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Zed R16 & RME UFX

Im in the process of setting up a home recording/mixing studio, but being kind of stuck at the moment.
I have been using an A&H Zed R16 for some time, but just recently bought the RME UFX interface.

So question 1 is : Since both these units are functioning as firewire audio interfaces, should i sell the Zed R16 or can these interfaces be combined in a nice way and fulfill eachother ?

I have a lot of stuff going on with synths, sequencer and effects etc and often play "live" and record all tracks to a daw. But i would also like to route the daw outputs back into my mixer when mixing the recorded tracks.

So question 2 is : How can i set up my mixer both as a front and back end to my interface ?

Comments

Boswell Fri, 03/20/2015 - 04:06

You should not be looking at one fixed setup. The interconnection of equipment such as this will almost certainly need to vary from project to project. Unless you have a couple of universal patchbays, it probably means you should be re-cabling for each project, carefully documenting what you had plugged into where.

As it happens, I use a Zed-R16 in conjunction with an RME FireFace 800 for a lot of my projects, and no two projects have the same set of interconnections. The FF800 (like the UFX) has a comprehensive internal routing matrix, and this can serve as a patchbay for most of the interconnects, with the advantage of being able to store and recall the patch configuration on your computer.

The Zed-R16 and UFX should be connected to separate FireWire ports on your computer. If you don't already have one, I would get a FireWire PCIe card that uses the TI chipset and has at least two external FireWire connectors. As an example, the Lycom PE-101 card is a suitable low-cost board for FW400, and there are probably similar FW800 boards if you want to use the UFX at 800MHz. However, in this case you would have to use an in-line converter to connect to the Zed-R16 at 400MHz.

Do you have other devices that you need to use with ADAT lightpipe connection? Since both the Zed-R16 and the UFX have two ADAT lightpipe ports in each direction, it's likely that you would want to connect the two devices with 4 lightpipes to give you the flexibility of routing at analog or digital levels. For example, I frequently connect a Lexicon reverb unit via S/PDIF to the S/PDIF ports on the FF800, and then can route these to Zed-R16 channels via ADAT as required.

For outboard mixing from tracks already on a DAW, you can use the Zed-R16's FireWire connection to replay into the internal DACs. However, for the 2-bus mix, I prefer to come out of the Zed-R16 main analog outputs and digitise them separately, either into a pair of channels on the FF800 or on a couple of tracks of an Alesis HD24XR. This is because (in my opinion) the 2-bus ADCs on the Zed-R16 are not quite up to the standard of the rest of the board, and I get better results by external conversion. In addition, since my source tracks are already 96KHz, I like to make simultaneous captures at 96KHz and 44.1KHz.

The Zed-R16 is annoyingly limited in relation to the number of combinations of how the ADAT and FireWire routing can be set up, especially as its ADAT does not support S/MUX and hence is confined to use at standard rates. This means that for higher-rate recordings, I have to mix from analog inputs, sourced from the HD24XRs. It's a bit of an irony to use one of the best digitally-equipped analog boards in the price range solely as analog in - analog out, but it's worth it as the analog sound is glorious.

If you were to give some examples of your recording and mixing projects (number of channels, use of external effects, compression etc), we could probably be a bit more specific about recommendations for interconnecting the gear.

pcrecord Sat, 03/21/2015 - 08:05

I've looked around a bit and under 3k I haven't found a single mixer that has ADAT ports like the Zed.
Most digital mixers have DAW connectivity but I don't know why they don't offer expension capability to grow them into a recording studio.
The only alternative with most mixer at that price is to use a converter unit like the orion 32 and send the direct outs of the mixer to it.

So Boswell gave you a nice plan, keep both unit and make some music ! ;)

Earthless Sat, 03/21/2015 - 17:34

Boswell, post: 426553, member: 29034 wrote: You should not be looking at one fixed setup. The interconnection of equipment such as this will almost certainly need to vary from project to project. Unless you have a couple of universal patchbays, it probably means you should be re-cabling for each project, carefully documenting what you had plugged into where.

As it happens, I use a Zed-R16 in conjunction with an RME FireFace 800 for a lot of my projects, and no two projects have the same set of interconnections. The FF800 (like the UFX) has a comprehensive internal routing matrix, and this can serve as a patchbay for most of the interconnects, with the advantage of being able to store and recall the patch configuration on your computer.

The Zed-R16 and UFX should be connected to separate FireWire ports on your computer. If you don't already have one, I would get a FireWire PCIe card that uses the TI chipset and has at least two external FireWire connectors. As an example, the Lycom PE-101 card is a suitable low-cost board for FW400, and there are probably similar FW800 boards if you want to use the UFX at 800MHz. However, in this case you would have to use an in-line converter to connect to the Zed-R16 at 400MHz.

Do you have other devices that you need to use with ADAT lightpipe connection? Since both the Zed-R16 and the UFX have two ADAT lightpipe ports in each direction, it's likely that you would want to connect the two devices with 4 lightpipes to give you the flexibility of routing at analog or digital levels. For example, I frequently connect a Lexicon reverb unit via S/PDIF to the S/PDIF ports on the FF800, and then can route these to Zed-R16 channels via ADAT as required.

For outboard mixing from tracks already on a DAW, you can use the Zed-R16's FireWire connection to replay into the internal DACs. However, for the 2-bus mix, I prefer to come out of the Zed-R16 main analog outputs and digitise them separately, either into a pair of channels on the FF800 or on a couple of tracks of an Alesis HD24XR. This is because (in my opinion) the 2-bus ADCs on the Zed-R16 are not quite up to the standard of the rest of the board, and I get better results by external conversion. In addition, since my source tracks are already 96KHz, I like to make simultaneous captures at 96KHz and 44.1KHz.

