getting the outboard hardware to work with the software

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by calidus, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. calidus

    calidus Guest

    I have an old SPX900 fx; the thing is 16 bit and mono only. So far I've used it only on gigs, ie. my modest home studio relies only on s/w plugins for reverbs and other effects. So the dumb questions:

    - say I record some vocals or a guitar part, I'd rather have it dry, so I can dial in the right kind and amount of reverb etc. How do I get the outboard effects inside the computer?

    I mean, then I'll need as many outboard channels as digital tracks I wish to process? My soundcard has 2 analog and 1 digital in, so I guess it's all about routing the signal right into the sequencer (Cubase), but I don't really have a clue.

    I noticed people write about "printing" the effects on a separate track, is this it or am I completely wrong on that?

    - would you advice me to get a newer outboard unit, something like the M-one or the Mpx500, or doesn't the 16 vs. 24 bit matter that much?

    - is that the reason why non drummers get soundcards with 4 or 8 i/o's?

    Please don't mind my bad english, I hope you got what I mean....

    Thank you in advance....
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    If you are using an outboard mic pre you can split the output of the mic pre to go into one channel of the soundcard and the other would go into the SPX900 then into the other channel of the soundcard. Although the SPX-900 is mono input, it does have a stereo output. So depending on which effect preset you use, your only using one output and not getting the full effect.

    To do what you want to do easily and correctly, you need a soundcard with multi-inputs and muti-outputs as well as an external mixer with enough channels that can interface any and all the outboard gear you have.

    Most of the new soundcards and effects are are 24-bit. 16-bit soundcards and effects units can still give you very good results and can be much cheaper. Many 24-bit device still sound like crap compared to some 16-bit devices.
  3. calidus

    calidus Guest

    Thank you so much for the answer, Audiogaff.
    I got a single channel preamp going digital to digital through the S/Pdif, so I have the soundcards two analog in available, the outs then go back to the mixer for monitoring.
    But, let me understand this: doing so, you get an unprocessed dry track and one with effects, so you can blend them as you like them? Is that right? And does this procedure apply for compressors and alike?

    Got the mixer, maybe it's time to get a patchbay?
    Any suggestion for a 4/4 or 8/8 soundcard?
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Yes. This is one possible way for signal routing. I'm rather clueless to what's current when it comes to sound cards. Aardvark seems to get good comments. RME is well respected. It really depends on your exact needs.
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