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Entry level interface- (m-audio M-track 2x2m)

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by kmetal, May 28, 2016.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Thanks, D. I'm probably gonna poll everyone on what their fave verbs are. I have true verb, and the convolution verb from waves. My buddy was saying the H-verb from them is nice.

    I didn't even know Valhalla verb existed. Ditto for the Tracks one. I think I might be mistaken thinking I'll find a one does it all type deal (barring the bricasti). It's seeming to me like I'm going to have to find a few that donspecific things well, i.e. Dark hall, or that l one does small rooms well, Ect Ect.

    Altiverb has a long standing reputation, and I'd like to have one 'main' convolution reverb for the sake of organization and format things. I was always scared of the price tag, but my thinking has changed over the last few years.

    I haven't bought anything new since I started at the studios, so I was/am very green to what's out there now, although it's been fun getting re aquanted w GAS.

    Particularly w reverb, being at the studio, using the excellent sounding rooms, I've not reached for a verb in many years, besides just a hint of it for vocals. With 'modern' production having had fairly had fairly dry vocals, it was usually a barely audible amount of verb and delay.

    I I tend to use delay more than verb in general.

    But now, my new ideas involve a lot of electronic based vsti, and music that's not point and capture, so verb both as an effect, and a mild mix sweetener has become 'necessary'.

    I'm gonna investigate those links today. I appreciated it.
     
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Interface-

    Well the octa capture is out of the race. Thanks to my buddy Louis's suggestion I checked out the MOTU Avb ultra lite, and it seems that it might be the best compromise. I'll try to explain briefly.

    So now it's Scarlett 18i20 vs ultralite

    http://motu.com/products/avb/ultralite-avb

    Pro:

    It's audio networkable, albeit AVB instead of Dante. But, Dante "via" which connects computers to each other for audio with no interface, just the standard onboard card, only supports 96k, so I was disappointed in that when I discovered it last month.

    This makes Dante not relevant till I'm considering options like the burl.

    I'm going to look into AVb vs Dante to fresh my memory.

    Avb has 'guaranteed quality of service' which basically means it's a dedicated port on the Ethernet standard. A port is similar to a channel in a daw. If I understand it, the guarantee w QOS means Avb, owns/rents that channel exclusively, so whatever network your using with you Avb hardware, has a dedicated Chanel.

    For me a non IT guy, I like this. I belive Dante doesn't have QOS garentee, so they're may be more involved networking issues (potentially) and performance differences between networks.

    Avb has a fixes latency of 2 ms, and I think the QOS contributes to this. Again. Not an area of my expertise.

    I'll do a more thorough Avb vs Dante research, my initial one was really just to make sure Dante was cool, because I was interested in the burl.

    -

    Okay so a list of things I like in the motu.

    Finally PC compatible

    Networkable

    Remote controllable via wired/wireless tablets, computers, web. Mac PC luinix

    Multiple computers can connect and stream/operate the same interface, so my NAS, daw, and kangaroo mini, could all potentially run or stream to and from it.

    Has two Instrument inputs.

    I belive and I have to verify, that the line ins don't go through the pre amp section as they do in the focusrite.

    Ther is monitoring Dsp if I need it, not sure if it's at all sample rates. Good for emergency overdubs on heavy mix, orb wise Dsp is not useful to me until it opens directly from the daw.

    It says it can be used with an adapter or similar, to interact with standard Ethernet.

    iOS plug an play

    Cons:

    Two pres, so I'd have to hook up my mixer, or snag another art pre, which I sent a big deal.

    It's motu, which is always, never as good sonically as it seems it could be. Ie BLA easily makes them sound better, motu should. But it's a price point thing.

    I know very little about Avb.

    It's $650, $50 more than the Scarlett.

    It requires Avb hardware switchers to link, so while Avb is a standard protocol, it's not necessarily universally compatible.

    Plug and play as an Ethernet interface is Mac only. Windows requires the USB 2.0 connection and the Avb connection.

    USB 2.0, is that good enough to handle low latency daw monitoring for the max 10ch I/o, this interface does at 192k?

    Adat only goes up to 96, so those aren't useful on a daily basis.

    It's half rack, and has the pin/hole power connecter, instead of IEC
    ----

    So it seems to be a choice between a no no sense interface with a few extra onboard pres, which may be useful, but not necessary.

    Or, an interface with less on board pres, off the bat, but full network ability.

    Because I'm a gear snob, I actually like the excuse of having to buy a decent pre. I don't own any outboard pres yet. But it will take more time to have the 5 channels I'd like for 'record ready' all the time setup.

    All things considered, I had my heart set on the scarelltt but a gut feeling still. While it gets me going right away, with no additional stuff, and is brand new, the motu points ore towards the direction I've been rambling about all year, remote this and that.

