New Studio Build

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markos
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:33 am

New Studio Build

Post by markos » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:42 am

Hey everyone. Hope you are all doing well in the mnml world! This message is going to be fairly detailed so I will just dive right into.

I am in the process of building a studio and have set aside $5000.00 for studio upgrades. Currently I have:

- Pair of KRK RPG 8 generation 2 active speakers
- novation sl37
- ableton live suite 8
- apc40
- Audio 8 dj interface
- Focusrite Saffire LE
- Audio technica AT2020 condensor mic

Part of the $5000.00 is going to go towards a new computer (I am thinking about an Apple i7 Quad core probably 27inch) and a Native Instruments Maschine. I like the idea of implementing an external analog mixing desk with eq and compression but was wondering what the best way would be to go about doing this with ableton live. I was looking into the Alesis Multimix USB series and the 16 channel caught my eye.

Anyway my question is what would you recommend for this type of set up? Is it possible to link individual channels on an external mixing desk to each individual channel of ableton live so i can isolate each individual track? For example 16 tracks in ableton each going out to one of the inputs/outputs of the Alesis multimix 16. Or would it be best to stick with the apc40 and just buy a rack eq and compressor to feed my outputs too? I'm really confused at how to do this so any help would be greatly appreciated. Also i am open to any suggestions!

Thanks and please let me know if you have any confusion about my question.

p.s. i produce techno and minimal music. mostly sample and synthesis based production but would like to get into more audio recordings using synths.

kdgh
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mnml mmbr
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Re: New Studio Build

Post by kdgh » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:54 am

Yes you can send your ableton outputs to the mixer and if your mixer has outputs, you can send those back to ableton again.
Think about a good soundcard as in da/ad converters, cause you'll need them if you gonna work like this.
I'm really happy with the Echo Audiofire series.

Next to that i would buy a pair of dynaudio bm5a's instead of krk. they're really too bass-ie and flat sounding. the dynaudio speakers reflects way more depth, width and height.

Buy things secondhanded. it's way cheaper!

AK
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Location: Worcestershire

Re: New Studio Build

Post by AK » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:13 am

I'm not a fan of that multimix, I have one here and there's a constant low level hiss and when used through the USB, it's so noisy that it's unusable. Whether this is a faulty USB socket on it or the lead is in need of replacement I don't know, but when not used via USB, it's ok enough to use. The on-board efx actually have some nice room reverbs but the delays are not worth using as they are fixed times with no ability to edit them. I don't like the idea of paying extra for something I wont be using. Also, for some reason, it doesn't like 100% wet efx and will start clipping even at low volume.

Forget the EQ section on this. The most you could use would be a little high end gain/cut and perhaps the same with mids but the lo eq doesn't add anything except sh!t to the signal. I simply never use them and the fixed HP filters which are switchable in/out on some inputs sound really drastic even though they're listed at 75hz.

For the purposes you outlined, you're going to be disappointed and I'd be looking to spend considerably more money if I wanted to be mixing OTB. If you're just wanting to route stuff out of the computer and back in again, there's nothing but noise to be added with this mixer as it does nothing at all to improve on a signal already ITB. I know a few people will disagree with this but unless you're spending a lot of cash, the idea of routing out through outboard gear and back in might leave you wondering why you spent all that cash for no improvement. A single compressor and the multimix isn't going to do much for you in all honesty.

The idea of mixing externally was something I was entertaining but I soon realised it was going to prove extremely expensive and I was left wondering whether that expence would justify the results. A single compressor to route out through and back in again doesn't really qualify or do a lot and is going to be a tedious venture to isolate and record every project channel out through it and back in again. And then what? All you have done is applied external compression on the audio and recorded it, you are still left with having to mix down the track. Like if you used a sample that has been compressed during recording, it still requires you to mix that sound as the compression isn't a live processing signal, it's just become part of that individual sound and will need to be mixed like any other.

I dunno, if this is something you want to do, I think you wont see any benefit from the way you have described.

Barfunkel
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Re: New Studio Build

Post by Barfunkel » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:21 am

Maybe you want to check out the Allen & Heath Zed R16-mixer? Decent quality, nice EQ and 16 channels of AD/DA in one box for 1600 euros.

Though, I'd rather put the money on a computer plus an analog synth or two. If you want quality mixing with compression on many channels, your budget is pretty limited.

AK
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Location: Worcestershire

Re: New Studio Build

Post by AK » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:24 am

If I were spending that money, I'd be buying synths and stuff. I have some of this gear already but I'd get a Machinedrum over Maschine ( - you can use samples ITB with efx chains ) a Monomachine ( I like Elektron products ;) ) a nice bass synth - 101, new Pulse 2?, Moog minitaur? A new audio interface with as many inputs as possible and one which has well regarded pre's to make use of every inidivual output I had to bypass the need for an external mixer and I'd apply efx and mix ITB.

