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I could really use some advise(stepping up in quality)

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by boxcar, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Well im selling the ZED R-16 to a friend, i love the board but it's too buisy for my simpler needs and i also want to step up in quality.Doing it next week.
    It would normally be easier to decide but i have 2 fuctions it has to accomodate.

    1- It has to act similar to a simple mixer (aux send/return for effects) stuff like that cause we play every saturday night for years,its a ritual by now so can't give that up.
    2- Better ad/da. Need minimum 8 good pre's.with ability to add more later.Will never need more than 16 + Im sticking with PC.

    Im thinking aroud $5000,could go more,don't really want to.(i don't mind buying used)
    Don't really know where to start looking. Lynx aurora+a $2000 8 channel mixer? or another mixer/interface combination. Separate AD/DA + mixer.
    This is new territory for me so i could really use some hints please.
    Thanks for reading.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    What don't you like about the conversion in the R16? What don't you like about the preamps?
  3. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    I like the conversion and the pre amps on the zed, for $1800, i cant think of anything better but i know there's better out there for more money. The board is also perfect for what my friend is doing so it just seems like its time to move on.
    Im looking for a bigger sound overall. Im happy with my speakers(front-yorkv-u15p's and mix-klipsh wf-35's),amps,nuendo.my plugs,the drawmer 1968me compressor,yamaha spx990 and now that i understand what im trying to do, im looking for a better connection between the hardware and the computer.The saturday night jam is important but secondary.
    Maybe its not better conversion im after but better analog circuitry within the conversion unit.Like i said, this is new territory for me.
    For instance, the r16 sounds bigger to me than the onyx 1200f that i have wich i'll be using till i get the new stuff and now im looking for something bigger still.
    It will probably never end but its my hobby,i love it,
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    It never ends.

    No, really.

    So is a 'mixer' important? Or do you simply need min 8 channels of input to the 'puter? I still like the tactile feel of the mixer.

    You kinda sound like you need a Cranesong Spider but that is a lot of dough. I would say Millennia HV-3D but theres an additional 1500 for the converters....Focusrite ISA828 is very nice and fits yer budget with the Aurora....True Precision 8....same deal.

    Theres several guys on here with mobile rigs and high-end pres that might be able to address your questions about these kind of units.

    Then theres the thought of a lunchbox. Most quality units with 8 slots will cost you a grand. These are ones with great power supplys. The modules, and EVERYONE makes one!, will run you anywhere from $425 to $700....roughly....and you can certainly mix and match for your needs in a way that a strictly 8 of the same pres unit cannot. Expandable and versatile.

    Couple of API's, couple of Purple Audios, couple of Trues, or Great Rivers......you could record anything in Hi-Def.....

    Just a thought. Might not be what you need but it is something.
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I would not have sold the R-16. A mixer is too handy an item to have around the studio. But look at the FF800 UFX. At $2,100 it has good converters, four good preamps, and some "mixer" capability. For four more preamps I'd look at the UA 4-710d. ($2,000) Connects tothe FF800UFX by ADAT. This leaves you with 12 analog inputs for preamps and you can upgrade as money becomes available. You can put the $900 you have left toward that or buy an analog mixer for your Saturday jams.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If your first paragraph were not there I would say get a Zed-R16. The pres are good, the routing is good and the conversion is good, but you clearly want something different. I'm guessing that the Zed-R16 is too much of a mixer format with interfacing thrown in and what you are looking for is primarily an interface with some mix and routing functions.

    You don't say whether your weekend activities need an all-knobs device, or whether, for example, loading up from a laptop would be acceptable. If so, I would start by looking at the RME UFX, probably expanded with additional pre-amps. An 8-channel unit such as the DAV BG-8 would plug into the 8 line inputs of the UFX giving you a total of 12 mic channels for now, expandable later via ADAT and S/PDIF.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Spooky. Synchronicity.
  8. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Thanks for all the ideas. Ideally,if this animal exists, it would have 8 smokin pres,upper end conversion plus 8 direct outs that would go to an 8 ch, mixer of reasonable quality=to the r-16. One with even just one aux send/return for our 3 mic reverbs.spx990 and ideally with just 8 line in's,no pres.
    Maybe im asking for too much.
    I use 7 mics to record drums and we only use 6 pres when we jam.

