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Full Recording Signal Path

Discussion in 'Musicians Corner' started by Kenneth R., Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Experimental Purpose:
    To catalogue the variety of ways audio is routed into software, and which of these seem to be the most effective.

    What you have to post:
    The full audio signal path you use for recording, including all hardware, software, cable and connectors. And how well this works for you. advantages, challenges, issues.

    If you record multiple instrument types, you may have more than one path. If you're feeling particularly industrious, submit them all. I will of course add mine as well.

    Guitars Cables Software Hardware

    All guitars > Monster (ugh, hate them) TS cable > Presonus Firebox XLR/TRS connector. Input 1. > Firebox Mix To Phones > Firebox Headphone TRS out connector > TRS cable, radioshack > SoundBlaster Audigy 2Z Card. 1/8" Mic In > Cubase SX3.1
    The problem with this is that I only get one track out of it, wasting the Firebox's abilities. The other issue with this is that it uses my onboard soundcard, which is yuck!


    Keyboard, Midi Cables Software Hardware

    M-Audio Axiom 61 Midi Controller > USB 2.0 Cable to PC > Cubase SX3.1 Midi IN
    Issue: Latency! Not sure how to set this up but I probably need to change buffer size and drivers.


    Mics Cables Software Hardware

    All Mics > XLR cable (planetwaves?) > Presonus Firebox XLR/TRS connector. Input 1. > Firebox Mix To Phones > Firebox Headphone TRS out connector > TRS cable, radioshack > SoundBlaster Audigy 2Z Card. 1/8" Mic In Cubase SX3.1
    Same issue as the guitars. Man I love the Presonus Preamp and DAC though... it sounds crystal clear.

    Naturally, I want to skip the Headphone Out > Soundcard BS and just use the Firewire. That change will come on Tuesday. What do you do for getting sound into your DAW?
     
  2. anacrucix

    anacrucix aka Shredcaptain Matt

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    ASIO4ALL will sort out your latency issues if you cant use the presonus firebox for ASIO- I used a podXT for my ASIO and i get a latency of about 11ms- with ASIO4ALL and my motherboards onboard sound i get like 26ms, which if you've ever played games on the internet you will know isn't too bad!
     
  3. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Ah, but the Axiom doesn't go into the Firebox. It's USB midi. Perhaps THAT is the problem. In any case, my issues aside, I am still interested in how other people record.
     
  4. anacrucix

    anacrucix aka Shredcaptain Matt

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    Guitars > Planet Waves 5m w/switch > Line6 PodXT(used as ASIO audio device) > Renoise 2.1

    M-Audio Axiom 49 Midi Controller > 5m budget USB 2.0 Cable to PC > Renoise 2.1 Midi-In

    note: even though the Axiom is plugged directly into my pc- as the podXT is my primary audio device that is what processes the midi data from the Axiom, and so my latency is about 11ms

    I use this setup while I'm writing a song- I like to record as I go along when I'm building up a song- and I think using this method gives good clean results- although these recordings are only ever really made for my bandmates to hear.
     
  5. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Interesting. Renoise looks like a cool DAW.
     
  6. anacrucix

    anacrucix aka Shredcaptain Matt

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    yeah it's pretty difficult to get to grips with, the main reason i got it originally was that it had a free trial and it supported ezdrummer, but once i got used to programming drums in it i found it so easy to get it to do exactly what i wanted and found my songwriting workflow was made so rapid by the way the program functions- copying and pasting sections is easy as well as quickly making near identical copies of sections and just re recording over certain little sections, you also have very precise control over the timing, volume etc of all the samples involved- it's an odd way to work but i don't think i could live without it at the songwriting stage!
     
  7. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    I'm pretty happy with Cubase but it's the same kind of thing. You learn all the keyboard shortcuts and you never want to change!
     
  8. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    I havent done alot of recording to any kind of completion. Mostly idea demos, some jam recordings so as not to loose some decent ideas that came out, some of my mellow stuff to improvise over, ect.

    Im mostly happy with what I have and its simple.

    guitar or mic cable directly into a M-Audio "Black Box", "Black Box" cable into the front of a Dell, headphones out of "Black Box"

    recording software is Sonar 6 producer edition, I only have to change track property (and metronome output) inputs and outputs depending on whether I want the sound to come to the "black box" headphones or the computers sound system which is "stereo sound blaster". I need to change all input or output properties of each and all tracks or I get a capulating sound (woof, woof, woof, woof)

    my guitar cable is still a heavy Whirlwind curly bought in the 80's
    my drummers mic is a cheap radioshack uni, I need to spend some money on mics and will have other issues when we get around to mic-ing and mixing the drum set, black box has only one mono 1/4" and XLR(?) input

    problems - black box distortion programs not the best or warmist, a bit razor like, I have not worked on mic-ing from a speaker cab
    I have pluged from my guitar to my SGX 2000 effects unit then into the black box (set to by-pass) to get some of my tones from that unit. Here again the distortion channels sent direct lack color and are abit razor like or buzzy, cleans are very sweet

    The few vocal demo tracks we have done seem only limited by our mic and experience

    I have no timing issues or delays that I can hear. I have recorded two rhythm guitar tracks with one muted only following the metronome and they come up dead nuts excluding any playing flaws.

