Your DAW and setup

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Kenaudio, May 14, 2012.

  1. Kenaudio macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Hi there,

    I just would like to ask what kind of audio setup you have. Are you only working "in the box" or do you have some outboard gear like preamps, gates, synths and the like?

    I started producing music about 12 years ago and started writing songs for a wordlwide publisher. That's why I became more and more professional concerning audio recording.

    My setup:
    Mac Computers from Macbook pros to imacs and sometimes working on Mac Pros, Logic Studio, Ableton live, Native Instruments Komplete Bundle, Metric Halo Mobile I/O 2882 Audio Interfaces, Drawmer MX30, A-Designs Pacifica Stereo Mic Preamp, Many Mics for Drum Recordings and for other circumstances, external synthesizers and the like....

    Looking forward to reading your posts!!

    Cheers from windy Hamburg!
    KA
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68030

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I have just put together a basic system to use myself. Music was one of my first loves - I took piano lessons all though school, and l leaned the guitar back in the 1970's, but lost touch as time passed due to family and career. Now that I'm retired, I am really enjoying getting back into music. Have been spending a lot of time playing guitar recently (I have a new Martin and old Gibson along with a Fender electric).

    Have had many, many different Macs over the years but currently use a MacBook Air i5 13" with a 256GB SSD. I used GarageBand for awhile (which is surprisingly powerful for something that comes for free with every Mac), but wanted something better so I just got Logic 9. I've worked with video for many years using Apple's Pro Apps, so Logic seemed like the best choice for me.

    I started out with one AT2020 USB microphone and was very impressed with the quality for the price, so I added a second one. Just got my old StudioLogic 88 key MIDI keyboard working with an Alesis i02 interface that I also use to feed a pair of Mackie MR5 mk2 speakers. Also using a Korg nanoKONTROL2 control surface.

    I'm not really looking to do any serious music production, but this gives me a nice system to play with, and the core of it (MacBook Air and 2 USB mikes) is highly portable.
     
  3. Kenaudio thread starter macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #3
    Hi Boyd

    Wow, this sounds like your sound must be great!!!

    Anyway, cool that you got back to your "first love"! It's never too late to follow your passion!
    Well...concerning the USB mics I must confess that I never used any of them. I have an AT4040 condenser mic for hihat recordings or for vocals but I didn't know that Audiotechnika sells USB mics....

    By the way...can you post samples of your recordings?
    Have a nice day!!
    KA
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68030

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    Thanks. The AT2020 USB is the same microphone as the AT2020, but the audio interface is inside and it has a USB connector instead of an XLR on the end.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kenaudio thread starter macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    okay....

    ....cool idea from audiotechnika....

    I'd like to know the differences in sound between the at 2020 and the usb version...

    Does anybody have any samples?

    Thanks in advance!!
    KA
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    The real difference is that the USB mic does not allow any audio equipment to be placed between the microphone and the computer. With an XLR mic you can use a compressor/limiter, EQ or whatever. Now days most people do most of this effects in software. But you can't do hardware compression in software.

    Maybe you'd like a tube preamp? Can't do that with a USB mic as you are stuck with whatever preamp is inside the mic.

    Maybe you'd never do any of that so you don't care. That is who these USB miss are marketed to, the guy who just wants to keep it simple.
     
  7. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a

    Xcallibur

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Manchester
    #7
    I literally set mine up yesterday, I'm using DarkWave Studio as the DAW and hooking up various VSTs and virtual instruments to it. I have no MIDI keyboard as of yet, but I'm just getting to know how to use a DAW. It took me half an hour or so to work out how to set up the virtual input/outputs with the VST synth's and such but its looking quite awesome now. I may look into installing Logic Pro when I get my first Mac soon.
     
  8. Kenaudio thread starter macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    Well...you are right....maybe it makes sense to run the signal through a preamp after the recording which is a bit unusual on the first sight. But maybe you can give the "usb" sound a bit of warm touch with a real preamp afterwards this way....

    what do you think?
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68030

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    I agree that the main appeal of a USB microphone is the simplicity, just plug it in. It is also very portable - you don't need external devices like mixers or interfaces. And everything beyond the microphone itself is digital, so you won't get any noise from bad cables, loose connectors, bad switches or faders.

    But there are a number of disadvantages, such as the limited length of a USB cable (around 5 meters I think). And the AT2020 USB has a 16 bit interface whereas you could connect analog microphones to a 24 bit interface. And there are not a lot of choices for high quality USB microphones.

