Need help choosing the right DAW Platform for me

Profile picture for user vibrations1951
Submitted by vibrations1951 on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 04:33

I’m still at least 3-4 years from completing my studio build (I have a build thread under Studio Construction) and as I get closer I need to begin making some concrete choices about my recording + mixing setup. I've used Nuendo from the start for more than 4 years now. I’ll try to keep focused and concise but I think my quandaries are closely interrelated between 2 dilemmas. Perhaps I should post each in different threads?
1. I think my primary question is: Does it make sense to try and adapt/replace my present Nuendo setup for a modest Pro Tools setup (whatever that might be) to help me make my final choices?
Let me try and explain. My studio is to serve as a lifetime dream career for my “retirement” years, not for sole survival income, but needs to produce some income and serve the community. I live in a remote area with no other studios around for 100-200 miles so I need to be able to work with most styles of music. To increase my market I chose Nuendo 4 some years back to have the addition of post production options. Because of the day job, moonlighting, finishing my home and constructing most of my 1400 sq ft studio myself (gratefully following plans from Rod!), I haven’t done much recording or mixing , and I’m not very experienced recording/mixing to start with. So I’m not so wedded to Nuendo that I couldn’t change platforms relatively easily.
Most of my experience over the past 52 years has been as guitar player and live sound reinforcement for moderately sized venues and some modest remote recording. Very little of that experience involved digital equipment. I’m mostly an analog guy, “old and in the way”! I can’t and don’t want to lose the sound I grew up on and I truly love the cleanliness, ease and cost effectiveness of digital. Just to help clarify, I hate mixing with a mouse period! I love sliders and knobs period! By the way, I also just hate switching between multiple layers of digital channels and wading through damn menus! Did I mention I’m old and crusty and only willing to compromise so far? I guess it helps to know what I don’t want and I get this will cost me more bucks in the long run.
2. So, with that said, the second (or is it 2nd and 3rd)thing(s)I’m trying to tease out for myself through this choice process is as follows:
1. ITB vs. OTB vs. Hybrid mixing
2. control surface vs. digital console vs. analog board.

My present recording chain is as follows:

Mics and lines>Mackie 1604VLZ Pres >inserts out>Lynx Aurora 16>AES16e PCI express interface>Mac Pro 8 core version 10.6.8 (6GB RAM) >Nuendo 4.5 (all clocked with Apogee Big Ben)
With:
Various UA Pluggins (UAD-2 Quad), Melodyne;
Outboard: UA 2-610, 2-LA-2, AEA RPQ 2 channel ribbon pre, Lexcon MX200, Drawmer Dual Gate DS201, Alesis HD24 for remotes and backup tracking,
Monitoring is basically:
DAW- 2-bus>Lynx Aurora 16>Yamaha HS50M's/headphones/JBL 4411B's driven by
Harman Kardon or QSC PLX 2402 2ch amps/Hear Technologies monitor system/Hot Spots/
(Sony CDR-w33 for 2-bus capture)
I presently mix ITB with Nuendo and a darn mouse! I have been weighing the pros and cons of Pro Tools verses Nuendo for a long time now as well as the ITB/OTB/Hybrid quandary. Recently I have had the good fortune to talk with a “semi-retired” recording/mixing/lighting engineer who is my age with admirable and envious experience and credentials starting in the late 60’s. He is Pro Tools all the way and was advising me in that direction too.
I thought that perhaps I could use what I have now, add the Pro Tools platform and try for myself. This is where I am stuck hard. My cash flow is relatively tight right now (who’s isn’t right?)! I’m leaning towards saving up or sell stuff off to purchase the newest Pro Tools 11 HD. Then, perhaps pick up an older used Pro Tools control surface as well, if it needs to be a Pro Tools surface to work with this idea???
I’m really lost with my research to date trying to figure out if that will work smoothly enough with what I have now without having to sell off too many core items and make major new purchases to make this idea work. It would be great if I could just uninstall Nuendo, install Pro Tools and switch out the Mackie with a 16 channel Pro Tools control surface with good pres, if a reasonable older/used unit like this exists and would work in this way.
I greatly value the experience and knowledge base of the folks here and have not been led astray yet! I always read and receive balanced, highly informed, honest and most importantly highly useful responses from members I respect whole heartedly here. I’ve considered trying to contact Avid directly with my questions but I understand they have a reputation for very poor customer relations. Perhaps this is unfair and an outdated perception and I should just go for it.
Either way, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m not really sure if my questions and purpose make sense. Maybe I just need to do more research before asking these questions? Please do what you can to help me get clearer on what to do next. I prefer straight talk and I know I’ve come to the right place to get it, so no need to waste efforts being too diplomatic with me!
Thanks ahead for checking this out!

Hybrid is probably your best option if you want to get the sound that is closest to the analog sound you mentioned that you prefer. You are wedding the forensic editing capability of digital with the warmth of analog preamps and processors.

That being said, there are different ways to approach hybrid as well. You can "round trip" your signal, using external processing, at which point you would return that processed signal to the same DAW in which you are working, but at that point, you are dealing with the possibility of phase issues and delay, because it takes time for the signal to leave your DAW, go through the various OB processors, and then return to your DAW.

audiokid, our fearless leader here at RO, uses a hybrid set up, but he doesn't return the processing to the same DAW - he mixes to a separate / uncoupled DAW. This goes a long way to alleviate those phase and delay issues that the round trip scenario can present.

You 'll probably want to look into a higher level of pre amp than the Mackie you are currently using. The Mackie is fine as a project level pre, but it won't offer the warmth that you say you are seeking. You'd probably be much happier with a pre that was Class A, and that has better converters than the lower budget pres - like the Mackie - are notorious for having.

There are many options available to you for control surfaces. You seem to be someone who prefers the tactile approach to mixing - actual hands on using faders and pots, as opposed to a mouse controlled situation. Unless you have a lot of money to spend, and are fairly adept at electronic repair and maintenance, I'd stay away from an analog console as a front load. In order to get the sound you say you seek, you'd need to get into a desk that is a higher caliber; and they ain't cheap. And, those boutique/classic desks will eventually require servicing, so unless you're pretty good at repairs, I'm not sure it's a good idea.

Now, what you may want to consider would be a Presonus Studio/Live desk. This is a desk that implements FireWire to send discreet track data and signal to discreet tracks on your DAW. The pre amps are very good, it has total recall of stored scenes, very nice EQ, as well as dynamic control/gain reduction on each channel independent from the others. If this is something you'd be interested in, talk to DVDHawk, a member here at RO who is also a Presonus dealer. He could answer any questions you have far better than I.

It would help if we knew what your budget is. ;)

Donny, thanks for the quick reply! In terms of a budget, I can probably scrape together about a grand cash in a month or so. Then if I've got this right and went with a digital mixer like the Studiolive, after researching this option in the past, I assume I would eliminate the need for my Nuendo (or Pro Tools),Aurora converter, AES card, UA Plugs and Big Ben??? If that is so I could sell off this stuff and have considerably more cash on hand.
I'm sure I must be missing something here. If my assumptions above are correct, (and likely they are not), how could even the newest Studiolive rig be comparable at such a relatively low price point?? Wouldn't I be sacrificing something somewhere?
Please excuse my ignorance of the options and help me understand. Been a long day and my brain is bruised!

