Wiring, routing and console hookup help, help.

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hallymusic
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Wiring, routing and console hookup help, help.

Post by hallymusic » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:36 am

Hi,
I am new to the forum and delighted to be here?

I am trying to formulate a plan as to how best to hook up my studio and more specifically my soundcraft series 6000 console into my studio. My studio consists of 3 tracking rooms with a total of 48 xlr mic lines returning to the control room and 18 headphone sends. There are also instrument lines, speaker lines, usb, firewire and cat 5 lines but these are not causing me sleepless nights or palpitations.
The other hardware in the chain is as follows?

Daw with SSL MadiXtreme 64 PCIe audio card
SSL XLogic Alpha-Link MADI AX, 24 channel converter (I hope to buy a second very soon)
12 channels of outboard pre amps
Various outboard comps & eq?s
soundcraft series 6000 console (16 bus, 32 input channel without patchbay version)

What I would like to do is record thru the desk when desired and also thru the outboard preamps, comps and eq?s into the converters and on to the DAW, (Cubase). I would like the console to handle all the headphone mixes for the musicians. I want to be able to mix as many channels as possible on the console and basically use my Daw as a play back device and for editing. This is my first time to mix out of the box and I?m struggling to understand how to hook the whole thing up?

I know I also need to setup a couple of patchbays but I have no clue where to start so

Question 1 ? What is the best way to setup patchbays in this situation? How many separate patchbays will be needed?

Question 2 ? How do I hook up the 24 analogue outs from my converters into the back of the soundcraft series 6000 console for monitoring, creating headphone sends and ultimately for mixing? Each input channel on the console has, xlr in, insert, line out and line in. There are also 16 tape returns, 16 monitor inputs and 16, ??group inserts and 16 male xlr inputs (why 2 types of group inputs I don?t know)
I can post photos of the console if needs be...

I would appreciate any other thoughts or advice people have regarding my desired setup. I also have a guy lined up to do all of the soldering so I really need to give him a detailed plan of what needs to be done.

Thanks in advance and warn regards
hally

hallymusic
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Location: ireland

Post by hallymusic » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:29 am

Hi,
here are some shots of the back of the console

Image

Image

Image

llmonty
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Post by llmonty » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:28 am

Welcome to the board! My feedback is partial and based on a data point of 1, developing my workflow. I am sure others on here will be more complete and knowledgeable. My hybrid set up uses a board with fewer routing features than yours seems to have, so there could be better ways

At least 2 ways you could monitor, which may influence your decision about the rest of the routing:
? Route everything to the board and monitor directly off of the board. You could use the auxes or the busses to do this. Output auxes/busses to your headphone system.
? Route the DAW outputs to the tape returns and/or open channels (using auxes in the box). This would allow you to do some routing in the box, monitor plug ins. May be fine, or could cause some latency, depending on your set up.

Patchbay set up
? Normal direct outs of board to converter ins
? Normal converter outs to tape returns and/or line ins
? Normal commonly used external pres to either line ins on board (if direct monitoring) or extra converter in channels (if monitoring via DAW to board)
? Set up isolated or normaled patches for commonly used eqs/compressors/effects for tracking/monitoring/busses
? Normal outputs for whichever monitoring route you go to headphone set up
-- Have 1-2 patchbays for the converters/direct outs/line ins, another 1-2 for inserts if you use them, another for master section/busses, and as many as needed for your outboard

For mixing, you would route the DAW track/stem outputs to the channel line ins
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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:40 am

Hi,

I highly recommend you use patchbays to get things set up and flexible for you
and your clients.

Cheers
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Post by The Scum » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:12 pm

I think something that might be confusing you is the XLRs on the subgroups: those are subgroup outputs, not inputs. Male XLRs are nearly always outputs - The way I remember it is that the pins point in the direction that the signal flows.

For some reference workflows, look into the usage section of the 6000 user's manual. They walk through how they intend for you to bus and patch for tracking and mixdown. Get familiar with how the subgroups are used a little differently between tracking and mixing.