    The practical side of me says go w the motu, and just build around that as far was pres, Ect go. It's not as if I want/expect super high quality onboard pres as my main selling point. The scarelltt was just convienient in the reguard.

    I do however worry about being locked into Avb protocol, particular becuas you do need to use an Avb switcher ($250), so, I don't want to have to start buying a ton of new Avb Branded stuff, just to get things going. Or because I missed some technicality.

    Overall while not as exciting the motu probably seems more in line with what I've been babbling about for a while, and does allow me to experiment w networked audio, before I decide on the flagship converter and connection type.

    So any thoughts are welcome, I'm gonna do more research, by I think the motu may be tipping the scales, for practicality.
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    That caught my eyes as well... and got me to thinking pretty much the same things you did.

    Compatibility is a big deal to me, as is steering away - whenever possible - from the old days of the proprietary "must use Digidesign" workflow...

    But, it's all about the pros and cons for you, Kyle. You need to do what is best for your own workflow and goals.
    What I would want - those certain things that I might consider to be deal-sealers (or deal-breakers), aren't necessarily what you might find to be the same. ;)
     
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  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Precisely where my heads at.

    @pcrecord hey Marco, I was wondering if you could take a look at the chart on pages 10 through 12 of this PDF link, it is a comparison of Dante versus AVB. Some of the things go over my head, but from what I gather a VB is a bit more plug-and-play and would require less technical I T knowledge, at least from the get go anyway. I was wondering if perhaps I missed something important due to my lack of knowledge in networking.

    http://hiqnet.harmanpro.com/content/images/misc/hiqnet_guide_to_audio_networking.pdf

    One thing a VB has over Dante is the ability to carry a video signal. This makes it worth it to me even if it requires one extra piece of hardware in the form of a Switcher.

    The cool thing about the MOTU, is that because it uses both ethernet and USB connections it is possible to use the interface on a Dante network as a USB interface. This comes along with a set of limitations, mainly sample rate restriction to 48K, but it still allows me the opportunity to work within the Dante realm, to experiment before I commit.

    So this overall eases my concern about being "locked in", since it seems I will have the ability to connect USB, standalone operation, Dante, and AVB.

    @DonnyThompson hey man I appreciate the links you sent me about reverbs. I looked into all to verb and discovered it 'only' runs up to 96K. This is a relief to me in a way because it's an $800 reverb, and I would have felt like I quote needed it" otherwise, or was "missing out". I've decided that thanks to your links of the free impulse responses, I'm going to play around with my waves convolution reverb, and take it from there. Believe it or not this helped me draw my final conclusions on things Albeit Indirectly.


    So...drumroll please...

    The old saying goes "if you can't beat them join them" so that is exactly what I'm going to do with MOTU, and focusrite, I've decided I'm going to get 2 interfaces. The ultra lite, and the Scarlett 6i6.

    This combination is quite a bit of functionality and cost effective.

    The Scarlet will connect to my mix down/office PC, the kangaroo mini. I can use it's standalone mode/direct monitoring to feed it's two preamps into the ultra light line inputs giving me a total of four XLR inputs, two of which Are combo inst/mic. Those two reside on the scarelett. Then I can feed 4 line outputs from the MOTU, into the scarlet to play around with a dedicated capture system. Both interfaces have SP DIF connectivity, which could come in handy to hook up to my home theater system.

    With the set up I can have a dedicated vocal And guitar mic inputs on the MOTU, as well as a main guitar, and bass instrument in,all ready to go. The scarlet then has the option to single MIC a acoustic/electric and DI simultaneously, stereo Mike the acoustic, or have my two other electric guitars plugged in ready to go on the DI. Also I may want to use those mic inputs for percussion or "lap drumming" to trigger drummagog and BFD.

    All this can be accomplished, with minimal re-connections. The big caveat being when I am using the MOTU for surround mixing, I will have to re-patch when I want to use it for mix down.

    The last piece of this first stage of the set up will be ART Pro channel channel strip. This channel strip allows you to patch into the EQ and compression and preamp sections individually this will eat up the rest of the ultralight line inputs, and may necessitate some repatching with regard to the line outputs, otherwise it will function all as one and just eat one line input. At $300 it is nobody's Neve, I was happy with my two channel preamp only unit from ART, for extra home use input channels. I have no great expectations for the compressor or EQ circuits but it should be fun to mess around with and take a little of the honk from my room out of my recordings. The ultralight has the ability to track or monitor, or both at once, it's built-in DSP EQ and compression, so I should have plenty to play around with, although I I expect most of my work will be tracked without it.

    This will be the last budget i.e. "cheepo" preamp device I will be buying, and it's mainly just to have some more knobs to play around with, since gain knobs are kind of boring. This opens up the preamp on the ultra light, to be a second guitar Mike likely before 414 in figure 8 doing some pseudo-Midside micing which will have to be encoded from within the DAW.

