Connecting Pc and Desk

Discussion in 'Production' started by Ray Sparra, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    Hello, I just picked up a mixing desk, a soundtracs topaz, pretty cheap, so I'm gonna have a mess around on it. Whats the best way connect my pc to it? any other people prefer to use an analogue desk for mixing tracks, I don't plan to record through the desk to computer,just pc-desk-tape any advice appreciated, Cheers
     
  2. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Do you have an audio interface?
     
  3. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    I Only have at the moment a m-audio 2496 soundcard on my computer, I don't reckon you'd call that an audio Interface, I 'm supposing I'm going to need a beefed up soundcard, the desk is 12 4 2, so i'll want to sync upto 12 tracks from pc to the desk, any suggestions, cheers.
     
  4. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    it's quite a difficult subject to find any info on the internet about,
     
  5. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    That is in fact a proper audio interface. I just meant that if you're using a 'real' interface or if you're using a basic sound chip.

    But all you can do with your audiophile is to connect the main outs to the mixer channel inputs. You'd obviously need an interface with more outputs to utilize the mixer better. There are plenty of options and a lot of reviews on the net of the lower end gear. Something like this: http://www.thomann.de/fi/line6_ux8.htm that has more outputs than just the basic 2 that most interfaces have. This one also looks cool :D

    Then you'd also need high-quality inputs to make any use of the outboard loop and to record back the mix to the computer from the mixer (like from a Tape out or Alt out connection).
     
  6. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    Nice one , cheers, thats good information, had a look on ebay loads of ux2's,,

    I'm only really thinking to use the mixer for summing mainly, do the "mix" in the sequencer,and bounce it out in to the mixer,and add gain, the summing on a desk is supposed to be far better than in a computer,more headroom, also I'm hoping to get my hands on an emu sampler shortly, so that would probably be the only thing going in the mixer and out again recording wise, my knowledge is weak on this particular subject,,,
     
  7. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Well summing is in fact when you add channels on top of each other, so if you only use it for 1 stereo pair it's not much of summing. There's not much to gain by running whole mixes through just 2 channels and back into the computer with a low level audio interface. And unless you record the mix back into the computer, it will not affect the end product in any way no matter how much gain you apply. It will only affect how you hear the material from the mixer, not how it sounds in the software so it is essential to record it if you want it to have any effect on the sound.

    If your mixer is of good quality you can run samples through it and give them some leveling with the preamps (running it to red a bit) and record them back and use them in your software that way. Is it the Topaz Macro? I've had one and while it might be a little noisy as they are old, the preamps are alright if you dont push the gain too much over. The effect will not turn you into Break overnight as the effects are best kept subtle, but it does have an effect on the end product.

    Mixers also enable you to use all kinds of outboard processing gear like compressors and such.
     
  8. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    haha, nice one, I think you understood what I was trying to find out without realising. I already have an external channel strip (art pre amp) which i'm using at the moment for "stereo summing" as you said, what I'm trying to do is split my daw sequencer channels and send them directly to a corresponding channel on an outboard mixer, Ignoring the master channel on the daw completely, basically transferring the mixer section in the Daw to the outboard desk, It's probably quite simple,but i'm having problems finding the info, a lot of interfaces work the opposite way around where they are used for bringing signals in to the computer and using the outputs as a monitor section, i'm trying to find an interface which uses its outputs as line out signals,hopefully with connections I could put on the insert point on the desk. I hoping to find a relatively cheap way of doing this,, cheers


    also I don't think I would be sending the signal back into the computer,just straight to cdr as audio,

    had a listen to a couple of your tunes on Juno, Nice sound
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  9. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Oh ok.

    I've been planning on that kind of setup myself as well. I have an interface that supports ADAT out, so i was thinking of getting a Behriger ADA8000. It's a shitty converter, but I was thinking of just using it like you described, as a breakout box and record back via my interface inputs (they're said to be pro tools quality but who the fuck knows eh).

    Any interface with multiple outputs is a touch more expensive though, I'd say you can get one for 400 money at cheapest. I don't think there are any that only have outputs, so you'd have to get one that has 8in/8out or more. Something like the UX8 i mentioned, or Fastrack Ultra 8R (just looked it up).
     
  10. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    nice one. I had a look about the behringer ada8000, a bloke who was selling one also said you would need an interface with ADAT OUT, he recommended an emu 1820, looking at about £250 secondhand for both, get a couple of looms and i'll be sorted,, cheers for the info,, Indispensable.
     
  11. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    In fact I have the EMU 1212m. Pretty good for what it's worth, and the 1820 is similiar but with an external box for the in/outs.

    Recommended.
     
  12. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    you helped me out big time there, I looked on ebay and messaged a guy who had one for sale, said he uses the ada8000 for sending 8 channels from his sampler, onto his emu interface to computer, and goes back out in reverse to his outboard mixer, I'm not exactly sure how thats gonna work yet, I presume by mapping in the daw, How does your own set up work just out of interest? wouldn't mind knowing, cheers.
     
  13. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    It's pretty simple as I don't have the ADA8000 yet. I've got the sampler outs and pc main outs coming in to the mixer channels. There's a 'Control room out' from the mixer, going to the sampler inputs so I can sample anythign that comes into the mixer. For the mixer's outputs I have the monitors hooked up to to main outs, and there's also a group output. The group out goes to my pc input, and i can route any combination of the mixer channels to go into the group out so that's for recording stuff out of the sampler and into the computer. I'll probably get a bigger mixer before the ADA8000 since I'm running out of channels already. Maybe a mackie desk.

    Mapping the outputs on your DAW shouldn't be a big deal, there's usually a button on the channels for input/output config.

    But I don't see what's the use in sending the sampler channels to a computer and then out to the mixer again... sort of doing things twice, introducing lag and 1 round of unneeded analog-to-digital conversion on the way. You could just as easy connect the sampler outputs AND ADA8000 outs to the mixer if you have enough channels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  14. Ray Sparra

    Ray Sparra Member

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    sounds like you work mainly off the sampler!
    I have'nt even got the desk yet, just got it off ebay from a bloke for £120 delivered,soundtracs topaz s18;4,thought i'd give it a bash, I haven't got a sampler as of yet either (might have a emu e5000 soon hopefully)

    all my samples are on my hard drive or on cdrom/dvd, I just basically figured that bringing the channels from the daw to a desk is going to add to the sound, give more headroom, some nice analogue eq, bit of gain, couple of outboard compressors reverb units ect. I'm using mainly samples and soft synths itb at the moment, daws ableton and acid pro , everyone knows analogue summing is better and thats the direction i'm trying to learn about, digital is cold sounding imo, what do you think? Is most of your stuff done in the sampler, routed through the desk and onto the computer for recording? I'm only an enthusiastic amateur,, looking for tips, cheers for the advice
     
  15. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Well yeah that might sound like i mainly use the sampler but i dont honestly. Most of my stuff comes out of the computer through just 1 stereo mixer channel. Then use the sampler for maybe a few bass sounds that I route to different mixer channels for different EQ and gain treatment. That's usually temporary as well since there's a lag in the midi going out of the pc and into the sampler, maybe 15ms but enough to make real-time using hard. So I build something I like on the sampler (like a bassline or a beat or a sampled riff that I want to have the emu filters on) along with what I have in the computer - soft synths, sampled stuff etc. Then when I think it sounds good I record it into the computer and continue working without the sampler. Rinse and repeat.