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“Ready to cook” — what’s set up so you can just play&rec
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Author “Ready to cook” — what’s set up so you can just play&rec
JES
In software, people have templates. For those of you using your modular to compose and record (aka, finishing work, however you define that), what do you have set up so that you can spend more time being creative and less time setting up and taking down? More focused on musical decisions than technical ones?

I’m thinking of the “ready to cook” idea in kitchens—you have everything set up so you can just make the dish.

More on me if you want it:

For a project I’ll be starting in a couple weeks, I’ll be running a set of granular streams into the modular, using it for signal processing and sequencing, and then either recording individual tracks or mix downs (still deciding that part, which will probably come after some experimentation).

Happy to say more about what I want to accomplish, but I’m more interested in hearing your tips and tricks.
Koekepan
Half a dozen desktop synths.

A few multi-effects pedals.

A sequencer.

A multi-track recorder.

A powerstrip, and headphones.

Rock on.
hru
have no modular, just a little setup with a few synths, pedals, guitar, mixer and computer
Also try around there

Devices with line in are only connected with a patchbay in split mode.
Can record with or without a mixer, do not lose track so fast
adam
i set up a patch, use long cables into a 4 input mixer module, then when ready to record, i unplug from the mixer and plug into a digital 4 track
needto
Having a recording template with all audio tracks pre-created and routings set up is hugely helpful for me, nothing kills the flow like setting up inputs when jamming.

I have 3-4 leads running from the modular into a Soundcraft MTK with other inputs taken by other synths and an Ableton template with all of MTK's inputs and the 10 channels of the Digitakt via Overbridge routed to separate audio tracks and ready to go in a couple clicks. I can usually hook up to a stereo mixer in the modular and plug two more leads directly into the outputs of the modules I want to record separately.

MIDI-wise most of the time stuff is sequenced from the Digitakt through a Kenton thru box, all synths and the cv.ocd box I use for midi-to-cv are set up on different MIDI channels and are almost always hooked up so I just need to select a midi track and the corresponding midi channel to get a sound out of a synth.

A keyboard is hooked up to the Digitakt's midi in, it acts kind of like a midi router when I want to play a synth with the keyboard.
defalut
I have a pretty basic or simple setup but it works for me so far.

I write everything in the Deluge, which now has a new feature that lets me record the structure when i "jam". So if i have a very nice loop going i can record the whole structure buildup with track mutes/unmutes, automation and other things in one go. And then simply go in and make edits afterwards, add sugar on top, and so on.

And for audio recording i have a simple setup where i either can do a stereo recording right into the computer, or multi-track 32 channels into ableton.

The routing is set, but i can easily rewire it at will with the routing system plus mixer in my Antelope interface.
slumberjack
40ch desk with 32ch hooked with gear outputs to 2 patchbays (1 left, 1 right)
8 aux send to the patchbays + a third for 19" fx rack

24ch direct out into adat a/d converter with recording template in daw
> after setting all this up since years i recorded on all 24ch for the first time this evening >> going to expand to 32ch adat a/d in and 4ch a/d//d/a aes/spdif for overdubs and pseudo mastering soon

one master sequencer, other sequencing options
modular with various voices, nordrack, monomachine, prophet08, (dx100), (old piano-string synth)
two samplers, a few stompboxes, microphone

i can go in, put a loop together and record instantly a jam
or working on a composition for weeks, ruff mix and then record an arranged song in one or couple takes with each voice on it's track

it's an older mac with older converters with an old foh desk but it feels luxurious to me. no expensive synths or fx, soldering cables by my own. thus a few special modules are around and a precious sequencer. but this setup has evolved (and changes constantly) since about 6 years. almost no vacation, no city trips, very less outgoing and party-stuff and new clothes, shoes, etc...
MarcelP
needto wrote:


I have 3-4 leads running from the modular into a Soundcraft MTK with other inputs taken by other synths and an Ableton template with all of MTK's inputs ......


This^^^

MTK with an Ableton template: fire up the Mac, plug a USB to the Mac and off I go.

I patch from scratch and have nothing permanently patched to the desk inputs - I view that as part of the composition/play process - starting from nowhere with as few preconceptions as possible.
naturligfunktion
I don't have a template, because I like the different colour Ableton assign each track. It kind of dictate the mood, sort of (not really) but it is nice. Hence, no template.