    In my case, I started out small and just wanted to keep it simple with one microphone that I could easily take wherever I go. Then later I added a second one and ended up getting a interface anyway. So if I had been planning ahead, it might have made more sense to use analog microphones.

    However, my setup works well for my modest needs at the moment, and I can add analog microphones later if I need them.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    the output of a usb mic is digital. if you want to do anything with it the analog realm thereafter, you have to take it back out to analog.

    usb mics are consumer level, at best. if you want any flexibility at all in the analog domain after the mic, get an analog mic.
     
  11. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #11
    They are probably fine for voice overs and such but to do muti-track audio recording you'll need an audio interface with direct headphone monitoring to eliminate latency. If you are using a condenser microphone you'll probably also need the phantom power feature that is included with many audio interfaces.

    I picked up a Tascam US-122 mkll for under $100 to replace my old US-122 that lost driver support in Snow Leopard. There are smaller models available from Tascam and others for portability.
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68030

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    I would agree that you won't find many "pro's" using USB microphones, they are targeted at consumers. But I have no problem doing live recordings with two AT2020 USB's configured as an aggregate device. Using Logic Pro 9, there is very little latency as long as you aren't applying too many effects and if you set your buffer size properly. Logic also has a special low latency mode that will help even more. I have been very surprised that latency isn't a problem - the fact that I'm recording to a SSD probably helps as well. But if I use GarageBand, there is very noticeable latency.

    I also have the Alesis iO2 USB interface that has 24 bit audio with two XLR inputs, phantom power, electric guitar inputs, headphone monitoring (with balance control for direct/USB), audio output and MIDI in/out. Works really well and was only $85. It amazes me how inexpensive these things have gotten over the past few years.
     
  13. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #13
    Here's my stuff.

    APPLE HARDWARE: 2011 27" iMac i5, 8 GB RAM, wireless keyboard and magic mouse. 2009 13" Macbook Pro. iPhone 4S.

    MUSIC HARDWARE :Yamaha P-140 Digital Piano, Yamaha Digital Grand Piano, M-Audio Axiom 49 Keyboard Controller, CME UF6 Keyboard Controller, inexpensive Cardioid Microphone, Shure SM 58 Beta Microphone, Tascam 122 MKII Audio/MIDI* USB interface, Martin D-16 acoustic guitar, two USB midi interfaces, AKG K271 studio headphones, Event TR 8 monitors.

    OSX MUSIC SOFTWARE: DAWS- Metro 6, Digital Performer. Notation-Sibelius. Libraries- Garritan Personal Orchestra , Garritan* Jazz and Big Band, Garritan Marching and Concert Band, Garritan Instant Orchestra, Garritan World Instruments, Garritan Authorized Steinway Piano,* IK Multimedia Sample Tank 2 XL, IK Multimedia Sonic Synth, IK Multimedia* Miroslav Philharmonic, Art Vista's Virtual Grand Piano, Native Instrument's Kontakt Player 5. Verb- IK Multimedia CSR. Audio Utilities- Audacity.

    IOS MUSIC SOFTWARE: AC-& Core Mini, GarageBand iOS, Ocarina, Sampltank iOS, Music Studio 2.0, Rhythm Studio, Animoog.
     
  14. MisterSensitive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #14
    My stuff:

    Environment: 23' X 16' X 14' (cathedral ceilings) detached outbuilding made of sand filled cinderblocks. Acoustic treatment consisting of alternation wall offset OC703 fiberglass and Ethan Weineresque bass trap, with ceiling baffle at apex of cathedral ceiling and deep corner bass traps made of OC703 4" thick spanning four foot diagonals with void full of fiberglass scrap

    Computer: 2003 era Dual Proc 1.GHz PPC G5 with 4G RAM. I hope to upgrade this very soon to a pimped out 13" MacBook Pro

    Software: MOTU Digital Performer 6.2, MOTU MX4, Waves Musicians bundle, Reason v 3

    Interface: MOTU 896HD (hope to upgrade in 2013 to RME UFX or Aurora Lynx) and MOTU midi interface

    Mics: Neumann U-89 (go to), handful of lesser condenser and dynamic mics

    Preamps: 2 X A12 Seventh Circle Audio (API 512 DIY clones), 1 N72 Seventh Circle Audio (Neve 1073 DIY clone), Demeter HM-1 stereo tube preamp. Next door neighbor has real API 512 and colleague has a rack of Seventh Circle pres

    Dynamics: dbx 166, FMR RNC, FMR RNLA (dream of building an 1176 clone)

    Monitoring: DynAudio BM-15As, Audix 1As, beat up boom box with aux in

    Instruments: nice house Tama drums w high-end ziljians, a collection of cheap-ass guitars, a low-end Ibanez bass that is butterscotch in hue, Roland Keys: RD-300X, D-50, JV880, U-220, MKS-7, Korg Prophecy, Peavy Spectrum Organ (don't laugh, it's cheap+cool), tons of hand percussion, a Music Man 65 watt tube amp, a Mesa Boogie DC-5 amp.

