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Best connections for best end result?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by frogga, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. frogga

    frogga Guest

    Yes guys,

    I am just trying to get the best out of my equipment.

    I'm talking about the following units I have.

    MOTU 896HD,
    dbx 1086,
    Presonus DigiTUBE,
    Focusrite TrakMaster,

    And I want to use the all units to feed my MOTU 896HD if (and thats a question I ask) the quality of the result would be better in generic terms...

    I record vocals (from my NT2000), guitar (no FX board - using Guitar Rig to shape the pure signal afterwards) and guitar (again no FX board).

    So the question is, if you had this equipment to do these three tracking tasks, which combination of instrument/material would you use together to get the best signals into Cubase (and at the same time keep the noise ratio respectable)?

    Hope someone (or plural) can help as this is something that is still mystifying me...
    Cubase SX 2.2, Wavelab 4 + some soft synths
    P4 3.4 , 2GB DDR2, 1 Raptor, 2 160GB Samsung Spinpoint, MOTU 896HD, dbx 1086, Presonus DigiTUBE, Focusrite TrakMaster, ULTRA-DI PRO DI4000, Reveal active Mons + Rodes NT2000 etc.
  2. frogga

    frogga Guest

    dump... surely someone can get me on the right path here?
    Anyone? a mod perhaps?
    For example is the dby 1086 good enough to bypass the pres on the MOTU 896HD? or the TrackMaster? or the digiTube?
    Really would appreciate the help...
  3. frogga

    frogga Guest

    BUMP no 2- c'mon guys, I know this kind of stuff is know well by someone... Please let me learn from your superior knowledge in this area...
  4. ghellquist

    ghellquist Guest


    I would expect it to differ from every source you record. Some sources sounds best through a trusty old Shure SM58 (including Mick Jagger), others sound best in other ways.

    So try for yourself. Use your ears, that is what they are for.

  5. frogga

    frogga Guest

    Thanks for the response Gunnar... but it's not actually answering my question.
    I only use the mic for main/backing vocals, the guitar is not using an amp (so good initial clean strong signal is key) same for the bass guitar. I am wondering based on the equipment listed above that I already own in my rack, whether I can connect things up better or not...

    I am currently doing the following (easy on a diagram, but this will have to do... lets assume I am using the right cables etc).

    Male Vocals
    NT2000 plugged into the dbX 1086 which then is going into the MOTU 896HD on setting line to use the 896 preamp (around 40% around). Is this optimal with the equipment? Better to bypass the preamp in the MOTU? Go straight into the MOTU? :?

    Guitar (electric and Semi-Acoustic)
    Note: No pod, no Digitech, no FX boxes at all...
    Jack to Focusrite TrackMaster - light compression and EQ here.
    Trackmaster to DI box
    DI box to MOTU 896HD set to line - preamp used...

    Bass Guitar - not an active - Frender Precision
    As above, no external FX
    Jack to Presonus DiGITube Mainly Drive, very little gain
    DTube to DI Box
    DI Box to MOTU 896HD set to line - preamp used...

    So now you can probably see better what I am doing so can anyone give me some good recommendations and tell me the weak points in the loops and better ways (I dont want to invest in any equipment right now, but feel free to recommend pres/compressors/mics anyway... I'll work out an equipment wishlist for later - I just want to get the best out of what I have right now).
    Thanks in advance
  6. bounce

    bounce Guest

    i have not used any of your particular gear directly so i can't guess what the exact features of each device are but i will say that if you are plugging into a mic pre, i would not plug that mic pre into another mic pre if you can help it. you are only adding noise to the equation. if you have to do this, find out where unity gain is on the second device and leave your pot/fader at unity (you may just want to keep that second pre's pot low depending on the construction and specs of the device).

    you should not have to run a DI after a pre into the next device in most cases.

  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    You have my attention now and my email is always open

    explain this one ?
    why the DIbox following the Presonus DigiTUBE

    I might have been tempted to use one OR the other.
  8. frogga

    frogga Guest

    Now we are getting somewhere - big question is for me - are the focusrite trackmaster, Presonus Digitube and dbx 1086 pre's better than on the 896HD itself? I "think" I can avoid the mic pre on the 896HD but only worth doing if the result is better.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll have to dig deeper...
  9. frogga

    frogga Guest

    That's very gracious of you sir Kev :D

    We the DI after the DTube... good question... because I have no idea if there is a better way - can you explain why it's not a good combo? If thats the case (and I can imagine you're right, quite easily) - what would be better for the bass guitar the DTube or the DI? I just need a good round solid bass, and will process accordingly in the DAW (I'm in the process of buying a TC Powercore Compact - question of portability between home and laptop audio systems - and I hear its good some great plugs for compression etc and gets most of the processing it of my machines CPU).

    I'm coming across as a real noob here, I know - but I have been at this for around 4 years now, investing all my spare cash into equipment recommended to me - and I am sure I have made bad buys in the process... I am self-taught thus not sure at all... my DAW and songwriting skills are thankfully better than my studio skills, but I really want to boost the studio skills so I can be more productive in the full music chain I'm trying to do.
    Thanks again

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