Other money would go on acoustic treatment.

markos
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:33 am

Re: New Studio Build

Post by markos » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:29 pm

AK wrote:I'm not a fan of that multimix, I have one here and there's a constant low level hiss and when used through the USB, it's so noisy that it's unusable. Whether this is a faulty USB socket on it or the lead is in need of replacement I don't know, but when not used via USB, it's ok enough to use. The on-board efx actually have some nice room reverbs but the delays are not worth using as they are fixed times with no ability to edit them. I don't like the idea of paying extra for something I wont be using. Also, for some reason, it doesn't like 100% wet efx and will start clipping even at low volume.

Forget the EQ section on this. The most you could use would be a little high end gain/cut and perhaps the same with mids but the lo eq doesn't add anything except sh!t to the signal. I simply never use them and the fixed HP filters which are switchable in/out on some inputs sound really drastic even though they're listed at 75hz.

For the purposes you outlined, you're going to be disappointed and I'd be looking to spend considerably more money if I wanted to be mixing OTB. If you're just wanting to route stuff out of the computer and back in again, there's nothing but noise to be added with this mixer as it does nothing at all to improve on a signal already ITB. I know a few people will disagree with this but unless you're spending a lot of cash, the idea of routing out through outboard gear and back in might leave you wondering why you spent all that cash for no improvement. A single compressor and the multimix isn't going to do much for you in all honesty.

The idea of mixing externally was something I was entertaining but I soon realised it was going to prove extremely expensive and I was left wondering whether that expence would justify the results. A single compressor to route out through and back in again doesn't really qualify or do a lot and is going to be a tedious venture to isolate and record every project channel out through it and back in again. And then what? All you have done is applied external compression on the audio and recorded it, you are still left with having to mix down the track. Like if you used a sample that has been compressed during recording, it still requires you to mix that sound as the compression isn't a live processing signal, it's just become part of that individual sound and will need to be mixed like any other.

I dunno, if this is something you want to do, I think you wont see any benefit from the way you have described.
This is some great information. My main concern was being able to mix "hands on" as i like the idea of routing all of my individual tracks to a mixing desk for final mixdowns. But you have proven that it could be a waste of time and perhaps my cash would be better off going to some other sort of equipment. Also i was pretty skeptical about the Alesis product as i haven't had much experience with them but i'm glad to hear some negative feedback because not a lot of posts or reviews have been given on them.

markos
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:33 am

Re: New Studio Build

Post by markos » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Barfunkel wrote:Maybe you want to check out the Allen & Heath Zed R16-mixer? Decent quality, nice EQ and 16 channels of AD/DA in one box for 1600 euros.

Though, I'd rather put the money on a computer plus an analog synth or two. If you want quality mixing with compression on many channels, your budget is pretty limited.
What a great piece of kit! This seems to be exactly what I am looking for but may be a little out of my league in terms of price at the moment. After reading what AK had mentioned in his post above I am begining to reconsider the idea and maybe just stick with inboard mixing for now until I can afford a decent mixing desk (such as the Allen & Heath). Perhaps use the money to invest in a better soundcard, and some external instruments? Any suggestions on this? Should i look into an AD / DA converter? I heard apogee soundcards are superior? What about the Motu 828mk2? Any help here would be great as I don't hold a lot of knowledge in AD/DA Conversion as well as "PRE's".

As for the KRK's, I actually have had them for just over a year and half now and am finally starting to get used to them. I really enjoy the way they sound and am finding that my productions are now being held under control since i've gotten used to them. If anything I would probably buy a second pair of monitor's to add to my kit for A/B purposes.
Last edited by markos on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

markos
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:33 am

Re: New Studio Build

Post by markos » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:08 pm

AK wrote:If I were spending that money, I'd be buying synths and stuff. I have some of this gear already but I'd get a Machinedrum over Maschine ( - you can use samples ITB with efx chains ) a Monomachine ( I like Elektron products ;) ) a nice bass synth - 101, new Pulse 2?, Moog minitaur? A new audio interface with as many inputs as possible and one which has well regarded pre's to make use of every inidivual output I had to bypass the need for an external mixer and I'd apply efx and mix ITB.

Other money would go on acoustic treatment.
I've played around with the machinedrum and I do like it, but I enjoy the pad control on NI Maschine. Plus the sequencer software is a plus for tweeking automation and visually seeing your beats, as well as the ability to use it with traktor. I feel as though i get more bang for my buck with the maschine.

The Moog Minitaur looks very cool but not sure about the sounds it will make for tech hhouse and techno. i like really low subby type bass sounds. Maybe the Moog Little Phatty Slim as well? I also just saw the Korg Monotribe which seems like a great analog synth for a REALLY great price but unfortunately not the greatest output/input options. Looks like a very low budget solution for an analog synth. I have always wanted a synthesizer dedicated to making basslines and this may be it, but will definetly look into some other

Again I am open to any suggestions and thanks for all your great feedback guys, your all being very helpful with spending my money! lol

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