My journey into Hybrid mixing

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Makzimia, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Today was the baby step into this new way (for me) of doing recording and mixing. I was fairly certain (thanks to help from others here, audiokid in particular) about how to get going. Today braving the install of the RME HDSPe card into the Mac was step one. Before all that I had to setup power and network etc. Once I had the card in I made it talk to the Orion 32 and out to the Dangerous Music Monitor ST.

    The Orion 32 console is a horrible thing to work with initially, once you know how, it's just fiddly. The great thing is, with something like I have just done, it's do it, save it to a setting, remove the USB cable, and done. To make it work (future reference for any who may need to know) You simply shift click and drag all the AD line to the MADI OUT and MADI 32 in to DA out. If you needed more, say the SPDIF or ADAT, you can simply drag those to 33 through whatever.

    Final step, tell the Orion to use MADI as a clock source (contrary to anything Antelope may say, their clock is not better than the RME clock, and keeps everything sane). I then installed the drivers for the RME and flawless connection. With that complete, I hooked up some 8 way off DB25 cables to my Dangerous Music Monitor ST and with a feed off the Orion 32 gave first my older Mackie HR824s a try... then, the moment I had been waiting for, hooked up the Event Opals. Loaded up Logic Pro X again, already having confirmed with the Mackies I had a clean path.

    The Event Opals are definitely more distinct, I was surprised the Mackies didn't fair badly against them, but, the difference is that distinction. Sitting under my newly installed group of Auralex and facing more on the wall behind them. There is a very detailed difference already, not even set the Events up properly yet, just default.

    Next time into the fray, making sure the Preamps are bringing in a clean signal, and, setting up the MCU Pro, Extender and C4 Pro and giving them a test flight.


    Reverend Lucas and bigtree like this.
  2. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    OK, today was the big hardware racking job. I have now placed all but one piece of my rack gear in place. Most of it is talking to something ( in theory). I say in theory, because, well... I have not quite touched the SSL X-Patch properly other than to tell it what's where. It should in theory work. I spent the last 2 hours of the day making sure my 2 outs to the mastering set of EQ/DBX Quantum and the Eventide went out to the Dangerous Music Monitor ST on a separate pair. Set up an AUX Bus in LPX and checked an A/B of the Master BUS version compared to my AUX Master. I can hear some difference... but I admit it's not the end all yet. I do have a question for audiokid about the RME out to the Orion then AUX, I am right using MADI back through and then out AUX, not using the actual 1/4 inch out of the RME as a separate output again right?.

    On an aside the Mackie controllers are hit and miss in Logic Pro X, I think you need to face the right way and wriggle your ear and blink so many times or something. When they do work, most times, they are amazing. The C4 Pro in particular is very nice.

    pcrecord likes this.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Very impressive, Makzimia, but I'm puzzled as to what a graphic EQ is doing in a studio rig like that?
    pcrecord likes this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... well, I have one too. Mine serves the purpose of filling in a blank rack space. ;)
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Nice work mak!!! Looks good! The only thing I would add, and purely for the sake of neatness is a cheap furman. It'll help keep those pesky power cables tidy. It's nice to see ya putting investments in truly important things like monitoring path integrity, and room response. Good work!
  6. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    I like having a physical EQ in the final chain, usually had one as a plugin. I it allows me to do any final shaping in case I missed something. Having said that, the AUX does allow me to throw one on of course, we'll see how it goes as I go foward. With the exception of the added Eventide, this is my chain I used in the UK back in 2000.. used to it?.
  7. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

  8. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Thank you :). I actually have 3 furmans in use and a UPS if you look closely. The only reason you see any wires is, mic lines and LAN cable all over the back. Of course had to bring power closer for stuff, hence the power boards too. All is covered by the furmans though, other than a USB hub and something I can't remember right now.. one is even a 20amp one. I went with a set of db25 to xlr f or m and or 1/4 or db 25. Used good mic cables then to bridge to each device. I couldn't afford to make custom cables. And yes, even though I couldn't perfectly build my room, I had an idea of what I needed and did the best I could :).


    kmetal likes this.
  9. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    New day new issues... first off, gear unrelated, T'Fusers started falling off the walls.. damn two sided tape not holding. I *think* I may have put too much fiberglass in the backs... looked yesterday into using drywall screws.. nope, looked at wall anchors.. nope.. *le sigh*.

    Anyway, new issue I want to nip (possibly) in the bud, if needed. With using 2 Focusrite Octopres, should I be clocking them to anything?. Keep in mind, I know it's a noob question, but, first time I have ever used stand alone multi pres into a AD/DA setup and the RME card now too.


  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You are presumably connecting the two Octopres into the RME card using ADAT lightpipes, so you need to have everything running from the same clock. Because you have two Octopres, you can't let them run on their internal clocks (which would not be synchronized). Since the Octopres do not have wordclock outputs, what you will have to do is take a BNC wordclock out of your RME system to the BNC wordclock inputs of both Octopres and then set them to run on external wordclock.

    You will need two 75 Ohm BNC cables, two 75 Ohm T-pieces and a 75 Ohm BNC terminator. Put a T-piece on the BNC wordclock input of each Octopre and connect the two T-pieces with a BNC cable. Put the terminator on the open end of one of the T-pieces (it doesn't matter which). Connect the second cable to the open end of the other T-piece. Since you don't give any details of which RME interface you have, it's hard to be specific, but you probably have a breakout box connected to the RME card on which you should find a BNC wordclock output to plug the other end of the BNC cable into.
    pcrecord likes this.
  11. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Hi Bos, actually, due to having the Orion 32 going MADI to the RME HDSPe card, I went with each Pre going out 8 TRS to DB25 in on the Orion 32 for now. I will change one lot to go to patchbay shortly, realised I needed more control that direction. So, Octopres currently into Orion32 then MADI out to RME, RME is providing clock via MADI to the Orion currently. RME goes back via MADI into Orion and out to the DM S ST.

