1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

OK, here goes a Digi 001 related question...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by SoFine, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. SoFine

    SoFine Guest

    Hi guys,

    I was on this forum a good while back for a few posts but have sauntered away. I share the same sentiments regarding the jading of the DUC and I really like the new face and body of RO. Anyway, here's the Q...

    I have a Digi001 for PC, guitar / bass with POD 2, a few outboard FX, 4 midi sound modules (Sampler, Roland XV3080, Groovebox, SR16, Sherman Filter Bank) through a Midisport 8x8 USB midi interface. I also have a Spirit Folio SX 20:4:2 mixing desk.

    At the moment I only use the desk to use separate monitors than those I have connected to the Digi001. I am aware that I could wire nearly ALL my equipment on a permanent basis through my desk rather than into the Digi001 - which usually requires a bit of re-wiring, re-levelling etc.

    So, which is a better method for recording - if you monitor at the desk you will avoid any latency, but a crappy method for mixing, coz the desk will increase latency??? I am a bit confused as to how to get the most out of my desk.

    I'm one of these mutants who tends to understand complex concepts and struggle with the easy basiscs!

    Thanks for any responses,

    Simon :)
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    I'm having a hard time understanding how the desk will introduce any latency on mixdown. Could you go into some detail about your mix setup?
     
  3. SoFine

    SoFine Guest

    Hey Angelo,

    Sorry 4 the confusion.

    I guess what I really am asking is how I could use my mixer to better effect from a patching / recording / mixing point of view. I usually have to rewire the digi I/O a couple of times during each session when I have 20 empty channels of analog mixing desk staring me in the face just daring me to use it. The only use for my mixing desk at the moment is that when I have completed my mix, I simply route my finished mix out of the digi into the mixing desk, where I have 2 different speakers connected, just to hear the mix from different monitors.

    I suppose that the functionality of the PT mixing environment is more powerful than my mixing desk so maybe it's not worth the effort.

    I had heard through various forums that sending your recording signal (e.g. guitar) through a mixing desk before it reaches the digi, and also monitoring from the mixing desk rather than the digi, will eliminate any digital recording-associated latency. Is this true? This has sort of confused me. I think I read this in the DUC.

    BTW, I don't really have a requirement to record more than one instrument at a time.

    I hope I'm making sense!?

    Any suggestions welcome,

    Simon :)
     
  4. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by SoFine:
    I guess what I really am asking is how I could use my mixer to better effect from a patching / recording / mixing point of view. I usually have to rewire the digi I/O a couple of times during each session when I have 20 empty channels of analog mixing desk staring me in the face just daring me to use it.

    Ok, I see what you're getting at now. Sure, it might cut down your setup time to do things this way. You might even prefer the sound of the mix itself coming off the spirit as opposed to the internal mixing of PT. Good, and gooder! :)

    I suppose that the functionality of the PT mixing environment is more powerful than my mixing desk so maybe it's not worth the effort.

    If you prefer to keep everything in PT, a patchbay would help cut down your setup time and aggravation. Unfortunately, it can get expensive. But you might appreciate how much faster and easier routing becomes enough to justify the cost. You won't think twice about plugging a widget in because you have to deal with rack-spaghetti, you'll just plug it in at the bay and keep your creative flow going.

    When you do a patchbay, if you leave anything out, you'll end up changing patches at the mixer, 001, or gear, thus defeating the purpose for having a patchbay in the first place. So you always want to have more points available than the gear you have. And if you're like most gear whores around the world, you will be buying more gear in the future. Better to have too many open points than not enough. For all your mixer i/o's, 001, outboard stuff, etc., you might need a couple 96 pt bays, or several 48 pt bays if you want to go 1/4".

    I had heard through various forums that sending your recording signal (e.g. guitar) through a mixing desk before it reaches the digi, and also monitoring from the mixing desk rather than the digi, will eliminate any digital recording-associated latency. Is this true? This has sort of confused me. I think I read this in the DUC.

    I guess a quick explaination on latency is in order here.

    When you put a track into record on any given recording system, the signal is routed one of two ways.

    1. Direct signal, as soon as it goes into the recorder, is fed as straight as possible back to the outputs. This is sometimes referred to as "sync" monitoring.
    2. Signal goes through the recording apparatus (and mixing algorithms in this case) so what you are hearing is exactly the same signal as when you playback. This is sometimes referred to as "record" or "confidence" monitoring.

    Many DAW's do not give you the option of a sync monitor mode. Instead, they force you to listen to the signal after it has been converted from analog to digital, any processing you have inserted on the track, mixed internally, and finally converted from digital back to analog. This round trip could take a couple hundred milliseconds (or hours, depending on your frame of reference), and the person attempting to perform along with the song may find it difficult to approximate where the beat is supposed to be such a long time before it actually happens. (Hours, milliseconds, it doesn't matter if it prevents you from getting a decent performance. Right?) This delay is referred to as "latency".

    The amount of latency will vary from system to system, depending on your a/d and d/a converters, processing speed, number of tracks, cheezy programming, etc. Systems which use their own boxes to do the processing generally fare much better than those that put all the weight on the CPU (host based). Some host based systems keep their latency down to a managable amount by limiting the functions of the program. Such as the 001, where you are limited to 24 tracks when the program could easily have been written to support 100 or more tracks.

    One way to bypass latency altogether is to monitor off an external source, before it reaches the first a/d converter. This way of working comes with a couple caveats.

    First, every performance you record will be late by the same number of milliseconds as the system's total latency, and the track will need to be shifted earlier by that amount before playback in order to match with the rest of the song. Since you are monitoring only the signal before it reaches the DAW and not the recorded track, your ability to punch in will be inconvenced if not completely impaired. Systems that have a sync monitor function built in usually compensate for this by shifting the start time of the recorded audio automatically after each take, making punching possible but sometimes with a delayed response to the in and out punching actions.

    Second, if there is a problem with the sound between the output of the external device and the record track, you won't find out about it until you play back the take. The possible problems include but are not limited to input clipping, digital sync issues, incorrect patching, and incorrect routing inside the DAW. Imagine getting the perfect lead vocal take all the way down the track, and finding on playback that it is distorted, has pops, doesn't exist, or is combined with the snare drum. Don't you hate when that happens?


    I hope that helps you understand latency a little better, and to decide which method will work best for you.


    Cheers.
     
  5. SoFine

    SoFine Guest

    Angelo,

    You are a star. Thanks for taking the time to explain. I suppose what I could do is use my mixer as a patch bay of sorts while remaining aware of the issues you pointed out. There's quite a few ways to skin a cat and I have the luxury of being able to make mistakes and experiment as my setup is for me alone - another bedroom studio setup.

    I'll try to repatch my setup through my mixer and see how operations go from there. If things don't really improve I might look at a patch bay. I could cover the cost of this by selling my mixing desk - which would then be almost redundant for my needs.

    Thanks again,

    Simon :)
     
  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Cool :)

    Let us know how it works for you.
     

Share This Page