup in MainStage? How would I hook up a midi controller to say add chorus during the chorus? lol
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Its a real pro solution. I think you can download the manual and start looking through it before you buy it. I have it, and have fiddled with it, but I really don't use it for gigs. I do know people that do though - with stellar results.

I also believe that Mainstage comes with Logic Pro 9. No need to buy it separately.
Alexander Dunnet
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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This MainStage solution is sounding VERY promising for mixing live without a mixer. Love it! I doubt it'd be quite to the same level of quality but I'm considering actually buying this before the Axe-Fx for guitar simulation as well.

Just to keep the devil's advocate alive, is there anything similar on PC? Something I could have connected with an interface, and setup different songs/compression. Would ProTools do this? Or would it be more of an Ableton Live thing?

I want to ask a few questions about the in's and out's of the Apogee Duet 2, and it's intergration with logic, like how would I connect everything? Like if there was no option for going out to some PA tops/subs and monitoring, what else would I need? Or would I be better of going to the Ensemble?
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Don't forget that Logic Pro comes with a suite of guitar amp simulators and stomp pedals. You may want to check out all that stuff you get before you spend money on external effects and such.

I'm not sure about PC, as I live in the mac world. I also have ProTools 9, and it's ok, but nowhere near the complete solution and bang for the buck that Logic offers. I bought Logic for $500 a couple of upgrades ago. At that time it came with Waveburner too, which is for Redbook mastering CD's. I don't think they include that anymore…not sure. But at $199 I would consider it a no=brainer if I was just getting started. There won't really be anything else that you HAVE TO buy to get going. Not that there won't be stuff you will WANT TO buy…LOL!

I always recommend more I/O is better than less. Even leaving something set up in the studio, I can leave a keyboard connected for example and still have other inputs available so I'm not juggling plugs as much. I'm not that familiar with the apogee line, as I've never owned it. I do know that Apogee integrates very will with mac and logic, as that is really what it is made to work with. Whatever you get, make sure you have enough outputs though. I wouldn't be happy relying on a headphone out as one of them, so, yeah, I would recommend the ensemble over the duet so you don't outgrow it too soon. Extra inputs are cool too in case someone decides to join you for a session, or on stage.
Alexander Dunnet
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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After this discussion I started another thread in High End where I'm going to do a shootout of a whole bunch of interfaces/possible mixers.

Categories I'd like to focus on:
  • Lowest latency (with completely stable audio)
  • Sound quality
  • Appropriate inputs/outputs
  • Price
  • Possibly the ability to expand down the line.

Thread is here Lowest latency interface, with quality A/D-D/A
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