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Confused as to the best way to track OTB to mix ITB. Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 13th May 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Confused as to the best way to track OTB to mix ITB.

Hi all,

This is the sort of question I will prolly be embarrassed I asked in 6 months but I am really perplexed at the best way to approach this problem.

I have have a fair amount of synths, drum machines, and samplers that amount to many inputs of patch bays consumed.

Previously I was using using Ableton as my sequencer and composing tunes only in there while playing (and ultimately recording) external devices directly through the multiple inputs on my soundcard. As you can imagine my midi timing was crap and I was really battling to keep the groove.

I recently got an MPC60. It syncs terribly to ableton as most of you know.

I would like to midi all my machines to to the MPC and use it for composing my primary grooves, then record these as audio into Ableton with a lot of live tweaking as a long "jam" session. From there I would edit/ arrange the jam into a song, add ear candy, add vocals, and ultimately mix these stems in Harrison Mix bus.

Originally I was going to simply record each device into my sound card's 8 inputs - however I have been collecting a lot of hardware effects that I would also like to start using to build the grooves.

The obvious choice would be to get a mixer (I actually have access to a old Mackie 1604) and set it up traditionally with aux/sends. The problem then is that I would not be able to record each synth individually in one pass as stems - I would have to solo them and record one at a time which would kill the spontaneous "jam" vibe.

I also don't think I want them all passing through that cheap board.

If you were in my situation - how would you go about recording all devices, aux effects, live tweaking, etc as multi-tracked audio that I can then edit and arrange in Live into a cohesive song that sounds "finished" with a proper mix ITB?

I appreciate people's ideas.
Old 13th May 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
My other idea was to record all the drums through the 8 ins on my soundcard and then record a pass of bass, synth, etc. with tweaking live...

But as I said - the sync to Ableton from the MPC60 is awful and it would result in an awful groove of misaligned crap. :-/
Old 13th May 2012
submix a few send this to the MPC
record a number of tracks at the same time (incl. MPC output) to keep the groove intact.
then mix inside the DAW

submix for MPC (same)
mix everything on the Mackie, record the stereo output

minimise the number of AD DA conversions (see here: once or twice is not going to hurt, but more.... )
try both and see if you can maximise quality, and the "feel" of the track.
sometimes it's better to mix on a cheap mixer, than ITB, it depends on your skill of both.
then pick the one you like best
extra work but worth the effort I'd say

then post your findings here please heh
Old 13th May 2012
Karloff70's Avatar

Then get a nicer sounding mixer with either direct outs or enough group outs? Funny times......loads of people querying about how to solve certain situations....that all shout "MIXER"....but most don't want least you're considering one, as it is what your situation demands....
Old 13th May 2012
Gear Head

Thread Starter
Thanks for the replies. I really do appreciate it.

Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
submix a few send this to the MPC
Could you explain this idea a bit more? Do you mean create a sub mix of the song in the mixer and resample it in to the MPC?

Then are you suggesting that I would then record that along with the real output of the gear to make sure it "maintains the groove"?

I like the idea I think you are trying to convey but not sure I totally get it.

I actually am completely into the idea of a better mixer. Especially one that had direct or group outs. I also love the idea of mixing 100% OTB - however I am not in a financial place to buy a great mixer and a few really great compressors to supplement my ITB mixing techniques that would require some direct inserts and a killer master bus compressor like an SSL.

Right now my only compressors are the Golden Age 54 and a cheap ass Alesis 3636 so it would be a significant investment to get a nice board and a few compressors.
Old 13th May 2012
Karloff70's Avatar

I believe a Soundcraft Delta DLX has direct outs........not a massive financial leap.
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