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Anyone hauling a DAW out to record?
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Jay Kahrs
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15th September 2004
Old 15th September 2004
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Anyone hauling a DAW out to record?

Sure, laptops work but what about a tower or mini-tower?
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15th September 2004
Old 15th September 2004
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It would be an idea.....

If you had say a G4 rackmounted with a HD rig or something....just bring the whole rack to the show and plug in what you need.....sure...why not.
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15th September 2004
Old 15th September 2004
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I've toyed with the idea, but more and more, I stay away from brnging a machine.

I come from a live background where shit happens and Murphy is An Asshole. There are just too many things that go wrong with machines...especially if there's power issues. Yes, I do go out with UPS's and power conditioners, but something in me is screaming that if I try using a computer onsite, I'm asking for trouble. At least with dedicated gear, there's a lot less to worry about...plug it in, arm and go. If there is a power issue, its back up within a minute, usually seconds. Can't say the same about computers.

My 2c.

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15th September 2004
Old 15th September 2004
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I bring out my Powerbook, Metric Halo interfaces/converters and a small rack of Millennia pres. I have yet to encounter a problem beyond "why isn't this mic working?".
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15th September 2004
Old 15th September 2004
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I've done a number of live shows recorded with an 001 on a G4 400, and it worked well except for the 18 in limit. In most of these I worked with a FOH guy that I know and work well with, so we were able to work out mic placement and selection issues. It would have been easier with a snake splitter but we worked around it. The gear was racked in a GigRig case, the G4 sat on the floor beside it and I built an enclosure to set over the comp for noise which I've only used once. I got a cheap 15" LCD screen that sits on top of the GigRig with the mouse and keyboard, and the only computer glitch I ever ran into was running out of drive space on the first gig... (doh!)
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15th September 2004
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Just thinking about it.
Can two 002 racks be linked ?
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15th September 2004
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I bring a Shuttle PC out into the field- seems to combine the best of both worlds. 1 PCI slot (with a Lynx 2) and Sequoia software. It has worked wonderfully for me. Rich Mays who also posts here has the same rig that I use as well. Both were purchased from SequoiaDIGITAL (who I do some work for as well).

A setup like this could be made, though, for just about any software... This is just what I use. It isn't as small as a laptop, but it is much more powerful as the components are generally faster.

I'll also add that for the really big gigs, I'll rent MX-2424's usually or a bit PT HD rig which will be delivered. What I mentioned is what my usual rig is...

--Ben
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tee
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17th September 2004
Old 17th September 2004
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Ben,
What kind of track counts do you typically do on your gigs.
I know you do alot of "stereo + spots", so I imagine your track counts aren't too crazy, but I was wondering what your system is capable of. Do you split your preamp outputs to a back-up system, like your DA-78's??

I'm curious, as I'm looking to possibly change my remote system to a Radar system and my mix platform to either Sequoia, Samplitude or Nuendo.
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17th September 2004
Old 17th September 2004
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Quote:
Just thinking about it.
Can two 002 racks be linked ?
nope. a friend of mine tried to do this just couple weeks ago at a farewell concert. luckily he brought some ADATs as backups.

i will be hauling my rig out to a show tomorrow. dual 867 G4 w/Lynx AES16, Benchmark System 1000 A/Ds, and Benchmark Microframe preamps. i don't do it often though.
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17th September 2004
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I use a mid-tower PC with a MOTU 24i. I have a handle screwed into the top of the case so it totes pretty easily, and I have a 17" monitor also with a handle screwed into the top to aid handling. Someday I'll replace it with an LCD, but I have more important things to spend my money on.

It is heavy and a lot more bulky than a laptop, but it's what I have and I don't spend a lot of time hauling it around.

Gives me 24 tracks direct to HD. I use Sony Vegas for tracking - although I mix in Adobe Audition.
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17th September 2004
Old 17th September 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by tee
Ben,
What kind of track counts do you typically do on your gigs.
I know you do alot of "stereo + spots", so I imagine your track counts aren't too crazy, but I was wondering what your system is capable of. Do you split your preamp outputs to a back-up system, like your DA-78's??

I'm curious, as I'm looking to possibly change my remote system to a Radar system and my mix platform to either Sequoia, Samplitude or Nuendo.
My setup that I have right now being a shuttle is limited to 16 channels, but I've done it as 16 channels of 24/96 and it behaves beautifully...

When I have more mics, I'll mix stems in the field and bring them home for final mix, I've had only one or two gigs in the past couple years where I've even hit the full 16 tracks. In other cases, mono spots can go to the same track and then be split out in post if they aren't used on the same tunes. Means for a bit more post work, but it really only takes an extra few minutes to do it.