    I really thought that the soft tube reverb plug-in was decent enough to buy, if it were 50 bucks, it is the dumb down Version included with the skylit, but even that has an asking price of $100, with the scarlet six I six being $250, the reverb is a decent addition to the plug-in collection, and gives me one convolution and one typical style reverb that will work within both DA W's.

    So between the The connectivity, versatility, and bonus semi usable plug-in I think I've hit on exactly what I needed in this little puzzle. The Scarlet is iOS compatible, so that helps, end it is also remote control mobile, so all of my inns and outs can be set from the mix position, or the recording position. The scarlet also give me a chance to play around with a mix down DA W, and gives me dedicated audio interface for my mini PC. This also may play a role as a mobile recording device as things evolve.

    With the ability to get into network audio, A Dual DAW system, and the potential to be mobile, I do not think I could get any more functionality or connectivity from any single interface or a combination thereof At the $900 price point which these two interfaces land that combined. With a couple new little plug-ins to play around with that I think may be useful once in a while, or once in a great while, that is the cherry on top.

    Also really cool is the ultralight is luinix supported out of the box, and the Scarlet is "not officially "supported but has been known to work. This is cool because my NAS drive is Linux-based.

    The obvious shortfall of this system is the budget/mid level conversion and clucking, but both units are basically brand new, so I like that better than buying a five-year-old Roland, or Tascam unit, both falling within the same price range.

    The whole idea of this set up, between the mid-level computers in interfaces is to finally get back into recording again, at home which I have not done in many years, due to lack of inspiration, and the ability to use the studios whenever nobody has sessions. It also allows me to archive and organize all my old recordings as well as experiment with The various ethernet based options and audio not working in general. Also it seems video networking will be possible, with a little bit of extra video oriented hardware.

    All in all this should make a nice Proto type system on a reasonable budget before I pull the trigger on the high-end versions of this set up. Between the plug-ins in the hardware I'll be around the $ 4K , which is the cost of a pultec tech, or brand new Mac Pro. I'll have a couple of my long time utilitarian renaissance plug-ins finally under my own ownership, as opposed to just using them at the studio, a couple high-end sample sets, and various other included sounds, etc.

    I think I've been able to put together a nice well-rounded set up with everything speaking generally the same language on the same quality level and everything fairly modern.

    This should be a fun little system to learn on, and figure out what my brother needs will be, without breaking the bank, so I can continue building the necessary hardware set up for true surroundsound. I also think that these devices will be able to be put to good use in different roles as the upgrades continue. The next upgrades would be hardware based conversion preamps and monitoring devices.

    Overall it's been a long sometimes frustrating process defining my needs wants and doing everything within a shoestring budget, but I feel rewarded even at this point, being about two or three months away from acquiring everything and on boxing it. This is by far the nicest set up I've ever owned in my first true semi professional set up.

    I'm certainly open to any comments and criticisms before I pull the trigger or as things go up but for the time being those are the placeholders, I swear I mean it this time, and I believe that that is what I will go with. The channel strip unit being the last to be purchased simply because it isn't completely necessary, and my financial situation may have changed by the time I'm ready to purchase the unit, I will also replace the stock tube or tubes right away.

    I want to thank all of you guys for your patience and insight throughout this process I certainly would not have arrived at this conclusion without you guys. Thank you very very much!

    – Kyle
     
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  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    UPDATE- kangaroo mini PC out, HP G4 quad core AMD laptop in. Ordered it going to go pick it up tomorrow or the day after. When everything set up I'm going to snag one of those kangaroo meanies, for my dad, so you can access all of his tunes and surf videos from the house.

    For $260, this laptop should accomplish quite a bit more, then the kangaroo, although for the record the kangaroo is a steal at $99. Going to upgrade the RAM to its maximum 8 GB on the laptop, keeping my fingers crossed that my coupon code is valid and I can get the computer and ram all in one stop. I'm also going to swap in an SSD drive, when I order the three for the Lenovo desktop. I will use this 5200 RPM Drive, for storing regular old files in the standalone hard drive case, I have on my purchase list, which will connect to the Nas drive either via USB or ethernet. So it's good that These stock drives won't be going to waste.

    Here's a link for anyone interested in this deal.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/462046/255_G4_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Black
     
  6. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    I wanted you to get that big focusrite... 'cause it caught my eye as well.
     