The Zed-R16 is annoyingly limited in relation to the number of combinations of how the ADAT and FireWire routing can be set up, especially as its ADAT does not support S/MUX and hence is confined to use at standard rates. This means that for higher-rate recordings, I have to mix from analog inputs, sourced from the HD24XRs. It's a bit of an irony to use one of the best digitally-equipped analog boards in the price range solely as analog in - analog out, but it's worth it as the analog sound is glorious.

If you were to give some examples of your recording and mixing projects (number of channels, use of external effects, compression etc), we could probably be a bit more specific about recommendations for interconnecting the gear.

Hi

And thanks for the respond. I already have a firewire pcie card installed in my computer, its got both the 6 pin and 9 pin connectors.
At the moment i use Pro Tools 11 as my main DAW.

In my setup i would like to:

1. Use connected effects and signal processors when tracking and/or recording multiple tracks "live".
Use (the same) connected effects and signal processors when mixing down to a stereo track from
the individual daw tracks, without having to recable all the time.

2. The secondary goal is to make use of the different synths and their external inputs so
i can send any chosen audio source to the inputs of the different synths to process external audio.

Right now im not able to think straight on how to hook things up. Sometimes i focus on the "frontend"
and the next moment im thinking about the "backend". Its kind of confusing at the moment.
As im thinking i have 3 options when it comes to connecting the outboard/effects:Send/return on
the R16, in/out of the UFX or use the behringer patchbay.I have no experience with a patchbay except
ive heard its nice to have one when interconnecting gear. At the same time im not sure if it gives me
any benefits, as totalmix seems pretty useful in that manner.

Connecting both interfaces via firewire would mean id have to choose between them one at a time
or i can use both at the same time ? Adat is something ive never used until now, just for
testing i did connect the adat out 1-8 from the R16 to the adat in on the UFX and it worked as expected,
i also took a cable back from the UFX 1-8 into the R16 in 1-8 just to see what happened. To be honest
i didnt know what to expect from the last connection, it made no difference, probably me not
tweaking the right buttons or maybe it didnt make any sense.

I have made a list with my gear so its easier to get an idea on whats going on. Cheers.

AMPS/INTERFACE:

RME UFX
ZED R16
AVID ELEVEN RACK
MESA BOOGIE STUDIO PRE
BEHRINGER PATCHBAY
EUPHONIX ARTIST MIX

INSTRUMENTS:

2 OKTAVA MICS ON ACOUSTIC RECORDINGS, PERCUSSION ETC
SYNTHESIZERS.COM MODULAR SYNTH
KORG MS20 mini
LOGAN STRING MELODY
ELEKTRON ANALOG 4
ELEKTRON OCTATRACK
MOOG SUB 37

EFFECTS:

MOOGERFOOGER MF103 x 2
GIBSON ECHOPLEX RACK DELAY/LOOPER
WARM AUDIO WA76 AMP LIMITER x 2 (STEREO)
BOSS DD20 PEDAL
BOSS SPACE ECHO PEDAL
BLACKOUT EFFECTORS WHETSTONE PEDAL
EVENTIDE H9 PEDAL

audiokid Sat, 03/21/2015 - 18:04

Earthless, post: 426592, member: 48963 wrote: 1. Use connected effects and signal processors when tracking and/or recording multiple tracks "live".
Use (the same) connected effects and signal processors when mixing down to a stereo track from
the individual daw tracks, without having to recable all the time.

I haven't read through this entire post but if I'm reading this paragraph correctly on what you are looking to do, I use an SSL X-Patch to connect an arsenal of outboard gear to my DAW without ever having to pull cable. I can use the same gear for recording, mixing and mastering and switch them all seamlessly on the fly. The SSL XPatch is only 8 channels so I bought a few of them for that purpose.
I also used a Dangerous Master to sum and switch 2-bus duties in this system. The Liaison would be another 2-bus switching system I might consider. Basically you are looking for routers that switch hardware around transparently. If they include software and Midi, its a bonus.

The point in my post, once you understand how to do this, and know you can, :) it opens up all sorts of ideas and economical ways to use a few really great products in more ways. I've learned how technology can save me a bunch of money while achieving absolute world standards in sound at a fraction of the cost of yesteryear.

Hope that helped a bit in your quest.

Boswell Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:38

Connecting the UFX and the Zed-R16 to your PC via two separate FireWire ports means that you can use the two devices concurrently and independently, software permitting. You could, for example, have TotalMix running for control and routing selection in your UFX while connecting the Zed-R16 as the I/O to your DAW.

I would caution you to be a little careful about using the effects in a DAW in real-time while mixing in analog, as there can be latency issues to consider. On the other hand, using a DAW as the source for the tracks to mix but routing some of the replays through DAW effects usually means that you can line up all the replay tracks so there is no relative latency.

You have an impressive list of instruments and effect units, but it would help a lot if you could add to your post short summaries of the main audio connection method of each of the pieces of gear. For example:
GIBSON ECHOPLEX RACK DELAY/LOOPER: (Unbalanced analog I/O)

Earthless Sun, 03/22/2015 - 16:18

Ok. I will try to collect the required information. Just give me some time and ill get back to it. Lots to think about :eek:
I dont want it to look like im showing off my gear here, its some nice stuff but its not all that, the impressive part is that i need
help to guide me on how i should connect it all :LOL:.

