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Multitracking using hardware

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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:12 am

Yes, the Akai DR8 and Dr 16 I had were Intel 80386 based (on a custom motherboard and running some variant of UNIX I believe). Not sure about the SDR but I doubt running a modern PC on the Akai DR/OS would be a rewarding experience. Maybe somebody with Linux experience could point us in the right direction?

Apple, for all their failings, don't stray too far from the 'five sets of hardware and one OSX to rule them all' paradigm (yes I know...... but...... OSX only has to run on a fairly limited set of hardware, Windoze has to run on almost anything that is thrown at it.........).
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:04 am

James Perrett wrote:There would be nothing to stop you configuring something like Reaper to work and appear like a hardware multitracker - you just have to resist the temptation to change things once you've set it up and keep it away from the Internet.

It might come to that. I'm not oblivious to the fact that a fast laptop with an SSD drive or two, dedicated completely to the purpose and using something like the Qu as its interface really does solve a lot of problems. I'd just like to get away from the OS. I dunno, maybe I'm just that jaded with Apple that it put me off everything to do with DAWs, but a Windows system might be better.

At least it's a fall-back option if nothing that wows me on the hardware front turns up.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:09 am

The key to a computer based system is to not allow it access to the internet and to uninstall everything superfluous (which is harder than you might imagine). There used to be a program called "'95lite' (and "'98lite" and "XPlite") which stripped IE and other 'bundled' stuff from Windows and gave you a lean and stripped down version of the respective OS builds. AFAIK nothing similar exists for later versions or OSX.

I use "'98lite and "XPlite" for my music computers with a fair bit of success.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:47 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:I'd just like to get away from the OS.

With Reaper you have a choice of Windows, OSX or Linux (though the Linux version may not be quite as full featured as the others yet). I've used standard Windows XP for embedded systems in the past and had no operating system problems. Reaper runs fine under XP although more and more plug-ins require more recent operating systems. If you want to do it properly you could go for an embedded version of Windows.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:11 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:I'd just like to get away from the OS.

With Reaper you have a choice of Windows, OSX or Linux (though the Linux version may not be quite as full featured as the others yet). I've used standard Windows XP for embedded systems in the past and had no operating system problems. Reaper runs fine under XP although more and more plug-ins require more recent operating systems. If you want to do it properly you could go for an embedded version of Windows.

Funny you should mention that - having slept on it, and had a jolly good think while I'm doing yet more studio maintenance today, I'm pretty sure I'm just going to grab a rackmount 3XS PC from Scan at some point, get it set up and go with that.

I've got a healthy collection of softsynths on the Mac-I-don't-use-for-music-anymore (most of which I'm pretty certain won't run on XP) and the vast majority of them I can get the PC version for without further outlay, as the licences appear fairly generous. Not that I'll use them much, but hey, I paid for them so it seems churlish to throw them out with the bathwater :headbang:

Plan is to get it set up with Reaper, disconnect it from the Internet and feed it from the USB interface provided by the Qu16. Now that I installed the Samson SM10 mixer to submix a few less used synths down to the Qu (which is a relatively short term workaround until I upgrade the desk to something with more inputs - I'm rather liking the look of the A&H SQ series, but I'll see nearer the time), I can accomodate all the inputs I need so I think I need to stop being quite so idealistic and just make what's available work for me.

Then I can do a 6-monthly or so 'update everything' day, with backups to roll back to if it breaks anything, which seems a sensible compromise. I'll see what NAMM reveals first, but I'm not super optimistic on the hardware front - having trawled the interwebz it seems I may need to start thinking inside the box instead of out of it :lol:
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:24 pm

I'd say you are embracing reality (whatever that is) once again Eddy, you know it makes sense........ :D
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Alba » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:57 pm

I think that you should stick to your guns Eddie. You've decided you want away from the computer and you have the Tascam. I'd say you're better digging out your old timecode reader/generator (Philip Rees TS1 was my choice but its long gone) stick a timecode track on your Tascam (you can generate one in your DAW and export it to the Tascam and re-use it of course.) And poke that timecode out of one of your two fx sends.

Its no different to having a DP32 (not the SD model) with a bit of midi cable hanging out the back just another wire.

Just my two €.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Kwackman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:13 pm

Alba wrote:I think that you should stick to your guns Eddie. You've decided you want away from the computer and you have the Tascam. I'd say you're better digging out your old timecode reader/generator (Philip Rees TS1 was my choice but its long gone) stick a timecode track on your Tascam (you can generate one in your DAW and export it to the Tascam and re-use it of course.) And poke that timecode out of one of your two fx sends.

Each to their own.
I did the multitrack/sync SPMTE route for many years, and if I never see it again that's fine by me!
NOT having to stripe timecode unto tape(real or virtual), then having to use one of those sync boxes and their menus & buttons depending on whether is was writing timecode, or reading it, and then deciding the tempo for MTC etc. is one of the reasons I now happily use a computer!
Many swear words were used on a Fostex R8 and it's demonic side kick, the MTC-1 with a manual that the enigma machine would have struggled with. :thumbdown:
Much quicker (for me) to boot up a computer!
YMMV!
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby OneWorld » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:28 pm

James Perrett wrote:
There would be nothing to stop you configuring something like Reaper to work and appear like a hardware multitracker.

