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Modular Multitracking
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Modular Multitracking
rishin
Hi!

I recently made the dive into modular and I'm loving it so far! I've done a good deal of exploration/excavation with the modules I've bought and I think it's time I actually make a composition out of it. I've checked out a few threads about recording modular and I'm having some trouble understanding the basic concepts and technical problems underlying the recording process.

So I've made compositions wholly from software before in Logic Pro X and do mixing within Logic. I have a few sound sources in my modular right now (oscillators and samplers) so I think I need equipment that would allow me to route audio signals and their respective processors such that they appear as different tracks inside Logic. What equipment would I need to do this and since it seems a non-trivial thing to accomplish, could someone explain some audio-related technical problems underlying getting signals from a modular set-up into a DAW? Apologies for any noobishness, but I'd really appreciate the help This is fun!

Thanks in advance!
tenshun
I record my modular into my computer with the Motu Ultralite MK3

it has 8 inputs and 8 outputs so you can record a bunch of channels at once into your recording program.
rishin
Looks like a nifty device, thanks! So is an audio signal from you modular first routed through a VCA before going into the MK3 or can the MK3 amplify the signal on its own?
DistantPlanetOutpost_
I'm looking into doing the same thing.

It seems the easiest way to get audio/cv in and out of your DAW is using the Expert Sleepers modules.

BUT what I missed was that it's best to have an audio interface with ADAT ins/outs, so that the Expert Sleepers modules appear as extra ins/outs.

Running two separate audio interfaces seems to cause difficulties.
tenshun
I use the MK3 as the final output from the modular to the computer.

so for example vco - vca - mk3

on the MK3 you can attenuate the signal thats going into it and thats usually the case with modular signals.
geetee
I have Soundcraft Signature MTK 12 on order. It's a 12ch analog mixer and a multitrack usb interface in one device. Plan on recording my eurorack with it.
Digital Larry
I use a Behringer patch bay to take finished voices off the modular rack using 1/8" to 1/4" adapter cables. I have the patch bay channels configured as 1-in 3-out passive mults. One output goes to my Behringer RX1602 1u mixer for monitoring and general goofing around. Then another output from the patch bay "mult" goes to an input on my Focusrite 18i8 audio interface. At the moment I'm up to 5 simultaneous inputs and I found it works pretty well recording into SONAR Professional.
mousegarden
IMO, it's essential to have at least 2 output mixers in your modular, that way you can record live and pan things, if necessary, with seperate panning modules, makes a hell of a difference.
needlz
Get a soundcraft signature12mtk
ricw
I mostly use the Expert Sleepers ES8. You get four channels from your modular into the DAW plus eight channels the other way so you can, for example, use the DAW as a sequencer (and many other things).
pelang
i use a sound devices mixpre 6...
Yodhan
I use a 4 channel Presonus interface for input. I normally come out of either a mixer or a VCA and then into the interface, unless it is going through something like a chorus pedal.
matt_er
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 here. I'll mix everything in the rack and take a stereo out from a mixer or output module into the line inputs on the interface. Seems to be able to take modular level pretty well!
tnktni
I would not worry too much about input signal level. I think the main thing to note is that you don't want to amplify the signal any more than it already is (e.g. turning preamp input up on a audio interface, this will lead to clipping).

I just run all outputs from my eurorack case into a patchbay which goes into a 8 input Presonus audio interface (line input, no added gain) and it works for me. Maybe there is a little bit of sound leaking sometimes but it is pretty quiet overall and barely noticeable on recordings. This can also be easily fixed with some gates in your DAW too.
Dilibob
tnktni wrote:
I would not worry too much about input signal level. I think the main thing to note is that you don't want to amplify the signal any more than it already is (e.g. turning preamp input up on a audio interface, this will lead to clipping).

I just run all outputs from my eurorack case into a patchbay which goes into a 8 input Presonus audio interface (line input, no added gain) and it works for me. Maybe there is a little bit of sound leaking sometimes but it is pretty quiet overall and barely noticeable on recordings. This can also be easily fixed with some gates in your DAW too.
I just came back to modular, the cost of modular VCA's adds up quickly and your so right about not needing to amplify. I'm debating getting a bunch of 1/4 inch inline attenuators (Sescom SES-MKP-31 Professional Single-Channel 1/4" Volume Control). Then just running those as needed between any modular output and the 1/4 line inputs of my RME Fireface ufx+ .
Dcramer
Here’s an old video I did, using modular, Logic as My DAw, a MOTU interface, and output modules/attenuators to record multitrack into the puter and then use mix automation to create the final mix.
An important premis of this method is that I recorded the modular in one pass with it generating all the parts, and then without ever cutting the audio, simply missed the elements and added a couple parts to create the song w00t

projectdurge
matt_er wrote:
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 here. I'll mix everything in the rack and take a stereo out from a mixer or output module into the line inputs on the interface. Seems to be able to take modular level pretty well!