I would really like to hear some more details about the use of the 4 adat ports on the UFX and the R16 when connected together. What possibilities will this give me? And
how can i take advantage and have "control" over these ins and outs? For example when it comes to the adat in 1-8 on the R16, will these digital inputs then go to the faders 1-8 on the R16?

DonnyThompson Mon, 03/23/2015 - 00:49

I'm not sure that I would agree with #1 : the "tracking while using FX" part...

I guess I never could understand why people track that way - even back in the bad ol' days of tape, with limited track counts, tracking with printed effects was very rare, short of some rare exception, or maybe using some light gain reduction to reign in occasional transients.

Just my two cents here, but once you track that way, those effects are there for good, and as the song progresses, you might find that those FX aren't working as well as you initially thought they might.

If you track dry and clean, you can always add processing after the fact, and, if you decide you don't like something, you can always just simply bypass the effect, or, remove it... it's a non-destructive approach - as opposed to tracking a signal with processing on it, where it's now there permanently, whether you want it to be or not, and if you decide you don't like it, the only option you have is to completely re-track from square one... which can be dicey, because often, some performances are so good, kinda like catching lightning in a bottle, and the performer may not be able to reproduce that performance in the exact same way the next time around...

It's up to you, and just my own opinion of course.

Boswell Mon, 03/23/2015 - 03:48

Donny's right about not tracking with effects. I must have read your #1 paragraph too quickly and automatically assumed that you would be applying the effects only to the monitoring while tracking the dry signal.

Interconnecting the ADAT ports between the Zed-R16 and the Fireface UFX is a straightforward thing to do, but you must think carefully about which end should be the clock master for each type of use. For example, if you are using the Zed-R16 as pre-amps and converters during tracking, then you should have the Zed-R16 as the clock master and the UFX clock slaved from one of the two incoming ADAT lightpipes. My general rule is that if you don't have a high-quality wordclock piped round your studio using terminated BNC cables, keep the clocking local to whatever devices (ADCs for tracking or DACs for mixing) are handling the conversion of the "money" channels, i.e. the principal tracks of the song. Usage of the ins and outs will change between tracking and mixdown, so be prepared to be flexible. To change the clock source for the converters in the Zed-R16, use the "Sync Source" field in the "Global Settings" window of the AllenAndHeathFW.exe program.

On the Zed-R16, to convert a channel from analog input to digital input, simply push the DIG RET button next to the fader for that channel. This routing gives you full effect insert and EQ control of the signal from the digital source. The channels go in numerical order, that is, lightpipe 1 carries channels 1 - 8 and lightpipe 2 carries 9 - 16 in each direction.

DonnyThompson Mon, 03/23/2015 - 04:03

Earthless, post: 426592, member: 48963 wrote:
Use connected effects and signal processors when tracking and/or recording multiple tracks "live".
Use (the same) connected effects and signal processors when mixing down to a stereo track from
the individual daw tracks, without having to recable all the time.

Wait a sec... am I reading this correctly? Not only are you planning on printing FX on the tracks as you record, but you are also planning on adding those same FX to those same tracks again during the mix-down?

I'm confoozeled...

o_O

Earthless Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:33

Im talking about connecting effect units like rack processors or effect pedals or whatever, so they can be used in a frontend situation (while tracking) AND a backend situation (when mixing) without having to recable/repatch the units.
Say i have recorded a guitar track with the echoplex looper ( printed ) and in the mixdown process i wanna use the same effect unit (echoplex looper) on another track. Based on my gear RME UFX and the ZED R16 in what way should i connect the effect unit? Is this such a strange thing to do?

Earthless Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:52

In my situation its more like a concert scenario where i want to tweak and process the audio using hardware gear while recording into multoiple tracks in Pro Tools (anywhere from 1-10 tracks). So yeah, theres is no turning back. But that would be the case with a live concert anyway, wouldnt it? So since im doing this only 50% of the time and the other 50% goes to mixing and playing around ITB. It would be nice to still have the hardware units available to process tracks also in the mixing process.
Hope this makes sense.

djmukilteo Mon, 03/23/2015 - 16:22

Just a FWIW....I think you should use the inserts on the ZED channels for all your hardware gear, if you want to track with those inline. The UFX doesn't have inserts but you could still do that by connecting FX inline before it goes into the RME pres. Not as easy. That's would also work if you plan on doing a chain of multiple effects. Having all of your I/O on a patchbay would be the perfect method of arranging and organizing all your stuff easily without having to do a bunch of cable changes though. I think that is must for all the stuff you have and gives you an organized setup and lots of flexibility. The 16 ZED insert send/returns on a patchbay and all your outboard hardware gear ins and outs would be a good start.
You could even go further with the patchbay(s) and have all your inputs and outputs from both your units on there as well. Then just use ADAT to combine the two units together digitally over FW so you can send and receive all your tracks back and forth from PT.

djmukilteo Mon, 03/23/2015 - 23:27

audiokid, post: 426710, member: 1 wrote: Hey Don, its what I use. Love it. Stellar.

I know ....but then you have lots of stellar gear and not doubt that is one of them....I wonder why they were discontinued?
And what is out there that would be similar?? Regular patchbays are so archaic....LOL
You know Totalmix in the RME stuff is sort of like a digital router/patchbay....especially if you view it in the "matrix" view.

audiokid Mon, 03/23/2015 - 23:46

Actually, when I got the Xpatch, I starting selling off thousand of $ in redundant gear. So, A $1000 item saves me 30 times in redundancy over spending. Plus, my sound increased because my cable is only 6ft to all directions. Now I'm down to very little hardware, I don't need much.