Still trying to get my head around this. Donny, I feel your advice is very sound and useful. It seems clearer to me all the time that hybrid will be my resting place with my wants and needs for sound and work flow. I read Chris' and other's posts in the Hybrid Forum religiously. I've been eying the Studiolive boards for quite a while and I'm very impressed. I will likely contact DVD as I follow his posts regularly and he resonates loudly to me as well and I very much trust his views, experience and advice.

I'm a bit confused because it seems like I would be stepping down from the potential quality of my present setup (minus the Mackie pres). I did more research and it looks like if I were to eventually go with a digital board, I would keep my DAW (and experiment with PT verses Nuendo if that seems advisable). But then with firewire there would be no need for my converter or card?? Is this right??I'm still unsure of the advantages and disadvantages of a work surface verses a digital board. Would the pres in a digital board like studiolive be as good as a PT control surface pre?
Sorry I'm all over the place here.

I don't want to take a step backwards but instead, kind of set the stage to build upon a final setup in 3-4 years when I'm ready to install everything in it's final home. With the rapid changes in work surfaces, digital boards and consoles I feel like I should wait for this all to shake out before spending too much money and effort on a setup I'll just end up reselling/loosing too much money on at the time.

I know I need to start working with a board of higher quality now and at the same time decide upon the right program for me, Nuendo or PT. I'm just stuck on which move to make next to get to this next step in my choice making with the least amount of cost to get the experience to decide and still be building towards a professional level setup in the end. I do realize that no matter what I end up with, my recording and mixing chops are my weakest link. I want to be sure I'm working them in a process that will benefit me the most when I'm ready to hang a shingle.

I'm still not sure I'm asking things the way I need to. It seems hard for me to articulate what I'm trying to say but I feel like I'm getting closer to it. Any replies will likely help get me there so please fire away folks!

Well, here's one of the sticking points, Vibe... 3-4 years in this technology is a lifetime LOL. There's really no telling what will happen with recording technology that far into the future. While I personally believe that there will always be some gear that will remain timeless, you and I have no idea of what will become available in that time frame.

I can't speak to the quality of the pre amps in a PT control surface, because I've never used them. On occasion, I've used their control surfaces to mix, but never to record, so I'm not the guy to ask on that subject.

Also, I'm not sure that PT is your best bet. From a commercial/standard POV it would be, but there are more than a few PT users who have grown tired of Avid and their practices.

You do have other platform options available - Samplitude, Studio One (which is the DAW software that comes with the Presonus desk), and a few others depending upon what you want to do.

The preamps in the Presonus desk would be quite a bit better than the pre's in the Mackie - that being said, you can get better than the Presonus as well, but, of course they would be more expensive. Ultimately, you'd have to spend some serious cash to get into the boutique levels of pre's - Neve, API, etc.

Personally, I think you should continue to save money, and when you get closer to implementing your long term goals, you'll have more cash to work with, and, you'll be able to see what's available at that time.

IMHO of course. ;)

Well put Donny. I hear ya loud and clear! I'm afraid it's probably gear-lust on my part right now! I hear the rumbles about Avid all the time as well and had decided that my Nuendo is just fine and when I got some recent influence, I started down this path of questioning myself and thinking that I should try PT and at the same time do a little upgrade. The Mackie has been OK but is really still a weak link right now I think. Perhaps I should just think about adding a lunchbox and slowly build a variety of nice pres. That way no matter what I end up with, I don't think they would ever be as risky a gamble and hold their value as well while also upgrading my capture chain for now. Your thoughts??

I'm right with Donny on not plunging into the PT morass if you have no reason to do so. As he has indicated, there is other DAW software out there that gives you at least as good if not better performance for a lower overall outlay. That said, you could do a lot worse than staying with Nuendo, especially as you ought to be concentrating your finances on upgrading the weaker links in your hardware.

One thing you haven't said is the maximum number of channels you will be wanting to deal with. If this does not exceed 16, I would suggest you look seriously at the Allen & Heath Zed-R16, which would upgrade you in a number of departments all at once. For tracking, you would have a full complement of very good pre-amps for channels that you would not be putting through the specialist pre-amps, and direct outs that could either feed your Aurora or just use the R16's FireWire interface.

The real gain would come by using it as a hybrid system in the mix phase, when with the R16 you would get excellent sonics plus full analog console operation with the attendent familiarity of use. Faders that are not needed for channel level adjustment can be switched for use as control surface inputs for DAW control. In the first instance, your Nuendo or other DAW would be replaying tracks, recording the two-track mix plus generating effect outputs, but you are then in a good place to consider the next step of moving up to what I call the two-box process, in this case adding a second computer as the two-track capture device. This second box would run with a separate sampling clock and a simple uncomplicated DAW is all that is needed here.

As always, leave it to Bos to come up with a great option. (y)

This isn't to say that the Presonus isn't a nice console, too - it has some great functions indeed, and as a digital console it's likely the finest in it's price class, but...it is primarily a digital console, and if you want the "classic" feel and tactile layout of an analog desk, and prefer to not have to shuffle through various windows and menu pages, then you'd likely prefer something more down to earth and familiar to "old school"... like the A&H.

As Bos mentioned, this desk would give you the best of the two worlds that you seek, from DAW control surface to an actual dedicated analog console.
A&H has a long history of quality preamps (and high quality project studio and live consoles in general ), but if you wanted, you could always add a couple of "boutique" preamps at some point - perhaps an API, Neve, Great River, etc. to use as a front-load into your current existing audio I/O to further enhance particular tracks, either on the way in, or during post/mix. This is often done on things like vocal tracks, acoustic guitar, etc.

Because it has inserts on channels 1-16, you could also insert whatever OB processors you have, ( like your LA2's or 610's ) either on a discreet channel level, or on the master 2-bus to add cohesiveness or "glue" to your whole mix.

But...with the exception of the great OB gear you already have, a nice desk and a collection of good microphones... I'm gonna have to stand by my original suggestion that when it comes to other gear, I'd wait until you were closer to completion on your studio. I suppose that we could all wager a "guess" as to what may lie ahead, but no one really knows what's on the horizon for recording technology, and a lot could happen in 3 years. ;)

For further description of the A&H desk, click [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ZEDR16?device=c&network=g&matcht…"]here[/]="http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ZEDR16?device=c&network=g&matcht…"]here[/]

FWIW

d/

JP, I'm just passing through quickly today, but basically I'm in the same boat as everyone else. I'd be reluctant to buy technology today for a need 3-4 years in the future, so much can change from one year to the next. If you have an immediate need, by all means, get something that will be a good building block piece to help you get to the goal.

