The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Going ITB...again - how does this sound? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 12th March 2014
  #1
Going ITB...again - how does this sound?

Alright, so - I have spent the better part of the last 2 years spending every free dime on my "ultimate" setup. It's now done:

Apogee Big Ben
Apogee Rosetta 800
LynxTWO-C

6 core i7 980 PC
27" monitor
Cubase 7

Akai MPK 61
Focal CMS65 monitors

FATSO
TK-Lizer Bus EQ
D-Box

Avedis MA5 / IC Brute compressor

Poly Evolver PE Keyboard
Juno 106
Prophet 08
Sub Phatty
MKS-50
VariOS (Roland D-50 card (VC-1)


I am going to be moving back west to LA soon (back into an apartment) and for some reason the thought of moving all this **** is weighing on me - adding to the stress of an alread huge move from PA. It will cost a TON and there is always a risk of damage. Also, even though this setup is really ****ing awesome - it just seems a bit much, and its just always the same synths over and over when i go to make music. I have the urge to add both variety and also to streamline my setup - letting go of that big huge setup that is more to feed my ego and GAS than about making music, let's be honest. I want to streamline and concentrate more on pure music making and have a more compact, albeit high end, setup.


I am considering selling all of the above, and moving to this below setup. In the process, I should make about 4 grand:

- New iMac fully loaded, top of the line everything running Cubase 7.5 - running 24/96
- Apollo 16 via thunderbolt (new true thunderbolt drivers due soon) - All the best UAD plugins, but kept minimal to avoid endless options
- Dangeous 2-Bus LT (all 16 outs from Apollo)
- 2 CAPI "missing links" on output of 2-bus LT
- Integra 7 (8 outs into Apollo for seperate tracking, VST editor)
- 5-6 of the best VSTi synths (again, hate overexposing myself to too much when ITB)
- Waves API, abbey road brilliance, a few sonnox plugins. I plan to keep the UAD plugs ON the Apollo just for inputs, especially sum return of the 2 bus LT - i can literally run the same bus processing plugins as I have hardware now. I will only run native plugs on channels to avoid that UAD latency.

- Keep Focal CMS, avedis preamp and akai MPK61, of course. I also have a Fender American precision bass and a Miktek CV4 for vocals.

I would also have enough inputs to add 2 stereo analog poly synths and one mono in time.

Thoughts? Am I missing something? This seems like a sick setup and will allow a lot more variety with a smaller foot print, allow me to concentrate more on compositions and also make me about 4 grand cash.
Old 12th March 2014
  #2
SRT
Lives for gear
You may want to try some 100% ITB productions and see how it goes before you dump everything.
Old 12th March 2014
  #3
I have before, not a big deal. And this setup would be a lot better than my other all ITB setup - plus the UAD and Integra processing.
Old 12th March 2014
  #4
if you are going to bother doing the analogue summing why not put a bus compressor at the end?

which soft synths are you considering swapping all that hardware for?
Old 12th March 2014
  #5
Because a hardware bus compressor would be expensive, negating the point and only the REALLY expensive ones add any redeeming color. Plus I could not bare to have the Apollo and not use any of those outputs. The hardware fatso off the summing would be my only choice, but there is the UAD plugin which I can run on the input. On the sum return input on the Apollo I would run SSL bus comp first, then Fatso without compression for saturation / warmth (may be unnecessary with those missing links, but, I might not get those right away) then BAX EQ with the MS option, then back in cubase the sonnox limiter. besides being plugins, its actually the same or better to what i do now. Maybe I should add a TK-Audio BC-1 S after summing? then saturate with UAD fatso after...hmm. Trying to just be modern and forget about hardware for now.

Software synths would be TAL Juno, all the UVI vintage digital recreations, omnesphere, etc. Use would be lite because I can get 16 tracks from Integra if i wish. Still trying to keep the computer CPU very low, i love it that way.
Old 12th March 2014
  #6
Hmm.....dumping all the synths? I would hold onto a poly and a mono. Maybe the MKS-50 and the Phatty? Is your Prophet desktop? Maybe that. I couldn't let go of the PEK. Dumping the Focals? I live in a condo, and have gotten well adjusted to monitoring at moderate-low levels.