I admit these aren't the easiest to understand. It took me a while to get it right for my flow. They say they are 16 channels but they are really only eight, done my way. Then you can seamlessly switch gear via many ways as noted. and they are so transparent, amazing. I use it as a 2-bus router. I buy top quality mastering gear that shines as tracking and mixing gear, I start out using it for tracking, switch to mixing, then to summing followed by the capture which at that time it 100% ITB. One product does it all. This makes it possible to use one product for three uses/ steps. tracking, mixing mastering.

I have a feeling the next generation of these will be 32 channels. There are a few other companies but the Xpatch is what I went for.

Earthless Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:33

Ok. Guess i have to slow down and take one step at a time here. Too much to get my head around.
Isnt the RME UFX sort of a Xpatch if connecting the in and out to a effect pedal or whatever ?

Yesterday i connected both the UFX and the R16 to my firewire pci card/computer.
I have a signal coming in on line in 1 on the zed R16 and adat out 1-8 is connected to adat in 1-8 on the UFX.
I have tried different settings but there is no sound routed to the adat 1 in Totalmix. Do i have to run protools or another daw for this to work, or should i be able to route signal between these devices without having to run Pro Tools ?

Boswell Tue, 03/24/2015 - 08:54

Are you talking about no actual sound coming out of monitors or phones, or are you going on what the level meters on the Hardware Input row in TotalMix are telling you? You don't need to run a DAW to get the routing set up.

TotalMix is a software patchbay, but only, of course, for the signals that go through the UFX.

Further things to check:

(1) If you want 16 channels via ADAT, you should set the switches on the rear of the Zed-R16 to be different from the default. As viewed from the rear, the lefthand switch has to be set to the right (ADAT) and the righthand switch set to your chosen sampling rate (left = 44.1KHz, right = 48 KHz). Check that the sampling rates are set to be the same on both devices.

(2) One device (Zed-R16 or UFX) must be clock master and the other set to be clock slave (see my previous posts), with at least one lightpipe connected in the direction master -> slave

(3) Does your input on the Zed-R16 register on the mixer's level meter and get through to the mixer's analog output?

Earthless Tue, 03/24/2015 - 09:19

Boswell, post: 426732, member: 29034 wrote: Are you talking about no actual sound coming out of monitors or phones, or are you going on what the level meters on the Hardware Input row in TotalMix are telling you? You don't need to run a DAW to get the routing set up.

- Correct, there are no level meter coming to adat in 1 in TotalMix and there are no sound to headpone out 7/8 which i use atm.

TotalMix is a software patchbay, but only, of course, for the signals that go through the UFX.

Further things to check:

(1) If you want 16 channels via ADAT, you should set the switches on the rear of the Zed-R16 to be different from the default. As viewed from the rear, the lefthand switch has to be set to the right (ADAT) and the righthand switch set to your chosen sampling rate (left = 44.1KHz, right = 48 KHz). Check that the sampling rates are set to be the same on both devices.

- When i first tried this i didnt have the firewire driver installed in my computer, hence no firewire connection from the zed r16 to
the computer. I had the switch set to adat and i had a signal going into UFX. So after reading about connecting both devices via firewire i installed the firewire driver for the zed r16 and switched the switch back to firewire. So now i have both devices connected via firewire to the computer. And no sound to the ufx adat 1 as described. I think there should be 8 channels adat when having the switch set to firewire?

(2) One device (Zed-R16 or UFX) must be clock master and the other set to be clock slave (see my previous posts), with at least one lightpipe connected in the direction master -> slave

- I have tried different ways here, although there is nothing about slave or master anywhere. But i think i get what youre saying.
On the R16 i have the option of choosing between internal or adat. I believe this should be set to internal while on the ufx it should be set to adat?

(3) Does your input on the Zed-R16 register on the mixer's level meter and get through to the mixer's analog output?

- - Yes, there is input signal going to the outputs on the R16.

Boswell Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:08

I think you may have fallen into the ADAT trap on the Zed-R16. When in FireWire mode at standard sampling rates, you do indeed get routing in and out of ADAT ports 1, but this routing is to and from the computer and not the mixer signals. To get output from the mixer's channels, you need to switch to ADAT mode. This can be seen in the diagrams on P25 of the Zed-R16 User Manual, but only if you look carefully at the ADAT connector drawings in FireWire modes 1 and 2.

In ADAT modes, you still get routing, sync setup and other information through the FireWire port, just no mixer audio.

Earthless Tue, 03/24/2015 - 11:38

So in this example the signal chain goes like this:

R16 Analog in - R16 Adat out - UFX- adat in - UFX firewire out to computer. Correct ?

Does the signal go thru any conversion in the UFX (adat in) . I know its already a digital signal coming from the Zed R16, but does it just bypass the converters in the UFX then ?

Boswell Tue, 03/24/2015 - 16:48

Your chain is correct.

The analog signal is digitised in the Zed-R16 and stays digital after that, so meets no more converters until you replay it into something. In the UFX, if you keep the signal routed away from any effects engines and keep the amplitudes at 0dB in TotalMix, it will be unchanged between the converter in the Zed-R16 and your DAW.

