Outputs and Computer Audio Interfaces???

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by theapex, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. theapex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #1
    I understand what the purpose of having a lot of inputs is for these interfaces, but what is the purpose for having a lot of outputs.

    In theory isn't all you really need is an output for a set of monitors and a headphone output or two?

    Please help me understand this!!! Seems there is a direct relationship between number of inputs and outputs and the cost of these interfaces. I don't want to spend more than I have to.

    Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    for monitoring stereo, you need two. For those who like to run single instruments out to hardware for mixing, we need multiple outs.
     
  3. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #3
    but why would you need to run individual instruments out to hardware for mixing when everything is going straight to the computer and you can just mix there?
     
  4. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Simply because the audio architecture of hardware based studios can be superior to that found in even the best DAW systems.

    In short some mixers sound better.

    Add to that the fact that a lot of professionals find it more creative to place the control of individual tracks into hardware channels and not on a screen, and the fact that interfacing other hardware to a console is easier than it is o a DAW, and you get a lot of Pro-audio people still using discrete channel consoles for recording and mixing.

    Pro-audio has always been sound first, productivity second and cost last, project work is often precisely the other way round.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    going out to hardware for a channel and coming back in results in latency, which is typically handled in several ways:

    1. some DAWs automatically compensate (but not always reliably)
    2. one can ignore it, and get all kinds of phase artifacts
    3. one can manually move around audio files to compensate (which is incredibly tedious)

    i use PTLE, which has no delay compensation, so for a couple reasons i decided to bust OTB (out of the box) and do most of my mixing and processing in hardware. it sounds better, my workflow has improved, and i'm a lot happier.

    aside from the added cost, of course :)



    oh: if you meant why use hardware instead of plugs, it's because hardware is more fun and sounds better. but i still use plugs when i'm out of hardware.
     
  6. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #6
    i know what sounds better means. But in this situation I don't understand what you mean by running it to a mixer makes it sound better? and then don't you still have to go into the computer? so now you are going from the interface to the mixer then to the computer.

    i am thinking about buying that tascam 1082 or the 1884. they say that has a mixer built in? so would I be on the "good sound" side that yall are talking about?
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7
    i run 16 channels out to my hardware, mix it to stereo, and record it back into PT as the final mix. i then take that 24-bit stereo AIFF and that's what goes to mastering.

    there are a lot of factors involved, and i reckon using a consumer mixer to perform only the mix portion isn't going to help much. as i mentioned, my main motivation was better integration of my hardware (compressors, EQ, reverb, filters). if i get additional benefit from the analog summing, that's awesome, but i wouldn't have bothered if that was going to be the extent of the use of that purchase (it's an RMS folcrom, fwiw).
     
  8. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #8
    you mean you run 16 out to another mixer? and then into PT? why not just go to PT and do it all in there? (is that the sound thing that you are talking about? and i guess i do understand what you are saying about making the most of everything that you have.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #9
    we're talking about mixtime only, btw. at this point, i've got anywhere between 10 and 30 tracks in PT.

    i *could* use a bunch of plugs and mix everything entirely ITB (in the box), BUT i've got all these cool compressors and EQ's and things and i'd like to use them.

    so i push all the tracks out through my 16 channels of d/a (submixing as needed to get to 16), apply my hardware to either individual tracks or the submixed ones (e.g. maybe i have a guitar buss), mix that to stereo, apply my 2-buss compression (usually an API 2500) and record the full and finished stereo mix back into PT.

    if i had a 2-track tape machine, i could record the final mix there. but i don't, so i just pop it back into PT, using 2 channels of apogee a/d conversion.

    i find this process not only produces better results than i was getting ITB, but it's more fun.
     
  10. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #10
    If you don't know why you need loads of outputs, then you don't need them!

    Or, to put it another way, if you've got loads of 'traditional' studio gear (a nice analogue mixing desk and maybe a classic valve-based compressor, or your favourite verb unit) that your DAW just can't quite compete with, then I guess a few outputs come in handy.

    But if you're just starting out and are doing everything in your DAW, then one pair of monitor-outs and a headphone-out will do fine.

    I got a MOTU 8pre. 8 inputs, 1 balanced out and 1 headphone out. But it's got ADAT so I can expand it to (say) an MOTU828 if I want more outputs in the future. I also use a Matrix Y headphone amp to give me another 4 heaphone sockets when I need them (handy when recording a band).

    SL
     
  11. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #11
    ZIMV20 Look at this please....reply to a post from earlier from you?

    what would you do after you completed this step if there was something that you wanted to change in the guitar track after you had mixed it down to stereo and popped it back into PTs?
     
  12. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #12
    after reading back through these post, I have another question...

    ok I don't really understand HOW THESE TRACKS ARE ROUTED TO THE DIFFERENT OUTPUTS... (is it done in the DAW in the same manner that the inputs are routed to different tracks on the computer...) please be specific when you explain this need some direction.

    Also when you do get the tracks routed back to your interface and then routed out to your hardware...how does the audio get back out of the hardware...
    I mean I know you have to output it back out of the mixer, compressor, effects unit, or whatever hardware you set it to....but do you then run the output of the hardware BACK TO THE INTERFACE AND INTO THE COMPUTER????? seems like that would cause some feedback or something cause you'd have an unprocessed audio signal coming out of the computer..or wherever... going into the interface and then out to some type of external hardware and then being routed back to the interface and back into the computer (at some point...)
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    i'd have to re-do the entire mix. i take good notes, but it's still a PITA.
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #14
    in the DAW, yes. i can specify a hardware output for each track. e.g. if i send a guitar track to output 7, and also send a synth track to output 7, PT will submix those for me before they hit output 7.

    there's no feedback. if i understand your question correctly, i have the output of my mix going to s/pdif, but s/pdif isn't going back out to the folcrom. the other option is to simply mute the 2-track mix.
     
  15. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #15
    But by default they go to the Main L&R outputs right?

    Seems like there would be some feedback. Where would you mute this 2 track mix? coming back to the interface from the computer or after it hits the mixer before it goes back to the interface....LOL man that sounds so crazy
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #16
    iirc, in PTLE they default to analog channels 1 & 2.

    on the track itself.
     
  17. theapex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #17
    so you mean on the computer? and if you mute it....how does the sound get out of....

    also just a side note, but how do you break up your responses when you quote someone like that? just move the tags around or what?

    thanks
     
  18. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #18
    i'm unsure where the confusion is. before mixdown, i create a new stereo audio track and assign its inputs to output channels 1 & 2 of the rosetta800. i assign its output to s/pdif.

    in order to mix down, i record-enable that new track and hit record. the other tracks play to hardware outputs 1-16. those get mixed to stereo in analog and that stereo pair is fed into input channels 1 & 2 of the rosetta800.

    there's no feedback because i'm not playing anything to the s/pdif outputs.

    once the mix is done, i'll solo that new track and monitor the s/pdif outputs to ensure things went as expected.

    yeah, i just edit the BBCode by hand.
     

Share This Page