How do You record all of your synths?

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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Architecture
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How do You record all of your synths?

Post by Architecture » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:52 pm

This has been a question that has been on my mind for a while. How do most of you guys go about recording all of your synths?

For me, since I don't have too much midi gear at the moment, I just plug everything right into my soundcard, and have it all sequenced, or with some things played live in real time as I record.

But how would you incorporate more gear, since I only have 8 analog inputs, including 2 that are preamped inputs. (Emu 1820M). Would you use a 16 channel mixer, and send out on the mains as well as the 4 aux outputs on say a Yamaha 16/6FX

how do you guys go about recording multiple synths/samplers?

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Post by TrondC » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:38 pm

well, everything I have on Myspace as per today was sent directly to my 4-track tape recorder, which sucks since 4 inputs maximum and 4 tracks maximum means I'd have to do everything in mono to get all my synths included..

nowadays I have a Soundcraft compact 10 mixer whic takes stereo from MC808,ESX,ER,EA,PF-2,Kaossilator and my effects chain at once, and then stereo out to my soundcard. recorded in audacity.

To me, I can't beleive i even managed to make anything without a mixer. It's a must to me now.

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:01 pm

I process everything separately, so I do it voice-by-voice.
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Post by Joey » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:11 pm

Right now I'm using a motu ultralite/microlite combo with logic pro 7.

I run the virus through spdif so that the connection is entirely digital, way better sound quality.

As for the juno, I usually run it through the two balanced inputs on the back of the ultralite, but if I'm using a lead sound or just want a heavy bass I run it through my guitar or bass amps and mic them.

back when I had my massive setup (Virus B, Voyager, tx81z, juno, nord lead 2x, microkorg), I used to run everything through a patchbay first, and then into the ultralite.

I would recommend getting a mixer or a patch bay, and upgrading your cables.

Everyone will tell you that monster and mogami are overpriced, and they might be, but they are still great quality. Most of those tests claim you don't really need the monster cables, but it can't hurt. If you get a patchbay/mixer theres goign to be another break in the signal path, and quality could decline, so its better to be safe than sorry.
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Post by Architecture » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:52 pm

I have been thinking possiblely in the long run, of getting a Motu 2408 soundcard and a Toft 24 channel mixer for all of my equipment. It would be hellaciously expensive, but that way I'll have 24 inputs running right into my computer, that way I only have to record everything once after its been midi'ed

but I know there are alot of people using just hardware that work with a whole lot less than 24 inputs.

Also, to do OTB mixing, wouldn't you need another 24 channels to mix the outputs coming out of the soundcard? I might eventually want to start mixing out of the box, im just wondering if thats how you do it. I've seen Squarepusher using a 1/2inch 8 track recorder and all he used for a mixer was a mackie 12-14 channel mixer, maybe even less than that.

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:50 am

Alesis Multimix FW 12 mixer into Sonar Home Studio. It's pretty straightforward. I'm not a huge fan of Sonar, but it does have some advantages over the HW digital recorder I had a couple of years ago.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:52 am

Architecture wrote:I have been thinking possiblely in the long run, of getting a Motu 2408 soundcard and a Toft 24 channel mixer for all of my equipment. It would be hellaciously expensive, but that way I'll have 24 inputs running right into my computer, that way I only have to record everything once after its been midi'ed

but I know there are alot of people using just hardware that work with a whole lot less than 24 inputs.

Also, to do OTB mixing, wouldn't you need another 24 channels to mix the outputs coming out of the soundcard? I might eventually want to start mixing out of the box, im just wondering if thats how you do it. I've seen Squarepusher using a 1/2inch 8 track recorder and all he used for a mixer was a mackie 12-14 channel mixer, maybe even less than that.
That would be a rad setup, I'm planning on getting a Toft ATB16 if we make any money from our album later in the year.

You wouldn't need another 24 outs to mix OTB, you'd have the ins and outs going to a couple of patchbays. The most likely way you'd do it is to have the direct outs of each channel normalled to the inputs of the soundcard, then have the outputs of the soundcard normalled to the mix inputs. To track you'd leave everything as is, and just monitor through the mix ins that the stereo from the computer used. To mix OTB you'd patch the main outs to a pair of inputs and then flip the channels so the mix in was going through the EQ to the main mix bus.