Earthless Wed, 03/25/2015 - 00:37

djmukilteo, post: 426675, member: 35891 wrote: Just a FWIW....I think you should use the inserts on the ZED channels for all your hardware gear, if you want to track with those inline. The UFX doesn't have inserts but you could still do that by connecting FX inline before it goes into the RME pres. Not as easy. That's would also work if you plan on doing a chain of multiple effects. Having all of your I/O on a patchbay would be the perfect method of arranging and organizing all your stuff easily without having to do a bunch of cable changes though. I think that is must for all the stuff you have and gives you an organized setup and lots of flexibility. The 16 ZED insert send/returns on a patchbay and all your outboard hardware gear ins and outs would be a good start.
You could even go further with the patchbay(s) and have all your inputs and outputs from both your units on there as well. Then just use ADAT to combine the two units together digitally over FW so you can send and receive all your tracks back and forth from PT.

Maybe this is how i should do it. One thing i have to ask though. Will a Behringer Ultrapatch Pro PX3000 do justice in combination with the more highend RME UFX and the ZED R16 ? Will the signal be degraded anyway by doing this? I have no experience with patchbays like this, but i like your idea.

Earthless Wed, 03/25/2015 - 01:02

Boswell, post: 426736, member: 29034 wrote: I think you may have fallen into the ADAT trap on the Zed-R16. When in FireWire mode at standard sampling rates, you do indeed get routing in and out of ADAT ports 1, but this routing is to and from the computer and not the mixer signals. To get output from the mixer's channels, you need to switch to ADAT mode. This can be seen in the diagrams on P25 of the Zed-R16 User Manual, but only if you look carefully at the ADAT connector drawings in FireWire modes 1 and 2.

In ADAT modes, you still get routing, sync setup and other information through the FireWire port, just no mixer audio.

So if understand this correctly its not possible to route the adat signals to/from the R16 to the channel faders on the mixer ? Neither in firewire or adat mode?

Boswell Wed, 03/25/2015 - 04:00

Earthless, post: 426770, member: 48963 wrote: So if understand this correctly its not possible to route the adat signals to/from the R16 to the channel faders on the mixer ? Neither in firewire or adat mode?

Not at all. You have to separate in your mind the concept of where the ADCs and DACs are positioned in the architecture of the Zed-R16, and the way that the digital data is transferred to and from the mixer's I/O ports.

The positioning of the ADCs and DACs in the signal flow, along with the selections that can be made via the four routing buttons next to the channel faders, give you full choice of whether the signal input to a channel is from the pre-amp or fed in from an external digital source, as well as where in the channel flow the signal is tapped off to be digitised by the ADC. This is independent of whether you use ADAT or FireWire digital interfacing.

When you select one of the ADAT modes on the rear-panel switches, all 16 mono channel strips can individually receive ADAT data and can send ADAT data to a recording device. In FireWire modes, you get a similar function but via the FireWire port, as well as being able to capture the 2-track mix. In ADAT modes, the 2-track mix is only available in analog form.

Earthless Wed, 03/25/2015 - 04:49

Boswell, post: 426777, member: 29034 wrote: Not at all. You have to separate in your mind the concept of where the ADCs and DACs are positioned in the architecture of the Zed-R16, and the way that the digital data is transferred to and from the mixer's I/O ports.

The positioning of the ADCs and DACs in the signal flow, along with the selections that can be made via the four routing buttons next to the channel faders, give you full choice of whether the signal input to a channel is from the pre-amp or fed in from an external digital source, as well as where in the channel flow the signal is tapped off to be digitised by the ADC. This is independent of whether you use ADAT or FireWire digital interfacing.

When you select one of the ADAT modes on the rear-panel switches, all 16 mono channel strips can individually receive ADAT data and can send ADAT data to a recording device. In FireWire modes, you get a similar function but via the FireWire port, as well as being able to capture the 2-track mix. In ADAT modes, the 2-track mix is only available in analog form.

Ok. I try do describe in more detail what i mean . Im using this chain as mentioned previoulsy:

R16 Analog in - R16 Adat out - UFX- adat in - UFX phones 7/8

With this signal flow i cannot mute, pan or use the channel fader to adjust the adat output signal into the UFX.
Only thing i can do while the digital send button engaged on the fader/channelstrip is to adjust the eq.
Is it suppose to be like this or is it something im overlooking ?

Boswell Wed, 03/25/2015 - 05:31

As with any mixer whose design goals includes the recording of live events, the recording outputs are pre-fader - you record what is present on the channel irrespective of whether that channel's audio is represented in the 2-track mix. Using TotalMix, you can control the amplitude of that channel once it arrives inside the UFX.

If you need a mixed signal into the UFX (this includes one or more channels with control of the amplitude), then you will have to generate the mix first either via the main mix or using auxes, and either send it via analog into the UFX or back into the line level input of a spare mixer channel and send the digital output of that channel out via ADAT. This pre-fader capture of direct signals is pretty universal - the Zed-R16 is no different from most mixers of its type.

From what you say, it sounds as though you would like to have a digital effect send, i.e. an output separate from the main mix that is proportional to the level of that channel present in the main mix, but this is not usually possible in one step with mixers that have recording direct outs. However, auxes 3 and 4 on the Zed-R16 function in this way, and you could generate a stereo output by using both 3 and 4 and pan them by adjustment of the relative 3/4 send levels of all the component channels. You would then cable the aux 3 and 4 outputs off to a pair of UFX analog inputs or bring them back into two spare mixer channels and go digitally as mentioned above.

Earthless Wed, 03/25/2015 - 07:21

Boswell, post: 426779, member: 29034 wrote: As with any mixer whose design goals includes the recording of live events, the recording outputs are pre-fader - you record what is present on the channel irrespective of whether that channel's audio is represented in the 2-track mix. Using TotalMix, you can control the amplitude of that channel once it arrives inside the UFX.

