New Studio Up and Running - YAY!!!

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by mmd, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Wanted to update you helpful guys on the new studio. It's all done and set up. I've already started a project with it and I am LOVING the new gear and speed. Here's the gear (again) before I put up a few pictures....

    Workstation

    Dell OptiPlex 9010 MT
    * 32GB RAM
    * I7 3.6GHz processor
    * 512GB SSD (system drive)
    * 2TB Barracuda 7200RPM HD (audio drive)
    * Sedna FW800 card

    Interfaces/Preamp

    Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40
    Focusrite Octopre Dynamic MkII
    RME HDSP952 (installed but not being used yet)
    BSTPA Custom 8 input XLR patch panel (gives access to the Octopre XLRs from the front)

    Software

    DAW(s)
    * ProTools 12 (perpetual license)
    * Harrison MixBus 4 (alternative mix platform)

    Plug-ins
    * Waves (the Black Friday Specials have been GREAT!!)
    - of particular excitement for me:
    - SSL 4000 Bundle
    - EMI TG12345
    - REDD
    - NLS Summing Mixer

    Of course I grabbed a variety of reverb and delay plug-ins. I deiced to try to get most of my mixin done via "virtual consoles" over separate EQ/Dynamics plug-ins. My old system had a BUNCH that I loved - all AVID stuff (which is just too $$$ unless I do a subscription, but....). So far I am pleased with the decision to go virtual console.

    * Softtube
    - TSAR Reverb
    - Drawmer Compressors (couple different models)

    * AVID - I have quite a few that came with PT12. I am glad because they are just simple, but necessary.

    Amp Modeling/Virtual Instruments
    * Line 6 - Helix Native
    * Overloud - Mark Studio 2 (all the Mark Bass amps/cabs)
    * Arturia - V Collection 5
    * Toontrack
    - EZ Keys
    - EZ Drummer 2
    * EZX Expansions (I LOVE this program. It really satisfies the drummer in me.)
    - Americana
    - Big Rock
    - Dream Pop
    - Indie Folk
    - Metal Machine
    - Nashville
    - Pop/Rock
    - Post Rock
    - Seventies Rock
    - Traditional Country
    * MIDI Packs (almost all of them, lol)

    That's all the "in the box" gear. I do have older lower level outboard gear. The only piece at this point that's hooked up is my Antares Vocal Producer rack. I do use auto-tune on all my singers - even the singer for Demented Truth (who really doesn't need it). Pretty much all I do is run a vocal back through it. I set to the key, and the scale to chromatic, major or minor with weak detection. I tend to believe in vibe over accuracy, but I have the auto tune set to make slight repairs if notes are a little out. If a vocal sounds like a dying cat or if auto tune is going crazy, the vocal gets re-cut.

    Well, on to the pictures!!!!

    [​IMG]

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  2. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Some more....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    Freakin SHOWOFF! LOL

    I haz an envy!

    Some of the Avid VIs are also quite nice too! I used the DB33 Hammond B3 VI on ABB's Soulshine. Perfect!

    I hope yer having fun!
     
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  4. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Cool beans! What console is that? How do you use it?
     
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  5. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    It is a Mackie 24.8 inside the shell of an old Behringer MX8000. I had the 24.8 but the casing was trashed. I was talking to a dude that mods consoles and he was telling me the MX8000 was a direct copy of the 24.8. I bought one that was near sonic death and had the dude transplant the Mackie guts into the MX8000 shell.

    I dig it because it has direct outs on each channel, and a "B" mix with level, pan and 2 band EQ (it's great for monitor mixes). It has an expander port too. I used to use it as an inline console with my Alesis HD24. These days I have line sources plugged in and have 6 busses jacked into my main interface (inputs 3-8).

    The PLAN is to use the console, via the ADAT out of the HD24 into the ADAT in/out of the RME card. I just have to have a 24 channel XLR path panel built so I can access the preamps easier. No rush, but that's my ultimate goal. I want to be able to bring 24 in/out for when I do bands. Tracking my stuff is easier because it's a couple tracks at a time.

    I also use the monitor section of the console to control my volumes and routing/source inputs/outputs. I am considering working on using the line outs from my Focusrite gear to feed signals to some of my outboard effect modules. The console has 6 auxes and I have some older rack units that aren't high-end, but offer some cool sounds. I figure if I can put those back into the auxes and send from the Focusrite and loop the audio back through a bus channel....don't know though, lol....
     
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  6. Mr Insane

    Mr Insane Senior Member

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    Nice!
     
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  7. Mr Insane

    Mr Insane Senior Member

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    I'm hoping to get my home studio started in a couple weeks, just waiting on my new computer.
     
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  8. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Cool! It's endless fun!! Good luck!
     
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    :applause::thumb::dude:
     
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  10. John Scrip

    John Scrip Senior Member

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    Word to that Waves Black Friday (Cyber Monday?) sale... $890 worth of plugs today for $108 if I recall.
     
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  11. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Oh, yeah. It has been great. I was sweating getting some good plug-ins - they add up fast, lol. The sales Waves ran for the last week or so got me way more than I was anticipating getting so soon!!!
     
  12. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    @DarrellV - Dude, your tips/walkthrough of the Focusrite Control software was great. I was able to dive into my first session and have no problems navigating/using that mixer. I was still able to monitor everything the way I like while messing with ability to monitor/mix input signals in a better way. The only thing I haven't tried yet is adding in any of the ADAT channels from the Octopre. That's done in the routing section, right?
     
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  13. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Wow! Thank you so much!

    I was afraid I was spouting nonsense and wasting your time.... Nothing you said, my own doubts, I guess..

    Yes on the ADAT connections. If you don't already have a lightpipe optical connector cable you need to get a pair of them for I/O.

