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Thread: Opinions on mobile recording setup upgrades?

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    Cool Opinions on mobile recording setup upgrades?

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    Greetings All,
    I will try to be brief. My setup is geared toward live recording which is what I do 90% of the time. Mostly in houses of worship, so it doesn't pay too good most of the time. My setup includes an older PC laptop. I7 Gen. 3; 256GB SSD: 16 GB ram; and a Glyph Studio, 2 TB external drive, as a recording drive. Reaper. A Midas M32r. I find the pres are just as good as my Focusrite 18i8 that I still have. Dozens of mainly Waves plugins, which I love, as well as many other, both free and purchased. Behringer K8 monitors and Alto Professional Black 10 powered speakers which I find very good for a 2nd reference even though they are not studio monitors. When I (rarely) get the chance to spend some money on my setup, I want to get the most bang for the buck.
    My options include:
    1. A new laptop. I find that my mixing begins to pop and click at around 90 plugins in use. Even though the performance meter rarely goes above 25%. I usually freeze tracks in Reaper to solve the problem.
    2. A Waves Impact server with an X-WSG card, OR a waves Server One without an X-WSG card right now. They make a driver that allows most any ASIO interface to offload plugin processing to a waves server. Although you do not get the extremely low latencies you get with the card.
    3. New better monitors. Although my budget tops at 1500. I find the K8's pretty descent. Not sure if a mid priced monitor is going to make a major difference.
    4. Or other options not mentioned here.
    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Adam Greene

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    90 plugins? Good grief. Maybe look at freezing tracks, or using less plugins. IOW, I don't see any reason to upgrade your setup from a performance POV - I think it's the way you're using it.

    If anything, I'd throw all that money at some nicer monitors.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    I subgroup all categories of instruments then take those to a master buss. By the time you have 8 to 10 drum channels, a couple of stereo keys. A couple of guitars and a bass. + in church you usually have at least 6 vocalist. Yea, you can get to 90 pretty quick.

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    Are you running unique sets of processing then? With 24(ish) tracks - I'd have a few common reverbs, but I'm struggling to think of a need to use 90 plug-ins. Most of my stuff is less than 30 tracks - I'd consider that excessive, and I've never counted but I think 20 or so would be pushing it for plugins? I'm not saying you're doing it wrong - but it just seems a bit processing heavy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Are you running unique sets of processing then? With 24(ish) tracks - I'd have a few common reverbs, but I'm struggling to think of a need to use 90 plug-ins. Most of my stuff is less than 30 tracks - I'd consider that excessive, and I've never counted but I think 20 or so would be pushing it for plugins? I'm not saying you're doing it wrong - but it just seems a bit processing heavy?



    I usually run a separate eq and compressor on the vox channels. Sometimes a volume adjustment plug first. Sometimes vocal rider. And sometimes a real time pitch correction. Even if the eq is just for low cut. Sometimes 2 compressors in series instead of vocal rider. All vox channels are routed into at least 2 sometimes 3 reverb channels. I like a lush verb like H reverb to be complemented by a plate and or a chamber like Abbey road chamber. Not a ton just a little - together sounds so much better to my ears. Then I use a very little stereo delay on the vocals along with a doubler. Again set up on separate tracks and the vox tracks routed to them. And I like different reverbs for guitars and keys along with a touch of delay and chorus. Just a little again. Di acoustic usually gets a tube emulation, eq, comp. many times I will duplicate guitars and parallel compress. Sometimes the lead gets a clean amp sim depending on the source material. I use a drum sample program - Addictive Trigger on at least the kick and snare. At least eq, comp and a transient shaper on the other drums. Etc., etc.
    I am not a pro. I do this as a side business. I love the art and science of music production and mixing. I have tried several times in the past to start from scratch and I always seem to build up over time to a good bit of processing. I will take your advice and try to back off the processing.
    Hopefully someone has some advice on upgrades. I'm curious if anyone here uses an X32 or M32 with the X-WSG card and a sound grid server. I also do a lot of live sound work and set ups. I would be interested in using it for live work also.

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    90 plugins

    I don't think I have ever been anywhere near 90 plugins and I have done some large mixes.

    Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witzendoz View Post
    90 plugins

    I don't think I have ever been anywhere near 90 plugins and I have done some large mixes.

    Alan.
    Okay I get it. I use a lot of plugins. But if you have 18 recorded tracks each with 3. Then 5 subgroups each with 3 or 4. Then a master buss with 4. Then 9 or so effects channels. Again different for vocal, guitars and keys. That's how you can get to 90. Thanks all for the advice.

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    even more intriguing - You mention 9 or so effects channels - so your way of working is amazingly different to mine. In a big mix, I will have perhaps maybe similar numbers of effects channels on the go, but other than that, it will be a few compressors - rarely more than 4 or 5, perhaps a couple of limiters - on my master, and perhaps one or two troublesome channels. I might have the odd guitar processing plugin, but in Cubase, that is simply full of plugins, 95% of them are of no use at all for me. Most, and I have collected quite a few in packages over the years, have never even been used.

    Please don't think I'm criticising your system, because I'm not, but I'm genuinely interested in what kind of music you produce, and what all these plugins are, and do?

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    Adam, I know NOTHING compared to the chaps on this forum, just a lowly valve amp tech but..
    1) That laptop should be well capable, you are torturing the poor thing.
    2) Get some really good monitors. Yes, you are looking $2k+ a pair but the likes of PMC, Genelec and Neumann will give you a much better idea of what you are doing.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    even more intriguing - You mention 9 or so effects channels - so your way of working is amazingly different to mine. In a big mix, I will have perhaps maybe similar numbers of effects channels on the go, but other than that, it will be a few compressors - rarely more than 4 or 5, perhaps a couple of limiters - on my master, and perhaps one or two troublesome channels. I might have the odd guitar processing plugin, but in Cubase, that is simply full of plugins, 95% of them are of no use at all for me. Most, and I have collected quite a few in packages over the years, have never even been used.

    Please don't think I'm criticising your system, because I'm not, but I'm genuinely interested in what kind of music you produce, and what all these plugins are, and do?


    I hope I did this right. But I tried to take some pics and attach them of a small mix I'm working on. 14 recorded tracks and 27 total tracks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_0179-jpg   img_0180-jpg   img_0181-jpg  

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