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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Post by mirt » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:12 am

it is imbir SSL Type 4k

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Post by crystalmsc » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:34 am

just a simple synths>mixer>PC, track by track.
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Post by ronP » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:57 pm

.


First, I program my drum machine and Electribe sequences and design and select synth patches; all of this work coalesces into a composition.

Next, I record, live, using this chain:

gear --> effects --> mixer --> four-track -- four track effects --> DAW.

The four-track creates a limitation that forces me to come up with the best performance and mix possible, since all I can do in the DAW is tweak the whole recording, not the individual tracks.

These four-track parts then often get incorporated into larger studio projects in Digital Performer.

:)


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Post by novielo » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:30 pm

i'm very limited when recording. i can only record to track at the time, i use a lexicon lambda. i still keep it because, it has a midi i/o that don't have latency, it was cheap and sounds quite good. but i'm currently trying to raise money to have a usb 2.0 Tascam US1641. i'm not done on the choice because i haven't read enaugh review about it, but it seems like a good device so far.

i usualy start by laying down tracks that can be handle with midi, run the instruments in a little 8ch mixer. tweaking the sound of every sound source. when done a record one intrument at the time, this way i also can use the same effect/rack/stomp box more then once. and mix them on the pc after.

tedious but it works
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Post by fingerbib2000 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:37 am

8 synth outputs -> Alesis AI3 ADAT interface -> ADAT in on soundcard.
2 synth outputs -> analogue ins on soundcard.

everything is routed to software mixer where effects etc are applied and then sent as separate tracks into ASIO/cubase.

i use a patch bay if i want to change hardware routing so the most tracks i can currently record is 8 ADAT + 2 analogue simultainiously.

for more synths i'll add another AI3 and connect to the other ADAT port on my soundcard. giving me an extra 8 tracks...more than that i'll add another soundcard for more ADAT ports.

it removed the need for a hardware mixer completely which removes noise,clutter and cabling nightmares and makes the studio so much more configurable in my experience.
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Post by hyphen nation » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:22 am

kraku wrote:When I get my GenoQs Machines Nemo, I'll have the following signal chain.

Nemo --> Supernova 2 & MPC1000 --> Mackie 1604-VLZ3 --> RME Fireface 400 --> Laptop (Live/Logic)
Hey, how is this working out? I just spent the last few hours re-thinking my studio set up, and this is close to what I was settling on...though, I may go a bit cheaper with either the Mackie 1642-VLZ3 or Onyx 1620, and either the Fireface or a Motu 828...

I bought a Motu 8pre a year ago when I was in a pinch for a project, that I am happy to say has been solid since I got it..but I hate having to connect the laptop to it every time I want play something, I do like the ability to hit record though, and be off and running...

My other thought is to just get a patchbay and an 828 [the 828 can function without being connected to a machine] and connect it to the 8pre to have something like 18 channels [10 preamps] and also eliminate the need for a hardware mixer [see above comment]

I spent the last year clearing everything out of my studio to build it back up, but somehow have neglected the planning on the recording side of things...

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Post by kraku » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:20 am

hyphen nation wrote:
kraku wrote:When I get my GenoQs Machines Nemo, I'll have the following signal chain.

Nemo --> Supernova 2 & MPC1000 --> Mackie 1604-VLZ3 --> RME Fireface 400 --> Laptop (Live/Logic)
Hey, how is this working out? I just spent the last few hours re-thinking my studio set up, and this is close to what I was settling on...though, I may go a bit cheaper with either the Mackie 1642-VLZ3 or Onyx 1620, and either the Fireface or a Motu 828...
The manufacturer of Nemo starts shipping the units tomorrow (monday), so I still haven't received mine yet. I should have it sometime in the upcoming week. I'll keep you posted how the setup feels. :)

I hate having to connect the laptop to it every time I want play something, I do like the ability to hit record though, and be off and running...
Same here. I wanted to get the computer out of the equation when I'm actually writing music. This is where Nemo comes in. I want to be able to just quickly power up the synths and the sequencer and get the groove going. If I have to wait for the computer to boot up and load all the software etc. it takes eternity and my creative juices have stopped flowing long ago.
I spent the last year clearing everything out of my studio to build it back up, but somehow have neglected the planning on the recording side of things...
This is exactly what I've been doing too, but I also took into account the recording stage.

I got rid of all of my software instruments and most of my software effects. So all sounds are produces by HW instruments. I also changed to a very minimal HW setup which has nothing extra in it (1xSynth, 1xSampler/drummachine, 1xSequencer, 1xMixer). This way I can concentrate on writing new music rather than tweaking the sounds all day, which was a major distraction to me previously because I really love tweaking the sounds and that's why I didn't finish many tracks in a long time.