UAD is good no doubt, but I'm not so sure, at this point, I would invest in that, versus high end native. The thing that bothers me, is that people always talk about running out of DSP, and being able to use a limited number of instances. For the cost, it seems I should have the option of which plugins I devote to DSP power, and which run native. To me that just says they aren't confident that they really are better with their DSP boxes. The fact that I ever hear someone say that there is another emulation better than anything UAD, makes me shy away from being interested. For what you pay, they should be obviously superior.

I don't know what software you have now, but I think careful research and strategic buying at times when they have huge sales, you could really stock up on some of the best processing and synth plug-ins, and save thousands of dollars. There is no reason to ever pay full price for a Waves plugin. For instance, the API collection is $250 right now, regular $650. Likewise, if memory serves, most companies have a huge summer sale. Get what you need to tide you over in the meantime. I'm sure Cubase has some decent stuff.

Good for you man. Sounds like you got head in the right place about it all. Sounds like you got everything you wanted, and like we have all done at one time or another, realized the experience was overrated. And down the road, almost anything and everything you miss, will again be available should you want to rebuy. Plus then you're not hassled with ridiculous shipping costs and insurance for all that stuff. A good musician is a good musician, regardless of his/her tools.

Best of luck, let us know how things turn out, and if the change helps or hinders your creative workflow.
Old 12th March 2014
  #7
As stated above, try working ITB for a while first. I know you've done it before but until you're limited to it you won't really appreciate what you're losing. I attempted something similar recently and had so much heartache with latency, drivers, bugs, software updates and general computer/interface/software flakiness that I lost all faith in humanity (and I'm on a mac!!). I fired up the 808 and played with the hardware again and realised we're still a long way from ITB set ups that work like they're supposed to, reliably, seamlessly, all the time. Hybrid setup is best IMO.
Old 12th March 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Hmm.....dumping all the synths? I would hold onto a poly and a mono. Maybe the MKS-50 and the Phatty? Is your Prophet desktop? Maybe that. I couldn't let go of the PEK. Dumping the Focals? I live in a condo, and have gotten well adjusted to monitoring at moderate-low levels.

UAD is good no doubt, but I'm not so sure, at this point, I would invest in that, versus high end native. The thing that bothers me, is that people always talk about running out of DSP, and being able to use a limited number of instances. For the cost, it seems I should have the option of which plugins I devote to DSP power, and which run native. To me that just says they aren't confident that they really are better with their DSP boxes. The fact that I ever hear someone say that there is another emulation better than anything UAD, makes me shy away from being interested. For what you pay, they should be obviously superior.

I don't know what software you have now, but I think careful research and strategic buying at times when they have huge sales, you could really stock up on some of the best processing and synth plug-ins, and save thousands of dollars. There is no reason to ever pay full price for a Waves plugin. For instance, the API collection is $250 right now, regular $650. Likewise, if memory serves, most companies have a huge summer sale. Get what you need to tide you over in the meantime. I'm sure Cubase has some decent stuff.

Good for you man. Sounds like you got head in the right place about it all. Sounds like you got everything you wanted, and like we have all done at one time or another, realized the experience was overrated. And down the road, almost anything and everything you miss, will again be available should you want to rebuy. Plus then you're not hassled with ridiculous shipping costs and insurance for all that stuff. A good musician is a good musician, regardless of his/her tools.

Best of luck, let us know how things turn out, and if the change helps or hinders your creative workflow.
thanks, all that makes a lot of sense. I know selling the PEK will hurt badly - the only thing i'll miss so much. But for this to make sense financially, it all needs to go. I will buy again when I get settled in LA and start makig more money.
Old 12th March 2014
  #9
I had a bunch of synths and samplers. Sold them all and went all ITB. Thought I was going to be happy and never look back. Now again Im turning back to hardware with some exceptions (still mix ITB and use plugins) and regret selling many of my synths .