If my clients want to do a major technology purchase, I recommend they; A) wait as long as possible, B) buy the best one they can afford, then most importantly, C) don't look at a magazine or catalog ever again, or you'll kick yourself thinking about what you could have bought with the same money a few years/months/ or even weeks later.

I would like to clarify one point about the PreSonus StudioLive, while it IS a good multi-track front end, it can NOT be used as a control surface for the mixing ITB. I assume there must be a major roadblock preventing them from making it control surface capable or surely they would have done so by now. To my way of thinking, 99% of the engineering is already done. Every button, knob, and fader movement I make on the mixer can be mirrored in the Universal Control software you use for wireless mixing and scene storage. It doesn't seem like a huge leap to me, to have fader and fat channel controls do the same in StudioOne. Who knows, maybe 3-4 years from now….

Hey guys, thanks so much. Everything all three of you are saying is ringing true for me and my situation. I think this is starting to gel for me! So Bos, to answer your question first, I think I can do just fine for now with 16 channels. I envision wanting 24-32 eventually and leaning more toward 32. This doesn't include the special pres I have now and whatever else I might be able to get later. DVD, howdy and thanks for the clarity on the StudioLive. As you say, who knows in three years. I'm glad to see you all feel the same about waiting for when I am really ready. At the same time you all see that I want to upgrade soon and build for the future in the meantime while expanding upon my abilities.

But as I tried to think this through I got confused. The A&H has no analog direct outs. Would the A&H board actually function as a control surface and run the DAW through firewire or would I utilize ITB plugins, editing, automation etc. and then route back to the board for additional processing and then capture the 2-bus from the A&H to another DAW? And where would the Big Ben come into play?
I don't think I'm getting this? Help please.

OK, back for Part 2.

Firstly, I'm sure the A&H is a peach. I don't have the hands-on experience with that one, but I'd have no reservations at all about recommending any A&H gear.

We've established that the StudioLive does not function as a control surface (which is to say that it cannot manipulate the controls of your DAW). That's true whether it would be the PreSonus software StudioOne, or whatever. However, that would not prevent you from using the SL like an honest-to-goodness mixer at mix down. I sometimes use the DAW the same way you would if you were tracking to a tape machine - something like Boswell described.

I don't completely hate mixing ITB, so if the project is going to need extensive DAW I might as well just grab the mouse. If I'm in a situation where there are good tones going in, they're going for a live feel, not going to want/need any crazy edits, I will track 24 tracks through the SL into the computer. Then rather than mix with the mouse and all that ITB nonsense, without re-patching anything, press the digital returns on the channels, push play on the computer, and mix hands-on through the SL to a separate recording system. (separate standalone DAW, or professional standalone CD recorder)

I can do that either via the S/PDIF digital outs, or through balanced analog outs. The analog outs introduce more DA/AD converters, but sometimes the extra converters are worth it if we run out through some glorious outboard goodies like an Avalon 747 - which a good friend brings to the party. That thing just makes every signal that passes through it sound better. Either way, I'd have the option of importing the resulting stereo CD tracks into software to trim and level things. (converter-free, but now another algorithm or two comes into play)

You could achieve a version of this with any analog or digital mixer, and an HD24, or a DAW with enough hardware outputs. The advantage of using a mixer with closely integrated software is, it doesn't have to go out analog outputs, and then back in analog inputs, which would inject 2 more sets of DA/AD converters. I don't have a lot of super high-end gear, so my philosophy at this point, is to try to avoid unnecessary conversions and algorithms - assuming there is some amount of error in all of them with each pass.

That's all I have for now, I hope that helps.

I think mcu control is very integral, the protocol is imperative. The nocturn is the only thing around im that's a decent knobby comtroller, that is cross lplariform,k and easy to I use

There realy isn't a fully dedicated console that is widely excepted to deliver that mind of gratificaton. Even mousing around shucks,mound an manual are the controls. Mixing is always, not matter what,a mix. Mixing compromises. It has to.. The most cheap an reliable price fmknib I would say works ok, is the nocturn speed knob.

The performance ust great. It wobbly. Knob wise, but I think none of the suff is meant w the idea of the build backgroundl of a console.

It makes senses

It's just very difficult to quantify.

I think I get what you are saying DVD and I had been considering using a Toft ATB 32 for my final console. I've been trying to follow what Chris, Bos and yourself have been describing about capturing the final mix to avoid excessive AD/DA conversions etc. into a separate/2nd DAW and this sounds like the way to build towards for the hybrid recording/mixing that would likely fit my felt-needs best. I'm not I/O format savvy enough to fully understand the specifics but I feel like I'm getting there. That's probably a big part of why I get bogged down trying to understand the capabilities and potential matches to my needs.

As this thread continues it is helping me to fine tune what I think I'm trying to ask. It looks like what my questions now are, in an attempt to move towards hybrid recording/mixing and upgrade from my Mackie:

1. Is there a 16 channel board/console/control surface (my present weakest link) that is of the caliber of the StudioLive/A&H/Toft that can function as a control surface for my present DAW that will allow me the ability to have the least AD/DA conversions in the signal path to final 2-bus capture at this time?

2. Can this be done for $1-$2K?- without sacrificing the quality of what I have (minus the Mackie which I would likely save for live sound) that might be needed down the road. (Probably that last part cannot really be answered because who knows what's down the road.)

Let me know if I'm on the wrong track here or going out into "left field'! Its looking to me more and more like the A&H is the right choice for me at this time, but I'm not sure.
Please "keep those cards and letters coming" guys! Many thanks!

Hey K! Thanks for chiming in! I was typing while you wrote so I missed your input. Gotta go right now but I'll look over your post later see what your thoughts are. At first glance I am lost about the equipment you are referring to etc. Later!

vibrations1951, post: 414959, member: 34341 wrote: ...So Bos, to answer your question first, I think I can do just fine for now with 16 channels. I envision wanting 24-32 eventually and leaning more toward 32. This doesn't include the special pres I have now and whatever else I might be able to get later....

But as I tried to think this through I got confused. The A&H has no analog direct outs. Would the A&H board actually function as a control surface and run the DAW through firewire or would I utilize ITB plugins, editing, automation etc. and then route back to the board for additional processing and then capture the 2-bus from the A&H to another DAW? And where would the Big Ben come into play?
I don't think I'm getting this? Help please.

The thing about a board of this type (and the A+H Zed-R16 is not the only candidate) is that you have huge flexibility. As examples, when recording, you can route up to 16 raw tracks plus a 2-track mix digitally from the mixer to the DAW via FireWire, or you could take the insert sends as analog outputs from as many channels as you need and feed them into a separate converter such as your Aurora. When mixing, you could use the R16's own FireWire I/O to take up to 16 digital tracks replayed from your DAW and send the 2-track digital mix back to the DAW (same clock) or go analog via the Aurora. An upgrade would be to capture the mixer 2-track analog outs in a separate non-synchonized DAW as a two-box process, as we have already mentioned. Your Aurora and Big Ben would fit well here.