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  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I hope you like it K, those AMD A8 are kind of slow... I usually recommend people to get at least a Intel I3.
    But hey, they get better everyday ;)
     
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  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I picked it up today, along with the RAM sticks. There is a 30 day return policy, and I haven't opened it yet so if you think the I three is a better option or the other processor is better let me know, and I can exchange them. I quickly googled the bench tests on the chips before I purchase the AMD based computer, and it seemed to perform similarly to and I three again on the bench bench tests for whatever they're worth, but also had additional cores. So that is sort of how I arrived at the decision. That said AMD's seem to be pretty slow in general and never outscore comparable Pentiums, so with me having limited experience with this stuff, it was tough for me to figure out if a "lesser Pentium chip" i.e. dual core I three, was better than a quad core AMD, which were both operating at around the same clock speed.

    So there is still time to make the "final decision" and just keep one. I was hoping to get some capture DA W use, and very modest "quick idea" multitrack use. Mainly the job is for Microsoft office and web design/archive type things so my Lenovo desktop can stay I'm connected to the Internet as much as possible.

    I hold your opinions on computing (and in general) in high regard so I appreciate any input

    The other option in the price range is the pentium N3540 chip

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/466499/Ideapad_100_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Black


    Or they had a few i3s here's an example.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/459305/Aspire_E5-573-35JA_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Charcoal_Gray
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Funny you should mention that, because that's exactly what I've decided on for the $150 difference in price there's quite a bit more features, and also the additional aid at connectivity is welcome because it does work at 190 2K I'll be at only two channels. So to balance out the cost of everything I've decided to not purchase the AIRT channel, and I will just wait on external outboard till I have the budget for truly professional pieces, as opposed to spending $300 on a toy.

    Aside from that I was going my input and output list and I realize that the extra preamps will come in very handy even if they are just for lap drum triggers, when I started remembering that I wanted to also get into some really anything, and invest in some more Mike's eventually like the bear 160, it seems that the small difference in price between the 6 x 6 and the eight teen 20, wasn't really substantial in the long run, plus it's rackmount the bal also get into some really anything, and invest in some more Mike's eventually like the bear 160, it seems that the small difference in price between the 6i6 and the 18i20, wasn't really substantial in the long run, plus it's rackmountable.

    I know that I will quickly be disappointed with the 6 x 6 and it's certainly worth waiting a couple of extra weeks to accrue the money when the time comes sometime around August.

    Beyond that I can't afford anything better in the mode to line, so I have to stick with the ultralight, as the centerpiece for this Proto type audio network system. So the focus right is giving me the connectivity I need, and between it's digital connections and standalone mode should do what I needed to do.
     
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I'm sorry I'm a bit ignorant of those protocols. They run on ethernet but are not common network protocols. I admit it's a bit over my head ;)
    This is not to say I never used them, I've been on live FOH job where digital snakes were used. but I honestly didn't analyse them.

    Personnaly If I would go out of the common USB or FireWire one day, I think Madi is something that would be nice to explore. Chris (audiokid) only had good words about Madi.
     
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  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    MADI is excellent. But I also suspect the interface card is also important. I'm a big advocate of RME.
     
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  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    @pcrecord

    Well it seems the i3 5005u chip is dual core w 4 threads. I was under the false Impression that it was just a dual core dual thread. Even though it takes $25 in gas to get up to Boston I'd be willing to drop the extra $40 sticker price on the HP i3 version of the laptop, all the other specs are the same.

    The i3 came out Jan of 2015, the a8, Jan 2016.

    I've read tons of things on physical cores vs threads, and core count vs speed and it's always ending up w the "it depends". It seems realtime performance likes higher clock speeds, and raw processing more physical cores.

    I'm almost inclined to just keep what I have becuase my indecision drives me crazy, but I'd rather bring the a8 back than find out next month that I'd see a noticeable diff w the i3. At this level of computing it seems it's almost 6 of one half dozen of the other.

    That said the a8 doesn't seem to outperform any i3, so I'm really still on the fence.

    The other consideration is the drive will be an ssd (Samsung 850 EVO 500gb) along w a usb 3 external and two more ssd, so im wondering if it would make any diff in real world performance between the two chips after that's complete.

    My heart says Intel is always better and that seems to be the consensus, but I'm not sure if it's actually worth the time and money at this level of computing.

    One big diff is the Intel supports hyperthreading. It also supports many more instruction sets.

    Ether way I'm getting way more cpu and disco space and ram than I would for the $179 kangaroo+ or the regular $100 one. So I'm happy with my purchase either way, but if the i3 will eak out some more useful performance than I'm game. Otherwise I'll call it 'is what it is'. The NAS has a dual celeron in it, which only has two threads.

    $40 is practically no difference in price to me, it's more a matter if you, or anyone thinks I'd notice anything of an improvement.

    So I guess this is a speak or forever hold your peice moment lol, becuase frankly my brain hurts lately. Since I'm not gonna be able to set anything up for a couple months, I've got to buy this stuff based on specs and opinions.