The only thing I don't miss is editing samples on small LCD screens, SCSI ZIP drivers etc.

You should really think it through. We always look for changes, the grass is always greener, start with a blank page etc, so it's easy to get tempted to do something drastic like that, and then after a while (or maybe a few years) your will realise that you miss the physical connection to your synths, the sound of hardware etc.
Old 12th March 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
Because a hardware bus compressor would be expensive, negating the point and only the REALLY expensive ones add any redeeming color. Plus I could not bare to have the Apollo and not use any of those outputs. The hardware fatso off the summing would be my only choice, but there is the UAD plugin which I can run on the input. On the sum return input on the Apollo I would run SSL bus comp first, then Fatso without compression for saturation / warmth (may be unnecessary with those missing links, but, I might not get those right away) then BAX EQ with the MS option, then back in cubase the sonnox limiter. besides being plugins, its actually the same or better to what i do now. Maybe I should add a TK-Audio BC-1 S after summing? then saturate with UAD fatso after...hmm. Trying to just be modern and forget about hardware for now.

Software synths would be TAL Juno, all the UVI vintage digital recreations, omnesphere, etc. Use would be lite because I can get 16 tracks from Integra if i wish. Still trying to keep the computer CPU very low, i love it that way.
If I were you Id use the FATSO on the master and not bother with the missing links...bit of saturation and compression...Ive used a lot of plugins including UAD and I'd always prefer to have a hardware bus comp. Not just because of colour but because of the way they shape the transients and deal with the bass frequencies giving real weight to the signal.

I remember your own thread demonstrating this quite well

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...ssl-clips.html

I tried to match the FATSO clip with my plugins and could not get the same transient impact. SLate VBC gets close but it still has a fake sounding low end. UAD 4k is good but it still sounds hard on transients.

If you want to use the IO on the apollo Id have a few hardware processors to run stuff thru like softsynths to fatten up, plugged in and not bother with analogue summing - which is very marginal. You could tap the FATSO for colour and tighten the bass and also the UAD Ampex is pretty good...

Tal 101 and Diva and Monark are good eps if you run them thru some hardware...Ive tried the UVI instrument route and they basically are preset machines and its pretty joyless writing music with them...you dont really feel like you have an instrument. The sound is so - so.

With a hardware FATSO pluged into that Apollo - you ave the perfect tool for adding some weight and hardware tone to your softsynths and drums...I tried the UAD FATSO and its not the same (as always). Its ok but it has no weight and a sort of fuzzy digital nature.

I'd recommend you try to have a balance and keep the FATSO and a couple of hardware analogues...P08 rack perhaps and get a minitaur?
Old 12th March 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I can almost predict that you will want a PEK again in a few years. Maybe keep that as your controller?
Old 12th March 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
XAXAU's Avatar
 

1. I work in the moving business and I can tell you it´s about 0,1% risk of anything breaking, at least if you hire a decent company who knows how to pack the individual items, stuffing the truck and drive safe!

2. No VST is going to replace your hardware. You´re gonna get sad when trying to get the sounds you´re used to out of them!

3. UAD plugins nice, but not worth it. I have 30+ plugins and 8 cards. It´s really glitchy in Ableton Live too. They are overpriced, bigtime. If you´re mixing someone elses material, yeah then I get it, but if you write your own tunes, nah. Good sample selection and time spent synthesizing will make people ask you if you mix on a big desk and everything hardware. I was on the road for a while without the UAD plugins and monitors and learned to mix on non UADs and the MacBook Pros speakers plus Sennheiser HD25s! Yup, it translates very well. Oh, and it takes forever to bounce tracks with UAD present!

4. Your setup is great. I´d save up for a pair of missing links and call it a day.

5. Maybe you realized the gear won´t get you were you want to be? Maybe you should touch nothing and just sit down and think about how to reach your goal without including gear into the equation?