    [​IMG]

    TOS-Link audio connectors are the same thing. Used for digital audio on some TV's.

    On the back of the Saffire there are a set of optical ports. One in and one out.

    Each pipe carries all 8 channels at once per ADAT specs.

    In the mixer check this setting under the 'Settings...' button...
    Not the ASIO buffer size, although that is adjustable for better performance, but notice the SPDIF or ADAT choice box. You want it on ADAT.
    [​IMG]

    This shows a stand alone setup to record 8 mics to 8 ADAT channels. No PC recording.
    [​IMG]
    In the other thread I posted some screen shots of my Studio One I/O and how the ADAT Inputs appear.

    I'm guessing by now you have found them in Pro Tools.
    I don't know if this helps, but I found this chart of input numbers...
    [​IMG]

    If you are recording from ADAT into Pro Tools you would select your input tracks (ADAT tracks 1-8) and assign them to a mono or if you recorded 2 track stereo (mid - side) you can assign 2 tracks to each left and right.

    If you are sending out from your DAW same thing, assign your tracks to an ADAT channel.

    I have found through working with mine that the zero Db levels are preset and match perfectly!

    There is no setting to control volume in direct digital out over the lightpipe and the level is preset.

    You CAN adjust the output level of your track, what I'm saying is the cool part is that when you drive the track to clipping, you are clipping the ADAT too! 1 to 1 match!

    I thought that was another cool touch from the folks at Focusrite!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  14. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Cool. Yeah, I have the ADAT hooked up from the Octopre to the Sapphire. I know where to grab those in PT. To get the inputs to pass through the Sapphire, I select them as you showed? I have a separate bank of preamps for standalone/remote recording. I'm looking to expand the Sapphire to 16 inputs....
     
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  15. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    You already have 8 on the Saffire and 8 on the octopre... That should get you the 16 you need, no?

    I have 2 Saffires to get the 16 I wanted, but the octopre inputs should show in PT next to the Saffire ones...

    For the mixer to work you should connect the ADAT to the Saffire opticals.

    Does the Octopre have a mixer utility? I haven't used that one..

    Also, when doing ADAT recording and playing through the Saffire you can choose your sync clock from the Saffire mixer settings.

    If you connect to the Saffire with the lightpipe you can use the Saffire clock to slave your ADAT unit.

    I recommend setting your sync source on your ADAT to Digital In when connected to your Saffire unit.

    I have found that leaving the ADAT on internal and Saffire on internal and recording over the light pipe has caused interruptions in the space time continuum that have caused ticks and pops in my audio.

    Just a FYI....
     
  16. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    @DarrellV - yeah, the two Focusrite pieces are my 16 in. I haven't bothered with the Octopre yet, but I am thinking of trying it tonight. I am not in front of it, so it's probably easier than I am thinking....

    I am just wondering if it is a direct extra 8, or do I need to do any special set-up to get it to show up. I know with my mobile rig (interface and 8 channel pre) I just select what channel I am using in the DAW and it is a no issue. Is the Sapphire the same way?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  17. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    EDIT: See the post after this for deetz.

    I was assuming a Firewire connection here, but the Octopre does not have one. :facepalm:

    See the next post for connecting through the optical out of the Octopre...(I'm a slow learner)


    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Should show up the same way the Saffire does in your DAW.

    You can daisy chain the firewire connector for the octopre into the back of the Saffire. Then Saffire into PC.

    This is where naming the units in the mixer helped me to keep them straight.

    In the mixer I can drop the menu down in Settings, and choose which unit I want to control.... In my case Unit 1 TOP and Unit 2 BOTM.

    Whatever I select here is what the mixer controls are affecting..... It may work the same for the octopre, I'm not sure.

    But if it does you will see the mixer controls change to reflect the device settings it is controlling.

    The ports will appear in your DAW because they come in on the Firewire cable, BUT LIVE MONITORING DOES NOT.

    The issue I see with the Octopre is the ability to live monitor. There is no mix capability, just 8 in and 8 out.

    It is mainly an ADAT input preamp.

    You can use one of the optical outs of the Octopre to send all 8 channels to the Saffire using the Saffire's optical in.

    This will let you monitor the octopre through the Saffire mix control (ADAT IN) to the main monitor outs (summed vs 8 individual).
    [​IMG]
    The only drawback is you cannot monitor the Octo while using your ADAT machine.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    EDIT: This part should still be valid if you have a similar setup using an ADAT machine.

    The Octo has 2 optical outs, the Saffire has 1 in and 1 out.

    That is UNLESS you daisy chain your optical devices as thus.

    Octopre out to ADAT machine optical in.

    ADAT optical out to Saffire in.

    You could still use the Saffire optical out to ADAT IN for recording to ADAT.

    The ADAT would have to be on and in Digital In mode with monitoring enabled for the signal to pass through it to the Saffire to be heard.

    Well, there I go again.....:facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  18. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    HAHAHA, cool. SO, from what I am getting is the Octopre is plug-n-play with the Sapphire. It's currently connected via optical:

    Octopre ADAT out -> Sapphire ADAT in

    My only intention is to add 8 channels to the Sapphire. Thanks!! I am heading home now. I'll mess it with it and hit back via PM if I have an issue!!
     
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  19. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Cool! I just had a flash on reality! There is no firewire on the octopre! :facepalm:

    So yes! You can map the 8 channels of the Octopre into the Saffire using the optical interface.

    You would then select ADAT IN 1-8 on the mixer to pick up the signals.

    The octopre signals will appear in PT as the ADAT inputs 1-8.

    The Saffire will still be Analog 1-8.

    Make sense now?

    Geez! I should have looked closer! I thought the Octo had a firewire connection.... :slap:
     
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  20. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    That's a hell of a nice setup! Great job!!
     
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