When the song is mostly ready, it's time to boot up my computer and record everything into Logic/Live (depending on what kind of music I happen to be writing) and effect and mix the tracks inside the host. I might also add some small synth parts at this stage to improve the arrangement (synth stabs / fills etc.).
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Post by hyphen nation » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:50 am

hey, do most people here go into a mixing board, then a soundcard? or are people skipping the mixer part, and going straight to an interface, using the computer as mixer? I've done a fair amount of searching, and it looks like people are all over the map on here...

I have been using an 8pre/cuemix on my laptop for for the last year with decent results. Tonight, I pulled out an old berhinger POS and while is really sounded noticeably worse, it was really nice, cutting the laptop out of the equation...

as i said in my other post, I don't necesarily feel the need to get a mixer, just that the dependency on the computer is a pain. In fact, I think I am beginning to think I'd rather save desk space, and just have a racked interface + patchbay...curious about peoples experience with going from a mixer/desk to a just an interface, or going back to a hardware mixer from a soundcard/interface...

wow, ramble question...sorry about that... :oops:

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Post by kraku » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:05 am

hyphen nation wrote:hey, do most people here go into a mixing board, then a soundcard

...

curious about peoples experience with going from a mixer/desk to a just an interface, or going back to a hardware mixer from a soundcard/interface...
Currently I have the mixer between my synths and the audio interface. This is because I don't want to turn on the computer every time I want to write music.

Before I bought my Mackie, I had plugged all my HW into my audio interface and used my computer as a mixer. This is a very good way of hooking up your stuff together. The only downside is the boot-up time in the beginning of your music sessions.

Patchbay is one way to get both of these options but also have a look at the "Direct Out" in some of the mixers on the market. Direct Out lets you send the signal from the mixing board to your audio interface almost untouched. The signal usually parts from the mixer's channel strip before the EQ's etc. so the signal stays almost unchanged. I'm not sure, but I believe different mixers might part the signal at different stages of the internal signal flow (pre/post volume fader etc.). For me personally the Direct Outs are the easiest and fastest way to go.
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Post by Carey M » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:00 pm

hyphen nation wrote:hey, do most people here go into a mixing board, then a soundcard? or are people skipping the mixer part, and going straight to an interface, using the computer as mixer?
I just plug my synths straight into Api A2D (which is S/PDIF'ed into Echo Layla 3G interface) when I need to record them. Most of the time my gear is plugged into our bands PA, so it's a bit of a chore everytime I start recording, but it isn't too bad. I wouldn't want to use a mixer as the Api preamps and converters are totally kick-a*s.

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Post by sam » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:35 pm

Protools 24 mix plus.....

Mackie 24/8 buss...To 888/24....

Everything ends up through my Joemeek SC-2...
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Post by Reverend Sunrise » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:52 pm

Can't really hang with you boys on tech talk, as my lab partner handles the actual recording duties. I do know that I set up everything according to each part that I'm recording at a given time, and everything is run through our Universal Audio tube preamp. Beautiful sound, can really hear a difference on all recordings since purchasing it. Also use a Mackie Mixer, M-box, RE-201, and Cubase, not quite sure in what order. (shame on me).

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Post by hyphen nation » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:32 am

Hey, thanks a bunch guys,

Just the answers I was looking for...direct outs seem pretty critical for the mixer > interface route...I have been enjoying the sans computer set up the last couple of nights...

The other factor I am contending with is impending fatherhood. I am trying to compress the studio as much as possible to make room for the new guy. I may have to suck it up and stick w/ the interface and computer just for sheer space saving...a 10-14 chn mixer can get pretty large...my wife and I share out larger bedroom as a studio...he may get half, and I'll have to start making white noise/ambient stuff...

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Post by synthesizerist » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:30 pm

I am probably one of the few that record to tape as well (in my case an 8 track reel). We usually don't have more than 2 synths and a drum machine going at once, if that, so I'll usually send the drum maching straight to the mixer and monitor with the vocals (unless you're going for an effect I always have better luck running the drum machine direct). Then I'll mic the amp that I'm running the synths through, but also put direct boxes on the way to the amp so I can mix each synth separately. And a lot of times I won't even use the miked track. Unlike pretty much every other instrument, I usually like the direct approach better for synths.

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Post by wesleymino » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:24 am

I also record to 8 track reel to reel. Usually start with a drum submix to two tracks and bassline to another track, then overdub parts individually. Usually EQ/compress/Effect synths on front-end and print it all on tape, then final mixdown is just EQ and levels. I like the results. haven't combined that approach with a DAW however, so I can't comment on usefulness of tracking analog then mixing digital, or vice versa.

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