You are here

Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby musoid » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:02 am

Hello,

I’m trying to figure out how best to set up my keyboards and rack modules for recording in a spare room studio. In the past I had a small mixer with only eight inputs so I just used to connect what I was using at the time. Since then I’ve acquired more gear and now I have a range of keyboards and rack modules which total ten stereo outputs and four mono outputs. This would suggest I need 24 hardware inputs?

I want to be able to connect them all up so I can have them all running together but I’m clueless as to where to start and what to buy. (I’ve been out of music for a while due to work priorities too so no idea what’s out there now) I also have a MOTU 828 Mkii which has 8 inputs.

What are my best options for connecting all this stuff up? Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Dave.
musoid
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Is this on a PC or Mac, and what interfacing options do you have available and the number of ports e.g. USB3, Thunderbolt etc?
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby musoid » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:10 pm

As I said I have a MOTU 828mkii, which is on Mac. I don't have any other interfaces on the Mac other than USB and Firewire, I have no USB3 or Thunderbolt. I should maybe also add that I'm not actually trying to feed each individual instrument into its own channel for recording simultaneously into individual tracks (although that would be awsome!) I'm really only trying to have them all on at the same time for when I'm sequencing, so that I can have them all available live while building up a track. MIDI isn't a problem, I aready have that sorted, its just the audio output mixing.
musoid
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby The Elf » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:43 pm

Welcome! :thumbup:

Plenty of ways to do this, but yes, we need as many other details of your system as you can provide.

And what's the budget?

A couple of trains of thought for you...

My preference is to have no mixer in sight, but there are some good options that would include a mixer. My own keyboard/module based system requires a LOT of I/O, so I know how difficult it can be to determine an ideal solution. Mine is an RME MADIFace XT with a pair of Ferrofish A32 interfaces, currently providing me with 64 inputs and outputs, expandable when I feel the need (and I'm feeling the need!). This is a no-compromise, neat solution, in 3U of rack space, but cheap it isn't - and a few patchbays are advisable for a bit of flexibility. RME is top priority for me, since I live and breath TotalMix.

For a 'visible mixer' option I'd maybe look at the Behringer X32. I nearly went that way myself for my live rig, but again I don't want a mixer cluttering up my world, on or off stage.

A very cost-effective solution was my previous system of an RME Fireface and Creamware A16 Ultra - 24 line inputs, but no gains. To this I added a 16-input 1U Rane line mixer for additional gain-able monitoring-only I/O.

And then there's Dante - maybe the future of high I/O count systems...
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12750
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:57 pm

Do you really use all those outputs at the same time?

If not, then I would 2 things :

1. Get an Adat equiped front end and connect it to your Motu. You can get the Behringer ADA8200 for peanuts. Or you can get something with mic pres for when you may need some mic inputs (you might want to in the future) like a Focusrite Octopre. Either will give you 8 more inputs.

2. Get a patchbay which can be normalled or half-normalled. On the top row, connect the outputs of the hardware and on the bottom row, connect the first 16 to the 2 interfaces. If you arrange it so that rarely used gear is on the last 8 connections, they can be patched in as needed.

This way requires you to patch in anything over your initial 16 inputs. But unless you are running all gear simultaneously, that's less of an issue.

If you are hell bent on all 24 inputs into your system simultaneously, then yes - you need a 24 channel mixer with either firewire or usb to connect to your computer.
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5313
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:14 pm

Dave B wrote:You can get the Behringer ADA8200 for peanuts. Or you can get something with mic pres for when you may need some mic inputs (you might want to in the future) like a Focusrite Octopre.

The Behringer also has mic inputs which should be fine for most things.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8451
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:15 pm

Yep - good call. I'd just realised that myself. I suppose it does help to read the specs every once in a while ... ;)
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5313
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby musoid » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:22 pm

Thanks The Elf,

Ouch those things are expensive yes, looks a great solution though!! If my spare room was big enough I'd have really liked a mixing desk but it's just not practical. All my gear is vintage stuff such as Jupiter 8, Emax and Akai samplers, some drum machines and mono synths, so it's all about connecting all those 1/4 inch jack plugs into something neat ;)

The Elf wrote:Welcome! :thumbup:

Plenty of ways to do this, but yes, we need as many other details of your system as you can provide.

And what's the budget?

A couple of trains of thought for you...

My preference is to have no mixer in sight, but there are some good options that would include a mixer. My own keyboard/module based system requires a LOT of I/O, so I know how difficult it can be to determine an ideal solution. Mine is an RME MADIFace XT with a pair of Ferrofish A32 interfaces, currently providing me with 64 inputs and outputs, expandable when I feel the need (and I'm feeling the need!). This is a no-compromise, neat solution, in 3U of rack space, but cheap it isn't - and a few patchbays are advisable for a bit of flexibility. RME is top priority for me, since I live and breath TotalMix.

For a 'visible mixer' option I'd maybe look at the Behringer X32. I nearly went that way myself for my live rig, but again I don't want a mixer cluttering up my world, on or off stage.

A very cost-effective solution was my previous system of an RME Fireface and Creamware A16 Ultra - 24 line inputs, but no gains. To this I added a 16-input 1U Rane line mixer for additional gain-able monitoring-only I/O.

And then there's Dante - maybe the future of high I/O count systems...
musoid
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:25 pm

If it's really just simultaneous monitoring you need, then how about a couple of Samson SM10 line mixers? Each unit has ten stereo inputs and you can cascade the two units , with the main outputs feeding your DAW for recording selected keyboards, and the monitoring outputs for, erm... monitoring...

Image

http://www.samsontech.com/site_media/support/manuals/SM10_OM_4L_v2.1.pdf

It's a pretty decent line mixer and a few of us around here use and appreciate them!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24625
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby musoid » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:34 pm

Aah yes! I realise now I should have said I just want to be able to monitor them all simultaneously when sequncing and writing etc. I like the look of those Samsons, thanks Hugh.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:If it's really just simultaneous monitoring you need, then how about a couple of Samson SM10 line mixers? Each unit has ten stereo inputs and you can cascade the two units , with the main outputs feeding your DAW for recording selected keyboards, and the monitoring outputs for, erm... monitoring...

Image

http://www.samsontech.com/site_media/support/manuals/SM10_OM_4L_v2.1.pdf

It's a pretty decent line mixer and a few of us around here use and appreciate them!
musoid
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Setting up a Small Studio - (Keyboards and Rack Modules)

Postby The Elf » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:14 pm

Well if it's only monitoring then you could also look at the Rane SM82S - 8 stereo line inputs, but you actually get a couple more by using the FX return and link inputs. You can cascade a couple of these. Try to get the later model without the dumb and impossible-to-replace external PSU.

Essentially it's similar to the Samson above.

I still have one of these around, and very useful it is.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12750
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users