If I used a card other than the lynx, I could go with more channels easily, but I really like Lynx's product so that is what I use. If I wasn't on Lynx and needed extra channels, I could put something like an RME MADI card or a Digiface.

As far as DAW vs. RADAR/Genex/etc.... They both have their good and bad points- it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I love bringing the DAW out because it means that I can start doing post/editing/etc... in my down-time on gigs. I then either unplug a firewire drive or transfer files over my network to get them onto the studio machine where I finish everything off. Just that alone has saved me hundreds of hours of work in the past year. I'm at a point where I can't really raise my rates much for most of my clients so I make the gigs take less time so I can fit more in.

As for the DA-78, by now it has been relegated to backup and 24 bit storage of my mix that I do onsite. The DAW is the master, but if [God forbid] something goes south, I have the stereo mix on the tape. I have had to do that, though, exactly zero times. My DA-78 does have the IF-AE8HR so I can bit split 24/96 on it without any problems.

--Ben
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17th September 2004
Old 17th September 2004
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I am taking a Powerbook and a Metric Halo mobile I/O to my house in Northern Wisconsinn deep in the woods for a week.I am bringing along an Api lunchbox pres eq's etc...a Strat and small keyboard and no wife,dogs or kids.

This is a remote place mostly candle light tall pines but a peaceful way of working on tunes.The only thing that would be a total show stopper would be equipment malfunction,there is no Fedex or UPS overnight.

The best part is it all fits in a Brenthhaven backpack and one other small bag,when I get back I just patch it back in the bay sync up to my tape deck take care of overdubs and mix.


Hope all go's well.



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17th September 2004
Old 17th September 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bosco
I am taking a Powerbook and a Metric Halo mobile I/O to my house in Northern Wisconsinn deep in the woods for a week.I am bringing along an Api lunchbox pres eq's etc...a Strat and small keyboard and no wife,dogs or kids.

This is a remote place mostly candle light tall pines but a peaceful way of working on tunes.The only thing that would be a total show stopper would be equipment malfunction,there is no Fedex or UPS overnight.

The best part is it all fits in a Brenthhaven backpack and one other small bag,when I get back I just patch it back in the bay sync up to my tape deck take care of overdubs and mix.


Hope all go's well.




Man I`ve been trying to do something like that for 3 years now. My rig is fairly mobile on purpose so I was thinking I could go up to Maine and rent a Cabin for the week and chill and make music. Maybe even do some mixing up there. I`d probably never leave if I could find the ****in time to get up there.
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18th September 2004
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We've been taking our Soundscape DAW on the road since '93.
The original 12 track unit (6 in 24 bit !) still functions, but now we take one or two ss32 units for a total of 64 tracks/56 inputs.
We rarely need both, as our main focus is classical music, and ácoustic'jazz.

Our PC is a 4 unit rackmounted industrial enclosure (with soft mounts for the HD, RFI/EMI screening, fan with dustfilter), we always put it together ourselves.

If you check your machines once in a while, no problems there.
We NEVER had a PC problem on site, only one lost take on our Soundscape DAW (during a hectic session, a bad take anyway) during 10+ years.

The main advantage is after recording, the project is ready for editing/mixing. Or we can already check some edits during breaks.

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19th September 2004
Old 19th September 2004
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I started taking computer based recorder/editors out in about 1991 with a flightcased Sonic Solutions stereo/4 track system. In about 1993 we moved on to a Sadie as it needed fewer boxes and I'm a PC person rather than Mac.

I currently still have a flightcased Sadie 24:96 but it's not used anything like as much as it used to be - now only at the client's request. I have the use of quite a large Pyramix set up and I guess I could case up a Sonic Studio HD if I needed to but recently my preferred system for most music (non-picture) work is Sequoia.

I run it either on a laptop, for simple stereo work, or for more tracks, on a home built PC based on an HTPC chassis fitted with Lynx AES16 or Lynx 2 cards.

Whilst Sequoia has so far been the most stable of all the systems I've used, I'd still never take it out without some kind of backup - I'm just naturally nervous about trusting computers . In fact, the Sequoia is normally either a multitrack/stem backup to the stereo mix or just a shortcut to save time later with uploading the audio for post production. If the job is mulitrack, my main machines are either Radar or DTRS (whatever the client prefers), and if it's stereo then it's normally to Genex/PCM9000 and/or bit-split onto DTRS, with listening copies on DAT/CD-R for the producer/whoever.