I'm thinking of doing it in a similar way except probably record through the 8 subgroups rather than the direct outs, as I don't need to record more than 8 tracks at a time very often.

If you want a similar kind of setup for less cash, keep an eye out for a second hand Yamaha PM2000 in your area, they're good desks and a lot cheaper than the Toft.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:08 am

Oh yeah, forgot to add how I record my stuff at the moment.

Cause I don't have a lot of gear, a lot of space and the stuff is taken out for live shows pretty often, I don't have anything permanently patched into anything else. The interface I use is a 002 and the synths I have are a V-Synth and an Evolver keyboard. I use USB to send midi to the V-Synth directly, whether it's to sequence or just to send midi clock and I play by hand. I do the same for the MEK with the midi ports on the 002.

Depending on the sound I'm aiming for I'll either patch the audio outs straight to the line ins of the 002 or run them through some fx first. The MEK has been going through the RE-20 pretty much all the time since I got it, but I also run things through a few guitar pedals I've got lying around, a couple of rack delays and a Sebatron valve pre/EQ/compressor, usually driven pretty hard for a valve character sound.

I do a bit of effecting things on the way in even though it's a less flexible way to do it, I'm trying to force myself to make the right decision straight away so I end up being able to work really fast. I don't like sitting around for hours when I'm mixing trying to decide how I'm going to EQ something, it's better to get the sound right in the first place.

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Post by Carey M » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:07 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Cause I don't have a lot of gear, a lot of space and the stuff is taken out for live shows pretty often, I don't have anything permanently patched into anything else.
Mostly the same for me. When I record synths I just plug them into Api A2D preamp+converter and press record in Cubase.

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Post by tallowwaters » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:32 am

stab, did you work for sebatron?
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:06 pm

tallowwaters wrote:stab, did you work for sebatron?
Oh yeah, should I declare that in case of conflict of interest? ;) :lol:

I used to about 3 years ago, but no longer.

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Post by spookyman » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:21 pm

My PowerBook died last week, after 8 years of use ! And with that, i lost every programm i had on it.

So for the moment, i can't record any track with my synthesizers...

But before, i was recording everything in an old Revox mixing desk (VCA) and then into a 002 --> ProTools.

I don't have any preamp other than the one in the Revox Desk, but they are not bad ! It's not Studer quality, but the EQ is very musical and you have a huge headroom. This is important for me...
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Post by redchapterjubilee » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:02 pm

synths + laptop + FX -> Alesis Multimix 12FX -> Echo Layla -> desktop PC.
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ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS + EFFECTS + COMPUTERS

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Post by gcoudert » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:21 pm

Boring set up for me:

Cubase VST 32 MIDI sequencer --> synths/FX --> Cubase VST 32 Audio, either track by track or several at a time. And no, I am not experiencing any audible MIDI delay.

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Post by _seph » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:24 pm

Architecture wrote:I have been thinking possiblely in the long run, of getting a Motu 2408 soundcard and a Toft 24 channel mixer for all of my equipment. It would be hellaciously expensive, but that way I'll have 24 inputs running right into my computer, that way I only have to record everything once after its been midi'ed

but I know there are alot of people using just hardware that work with a whole lot less than 24 inputs.

Also, to do OTB mixing, wouldn't you need another 24 channels to mix the outputs coming out of the soundcard? I might eventually want to start mixing out of the box, im just wondering if thats how you do it. I've seen Squarepusher using a 1/2inch 8 track recorder and all he used for a mixer was a mackie 12-14 channel mixer, maybe even less than that.
instead of the 2408, the 24i/o might be a better fit for you as it has 24 ins and 24 outs all on balanced 1/4" TRS. the 2408 is a great interface and offers much expandability, i've used a 2408mkII for years and have no complaints. although i'm eBaying it this weekend and getting a ProjectMix instead.

i've done the 8 bus mixer into the 2408... i just want to have my desk back and i've played around with a Digi003 and really like that sort of integration. so, after this month i'll just be using a ProjectMix and probably a patchbay.

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