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Kaossilator Pro and M-Audio FastTrack USB

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Zilus, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    Hi everyone! I'm a new to this forum, I'm from México City and starting a home recording studio. The first thing you should know is that I currently own a M-Audio Fast Track USB interface, and I'm planning to upgrade ASAP to a M-Audio Profire 2626. but in the meantime I have a terrible issue with a Korg Kaossilator.

    First I did this:
    Kaossilator RCA Output L -> Rca to 1/4 mono plug -> Input 2 on FastTrack
    Kaossilator RCA Output R -> RCA to Male XLR -> Input 1 on FastTrack

    Kaossilator headphones -> 3.5mm stereo cable -> XLR male -> Input 1 on FastTrack

    Kaossilator RCA Output L -> Rca to 1/4 mono plug -> Ch 1 on an Peavey analog mixer (panned to left) > Mixer output -> FastTrack
    Kaossilator RCA Output R -> Rca to 1/4 mono plug -> Ch 2 on an Peavey analog mixer (panned to right) > Mixer output -> FastTrack

    All resulting in a terrible Kaossilator sound, when I put the headphones from de Kaossilator, The beat was deep and punchy, but in the iMac was awful, punchless, distorted. When I used the Mixer, and the headphones on the mixer, the sound was good too, but not in the DAW again.

    I thing, maybe the Kaossilator output is way to powerfull for my small fast track maybe? I need to get an stereo input, because there are a lot of sounds in the Kaossilator tah travel from left to right and viceversa.

    The I plugged a Korg Synth (cant remember the model), with left and right outputs, with a 1/4 mono cable to input 1 on Fast track and a converter to male XLR to channel 1 on the Fast track, The sound in the DAW was awesome!! So, I'm kind of lost here.

    I'm using Logic Pro 9.
    Sorry for my english!

    Thanks a lot!!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I don't know the Kaossilator, but I assume the headphone output is stereo. When you use a stereo output going to a single XLR connector on the FastTrack, you are taking the left and right headphone signals to the + and - inputs of a mono channel, so what you will be recording is (roughly) the difference between the L and R headphone signals. It's not surprising it sounds bad.

    You need either to take one headphone signal only (L or R) to the FastTrack DI input, or take both headphone signals to the two separate channels on the FastTrack (XLR and DI). Either or both these objectives can be achieved using combinations of commercially-available cables and adaptors, but I don't know what hardware supplies you have locally. You may have to do some soldering of leads and connectors in order to make up exactly what you need.

    My preference would be to take one headphone signal to the DI input on the FastTrack, simply because this avoids the possibility of your blowing up the Kaossilator by accidentally enabling phantom power on the FastTrack's XLR input.
  3. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    But if I only plug one channel on the headphones, will I lose the "stereo"? I believe the stereo "Y" custom cable is the best fit right?

    Thanks a lot!
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes and no. Using both the XLR and the DI inputs on the FastTrack gets you 2-channel (stereo) recording, but because the input types are very different, the channels are not matched, so the recorded stereo effect may not be very good.
  5. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    Thanks a lot! I need to upgrade to the 2626 ASAP to be able to work this arround!
  6. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    I took the Kaossilator to a friends home studio, We plugged it to a Profire 2626 interface, and the result was the same. After some basic EQ, the sound got better, but not as expected.

    We the decided ti used as a MIDI channel, the software (Logic) detected the interface correctly, but Im lost, How can I "record" as MIDI with this device!
    Any help wold be appreciated!!
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Describe what connections you made and what cables you used when you connected the Kaossilator to the Profire 2626.

    If you record MIDI, what you get is a sequence of instructions that say things such as which key was pressed, how hard it was pressed, when it was pressed and for how long. No audio is recorded. To get any audio, you either have to replay the sequence into a device that understands that particular set of instructions (e.g. the Kaossilator itself), or you need a software emulator that emits sounds in response to the sequence.
  8. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    An example to clarify:

    I create a midi track on Logic, select the Kaossilator, then "play" a beat in Kaossilator, this will "pass" the midi info to Logic? And if so, I can use as instrument "Ultrabeat"?

    I'm a newbie in this stuff, sorry :(
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I don't know how the Kaossilator will appear as MIDI in Logic, or whether it can be used as "Ultrabeat", since I have never had the experience of using one. There are others in these forums who are more savvy with that sort of thing.

    What I was meaning in the previous post was what analog connections did you make when you said there was no improvement over using the FastTrack?
  10. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    First i used RCA to mono 1/4 -> Profire 2626, then Stereo from the phones to a Allen & Heath stereo 1/4 input. When we did some eq mods, the beat went from "the worst thing I ever heard" to "Oh, this is very close to the direct output of the phones".

    Then Wen hear ti through the phones (both, the 2626 and the A&H) the sound was ok, almost exactly as the Kaossilator headphones, so I think that the lack of a subwoofer (We got KRK rokit5 monitors) was making it sound awful.
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Your complaints and problems are all due to gain staging issues. There is no problem with your interfaces, nor speakers even without a subwoofer. In fact it's better without the subwoofer. When I'm in a control room with subwoofers, I frequently find myself flipping their phase (polarity), moving them around and in the end, switching them off. Because really, anything that you record has to sound good coming out of smaller speakers without subwoofers. And if you record it nice and tight and not loose and flabby, with somebody listens with subwoofers it will kick butt. And that's why mixing on small powered monitors is so important. I happen to love the monitors that you indicated. I've got similar versions to those, V6's & original passive Rokits (powered from numerous different amplifiers).

    Whatever you take some kind of output, if it's not a microphone, and you're going into at XLR input, something likely needs to be padded down before you plug it into the XLR input. These are generally microphone inputs on most consumer products and are subject to easy overload. And that's where your awful factor lies. And when I indicate, padded down, that does not mean simply, turning down the output volume control. No. It means the insertion of a resistive passive pad, at your output, and before the XLR input. This can be done with an external simple volume control or, fixed resistors. Even going into those 1/4 inch inputs in the center of those XLR inputs can still easily be overdriven. If you have those combo style inputs. People don't understand the importance of the gain staging between each piece of equipment. It separates the men from the noise.

    Of course small monitor speakers with excessive low frequency energy going to the will always sound awful. And that's because it's generally... awful. Because too much low-energy junk on any recording comes out like muddy distortion, because it is. That's why we use so much high pass filtering to get rid of all of the excessive low-frequency garbage. That way when people push their loudness buttons and crank up their bass, it'll kick ass.

    If it doesn't fit you must acquit.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  12. Zilus

    Zilus Active Member

    Thanks a lot Remy, That was something I never thought about!

    I'll start to read about gain staging and how to prevent this kind of issues, any article that you guys can recommend?

    OT: I've been subscribed ti this forum just 2 days, and I loving it!
    Thank you all for the help!

    Yesterday I was reading a lot about gain staging, I'll try other approaches this weekend!


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