Can you help me place my mastering equipment in my studio?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by micaofboca, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. micaofboca

    micaofboca Guest

    Can you help me place my mastering equipment in my studio?
    I record my Midi performances on my Yamaha Motif ES into a Sweetwater Creation Station DAW. I record with Sonar using an Edirol FA-66 soundcard (audio interface), and running Receptor with the Komplete libraries (which utilize Kontakt as a plug-in soft synth within Sonar). I'm lucky enough to have an Avalon Equalizer, an Avalon compressor and four Avalon preamps, but I need help in wiring these into my studio. I had a tech-wise friend wire my studio 4 years ago, but have since moved and changed PC's, and keyboard and Midi setup, now thqt Firewire rids me of all the wires I used to have. But I can't remember how he wired the EQ, compressor and preamps which improved my sounds so nicely. The Avalon equipment is real clear and fairly easy to adjust. I don't want to get into software, especially when I have such nice gear just sitting here. Please, HELP. Where in the signal path should these cool pieces be placed and how do I cable up?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Well, your audio interface has 6 inputs. 2 are preamps, 2 are rca and 2 are digital. I'm guessing that the Receptor went into the digital inputs, and the 4 pre-amps went into the other 4 inputs? If that's the case, I don't know how the compressor and EQ were hooked up. They could have been in the chain of one or a couple of the pre amps, but that would only make them available for those specific channels.

    Honestly, you R E A L L Y need a different interface. Something that would give you more flexibility in hooking up all the gear. You've got nice expensive preamps, a nice costly computer and a cheapo preamp. I mean, if you only record 2 channels, it's probably fine but if you want to hook up 7 outboard devices, it just doesn't have the options you need.

    Working with what you have, here is one thing you can do.
    Avalon Pre #1 -> Avalon Compressor -> FA-66 RCA input
    Avalon Pre #2 -> Avalon Eq -> FA-66 RCA input
    Avalon Pre #3 -> FA-66 Preamp input
    Avalon Pre #4 -> FA-66 Preamp input
    Receptor digital outputs -> FA-66 digital input

    What this gives you is access to one of the preamps that has a compressor, one that has an EQ, and 2 which are direct into the comptuer...although I don't necessarily like the idea of plugging a great preamp into a crappy preamp as in #'s 3 and 4. This leaves all 4 of your outputs free to plug them in anywhere you wish.

    Here's an alternative hookup...

    Avalon Pre #1 -> FA-66 preamp
    Avalon Pre #2 -> FA-66 preamp
    FA-66 Output #3 -> Avalon Pre -> Avalon Compressor -> RCA input
    FA-66 Output #4 -> Avalon Pre -> Avalon EQ -> RCA input
    Receptor digital out -> FA-66 digital in.

    This setup allows you to use the compressor and EQ as an insert for other tracks. With this setup, you are dedicating 2 of the outputs for insert effects (the comp and eq) and you can use outputs 1 and 2 as your main outputs. Again, it's not ideal but with what you have it would work. For outputs #3 and 4, you could probably just leave the Avalon preamps out of that chain, because the really shouldn't be needed. Sell those 2 and buy a better interface.

    Actually this might be better...

    Avalon Pre #1 -> RCA input
    Avalon Pre #2 -> RCA input
    FA-66 Output #3 -> Avalon Compressor -> FA-66 Preamp
    FA-66 Output #4 -> Avalon EQ -> FA-66 Preamp
    Receptor digital out -> FA-66 digital in.

    With this, you aren't doubling up the Avalon preamps with the FA-66 preamps. It still leaves you with 2 preamps just sitting around. I'll take those as my hook up recommendation fee. :)

