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Thread: Connecting a compressor to a Scarlett 2i4

  1. #1
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    Connecting a compressor to a Scarlett 2i4

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    Chaps,

    Is there any way I can connect my ART PRO VLA 2 Stereo Compressor to my cheap little Focusrite Scarlett 2i4?





    As usual, it's a long story...but this is what I've got and all I want to do is plug the compressor in to test it as I just bought it.

    I was thinking I'd have to do this (and this will be terribly convoluted and hard to follow...)

    Microphone - input ch1 Scarlett - output 1 (usually used to send signal to monitor speaker) of Scarlett to ch1 input of Compressor - output compressor to - ch2 Scarlett

    Is that going to work or am I going to Marty McFly myself and blow the room up?

    Cheers
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

  2. #2
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    Hi there,
    You can take the 1/4 outputs from the vla to the 1/4" inputs on the front of the interface.
    Set the interfaces switches to 'line' and adjust the gain for unity. There's no marking for unity so you may have to employ an educated guess.

    I'd avoid using XLR cables or connectors because 1: That's preamp into preamp and 2: There's always the possibility of accidentally exposing your VLA to phantom power.
    1/4" all the way.

    In the ideal world you'd have dedicated line inputs with no gain knob, or a digital input and output to use. What I've described will work just fine, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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  4. #3
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    Are you saying:

    Microphone - vla - vla - 2i4?

    But the vla has no preamp right? It's a compressor. Shouldn't I go from the preamp (2i4) into the compressor?
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

  5. #4
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    Shit, I'm sorry. I read it as the VLA being a preamp/compressor.

    Since you don't have an insert point the only way to do it (with 2 channels at once being an option) is to record whatever you want to record into your DAW dry then pipe it through the compressor after the fact.
    You'd record the compression down to a second audio track so you end up with dry and compressed.
    Whether you choose to use them both is your call.

    You assign your dry recorded track output to the interface hardware output 3(edit:3+4), route that to the compressor (rca to 1/4" x 2), then route the compressor to your interface inputs as described in the first post.

    As long as the track you're recording compression down to is separate from the dry track and has it's output set to your headphones/mains, you shouldn't hit a feedback loop.
    I'm only mentioning that because it's not a nice thing to discover by accident.

    Edit:
    You could do a live-loop which would be mic into interface channel one, out the output, into the compressor, out into mic pre channel 2 and record, but as above you'd have to have two tracks and DAW routing.
    I don't think there's an advantage, other than time, and the obvious disadvantage is limiting yourself to mono.
    Last edited by Steenamaroo; 01-09-2017 at 19:52.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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  7. #5
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    Right.

    How would I send a recorded track from DAW into compressor and then back into DAW with the hardware I have?

    DAW -> balanced 1 & 2 out of Scarlett -> into ch 1 & 2 VLA then back into -> ch1 & 2 Scarlett??

    To save myself a lot of trouble I think I might just get one of those cheap ART single channel preamps or ask my friend to lend me his mixer...which has preamps.

    All I wanna do is test the VLA unit...coz it's new...I just bought it.

    Anyway cheers!
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Allen View Post
    Right.

    How would I send a recorded track from DAW into compressor and then back into DAW with the hardware I have?

    DAW -> balanced 1 & 2 out of Scarlett -> into ch 1 & 2 VLA then back into -> ch1 & 2 Scarlett??
    No, I'm thinking balanced 1+2 out are the main outputs so it would be better to use 3+4 as above.
    (I forgot I was talking dual channel and just said 3 originally...edited since)

    The reason for this is so that you are using 1+2 to hear the recording that's being made, and you're using 3+4 as the output to the compressor.
    That way you don't a feedback loop.

    If you use 1+2 to feed the compressor you'll have to mute the track you're recording compression to while you're doing it (otherwise feedback loop), and you'll have to mute anything else which might be in the session, as it would all go out to the comp.


    I'm also assuming that unbalanced 1+2 are a mirror of balanced 1+2.
    It doesn't matter though. As long as your subject audio for compression goes out of 3+4, you can compress it and record back in on inputs 1+2 whilst being able to hear the compression at work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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  10. #7
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    To use the compressor on recorded tracks:

    Set up a bus and route it to the 3/4 output of the interface. Route whatever tracks you want to compress directly to that bus (instead of to the main mix bus). Connect the 3/4 output to the input of the compressor, and the output of the compressor to the line inputs of the interface. Use whatever is your normal input monitoring arrangement to listen.

    Heck, if all you want to do is test it just patch it between the main output and your monitors.

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    Ok thanks...if I use 3 & 4 out...I'd need rca to 1/4 cable I assume!
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

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    Yup yup...post #4.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    No VST can emulate that smell.

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  15. #10
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    Thanks everyone. It's all a little clearer to me now.
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

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