Faders that are not being used in analog channels can be used as DAW control surface inputs. How effects and additional processing are added depends on what additional external hardware you have and the balance you need between those and plug-ins, but both can be used concurrently - it does not constrain you to one or the other.

The main limitation of the Zed-R16 is what I mentioned in my earlier post - a hard limit of 16 channels. There are other mixers of this general type (analog mix with digital I/O option) that have more channels or can be expanded, but you would be looking at a considerably higher starting price.

Bos, it really looks like you have nailed it for me. Picking up a used Zed-R16 or perhaps financing a new one would first, solve my need for an upgrade in mixer, then address my control surface needs, make good use of what I have and lastly, enable my experience I want with hybrid. Then when I'm ready, and things have evolved in technology and available stuff, I will be in a better position to chose with greater insight and most importantly experience.

As you said Bos , the only hard limit would be the 16 channels, which is not an issue for me right now. I'm a little apprehensive about how I would configure this all to my desires for work flow and all, yet I feel confident that I can get the help I need right here at RO. So unless others have thoughts to add, I feel like it's time to work this through my head more thoroughly and then figure out finances.
Thanks so much to all of you for all the very thoughtful and comprehensive feedback!

That sounds good. It's certainly worth sketching out block diagrams of your proposed separate recording and mixing schemes, just to check that you don't hit a whoops! moment. Things like the digital clocking can get a little complicated if you are using the R16 in conjunction with other digital devices, especially if you need to go to 96KHz.

Mixing down as a hybrid system through the R16 is a delight, as the EQ is smooth and well-controlled. It's a shame they fitted only 80mm faders rather than 100mm, but that's a matter of getting used to them. Being essentially an analog mixer at heart, there are no built-in dynamics or effects. If you need these in your mixes, you will have to get them covered by other means. The R16 is also fairly light on AUX I/O, so it does pay to check that you can set it up in signal routing terms to meet your needs.

Boswell, post: 414984, member: 29034 wrote: Being essentially an analog mixer at heart, there are no built-in dynamics or effects. If you need these in your mixes, you will have to get them covered by other means. The R16 is also fairly light on AUX I/O, so it does pay to check that you can set it up in signal routing terms to meet your needs.

Although, I think he's off to a pretty good start with two LA2's, two 610's and a Drawmer dual gate. ;)

While it may be light on Auggies, the A&H does have inserts on every channel, as well as on the master 2-bus, right? So, there's no immediate problem in using the OB processing he has, at least in terms of gain reduction or expansion.

The other stuf - special FX processors like the Lexi, etc., might be a problem if Augs are limited, I guess it all depends on what his OB effects rack looks like...

IMHO of course.

d/

:)

I don't think you could go wrong with a ZED set up JP. The A-H was quality pres and some other distinct advantages, especially in sample-rate, if that's a priority. If it functions as a control-surface too I can definitely see the huge value in that.

I hope you understand that my input on the PreSonus was in no way trying to sell anything, or sway you one way or the other. I can only intelligently comment on the gear I have used. The truth is there aren't many brands I don't have access to, but I'm not here to sell stuff. I'm always willing to help a friend out, but since I've been around the only transactions I've done with anyone on RO were a mutually beneficial gear-swap with audiokid a few years ago, and I recently bought some Mogami 8-ch snake cable from J. Cucco when he moved west. In this case since my name was mentioned in association with the StudioLive (which I certainly appreciate), so I'm happy to weigh in specifically to point out what I know the SL can't do, in addition to the things it can do well. At one point, I wrote an in-depth StudioLive review in the RO blog section with all the pros and cons (as I saw them). It appears the blogs got lost in all the recent forum format changes and server swaps. The SL is a monster live sound and live recording console, with all its built-in DSP and simplicity. Sonically, I prefer it to any other mixer, or recording interface, that I have. For studio recording it has several noteworthy limitations, including a max. sample-rate of 48kHz, and the fact it cannot turn around and be a control-surface.

I was very tempted to go the Toft route a few years ago too, but it would be somewhat redundant now. In addition to the SL 24.4.2 I already have a variety of mixers here from Soundcraft, Yamaha, and Mackie as well for different sized jobs, both live and recording. And if I'm being perfectly honest, if I had a couple thousand bucks laying around - I'd consider adding a ZED R16 to the toolbox too. But as you well know, when you're in the middle of a building you have to ask yourself, "do I NEEEEED this?, or would that 2 grand be put to better use advancing the building project?"

All the best.

D...your input is greatly appreciated as is your honesty and integrity. It never crossed my mind that you were trying to do anything but help me decide. You demonstrate this on a consistent basis through the many threads you've posted to over the years. Wish you had a Zed for sale, I'd be at your door in no time! Would be great to have an excuse to come see your build!

So how is the build progress on your end? I've been a bit stalled for many, many months waiting for my son-in-law to carve the time out to travel here and finish the HVAC. His intentions are pristine but life happens. The expense is all laid out already. Probably part of why I am more focused upon upgrading right now. It'something I can more or less control that will move me forward. It's my push-pull kind of process so when I can't be doing construction for one reason or another, I put my head up and try to advance my audio chops, and that usually leads to a gear upgrade. So, to be completely honest, do I NEEEEEED this? (nope...but in another way...yup).

Gotta have some fun to keep the fire lit ya know! If I do this it will fill a lot of hours focusing on what I love and that is a need I think. I'll bet you get what I'm saying, and please have no doubt, I really appreciate your desire to help me keep things in perspective my friend. Sometimes I can get feeling like this whole thing will not be realized in this lifetime, so I'm gonna' grab the gusto as much as I can on the way. I don't even care if I sound a bit spoiled...I've worked hard for a lifetime, just like you and others here, and we deserve some fun.

Donny, I have no real OB effects to speak of right now so it's not really a problem. As for the auxes, that has been on my mind as well as the whole monitoring and latency thing, especially with over-dubbing etc. That's a big part of why I need to operationalize this on paper quite a bit before committing, or being fitted for a tighty white new suit!!

Bos, I don't really feel I would have the need to exceed or even likely need more than 88.2 so 96 would be just fine for now. And I'm a bit clueless about how clocking will play out until I start working through this but I somewhat get what you mean I think. But to just get started, some basic things that I need clarification on that I don't quite get from reading specs etc. are; what parameters/features of my Nuendo DAW will the Zed be able to control when utilized as a control surface and in what way? Would I be able to control features (plugins like compression if desired) of each DAW channel upon recording as well as mixing or just use the Zed inserts? Will I be able to control the plugins and their features as well?
I'm guessing having all those features would be asking way too much within my reach right now huh?

If you want to visit someplace cool, you should arrange a time to go visit Max if you haven't already. He's got a good thing goin' on down there, and is adding some very cool gear as we speak.