    My copy and paste and mute editing functions seems to work well but I do little of that and try to play everything as it should be. I will always have a metronome issue because I dont have the knowledge to figure my timing changes and then make a metronome map. So I just set my metronome to equal clicks with no accents and dont let it throw me. It seems to me this will always make copy and paste a bit difficult... which sucks because I really dont have the hands or mind to play an entire track flawlessly.

    I will be doing more solid recording now as we have many songs nearing completion.
     
  9. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    I totally recommend the Presonus units if you can afford them... and if you have firewire. Great preamps. Whirlwind are SOLID cables man
     
  10. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    Not enough info Ken, would these be inplace of my "black box", I have considering getting a POD but ultimately I would like to record the tones I have available via microphone right from my speakers.... apparently that is another art in itself as well as microphone investment.

    "firewire" ?
     
  11. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    It's an alternative to a soundcard... and it has multiple inputs and preamps. instead of plugging into your mic input on the PC, it sends audio over firewire (ieee 1394) or USB depending on the unit. m audio makes some boxes like this.
     
  12. rockmanxpr

    rockmanxpr High Speed Samurai

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    My setup is pretty basic, guess I'm the only one here using Pro Tools rig but here it is...
    The interface I'm using for the DAW is a Digi003+ rack (the 8 mic pre version in case if you didn't know) and using the Firewire connection to my PC. I'm not using the mic pre section of the 003+ because I've just built a couple of DIY Mic Pre kits to play with which are suppose to emulate some classic mic pres like a Neve 1272 and an API512, all I can say it they work but I can't compare them to the real thing just yet... The company is called Seventh Circle Audio and I got the N72 and A12 mic pres.

    As for mic cables, I really dig Mogami. Compared to the Shure cable i got with my Shure mics, the signal is much better, cleaner is the best way to describe it.

    For electric guitars the signal chain is simply this: Amp-Randall Iso cab- SM57 or Sennheiser 421- Mogami cable- N72 mic pre- 003+rack (using the Line In)
    Acoustic guitars- I use Rode NT1-a or a matched pair of SE1a condenser mics- Mogami cable- Mic Pre- 003+rack.
    Bass: here's a bit different, I just plug directly into a DI so no amp. goes Bass- REDDI by A-Designs- Mic pre (most of the time the A12)- 003+rack. This setup pretty much automatically gives me the rock/blues tone I want. I'm still working on doing some Metal recordings with it...

    Drums: Pretty much use EZdrummer and Superior Drummer 1.0 and 2.0 Version 2.0 is really great for the "engineering" types with some much stuff to tweak with. So pretty much my drums are really just MIDI...

    Keys: using a M-Audio 88 key midi controller using a USB connection, easy to setup. Why 88 keys? eh my desk was big enough, maybe I might want to do a "piano" recording... Software I use is came with the Pro Tools kit
     
  13. anacrucix

    anacrucix aka Shredcaptain Matt

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    I really like SE1As for micing acoustics, I was advised to use them for overheads once and wish I could turn back time and use C451s instead!
     
  14. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    In the end it seems we're all doing fairly similar things. Interesting
     
  15. rockmanxpr

    rockmanxpr High Speed Samurai

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    Pretty much that's all there is to it, no additional "special" type of gear that the pro's use. Mic (or DI)--> Mic Pre--> AD Converter--> editing software. Only other thing the studios have is Patch Bays for their outboard gear.
     
  16. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Don't even get me started on patchbays. Biggest nightmare ever.
     
  17. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Guitars > M-Audio Fast Track Pro > Cubase SX3 - where I use Guitar Rig 3 for distortion pedals, Revalver MKIII for amps, Andy's impulse responses loaded into Revalver for cabs, + other VST effects, etc.

    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 midi controller > USB 2.0 > Cubase SX3

    Mic > M-Audio Fast Track Pro > Cubase SX3
     
  18. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Thoughts on fastrack pro?
     
  19. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Works okay for me. Nothing impressive but it does what it's supposed to do (just make sure you use Asio drivers).
    There are other options in the same price range that are worth considering, such as the E-MU 1212M.

    The lowest part in your setup is obviously that SoundBlaster Audigy, so I reckon it should have the priority for the next upgrade.
     
  20. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Well, it got removed completely. Don't need a soundcard with an I/O. I had just never undid the wiring from when I was just figuring this stuff out. :lol:

    I'm thinking of upping to the Presonus FireStudio line.
     

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