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Recording Live....with ADAT!

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by CircuitRider, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    So I recently purchased a used ADAT that I was assured is in working condition. I got a great deal on it, so no biggie if it craps out in a year or so. My plan is to use it to record my band's live performances. I've got an ADAT snake with 8 ins and 8 outs (1/4 '). I'm hoping to be able to put the in plugs one click into the insert jacks on our mixer (Mackie CFX12), although I may put all of the drums to one sub so I have enough tracks. My question is - will this work, or am I about to spend alot of time and energy on a flawed plan?

    Also, does anyone know where to get decently-priced s-vhs tapes?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    That's a tedious and flawed plan.

    The problem is that you'll have to put the insert all the way in on most boards. Just putting the insert in half-way will break the circuit on most boards. You'll need the return path to get the signal back into the signal chain of the board. Then set the ADAT up with BOTH in/out monitoring. The tedious part is remembering to switch monitoring when you roll tape.

    If you want to break it down into individual songs, it get's to be a PITA unless you've got a BRC to mark every song.

    I would suggest you get 8 splitter boxes (single channel), 4 doubles or 1 8way. (The 8 singles are the easiest approach IMHO.)

    The splitter will make it 100 times easier to connect and you don't have to worry about the monitoring switch over.


  3. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member


    What your wanting to do will work, but 8 tracks will be hard to get the right mix you need for a live proformance. I usally use 7 to 8 mic's just for the drums. You could get by with 3 mic's(2 overheads and a kick) But thats where alot of work on mic placement comes into play. Plus i like to have aleast 2 room mic's. (crowd noise) Great for that real sound of a live proformance. And remember this on your live recordings, don't worry about mic bleed that much. Your tring to capture a live proformance. Not just one person.

    I used to use adat's long time ago, but now they just collect dust.
    I use a daw for live recordings. It's so eazy to edit with software, I hate to think about going back to the days of adat. To much work.

    The mixer your asking about. The inserts will work, half way in(one click) splits the signal before the channel strip right after the pre. That is what you want because you get the dry sigal before the FOH .

    I don't like the CFX version of the mackie board. Get one of the VLZPro versions. The pre's are better. Or better yet, get the Onxy, these pre's and the eq are good. Thats what i use for live recording. But i don't use there firewire connection. Just the inserts.


    P.S. I like the name CircuitRider...........
    (Some people don't know what it is)
    A band i did some work with had a song called CircuitRider
    awhile back, Ride On, spread the word!!!!!!
  4. omegaarts

    omegaarts Member

    Remember to have a way to monitor the ADAT because you'll have a negative image of what you hear in the room on tape.
  5. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    Thanks guys. I know it's not the ideal way to get the best recording, but I'm really looking for a way to leave my DAW at home. I can transfer to my PC via lightpipe to the FW-1884 when I get home and not have to worry about a stray beer ending up in my laptop while I'm playing on stage.

    At any rate, I got the ADAT and can't even get the record button to engage. Go figure. The guy I bought it from has been really helpful so far, so hopefully he'll work with me until I get something going.

    Scoobie, we actually mix the drum kit on stage. We have a 7-piece drum mic kit that goes into a small mixer next to the drums. Then a stereo signal is sent to the main mix. (The drummer also uses the mixer for a headphone mix of a couple of other things). The same goes for the keyboard mix. It's definitely not the best system, but it's what we've got for the time being, and we've had decent results thus far.

    Thanks for the replied and I'll let you know know if anyhting turns out.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Risky doing that live without the proper wired cables. Try the Hosa DOC106 adapters http://www.musiciansbuy.com/hosa_doc_16_doc106.html
  7. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    Well, I got everything working. With a 1/4' plugged in to one click, it sends a pre-fader signal to the ADAT and still allows the signal through to the mixer. I just got an ADAT snake that runs a balanced signal, so hopefully that will be compatible with the insert/dir out system I've got going here. If not, I can still deal with 8 patch cables.

    I'm pretty excited to see it in action. It's really just a very inexpensive experiment. I never had the opportunity to get into the whole ADAT thing and it will be cool to give it a shot before they completely disappear. If it really works out that great, I'll get the band to spring for a decent HD multi-track when we graduate to a new mixer. :wink:
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    My bad... (DOH!)

    There are some boards that you will interrupt the signal path at "one click"... not most...

    Sometimes I end up over thinking things... or as in this case... double thunked it. The "one click" will likely get a bit old and tedious as the points on the female connector are going to spread with use. Gravity will end up being the culprit that pulls the arms in the connector open.

    Your connections might last a year or so, but they will at some point get kinda' loose and kinda' scratchy. That's why I'd recommend using the full insert and either using the shorted line that Boswell recommended, make your own, or use the monitoring return from the ADAT.

    Sorry about any confusion (probably ain't any, but oughta' say it anyway!)

  9. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    Yeah, hopefully by then we'll be getting into a new mixer. Either way, I don't want to wear out the inserts. If I could get those connectors that Boswell was talking about with an angle plug, I'd get them now. Maybe I can build my own (or find someone that can solder without burning holes in my carpet like I will). My mixer is in our rack (on top), so I could wire semi-permanently and not worry about input-wear.
  10. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Here's the 90 degree (right angle) Switchcraft Part No:
    236 3-conductor 1/4 inch right-angle commercial plug (12B, 13B, 112B, 113B) Radio Trash usually has em'.

    They're fairly easy to build...

    Connect the RCA at one end with 2 conductor. At the other end, short the tip and ring - connect the 2 conductor to the jumper and sleeve (Always connect shield to sleeve on any audio cable) Sorry, don't mean to insult your intelligence.

    They should only take about an hour to slobber up 8 of em' from start to finish. BTW, if nothing else, build em' on a 24"x24" piece of luan plywood from your local building center... They usually call em' something like a "Ready Cut" or "Project Cut" board if you don't have any of that stuff on hand. (Saves an ass chewin' from the Mrs from burning holes in stuff!!!)

    Not that I've ever done that either mind you.... Uhhhhh, well... that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! :lol:

  11. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    I 'll probably draw up a scematic and throw it up here before I start melting stuff if you wouldn't mind taking a glance. I'll be building adapters with female 1/4' on one end (to attach to the ends of the snake and angled males on the other ends to put into the inserts.

    Hopefully I can make it to RadioShack early next week. I really appreciate the help.

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