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Advice on setting up my project studio.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Revs, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Revs

    Revs Guest


    I'm relatively new to recording and would be grateful if someone could help me with getting my gear setup to record.

    I run a rehearsal studio with 3 rooms and will be using my office as a "control room" to record either rehearsals(basic recording) and/or multitrack recording of bands for demo's etc.

    My gear consists of the following:

    PC with AMD Athlon 64 processor(3200+) 2.01GHZ,512 MB of RAM, using Windows XP pro.

    Maya 1010 soundcard
    Behringer Xenyx2442FX mixer
    Tascam 788 DAW
    KRK rockit 5 powered monitors

    I'm looking at purchasing one of the Cubase packages soon aswell.

    Like I said,I'm pretty new to this so I have limited knowledge of how to set all of this gear up (In simple terms: I havent a clue :) I will be recording mostly rock,pop and metal bands.

    Please help!!!!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hmm. Your Maya 1010 has only two microphone pre-amps and the Tascam 788 has 4 (non-phantom), so I assume you are intending to use the pre-amps on the Xenyx 2442FX mixer. You could indeed use 8 of the channel direct outs from the mixer and take them to 8 line inputs on the 1010. The outputs of the 1010 can feed the KRK monitors, but you would need a volume control that you could reach.

    Using the 2442FX, the 1010 and Cubase gets you an 8-channel recording system of so-so quality. You need a selection of mics to work with this hardware. I can't see where the 788 fits in this scheme.

    I should do some serious reading before you buy anything else.
  3. Revs

    Revs Guest

    Hey Boswell. Thanks for the reply!

    Sounds alot simpler than I imagined :eek:

    I dont intend on buying anything else right now. I have a semi decent collection of mics. 2 x AKG C1000 condensers, 2 x AKG D112's,Rode NT2, Shure SM57 and SM58, 2 x AKG D880's, Carol drum mic set and some cheapish vocal mics.

    I bought most of this gear about a year ago and just haven't had time to figure it out and set it up etc. At the moment all I want to do is get the gear set up correctly and start experimenting with recording. Once I've got a bit of experience under my belt I will then look at "upgarding/expanding" my gear. :) I'm also not too worried about the 788. I use it more for getting ideas down quickly without having to load up a PC and open a ton of programs etc.

    I do intend using the pre-amps on the mixer.Can I use normal 1/4" TO 1/4" cables to connect from channel direct outs of the mixer to the 1010 or is there a special cable I need? Could I also not use the outputs on the mixer for the monitors and use the master volume on the mixer instead of reaching around the back of the monitors? Or alternatively could I not just use the 1010's panel to make volume adjustments?

    What serious reading would you recommend?

    Thanks again :cool:
  4. Revs

    Revs Guest

    Almost forgot!!!

    Could I use a snake box to get the signal from the rehearsal rooms up into the control room? What features do I need to look for in a snake box that it works well with my setup?

  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, you can use a TS jack loom for connecting the mixer direct outs to the Maya 1010 line inputs. However, the unbalanced direct outs are post-EQ and post-fader, meaning that any EQ set on a channel and the position of the channel faders will affect the recorded level and sonics.

    The mixer inserts may be a better place to tap off a recording signal. To use these and at the same time keep the channels feeding the mix, you must use special jack plug wiring. You need TRS jacks with the tip connected to the ring and this junction connected to the tip of the remote end. Hosa makes adaptors that do the job (DOC106) and can be used in conjunction with a conventional TS loom.

    With care, you can bring a pair of 1010 outputs back to two mixer channels and connect the mixer's main stereo outputs to the active speakers for playback monitoring.

    You can also use a snake for bringing your microphone signals from the studio to the control room. Don't forget it's difficult to shut a door that has a fat cable running through the doorway.
  6. Revs

    Revs Guest

    The second option sounds better to me even though I dont fully understand what you're talking about - I will get in time I think :)

    I checked the adapters out aswell. Would it not be possible to have cables made up to do this? It looks like it is just a normal stereo 1/4" plug wired accordingly. Would I have to wire both ends up exactly the same for it to work properly?

    What do you mean when you say "with care" when referring to the monitoring on the mixer? Is there something I should know so I dont blow something up?