    Oh yes, and those Octorpres are MK2 dynamics, and have WC in and OUT, sorry... it's early still.. was stressed up at 3am..


  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If you are taking analog outs from the two Octopres, their digital capabilities are not being used, so no clocking concerns arise.
  13. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    That's what I figured, had to make sure I wasn't being my usual blonde twit self about something.. LOL.

    Thank you sir :) appreciate the confirmation.
  14. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Greetings all. Progress report. For those that missed it, I got the DBX Quantum upgraded, nice new M/S control amongst that change. I also tuned the Event Opals, not as great of a result as I hoped. For that issue, I am tuning the room with the multiband EQ to settle the peaks and valleys as close to a flat line response as practical.

    I have a new issue I need to tackle as I am at the final stages of wiring up for a working rig. You will note from the previous posting I am sorted out as far as preamps and feeding my various monitoring feeds. I am now at the summing point. This I feel is the only problem facing me that I feel a solution, may or may not, be already in my hands still. Keeping in mind Bos's reminder to me of the need only for clocking under digital needs. I have the MOTU Traveller MK3 sitting around, I found it to be a powerful and clean unit when it was all I had some time ago.

    So, here comes the question, if I was to feed 2 lots of ADAT off the Orion 32 at 44.1 giving me 8 pairs of stereo (motu getting clock either passed from the Orion, or WC off the RME HDSPe card), does anyone see that as a severe come down in quality when I then AES/EBU that to the DBX and onwards to the Dangerous Music Monitor ST. Will the Orion 32 pass the clock through it is using from the RME, or, will I have to use the WC out of the RME?.

    Currently I have no way to send a set of stems out as needed for the system I am aspiring to, and money is definitely not being thrown at that anytime soon.


  15. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    World clock can be safely past down via ADAT or SPDIF if you have 2 units.
    If you enter a third one in the equation, you would need to use WC cables to link them all.
    I see no problem using the Traveller MK3 preamps and send the signal through ADAT if you need the extra preamps to complement the Octopre.

    I'm a bit curious as how you end up with that buying order. The Orion is such good converter that, my side purchase to it would be high quality preamps before thinking of summing and Dangerous Monitor ST and certainly before trying to glue other units like the Traveller.

    Why not doing a garage sail and of anything lower grade and buy a nice set of preamps like the MP32 or some ISA828 or others..

    Just my two cents ;)
  16. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Hi Marco, thanks for the answer,

    I actually have more than enough preamps (for mics). The 2 Octopre Mk2 dynamics work well. Also I have the RC-500 Presonus and some Tc-helicon stuff. The Orion 32 is feeding, and being fed by the RME HDSPe card on MADI, they are then feeding the Dangerous Monitor ST x 2 with one path going out to the DBX Quantum EQ and the Eventide and into the Dangerous. That takes care of a "Mastering" type chain and a straight (no stems) feed off the DAW. I would prefer a stem feed, and that is why I am looking at the MOTU to handle that on ADAT NOT into the preamps, and then mix that down and out to the Dangerous. Make more sense?.

  17. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'll cover the clocking point first. Clocking in this type of multi-box system serves two functions: (a) it specifies the exact times at which conversions between the analog and digital domains should happen (in both directions), and (b) it gives some timing information about the digital transfers between equipment. The precise timing of the conversion instants specified by (a) is an important factor in the quality of the audio. I have left (b) much more vague than (a) in that, within about half a sample interval, it makes no difference to the quality of the audio when these digital transfers happen. This means that purely digital transfers via protocols such as ADAT lightpipe or AES/EBU can either carry their own clock or be externally clocked by a system master clock and, as long as synchronism is maintained, there will be no data corruption or loss. What you should be careful of is clocking an A-D or D-A converter from the recovered clock of an incoming data stream, as this is likely to give considerably more jitter than an external wordclock delivered by BNC cable. If the Orion is capable of acting as a high-quality master clock, it makes sense to use that throughout your system, either by BNC cable to the boxes that perform domain crossings or else by embedded clocks to boxes that you are using purely in the digital domain.

    I can't quite grasp your intended setup from your description. You aim to take 8 stereo pairs (16 channels via ADAT) out of the Orion32 into the MOTU Traveller, and then how does it get down to a single stereo AES/EBU pair to feed the DBX Quantum? Are you envisaging purely digital mixing paths at this stage of your upgrade, or do you already have an analog box of some sort in the process that I have missed?
  18. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Heya Bos, my head just exploded LOL. Anyway,

    The MOTU has a mixer, and the on the back options include AES/EBU out, and the mixer allows you to choose outputs for the submix, from memory :).

    Keep in mind the actual DAW is interfaced to the RME HDSPe card on MADI. The RME is clocking for the Orion. So, with that in mind all preamps come into the Orion, out to the RME and outputs come back into the Orion and out to the Dangerous. So, if I am getting all channels into the Orion from the RME, I can send some of that out via ADAT. The AES/EBU in would then get sent out as analog out of the DBX Quantum, it has a high quality AD/DA converter, correct?.

    Many thanks :)

    P.S I warned you I can be more dangerous than knowledgeable.

  19. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    That's two "Dangerous" in one post. Could be dangerous.

    Thanks, I get the picture now. I was only seeing part of it before.
  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I had an octopre for a month and sold it, fair preamps for the price but no highend.

    The motu has a mixer ; so the orion with higher quality converters. You could use the spdif in/out between the Orion and the Quantum, don't you ??

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