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API 1608 / DAW Hybrid Setups DAW Software
Old 25th December 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

API 1608 / DAW Hybrid Setups

I've been looking into the API 1608 recently and I would like to know how people use this console in a hybrid setup.

The manual suggests 2 setups:

Setup A: Preamp out -> DAW in / DAW out -> EQ in

Disadvantages of this setup are that
- you can only monitor through the DAW which might lead to some latency issues depending on your DAW
- you can't use the desk's EQ while tracking
- you can't attenuate a hot preamp output signal before the DAW input (unless you patch in an external passive attenuator).

Setup B: Insert Send -> DAW in / DAW out -> Insert Return

This is a no-go IMO because you can't use the desk's EQ while mixing.

Another scenario could be: Direct Out -> DAW in / DAW out -> Line in

Disadvantages include:
- Recording of line signals not possible
- Monitor mixes need to be made with a software mixer
- additional noise because the preamp stage is passed twice

Did I get this more or less right or is there a flaw in my thinking? Presonally, I would probably go with setup A. What's your signal flow with the 1608?
Old 25th December 2010
  #2
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Marcocet's Avatar
API 1608 / DAW Hybrid Setups

Well, first off you could get a patchbay and have access to all three

I have my patchbay normalled up to option 3 because it's by FAR the most versatile for interfacing outboard gear. Even if you do that you don't pass the mic amplifier twice, just the line amplifier. Any noise added is beyond negligible. Also because of the patchbay when tracking I can send the mic pre out to the daw and the daw out to the eq in, essentially using it as an inline desk.

The 1608 is an amazing desk, but if you're seriously worried about it adding noise why would you want a hybrid setup in the first place?
Old 25th December 2010
  #3
Here for the gear
+1 for patch bay.

I use the direct out normalled to my first 16 ch of AD. DAs are normalled to Line in.

sooo many different ways of using the 1608. the aux in for the echo sends/echo returns are super cool features, really useful.

the thing is, you really need to read the manual or work hands on with the desk to realize the true potential of the 1608. the info on the api website doesn't do it justice at all...

and on top of that you have the sound

cheers,
Johannes
Old 26th December 2010
  #4
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subspace's Avatar
Don't have a 1608, but I do track on a hybrid rig with a 16x8x8 Trident Trimix console, so the patch layout is pretty familiar to me. I normal the insert sends to the insert returns and the direct outs to DAW inputs 1-16. I also normal the bus outs to DAW inputs 17-24.
The DAW outputs are normalled so that 1-8 feed returns 1-8, while 9-24 feed line inputs 1-16. So if you hit the line switch on a channel, you won't end up routing it's output back to it's own input.
During tracking, I'll record the direct outs but I'll also assign the input channels to busses, insert dynamics there, and record those as well.
So the vocal on channel 1 > bus 1 > comp > DAW 17
bass DI > bus 2
bass mic > bus 2 > comp > DAW 18
kick in > bus 3
kick out > bus 3 > comp > DAW 19
snare top > bus 4 >
snare bottom > bus 4 > comp > DAW 20
tom > bus 5-6
floor > bus 5-6
overheads > bus 5-6
room > bus 5-6 > DAW 21-22
etc... You get the picture. Of course, dynamics can be inserted on the individual mics as well, but I've gotten used to setting those levels conservatively and recording them uncompressed in case something digs a bit too much on the bus mix and I need to rebalance.
So the upshot of all that is that I monitor the bus outputs during tracking and set my channel faders to get the proper balance on each subgroup, thereby also recording those relative balances at the direct out. For playback, I simply switch the returns to monitor the DAW outputs of those 8 subgroups. I can route the original direct out tracks to the same output, mute the subgroup recording, and hear the same mix without compression as well.
At first I felt constricted by the limited amount of monitor returns, but once I committed to the idea of using those recording busses for what they were designed to do, the process started to make a lot more sense. I'm working 8 track again with a 16 track safety and unlimited overdubs. Too much fun.
Old 26th December 2010
  #5
fps
Here for the gear
 

Hi peeps, this is my first post on here...

i just ordered a 1608 & have 2 prism orpheus ADAs that i'd like to hook up.

bermudaben, i was going to do it the same as Johannes. cant wait!!
also, have PB being made too.
as for option A, I thought the EQ ins defeat the mic/line inputs? so wouldnt work for both... i might be (probably am) wrong there...

Old 26th December 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
I have my patchbay normalled up to option 3 because it's by FAR the most versatile for interfacing outboard gear. Even if you do that you don't pass the mic amplifier twice, just the line amplifier. Any noise added is beyond negligible. Also because of the patchbay when tracking I can send the mic pre out to the daw and the daw out to the eq in, essentially using it as an inline desk.
So you are saying you use setup A for tracking and setup C for mixing?

Those of you who record the direct outs, how do you make your control room and cue mixes when you use the desk's faders as premap output attenuators?
Old 26th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermudaben View Post
Those of you who record the direct outs, how do you make your control room and cue mixes when you use the desk's faders as premap output attenuators?
I usually set the gains when recording so that the files resemble music with faders at unity gain. This method feels musical and intuitive, always works for me. You get a fast indication of the direction of the song at mixdown and also the best fader resolution. It makes it super fast to set up HP feeds from the aux sends (start at unity and go from there). Also, no nasty surprises when soloing channels pfl OR afl.

Otherwise it's easy to route one of the aux send feeds to the main mix either through a mix bus or via the send/return board internal normals.

best regards,
Johannes
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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Marcocet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bermudaben View Post
So you are saying you use setup A for tracking and setup C for mixing?

Those of you who record the direct outs, how do you make your control room and cue mixes when you use the desk's faders as premap output attenuators?
Not really. I wouldn't consider what I do hybrid. I really use the computer as a slightly more powerful tape machine. When tracking I use a combination of onboard and outboard pres, but I return out of pro tools to other free channels. With the 32 channel desk I always have plenty for returns. However when I was using it with only 16 channels I would sometimes use the desk inline (setup A) while tracking.

When using the desk inline I would try to get the levels as close to a mix as possible going to tape (which I always do), and then I would make small tweeks in the box and come out of a stereo pair to the 2 track in on the console. Then I'd just do whatever necessary to get the cue mixes I need, probably using another pair of outs in pro tools, or simply sending the existing stereo mix to the cans.

I hope that helps some.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
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Sounds very limited.

So after you spend $50,000, you can only use 8 of the eq's to track at one time? 8 busses just won't do for recording beds. Since when do you buy a console expecting to only track with half of it...or is there an eq out point?
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDaddy View Post
Sounds very limited.
nah its not.you have inserts on everything.just need to have everything on the bay.
the 1608 as basic as it is, is extremely flexible.
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenes View Post
I usually set the gains when recording so that the files resemble music with faders at unity gain. This method feels musical and intuitive, always works for me. You get a fast indication of the direction of the song at mixdown and also the best fader resolution. It makes it super fast to set up HP feeds from the aux sends (start at unity and go from there). Also, no nasty surprises when soloing channels pfl OR afl.

Otherwise it's easy to route one of the aux send feeds to the main mix either through a mix bus or via the send/return board internal normals.
Interesting. So you basically make your control room mix with the preamp gain knobs? But what if you want to drive the preamps hot for some preamp distortion (e.g. on the snare drum)?

I would probably go for the other option, although I do prefer to make my CR mix with faders.
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
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Marcocet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bermudaben View Post
Interesting. So you basically make your control room mix with the preamp gain knobs? But what if you want to drive the preamps hot for some preamp distortion (e.g. on the snare drum)?
Then you back if off with some other attenuator before you hit tape (or the computer). Same as using an attenuator afterwords, only you have less work to do then. I always try to print as close to a mix as possible, especially if I'm the one mixing the track. It saves the client time and money, and I've never come up across a situation where I regretted it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDaddy View Post
Sounds very limited.

So after you spend $50,000, you can only use 8 of the eq's to track at one time? 8 busses just won't do for recording beds. Since when do you buy a console expecting to only track with half of it...or is there an eq out point?
There's an EQ out point as well. The routing on the 1608 is unbelievable. You can do pretty much anything.
Old 28th December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post



There's an EQ out point as well. The routing on the 1608 is unbelievable. You can do pretty much anything.

Well that's good news about a point after eq...pretty important...you might wanna settle down on the "pretty much anything" stuff though...8 busses is very limited and so is no multitrack returns/ monitoring...one of the great advantages to a console is to be able to monitor (headphones) directly from the console before it does into DAW land...I can't see how you can have 16 tracks being recorded at the same time (bed tracks) with the ability to do punches...i can only see 14 or less as you would need two DAW returns at least to monitor playback...or am I missing something there?

anyway...it sounds OK...but is still limited...now if it had tape/multitrack returns...the thing would be pretty amazing.

PS. I can do 12 tracks of bed tracks comfortably, but I still like to spread out playback over eight channels or more..you know drums, Keys/Guitars, bass, Lead, Backups
Old 28th December 2010
  #14
Here for the gear
I'm a workflow junkie. When you record like described the DAW instantly playbacks the recorded track at a musical level (via the DAW 2 bus mix to my DAW return channels).

And yes, sometimes i crank the gain and back of at the fader to get that effect. But the point is what Marc described, you print it like you want it in the mix. AND this also forces you to make the musical desicions that are easy to procrastinate if you have the option to... i find that working with a (fully loaded 16ch) 1608 supports this way of working and sounds damn good while doing so.

best regards,
Johannes
Old 29th December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
Then you back if off with some other attenuator before you hit tape (or the computer). Same as using an attenuator afterwords, only you have less work to do then. I always try to print as close to a mix as possible, especially if I'm the one mixing the track. It saves the client time and money, and I've never come up across a situation where I regretted it.




There's an EQ out point as well. The routing on the 1608 is unbelievable. You can do pretty much anything.
That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You can pretty much do anything - as long as it is a PITAheh
Old 29th December 2010
  #16
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I never saw the 1608 as a limited option type of thing... Of course compared to my SSL, it's got less matrix abilities but I would use either and jump with joy!
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
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Marcocet's Avatar
API 1608 / DAW Hybrid Setups

Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDaddy


Well that's good news about a point after eq...pretty important...you might wanna settle down on the "pretty much anything" stuff though...8 busses is very limited and so is
What I meant to say is that I've yet to come up with a situation where the 1608 felt like the limiting factor. It's allowed me to do everything I've asked of it. Would 16 busses hurt? No. Have I found myself missing them? Not at all.

Also don't forget the 8 aux returns and 8 bus returns.

I think the question of this thread was how do you integrate the console, and does it work well with a daw. I've answered the first and as to the second: yes, as well as anything I can realistically imagine.
Old 31st December 2010
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

I am not too sure about the "print it as you want it in the mix" method, but that's another subject.

Anyway, I realize that the API 1608 is really tremendously flexible as long as you route all it's inputs and outputs to a patch bay.

So, in conclusion, if I was to spend 50 grand on a console to integrate into my DAW studio, would you recommend I spend it on a 1608 or a used 24 or 32 track in-line console?

And what's currently the main competition for the 1608? The Rupert Neve 5088 is the only similar product I know.

Edit: I noticed this is my one hundredth post on GS. You may congratulate heh
Old 31st December 2010
  #19
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Marcocet's Avatar
Rupert Neve, Tonelux, Neve Genesys, SSL AWS, Tree Audio, maybe the new Trident A range, SAE Neve Classic. That's all the new desks in the same price range I can think of but I'm sure there are others.

As far as buying a used console have you ever worked extensively on an older desk before? The upkeep can be a lot for a console, even on a brand new one.

And finally there's someone selling a 32 channel 1608 for ridiculously cheap in the GS classifieds right now.

Good luck with whatever you end up with! All I can say is that I'm extremely happy with my 1608 and I would never go back.
Old 31st December 2010
  #20
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DaVogi's Avatar
if a 1608 or something similar is right for you depends heavily on your workflow and the tasks you'd like to perform with it.

for example, I'm sure this console is a dream if you gonna use it for tracking as well as mixing smaller projects (16 channel version).

if your main task is mixing very large/complex projects which need a lot of automation than I would look elsewhere.
Old 31st December 2010
  #21
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
And finally there's someone selling a 32 channel 1608 for ridiculously cheap in the GS classifieds right now.
I don't think i make a "ridiculously cheap price".
I only offer a 32 channel 1608 for about 30% less of new price.
thumbsup
Old 1st January 2011
  #22
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Marcocet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by api1608 View Post
I don't think i make a "ridiculously cheap price".
I only offer a 32 channel 1608 for about 30% less of new price.
thumbsup
True, but seeing how that's the only one I've seen sell used other than through brokers it's the cheapest I've seen one go for. Pst: I'm trying to help you out! I'd take it if I could.
Old 1st January 2011
  #23
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
True, but seeing how that's the only one I've seen sell used other than through brokers it's the cheapest I've seen one go for. Pst: I'm trying to help you out! I'd take it if I could.
thumbsup
Old 1st January 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

...oh well I guess this purchase has to wait quite some time yet. I haven't even got my own recording studio yet. I am just daydreaming basically...
Old 1st January 2011
  #25
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Now my price for 32 channel and producer's desk is 38000 euro/ 32500 £!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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