Either way, I always have 1-6 mono inputs, 7/8 & 9/10 stereo (one is reverb, the other is from my turntables) and usually I have a MIDI synth for some sweet polyphony.

From there it is just to patch away. I have noticed that it usually sounds pretty boring the second day, so I try to have more of a idea to base the patch around. For example a polyrhythm or a chord that I like. Make it easier later on to add things.
GrayGoesBlack
At the moment I have two basic set-ups, one in the attic and one in the study. The attic has my modular with outputs to a Tascam Portastudio tapething, hooked to monitors. This is for modular noodling and quick recording. The study has Hades, Erebus and a Digitakt, hooked to smaller speakers or headphones. There is a macbook and an interface if I want to record something, I basically use it as a glorified taperecorder (just press rec). Both rooms also have some guitars and effects scattered around.

Depending on my mood and other activities around the house, I go for one or the other set-up. There are some more synths and effects here and there, I can mix and match a bit. But I like small setups that are ready to go, so why not get several of those.. hihi

And when I lack inspiration, I just listen to what I previously made and either work it out, or delete it.
Ypsi Kid
Great question! I currently have my modular and other synths running into the Roland MX-1 mixer - sucks because it only has 4 1/4" inputs, so I have to sum some signals on a eurorack mixer and then pipe it into Ableton via the MX-1. So I don't get a channel per voice or per OSC/whatever, so have to think about what I want to put together and whether I can separate anything out for recording.

Right now I have the following:

Digitakt into the Modular Mixer, have 3 other channels on this eurorack mixer that I send OSC's into
Oberheim SEM into it's own channel on the MX-1 (channel 3)
Eurorack into channel 4 of the MX-1
TR-08 into the USB input on the MX-1 (input 15 I believe)
1010 Music BitBox (drums) going into channels 1 & 2 of the MX-1

This way, I can just hit record and jam out. I was having major timing issues between ableton and the modular, but an expert sleepers FH-2 solved the timing issues so the modular is not the clock master. Just need Eloquencer to include 24ppqn so I can begin to use swing, otherwise everything is working great right now!
calaveras
I have a default template in Logic that is all my inputs on record and a couple midi tracks. It's very rare that I actually do record from every thing that is plugged in at once. But it costs nothing to delete blank recordings from a session.

Last year I did a series of recordings based on a limited set up of modular and a drum machine. I mixed everything down to two tracks on a Mackie 1202, then out to a Zoom H4N. Wasn't happy with the recordings. Should have recorded it as at least 4 distinct tracks to mix later in the DAW. As it was the modular volume range was enough to be drowned out by the drum machine sometimes, then drown out the drum machine itself a minute or two later.
If I had the modular outs seperate I' be able to run them through a compressor limiter VST after the fact, or gain automate at least.
suboptimal
I'm strictly computer-free with my music hobby. Over the years I've come to prize having everything set up with dedicated channels on my mixer or my recorder. I deliberately sacrifice freedom of choice (not using a patchbay for everything) in order to develop a feeling that my entire system is one cohesive instrument.
MindMachine
I have a Speck SSM w/ Expander that gives me 28 channels and 8 effects sends. I still utilize a couple of patch bays but this keeps most of what I have at my finger tips. I also utilize a couple of sub mixers for tape loops/samplers, etc. Glad that I have the space to operate this way. I do live improve recording.
JaseInSpace
I have a patchbay set up and inputs to a Boss BR-800 ready to patch in from 2 busses on my desk (Yamaha MG 124 CX) so when I get a jam / patch going I'm never more than a couple of cables away from hitting record.

I can record 4 channels simultaneously and then overdub if needs be ready to export to a DAW if I want to do any serious editing.

Saving up for a Zoom L-12 but keep buying just one more module......
acidbob
EVERYTHING! Basically I like to be able to just turn on my studio and start working. 28 channels directly to DAW. And from there on I just route via. Software/soundcard.

