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Recording Paths & Clocking Questions
Old 8th July 2016
Recording Paths & Clocking Questions

Hi Richard, not sure if this Q&A is still open but if so am glad! Your videos and descriptions have been by far the most helpful inspiration / lessons for sophisticated modular patch concepts I've seen. They literally made the difference between me looking at my modular going "what the hell did I just buy" to confident, enjoyable sessions. Also enjoyed your L.A. show during NAMM last year. Thanks.

I have two questions if that's ok...

What are your preferred recording signal paths / levels / gain stages?

I'm always questioning myself on this and trying to new ideas since Eurorack modular levels aren't balanced line level, unbalanced instrument level and often vary within their own class on output.

Although I typically appreciate "whatever solution sounds best", am interested in any common sensible practices employed by those whose work I admire.

Lately I'm either going out an Intellijel Audio Interface II (with irregularly performing LED meters) into some form of balanced line in of outboard gear (comp, eq, etc.) before the converter. Since I only have one of these modules yet often record more than two simo tracks, for the rest I'll go from VCA outputs to various DIs (passive JDI, PDI CTC, ISA One DI, TG2 DI, etc.) based on what sounds best for the given level and sound. Sometimes it seems like the DI route works great while other times it cuts out some frequencies / timbres.

How are you syncing MIDI with Eurorack gear?

This topic has been a beast for me. Amidst having a few great sequencer modules I can't give up on the advantages of using an Ableton Push to write MIDI parts for output though the modular. I think I have a solution now but am keen on your thoughts.

I'm currently using an Expert Sleepers USAMO to run both v/o, velocity, gate and clock to a Mutable Yarns, which then distributes through the rack as desired. Usually the Ableton Sessions are at 96KHz or 192KHz. I'd prefer to use Silent Way for dedicated clock and the USAMO for the rest but my Fireface UFX has no DC line outs. I've noticed a major improvement with this path over running MIDI out the UFX into the Yarns, but some sync and garbled note issues still rarely come up.

Thanks for hearing out this diatribe. I'm alway saying great things about you to the local commercial music shops here in Venice and almost convinced an agency client to inquire with you on a fun project. Hopefully it'll happen soon since I do know you've done some great work on that front as well.

Best regards,

Ryan Thompson
[email protected]
Giantsteps | A Brand of Vision
Old 8th July 2016
Gear Head
RichardDevine's Avatar
Hi Ryan, thanks for the message here, my current setup for recording my modular patches is divided into two sections. I have a Zoom F8 that I have close by my modular setup that I use to record 8 channels of fast patch recordings, rough sketches ideas etc. I have also been using the F8 to record my live sets. When I want to record a modular patch that is more then 8 channels or is something that I want to release (with a proper mixdown/mastered) etc. I use my UA Apollo 16, and run out of my modular into 2 custom Analog DB25 snake cables, and run directly into the Apollo. I will sometimes run a few plug-ins on the UA Console Software. Then I take all the stems and do a mastering pass through the Dangerous Music 2BUS LT, and do some light mastering compression with the Avalon 747SP on the final stereo mix. From the modular side I have 2 Cwejman MX-4S mixers that I use to go out from. I am still looking for better mixer options in the Euro format, and really looking forward to the new Qu-bit Mixology, and WMD Performance mixer.

As to answer your question about MIDI integration, I have several modules that I use here at the studio. For my Ableton sessions I use the Innerclock systems Sync-Gen ILS, this is great for sample accurate rhythmic pulse synchronization between my DAW and the modular. I also have the Expert Sleepers ES-4 with two Gate expanders for use with my sessions in Logic Audio. Then finally the Mutable Instruments Yarns, and Kenton Pro Solo modules, for more standard Midi to CV functions.
Old 9th July 2016
Thanks for the reply. Wow, had no idea of all that Zoom's been up to over the past few years. The F8 looks like a killer option for live recording.

Correction to prior question #1 : going unbalanced line in on outboard gear if not DI or using balanced outs on audio interface II module.

Glad to hear you dig the 2 bus LT. Have been wondering about that, might try it.

Have a great weekend.
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