    This is he other computer I would buy, literally the same hp/G4 brand and model, the two differences are the i3 5005u instead of the AMD a8, and the i3 comes with Windows 10 pro instead of home, which I just noticed right now. Difference in price is $40. All things considered is it Worth it?

    Well if that went over your head, then I definjnatley think AVB is the place to start w my network audio adventure. It's got QOS, and is generally more 'plug and play' a according to the info/consensus I could interpret.

    Avb also does video, which Dante doesn't.

    Since the MOTU ultra lite is both usb and Ethernet I think I've decided that that's the best option to go with for a starter network audio device.

    Yeah I'm sure it is. W the RME card being $1500 it's a reasonably significant part of an overall investment. This is why I'm being so careful.
    This is also why the Burl is so cool, because I can buy an additional card for it. So it comes w your choice of madi or Ethernet, and you can buy the other card. You can only use one connection type at a time.

    In the computer side, you can grab the high speed Dante pcie card for a $1k, or use any standard Ethernet port.

    The huge difference off the bat is networked vs non networked. Becuase madi is the consensus winner in all the 'standard' connectors i.e. Usb/FireWire.

    I think my foray into avb, along w my experiments w Dante 'via' will give me a good glimpse into how both protocols work, and whether or not networked audio is for me or not. W MOTU giving me usb, it's certainly not a losing situation, and for the extra $150 vs the non avb ultralight certainly well worth it. Especially considering the madi/Ethernet cards are 850 from Burl. I really want to be sure.

    In all honestly I think pound for pound madi is probably the better choice of today, but I belive networked audio is the future. So that said I wonder if madi is the best long term solution.

    While I'm slowly starting to question if the Burl sound really is for me, I won't know until i may ears on it for myself. My trusted sources who've used them love them, but the material I've heard via YouTube, is very kinda meh.

    The good news is I've got a couple years before I drop 5-6k on my adda and the dangerous is still penned in in addition, so unless something newer comes out from dangerous, or something that is equivalent in price and expandability from another company then I've got a winner there.

    So I think that the gear I've selected for now fits all needs all around, and suits the computers they'll be mated with very well. Everything is brand new, and mid level.

    It'll be great to learn and play, and by the time the high end investment happens, I should be well versed in the options.

    As an aside I got $150 off the asking price of the jdk audio eq, in a quote from a place in Boston.

    So I think I'm gonna take a trip down to the factory in Maryland at the end of summer or fall, and then start a Kickstarter so anyone who's buys me holiday/b day gifts, can contribute to my eq. It's one of those things I have a gut feeling about. It's either gonna be vey average and disappointing, or one of those peices that are better than the price would reflect. I have a knack for lucking out with that type of thing.

    Being a sister company they don't need to turn profit I don't think, and I get the impression it's kinda just for fun for the design team.

    So no art channel. Just the ultralight and 18i20.

    The computer (laptop) is still to be determined, but either way, it feels very re assuring to me to finally have the 2 computers and NAS all home ready for rock. The rest is just chipping away at the ram and drives Ect. Even my software set is 3/4 there with the only thing sorta pricey is drummagog platinum ($200) and Adobe Acrobat ($400) quicken, and mso, and the other stuff is all $150 or under.

    My plan for takeoff at full speed is 2017, but I've been taking care of Buisness plans, web domain registry, crap like that.

    Rambling off.. For now. Until I change my mind again. Wait. No. I won't change my mind agian. Unless....
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    The long term pieces to pro audio is your health, studio, microphones, dedicated standard tracking hardware and good monitoring . Everything else will be replaced year to year. The DAW, AD conversion and software will evolve all together as they are intertwined to the computer.

    Hardware with digital add-ons are a bad investment. Stay away from the hype because that's all it is.

    Computers and Converters are the area that will evolve the most and what is the worst investment. Your digital investment is for today, not tomorrow because one day you are a hero, the next day you are a zero.

    In the converter department, I'd be buying higher end used. Don't invest in new converters. All the top end converters are close enough with a life expectancy of 5 years. Remember, the converter is only as useful as its interface > its connected to the computer.
    I bought an RME HDSPe 32 for $900 2 years ago. Not $1500.00 And you can buy used Orion 32 for the same. In a few years you won't even be able to sell an Orion 32. Antelope is dating their gear and the competition as fast as they are making it. New and improved converters year after year.

    Burl, Prism, Lavry... all getting their asses kicked.

    Buy for today because tomorrow is all related to the computer and we know where that is going. You are only as good as the seasons crop.
     
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  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    (edit)

    We/ I am talking mixing at this point. Which is also what many of us are planning. To mix our craft.
    Which is also related to what you really need to buy for tracking. I mean, if you can get the secrets of this business done ITB, why would we invest in all the hardware hype. Its all intertwined and so are the most important parts to how and why its either bust or profit. Overkill.