Is the case with the entire Scarlett line? I've heard that some of them have issues with accepting hotter signals.
Standup
I’m using an SM Pro ADAT input to get modular signals over to the MOTU 1248 audio interface that’s the heart of my system.

The SM Pro was a cheap find (used) that has line inputs with no volume knob. The modular signal is very hot and was overloading the input, so I picked up RYO inline attenuators and KOMA attenuator cables to lower the signal before it hits the interface.

I have a couple of simple mono mixers to combine signals, and each mixer output can go on its own track. I can also take the output of something like clouds and put it on its own track.

I can then mix it in the DAW, take care of panning etc, and add all effects in the DAW.
lisa
I use the Behringer UFX1604. Good mixer with compression on each channel, two effects engines and a nice sounding EQ with band sweeping. Records up to 16 channels separately at once to your computer or to a USB device. The price is more or less unbeatable and I've had it for three years thus far without any issues. Recommended!

Oh yeah, one thing. There really isn't any manual so you'll have to figure out how it works on your own. Now I know it by heart but once it was a bit of a mystery to me. hmmm.....
AW198
projectdurge wrote:
matt_er wrote:
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 here. I'll mix everything in the rack and take a stereo out from a mixer or output module into the line inputs on the interface. Seems to be able to take modular level pretty well!


Is the case with the entire Scarlett line? I've heard that some of them have issues with accepting hotter signals.


2nd gen is a lot better with hot signals I believe. I record using a 1st gen most of the time and I have no problems, but then again I attenuate the signal to go through guitar pedals first.
synkrotron
I go into Studio One via my Roland OCTA-CAPTURE, which, despite its name, has ten inputs altogether.

I use six of the inputs for my modular voices and the remaining four inputs as send returns from my two outboard effects.

This allows me to record both the modular and effects tracks in one hit, for a "live" session.

Doubt I'll ever do a gig, but, if I do then I'll be looking for a decent mixer as I don't want to drag my computer and OCTA-CAPTURE on the road.

The outputs from the modular are obviously too hot for the OCTA-CAPTURE so I use a combination of a Doepfer A-138b and a selection of home made attenuators, which appear to work well.
zoogoo
id imagine any interface should work fine. I have an m-audio 1010lt, 8 In/out.

once i route everything into ableton, i use a midi controller to control the levels. The hard part with composition is the workflow of integrating the modular system. Really im still new to it as well, and so far, i record multitrack sessions, and i go back and chop them up. Im building sound libraries out of the sounds, sample drum hits, little loops, things i can fabricate later.

my approach is using at a sound source for samples now (which is endless fun alone), ive yet to explore other options , which are many when integrating CV to midi im sure.
Neo
I use a Soundcraft MTK24. The worflow and simplicity are awesome, but I very very don't like the EQ. If you cut the highs it boost just below the cutoff freq and vice versa. So I end up playing whack a mole using the mids to fix it. Horrible. Zed 16 seems to have been discontinued and it's firewire anyway. There doesn't seem to be a better all in one option, except for things like a used Midas if you can find one on ebay. Thinking about going for a nice analog mixer and a separate multitrack audio interface. But there doesnt seem to be much in the way of analog mixers with the right I/O for the job. Anyone got a nice multitrack setup using an analog mixer?
Gizmo
For audio, Yamaha MG10XU as a real-time mixer and fully integrated with the DAW. Fits on the desk. Very conventional setup. The synthesizer is just one of several instruments here. Synth levels have never been a problem with the unit's input pads.

MIDI (wired or USB) for everything else.
flo
Neo wrote:
But there doesnt seem to be much in the way of analog mixers with the right I/O for the job. Anyone got a nice multitrack setup using an analog mixer?


I'm using a Midas Venice 160 (the old analog only one) and an Antelope Orion 32+ (with patchbays), very happy with this setup. I like its EQs as well thumbs up

Cheers Guinness ftw!
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