Hmmmmmm...........thinks, because I am getting fed up with Cubase, and piled on top of that Win10 sticking its chozzer in every other week. Thing is, even with the exhalted Win7, even though I had my Music PC disconnected from the internet (well the NIC disabled) I still got update notifications for Win7, how could that happen if the thing was disconnected?

But your suggestion gives food for thought, but then again I suppose Carillion tried all that?
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:30 pm

OneWorld wrote:But your suggestion gives food for thought, but then again I suppose Carillion tried all that?

Carillion just sold PC's optimised for music. I'm thinking more along the lines of iZ's Radar where the operating system is invisible and you just see the recording application. Have Reaper start automatically with a multitrack recording template and resist the temptation to use it as a general purpose computer. In fact, you could go as far as making the OS/applications disk read only so that you can't add any more stuff to the system without a great deal of effort.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Dave B » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:23 pm

It might be worth pointing out that Harrison MixBus runs under Linux. Having great eq and dynamics might be a nice way to worry less about plugins - although Harrison will sell you some more of those.

Just saying..
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Alba wrote:I think that you should stick to your guns Eddie. You've decided you want away from the computer and you have the Tascam.

If I could find the right hardware setup that cost less than a couple of new cars, I'd prefer it but having scoured all over, there is a lot of live recording out there, but nothing I like the look of that can do decent editing as well sadly. The other dawback is that I would almost certainly need to upgrade the desk as well, which adds a lot of money to the equation, plus I rather like the Qu and can use it as an interface to a DAW of course.

Kwackman wrote:I did the multitrack/sync SPMTE route for many years, and if I never see it again that's fine by me!

Yep - me too. I used to use an SMTPE device with an Akai Professional MG614 (which was an epic 4-track cassette recorder) and got great results but with a lot of work - the other issue with SMTPE is the fixed nature of the stripe once laid down, making it rather inflexible. Additionally, some older synths have trouble syncing properly if you start off in the middle of the timeline in my experience, which is rather limiting also.

OneWorld wrote: I still got update notifications for Win7, how could that happen if the thing was disconnected?

Yeah, I've seen that too (not specifically Win7). They just have a threshold of time after which if no updates have been done the OS decides it must be out of date and starts nagging you regardless. OS X is better in that regard (or at least it used to be) but I'm sworn off Apple now :)

James Perrett wrote:Have Reaper start automatically with a multitrack recording template and resist the temptation to use it as a general purpose computer.

Pretty much I've come to this conclusion!

Dave B wrote:It might be worth pointing out that Harrison MixBus runs under Linux. Having great eq and dynamics might be a nice way to worry less about plugins

Interesting - MixBus definitely looks worth checking out. I see some people complain about high CPU usage but the spec of the system I'm (almost certainly) going to get should handle that without issues (big thanks to Pete from Scan for some additional input).

Given I've not used Reaper before so I've got to learn a new DAW, I'll be sure to check out MixBus as well - it looks in theory like it may suit my needs rather well but I'll have to look into it more of course.

Thank you to everyone for all the input, it's been very helpful as always :thumbup:
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:03 am

James Perrett wrote:
OneWorld wrote:But your suggestion gives food for thought, but then again I suppose Carillion tried all that?

Carillion just sold PC's optimised for music. I'm thinking more along the lines of iZ's Radar where the operating system is invisible and you just see the recording application. Have Reaper start automatically with a multitrack recording template and resist the temptation to use it as a general purpose computer. In fact, you could go as far as making the OS/applications disk read only so that you can't add any more stuff to the system without a great deal of effort.

If one wants to go to these lengths, Windows comes with a nice "kiosk mode" which can be set up to single-purpose a pc.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:10 am

Is it optimised to work with an Android tablet running 'Ice Cream Sandwich' by any chance :D
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Wonks » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:45 am

With extra nuts? :D
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby CS70 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:01 pm

No, but comes with free cinema tickets :D

Image
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Wonks » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:08 pm

I think that's a remake. I saw the original film and it was much better.
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:43 am

I have a little collection of photos I've taken of broken kiosks and public displays over the years. Failed reboots, auto updates, BSODs ... It's quite common!

Just to underline the outcome of this thread, I bailed on my resolve to wait for NAMM and pulled the trigger on a fairly decent spec audio rackount PC from Scan. Big thanks to Pete Kaine for holding my hand as I'm not familiar with some of the aspects of modern PC builds.

It's pretty much down to MixBus and Reaper now, a task I'll complete when I receive a big package, hopefully in a few days time. Still gonna treat it like a kiosk once set up though :)
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:12 am

Since my studio rebuild my old studio Mac Pro has booted straight into Reaper, I occasionally started iTunes for learning tunes but it was never connected to the internet. Since I 'upgraded' to El Capitan Reaper no longer boots at startup (despite it being the only app in the 'startup' folder :headbang: ). I will get around to fixing it but it isn't high on the list of priorities (list of priorities :- One Synth Challenge, make wife tea, develop new Gypsy/Jazz/Fusion tune, make wife more tea, do income tax, more tea, tidy workshop, more tea, get on with building banjo-bass, more tea, play some guitar, more tea, fix studio computer.... oh hang on a minute, more tea required........ and I don't even drink tea..... you see what it's like, and I haven't even mentioned sailing.......)
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Re: Multitracking using hardware

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:08 am

Not a bad to do list, but it needs more tea ;)
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