If you need a mixed signal into the UFX (this includes one or more channels with control of the amplitude), then you will have to generate the mix first either via the main mix or using auxes, and either send it via analog into the UFX or back into the line level input of a spare mixer channel and send the digital output of that channel out via ADAT. This pre-fader capture of direct signals is pretty universal - the Zed-R16 is no different from most mixers of its type.

From what you say, it sounds as though you would like to have a digital effect send, i.e. an output separate from the main mix that is proportional to the level of that channel present in the main mix, but this is not usually possible in one step with mixers that have recording direct outs. However, auxes 3 and 4 on the Zed-R16 function in this way, and you could generate a stereo output by using both 3 and 4 and pan them by adjustment of the relative 3/4 send levels of all the component channels. You would then cable the aux 3 and 4 outputs off to a pair of UFX analog inputs or bring them back into two spare mixer channels and go digitally as mentioned above.

It makes sense the way you describe it. The R16 is my first mixer, with all these options its not always easy to grasp what to expect or how to setup these hybrid devices. Appreciate your feedback (y)

djmukilteo Wed, 03/25/2015 - 17:17

I think this is the problem when buying redundant equipment. You basically have two devices that do the same thing so unless you can create an aggregate configuration in your computer in order to use both FW devices simultaneously in and out of DAW software as they were each intended, (I think Mac allows that but not WinPC) then one of them are going to be limited in the use of there respected features.
They each happen to have options for adding additional digital I/O via ADAT.....great but whichever one you decide to use as the FW pipeline will cause the features of the other device via ADAT to become limited..
I went through this when I had the ZED and RME FF800 on a PC running Cubase. I tried using them together both ways and it didn't make much sense either way because I lost features in one over the other. In the end I just ended up using them separately like they were intended...
If you sketch out all your ins and outs of all the equipment you have, and then decide which unit has the most flexibility and most features you need for your workflow and make the other one an ADAT slave.
i.e. you could use the UFX strictly as a monitor mixer being able to easily create multiple headphone mixes with stereo effects etc...or you could just use the UFX for strictly FX/DSP features for tracking and/or mixing (which the ZED doesn't have). And like I mentioned the ZED has inserts which are great for inserting hardware FX into an "analog" signal chain unlike the UFX which is doing all of that in the digital domain....
You need to sketch out a plan and decide what compromises you're willing to accept in order to use both.
The patchbay is just another option to the routing puzzle....but until you figure out what you actually want to do with all your gear your just spinning your wheels and not accomplishing much. Try different configurations! Experiment and see what seems to work best and maybe even sound better!!
One thing that is seriously different between those two is the fact that the ZED is an analog mixer but the UFX is all digital. So you might find you prefer mixing and bouncing in the analog domain on the ZED....
So when it comes time to decide how your going to process your signals keep that fact in mind....you might be able to have all your "analog" stuff focused on the ZED and all your "digital" stuff focused on the UFX....then all you have to do is decide whether your going to track or mix in digital or analog....
Just a FWIW...you might also realize that what you really want or need is just a bigger complete single system, in which case you sell both devices and just get what you need.

Earthless Wed, 03/25/2015 - 18:37

djmukilteo, post: 426807, member: 35891 wrote: I think this is the problem when buying redundant equipment. You basically have two devices that do the same thing so unless you can create an aggregate configuration in your computer in order to use both FW devices simultaneously in and out of DAW software as they were each intended, (I think Mac allows that but not WinPC) then one of them are going to be limited in the use of there respected features.
They each happen to have options for adding additional digital I/O via ADAT.....great but whichever one you decide to use as the FW pipeline will cause the features of the other device via ADAT to become limited..
I went through this when I had the ZED and RME FF800 on a PC running Cubase. I tried using them together both ways and it didn't make much sense either way because I lost features in one over the other. In the end I just ended up using them separately like they were intended...
If you sketch out all your ins and outs of all the equipment you have, and then decide which unit has the most flexibility and most features you need for your workflow and make the other one an ADAT slave.
i.e. you could use the UFX strictly as a monitor mixer being able to easily create multiple headphone mixes with stereo effects etc...or you could just use the UFX for strictly FX/DSP features for tracking and/or mixing (which the ZED doesn't have). And like I mentioned the ZED has inserts which are great for inserting hardware FX into an "analog" signal chain unlike the UFX which is doing all of that in the digital domain....
You need to sketch out a plan and decide what compromises you're willing to accept in order to use both.
The patchbay is just another option to the routing puzzle....but until you figure out what you actually want to do with all your gear your just spinning your wheels and not accomplishing much. Try different configurations! Experiment and see what seems to work best and maybe even sound better!!
One thing that is seriously different between those two is the fact that the ZED is an analog mixer but the UFX is all digital. So you might find you prefer mixing and bouncing in the analog domain on the ZED....
So when it comes time to decide how your going to process your signals keep that fact in mind....you might be able to have all your "analog" stuff focused on the ZED and all your "digital" stuff focused on the UFX....then all you have to do is decide whether your going to track or mix in digital or analog....
Just a FWIW...you might also realize that what you really want or need is just a bigger complete single system, in which case you sell both devices and just get what you need.

....then all you have to do is decide whether your going to track or mix in digital or analog....