On my end, I've been inching forward, but the word "progress" seems like an overstatement. I've just about got my stuff together to post a long overdue update in the Studio Construction Forum. I need to get some feedback from Rod and the boys, so I don't do anything I'll regret over the summer. So rather than muck up your DAW thread with construction stuff, I'll post my update over there shortly.

Bos, I keep re-reading your replies to try to get a better understanding of what the R16 can do as a control surface with my Nuendo platform and I've been doing some more reading on forums etc. on how others have configured the R16 and their various DAWS for purposes similar to mine. I thought it might help. I am getting the sense that I can use the R16 as a control surface to manipulate more than basic channel sliders in my Nuendo but I'm still lost on this part.

I'm finding it is making my head hurt so I think my best bet is to go back to plan 1. My sense is that the R16 is so flexible it will depend upon my desired needs and configuration. I'm going to go with my wishes for use rather than try too hard balancing what I think will or will not work up front. I'll try to draw out what I want for signal/work flow and post my ideas here. Then I'll ask for responses about my ideas and see what will work, what won't and what workarounds I might need to do. This somehow feels like not doing my homework/cheating and asking too much of you and others. If so, please direct me to what I need to do instead.

I've had a quick look through the downloads available at the A+H site, and there is no set of instructions specifically for configuring Nuendo for control surface operation from the Zed-R16. I don't know whether this means that it won't control Nuendo, or that the DAWs that are listed separately need specific setup instructions rather than generic ones.

I don't often use the control surface capabilities of my Zed-R16, and then only with Reaper, so I'm sorry I'm not in a position to give a step-by-step guide to how to get it working. It may be a question to put to the customer support desk at A+H, either in the US or the head office here in the UK via email.

I think you might still be a bit premature on your console purchase, Vibe.

You mentioned having your studio turn-key ready in a 3 year time span, and as I stated previously, that's a very long time when it comes to technology, especially technology related to audio production and/or computers used for audio production.
We can all take a guess as to what may be on the horizon, but the truth is that we really don't have any idea of what lies ahead.

The other thing you need to consider, is that your choices are going to be fairly limited with the budget you currently have to work with. No console within your current budget will do "everything" you could possibly want it to do. You'll have to weigh out the benefits and the drawbacks, and pick the scenario that you feel best suits your scenario on the whole, recognizing that you will likely need to make a few sacrifices with any choice of desk within that price range.

Presonus can do this but not that. The A&H can't do this, but it can do that. Do I want the forensic EQ available to me on a digital console, or do I want the more classic "British" EQ? Do I have need for 16 channels of Class A mic pres on a console, or do I only really need 8 of the 16 to be Class A?
You have a lot to consider... It might be auxilliary sends, or channel inserts, or DO's... it could be one type of pre over another, a particular mode of EQ, or even an overall " sound" ... and while you certainly want to find a desk that gives you the best bang for the buck, you need to be sure that it's the right kind of "bang". ;)

Waiting a couple years allows you to save up more money so that you have a wider array of choices available to you when the time comes. It also allows you the time to see what else might become available, time to figure out what it is that you really need for what you want to do, and time enough for prices to adjust on certain models that could see a price drop once the shine wears off and other newer models hit the market.

If you're not in dire need for a mixing console / control surface right now, it's going to be better for you to continue to research the best scenario for you. Start with a list - and not a mental one, either.

You need to actually write down what it is that you want.

Weigh out the pros and cons, decide where you can sacrifice and where you can't... and don't limit your research to what is only available right now. Do some digging (and you might need to dig deep) to ascertain what the current trends are and in what direction they appear to be going. See if you can find little bits of info here and there that may give you a clue as to what's on the horizon. And after you've done that, come back here and tell me. LOL :)

In short, I think that going out right now, on a limited budget, and buying the best of what you can find right now, in a knee-jerk reaction, will ultimately be a disservice to you.

All of the above is IMHO, of course.

d/

:)

Thanks Donny. I hear ya loud and clear and your advice is sound. If I was ready to go today I would likely be investing in Nuage, the new Steinberg-Yamaha product. But as you say, who knows in 3 years and it may even be 4! I know a fair amount about what functionality I will need for the finished studio and the sound I'm looking for.

I beginning to see that I am expecting too much bang for my buck right now. I really feel I need some pres that would be better than the Mackie's as well as another AKG 414xls and a Royer 121 for that matter. Probably the pres before the mics. Pres would be items I could upgrade with right now and keep doing the relatively small amount of mixing I do now ITB...maybe it's not time to toss the friggin mouse, damn! I can continue purchasing and racking pres and running them through the Aurora. If I were to do this I think I would bite the bullet and pick up and work on filling a 3 to 6 slot lunch box rig with pres that could also be helpful for remotes.

Before I give up on the new console idea I'm going to sketch out some ideas and see how close I can get with the Zed R16. I'm sure there will be compromises and it's the extent of those I'll have to assess to make my final decisions. Even if I don't go that way, it will be a really good exercise for me and help me fine tune my needs. Of course, my vehicle just hit 200k mi so these choices I'm struggling over may be no more than mental masturbation, becoming mute rapidly. And of course there is the kitchen remodel with the need for cabinets, counter tops and a new floor. And then there is the need to finish the bathroom for my home office/studio chill space and on and on!!!!!

Reality really sucks.....

Well I've put some more time into my needs and scenarios to build in that direction now. In retrospect, this whole thread started with my unwarranted hope that I could take a relatively reasonable cost effective step toward utilizing a DAW (my existing Nuendo/or switching to PT) with a dual ability control surface/analog mixer to manage it with tactile operation. With that I thought it could also upgrade my pres as well, moving closer to my hope for a more hybrid setup. I also wrongly expected that this might be able to be done without having to swap out/sell off/rebuild major portions of what I already have.

As I’ve tried to develop multiple scenarios I have had to reach what should have been my obvious conclusion from the start. It ain’t gonna’ happen! The compromises I would have to make, with multiple scenarios considered, usually leave me with limited options like inadequate monitoring scenarios, more AD/DA conversions than seem prudent, long complex signal paths, clocking challenges and higher costs/purchases than I had anticipated.

I really want to thank all those who chimed in with support. It was a good process for me and I have a better handle on the state of the available equipment and what I see as a hopeful move by the industry to match the ultimate scenario I seek. Perhaps there are enough others with similar desires to keep this progress going by the time I am actually ready for the big commitment.

Maybe by then there will also be a bigger bang for my buck in what I need. Actually I’m a bit concerned about the opposite , that there will be a push toward the kind of operation I seek for high end studios only, re-establishing an eventual bigger gap between what a small operator like myself can realize and the big guys. Perhaps that will only mean ease of setup and operation will be theirs and I can still get close for less with possible technology changes.

I’m still experiencing gear lust and the Radial 6 slot “lunch box” sounds like it may be calling my name!
Thanks again to all!!!

Honestly this probably isn't a great time, cuz hybrid methods are so new, to by anything very big, physically, and financially.