    The way I see it, I don't care how great your drum room is when it comes to where the business is headed, I'd still be replacing the kick lol. I mean, we are talking about making money as a business and the best sound we can get. Isn't this also related to the best rooms in the world. You are only as good as the room in which great converters are designed for.
    Right?
    Who wants to starve at this and do we really believe an acoustic kick will ever compete with what I can do ITB. Maybe Jazz and all the older generation of music. But for the money making market, not me. :)
    Otherwise, be like MadMax and build a "mom and pop" studio and get paid $*^t to record the old guys who believe a Neve is going to make them sound "real".
    They still sound like the 70's bands recorded in a barn, the sound of AM radio. So who needs expensive gear for that sound. Why would we ever want high definition gear to expose the room that much. Thus, why tape and simple music worked back then.. And why a mic in the front of the band, some sm58's on the amps was really the core to rock and roll.
    A good band playing their asses off singing about the times was all part of that sound. Today is much different.

    If we are investing in our personal music, then there is no price to this. You get what you need and don't look back.
    If you are investing in this as a business, don't do it unless you have rich parents and a secondary source of income and most of all, your eye on the target.

    But if you still have that addiction to make a living at our passion, ... buy what you need to make money at it for this year, not next year. Be smart and learn how to use the computer.

    Be forewarned, all the gear in the world will not improve the sonics of bad tracking and performances. Its eye candy at that point (great for marketing).
    You are only as good as your client and will only get paid by the people who are actually making money at this.
    That is your real indicator. And at that point, the gear gets handed to you. Its all good.

    The rest of what we do is all ITB and how smart you can remove, improve, replace mistakes with the tricks that make us "bigger than life". (Bigger than the mom and pop studio will ever accomplish).
    That's the beautify of this world and why the kid down the block has a chance at it. They are the the future and could give a rats ass about gear they will never be able to afford or for that matter, ever need again.
    I think vocals, vocals, vocals. The rest is ITB.

    Computers are there for us to embrace (y). Learn and listen to what the digital world is capable of. That's the real goal and why monitoring is so damn important. You need to hear exceptionally well and be able to translate your mix with others. All of which has little to do with multi channel converters and hardware after the fact. Once ITB, stay ITB.

    If anyone's thinks he/she will significantly improve the sonics of bad recordings through expensive hardware via hybrid mixing and mastering tricks... to hope it will ever compete with software again, they will go nuts and broke trying.
    The only way around (bigger than life) is with sound replacement and we don't talk about this stuff openly. And that's the beauty of ITB. :sneaky:
    Don't be fooled by all the support of purchases hardware hype out there. It will all end eventually up on ebay and electronic repair shops. The people who seem to rave the most about all that hardware stuff are the shills living off end users who are still trying to convince themselves its all worth it.

    And so it goes, industry capitalizing off the backs of artists and dreamers who will do almost anything to keep going.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    thanks for the candid reply Chris, I always try to learn from what people do right and wrong.

    Monitoring and it's environment are next on the list. I've got enough microphones to make good recordings, and I think eight channels of decent pro Standard inputs will be fine for tracking, I have absolutely no desire to mix with hardware, although external summing interest me. But frankly with wanting to be mixing multi channel and possibly with video tracks along with it external something isn't making a lot of sense with my budget.

    You have no idea how disappointed I was when I finally heard the Apollo 1st GEN I put in my cousin's rack upgrading from his Digi 002 rack. It literally reminded me of a Sound Blaster 24-bit card. Unbelievable how much marketing went into it. I've learned through studying business both in school and working for successful and failures. It seems to me the more marketing a product does regardless of whatever it may be, the less quality it actually is. I've never seen an advertisement for a 414, you do not see Neve commercials on TV.

    Also it's difficult to get honest assessment because many people seem to want to just say how good everything they selected is, almost seating we are afraid to admit that they bought crap. I'm certainly not one of those people.

    I've always thought of computers having the 3 to 5 year working lifespan, but I always "thought" that top and converters might sound better for longer. I think I will realign my thinking a bit. Personally I think my boss buys a little under the quality level he should particularly because his rooms are so nice. Motu conversion i'm Mackie big knob and dated main speakers with worn-out drivers could be improved upon just one level. I think that may be where I need to be looking, above pro Sumer but below boutique, which what I think you were describing. I just like to be at the point where my signal doesn't get noticeably degraded as I plug stuff in, like what happened at the main studio.

    Ditto sir, it's just the way of modern mixing. It is good to know how to track well and use the room but it's an ancient school thought to believe that that is all you need, as soon as replacement was possible in the late 70s it didn't matter what studio you were in or how good the room was you were getting an augmented drum sound for sure.