This sentence made me think.
What i really would like to achieve is being able to have everything set up so i easily can switch between : tracking in digital, tracking in analog, mixing in digital and mixing in analog. This is, when i think of it the core of the frustration. So i wonder, is this an unrealistic way of thinking and hard to achieve ?

djmukilteo Wed, 03/25/2015 - 18:56

Well I would say get a patchbay for all your source instruments and outboard hardware and a couple computers with DAW's so you can switch between those two setups at will. Fire one up start a project and patch away. Or fire both up and run two different projects...Either that or have a way to switch the FW cables around to one computer and then have a template in your DAW ready for each units DAW I/O routing and ASIO configuration. I'm pretty sure you could even get an optical patchbay and be able to swap ADAT functionality around as well.

Earthless Thu, 03/26/2015 - 01:50

djmukilteo, post: 426811, member: 35891 wrote: Well I would say get a patchbay for all your source instruments and outboard hardware and a couple computers with DAW's so you can switch between those two setups at will. Fire one up start a project and patch away. Or fire both up and run two different projects...Either that or have a way to switch the FW cables around to one computer and then have a template in your DAW ready for each units DAW I/O routing and ASIO configuration. I'm pretty sure you could even get an optical patchbay and be able to swap ADAT functionality around as well.

Im not sure about two computers just yet, im running windows 8 on a stationary pc and ive had both units connected to the firewire card.
So far i havent got time to do much settings etc in my daw (pro tools 11), but im pretty sure i can choose the zed as the main interface in pro tools
and still being able to route stuff around in TotalMix, but i guess youre right about not being able to use both FW devices simultaneously in and out of DAW.
Ill have to take a look into that later. So far ive been concentrating mostly on the hardware/analog routing.

Actually i already have the Behringer Ultrapatch PX3000, but i have tried to avoid using it, thinking that it doesnt play in the same ballpark as the UFX. Or that it would degrade the signal or whatever. I was so happy with the converters on the UFX so i didnt want to mess up the signal, thinking that i probably should invest in a more "highend" patchbay. But now i dont see any way of getting around it if i want to have this flexibility as mentioned.

This is a brand new world for me, so its probably a lot to learn. For instance half of my outboard gear (like synths and effect pedals) has unbalanced in and out connectors. While things like compressors, UFX, R16, eleven rack and outputs of the elektron devices is balanced. Does this cause any problems i should take
into consideration ? The Behringer patchbay is balanced..

djmukilteo Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:58

With all the stuff you've listed there I'm a little surprised that you don't have several patchbays!
Seems like you have a ton of options.
So many questions and about 1000 optional configurations, it's no wonder you are confused!
So just a few questions:
Is this all stuff you use in a band with multiple players where you need all of these things connected and running ready to go to record multiple tracks in PT?
Or is it just you by yourself switching cables around from instrument to instrument and effect to effect trying different combinations and experimentation and making 1 or 2 recorded tracks at a time?
How many tracks do you figure you would ever be tracking simultaneously into ProTools?
Are you using the Euphoinx for PT control or are you going to use the ZED for DAW control?
I'm guessing you want to use both....LOL
So a lot of this comes down to your process and workflow?
All those options can be all over the place which is fine, nice to have all those options and lots of gear to play with and experiment with but if you end up spending all your time running around in circles changing things it doesn't make much creative music making sense. Plus it's probably a huge mess of cables all over the floor...LOL.

The patchbay you have is just a wire interconnecting device, so as long as you use good wire and good connectors it's perfectly fine. If you think you want something more expensive or more high end then buy a couple Switchcraft patchbays! You still need to use good wire and connectors and neither of those devices impart any "sound" difference. They're supposed to be invisible and just an organized way to easily interconnect all your gazinta's and gazouta's.
FWIW and from what I've seen and read here, you have three source instruments:
Guitar(s), Keyboard/Synths and a couple mics which is where you should start.
Make a list/chart (on paper or on the computer) starting with each of those at the top like a flow chart.
Do one for your guitar(s) and list out all the possible amps, processors, effects/options you could possibly make with just that instrument. Do another one for your keys/synths and then the mics.
Make some scenarios of chains with categories and then list things out as to what goes ins and outs.
You could even label these chain patches and have them for reference later where you can make notes or changes to the signal flow.
Then you have everything organized, listed and documented.
You will quickly start to see a pattern of common devices or units that can be used with multiple instruments and so forth and that they will need to be available on a patchbay. Patchbays need a layout as well and that needs to be planned out and charted.
Finally create a similar chart/spreadsheet of all the possible ins and outs of your interfaces (and control surfaces) so you can decide what makes the most sense for tracking, mixing and monitoring.
You will realize that an organized setup will require multiple patchbays for all your different scenarios and devices but once you have it all put together everything will be right in front of you so you can go nuts with a bunch of patch cords.

Earthless Thu, 03/26/2015 - 17:26

djmukilteo, post: 426828, member: 35891 wrote: With all the stuff you've listed there I'm a little surprised that you don't have several patchbays!
Seems like you have a ton of options.
So many questions and about 1000 optional configurations, it's no wonder you are confused!
So just a few questions:
Is this all stuff you use in a band with multiple players where you need all of these things connected and running ready to go to record multiple tracks in PT?
Or is it just you by yourself switching cables around from instrument to instrument and effect to effect trying different combinations and experimentation and making 1 or 2 recorded tracks at a time?

- Thats correct, its only me trying to be a musician, sound engineer and producer at the same time. Ive been working ITB for years but
since 3 years ago i got really tired of looking into a computer screen and moving a mouse around. Thats when i started to get interested in
analog hardware synths, modular, sequencing and effects with real knobs and real time control over parameters etc. Just being able to create music
without being dependant on a computer/screen. So the idea is basically to play/create and record/track the compositions live without doing too much or any overdub later.