I'd fill up that lunch and use that on your important tracks, along w the zed, which I've used on recordings. A real nice bus style compressor and a couple of eqs could go along way as a start to an upgraded front and middle sonically, and a controller, even if it's a Mackie MCU, novation nocturn.

There's new consoles but even at 15 grand they aren't even DAW controllers, and the ssl DAW controller hs only 2 inputs. Not good enough for me, when you can get an amek or a trident around 10. Which are classic sounding, and offer a much higher channel count. At the expense of potential reliability.

Plus if you need a monitor controller, you could get one w talkback. They did Ricky Martin, on a Mackie 8 bus. The one w the hit. So while pre alway get attention for there sonic differences, people tend to forget they are also hear the eq, and possibly compression, which is built in to it. Best sounding pre I've used is from clarec which is a neve design, which a couple eq knobs. I've never heard a pre make a more audible effect on a sound than an eq, but obvious the first thing to decide on w the mics. But really it's not like they've really innovated on pres much, besides less noise and higher headroom. Solid state, trannys or tubes, I like trannys and tubes the best. Manley dual mono is good, but a lot of money for a volume knob, and quite clean. It lives on our house kit OHs.

K you are right, it's not the time for me "to do anything big." The Zed is still very very tempting but it's a big chunk of cash commitment all at once and the I/O configuring for my setup/needs just doesn't seem to fit easily, mostly because of my lack of experience with firewire, clocking and wanting to use the inserts for analog sends to my aurora and the limited auxes for my Hear Tech system. I guess I could re-configure my outs/sends in my Nuendo but then, as far as I can tell, I wouldn't be able to utilize the ease of my "control room" feature.

Argh-Maybe I just need to dig deeper into Nuendo to see if I'm off base here. For now I use 6 of the direct outs and cr 2-bus outs on the Mackie 1604 VLZ to feed my Hear Technologies monitor system for musicians. This frees up my auxes for outboard feeds. I then use the DAW "control room" for control room monitoring (headphones, stereo/mono speaker options).

Filling a lunch box over time for important tracks seems more manageable. The Zed would give me a bigger bang for my buck in terms of EQ's and nice pres but... Picking up a used Mackie MCU Pro could relieve some of my mouse misery and give me some hands on control surface experience, with additional cost of course, unless that's all I do.

I originally got my UA 2-610 and 2-LA-2 with the options in mind of 2-bus application for the final mix as well as individual track mixes. I use them for specials now, in my limited recording/mixing, mostly on vocals. My AEA RPQ 2 channel really helps my ribbon mics and the my cloud lifter 2 is great for my dynamic mics like the 421's and SM7. Even with my limited experience, tube and transistor pres seem the most pleasant to my ear, in most cases, in that order, as long as I can keep the noise floor low enough for the application at the time.

I'm going to let the dust settle in my brain for a while before making any moves. Sure gives me a lot to think about. If you or anyone else have any other thoughts, please keep this thread going. It's all really helpful to me and can help keep me thinking logically rather than impulsive! Living in a remote area makes access to the experience you guys have incredibly valuable to me. The ongoing generosity and willingness to share always blows me away and I'm really grateful. If I make a move in any direction I'll post it here and let you all know my results.

One thing we haven't touched upon yet, Vibe, and it's important:

What is it that you want to ultimately do?

Is this a project studio where you'll record bands and solo artists for $30 an hour? Maybe do some of your own stuff?

Or are you looking at really going whole hog and opening a room that small labels might consider renting for their artists?

I would assume that it's likely the former, in that you have a pretty limited budget now...

So, you have to ask yourself just how hi caliber you want to be. If you are charging rates in the typical project studio area, $30-$40 per hour, then to put huge money into gear for that purpose is likely not going to ever get you a return commensurate with your investment.

You can still compete with the gear you have now, considering that most home studios are relying on VST's from Waves, which certainly doesn't put them over your head in terms of what you've got to offer now.

So while you're making your list, don't neglect to add the above factors into the equation. You don't absolutely HAVE to have a hi end analog desk to print tracks, Yes, it's certainly nice, but not a neccessity for your average garage band or solo artist who may want to do a vanity release or make a few demos.

Let your business take you to where you want to go - as opposed to taking the business where it might not be able to go, is what I'm suggesting here. See just how much time you can book with what you have now, as opposed to pulling the trigger on very expensive gear and then hoping it will drum up enough revenue to pay for itself.

Now....if you are doing this all for you, as a personal indulgence, then I can totally understand that as well. I've purchased certain gear in the past that was more because I wanted it, than it was to bring in more business...and there's nothing wrong with that at all. ;)

IMHO of course.

d/

What I want to do is an ever evolving thing. Because of my location I'll likely never get even small labels to use me. I will likely never get more than $20-$30/hr around here and don't plan to live off the studio. It will be an addition to my social security and a reverse mortgage. I do hope to provide educational service to the local high schools and not as local colleges as well as a professional space for kids who want to pursue the music field but have no opportunities. There are many many local churches (25-30) that would be glad to have remotes done to take back and mix for them for their personal needs.

At the same time I want to provide a high quality recording/mixing environment/ability for the many very talented musicians in this area and neighboring Canada that have very few options. Of course, I want to do my own thing too. So, more than a project studio, but may never get to be more than that even though I aspire to "whole hog" as you said. There are some pretty talented video kids and adults around as well so the post production thing is not out of the question either. This is an area where most businesses have to be a do it all kind of one stop shop to survive. There isn't often the luxury of providing limited or specialty service.

I plan to try and get some funding through grants for underprivileged kids. I've been working as a therapist for a large community mental health organization for over 20yrs now and even though I'm burned out working with the most abused kids you can imagine, I still want to help if I can, while at the same time, have the luxury to surround myself with the production of music in the last career of this lifetime for me, with any luck.

I'm not sure if this paints the picture of what I'm after and as I said, it is forever evolving. I know I'll end up with a small but dynamite recording space thanks to Rod! I think he gets me. My rooms will go a long way toward getting good sound. The rest is more up to my chops and less the equipment or technology. Of course I will need to do this with the most ease for me and at least the right equipment for the job and quality end results I'm after. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to "build it and they'll come"! Maybe I'll be able to entice an experienced engineer who is looking for a simpler life style to hook up with me and move me further faster? Who knows, but I'm willing to take the risk and incredibly fortunate to have a wife who understands and supports me all the way. She's an artist type and crazy as I am, bless her heart!

vibrations1951, post: 415060, member: 34341 wrote:
I'm not sure if this paints the picture of what I'm after and as I said, it is forever evolving.

We are all constantly evolving. I've been at this for 34 years (give or take a year LOL) have engineered hundreds of albums, just as many single releases, and have produced more solo artists that I could count without putting together a list...
...and I'm still not 100% satisfied with what I've done. I probably never will be. I am on an eternal quest for perfect tone. So I completely understand what you are saying.

vibrations1951, post: 415060, member: 34341 wrote: I do hope to provide educational service to the local high schools and not as local colleges as well as a professional space for kids who want to pursue the music field but have no opportunities. There are many many local churches (25-30) that would be glad to have remotes done to take back and mix for them for their personal needs.

