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Latency Free Monitoring with Console. How?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by RobertPhilbeck, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. I've heard of people avoiding latency problems during overdubbing by using an outboard mixer for input monitoring.

    However, I can't figure out how you'd set something like this up. Say you had a small mixer, Pro Tools 002, and some outboard mic amps. How would you set this up for the above? It seems to me that you'd either have to split the signal off the output of the mic amp, and send one part to the mixer, and the other part to the recording track, or you'd have to route your outboard pre through the mixer and them to the recording track.

    Either method seems like it would degrade the signal quality to me. How's this supposed to be done?

  2. krash

    krash Guest

    You're correct. You either have to drive both the DAW input and the mixer input (insert is probably the easiest way) directly from the output of the outboard mic pre, or use the mic pre in the mixer.

    Does the mic pre not have two outputs?

    FWIW, "splitting" the signal may not really be anything more than simply running a "Y" cable or "Y" adapter on the output. Depending on the mic pre, it probably has a low-enough output impedance, and the stuff you're connecting it to has a high-enough input impedance, that you can just connect the one output to two inputs without any degradation at all. Try and see. If you're using the insert out of a mixing board, this is exactly what you are doing, simply connecting the input to the DAW in parallel with a particular point in the signal chain (wherever the insert is). It's really no sweat. I wouldn't worry about degradation... just go for it, it'll most likely work, unless you have homebrew/obscure/vintage/non-standard kind of gear.
  3. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    What you'd do is send a stereo mix out a pair of channels on the board (1,2), then put the mic/mic's on the other channels (3,4,5 etc...). Then send a mix out aux 1,2 (or cue sends as its labeled on larger boards). Make sure you don't send the mic signal from the computer back to the board....as you don't need to. Your monitoring pre input of the computer by sending the mic signal to the cans from the input channel fader, thus avoiding the latency of the computer. Don't forget to bus the mic signal to the computer and arm the computer track as usual. Just don't send it out to the board....hope this helps....
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Many software programs like Cubase have what is known as ASIO monitoring ... this sends any signal being inputed to the recorder to the corisponding output automaticly. In my case, I have 16 analog inzanouz in my system so I can monitor up to 16 signals "live" through the console.

    If your system doesn't have this feature, you will need to set up a patch bay in half normal configuration, from your mic pres to the recorder inputs. Then you can "mult" the output by inserting a cable into the top row of jacks (mic preamp outs) and route that to the mixer inputs, while still sending the signal to the recorder inputs. This is a very common practice and most modern designs can handle the difference in impeadence with an undecernable difference in sound quality.

    Kurt Foster

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