    What makes my studio the best one in the world? Becaused it's detached, on three acres and both neighbors are musicians, I can make noise 24/7, including drums, without incident.

    Here's a sample of my mess: www.toddejones.com/songs/Spinning.mp3
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    yes! I like a setup description that starts with the building and treatment.
     
  16. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #16
    Hey MisterSensitive, I enjoyed your music. It was sort of a hard edged Steeley Dan to my ears. Did you have this one mastered?

    Those DynAudio BM-15As must sound great for that price! my old Events are decent and I picked them up used for half price. I only use them to double check the sound as my AKG headphones seem to give me near perfect monitoring and they keep my house frau from moving out. He, he.

    Here's one of my tunes that I used my Martin on.

    https://www.box.com/s/2b8c736cab03b008d958
     
  17. Kenaudio thread starter macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #17
    It's a great opportunity for all who like to get to know audio recording...
    I think that these USB mics are great for podcasting etc. Record it whereever you are....it's pretty cool...

    By the way...is there an adapter which makes it possible to connect the at2020 to an iphone or ipad??? That would be awesome!

    Cheers,
    KA
     
  18. estrides, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    estrides macrumors regular

    estrides

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #18
    This thread is starting to get awesome.

    Computer:
    I'm running a PowerMac G5 2.3ghz DC with 9 gigs of RAM and an abundance of hard drives. I have 2x 24" Monitors hooked up to it.

    Software:
    Im still using Logic 8! I know I can upgrade to 9...but 8 works just fine.

    Audio Interface:
    I have the Presonus Firestudio Project 10 x 10. (It's a beast!)

    Monitors:
    Mackie MR5MK2's.

    Mixer:
    Small Behringer two channel mixer that I really only use to control the output volume of the mix. I could do it through the Firestudio...but its such a hassle to reach over to it when the mixer is so damn close.


    EDIT:

    Microphones:
    Blue Bluebird(Modified)
    Shure SM 57
    Shure SM 58 x2

    Guitars:

    A plethora, but I mainly record with Fender Telecasters.
     
  19. Auszero macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #19
    Computers:
    17" Early 2008 Macbook Pro
    15" Early 2011 Macbook Pro

    Software:
    Ableton Live
    Pro Tools 9
    Waves
    Massive

    Audio Interfaces:
    Fast Track Pro
    Digidesign SC48 x 2

    Mics:
    Too many to list

    Instruments:
    Yamaha DX7
    Akai MPD32
     
  20. Boyd01 macrumors 68030

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #20
  21. MisterSensitive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #21
    Thanks man, and yes that tune was mastered by Bluefield mastering - all analog, more eq, less compression. The DynAudios do sound fantastic. They're loud as hell (even though monitors are best utilized at lower volumes, I can't help myself). I like the Focal twins, but those were even pricier.

    Your stuff is cool. Howdja record it?

    zimv20, oh yeah, recording instruments is really recording the air as the instruments excite it!
     
  22. mattyuk macrumors 6502

    mattyuk

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    Cumbria
    #22
    Just done some recording with my new setup really.
    Blue yeti USB Mic into the MBP.

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone know an adapter that will let me use this mic upright, on the mic arm. As you can see, im just using it now on the base of the stand. Any info would be much appreciated!

    If anyone's interested, here is the end result
     
  23. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #23
    kind of an old photo, buy my place still looks mostly like this. i've got some realtraps there on the wall and ceiling, and gik acoustic traps straddling the corners. monitor stands are from sound anchors and are decoupled from the floor (pictured are Adam A7's, but i'm now running Focal Solo 6's).

    DAW-wise, currently still running PTLE 7.x on Tiger into a Folcrom.

    sitting in a box, waiting for a new mac pro, is a PTNative card and Avid 16x16 HD i/o interface. will experiment with not using the Folcrom and running h/w inserts @ mixdown.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #24
    Sounds like a basic, decent song demo with potential in maybe the Country genre.

    Maybe you need a weighted round bottom stand if you want the mic mounted upright.
     
  25. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #25
    It was all done internally in my Mac with sample based software instruments except for the acoustic guitar. Lots of trial and error with the different samples, midi editing and audio mixing.
     

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