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Understanding how to use outboard DAW Software
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
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Understanding how to use outboard

Hiya!
I'd like to know how people usually use and patch in gear such as outboard EQ, compressors, Transient Designers, etc.

I have a pretty low-end setup, no need for even a patchbay yet with an RNP, RNC, 1604 mixer, 2 Delta 1010's, and a reverb unit. Nothing special or particularly expensive. However, I think that the next level for me would require a bit of change in my setup so I get the most out of my money.

For example, if I even plan to use a Transient Designer in the mixing process (I track rock acts primarily) I'd need to consider my converters, which are garbage right now. So how are outboard units used when mixing hooked up in usual set ups?

Thanks for any time and effort you put into giving me an answer. If there's anything I can do to help you help me please do tell.
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
Hiya!
I'd like to know how people usually use and patch in gear such as outboard EQ, compressors, Transient Designers, etc.

I have a pretty low-end setup, no need for even a patchbay yet with an RNP, RNC, 1604 mixer, 2 Delta 1010's, and a reverb unit. Nothing special or particularly expensive. However, I think that the next level for me would require a bit of change in my setup so I get the most out of my money.
The Delta 1010's are decent enough.
Given the amount of gear you have you could simply patch ins to outs and have your outboard available as inserts in your DAW or you could use the mixer.

Quote:
For example, if I even plan to use a Transient Designer in the mixing process (I track rock acts primarily) I'd need to consider my converters, which are garbage right now. So how are outboard units used when mixing hooked up in usual set ups?
I would tend to use that particular mixer as a monitor controller- not to mix in the analog realm with it.
I'm not saying that you couldn't mix analog with it- I just don't see much of a reason to from a sonic perspective- the eq isn't THAT good.

Patching the RNC into input/out 1-2 goes like this.

Delta 1 Out to RNC 1 In
Delta 2 Out to RNC 2 IN
RNC 1 Out to Delta 1 In
RNC 2 Out to Delta 2 In

Then in your DAW you can insert the RNC into the audio patch by using insert 1-2.
You may need to configure your DAW for aux inputs (you will in Logic).

Quote:
Thanks for any time and effort you put into giving me an answer. If there's anything I can do to help you help me please do tell.
I could do with another coffee.
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

hehe.. coffee it is. Hows about a Rockstar energy drink? Seems to be the fav at my day job.

That's the first time I've heard anyone say the Delta has decent convertors. I, honestly, have not A/B'd them against anything else so I'm going off of opinion and all.

I use my Mackie mixer for extra preamps and monitor control. Simple little setup that does me well. I don't mix in the analogue world, firstly because I don't think my convertors are good enough to warrant it, and secondly I don't understand the follow concept.

What I don't understand is how to use outboard as a DAW insert effect or how to properly use an analogue mixer with a DAW. For example, if I run my RNC from my Delta 3 (1 and 2 going to my Mackie mixer for monitor control), so how do I route back to the DAW and into my software so I don't have to re-record the track into a new track.... or is that how it works?
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
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CommunityMart's Avatar
 

Fooman, I want to know the same dag on thing. I cant find the answer anywhere except I was talking to stevep the other day, and I pretty much found out I need to look up patchbays and understand them (I think).

But so much gear, so little time they say.

Please help me and fooman!

Quote:
What I don't understand is how to use outboard as a DAW insert effect or how to properly use an analogue mixer with a DAW... ...so how do I route back to the DAW and into my software so I don't have to re-record the track into a new track.... or is that how it works?
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Ok, well my understanding is that i have to route the track in question (the one I wanna compress, EQ, etc) to an out on my interface that's routed to my outboard gear. So yes I can definately see where I'd need a patchbay, it'd be super easy to simply patch whichever output I wanted to another piece of gear that way.

However, the latency issue still exists. How do you overcome this? How do guys who use a Transient Designer in Pro Tools use it and not have to worry about the latency issue. Or do they actually worry about it and you just never hear about it?
Old 31st August 2007
  #6
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
Ok, well my understanding is that i have to route the track in question (the one I wanna compress, EQ, etc) to an out on my interface that's routed to my outboard gear. So yes I can definately see where I'd need a patchbay, it'd be super easy to simply patch whichever output I wanted to another piece of gear that way.

However, the latency issue still exists. How do you overcome this? How do guys who use a Transient Designer in Pro Tools use it and not have to worry about the latency issue. Or do they actually worry about it and you just never hear about it?
How do I overcome latency?
I run Protools HD and it auto compensates.
I don't know what DAW you are using but a lot of them do this.

Patchbays are essential once you get to a certain point.
I have around 100 rack spaces of gear- it would be a complete nightmare if I didn't have a bunch of patchbays.

Patchbays have caveats though.
I prefer TT solder type as they take up less space and are easily configurable but need to be done properly otherwise you can end up with crosstalk or grounding problems.
A lot of people use the Neutrik jack plug bays which are fine- avoid anything too cheap.

I don't use transient designer- but with my other devices I just plug and play.
If something is out of time then I manually move it about.

I mostly mix analog though so everything comes out of PT into the console and then to a 2 track recorder- no latency compensation required.
Old 31st August 2007
  #7
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Jim,
I appreciate your post very much. This type of insight on others' mixing ways is something I like to view. As I said, I'm pretty low-end but I'm obviously looking to always expand and as I've learned over the years but cheap-buy twice. I don't want to overlook anything.

When you mix to a 2-track, how does this work in terms of recalls and whatnot? How do you monitor your tweaks on the outboard if you are not going back into your interface, hence creating latency at the buffer (or so I understand that's what creates the latency). How do you have things routed?

I was looking at patchbays online today and ran across a Neutrik NYSSPPL 48-Point TRS Balanced Patchbay that struck me. It's cheap, so I'm cautious, but I'm also uneducated about patchbays and pricing. It seems like having one would more than suffice for me for a few years.

Anywho, I use Sonar 6 PE. It does not have track-by-track latency compensation. It has global, which I guess would do the trick. Ppl at the Sonar forum are whining about it not being track by track... not sure why global wouldn't be alright though unless you are using multiple cards.
Old 31st August 2007
  #8
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
Jim,
I appreciate your post very much.
No problem.

Quote:
When you mix to a 2-track, how does this work in terms of recalls and whatnot? How do you monitor your tweaks on the outboard if you are not going back into your interface, hence creating latency at the buffer (or so I understand that's what creates the latency). How do you have things routed?
When I mix I set up the board for a mix session and mix to one of several 2 track devices (Sometimes back into Protools.)
That's it.

No recall- But I can always pull up the session again and mix it again- I do a lot of bussing and routing in PT so it sounds pretty similar- it is just the outboard compression/eq and reverbs/delays that are different.
I sometimes take notes and digital camera pictures of settings- but not often- it is too complex to try to recreate.

Quote:
I was looking at patchbays online today and ran across a Neutrik NYSSPPL 48-Point TRS Balanced Patchbay that struck me. It's cheap, so I'm cautious, but I'm also uneducated about patchbays and pricing. It seems like having one would more than suffice for me for a few years.
Yup, they are the ones. They are quite good- but I prefer TT bays.

Quote:
Anywho, I use Sonar 6 PE. It does not have track-by-track latency compensation. It has global, which I guess would do the trick. Ppl at the Sonar forum are whining about it not being track by track... not sure why global wouldn't be alright though unless you are using multiple cards.
Can't help with Sonar- I'm pretty ignorant regarding PC sequencers, sorry.
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