Integrating outboard gear with a DAW?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by jmm22, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Is it possible to use outboard gear (like compressors, equalizers, etc.) with a DAW? If so, exactly how does one do this?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    My favourite topic and welcome to the hybrid DAW crowd. You need a DA interface that allows you to send digital audio out to your Converter and then out to your analog gear,
    Then AD it back into your DAW. The Aurora , FF800 / RME to name only a few... that will convert the audio to analog, What are you using now?
    Find a budget and go from there. There are a lot of options.

    Start reading on hybrid DAWs if you want to learn more. Its not cheap. You can use things like these:

    Dangerous Products: D-BOX
    Dangerous 2-BUS
    SPL MixDream

    and the Folcrom which is a passive summing box
    Roll Music Systems

    That's lots of info to chew on.
  3. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Hello jmm
    A number of outboard gear have digital and analog I/Os. Some DAWs feature automated latency compensation for external devices, too, which makes it really easy to work with external FXs.
    You connect the , e.g., M6000, to the digital or analog I/Os of your soundcard, establish a new insert or send for the connected device and "ping" the loop through for detecting the right compensation time.
    Now, you can use the outboard FX like a synchronized plugin with external controls. Don't forget to safe the settings, though. Use Midi or simply store it as preset on the device and make notes of its name.
    Here, I have the DAW feature that some hardware devices and their presets are already stored and can be recalled and adjusted with a corresponding gui within the DAW.
    Plugin reverbs, for example, are not yet quite as good as some HiEnd devices and sometimes I just want to use my favourite hw compressors, therefore I use outboard gear on my Nuendo rig with
    many productions and w/o problems.
  4. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Thanks for the replies. I am glad to know it can be done, but some quick reading (including the provided links) tells me it is beyond my scope at the moment.
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Not necessarily.

    If your interface has analog I/O, you can route signals from your DAW to external gear and back in.
    Then it becomes a question of is it a good idea to do this?

    Like BigK said, there are many high-end outboard gear you might want to use.
    But is your outboard gear any better than your plug-ins?
    There is also the concern w/ latency, as he mentioned.

    There's not anything I have that I want to use post-tracking. I do hit a few compressors while tracking, but that is independent of (pre) my DAW.

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