Help setting up analog mixer with interface?

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Help setting up analog mixer with interface?

Post by vivalastblues » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:05 pm

Hey guys, I just got a Trident 65 desk that I'm in the middle of setting up. I'm going to be running it into both a tape machine (which is simpler and I have figured out) but also to my Echo Audiofire interface which I'm not sure of the best way to configure.

I was thinking to go Group Outs on the Trident to Audiofire inputs, and then Audiofire outputs to the first 8 channel line ins. Would that make sense? If anyone has a better way of doing it let me know. I'm also unsure of how to configure it best with Logic since this is the first time I've used a mixing desk with a DAW. Do I just set each channel to output to the respective channel going to the desk?

thanks!

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Post by Drone » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:47 am

Depends on your work flow. I originally set up my 8 groups to the 8 ins, but I felt it was more prone to noise on the buss, and besides I wasn't mixing as I tracked.

I ended up taking direct outs from the first eight channels to my interface, and using those as preamps, running the eight line outs from the interface to the last 8 channels for mixing.
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Post by The Scum » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:38 pm

I'd use the tape sends/returns. They're designed to tie to a multitrack machine, and don't really know or care about analog vs digital.

The sends should be copies of the subgroup outs.

The returns lead the the smaller channels in the subgroup strips, and should also be normaled to the line inputs.

You might have to spend some time with the manual to wrap your head around how the returns work.
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Post by vivalastblues » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:32 pm

The Scum wrote:I'd use the tape sends/returns. They're designed to tie to a multitrack machine, and don't really know or care about analog vs digital.

The sends should be copies of the subgroup outs.

The returns lead the the smaller channels in the subgroup strips, and should also be normaled to the line inputs.

You might have to spend some time with the manual to wrap your head around how the returns work.
I have 8 Group Insert Sends and 8 Group Insert Returns, and then 16 Tape Returns. I'm guessing you mean use the ones called tape returns, but I don't quite understand where I control these on the desk. Is it above the busses?

What's your method of getting signal back to the board from the recorder?

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Post by The Scum » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:42 pm

The insert sends and returns are not what you want. They're intended for patching EQs or compressors into the subgroups.

The the sends are what you want.

Usually they're matched with a set of tape returns, that feed into the mini-strips above the group faders (called the "monitor section"), and are also normalled into the line inputs. Maybe the 65 is just using the line inputs for that? It's been years since I used a 65.

While you're tracking, you patch the mics to the input strips, and route out the groups to send to tape. You use the monitor strips to hear the playback.

Then, when you move over to mixdown, you hit the "line" button on the strips, and the recorder tracks come in on full sized faders.

I'm more used to the process on Soundcraft boards, which is similar, but not totally identical - they had some slight routing and naming differences from T65's.
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:06 pm

Hi vivalastblues,

This was my setup on a pro facility for many many years:

LEFT side of console = PLAYBACK SIDE. At first, before Pro Tools came in the door, a Studer 24 track outputs went normalled through a patchbay to the 1st 24 channels. These would be routed to the MIX buss, along with any of 10 auxes for headphone cues. Typically during mixdown, these 24 channels were the mixing ones, and the rest were tape returns, slave machines, whatnot. You ALWAYS want to monitor from whatever machine you are recording onto, to ensure the recording is proper, and no issues with tape / glitches gets ignored.

RIGHT side of console = RECORD SIDE. These were where the microphone looms from the different isolation rooms came in, again, normalled on a patchbay. Their direct outputs were normalled to the Studer's input channels, so there was little to patch when doing a normal 2" tape session. These channels were always set to be OFF the MIX buss, and OFF any cue mixes, since they were not for monitoring, but for recording. This avoided any crosstalk / phase issues when monitoring the channels. We ONLY used the Groups (24 groups on this console), when we needed to blend more than two microphones together, like in a multi mic kick setup,, 6 toms into a Stereo pair of channels, electric guitar amp with multi mics, etc. Otherwise we used the SHORTEST signal path to tape. To minimize noise.

EVERY single channels had the following patch points, on the patchbay:

LINE input
INSERT Send
INSERT return
DIRECT output.