How many tracks do you figure you would ever be tracking simultaneously into ProTools?

- I think anything between 2 - 12 tracks maximum plus the stereo mix track. Since im kind of mixing the tracks on the fly while playing maybe ill just record the stereo mix track into protools without recording all the single tracks. But ive got plenty of space on my harddrive..so why not capture them all. Guess ill find out whats reasonable when in the works.

Are you using the Euphoinx for PT control or are you going to use the ZED for DAW control?
I'm guessing you want to use both....LOL

- Actually i got the Euphonix together with the RME UFX because i was in a "digital mood" and decided to migrate from Live to Pro Tools 11.
So it seemed natural to go for the artist mix. I havent tried it enough yet to actually have an opinion about it. So to be honest im not sure about that yet.
When i got these devices i actually decided to do everything ITB again like it was before, only with much better converters etc. Just to make things
simple. But then again i have to mix everything in the daw which can be ok sometimes, but not all the time, so im hanging on to the ZED R16.

So a lot of this comes down to your process and workflow?
All those options can be all over the place which is fine, nice to have all those options and lots of gear to play with and experiment with but if you end up spending all your time running around in circles changing things it doesn't make much creative music making sense. Plus it's probably a huge mess of cables all over the floor...LOL.

- Patchbay, here i come, my soldering iron will get hot this easter :ROFLMAO:

The patchbay you have is just a wire interconnecting device, so as long as you use good wire and good connectors it's perfectly fine. If you think you want something more expensive or more high end then buy a couple Switchcraft patchbays! You still need to use good wire and connectors and neither of those devices impart any "sound" difference. They're supposed to be invisible and just an organized way to easily interconnect all your gazinta's and gazouta's.
FWIW and from what I've seen and read here, you have three source instruments:
Guitar(s), Keyboard/Synths and a couple mics which is where you should start.
Make a list/chart (on paper or on the computer) starting with each of those at the top like a flow chart.
Do one for your guitar(s) and list out all the possible amps, processors, effects/options you could possibly make with just that instrument. Do another one for your keys/synths and then the mics.
Make some scenarios of chains with categories and then list things out as to what goes ins and outs.
You could even label these chain patches and have them for reference later where you can make notes or changes to the signal flow.
Then you have everything organized, listed and documented.
You will quickly start to see a pattern of common devices or units that can be used with multiple instruments and so forth and that they will need to be available on a patchbay. Patchbays need a layout as well and that needs to be planned out and charted.
Finally create a similar chart/spreadsheet of all the possible ins and outs of your interfaces (and control surfaces) so you can decide what makes the most sense for tracking, mixing and monitoring.
You will realize that an organized setup will require multiple patchbays for all your different scenarios and devices but once you have it all put together everything will be right in front of you so you can go nuts with a bunch of patch cords.

- Thanks a lot for this guidance. Im beginning to see the light already (y) Cant wait to have a few days off of work to dig into this and plan things out.

There is one thing i would like to ask at the end. When it comes to for ex connecting the UFX to the patchbay. I have thought that the ins and outs of the
interface goes to the rear bottom and top of the patchbay. Just to "move" the inputs and outputs on the UFX to the front of the patchbay. I thought this
was kind of a standard thing to do. But when looking at examples and spreadsheets of patchbays out there it doesnt look like this is a "typical" way to connect the ins and outs of an audio interface to a patchbay ? Most of them is not configured this way, which is kind of irritating because i thought
this was how it should be connected and it seemed like a logical way to connect them like this o_O

djmukilteo Thu, 03/26/2015 - 18:49

Look into "normalling" with patchbays. Essentially have your interface inputs along the top row which can be "normalled" to the bottom row. Then you can put your typical sources on the bottom row below each input. Then no patch cords are needed....they'll always be connected ready to track with your most common configuration. If you want to change that you just plug in a patchcord and route say an interface input(s) somewhere else. Or patch into the source(s) row and route those somewhere else.. That's why you'll probably need more patchbays.
I would carefully do your plan and layout your chart with a patchbay for the UFX and one for the ZED.
Then you might need another one for all your additional FX hardware, inserts, send returns etc, etc......
If you want complete flexibility that's the most logical way...everything in front of you in a nice logical labelled fashion. For you the more patch points the better, because it will be very fast and easy to try different arrangements. Then just create your PT templates ready to be armed and record or playback...

Earthless Fri, 03/27/2015 - 00:36

djmukilteo, post: 426842, member: 35891 wrote: Look into "normalling" with patchbays. Essentially have your interface inputs along the top row which can be "normalled" to the bottom row. Then you can put your typical sources on the bottom row below each input. Then no patch cords are needed....they'll always be connected ready to track with your most common configuration. If you want to change that you just plug in a patchcord and route say an interface input(s) somewhere else. Or patch into the source(s) row and route those somewhere else.. That's why you'll probably need more patchbays.
I would carefully do your plan and layout your chart with a patchbay for the UFX and one for the ZED.
Then you might need another one for all your additional FX hardware, inserts, send returns etc, etc......
If you want complete flexibility that's the most logical way...everything in front of you in a nice logical labelled fashion. For you the more patch points the better, because it will be very fast and easy to try different arrangements. Then just create your PT templates ready to be armed and record or playback...

Hm, im sorry but this was a bit confusing. Isnt the output of the interface suppose to be connected to the top row on the back of the patchbay?

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