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Studio patching routing & syncing. Suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Recording' started by autocombustione, May 2, 2009.

  1. autocombustione

    autocombustione Active Member

    Hi guys!
    I'm Stefano, writing from Rome, Italy, (sorry for my bad English).
    I've tried to find the solution to my questions in older posts but i couldn't find any, so i'm writing to see if anyone could eventually help me.

    After 2 year of struggling (as a studio assistant, watching other's work, bringing coffee etc)
    i've eventually found a job as a recording - mixing engineer in a small recording studio here in Rome. (Good!)

    The Studio owner has two facilities:
    Studio "A" with protools, a big amek console and various quality outboard;
    Studio "B" which he wants me to set up ex novo with unused racks from Studio A.

    Here the instruments in question:

    mac g4 933 mhz (PPC)
    pci rme hdsp madi (64 ch optical - coaxial i\o)
    ext rme adi 648 (format converter madi - adat coax - opt i\o)
    motu 2408 (8 analog i\o; 24 optical i\o; without pci card)
    alesis hd 24 (24 analog & digital i\o)
    TLA 5001 pre-amp
    ext multi effect
    L2 maximizer
    Yamaha 01V( 16 analog ins \ 4 analog outs; 8 digital i\o).

    I would like to be able to record instruments separated but at least 9-12 tracks together per time (for example a full drum kit miced) and to mix on the 01V taking full advantage of its mixing and routing "capabilities";
    I would also like to be able to mix 24 track making use of its 16 analog inputs and 8 digital inputs, as returns from the computer.

    Here is the question finally!
    Wil this be possible with the instruments he has given to me?
    It seems to me that i have a lot of digital i\o and really few or NO analog...could i use the Alesis in some way?
    Which one of these should i set to be wordclock master?
    (perhaps adi should be set as master going to rme hdsp to everything else?)
    Could someone help me with the signal routing?
    I've always worked with simpler material so i'm quite lost with digital i\o routing.

    Thanks a lot for the patience, and sorry for being unclear (if i've been unclear) :)
    Hope to hear a feedback from you guys soon;
    while i'll be waiting let me say that this forum is a really great resource, and i really like it.

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Is the Yamaha the original 01V or the newer 01V96? If it's the original 01V, put it back in the cupboard and don't try to incorporate it into this studio set-up. If it's the 01V96, then you could consider using it as the mix station, but this is a case where I think mixing in the computer is the way to go.

    You have to choose how to record the raw tracks. You could either use the HD24 or you could record into the Mac. Because this is essentially studio usage with lots of tracking and overdubs expected, computer recording will work out to be more flexible than the HD24. HD24s are more reliable than computers for live recording, where you only get one shot at it.

    Using the RME interfaces, it should be possible to put together a reasonable basic studio setup based on the Mac running Logic. I don't know whether Logic will support concurrent I/O from different manufacturers' interfaces, so it may not be possible to use the Motu interfaced directly to the Mac as well as the RME gear. However, you could configure the Motu 2408 as analog in to ADAT out, and route it through the RME ADAT ins to give you the extra input channels.

    One big thing about setting up a studio like this is monitoring. You need to think about control room monitoring and performer headphone monitoring right from the start and build it in to your plans. Monitoring will require more equipment than what you have listed.
  3. autocombustione

    autocombustione Active Member

    Hi Boswell, thanks a lot for taking the time to help me with my problem.
    The Yamaha is the original 01V, i think, but i could check friday to be sure.
    Being this the case you suggest me not to use it, if i understand well...
    (as also some friends of mine told me to do)

    By now i've managed to "do" something, especially about return routing from the mac, maybe wrong or basical that i'll try to write down here, to see if a better way exists :) :

    My target was, and still is, to be able to record (separately)
    and mix a "standard" rock band: drum, bass, 2gtrs, vox.
    With the instruments i have i think i could go for a 10 input and 24 output scenario.

    I'm taking a coaxial cable out of the Rme madi pci and going to the Rme Adi 648 format converter coaxial IN so i can have up to 64 ch of audio converted. (the Adi has also 8 input and output ports on optical outs).
    From the Adi 648 i run 2 optical cables from its outputs and these go to the Alesis HD24 optical input; thanks to internal routing, i'm taking these signals from its 16 analog out which end in the yamaha as mixing returns from the mac.
    In addition i've patched adat out port 3 (on the Adi 648) directly to yamaha digital in, to be able to have 24 tracks on the yamaha.

