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Advice on multi channel audio/Mac interface

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ArthurBod, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    Looking for some advice. I have an M Audio Fast Track Pro (PC). Using this with nTrack Pro. I'm sure somewhere this has been discussed but haven't found anything yet.

    I want to switch to an iMac and have a multi channel interface so that I can use a board as well as my keyboard and mouse. I like boards better. By the way, don't have a board yet either.

    The plan, although I'm still pretty stupid in this area, is to get a Quad Core 8 Gig iMac; Pro Tools (I guess) and maybe a Mackie???

    I've had issues with my Fast Track Pro and PC (also quad core and 6 gig). Not when recording but mixing. Get lots of noise like clicks and pops. Have not as yet found any setting to correct. I hope its not the interface.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    By board, do you mean a mixing board or desk?

    "I've had issues with my Fast Track Pro and PC (also quad core and 6 gig). Not when recording but mixing. Get lots of noise like clicks and pops. Have not as yet found any setting to correct. I hope its not the interface."

    This sounds frustrating, how long have you been trying to get this running?

    I would advise not to give up since you already have a system. Perhaps its an easy fix???

    I don't know squat about AISO drivers, could it be your buffer setting is low?

    Someone ought to know!

    I actually have the fast track pro, but I am running my audio on my Macbook, sorry I have little knowledge when it comes to PC/Windows OS at the moment.
  3. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Most likely the clicks and pops are a buffer setting problem. What settings are you using for buffers while mixing? How many plugins are you using as inserts? Some plugins require much more processing power for example reverbs. How many tracks are you processing at once? Do you have antivirus, wireless disabled? Are there programs running in the background? You say PC but are you in Vista or Win7? I do not use a laptop for recording but if you are there are other tweaks you should be employing. Are you using your OS drive for recording? Any of these might be your issue as your computer specs should be more than enough to produce recordings with out pops or clicks.
  4. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    By board I meant mixing board.

    My OS is Win7. Had the same issues with Vista. Actually, I suppose I could use my notebook to see what happens in the Mac world. I just picked up a Mac Book Pro.

    Not really running many plug ins of consequence and maybe 8 or 9 tracks total. But the same noises happen when I've tried to record a stereo mix from an old Roland vs1680. I thought I had buffers to the max. Its gotten so frustrating that I've walked away. As a result I have not been that prolific.

    The intent of my post though was with advise as to mixing board and multi in/out interface in the Mac world. I've pretty much had it PC's.

  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    The Allen & Heath ZED16R might be something to look at for what you want to do.
    I definitely think your problem isn't with your computer it's the drivers for the interface that's your problem.
  6. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    I dowloaded the lastest ASIO drivers from M-Audio. Didn't really fix much. Not sure what else to do. I've looked at buffer settings etc.

    Way back in the old days I used Allen & Heath stuff. Seemed to very good as I remember. Thanks.
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Sure it's nice to work with a mixer but a mixer is not going to help you if there are other issues to deal with. Also, unless you plan on getting the Zed R-16 or better, a mixer is only as good as the muti-channel interface you plug it into.

    I would try increasing the buffers first to at least 256 samples. Make sure of course that you are using M-Audio's ASIO driver in N-Track. Not ASIO mulitmedia or full duplex.
  8. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    I get that. I guess I'm not being too clear. My plan is to go to a Mac setup since I've decided I like Mac more than PC. And, I wanted to go with a mixer and multi in/out interface. As a result, the issues I have with the Fast Track pro and nTrack are not too high up on the totem pole. I'm not changing because of the issues I currently have. I want a set up with a mixing board since I like playing with knobs and dials!

    Thanks again for the replies and suggestions. I will try the suggestions to see if I can get the noise issues resolved.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    One last thing. Make sure you are recording to a secondary drive. Writing to your system drive is a no no.
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Okay. Something else I just thought of. You mention ProTools and Mackie. If you want ProTools M-Powered with a Mackie and you want to use the knobs during mix down, your least option is the 1640i. You need to purchase the patch for $50 from Mackie and install it before you can run M-Powered(which you need to purchase separately). If you want to mix with the knobs you need to reroute each track to a channel on the board and you will be limited to 14 if you are mixing to two internal tracks or 16 if you plan on mixing to another external device.

    If that does not appeal to you, you will need to consider the option of a multichannel interface and a control surface rather than a mixer. Which means any of the digi supported devices for ProTools LE or M-Powered and a supported Controller. Your best bet would probably be a Digi 003 CONSOLE or M-Audio Equivalent(which would also require you to purchase M-powered). That would be the most direct route. A Digi 003 rack and a reliable control surface is another option.
  11. ArthurBod

    ArthurBod Active Member

    hueseph, thanks for the advice. The more I read posts on this forum, the more I start to change my mind on things.

    One thing for sure, I have not been recording to an external drive. Maybe that's part of my issues? I have a few drives laying around. Not sure if they are 7,200 types. I'll have to give that a try.

    I also see a lot of people here that are not that high on PT. PT came to mind at first since it's all I heard for a long while. After more reading, I'm starting to think about Nuendo, or Adobe if I was to stay with my PC for awhile. Any thoughts?

  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    It depends on what you plan to do. Are you strictly recording audio or do you plan to use Virtual intruments and MIDI? Audition is great for audio but not good at all for VI's or MIDI. Nuendo is a jump too far I think. Unless you plan on doing post production Cubase would work just fine for you.

    I'm using ProTools LE right now and though I have no problems with it, there are plenty of people out there with serious complaints. That isn't necessarily any different with any other DAW but since PrroTools has such a large user base, it is certainly more noticeable.

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