Analog Gear Setup

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babaribou
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Analog Gear Setup

Post by babaribou » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:48 pm

Hi everyone,

I am trying to figure out how to set up my gear in order to record the stuff I make, but as I am new to the world of midi (and to the whole recording sphere as well) I am having some doubts about what I think should be the good way to set things up.

Here is what I would like to connect in order to record:
-Roland MC-500 Sequencer (2 midi outputs)
-Poly 800
-DX7
-EPS Sampler
-Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine
-Electribe ER-1 Drum Machine
-Mackie Mixer (CR1604)
- a potential soundcard to connect to my mac

As I understood during my research, it is better to split the instruments on the 2 outputs (to reduce the latency I believe, which seems logical) from the sequencer.

In my drawing, the black lines would represent the 1/4' lines (outputs from the instruments to mixer inputs) and the green ones the midi.
Would that be a correct way to configure it ? One question remains though is that if I want to record in step sequencing, would I have to plug everything back into the sequencer ? Because it only has one midi in so the would be problematic if I split my gear on the 2 outputs I suppose. I am kind of lost as you can probably tell.

Also, I do not have an audio interface yet. I own an Mbox Pro 2 since a couple of years, but just realized that there was no driver available for OSX Yosemite ( so I guess it is just no usable anymore ?) which sucks because I didnt need more than what it is (24 bits 96khz, firewire, might not be the best ai out there but well... would have been good to spare the extra money)
I just want to use my computer to record the tracks that I already make from my hardware, and I would use ableton to do so.
Any advice on a simple audio interface ? I guess that regarding my needs, I would just need one line entry and two outputs (one for my monitors and the other for a tape recorder that I would like to use... or should I just connect this directly from the mixer?)

Thanks,

Alex

http://imgur.com/fYxnipH

(sorry that I have to put the link of the image but when I try to insert it it doesnt show up for some reason)

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meatballfulton
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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:26 pm

The diagram looks fine to me, I'm assuming you are using MIDI Thru connections.

Audio adapters: On a Mac you can choose USB or Firewire (or even Thunderbolt if your Mac is recent), the cheapest units will be USB.

Personally I would recommend a Focusrite interface, they have a number of inexpensive models. The Scarlett 2i2 will meet your needs for a simple stereo in, stereo out interface. Current US price is $150.

I would connect it to the mixer, no need to repatch things when you record.
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babaribou
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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by babaribou » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:29 pm

Hi, thanks for the answer.
meatballfulton wrote:The diagram looks fine to me, I'm assuming you are using MIDI Thru connections.
Yes, I will use the midi thru connections. However, one of my synth (the poly 800) only has midi in/out, no thru. I've read somewhere that using the in/out would act as a midi through, but I am not sure of that.
Do you have any idea on how I could record in step sequencing mode?
Concerning the audio interface this is actually what I was looking at with the Tascam us2x2.
They seem pretty similar. Don't know if one is better. I'll go take a look at them when I'll have a chance.

Thanks again

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cornutt
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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by cornutt » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:15 pm

babaribou wrote:Hi, thanks for the answer.

Yes, I will use the midi thru connections. However, one of my synth (the poly 800) only has midi in/out, no thru. I've read somewhere that using the in/out would act as a midi through, but I am not sure of that.
Those "soft thru" functions often add latency. Just put the Poly 800 at the end of the chain.
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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by babaribou » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:32 am

Oh ok good to know ! Thanks

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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by Uncle Screwtape » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:17 pm

babaribou wrote: Any advice on a simple audio interface ? I guess that regarding my needs, I would just need one line entry and two outputs (one for my monitors and the other for a tape recorder that I would like to use... or should I just connect this directly from the mixer?)
Just a thought… and you can take from it what you wish, but in my personal experience, I started out with a 2x2 interface, and found myself wanting more down the road. It didn't take long for me to find some limitations, and the need for more versatility.

Here's what I found:
• I wanted MIDI in to control software instruments, so I bought a USB keyboard controller.
• I wanted to multi-track my drums to apply effects and panning during final mixes.

After buying a $150 interface, and a $150 USB keyboard, I was $300 in and still unable to multi-track. At the time, the only "affordable" Firewire interface was $600, so the 2 pieces I had were my best option with my budget. Now an 8x8 interface with MIDI can be had for less than the combined price of those 2 items, adding the versatility of multi-tracking and opening up the MIDI control beyond just a keyboard (i.e. sequencer).

I'm not sure if Behringer is still frowned upon like they were years ago, but FWIW, they have a 16x16 (8x8 immediately usable in this case) Firewire interface for $250 here Behringer FCA1616. It meets all of your requirements, and also allows room for growth, which I did not do the first time around. If using one of these, you would bypass the mixer altogether when recording.
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cornutt
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Re: Analog Gear Setup

Post by cornutt » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:56 pm

Uncle Screwtape wrote:I'm not sure if Behringer is still frowned upon like they were years ago, but FWIW, they have a 16x16 (8x8 immediately usable in this case) Firewire interface for $250 here Behringer FCA1616. It meets all of your requirements, and also allows room for growth, which I did not do the first time around. If using one of these, you would bypass the mixer altogether when recording.
I have my doubts about Behringer, but at that price, you may as well try it.

I should have added that this is where I want to get to eventually -- total in-the-box mixing. But I'd need to put more money in to get where I would want it -- another 12 channels or so of audio interface with some routing capability, and a decent control surface with some metering. For the short term, the Mackie suits the purpose.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

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