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Configuring my setup

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:07 pm
by Richmo
Hey brothers and sisters. First off, MASSIVE RESPECT to this board and all it's participants. This is my first post, so please be patient.

Basically, I have a good understanding of the sound and feel of dub (at least, I know what I like). I'm an amateur when it comes to recording, and i'm not too techno savy. I've been doing all my dubs on Garageband, which is fine for teaching yourself the VERY BASICS, but I don't get the satisfaction of actually MIXING the track levels, effects, etc.

Question 1:
I've seen some KILLER videos of KoCha doing some hands-on digital dubbing with the BCR 2000. I just bought a new mac and also got Logic. Can I get the same results as KoCha with that? I DON'T have an interface wth Midi is why I ask, and it looks like he's using a Midi connection. How did he assign individual tracks and effects to the knobs?

Question 2:
Do I have the components to put together an 'official' dub station? In other words, no digital automation. My equipment consists of

-1 Korg D888 8-track digital recorder/mixer (which til now I've used to record all tracks individually, and dump them on to Garageband for mix)

-1 Yamaha MG 166CX USB mixer(my bands live mixer)

-1 MOTU 828 firewire interface (original model) 8 ins, 8 outs

-Tons of Boss and other guitar effects pedals (which I have read here ARE NOT ideal for outboard effects)

-Tons of instruments,mics, cables, connections, etc.

Question 3:
Is there a thread on here in which users share and discuss their personal setups? I'd love to see how others are dubbing.

Hope my questions aren't too vague. Much appreciative for any and all advice. I hope to be able to share some dubs with you soon. SO GLAD I FOUND THIS SITE!!! DUB FORWARD!!


Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:20 pm
by ocoughi
Greetings and welcome...
a part of my setup is like yours; logic audio and motu 828, after the 828,all is analog,mixer, effects, instruments etc...
logic audio is a wonderfull soft for recording but i don't like it if we talk about midi, assignations etc... too heavy and boring to use and assign quikly. (personal opinion!). All the musicians i know that use usb or midi controlers for a use in dub techniks, have the "Ableton Live". if you want to do the same think than kocha, logic audio is not the best weapon...
Now, lot of controlers works in usb instead of midi so a midi interface is not usefull now...
i wouln't say that guitar pedals are not ideal! it's small and quite cheap comparing to rackmounted hardware. for the sound quality, there are good ones and bad ones, depending of what your ear needs.... but if you got some, use them!!
every setup is diferent and you got to experiment yourself with what you got in order to find yours!!

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:48 pm
by Richmo
BIG THANKS for the help Manu!

So do you use the outs on the 828 to send the tracks from Logic to your mixer? (Sorry, i'm REALLY new to a lot of this) Also, how would I connect my effects pedals so i can use them on individual tracks?

Thanks again

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:40 pm
by ocoughi
yep! thats it, i use the 10 outputs of the 828. 2 inputs (L+R) comming from the tape out of the mixer to record the mix in logic audio and one input to record the instruments one by one (bass,keys etc...). in logic i use only the phaser (really good one!) and equalizer/compressor/ limiter/ noise gate.the guitar preamp plugin is good too.
for you effects pedals...hmmm..without external mixer? i think there is a way using the ins and outs of the motu and then open the aux in logic audio creating buses but if i'm not wrong you'll need to be in record mode so with possible latence problems.. i never do this so i'm not sure about the result. but there is certainly a way to do it.
i'll make a quick test tomorrow...

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:30 pm
by JahNice
Greetings brother Richmon,

check out this topic about some of the DDB-users Dublabs: ... php?t=1263
(not much discussion just pictures)

I would adwise you to use the Yamaha MG 166CX USB mixer from your
band if possible! You just record all instruments in logic and when the
song is ready you can make a dub version.. send all tracks throu the
MOTU 828 to your mixer. The effect pedals you have can be connected
to the aux send/returns of the mixer or some also thru the inserts of each
channel(eg. if you want a phaser permanently on your skanks you can
put it only on the insert of that channel). Now when the tracks are playing
you should be able to put effects on each track via the auxes. You just
send the signal to the FX by tweaking the aux knobs. And offcourse you
also have some fx integrated in the mixer,you can try those also.The only
thing left now is to record the dub massacre.. for that you can route the
signal from the stereo outs of the mixing desk to the ins of the motu and
record on a separate track in logic. I guess you could also record thru the
USB of the mixer, maybe with some extra software from the mixer, but i
am not sure how you will have to do that!

The reason why it is tricky to use guitar fx pedals is, because some of
them dont have a fx only out , nor a dry/wet controll.. so if you have fo
example a delay pedal and you are playing the track, then send the
signal thru the aux to the pedal, in your Main Mix you get double volume
of the original signal.. the original signal is heard twice because you get it
from the channel and you get it again throu the aux return.. So, the
"right" way would be to hear only the effect signal from the aux return..
elsewise everytime you want to make a delay effect your
skank,snare,whatever-hit will get twice as loud as the original..But i
agree with Manu, every effect pedal can be used(except if its a bad
sounding one) in dub you just got to find the right way (for yourself) to
use it.

Peace Yianni

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:27 pm
by Richmo
Wow! This is easily the most OFFICIAL spot on the internet. Thanks so much for all your help brothers. You've given me alot to play around with this weekend.

I'll be back to let you all know how the setup goes, and I'll probably have alot more questions after that. Few things are as rewarding as making dub!


Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:06 pm
by Richmo
Well I got things set up for my first trial run. The main problem I'm having now is assigning the outs from the 828. It will only let me send out tracks in groups of 2 (1+2 , 3+4 , 5+6 , 7+8) which really limits me on dubbing tracks. I've looked, but can't find a way to change the settings. Any tips? :-?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:22 pm
by JahNice
try to send
track1 to out1+2
track2 to out 1+2
track3 to out3+4
track4 to out3+4............


Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:29 pm
by Richmo
Yeah, I guess I was just hoping there was a way to send the outs individually, instead of in groups cause it puts two outs on every track. Any way around that?

Thanks SO MUCH for the help Yannis!

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:47 pm
by Richmo
Also for some reason when I send my effects units through the aux send, and back to the aux returns, they do nothing. Sorry if I'm being a pain, but I appreciate your guys help.

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:59 pm
by JahNice
Anyway, my soundcard displays the 8 outputs like this:
out1+2 (1)
out1+2 (2)
out3+4 (3)
out3+4 (4)
out5+6 (5)
out5+6 (6)
out7+8 (7)
out7+8 (8)

Did you try the method i told you?
try to send
track1 to out1+2
track2 also to out 1+2
track3 to out3+4
track4 also to out3+4
track 5 to out5+6

logic should then send track1 to out1 and track2 to out2. Even if it says
that it sends one track to 1+2, it should send it just one output.. OR
are these not mono but stereo tracks that you are trying to send to your
mixer? maybe thats why logic dont want to send them to a mono out? Try
to make mono tracks out of all the tracks you have in logic and then try
to send one of them to "output 1+2" and then check if the sound is
coming out of out 1 only or out of 1+2..

If that dont help maybe you have to check the output routing settings in logic so you can get 8 mono outs instead of 4 stereo.. Also check the settings of the motu

about the fx, maybe you got them connected wrongly? is the aux return level turned up? Have you turned up the aux knob on the track that you want to affect?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:30 pm
by ocoughi
to get real 8 outputs, use the pan of logic. i do this, for example bass and kick goes to 3-4, bass panned to left and kick panned to right, so i got bass in 3; kick in 4...
same for the drums snare & hh at out 5-6, snare to left(out 5),hh to right (out 6)...

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:40 pm
by Richmo
Thanks Manu! Thats actually a pretty neat way of getting around my problem. The solutions are always seem to be simpler than I try to make them.

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:32 am
by ocoughi
The solutions are always seem to be simpler than I try to make them.
Not only for ya bro! routing is like a road from point A to point B...there are quick and easy ones and some more complex. that make one of the originality of each setup and it make a big part of the sound you'll have! try diferent routings,chains etc..don't be afraid to dig into that and spend time to plug and deplug cables with diferent roads; so you'll find your own tricks...

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:40 pm
by JahNice
ocoughi wrote:
The solutions are always seem to be simpler than I try to make them.
Not only for ya bro! routing is like a road from point A to point B...there are quick and easy ones and some more complex. that make one of the originality of each setup and it make a big part of the sound you'll have! try diferent routings,chains etc..don't be afraid to dig into that and spend time to plug and deplug cables with diferent roads; so you'll find your own tricks...
Like Roots Manuva would say: THE DUB IS WISE, OPEN YOUR EYEZ DEM

sometimes you dont see things that are infront of your eyes, so you gotta observe everything more carefully, if you want to obtain wisdom from what you see..


YinYan aka JJ Pale

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:16 pm
by Richmo
Still having massive problems with my fx. I'm starting to think it's the auxiliary inputs on my board(though it's practically new). I've tried a number of different effects, and all i get is modulated hiss from the master volume. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I'm going from the aux send of the board to the input of the pedal, then going out from the pedal to the aux return. This sounds right. I really wanna know what I'm doing wrong. I just picked up a Boss RE-20 space echo pedal, and I'm dying to use it. :-(

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:58 pm
by ocoughi
try this:
let the output of the pedal in the aux return and plug a guitar or any instrument directly in the input of pedal... does it work? if it works then you have a problem with the aux send. some desks have two kind of aux send, one per line and one general near the master track. check if these two are opened...
if plugin the guitar stile don't work then you have a problem with the pedal itself or the aux return. try to plug the output of the pedal in one line of the desk ,check before that this line will have all aux closed!!! if it works then the problem is in the aux return. if it don't work the you can be sure it's the pedal. test it the classic way: guitar to pedal to amp...
you can try to plug directly a guitar in the aux return too. no risk for the desk...

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:00 am
by Richmo
After much fussin and fightin, I have determined that it's my aux return thats messed up. :-x I'd been thinkin about getting a new board, this just put me over the edge. Also, having two aux channels is nice, but I think something with maybe four aux channels would be better.

Any suggestions on a good board to look out for, or is anyone out there getting rid of one? Any downsides to any of the newer boards (other than not having the 'warmth' as older boards)?

Big thanks everyone for the continued knowledge and support.

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:48 am
by JahNice
you dont really "need" the AUX return right now!!! I mean, you just want
to dub, right?? And you surely have enough channels on your mixing desk
that can be used instead of the aux return!!

like ocoughi said:
try to plug the output of the pedal in one line of the desk ,check before that this line will have all aux closed!!!
This way you will have the fx signal on one channel strip which gives you
many many extra possibilities... Most times this is much better than using
the aux return.. try it!

If you can be using the yamaha mixing console i see absolutely NO
REASON to buy another one, especially because you are just starting
out.. Just start dubbing and as time goes by you will get to know what
YOU NEED in a mixer, and you will see if the yamaha is doing the job..
IMO it should do the job just fine..


Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:16 pm
by ocoughi
Yiannis has totally right....