Just like calaveras I have templates for different DAW's and soundcard routings
felixer
acidbob wrote:

Just like calaveras I have templates for different DAW's and soundcard routings

i never use templates, because every job is different. and i use only 1 DAW: reaper. and 1 interface. and setting that up is sooo easy it would prob take me more time to find a template ...
shagrax
currently i have my modular, virus kb, couple mics, and 0coast plugged into a zedfx mixer, outs to zoom h4n pro.
just hit record when the time is right.

otherweise i have a saffire pro40 with a few mics set up in case we get into drum territory
BenA718
I have a few templates depending on the project. My DAW/computer is Logic Pro X and Mac Mini.

For tracking synths I run each module discretely into my interfaces, which are a Focusrite OctoPre and 18i20. They are connected via Litepipe allowing 16 inputs to Logic. I use a patch bay which is mapped to Logic so that every input is already armed, but they still need to be labeled and the levels balanced before pressing Record.

I generally record with effects so I have a pretty complete sounding product right from the jump.
felixer
BenA718 wrote:

I generally record with effects so I have a pretty complete sounding product right from the jump.

ah, so that is the difference? i record fx only if they are an integral part of the sound: stompboxes for guitar, the leslie box for some organ etc.
in general i use very few fx. i make a nice reverb/echo for the vocals and have some stuff ready to use if i need it but very seldom i do ... because i like it to sound like the original intention. very easy to take things and make'm your own, but that is not the job of an engineer. which is what i consider myself if i work on other people's material: a service technician. and even on my own stuff ... what is wrong with a good bassound? do you have to work it up with mutrons etc? i will use eq but that is more because some stuff just doesn't fit together ... that should have been taken care of at the recording stage though.
Michael O.
I run a small commercial studio so pretty much everything, whether in the control or the live room, is ready to be patched in when needed. Everything from mic tie lines and synthesizers to outboard gear is just a patch cable away.


This is the patchbay on an average day. I keep xlr<->TT cables handy for when I want to fire up a DI instrument/signal processor/mic in the control room and go directly into the board.
barnettuk
Currently - Koma Field Kit + Koma Fx some patch cables, Sony Cassette x CV Pitch Mod, CD4040 Frequency Divider, Bastl Softpop + Kastle, Volca Beats x Snare mod, Volca fm, Volca Sample and a Korg Monotron Delay.

Mix and match
slumberjack
Michael O. wrote:
Everything from mic tie lines and synthesizers to outboard gear is just a patch cable away.


This is the patchbay on an average day.


AAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

looking at this right before i have to got at work - even if it's my own business and i love what i'm doing - gives me this sister sledge feeling. lost in music...i quit my nine to five. i'm happy for you!

nice setup. what console is it and what are these panel with the little knobs an the left?
Michael O.
slumberjack wrote:
Michael O. wrote:
Everything from mic tie lines and synthesizers to outboard gear is just a patch cable away.


This is the patchbay on an average day.


AAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

looking at this right before i have to got at work - even if it's my own business and i love what i'm doing - gives me this sister sledge feeling. lost in music...i quit my nine to five. i'm happy for you!

nice setup. what console is it and what are these panel with the little knobs an the left?


It’s an incredibly fun if not exceedingly lucrative life, lol.

The console’s a Trident TSM from the late ‘70s. I think it’s one of the larger ones out there- 48 mic/eq channels, a separate 32 track monitor section with eq that folds into the stereo buss, and 24 groups busses, which is what the little buttons on the angled panels left of the patch bay and below the meter bridge are for.
naturligfunktion
Michael O. wrote:
slumberjack wrote:
Michael O. wrote:
Everything from mic tie lines and synthesizers to outboard gear is just a patch cable away.


This is the patchbay on an average day.


AAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

looking at this right before i have to got at work - even if it's my own business and i love what i'm doing - gives me this sister sledge feeling. lost in music...i quit my nine to five. i'm happy for you!

nice setup. what console is it and what are these panel with the little knobs an the left?


It’s an incredibly fun if not exceedingly lucrative life, lol.

The console’s a Trident TSM from the late ‘70s. I think it’s one of the larger ones out there- 48 mic/eq channels, a separate 32 track monitor section with eq that folds into the stereo buss, and 24 groups busses, which is what the little buttons on the angled panels left of the patch bay and below the meter bridge are for.


Im not sure how to use that patch bay, but damn doesnt that look nice! grin
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