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I don’t understand something.

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I don’t understand something.

Postby pancake_lizard » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:10 pm

Hello again. I’m confused about something.

If I want to connect my synths and drum machine to a computer daw to actually make a song how will I hear my gear through my speakers at the same time as my computer? I would think I’d be only able to hear either the gear or the computer but not at the same time but maybe I’m wrong. I don’t have a computer daw to test this. Thanks.
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Re: I don’t understand something.

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:00 pm

You either route the audio for all your outboard gear into the computer, and the computer becomes a centralised mixer for everything (which is generally how most people work), or, you can use an external mixer to mix everything, so that your hardware synths, and the audio from the computer, is mixed in the hardware mixer and then on to your speakers.

You'll need an audio interface either with enough inputs for all your gear, and/or an external mixer if you don't have enough inputs for everything to go into the computer independently.
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Re: I don’t understand something.

Postby BJG145 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:04 pm

pancake_lizard wrote:If I want to connect my synths and drum machine to a computer daw to actually make a song how will I hear my gear through my speakers at the same time as my computer? I would think I’d be only able to hear either the gear or the computer but not at the same time but maybe I’m wrong. I don’t have a computer daw to test this. Thanks.

Just to expand on that; imagine you have a simple audio interface with a couple of line-in sockets, and you plug a synth into it. You load up a DAW which has got some audio tracks. The sound from the synth goes into the DAW, and you hear it alongside the other tracks that are also playing.

Some interfaces offer what's called "zero latency monitoring" and in this case the audio going in from the synth takes a short-cut and comes straight back out (mixed with other DAW tracks) without the delay of the round-trip. This can be useful with certain things where you want to keep latency to a minimum, like an electronic drumkit.

If you wanted to keep various different pieces of equipment connected up at the same time, you could choose an interface with multiple inputs, but they can get expensive. Another option might be to use a patchbay or mixing desk to route the equipment selectively to fewer inputs on the interface, if you're only recording one or two things at a time.
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Re: I don’t understand something.

Postby pancake_lizard » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:49 pm

I see, thanks.

I have a mixer right now that I connect my gear to and than I route everything to my speakers, I just don’t have a computer daw yet but I guess once I do I can connect my mixer into an audio interface and then into my computers daw with 0 latency and finally the audio will transfer into my speakers? if I’m understanding the process correct. Thanks for the help
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Re: I don’t understand something.

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:01 am

Latency is the key. Going in and back out of the DAW adds latency. If you do any processing on that audio, that may add more latency.

So what DAWs do is they buffer.

The minimum buffer you can run sets the latency you will get. When we run plugins with lots of latency the sound comes back late. Those plugins can't be used for real time music, they can only be used for mixing.

So, what I do is a do all of monitoring in the analog domain BEFORE going into the DAW. When I hit 'go' on the DAW, the cue track comes into my analog mixer and I mix that with all of the sources being recorded and monitor in the analog domain. That means 0 latency. That is the only way to get zero latency.

You can't play VI's this way though. VIs live inside the DAW and always have some latency. So what you do is you set you DAW for the minimum buffer it can do (say 64 samples) and play the VI. It is only a small bit latent so no problem. Better yet, you use a separate computer to host the VIs. Then you use that system as an instrument and just record it like anything else. Cool. Zero latency.

As soon as you try to record and play VIs with the same computer you are going to have latency. But this is where the modern fast computers shine because the latency can be insignificant.

When you want to mix, you can increase the buffer size and now you can run lots of plugins, but the fact that it is latent makes no difference. It just means that after you hit play you wait 50 msecs say and the music starts.

You right to be suspicious of the latency.

Analog monitoring is the way to go for 0 latency. I commit to it. I hate latency. I set my project studio up that way. I think you will appreciate that kind of setup.
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