Like Swan said, strap the Fatso on the outs of the D-Bus and mixdown stems and re-balance in the DAW! The drums will sound great if you hit them with the clipping, the synth stem will benefit from some hardcore tranny action (LOL) and the the whole mix can get some clean compression at the end.

Good luck mate!
Old 12th March 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 

What's good nowadays : you can go in the box and use hardware from elektron or access. Maybe hat'll be a new trend in the next months.
Old 12th March 2014
  #14
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
Poly Evolver PE Keyboard
Juno 106
Prophet 08

Keep this stuff. All the rest I can see why you don't care to have them. The better your hardware analogs the less you'll want to give them up.

I'd even say out of the three here the Juno 106 is the keeper.
Old 12th March 2014
  #15
Gear Addict
 
pandar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Keep this stuff. All the rest I can see why you don't care to have them. The better your hardware analogs the less you'll want to give them up.

I'd even say out of the three here the Juno 106 is the keeper.
I'd keep the MKS 50. It doesn't really take up any space.
Old 12th March 2014
  #16
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandar View Post
I'd keep the MKS 50. It doesn't really take up any space.
I'm done with rack modules.

Been all about keyboards for years and late least year bought up EX8000, ESQ-1, Slim Phatty. Personally I've given rack modules a chance but realized it's not for me.

I don't care about space, I care about playing an instrument. Don't really want to have to hook up a midi controller and lean to a rack every time I want to play it.

Don't care anymore to hook up an editor to make it more efficient.

Just give me a good keyboard I can get my hands on and play.

I have a DW8000 and ESQ1 so I had both to try out and see what works for me.

In fact I've sold the slim phatty and today am selling off the EX8000. After I build a Lemur template for the ESQ-M I will probably sell that one off too. Template if for the music community though.

Didn't like the sound of the Slim Phatty. After a long time giving it a good chance I sold it a few weeks ago.

Just my opinion.
Old 12th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
I'd keep everything and forget all this nonsense.
Old 12th March 2014
  #18
227861
Guest
Nonsense is telling someone to hoard something when they don't want it.
Old 12th March 2014
  #19
Haha. Thanks for all the input. Swan, I hear what you are saying 100%. It's all true, but there comes a point where keeping some of my hardware is pointless, I would just keep it all the same because i am not reaping any benefits of the change - making cash and tidying up, full recall, etc.

draven5 - you are right. the VariOS and the MKS cheapen my setup, as snobby as that sounds. I actually thought yesterday to remove them from my rack and then reevaluate things. I am going to to that today and see what happens. they are a weak link. Trust me, id much rather see an MKS70 or 80 in there.

I find it hard at times to trust my own judgement. I tend to obsess over something and then I'll do anything to get it. Right now, its a mac and that Integra7 with VST editor (only for mac). My judgement could be very cloudy indeed - i spend way too much time at work reading and looking and GASSing.

"5. Maybe you realized the gear won´t get you were you want to be? Maybe you should touch nothing and just sit down and think about how to reach your goal without including gear into the equation?"

This is true and also not true. I am actually extremely happy with my mixing and composition, I'm the best I've ever been. What I lack big time is follow thru on completed tracks. I always leave everything like 80%. I have already known my goal for a while i guess. Besides releasing tracks with no expectation of money, just personal satisfaction and one of my purposes in life, I always wanted to have a sick ass space to just chill with cool people, blaze and vibe out. I def have that right now and the vibe would def cool out with just that simple setup. I lived in LA for so long before; knowing I had a lot of potential, but it was always just talk and that was frustrating to me. I always wanted to go back with a boom like I got a SICK ass setup come over and vibe out, lets make something happen, etc....But sometimes I think I imbalance my own productivity with wanting to just have the gear and GAS and to look cool, which is a joke because obviously no one cares about your music setup. also, as crazy as it sounds, i almost think that chics would see it as a tad nerdy, not that i give a **** what girls think, i don't but still hahaha. i dunno, i got mad girls in LA but since in PA ive lived at home, so its always "her" house.
Old 12th March 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Nonsense is telling someone to hoard something when they don't want it.
Or telling them to keep half of it (because they are analogs) when they don't want it.
Old 12th March 2014
  #21
oh and XAXAU - no moving truck. Shipping my car, flying me and my dog. so everything would have to get sent UPS. It would probably cost like 600 dollars, 1000 fully insured. It's the furthest zone from PA.
Old 12th March 2014
  #22
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by cixelsyd View Post
Or telling them to keep half of it (because they are analogs) when they don't want it.
That's not why I was telling him to keep it. Not because of analog, but because of sound. But I guess sound is subjective.