    I died laughing a few years ago when you use the "mom-and-pop sound "in reply to one of maxes threads, because well I thought his sound was pretty good, it did not sound as good as the studio looked.

    I'm on my sixth studio design gig right now, and I've learned a lot from other people's investments, you'll notice I have yet to build any sort of main room or even talk about it, because that's not what I'm looking for. I'm taking my cues from Hollywood and mixing stages, and Foley stages which are by no means elaborate they are essentially garage/warehouse looking things utility rooms if you will. Live tracking to me is more about feel and groove then it is about sonics. I'm certainly not opposed to recording my own samples and having a couple of snares and kicks around for fun, or re amping with my stuff, but "a main room" with all it's expensive finish treatment and creature comfort is not something I'm interested in at all.

    I'm going to mainly be tracking remotely through something like source connect which goes through whatever gear the artist is using and my mixing/monitoring rig

    I remember we butted heads years ago about whether or not replacement messed with the performance or not but I've been using it all along anyway, the very first time I replaced a kick or a snare, or at least mixed it in with the sample I went "oh" So that's the trick. I'm sure you can fill me in on some techniques, because I was impressed with your work when you quickly ran a few seconds of one of my tunes through your system.

    Rich parents I do not have although they are supportive and generous, and are going to make sure I have a little spot of my own. Secondary and third round income is already in my plans, I'm going to rent out property, to pay for both my home, and some other things. Beyond that there is the potential for my disability for which I go up for my first judgment at the end of the month, this however like all government programs can very quickly be taken away at any given moment. That said, with those things combined I will have a machine making me a full-time income ( or equivalent), so I can focus on doing work that I actually love. Even though my work pays well it is sporadic, and I have limited capabilities For earnings due to how the whole disability system works. I'm a complicated man who wants a simple life a comfortable place to live and a killer sound system is all I could really ask for. I'm planning on spending some years traveling once I get my nest set up.


    Hence me on hiatus. I don't quite know how many notes are in a 30 minute long death metal EP "but I edited 99% of them for every instrument to get something that's barely listenable. Frankly not just the workload, The fact that I didn't get paid for most of the time, the fact that the guy still hasn't paid for his mastering and never well, I saw and experienced some things go on down at that studio building that a essentially ruined a fair part of my existence, not to get all doom and gloom, or weird. But I no longer have any desire to have a studio open to the public, which keeps it costs down for me and the client, and I don't want to ever be in the position where something I love is ripped away from me and there's nothing I can do about it.

    In essence I'm jumping off onto my own much sooner than I thought I was, but in the long run I think it will pay off as difficult as it may be now.

    Hopefully my knowledge and skills will evolve with the computer and gear building modification etc. that I can have some fun making some cool sounding toys without the exorbitant mainstream prices. I think particularly in the computer department especially with all the knowledgeable people around here, that I'll be able to stay up-to-date on A modest budget.

    All of my money is coming from a loan I took out off my parents which, I technically don't have to pay back but will make damn sure well that I do. It is funding this hiatus and my food and gas and modest gear. I do take some select work just to keep myself involved, and frankly I think this is the way to be I'm much happier now even though things are not necessarily easy.

    Oh also when you were referring to digital ad on where you talking about audio networking or remote control ability, or were you more talking about the Dsp based things, which I have yet to be impressed with? Or did you mean all of it?
     
    audiokid likes this.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    A quick comment on commercial studios. I trusted the people that said don't go that route, there was at one point even a whole thread about me trying to convince my boss not to lease the place he's currently extremely indebted to. I will say that they were right, and my suspicions that they were right were confirmed. That is why I'm shooting for a really cool living room type deal that has some hidden acoustics in cooperated into it to make it sound amazing, , Or at least within the standard plus/-6 DB standard speaker manufacturers expect. A wide open window, no console, basically if you crossed a mastering room with a post room that's what I'm after.
     
  17. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    About Computers, in many instance I had to work on A60 and other A... CPU and it was a pain. For office work and light home use, my IT friends and I recommend at least an intel I3 and if the budget is there an I5 or I7.
    I have no doubts that the NAS runs fine with a celeron. (the OS is so small on them.. )

    About all the other considerations. I think you might be overthinking thinks.. at some point, you'll have to make a decision and move on ;).. he he he..
    When I get to far with the reflexions, I remember myself that I ain't what I like, which is doing music...
     
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Cool thanks Marco, I think I'm going to see if I can scrape together the extra $40, and take the trip up to the store, and snag that I3 laptop. If not no big deal I'll just live with whatever it is, because I would imagine that the a series, would be better then the kangaroo mini.

    As far as interfaces and all that go I completely exhaust all possibilities and completely overthink things twice.

