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  1. #1
    thejusticelair's Avatar
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    Default Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    i have a question regarding the use of outboard gear w/ daws. personally id love being able to see whats going on w/ everything and not having to use plugins and i would love to run all analog...but im also 20 and dont have the means to get a neve or fairchild (who does?) but anyway i am curious as to how you guys who use tons of rack gear wire it all up? and does all the processing have to happen on the way in before its recorded, or can you use it after tracking while your mixing. sorry if these are stupid questions but i cant learn if i dont ask. correct me if im wrong but is the way an analog console works that when its recorded to your 24 track or whatever...each track is sent directly back to the board and processed as the song is played and rerecorded? thats is what ive gathered but i havent found many resources that explain this or signal flow very well. i would just love to be able to use a bunch of rack gear and eliminate some of the computers role so i can feel like an engineer..not a computer programmer. any thoughts would be great!
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    paul999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    Read the post, How many computers do you have in your studio? for the logic I use to explain how good rack gear is cheaper and sounds better for what I do than computer power.

    How I hook up is this. I use an interface with 8 i/o's trs and xlr. I record on the format of my choosing Daw, Adat, reel to reel etc. I will use an analog console with good micpre's as of sept. to record in directly to "tape" out of each channel on the console. Then I export to my daw if necessary (cubase). When I mix I send a track of my choosing out the interface in to whichever piece I have selected and re record back into cubase on a new track beside the old one. After sept I will send my subs with all automation into my analog console and sum in analog as I re record back into cubase with the mixed track.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    I was just plumbing for the next project so this is fresh on my mind. Here's a little f'rinstance:

    I do a have a really good small mixer. For the drums, all seven mics go in. On the kick and snare, there are inserted mono compressors. Each track is also bussed to a stereo subgroup and sent out and back for some light parallel compression to thicken things up. That comes back to the Master to meet up with the other 7 channels. From there, it heads to the tape recorder, back out to an 8x8 converter and back to the interface via ADAT. This is a big lively sound (better than the thing I posted the other day, BTW).

    Or you can record dry and send each track out for processing to re-record. I don't know why, but it beats the quality of the internal bounce every time, even if you only do a little EQ on the old equalizer and a little compression with whatever compressor you have. This is also very good for rendering virtual instruments. I try to bounce nothing internally and re-record everything. If you have pretty good equipment, noise is not an issue, but you do get clarity and "firmness". If you have 6 stereo tracks, but only 3 pair of outputs available, still sum them that way.

    Since the used market has collapsed on eBay, now's a good time to build your collection of cool stuff nobody else has/is using. Sure, plug-ins are useful, but it's damned hard to beat boxes with knobs.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar


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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    I used to be all outboard with a nice mixer but it was such a hassle for me, routing and rerouting and everything.

    An outboard FX can only do one plugin at a time, I got into UAD where you can put them everywhere without having to do any routing.

    I do most everything in the box, sold the mixer and everything but one FX unit,(eclipse) and I use it on a S/Pdif loop. With a digital loop the latency is low enough to use it as a plug in cubase.

    I've also been using its converters for my recording input.
    I never finish a mix, just abandon it.

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    paul999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    Tacman7 Has a valid point. The UAD stuff is good and certainly less hassle with cables. Like I have said before, "Some painters paint with oil some with acrylic(plastic) I have seen amazing work in both. For me the more digitally I work the more time I spend smoothing harshness, fattening things up and trying to make myself feel the air move. I guess I prefer routing cables to mouse work. I have another producer that uses my studio from time to time and he works entirely in the box. His results are fantastic. My mixes are quicker and "better" when I use more analog and the opposite for this other producer.

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    thejusticelair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    i use both but id prefer running outboard compressors and such. so to use this stuff it has to be on the way in or while being played back and rerecorded? also if im recording 8 inputs into a firestudio and want to use a preamp how would you wire that? does it have to go in the preamp and then to the interface? not quite sure although i know theres tons of ways to wire this stuff
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    garageband's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    You have stated the ways of doing this correctly. I think the answer's "yes". I think.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar


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    garww's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    This interests me very much also. I just made my first web visit to Sweetwater to see some of the preamp gear mentioned in another thread. While I had that page open, I was also searching Polytone to see if they were still alive as I want a keyboard/bass amp. I noticed that not many web stores carry Polytone and that made me wonder if it's the same with signal processing. Are places like Sweetwater just stocking the consumer pro stuff.
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    paul999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using Outboard Gear with a DAW

    You had asked "does it have to go in the preamp and then to the interface"?

    Yes you can but you could just go to the interface which would defeat the purpose of having the right mic pre. Some mic pre's have digital out's that go to your interface. You can record in to the interface of course through the pre, eq and comp but I am vary light on the eq and comp. I almost never use a compressor on the way in but instead re record the part in my daw later. With eq I may do a little roll off where I know it will work.

    My suggestion is to draw out all your connections with your gear to strike the right balance of making it as easy as possible while doing the most for you and not compromising sound.

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Recording Toys And Tactics Thread, Using Outboard Gear with a DAW in Recording Engineers / Producers; i have a question regarding the use of outboard gear w/ daws. personally id love being able to see whats ...

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