I find the sound of the Juno rich with frequencies. I'm not alone is stating the fact that the DSI's may be great in features but they do sound a bit thin. I'm not the only one to state this. Definitely the modern Moog is not frequency rich.
Old 12th March 2014
  #23
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
oh and XAXAU - no moving truck. Shipping my car, flying me and my dog. so everything would have to get sent UPS. It would probably cost like 600 dollars, 1000 fully insured. It's the furthest zone from PA.
Great points. You'll lose money, I'd sell all that then.

You obviously feel a burden by it too and you mentioned you want a new variety of sounds. I would bet you're probably bored of your set up too. So all great reasons to move on from it and get some different stuff by the time you get back here in LA.

All the stuff you have is easily replaceable. Not like you have a Jupiter 8, Prophet 5 or anything like that, that would be a pain to buy back.
Old 12th March 2014
  #24
no, the juno and PEK are my best synths for sure. you are right. both are amazing. but people say the TAL U-NO-LX is like 99% there for the juno. so if i can make 800 dollars and have a 50 dollar plugin, im all over that....MAYBE.
Old 12th March 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
lain2097's Avatar
Did a similar thing about two years ago, sold every analogue / vintage synth / outboard effects / mixer / cables / keyboard stands and so on. My entire set up now fits on one (large) L-shaped desk. Let's just say I made well over 20k in selling it all; purchased REAL monitors which was badly needed. Still have loads left over.

And that was quite literally a room filling set up.

No regrets, actually my production had exponentally increased since.

None of your synths / gear are rare anyway, so you can repurchase them at your new location if you so choose.

Now I just have:
one keyboard which does double duty as a midi controller
one interface (Apogee rosetta 800)
one set of decent monitors (K&H O300D and O800 sub)
one reasonable buss compressor (Fatso)
one MIDI interface (AMT-8)
one computer (imac 27 fully loaded)
handfull of small diy midi modules
some misc cables

That's it, and that's all I really need. I could be full of it but hey that's my thoughts.
Old 12th March 2014
  #26
Deleted User
Guest
i would keep the synths, recording in to comp is ok in my opinion, but the sounds have to come from OTB. IMO
Old 12th March 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Naugo's Avatar
 

You would be going to a worse computer and a platform that doesn't run cubase as well.. I wouldn't do that.

Honestly sounds like your trying to convince yourself to do something that you know is a bad idea.
Old 12th March 2014
  #28
SRT
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
no, the juno and PEK are my best synths for sure. you are right. both are amazing. but people say the TAL U-NO-LX is like 99% there for the juno. so if i can make 800 dollars and have a 50 dollar plugin, im all over that....MAYBE.
If you decide to part with the PEK I may be interested depending upon condition and time frame.
Old 12th March 2014
  #29
It's a PE and it's mint as the day she was born, all my gear is. I will keep you in mind.
Old 12th March 2014
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
oh and XAXAU - no moving truck. Shipping my car, flying me and my dog. so everything would have to get sent UPS. It would probably cost like 600 dollars, 1000 fully insured. It's the furthest zone from PA.
$600 is worth it, no? Could you maybe pack it all in your car when you ship?
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump