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Modular Recording Rigs ...
Old 4th August 2019
  #1
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void23's Avatar
Modular Recording Rigs ...

I should know this stuff, but still looking for options or advice ... I'm looking for a good way of tracking what I'm doing on the modular that doesn't get in the way of my workflow, that I can then later edit down on the computer.

What I'm envisioning is a way to record 12 to 14 tracks at pre-fader levels, route those feeds into a mixer, then record the stereo mix for reference. In a perfect world, I'd love to do it without a computer, or at least rig some sort of setup on a machine that's always queue'd for recording. Seems like the Zoom Livetrak L-12 is close, but it sounds too good to be true and it's mixer portion is really lacking (no FX loops, come on!).

I've got a Yamaha 01v96i in the downstairs studio, which would be perfect with a computer, but the damn thing too large for where I have my modular setup. My modular is the main part of the house so I can just walk by and tweak a patch whenever I want. Having something in the studio room, means I rarely use it outside of working on a project with a timeline. Also, having the modular "upstairs" means I have no room for additional eurorack cases which is also a plus .

That leaves my with a looking for a true, 16x16 balanced I/O, low-latency USB3 audio interface. A big plus if it has DB25 routing.
Old 5th August 2019
  #2
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Derp's Avatar
It's a shame hardware recorders these days are lacking. They kind of died off before .wav export was really implemented well. Kudos to Zoom for trying to keep the ghost alive, but they're just not the same quality as Roland VS's and the like. I've been eyeballing some new interfaces and such since the VS2480 is getting long in the tooth, and that Tascam Model 24 keeps jumping out at me.
Old 6th August 2019
  #3
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That Model 24 looks pretty darn close to what I need. Now, I just need to figure out how to fit it into the space I have.
Old 8th August 2019
  #4
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Just wanted to pop back in and share my experiences with a similar quest these last couple of weeks, which has for this last week finally culminated into a setup and config that works great, works easily, and does so inexpensively.

#winningorsomething

I took one of my laptops, an old i5 Lenovo with only 4gb of ram, and I've been using that plus my Behr. X18 Mixer to track my modular jams with Reaper, 18ch of simultaneous audio I/O (between modules and the Volca Sample and the PO33 and the modded 626 being Tracked separately, and a Stereo Scratch Mix being Tracked live to Disk too via the X18s extra Channels... 17& 18), plus some Sends and Returns from the X18, including out to my pedalboard via a Keymaster pedal.

So - with Reaper on this laptop from 2012 ($200-300 in value if I had to replace it today, including the Reaper license), and this super inexpensive X18 Mixer ($300 on sale), all connected via gatden variety USB, is handing this work and these tasks like a F-ing champ so far. I'm quite surprised, really

This laptop also happens to be touchscreen and convertible, so the screen twists around and flips such that it can also be facing screen up with the screen/lid covering the keys and lying flat, and I have the laptop sitting on the flat spot that's already formed into the top of the X18s case. The whole combo is less than 4" tall, and 16" x 14"... (the outer Dimensions of the X18s + the laptop).

Also, if/when I don't care or need to track a session, I can still jam with the entire setup without the laptop at all, since the mixer remembers the last state you left it in,.so whenever I shut down the laptop, or hijack it for another purpose, I just recall a snapshot I made and saved for the Mixer and poof... whenever I come back, laptop or not, the Mixer is ready, and of course the Mixer allows control via iPads, etc, too.

I'd never track an album or any material intended for commercial release with any of these little Digital Mixers, personally, being a nerd about Analog Consoles in general, but for capturing ideas, jam sessions, composition, etc, this setup is awesome for all of those things, and I must admit, it sounds pretty awesome, quite frankly.

I almost wish it sounded worse, to help bolster my analig snobbery, but I can't in good conscience make any such claims... I'll simply reiterate that I have a preference for Teh Analogs, but it's not because this setup sounds bad in some way, it definitely doesn't. It's an incredible value, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, pardon the verbosity.

This solution is working great.

Perhaps it's one to consider.

Best of luck....


Old 9th August 2019
  #5
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void23's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Just wanted to pop back in and share my experiences with a similar quest these last couple of weeks, which has for this last week finally culminated into a setup and config that works great, works easily, and does so inexpensively.

#winningorsomething

I took one of my laptops, an old i5 Lenovo with only 4gb of ram, and I've been using that plus my Behr. X18 Mixer to track my modular jams with Reaper, 18ch of simultaneous audio I/O (between modules and the Volca Sample and the PO33 and the modded 626 being Tracked separately, and a Stereo Scratch Mix being Tracked live to Disk too via the X18s extra Channels... 17& 18), plus some Sends and Returns from the X18, including out to my pedalboard via a Keymaster pedal.

So - with Reaper on this laptop from 2012 ($200-300 in value if I had to replace it today, including the Reaper license), and this super inexpensive X18 Mixer ($300 on sale), all connected via gatden variety USB, is handing this work and these tasks like a F-ing champ so far. I'm quite surprised, really

This laptop also happens to be touchscreen and convertible, so the screen twists around and flips such that it can also be facing screen up with the screen/lid covering the keys and lying flat, and I have the laptop sitting on the flat spot that's already formed into the top of the X18s case. The whole combo is less than 4" tall, and 16" x 14"... (the outer Dimensions of the X18s + the laptop).

Also, if/when I don't care or need to track a session, I can still jam with the entire setup without the laptop at all, since the mixer remembers the last state you left it in,.so whenever I shut down the laptop, or hijack it for another purpose, I just recall a snapshot I made and saved for the Mixer and poof... whenever I come back, laptop or not, the Mixer is ready, and of course the Mixer allows control via iPads, etc, too.

I'd never track an album or any material intended for commercial release with any of these little Digital Mixers, personally, being a nerd about Analog Consoles in general, but for capturing ideas, jam sessions, composition, etc, this setup is awesome for all of those things, and I must admit, it sounds pretty awesome, quite frankly.

I almost wish it sounded worse, to help bolster my analig snobbery, but I can't in good conscience make any such claims... I'll simply reiterate that I have a preference for Teh Analogs, but it's not because this setup sounds bad in some way, it definitely doesn't. It's an incredible value, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, pardon the verbosity.

This solution is working great.

Perhaps it's one to consider.

Best of luck....


Sort of what I was thinking with the laptop setup, I probably even have the same touch screen Lenovo. I just can't do the X18 / iPad thing though. Don't own an iPad currently and really want physical controls on the mixer. That's why I started out looking for a 16x16 interface so I could pass the signal into an analog mixer. Sounds like a nice combo for you though.
Old 9th August 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
Sort of what I was thinking with the laptop setup, I probably even have the same touch screen Lenovo. I just can't do the X18 / iPad thing though. Don't own an iPad currently and really want physical controls on the mixer. That's why I started out looking for a 16x16 interface so I could pass the signal into an analog mixer. Sounds like a nice combo for you though.
Right on. Yeah, I'm quite surprised that I like it this much and don't mind the virtual controls, in these select use cases.. I'm such an analog snob and virtual anything hater, usually.

Anyway, good luck finding a combo that suits you.
Old 9th August 2019
  #7
Got the studio rig for that (Xtramix & line preamps & Mytek ADDA), but I also want something smaller, portable. Have a laptop now again. -> happy camper
Eh... my question: Anyone using the Expert Sleepers ES modules for that? (recording as well as playing samples into the modular)
Or should I go MOTU. I had an 828 mk2 but sold it (needed the cash, and my laptop was stolen then so it made no sense keeping it)
Looking for opinions on sound quality on a budget and DC coupled so it can do CV/Gate.
Old 16th September 2019
  #8
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Almost exactly what I was looking for ... Looks like it was just announced.

https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/es9.html
Old 17th September 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Just wanted to pop back in and share my experiences with a similar quest these last couple of weeks, which has for this last week finally culminated into a setup and config that works great, works easily, and does so inexpensively......
It was cool to hear about your setup. I was going to suggest Reaper as well, though with the addition of a DAW controller like the X-Touch or Faderport.
Old 17th September 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Got the studio rig for that (Xtramix & line preamps & Mytek ADDA), but I also want something smaller, portable. Have a laptop now again. -> happy camper
Eh... my question: Anyone using the Expert Sleepers ES modules for that? (recording as well as playing samples into the modular)
Or should I go MOTU. I had an 828 mk2 but sold it (needed the cash, and my laptop was stolen then so it made no sense keeping it)
Looking for opinions on sound quality on a budget and DC coupled so it can do CV/Gate.
I've got the ES-3, ES-5 & ES-6 combo connected to a Motu Track 16 over ADAT. It's pretty dope.

I have the Expert Sleepers SW plugins but the last few days I have just been running Reaktor along-side Reaper, with Reaktor midi-clock synced to Reaper so I can use Reaktor to pipe CV or audio out of the ES-3 and gates from the ES-5, and have 6 additional channels of input on the ES-6.

I'm going to add a Faderport or X-Touch soon, one of the one fader ones.
Old 18th September 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
Almost exactly what I was looking for ... Looks like it was just announced.

https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/es9.html
Oh, wow. That's pretty cool! I think I want one. I usually record to/through hardware, but the convenience of this is too much to overlook, even for my goofy way of working.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
It's a shame hardware recorders these days are lacking. They kind of died off before .wav export was really implemented well. Kudos to Zoom for trying to keep the ghost alive, but they're just not the same quality as Roland VS's and the like. I've been eyeballing some new interfaces and such since the VS2480 is getting long in the tooth, and that Tascam Model 24 keeps jumping out at me.
Last weekend I could check out the Sound Devices 833 and Scorpio. Also their micpre II double as USB i/o, I like using a laptop, very interesting for a classy mobile rig. I also checked the Zoom F6 and their L-20R interface/digital mixer.



more in this thread
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by void23 View Post
Almost exactly what I was looking for ... Looks like it was just announced.

https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/es9.html
About a 115 euros more than the ES-8. The AC coupled stereo outputs are particularly handy.
Can anyone tell me what's the quality of the converters is like (of this, and the ES-8 which I assume is the same). Is it MOTU, M-Audio, Behringer level or better?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
I'll be honest, that ES-9 is really tickling my fancy. So much so, that I'm thinking if I get that, I might just sell my Fantom and MPC. I'm taking more and more to building and recording loops in Renoise to where I could just do away with the hardware sampling and go this route.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
I have 2 x Xtramix going into a Zoom F8, all my YouTube videos were done on it though most were mastered by "Audible Oddities" , Great unit imho.

I am a deep user of timecode so I need that in a recorder, TBH I would go for something else if I didn't use timecode.

I use Sound Devices usbpre2 units however I skipped the 10T since I thought the F8 was a better value for my use case.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
I'll be honest, that ES-9 is really tickling my fancy. So much so, that I'm thinking if I get that, I might just sell my Fantom and MPC. I'm taking more and more to building and recording loops in Renoise to where I could just do away with the hardware sampling and go this route.
thinking the same, but then using Bitwig.
don't think I'll sell the MPC-1000 though. the different way of working renders different results.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

That es-9 looks awesome.

Just responding to a point on the original post; zoom livetrak does have stereo aux sends; the L-20 has six which can be used for all sorts of mayhem (I've managed to use four somehow!)

The L-12 has less but the headphone outs are intended to be usable at line level for exactly this purpose.

(Just checked, the L-12 has five...)
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