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F.O.H. with a laptop +Audio Interface instead of a real mixer

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by ~BURNY~, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

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    Happened to me once.
     
  2. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Just generally the thought of having to fuck around clicking a mouse when somethings feeding back is totally unacceptable workflow in my book. If you're on a analogue desk you reach over and grab a knob/fader and deal with it instantly.
     
  3. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    ive done quite a few live shows with my laptop. (software audio console, rme digiface, appsys digital multicore, focusrite/behringer preamps)


    bold statement: when u know the band, and have enought time etc. you can compete with the most expensive digital/analogue live mixing desk soundwise (okay, maybe without behringer converters), but if its a chaos gig you will be lost with the mouse, because you are too slow. thats the reason i stopped doing this, although it sounds superior when it works out.

    being able to throw a sample to augment the kick and snare is pretty cool at a live gig; and thats just one of the tricks traditional live mixing desks simpy cant do ....
     
  4. arv_foh

    arv_foh Brian K

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    You can definitely do it but it's not ideal. You need a powerful computer to run 16 channels with EQ/comp/gate on each channel, plus 31 band EQ for the outputs. I did it successfully with very low latency (inaudible) but I was using a mac pro, not a laptop. I tried using my macbook pro and got pop/clicks/dropouts because it couldn't handle processing 16 channels in real time.

    You can rent an X32 for 100 bucks. It's much easier to go that route.
     
  5. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    I've done this couple of times for gigs when I was in a bind. Works pretty well and has some really handy features. I used reaper and it was pretty solid. If you already own the gear it's a handy solution that can yield great quality results. I'd never plan on making it a permanent thing though. I only used it when I didn't have access to a desk.

    Pros
    You can save your soundchecks and load it up before the bands set. You can also set it up at home and have it all ready to go at the click of a switch.

    I had 16i/16o so I could run loads of monitors, though I think I only ran 4 monitors and stereo L and R at most for the gigs I did it at.

    Tons of effects and flexible EQ and comp. Though you want to make sure you don't use anything with too heavy for latency.

    `With reaper you can get really detailed with the EQ, as many bands as you want on the master. Great for fighting feedback.

    You can record at the click of a button.

    Cons

    Very slow compared to an analogue desk, though if you're good with shortcuts it can be reasonable.

    Risk of crashing or more likely, pops and clicks due to latency being as low as possible.

    Also, it's a lot less forgiving with clips so gain staging can be difficult. You mix has to be loud enough but not clip on the channels. Always struggled with this when I used this setup though it's never been an issue when I used analogue or digital desks.

    When I did it first I did the crossover using EQ's in reaper and splitting the hi and low out to different outputs. I would recommend using a proper system controller.
     
  6. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    3gb Ram doesn't sound like it could handle all the channels and the crapload of plugins/processing you would inevitably be running in real time. Do what Brian said, get an X32.
     
  7. slo77y

    slo77y Member

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    sorry guys, but the "you need a fast computer and/or much ram" simply isn true.

    i´ve mixed at least 50 shows with an old dualcore notebook with 2(!)gb ram with software audio console, with always at least 16 channels. (sometimes more than 30). basic eq and compression is not really cpu intensive. of course you can stress the cpu if u load up VSTs tha are cpu hungry, but you dont have to do that. you just have to tweak your system a bit, and get a suitable soundcard (ONLY rme and some motu stuff works stable enough, had both). but then it is no problem. really!


    edith: +1 for the x32. the price/value ratio is beyond unbelievable. after having mixed quite some shows on it, i will easily prefer it to an ls9/m7 or even and iLive console. imho it sounds superior.
     

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