    So as far as the interfaces go I'm going to get the MOTU ultralight And the focusrite 18i20. It works out time and budget wise because the focus right isn't out yet, and there is no room for bargaining on the MOTU. So there is wiggle room with focus right, and I will wait till I see a competitor sale or a coupon for the MOTU, and that will be my bargaining chip. I think I can get the MOTU for about $50 off, and ditto for the focus right, keeping me under $1000, or just around it.

    Since I still need to buy like $500 worth of cabling, and things like an isolation transformer, and power conditioner etc. I think I've done as good as I can, as far as maximizing connectivity, versatility and staying very affordable, with decent quality.

    Plus I need headphones, Mike stands, a home theater receiver, and whatever else pops up.


    I love the idea of something like the Orion but I lack preamps so I need to start somewhere.

    Also, due to the timeframe it's going to take me to find an appropriate house within my price range, and remodel it, i'm going to be stuck here at my parents house for a couple years. So they have decided to allow an in law apartment, and I will start paying rent. So I will take down the half finished bedroom I started 2 years ago, and reconstruct it very modestly with an independent ceiling to prevent's impact noise, or at least minimize it. This also allows for an office/design/music area to be defined as well. So while it won't be a studio proper, I don't work particularly loud anyway and within the $10,000 budget I'll be able to get what I need to complete with bathroom and tiny electronics workbench. I'm hoping to be able to take care of it for $6500, and use the other 3500, to install new flooring and new doors up in the upstairs part of the house.

    The only real "sound isolation" besides decoupled framing will be an extra layer of drywall maybe two around the office/studio area.

    So it seems there is a lot on my plate so I'm going to conclude for now with a decision. And move on because there are many many other considerations, not the least of which restoring my guitars to get the studio nastiness off then, and upgrade the Floyd Rose on one of them, as well as get rid The EMG pickups and go with a Gibson 500 T on one of them. These are of great I've been waiting menu here's to do, so now is the time.

    I'm going to make the best use of the stock parts as I can, although the ram seems to be a small loss and not usable else where at the moment, I will use the extra stock hard drives for general storage like photos and music collection, after they've served their purpose for basIf setup.

    Other than that no additional PSU upgrades, and I will upgrade to noctua fans and CPU cooler, which I will steal Back when it comes time to build a real serious DA W machine in a year or two, or three.

    So as it stands my set up is looking like this. The external cases will be purchased as funds become available, or they become absolutely necessary whichever is first. Ram will be installed before the machines are turned on for the first time.

    DAW 1:

    Lenovo i5 (3x 500gb Samsung 850 pro)
    32gb ddr4 2133mhz (maxed)
    MOTU ultralight
    Avb switched if necessary

    DAW2/office machine:

    Laptop i3/a8/or I5 if I get seriously lucky. (3x Samsung 850 EVO)
    8gb ddr3L PC 1600 (maxed)
    3/4 bay usb 3 external drive case.
    Focusrite 18i20

    Archive/cloud.
    NAS
    8gb ddr3L pc1600 (maxed)
    6/8 bay external case.

    Software:

    Windows 10 pro

    Audio:

    Sampltude pro x

    Waves (hand full, l1, r- comp and eq. H comp and delay, and a few others that came in the bundles)

    BFD 3

    Vsl ensemble pro 5

    Drumagog platinum ( need to purchase)

    Video:
    Xara movie edit pro premium ( need to purchase)

    Drawing:
    Sketchup pro ( need to purchase)
    Auto cad - possibly, still unsure.

    Office:
    Microsoft office ( need to purchase) particularly word and excel.
    Adobe Acrobat pro ( need to purchase)

    Misc
    Virus scan

    Basic computer maintenance programs like back up programs CD burning software, etc. etc.



    I appreciate everyone's patience on this whole thread. I know I can be excruciatingly loopy and indecisive with my thought process but it certainly helps me to put it all in print and try to organize things as best as possible, I could not have arrived at such an efficient set up without all of you guys contributions and I look forward to rocking out and putting out some super awesome photo realistic drawings.

    You guys rule thank you so much! As always if you see any holes, or have any suggestions feel comment because the actual purchases are still going to be done over the course of a few months. But for all intents and purposes I'm calling this case closed

    Thank you!!

    - Kyle
     
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Right on Kyle. You are headed for a lot of fun! :D
     
    kmetal likes this.
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Whohooo

    I've just reserved this i5 for $100 more than the AMD cpu I got. Gonna exchange this week. 380$ is a good price and I have $5 off coupon. I've got absolutely no more money then 380 for this investment.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/454053/Aspire_V3-575-50TD_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Steel_Black

    I also have on hold this i3, which is the Pentium version of the computer I just bought. They want $300 for this one. So I'm going to get one of the two and that's going to be final, working out the finances as we speak.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/462045/250_G4_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Black

    I reserved both due to my constant indecision, and because I need to shore up the finances tomorrow when the bank opens.
     
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