If you don't have the manual, you can probably download it from Soundcraft.com. And if not the 6000, I know they've got the 600 user manual, in 4 parts, and the 600 is more or less an 8-buss 6000.

The manual should also have a copy of the layout of their internal patchbay (again, 600 = 6000). I know you don't have that version, but it should serve as a reference of what a reasonably comprehensive patchbay for a 6000 would look like. You're looking at something like 250 patch points to really do it justice.

My general thought is that you should wire the Aphlalink to the tape inputs/outputs on the desk (at least for the 16 that you've got). If it's setup like the patchbay versions, the tape returns are also normalled to the line inputs on the channel strips. When you start to mix, you switch all the channels to "line in" and you can mix on the faders.
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hallymusic
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Post by hallymusic » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:31 am

Thanks for all the responces, I need to spend a bit of time @ the back of the console digesting and understanding the advise given here...

One quick question to "The Scum" first...
My general thought is that you should wire the Aphlalink to the tape inputs/outputs on the desk (at least for the 16 that you've got). If it's setup like the patchbay versions, the tape returns are also normalled to the line inputs on the channel strips. When you start to mix, you switch all the channels to "line in" and you can mix on the faders.
With this setup am I looking @ having a maximum of 16 channels (stems) coming from the Daw/ converters into the console for mixing.

How would i go about using all 32 channels for mixing or is this an unrealistic goal?

llmonty thanks for your comprehensive advise, I'm trying to draw a diagram of ur suggestions so when finished i'm sure i'll have a few questions...

thanks
hally

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Post by The Scum » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:03 pm

A couple options:

Use up the tape send/returns for the first 16 channels. Then move on to use the line ins on 17-24 for the channels above the first 16. It'kll work fine for mixing.

Another option would be to use the input channel direct outs to feed the recorder, and just use the line ins as mix inputs.

Some of it might be dictated by how many tracks you record simultaneously, and whether you are willing to do some patching/switching when you move between mixing and recording. Are you cutting 24 tracks at the same time, or cutting fewer, but simply looking for them on mixdown?
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hallymusic
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Post by hallymusic » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:23 pm

I don't really see an occasion where i'll be recording more than 16 tracks @ a time...and for the most part these will be recorded through my outboard preamps directly into the analog ins on the 1st alphalink. I'm not sure if i mentioned it but i hope to buy a second alphalink shortly.

I am looking to maximise my mix down channels, the board has 32 input channels and of course 16 busses... so I think both methods u outlined would allow me to mix 32 channels.

Which method do u think wud work best considering i'm not looking 2 record 24 tracks a once?

thanks
hally

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Post by The Scum » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:41 pm

If you're doing external pres right into the Alphalink, then you could simply run the Alphalink outputs to the line ins on the desk. Then there's no switch when you move from tracking to mixing...the working mix that was on the desk becomes the basis for the final mix.

And with well-provisioned patchbays, with clever normalling, you could patch together whichever combination you need at the time.

For the expense of building pa patchbay system, you might keep an eye open for a 6000 with all 24 busses, and the onboard patchbay. It'll integrate with a 24 track setup very nicely.

A lot of the routing features on those desks were:
a> designed for tape machines, which don't have much in the way of routing on their own. Most DAWs have more mixing features than the 6000 has.
b> from an era that predates the use of external preamps.

Due to those factors, they have flexible routing that allows the desk to be both input preamps in front of the recorder, while simultaneously letting you build a working mix on the tape return modules.

Again, the relevant sections of the manual might help you conceptualize what Doug Self, et al, intended with the 6000.
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Post by llmonty » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:40 pm

Yeah -- agree with The Scum. If you are using the external pres, then:
-Normal your pres to your converter ins
-Normal your converter outs to the line ins on your board for mixing
-Use your incoming second alphalink for headphone/monitor mixes (converter outs) and inserts for hardware effects you might use in the box (i do this for patching in effects like plug ins in PT).
-Alternatively, you can just use the auxes on the board for monitor mixing, saving the need for converter outs.
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