MIC input. This was at the bottom, so you did not accidentally confuse it and blow something up with the 48V.


So, the best way to set up your console is to put ALL of it's IO on patchbay(s). You can thank me later.

Now, as to WHAT you will "normal" to the console, well, normal the machine you use the most. Normalling just means that in a patchbay, from the top hole, the signal normally will cascade down to the bottom hole, when there is no patch cable inserted. The patch cable insertion breaks this normal.

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Post by vivalastblues » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:15 pm

thanks for the help guys, I've got it running now.

Another question though...I plugged in my monitors last night, and I swear they sound different from the desk than they did going out of my computer. More tinny and a little less bass response. Is that just part and parcel of using an old desk? Or am I doing something wrong if they sound different? They're just running out of the monitor out at the moment. They are Yamaha HS50ms (I know, not great and not much bass response to begin with but they used to sound better...).

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Post by Jim Williams » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:21 am

The Trident monitor path is a bit low fi. That could be fixed up with decent opamps, removing the el caps, etc.

Even if a console is used for it's flavor, the monitor path should be water clear to avoid false images and bad production decisions.
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Post by The Scum » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:06 pm

One other thing to check is that you've got the monitors wired correctly. The t65 uses a cross-coupled opamp output stage, whch can misbehave is it's not wired properly.

I spent ages chasing it on a friends old T65, thinking something was broken, when it really came down to the cabling. One channel had a bit of a bass boost and reduction in highs....and the opposite pin of that output had the opposite characteristic. The differential combination of them was correct, but looking at one pin with no regard for the other was problematic.

You'll want to follow the chart here, looking at the "cross-coupled output" entries:
http://www.rane.com/note110.html

Of particular note: if you're running unbalanced, you need to ground the unused pin of the output (are 65's pin-3 hot?).
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Post by Jim Williams » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:32 pm

Pin 2 hot. The monitor feeds are unbalanced. Only the main mix outs and line/mic inputs are balanced on that console.
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Post by vivalastblues » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:52 pm

Thanks everyone! I'm sure I'll have more questions...

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Post by vivalastblues » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:36 pm

Ok my NEXT problem is...how do I record a mix back out from the desk to the same interface I'm playing back from?

I tried this:

Computer > Interface > Desk > Stereo Outs > Unused interface channels

and I just got a loud high pitched squeal.

What's the solution here? I know people usually bounce down to a 1/2" tape or something but I don't have that. There's gotta be a way to do it.

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Post by The Scum » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:39 pm

How were the interface channels routed back out of the computer? If they came out on channels that were included in the mix, yup, feedback can be expected. They need to be on I/O that's not otherwise involved in the mix.

I use a second converter that hangs off the SPDIF plug on my interface, for another stereo input and output. It's got the I/O that a 2-track mixdown deck would have, but it's recording on the same computer that's acting as the multitrack. I just have to allocate an extra stereo track in the session, and assign it to those I/O.

The old-fashioned way was to use the 2-track sends/returns in the master section. The stereo mix usually shows up at all of the 2-track outputs. While you're mixing, it's common to listen to the outputs of the 2-track you're mixing to, which you do by pressing the corresponding gray switch on the master section (2 TK 1, 2, 3).
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Post by vivalastblues » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:49 pm

I'm using channels 1-8 as I/O to send to the desk, and then I plugged one side of the stereo out into channel 12 on my interface. Any idea?

What are the 2-track outputs?

The only other L/R outputs I have are called STD PLAY. Is that it? They are 1/4" jacks.

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Post by The Scum » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:02 am

It's been since about 2007 since I used a 65, so I'm going by memory, and image searches in Google. It isn't made much easier by the wide variety of 65s out there.

I'd assume that STD PLAY are the studio playback outputs...so you can put speakers in the studio for the band to hear playback without coming into the control room.

If there aren't some outputs marked A, B, C, then I really don't recall. Are there A, B, C inputs?

In the software, how is input 12 routed to an output? From the squeal you mention, I'd guess that it comes back to the desk on 1 through 8. Switch it to an output that isn't used by anything else. Then patch that to one of the 2 track returns, not channel strips.
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