    About the input I tought i could route 8 channels coming from the pre(s) to
    the yamaha 1-8 channels, internally route them to digital out port and eventually connect this cable directly to Adi 648 adat input port "X".

    And, yes, being this the final set up, i could repatch "something" from time to time if i'm tracking or if i'me mixing...

    Ch 1-8 to patch from time to time, analog
    Ch 9-16 fixed, analog
    Ch17-24 fixed, digital

    While recording i Should monitor 2 track from the mac(click and submix for the player) and the inputs even though i'm used to know that you should monitor in realtime what's coming back from "tape" (as ProToolers can do, or old tape recorders), if i'm not going wrong (even here).

    A last word about wordclock.
    Wordclock by now is set:
    Rme Adi 648 master,
    Rme Adi 648 wc out going to Alesis HD24 input
    Rme pci madi card NON WORDCLOCKED...
    Yamaha 01V taking the clock from the adat port (???)
    everything's working by now, but i still hear a very little glitch somewhere in the system...do i miss something?
    Do i need to connect the wordclock cable even in the pci card?

    Hope to hear a feedback from you, and\or from other users,
    to see if something else could work better.
    Thaks a lot, regards.

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member


    You seem to have got it set up reasonably well. The replay/mixdown setup is probably as good as you are going to get it with the gear that you have.

    For recording, if it were up to me, I would try to avoid using the pre-amps in the 01V. Instead, I would connect the external pre-amp outputs to the HD24 analog inputs and use the HD24 analog/digital mode switch for channels 1-8 to select the analog inputs during recording and the ADAT inputs for replay/mixdown. This will get you the cleanest recorded tracks.

    As for wordclock, the Madi should be self-clocking, but you could try running BNC wordclock into the PCI card and select "wordclock in" rather than "Madi in" in the "pref sync ref" section of the control panel to see if that cures your occasional glitch problem.
  5. autocombustione

    autocombustione Active Member

    Hi Boswell, thanks for your kind help.
    Next week i will try to use in rec mode the external pre amp connected to the Alesis Hd24 as you suggested me;
    but i don't know how the things will go about the monitoring question if i go directly in the Alesis...
    Are the converters the problem in the 01V or the pre-amp section?
    Or maybe both? (Argh!)
    Thanks a lot for your replies.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you have the HD24XR or the EC2 upgrade for the HD24 then the converters are quite good. If you are going into the Alesis via optical then the AD conversion has already happened. You can go direct into the Alesis from the preamps and then use either the digital optical or the analog trs to go into the 01v for monitoring.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You haven't confirmed that it's the original 01V, but if it is, both the pre-amps and the converters are poor by today's standards. By-passing these by using external pre-amps driving the analog inputs of an HD24(XR) and taking the digitized outputs via ADAT lightpipe into the 01V will give you a huge improvement in the quality of the converted sound.
  8. autocombustione

    autocombustione Active Member

    Thanks Boswell you're right i haven't confirmed
    but i'll do it now...yes it's the Original 01V.
    You're giving me a really bad news about the Yamaha.
    Being this the scenario I think i will go for your's and JackAttack's suggestion.

    Thanks a lot.

    Two last things...
    I have bought a Focusrite Liquid saffire 56, for my own use,
    (i have a rock\metal band and we play live computer synths)
    and finally it is arriving...could it be useful in my Studio setup?

    How do you judge the performance of the Tascam DM-4800
    in a small studio setup like the one i've been talking about?

    Thanks a Lot to you both.

  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 looks a lovely unit. I would say it's more a studio item than for gigging with a rock band, but there you go.

    The Tascam DM-4800 is a nice console, certainly better than the original Yamaha 01V. I have had some issues with Tascam reliability, but I know that several RO members have used the 4800 successfully for high-profile recordings.
  10. autocombustione

    autocombustione Active Member

    Thanks a lot Boswell your help has been really usefull.
    I know we're going slightly off topic, but i am curious
    to know more of what you think of the Liquid Saffire 56.
    What would you fear gigging with it?
    I've bought it because of their famous pre-amps, clocks and drivers
    stability on both mac and pcs...
    i'm currently testing it and it seems a complex
    but beautiful piece of technology
    but you've quite frightened me... :-O

    Have a nice evening!

  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I've looked carefully at the Liquid Saffire 56, but I've never used one. It looks a really nice unit, but I was a little concerned about a complex piece of gear like that standing up to the rigours of band gigging. However, if you mount it well by supporting it front and rear in an SKB case or similar, it should be OK.

    Keep us in touch with how it sounds!

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