That said, The computer is proving very useful indeed on recording sessions (as opposed to live recording) as a very quick means of doing playbacks; I've also used the laptop system, sat in the hotel with a pair of cans on at midnight, to make up rough cuts for the producer/artists to hear the next day. It brought back memories of doing overnight edits on 1/4" - but with an undo button - invaluable at the end of a long day!
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21st September 2004
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Re: Anyone hauling a DAW out to record?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Sure, laptops work but what about a tower or mini-tower?
check this guys rentals out, pretty cool.

http://www.tweakthisinc.com/


Sean
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22nd September 2004
Old 22nd September 2004
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RME Fireface 800 ?

Anyone tried this?
Specs read great
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22nd September 2004
Old 22nd September 2004
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22nd September 2004
Old 22nd September 2004
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I just got the fireface -

I wrote about it in the "hard disc" area

Best Regards,

Don Spaulding
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#20
7th October 2004
Old 7th October 2004
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I have a mobile HD rig similar to the system on the tweakthis site. It isn't great going and down stairs, but it works.

Next, when I get my Accel system with the 64-bit expansion chassis, I'll add a Powerbook G4 for the freakin stair access only gigs.


Either that or I will just get another Radar and take those out.
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8th October 2004
Old 8th October 2004
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Played a project a few weeks ago where everything wasrecorded for DVD with a HD rig, mobile, but not flight-cased. Recorded 40 tracks with AMS-Neve 1081R's onto HD with the Digidesign interfaces, clocked at 48k (synced to the video truck), monitoring trough a Mackie desk.

Talked to the engineers about adding a UPS to the system, they hadn't thought of it before.. risky...

Herwig
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13th October 2004
Old 13th October 2004
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I used this rig over the summer to record the band's performance at Promise Keepers events (two days each in 10,000 set arenas), mixed and replicated on the spot for sale at the end of each event.

Toshiba laptop running Nuendo 2
2 RME pcmcia cards feeding an RME Multiface and Digiface.
4 Behringer ADA 8000 pre/converters lightpiped to the RME's.
2 Pacific Pro Audio firewire drives (one for backup).
A pair of KRK V4s'
32 channels in split off the monitor console.

32+ tracks, sometimes continuously up to 2 hours at a time without a single hiccup, week after week.
Mixed "on the fly" with a slew of plugins and automation then rendered and a master sequenced and burned using CD Architect.

The Behringers actually sound very good and are an incredible value for the money (about $200 each!) They survived the airlines in a 4 space SKB case without a problem. The KRK's traveled in a Pelican case.
I would check the SKB case, monitor case and board the plane with a carry-on containing the laptop, drives, interfaces, cables and clothes for the weekend.

The best performances will be selected and studio mixed "for real" for a live cd on Maranatha! records later this year.

On another note, I have a larger, rack-mounted PC rig (with Uad-1's and removeable SATA drives) also running Nuendo which I use for studio tracking/mixing album projects. It travels in an anvil flight case as well as a two space carry-on soft rack containing an Alan Smart compressor and a Finalizer. This has worked flawlessly also.

Finally, if you plan on air travel, watch out for the dreaded 50 pound limit, carry spares (like another app drive and record drive),
keep it lean and mean and a DAW will work great.

-RS
#23
13th October 2004
Old 13th October 2004
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I am thinking of setting up a Shuttle PC for mobile recording and as a HD playback unit for a projector. A few thoughts...

1) My 1st concern is the weight of the heat sink - this is probably the achille's heel of using a PC as a mobile rig. So, to minimize this I am going to use the latest 90nm AMD 64/3500. This chip uses less power than their previous chips.

http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/7417

It looks like I might be able to throttle the power down a little too using the socket 939 "cool n quiet" technology, which scales the processor power use to the demand placed on the processor.

2) I am also going to use the older ATI 9600 video board b/c the newer ones generate more heat and use more power. Probably the SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9600PRO Video Card, 256MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV Out, 8X AGP, Model "ATLANTIS RADEON 9600 PRO".

3) I will use the Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm SATA 36GB hard drive.

4) I am going to stick the 512 MB of memory that came with my G5 (I replaced the 2 sticks of 256 MB with 8 sticks of 512MB)...I think this will work as the socket 939 now allows for unregistered memory.

5) I wish there was a direct way to power this off of a battery (avoid the 110VAC transformer input).

6) I am still worried about the heat sink ripping the processor off of the main board if it is rattled too much.

7) I need another computer like I need a hole in my head.

