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Quadraphonic recording and mix

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ZenMusic, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. ZenMusic

    ZenMusic Active Member

    I once was a professional (mostly classical music) sound engineer, musican, composer. Now I'm returning to music ... electronic music composition.. I have a large (mostly) Buchla synthesizer system which has quadraphonic mixing (front-left, front-right, rear-left, rear-right ) with full panning ablitity, reverb etc.. (why doen't my "Enter" key work here?) ... My question is I need recommendations on how to record in quad with the intent of mixing down to DVD (quad) and CD (I think it must be 5.1 that will best reproduce the quad intent). I have Sonar Production X2 and Pro Tools (haven't used yet) ... and 6 good Windows or Linux PCs .... I think what I need is 4 channel ADC (Burl?) .. then I'll also need DAC for playback? Most recording inputs will come from synthesizers , some from instruments ... I only currently have a Echo Gina audio card .. but will purchase whatever I need.. The goal is to be able to master CD/DVD (for sound only) .. myself .. or to record the 4 discrete tracks .. and then take it to a studio for final mix down if that is best.... sorry for the single paragraph,, my Enter key doesn't seem to work on this forum.
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    5.1 will require more than 4 channels, Zen, if your intent is to mix with true 5.1, and while you have the "classic" quad out configuration on your synths, what you're missing is the "center" channel - as well as the ".1" for the sub.... And, as you know, a normal CD/CD player won't encode/decode quad - it's a stereo medium.

    Now, with pre-planned panning, ( say that 5 times fast, LOL) you could add audio to your center "position", but it wouldn't be a discreet center channel, at least not in relation to a true 5.1 encode/decode process/mix.

    As far as multi channel audio I/O's, pre amps and converters... your choices are many. Do you have an idea of what you are looking at spending, along with some details as to the main computer you'll use for production?
    ( processor speed, RAM, USB, Firewire, etc.)
     
  3. ZenMusic

    ZenMusic Active Member

    thanks .. I understand ... is there a book that covers this type of recording technologies ?


    >>>>As far as multi channel audio I/O's, pre amps and converters... your choices are many. Do you have an idea of what you are looking at spending, along with some details as to the main computer you'll use for production?( processor speed, RAM, USB, Firewire, etc.)[/QUOTE]

    I'm a professional programmer/database consultant.. so I have a house full of new Windows, Windows Server and Linux server boxes (PowerEdge T420's , PC's XPS9000 with 12 MG, USB, Firewire card, upgraded CPU and Video .. but I would like to buy a Mac or new Laptop PC for portability and would take recommendations for that)

    As far as mix/ADC etc. I could invest $5K maybe up to $10K ... or put some of that toward studio time if that is better..

    your post is very helpful, pointing out what I need to research
    my very first goal is to get recordable / mixable quad sound so I can compose the electronic music / Buchla system <<<<< I (think I correctly) understand that I can record that (quad) to a DVD.
    ..

    my 2nd goal is to be able to create a 5.1 surround version .. this could be rerecording a 2nd step if it's all too much to get into place in the next 6-8 weeks ... the first goal has some concert dates as deadlines in September ... if it is greatly more efficient, I'll try to get it all setup now... THANKS!
     
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I find this sentence unsettling for personal reasons.

    Sonar Producer X2 will do 5.1 out of the box. Pro Tools will only do 5.1 with Complete Production Tool Kit or if it is Pro Tools HD.

    With Pro Tools, the only good PC is one that they recommend and sometimes even that isn't good enough. Neither of your DAWs will support Linux.

    As far as ADC, check with the Admin here(audiokid). He sometimes has gear which he would like to sell. He has high standards so, pretty much all of his gear is very good quality.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    As the others have pointed out, you need to distinguish between recording/playback of the 4 channels originating from your Buchla synthesizer and generating a surround-sound mix in a recognized format.

    The 4-channel record/replay can be done through something like an RME UCX FireWire interface box, which will easily cope with 4 line inputs and 4 (or 6) line outputs, and is probably as good quality as you need for digitizing synthesizer outputs. There are other units available at higher prices, but it's diminishing returns when the source format is a synthesized output.

    Once you have a way of getting the 4 tracks into your computer, you can consider which DAW to use to mix down to an appropriate surround sound format. Note that surround sound mixing needs monitors and a subwoofer set up in the target format. The UCX can be used for 5.1 mixing when coupled either with suitable powered monitors or with unpowered monitors and separate power amps.
     
  6. ZenMusic

    ZenMusic Active Member

    then I'd buy a new PC or Mac for the synth/recording ... dedicated system would be much cleaner to start ...I may eventually need both , I may develop software for both systems. thanks
     
  7. ZenMusic

    ZenMusic Active Member

    .. thanks. now I understand ... I'm focused now on the 4-channel recording mixing ... and understand that 5.1 is what I'll generate for the CD ... I'd thought that once I achieved the quad mix .. that the 5.1 would just setting up to capture that in 5.1 .. now I understand that I've have to mix the 5.1 myself ... it would not be auto-magically created...

    >>you can consider which DAW to use to mix down to an appropriate surround sound format. Note that surround sound mixing needs monitors and a subwoofer set up in the target format. The UCX can be used for 5.1 mixing when coupled either with suitable powered monitors or with unpowered monitors and separate power amps.
    I've fortunately .. (and totally coincidently ) been contacted by a former student .. who is now a pro audio engineer and Emery award winner .. and I'm going to visit his studio for a crash-course and advice ...thanks
     
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You might want to check ebay. There's at least one seller who sometimes has full Mac Pro systems with an HD system installed. Usually with Pro Tools 10HD. You might still need to get one of their interfaces or an interface that will work with an HD card. Apogee and Lynx have option I believe.

    Avid Digidesign Pro Tools HD1 PCIe 96 MacPro Quadcore Production Ready | eBay
    Pro Tools HD1 G5 96 I 0 Turnkey | eBay

    Keep in mind that these are HD systems and are obsolete as of the release of Pro Tools 11 which is imminent.
     

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