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Need help recording gig with macbook pro, Mbox, FF800
Old 4th June 2007
  #1
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DavidKmusic's Avatar
 

Question Need help recording gig with macbook pro, Mbox, FF800

I want to track a big gig at a nice room in a couple weeks and I'm not sure the best way to go about it. I have a macbook pro, mbox pro and a fireface 800 but I'm unsure of how to configure things to get the most inputs and whether I should bring my own board, etc. The club has a seperate snake on stage for recording, and the soundman told me I could take lines from his board as well.

My first question would be whether I should track in PTLE or DP, and accordingly, how I should interface my mbox and fireface?

It's an 8 piece funk band so I know I'm not going to be able to get everything onto it's own track with this set-up. I just want to get a good sound in the room and perhaps grab vocals and/or submixes of sections.

Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Old 6th June 2007
  #2
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no one?
Old 6th June 2007
  #3
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My free advice.

Track with the FF800 and DP, leave the MBox at home. ProTools LE is very picky about what interface it recognizes and the FF800 is definitely not one of them.

The FF800 gives you a number of analogue inputs, some with mic pres but most with line inputs. If you want more inputs you can add something like 2x Behringer ADA8000 (surprisingly good box at the price level) and have something like 36 channels. Of course really connecting that many channels takes a bit of advance planning (and training). There is a full scale of more expensive boxes to choose from, and to a certain degree you get what you pay for.

One thing to test - can your computer reliably record the full show? Do a number of tests at home. If not, you need to look at an alternative strategy.

Gunnar
Old 6th June 2007
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghellquist View Post
My free advice.

Track with the FF800 and DP, leave the MBox at home. ProTools LE is very picky about what interface it recognizes and the FF800 is definitely not one of them.

The FF800 gives you a number of analogue inputs, some with mic pres but most with line inputs. If you want more inputs you can add something like 2x Behringer ADA8000 (surprisingly good box at the price level) and have something like 36 channels. Of course really connecting that many channels takes a bit of advance planning (and training). There is a full scale of more expensive boxes to choose from, and to a certain degree you get what you pay for.

One thing to test - can your computer reliably record the full show? Do a number of tests at home. If not, you need to look at an alternative strategy.

Gunnar
Thanks,
The computer should be able to handle the whole show. It's a Macbook Pro maxed on RAM and I'll be recording to an external FW drive. One thing I hadn't considered, and failed to mention, was that I have a UA 2192 that I use at home with my real rig. I've never used it with the FF, but could I gain 2 higher quality A/Ds that way (plus a better clock) and still use all 10 channels on the FF?

The only issue then is pres. I have channel strips at home (737, 7600) and one portable pre (GR ME-1) but the FF pres (and Mbox pres) are really my only other portable pres. It appears that I would need some type of 8 channel pre such as a Focusrite Octopre or, if I could swing it, a Precision 8. I want to get the best quality possible, but I also would hate to invest much in something that I would only use in the portable rig.
Old 7th June 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidKmusic View Post
The computer should be able to handle the whole show.
Hmm. I guess I´ve used that "should" word a few times and regretted it. Things does not always turn out the way they should. I run a Sony laptop myself and once I´ve learned the quirks it works without problems (such as turning off wireless network and anti-virus). You should be alright though (but still test it at home first).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidKmusic View Post
I have a UA 2192 that I use at home with my real rig. I've never used it with the FF, but could I gain 2 higher quality A/Ds that way (plus a better clock) and still use all 10 channels on the FF?
Yep. Perfect match. Personally I would run both a signal and a word-clock cable just to be sure. Not sure you will gain very much on the clock though, the RME is no slouch from the beginning and slaved units generally has higher jitter than when compared to running stand-alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidKmusic View Post
I want to get the best quality possible, but I also would hate to invest much in something that I would only use in the portable rig.
Check if you could rent something, sometimes it is surprisingly low cost. Saves you from rushing out buying as well.