I plan to try and get some funding through grants for underprivileged kids. I've been working as a therapist for a large community mental health organization for over 20yrs now and even though I'm burned out working with the most abused kids you can imagine, I still want to help if I can, while at the same time, have the luxury to surround myself with the production of music in the last career of this lifetime for me, with any luck.

Outstanding. :)

High schools have changed a lot since I was a student ( 4.3 million years ago, Class of '77). In those days, you could take a computer class, where you "programmed" a bunch of little cards, punching out holes... if you were lucky, you managed to get all 500 cards right, and 2+2 wouldn't come up as 5. LOL

Now, I see High Schools that have full blown audio, midi, and video production labs, and with some very nice gear, too. Some of these kids are graduating at 17 or 18, and many already have a knowledge base that took me til I was 24 before I knew what they know now.

Teaching can be very fulfilling. I gave music lessons years ago, for awhile, but 98% of the students were there because Mom and Dad made them, so I heard every excuse under the sun as to why they hadn't practiced, and I got burnt out on parents blaming me because their kids weren't making any progress, so, I finally tossed it in.

But...it seems to be much different with audio/video. The younger people I have had occasion to teach are enthusiastic. They don't need to be forced to learn... they really want to, and that makes a huge difference in the way a teacher feels about educating students. At least it does for me.

Anyway, I think you're on the right path Vibe, not only in a commercial sense, but also from an anthropological angle as well. I can only begin to imagine how tough it must be dealing with abused kids, and that it must be so incredibly difficult to see on a day to day basis.... but there's one thing you can offer them that no one else can....and that's music.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no greater soul-healing power. ;)

IMHO of course.

d/

Thanks for all the encouragement Donny. No more than 2 hours ago I got a message and had to respond to on-call. One of my past clients who was 18 years old made some bad choices by the river last night and they found his dead body on a sandbar downstream this AM. One of the worst parts of all this is that I am presently working for his younger brother who is in therapeutic foster care after being separated from his older brother years ago, experiencing worse abuse by his adoptive parents, removed from them and looking to reunite. I have been working with him, his bio-mom and her new husband and my client was anxious to reunite with his older brother after being apart for over 15 years. You never get used to this shit.

Kids like this need a break Donny and you are so right when you say:
"but there's one thing you can offer them that no one else can....and that's music.
As far as I'm concerned, there's no greater soul-healing power. "

I incorporate that with as many kids and adults as I can doing music therapy, providing personalized meditation/relaxation music and often bringing my guitar and/or my remote rig to record them. I have small drums and noise makers all over, even a plastic mic with a spring inside Spring Reverb!! It's so gratifying to learn the positive impact this has had on them. Some went on to play and others still listen to the recordings of stuff we've done together when they need a boost.

The rewards are almost worth it. It's so amazing to watch an Austistic kid or a severely cognitively challenged individual come alive, laugh and have a ball! They get it right away! Kids who have been abused feel they aren't worth a crap and the world isn't safe to be trusted....(and why wouldn't they?)...until they begin to open to music and all it can offer them. When they experience the thrill of producing and controlling sounds and it resonates with their bodies and souls they are freed and you can see it in their faces and bodies! I see this over and over with kids from 2 on up.

I truly believe that vibrations are all there is, period. I'm an "old hippie" as the kids I work for call me and I'm proud of it. Lettin' my freak flag fly, one minute at a time, just for now, cause that's all we got!

This groundhog saw his shadow and it may be 6 more years not weeks of winter for my choices! SOS just did an article on the Softube Console 1. More evidence for me of how rapidly technology is changing and who knows when the dust will settle and what it will look like, let alone what it will cost. Too much too fast for my little brain. I'm going to crawl back into my little hole, keep my eyes and ears open while I finish my build and work with what I have. (Well, maybe I'll take a lunchbox down in my hole with me and consider trying to build one or two of those 500 series kits in my spare time...)

It's just too soon, Vibe. But ya know, that's not a bad thing. Considering the technology changes that have occurred in a time frame much shorter than that, the chances are good that you'll have not only more choices when it comes time to buy, but also better choices - and dare I say, better choices that are cheaper.

Hang in there. Keep working with what you have and keep researching. ;)

vibrations1951, post: 415060, member: 34341 wrote: What I want to do is an ever evolving thing. Because of my location I'll likely never get even small labels to use me. I will likely never get more than $20-$30/hr around here and don't plan to live off the studio. It will be an addition to my social security and a reverse mortgage. I do hope to provide educational service to the local high schools and not as local colleges as well as a professional space for kids who want to pursue the music field but have no opportunities. There are many many local churches (25-30) that would be glad to have remotes done to take back and mix for them for their personal needs.

At the same time I want to provide a high quality recording/mixing environment/ability for the many very talented musicians in this area and neighboring Canada that have very few options. Of course, I want to do my own thing too. So, more than a project studio, but may never get to be more than that even though I aspire to "whole hog" as you said. There are some pretty talented video kids and adults around as well so the post production thing is not out of the question either. This is an area where most businesses have to be a do it all kind of one stop shop to survive. There isn't often the luxury of providing limited or specialty service.

I plan to try and get some funding through grants for underprivileged kids. I've been working as a therapist for a large community mental health organization for over 20yrs now and even though I'm burned out working with the most abused kids you can imagine, I still want to help if I can, while at the same time, have the luxury to surround myself with the production of music in the last career of this lifetime for me, with any luck.

I'm not sure if this paints the picture of what I'm after and as I said, it is forever evolving. I know I'll end up with a small but dynamite recording space thanks to Rod! I think he gets me. My rooms will go a long way toward getting good sound. The rest is more up to my chops and less the equipment or technology. Of course I will need to do this with the most ease for me and at least the right equipment for the job and quality end results I'm after. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to "build it and they'll come"! Maybe I'll be able to entice an experienced engineer who is looking for a simpler life style to hook up with me and move me further faster? Who knows, but I'm willing to take the risk and incredibly fortunate to have a wife who understands and supports me all the way. She's an artist type and crazy as I am, bless her heart!

vibrations1951, post: 415088, member: 34341 wrote: I'm going to crawl back into my little hole, keep my eyes and ears open while I finish my build and work with what I have. (Well, maybe I'll take a lunchbox down in my hole with me and consider trying to build one or two of those 500 series kits in my spare time...)

That sounds like an excellent way to move forward without painting yourself into a corner.

+ 1 excellent job. I think the two things I've found w working at commercial studios the past few years, that were most shocking, are the necessity for a true marketing plan, and the operational cost of creature comfort.

Mainly the operation of the HVAC was shocking, that said, your in good hands w rod, but just like everything else in studio construction, efficiency is a compromise of to performance.