    When we play,the drums,bass,BV's are pre recorded and playing back in stereo , then we add 2 guitars, one keyboard and 3 mics and often record live then redo the vocal.It works great, sounds like there's 6 of us playing.

    So the zed is really big in size,has extra features i don't need,has twice as many pres as i need.
    So that's my reasoning, If i spend more money+scale down the amount of pres and features,i can get even better sound and save space in my mixing area.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    My rig is completely modular and mobile. I have four SKB rolling cases ranging from 4 space to 6 space and of course cable cases and stand bags. Two of the main cases have a FF800 each. Add to that a Glyph GT 051. Add to that a True Systems Precision 8 and laptop in one case, and a True P2Analog in the other. In one of those cases is a summing mixer and a compressor. In my third case is the Alesis HD24XR, Furman UPS, Onyx 800R for ADAT preamps. Furman power conditioners all around (Series 2, 20A versions). These cases are all water tight (truck bed is not enclosed) and stack in an interlocking manner and have pull handles. There are smaller SKB FX cases that hold pairs of 2 way and 3 way splitters, eq's, compressors, reverb, and delay. Also, for live work there are the rolling watertight snake cases (all my main cabling is Mogami or primarily Canare including the snakes). If I have to have a mixer I do still have the Onyx 1640 (w/firewire) in a Mighty Gigrig. Now throw in the monitors and monitor stands and I've got what I need with all the rest neatly packed away. All cases have very large desiccant bags thrown in them which get microwaved once a year to renew them. All Furman power sequencers and conditioners have BNC lights on the back to assist patching.

    Ultimately I want to upgrade some of my components-like sell the 1640 and get either the GS24 or go straight analog console. I don't use a mixer much anymore but it definitely is my preferred work flow. The summing mixer allows me not to have to dig the larger board out. Another upgrade that will happen within the next two years is changing the Onyx 800R out for a Millennia HV3R. On the occasions I've needed the Onyx it hasn't let me down at all, but it is not in the same league as the True Systems in my opinion. I have been quite happy with the conversion in the FF800's and the HD24XR but will be looking into "better" converters in the future as I upgrade the location computer mostly because I would prefer PCIe rather than firewire. Another reason I'm waiting is to see what happens with the new protocols coming out and perhaps I'll choose that route instead.

    An upgrade which I thought I wouldn't use but have come full circle on, I'm going to make patch panels for the back of some of the racks. Though most of my patching stays static, it sure makes things easier to adjust for larger jobs. I had panels on my cases when I had a large PA rig in the Corps and it made life very nice.


    Now, I'm not saying this is the way to go but mobile rigs were mentioned above. Like Bob, I probably wouldn't have sold the ZED. I only list what I have as an example of a modular mobile high quality recording rig. If I were to be primarily live sound again, I would adjust some of it accordingly-primarily the mixer. Speaking of, I do think since you sold your ZED you will want to have a summing mixer of some sort. Perhaps not, as the whole hybrid DAW thing is a pretty personal decision.

    Not much advise but perhaps some things to mull over.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Last thought for now: I'm tired of chasing gear, personally. I have quality stuff and would rather learn all the ins and outs and tricks of my DAW including it's mastering capabilities. Also, I always find when I go back to the basics of mic choice and placement that what preamp I chose becomes much less important.
  11. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Yeah, i totally understand that and i go back to basics often.
    And i havn't sold it yet, its going next week if i sell it.
  12. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted gear combinations and advice.
    After considering my options, i decided to stick with the R-16.and focus on music instead.Sometimes you just need to hear it from somebody else.

    Happy holidays and rock&roll..

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