    BTW, micaofboca as in Boca Raton? Me too!
  3. micaofboca

    micaofboca Guest

    The Hook-Up

    Man, How kind of you to make these very cool suggestions. Yeah, I live in Boca. You, too? You're obviously a pro, or else a really intense amateur. What (firewire) preamp do you think I shoud have? The more expensive ones have preamps which I figured I didn't need since I've got the Avalons preamps. And I don't need the mixer and compressors they come bundled with, but I could use the additional ins/outs, to set up extra gear like you suggest. But paramount is, is there a noticeable improved sound with, say a PreSonus FireStudio Tube than the Edirol I use, although SONAR's compatability with Edirol is excellent since the companies work together. I don't know if a beefed up soundcard would be less compatible with Sonar. I just started with Receptor so it wasn't part of my studio when I had all these hooked up so nice. Do you work in the music or computer field in South Florida. I'd pay you to come over and help me hook this baby out. (But not with a preamp, although I've got a Digi 002 I don't use that you could have, which is a pretty nice trade, it cost me alot and I never used it). At any rate, I bow to your knowledge of the Holy Signal Path. Your 3 studio setups sound interesting, though I'd prefer you helped me hands-on since I'm retarded as an A & R mastering man. If you set it up, wear a cape like a superhero, 'cause I really need to put to use the sonic depth of these Avalons. They really sound clear and dynamic.
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I'm no pro. I may have been 20 years ago but now it's just a hobby/part-time thing for me.

    The FA-66 doesn't have the I/O that you need and it has preamps that you don't need. What you really need is more inputs and outputs. I don't know what the best interface for you would be. I haven't been in that market for several years. An interface with 8 channels should be sufficient. If I HAD to recommend one it would be the RME Fireface 400/800. It's got more than what you need (preamps and Adat) but in the Firewire world most interfaces include preamps. I use a MOTU 828mkII and I'm thinking of upgrading to the RME. One of the several MOTU devices would work for you as well. I can't say if one sounds better than the other. I haven't compared the MOTU, Fireface and Edirol stuff.

    As for compatiblity with Sonar, the audio interface shouldn't make any difference. These days most DAW software and audio interfaces are compatible.

    You really should try hooking it all up yourself. You had someone else hook it up for you last time which left you not knowing what to do now. If I were to do it you still wouldn't know. It's important both for recording and mastering to know exactly how your equipment is connected.
    Use the last example I gave and if you have any problems or questions post them or PM me.
  5. micaofboca

    micaofboca Guest

    Way cool

    You are a great guy.
  6. honestyhurts

    honestyhurts Guest

    Re: Can you help me place my mastering equipment in my studi

    Are u a musician then? I am assuming not an engineer otherwise how on earth would you not know how to do a basic recording set up. And you plan to master too? Oh lord! The analog gear is easy to hook up but hard for people who know nothing about recording. Google is your best friend find a guy who can hook u up cheap. Focus on being creative, there is a reason why professional musicians prefer to be recorded. Usually when you do it all (programming-recording-editing-producing- engineering- mixing and mastering) the result sucks a$$. If your music is decent it will suffer because of your decision to do it all on yer own and all you'll ever put out is demos. Good luck, u got a long ways to go . :|
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    North Vancouver
    WOW, that was not called for. We all have to learn sometime.
  8. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Re: Can you help me place my mastering equipment in my studi

    " Google is your best friend"

    Must be sad at your house on Thanksgiving. "Pass the biscuits please Google, ah, helloooo Mr. Google?"

    "If your music is decent it will suffer because of your decision to do it all on yer own and all you'll ever put out is demos. Good luck, u got a long ways to go . "

    You "got" a long ways to go boss. What the mind learns it can teach another, even illness. Just because you have decided to sit down doesn't mean there are not 15,000 others every day who believe in simple things. Like personal success.

    Move it on over my brother because you are in the way!!! Many will come and drink of the kool-aid that is music and many will be satisfied. Many will want another drink and will not be filled.

    Hate, is truly a four letter word.
  9. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Electric Kool-aid.
  10. honestyhurts

    honestyhurts Guest

    Re: Can you help me place my mastering equipment in my studi

    your narratives remind me of my high school days when this girl who was uglier than a monkey and no one liked to hang out with one day she committed suicide before killing her cat and hamster. that's how much insight your thoughts have. :-?
  11. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "she committed suicide before killing her cat and hamster."

    She killed herself, then was resurrected and killed her cat and hamster?

    Full on.
  12. honestyhurts

    honestyhurts Guest

    you tha joker :lol: she also had a parrot so after resurrecting to kill the cat and the hamster she gave the parrot cyanide. true story.
  13. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    lets stay on topic.
  14. honestyhurts

    honestyhurts Guest

    I hope you are not also feeding signal to that 24 channel Mackie of yours for the purpose of mastering :shock:

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