    I'm probably going to look at wiring a snake through one of the walls in the rooms and at a later stage link it somehow to the other 2 rooms.

    You have been a huge help so far!!!! Thanks a stack for the help. Guaranteed though that I will have more questions soon!! :cool:
  7. Revs

    Revs Guest

    If there is a way of making these cables myself, is there somewhere I can find a diagram of what connections to make? Also what type of cable would I use? I'm guessing-but probably am wrong- mic cable???
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, these can be made. I bought two standard TS jack looms, cut the TS jack plugs off one end and wired TRS plugs on instead (signal connected to both tip and ring). I keep these looms for when I have to record from consoles that only have inserts to use as direct outs.

    This is from the Presonus DigiMax app notes. Ignore the signal line that has Xs on both ends. You need to wire the mixer TRS jack plug to look like the "DigiMax LT" plug in this diagram. The "output" end can be a simple TS or else a TRS wired as shown.
    Lavry Black DA11

    When monitoring from the computer via the mixer, you have to be careful not to include the channels directly in the mix that are themselves forming the mix via their direct outs. Because of latency through the computer, you would get both a direct and a delayed version of those channels which would give you comb filtering effects. You won't blow anything up - it just won't sound pretty.
  9. Another consideration to keep in mind that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet is your computer's RAM. 512 may be sufficient for you, but in some situations, there's a possibility you could experience some lag here and there when doing some CPU intensive processes that require a lot of memory (ie. recording multiple tracks at once and playing back a whole array of tracks, running multiple VST's, etc.).

    Although a lot of VST's recommend 512 mb of RAM, I feel that it still limits your power (I have a gig of RAM, And I still need more! =P)
  10. Revs

    Revs Guest


    How would I go about making sure that I dont include the channels directly in the mix? How would one "get rid of" the delayed version? Is there a "better", more practical way of doing this?

    With regards the cable wiring, what type of cable must I use? Judging by the diagram it looks like I could use normal instrument cable. Would this be ok?


    I didnt think of that! Thanks!
    I will be getting Reason soon aswell as running Cubase etc. so yes, I agree with you that more RAM is needed. I will most definately look into that asap.

    Thanks again so far guys!!! Top drawer help and advice! :cool:
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    All you need to do is use the insert sends for recording (they are pre-fader) and keep the faders of those channels at minimum. Your monitoring will be delayed - that's the penalty of ITB mixing.

    The type of cable isn't critical for this short-run line-level application. You need braid-screened (not foil) coaxial cable. Microphone cable will work if you already have that available: the lazy way if doing it is to use either both inner conductors in parallel or cut back one of the conductors at each end. A better (more professional) way is to use microphone cable and TRS jacks on each end. Wire one end conventionally (tip and ring to individual inner conductors), and at the other end wire tip and ring both to the conductor that runs to the tip of the other end, and connect the other conductor to the sleeve (ground). This configuration helps to reject external interference when using equipment with balanced inputs. Be sure to mark the cable to say which end is of which type!
  12. Revs

    Revs Guest

    Hi everyone!


    Just want to find out what type of snake box/cable you would suggest for use with my setup above? Had a look around a bit on the net and just want to be sure I get the right thing here. I was thinking of something like a 16 channel/4 return snake. I know I probably dont need those extra channels but mite do in the future(also theres not much diff in price between this and a 12 channel :)

    I was also curious what the function of the 4 returns would be and also how I would get a headphone mix from the control room into the live room? I know I would more than likely have to invest in a headphone amplifier, I just wouldnt know how to go about hooking it up correctly etc.

    Thanks :cool:
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Well, you've mostly answered your own question about the snake. In a studio setting, the returns can be used for headphone monitoring and/or talkback. In a live setting, the returns are used for feeds to the main FOH stereo and stage foldback monitors from the mix position at the rear of the hall to amplifiers sited at the stage.

    In the studio, you would want to place the headphone amp in the live room and not the control room for at least two reasons: (a) the performers can control their own volume, (b) only low-current line-level signals are sent down the snake, minimizing the chance of crosstalk back into the mic channels coming the other way.

    The sends to the headphone amp are usually taken from Aux outputs on the mixer or interface.

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