As far as marketing I am just a kid who's been around the scene so I know a lot of people, but unfortunately a lot of poor musicians. The average budgets I see are between 500-3500. My boss who is a 20yr vet, and the senior engineer who has platinum record credits, typically, see a range between 2500-10k. We haven't seen much label work, and I'm just about finished the re model of our RI location, which is where some very successful records were done. Label work is the goal, and that's the next step.

The most important thing I've learned about equipment is to make sure it works. The studio near my house, same owner, tended to kinda put leftovers, and project level gear as far as pres, w standard my selection, and a couple treats. Quality wise I would love to see the stuff for the flagship location leak in, but I guess it doesn't make sense, for a 55/hr studio, that's only booked about 20 hours a week. So I've seen UPSs blow up, computer shot sparks out, a flaky digital mixer, that don't trust and mix ITB lately, 6" inches of water in the place, real embarrassing stuff, when your touting "pro", and charging top dollar.

Also we kinda after the first year, had a much better idea of how the studio is gonna be used, what's gonna go in where ect, se we are currently making a finalized wiring plan, and have a bunch of Mogami ready.

Until you have a better working idea of what's gonna be done, I'd start w a reliable system that has some treats. Then get the expensive stuff for drums if you end up doing a lot, or get the C12 if your doing a lot of solo vocalists.

Granted it's only been word of mouth and I can't seem to ever get a handsaw out of my hand, but, my plan was take a loan, get an HD setup and do on site recording, the mix at home. Man, am I glad I met my boss when I did.i know it's different for you because your living doesn't depend on it, but I realy am much happier taking my 15 an hour, and not owning any part of it for now. As it grows I will be part of the cooperation in a partenership, but, really, if my boss didn't teach his private lessons, and college production class, we wldnt be making it during these first hard years, and I just don't know who much we would see booking, if he didn't have a regular client bass.

But also, our locations are in the middle of Boston, and NY, so there are certainly a lot more studios on our level, one is a project, the other a mid sized commercial, than I imagine are around your area.

I think your playing it smart, build it best as can first, then get gear, much eraser to swap rack stuff, than add more mass to a wall. Cheers, best of luck.

I highly suggest you look into the recording connection as it describes what your looking to do educationally, your facility is just what they would like instructors to have, and best of they send clients to you.

I might actually be going to a show up in Maine this summer, so if it works out, I'd gladly trade a day or two of labor, for a spot for us to put a tent. I PM you as I know more.

Hey K you would be more than welcome any time. More than enough tent property with total privacy. But heck, we usually have a spare room or two open as well...don't want the moose to trample ya! I think you might want to check a map first. Basically you go to the end of I 95 north, get off the last exit before Canada and take a right for about 7 miles. We are about 5 hours from the southern end of ME....long state! Hammers are always welcome!

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's so valuable to get some insight from those who are there, or getting there. I really appreciate the morale booster. You have been doing it the hard way as well and know what an uphill climb it can be at times, most of the time really. Gotta believe it will all be worth it...actually, it really is worth the experience as it is now, one day at a time, often one minute at a time. There are times I just go down to the studio and walk around, cough on the sawdust and pretend. Feels good just to stand in the CR and imagine what it can be someday! Worthi ti for sure.

Right now I'm debating between a Lindell and a Radial 6 pk. The Lindell doesn't have the I/o capacities with D25's etc but higher power per slot is attractive. The price on the Lindell is more attractive as well. They both seem like really rugged quality products. Any thoughts about either??

K that neve-8816 looks like a lot of fun! The further I looked at other options the more my head was swimming! Gonna be an interesting development to watch over the next 3-4 years. I settled on and ordered a Radial 6pack (good features and decent voltage) and a used Lindell 6x-500 pre. Can't wait to have some fun when they get here. Then down the road I can pick up and add different pres/comps etc. and experiment with a variety that can help guide my future decisions, provide remote recording options and add to my present as well as eventual outboard rack gear.

...and open up a wide range of tonal possibilities as well.

Chris's rig is like that.. between his various pre's, LA's and 1176's, Pultecs and such, he has access to a very wide range of coloration, if that's what a particular production calls for.

My goal is to do something very similar... with not quite as much money invested. I don't have the room for a console, ( at least not one I'd want) so building a rack or two of various channel strips, comps and EQ's will give me the same results - without the huge space requirements that an analog desk would demand. Truthfully, in my current given available space, I don't even think I'd have enough room for an in-line desk.

And, even if I was able to afford one, and had the space, I'd still be stuck with whatever sonic texture(s) that particular desk inherently offered. But, if I have a rack of various strips from different console manufacturers - (like Neve, API, Trident, SSL, etc.), I would have a much wider range of tonal choices to choose from. It would also negate the eventuality of a large format console needing repair. IMHO, I don't believe it's a question of IF that LFC will ever need servicing/repair, but more like WHEN it will require it. And if a channel strip in the rack needs servicing, it's much easier logistically to take it out and get it serviced than it is to have a repair tech come to my house and do it.

Process:

The method I picture, is to use one of my go-to DAW platforms - like Sonar or PT - for the forensic stuff such as detailed editing, or very fine tuned EQ -and then have the option to get that console "sound" without having to knock down a wall - LOL - by simply busing whatever track(s) I want to process, to whatever I have available in my rack.

This allows me the choice of various colors and textures, at which point I can then either import the processed tracks into Mixbus for that Console "feel" and layout for simple balance and pan mixing, or, export the edited dry/unprocessed tracks from Sonar (44/24 wav), import them into Mixbus, and then add the various OB peripheral textures that I seek, (dependent upon the production), send them out through a high voltage summing device for the final 2 mix, and from there into a secondary - but uncoupled - DAW to print the final mix - the idea that the 2nd DAW would act like a 2 Track machine...

or...

LOL...

If I really had an analog bug up my ass, I could always send it to my Studer B77 2 track at 15ips. ;)

FWIW

d/

:)

Chris's rig is like that.. between his various pre's, LA's and [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.uaudio.com/hardware/compressors/1176ln.html"]1176[/]="http://www.uaudio.com/hardware/compressors/1176ln.html"]1176[/]'s, Pultecs and such, he has access to a very wide range of coloration, if that's what a particular production calls for.

My goal is to do something very similar... with not quite as much money invested. I don't have the room for a console, ( at least not one I'd want) so building a rack or two of various channel strips, comps and EQ's will give me the same results

I really think this will be the right direction for me as well. I will have enough space to add a small console but I don't anticipate the need for much. I'm watching what Max is up to and I really envy it in a way, and in his market it seems like it may make sense. He certainly has the skill set to pull it off. I can't ever see the need in my situation to do much more than what you have outlined. Your "Process" looks really good to me and doable.
Studer B77 2 track at 15ips huh...nice!

Having a variety of tones just feels right to me....a good way to get closer to the sound I want up front rather than too much processing later. I really think using the DAW for the "forensic stuff" makes so much sense. Why not use the best of both worlds right? I'm with you about ever being able to make the kind of investment Chris has been able to make but I really like the direction he has taken things.

Time will tell for sure! Thanks for chiming in Donny!
Good luck with your Process!