8) I would think about going with Intel's latest board, but you can't use AGP, Intel processors produce more heat and are not as energy efficient, the Intel processors require larger heatsinks, the latest Intel socket seems to be pretty flimsy. It does have onboard sound (might come in handy with mobile playback), has onboard video and onboard wireless.

any thoughts?
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13th October 2004
Old 13th October 2004
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Check out http://www.tourmystudio.com
I know this rig has gone on the road many times without a hitch,and I believe it's even a little more powerful now.
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15th October 2004
Old 15th October 2004
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OK...so hauling a DAW out is a good enough idea...couple more gear questions on that:

- Where can I locate a rack mounting adapter for a standard sized PC?
- Some of my remote clients want a rough burn on the spot...will a vertical orientation affect the CD burner (aside from having to catch it when the drawer opens... )
- Are you using internal drives or external FW? I've been using the internal, but only because the DAW, sitting upright, spins horizontally...rackmounting will shift to spinning vertically...
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15th October 2004
Old 15th October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Midlandmorgan
OK...so hauling a DAW out is a good enough idea...couple more gear questions on that:

- Where can I locate a rack mounting adapter for a standard sized PC?
I've seen rackmount chassis but not a rackmount adapter for a standard desktop.

As for me, I think I found another route that'll work well. Part of what scares me about a PC is stability and track counts. A few people I talked to brought up the point that even if I can get 24 physical inputs there, what are the chances of doing a 90+ minute set with 20 tracks going at once and no crashes?
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#27
16th October 2004
Old 16th October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I've seen rackmount chassis but not a rackmount adapter for a standard desktop.
Check out a company called Marathon, they make rackmounts for many different computer chasis.
#28
16th October 2004
Old 16th October 2004
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Hello all!

I've been using the RME fireface w/Toshiba laptop/Samplitude for a couple weeks now. Being a long time mac user, I'm still getting used to the PC. But it has been very reliable. I seldom use more than 12 tracks (mostly classical) and it handles them easily.
I A/Bed the converters with my DA78 (which I've always liked but Katz describes as "8 cheap channels of A-D"). The first couple nights I fed the pres into the 78 and fed the RME with the analog outs of the 78. I brought the 78's data in via ADAT optical to compare. Slight but definately noticable in favor of the tascam. Again, since most of my work is done with my mytek stereo AD, the RME will sound just fine for the wings and spot mics.
A couple other things that may be obvious to many, but I did not think about before purchase. I feel as though I am a beta tester for this product. They are on the third driver update within a month. This is the first thing I have ever purchased without waiting to see what other engineers or reviewers have to say. The customer service has been helpful and immediate. Cudos to RME!
Next step - I will AB the mic pres and see how they stack up against Mackie. I'll use the pres on a 1402 as a reference point. My personal forites are Grace and John Hardy, but I don't think that would be a fair comparison!
I will not miss lugging 100's of pounds in DA88s.

Don
PS - this unit does play well with every DAW software I've tried. Pyramix, Samplitude, Sonar and Sound Forge.
#29
16th October 2004
Old 16th October 2004
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With regard to your queries;
Quote:
- Where can I locate a rack mounting adapter for a standard sized PC?
- Some of my remote clients want a rough burn on the spot...will a vertical orientation affect the CD burner (aside from having to catch it when the drawer opens... )
- Are you using internal drives or external FW? I've been using the internal, but only because the DAW, sitting upright, spins horizontally...rackmounting will shift to spinning vertically...
Consider getting a proper ATX rack mount case, or as I have done, get a 3RU or 4RU rack mount project case & mod it to take your gear. Otherwise, just get a rack mount shelf & sit it on there with a little padding either side to stop it sliding around.

I havent seen a modern CD/DVD drive that is not capable of vertical operation. They are designed so that the disc will sit properly as the drive drawer opens and closes. They generally have little tabs that you would never notice unless you looked, designed to give the disc just enough support.

A rack mount ATX case however will generally have horizontal 5 1/4" drive bays, so it's not an issue if you go that way. Alternatively a desktop case (as apposed to a tower) will also keep everything "correctly" oriented...

Check the depth of any rack mount case you look at, some of them are very big - bigger than most musical equipment racks. That's why custom built mine - using the slide-out motherboard tray from an old ATX case, saving a lot of time.

Hope I've said something useful

Matt
#30
16th October 2004
Old 16th October 2004
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Thanks for the info, y'all....

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but after thinking about this to the point of distraction (while playing a gig last nite...) it just seems foolish to figure out ways to conveniently and reliably retrofit a PC into a road case...but the time its all said and done, I've bought a Shuttle or a laptop.

(as if these choices weren't confusing enough for stationary in studio locales...)
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