Gunnar
Old 10th June 2007
  #6
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Great advice Gunnar, thank you

I'm looking into renting or purchasing an 8 channel pre. In the meantime I'm going to rack up the FF with the UA and do some testing. I'll be posting again if I run into any snags

Thanks again

dk
Old 12th June 2007
  #7
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Just like a Gearslut

Well, I wouldn't be a GS if I didn't take a one time remote gig as an opportunity to spend a bunch of money on permanent additions to my home rig. I just picked up a Pacifica and a second GR ME-1NV. I've also got a 4 banger API rental thanks to the best gear dealer out my way. So, here's how my remote rig is looking for tracking my band this weekend. Let me know if I'm missing anything


Macbook Pro + Lacie firewire drive
RME Fireface (10 A/D)
UA 2192 (2 A/D)
Allen and Heath Mixwizard 16 (for submixing)
headphone amp
TRS patchbay

4 channels API pre
4 channels RME FF pre
2 channels Great River pre
2 channels Pacifica pre

Now the band just has to not suck :-)
Old 12th June 2007
  #8
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidKmusic View Post
Well, I wouldn't be a GS if I didn't take a one time remote gig as an opportunity to spend a bunch of money on permanent additions to my home rig. I just picked up a Pacifica and a second GR ME-1NV. I've also got a 4 banger API rental thanks to the best gear dealer out my way. So, here's how my remote rig is looking for tracking my band this weekend. Let me know if I'm missing anything


Macbook Pro + Lacie firewire drive
RME Fireface (10 A/D)
UA 2192 (2 A/D)
Allen and Heath Mixwizard 16 (for submixing)
headphone amp
TRS patchbay

4 channels API pre
4 channels RME FF pre
2 channels Great River pre
2 channels Pacifica pre

Now the band just has to not suck :-)
Great pres! How about a good converter if the budget allows. I use DP and the FF800 for most of my jobs, but with a mytek converter. Very stable and flexible!
Old 12th June 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
Great pres! How about a good converter if the budget allows. I use DP and the FF800 for most of my jobs, but with a mytek converter. Very stable and flexible!
Never heard the Mytek stuff but I'll check into it. I have an HD 1 rig at home and I use the UA 2192 as my master D/A and also for all mono and stereo A/D. I don't do much remote tracking so I figured if I use the 2192 for the two room mics on the mobile rig, or for the main L/R off the board, that I'd be in pretty good shape using the FF for the rest. We'll see
Old 12th June 2007
  #10
FWIW - As an alternative, consider is using a multitrack harddisc recorder. I use a Mackie MDR and take direct outs from a A&H Mixwiz then transfer the .wav files to my studio rig. Although the pres don't match your collection, it is a very stable, reliable and easy to set-up and transport. At 24-bit I find the audio quality to be pretty good - especially for a live performance. Also remember to add a decent stereo mic or matched pair for audience/ambience and mix to taste. Good luck. BYW I am based in Boston if you need help.
Old 13th June 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThingsAudio View Post
FWIW - As an alternative, consider is using a multitrack harddisc recorder. I use a Mackie MDR and take direct outs from a A&H Mixwiz then transfer the .wav files to my studio rig. Although the pres don't match your collection, it is a very stable, reliable and easy to set-up and transport. At 24-bit I find the audio quality to be pretty good - especially for a live performance. Also remember to add a decent stereo mic or matched pair for audience/ambience and mix to taste. Good luck. BYW I am based in Boston if you need help.
Thanks for the suggestion and the offer. I was going to post asking what I should use for room mics but I think I decided to use a pair of Sm81s up in the balcony. My only remaining question is about splitting the mic signals vs. just taking direct outs from the house board. I don't have any way of splitting the mic lines right now. I know that the way things are EQd for the house probably isn't going to sound good for recording. Other than EQing again on the mixwizard before going to tape, I'm not sure how to go about this. Any idea where I can get a splitter box for that many channels? or would simple Y cables inserted before the house board do the job?

thanks
Old 13th June 2007
  #12
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20 tracks going into a Macbook Pro?

20 tracks going in?

Okay, so the venue has a full split from the stage to a second snake so this is going to be a little easier than anticipated. Now I'm just concerned about track count. I was going to do a lot of submixing to get 16 inputs plus 2 from the house board plus 2 room mics all down to 12 A/D. Now I'm thinking of picking up a second Fireface so I can get up to 20 inputs. My only concern is whether my Macbook Pro and DP will be able to handle 20 tracks coming in.

Anyone pushed this computer before? I've got 2GB RAM and I'll be recording to an external FW drive
Old 13th June 2007
  #13
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I've done 20 tracks to the internal drive of a Powerbook (1.5ghz, 1.25mb RAM) so I would imagine you'll be fine.
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