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Don't always want to turn the computer on
Old 11th March 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't always want to turn the computer on

I used an analog mixer for a long time and sent the group buss into my interface to record.

Recently I switched to a mixer less setup with a Focusrite Scarlett and all my synths plugged directly into the interface.

This setup is great when using the computer - everything has it's own channel, etc.

The problem is that now i HAVE to plug the interface into the computer and boot it up to do some jamming.

It's not a huge deal, but I miss being able to jam without the computer and only turn it on when I want to record.

Any ideas of how to get around this?
Old 11th March 2014
  #2
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CasimirsBlake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well considering you've moved on from such a setup, I'm almost loath to say it but: Analog mixer with direct outs per channel and / or busses to send out to your audio interface.

Or another audio interface that can function standalone?
Old 11th March 2014
  #3
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I have no advice other than to say that this is one of the reasons why I have continued to use an analog mixer. I like being able to sit down at my keyboards and just play them (with LOCAL ON) without having to boot up Digital Performer or otherwise touch my computer.
Old 11th March 2014
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Problem is the mixer I have doesn't have channel sends - so I'd be looking at a much pricier mixer.

Different interface could work, anyone have a suggestion for an 8-input interface that can function standalone?

Maybe I should just get that akai wolf and run it and my ultranova direct.
Old 11th March 2014
  #5
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blinky909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
mixer with direct outs and tape returns is the most flexible setup that does not require the computer to mix stuff and things.
Old 11th March 2014
  #6
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🎧 5 years
@ keyboardwzd Yeah me to - exactly same kind of set up. Kept neat little A+H mixer, couple of alesis units on sends, compressor over stereo out and have tape machines if want to keep Ideas.

Sometimes just playing keys over a drum machine is a relaxing no pressure mode of finding new ideas. I ONLY turn the computer on when I think ...'mmm, I might have something".
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #7
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CasimirsBlake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio ➑️
Maybe I should just get that akai wolf and run it and my ultranova direct.
Cheesy short-term solution: send headphone outs of the Ultranova (and whatever) to your current mixer as well. Use an insert "Y" lead.

Be mindful of input gain though.
Old 11th March 2014
  #8
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bs333's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Get an sp-303 or 404. It's funny how you can loose all of those brilliant ideas while your daw is loading. The 404 changed the way I think about music and also sounds waaaaaaayyyyyy better than Logic.
Old 11th March 2014
  #9
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🎧 5 years
Or find a 8 or 16 track recorder and ditch youre daw altogether. Found me a vs 1680 for chump change a yr ago.
Old 11th March 2014
  #10
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shadowfac's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Some audio interfaces can also work as mixers when not plugged to the computer (or when the computer is off). My Tascam US-800 works this way. Read your interface's manual to see if you can use it that way.

Other than that, yeah, keep your analog mixer around.
Old 11th March 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Those little Zoom portable mixer/recorders look pretty good for this kind of thing on the cheap or for the spatially-impaired.
Old 11th March 2014
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Patch bays. Really. You can plug directly into your monitoring or go direct to interface.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #13
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SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bs333 ➑️
Get an sp-303 or 404. It's funny how you can loose all of those brilliant ideas while your daw is loading. The 404 changed the way I think about music and also sounds waaaaaaayyyyyy better than Logic.
How do you use the SP? I've always been intrigued by those but have never used one.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #14
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SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodfellow ➑️
Patch bays. Really. You can plug directly into your monitoring or go direct to interface.
I hadn't thought of a patch bay - this might be the way to go!
Old 11th March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
You didn't mention what model you have, but you may be able to set it up in standalone mode: Can the Focusrite Scarlett interfaces run in "Standalone Mode"? | Focusrite

http://us.focusrite.com/answerbase/h...tandalone-mode

Last edited by Accent; 11th March 2014 at 05:33 PM.. Reason: Added link.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Accent ➑️
I just spent some time with the Scarlett manual again - and it looks like it does have a standalone option! Just have to configure the direct monitoring on their app ahead of time.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #17
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turnstile's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio ➑️
Problem is the mixer I have doesn't have channel sends - so I'd be looking at a much pricier mixer.

Different interface could work, anyone have a suggestion for an 8-input interface that can function standalone?

Maybe I should just get that akai wolf and run it and my ultranova direct.
The Saffire Pro 40 will work in stand alone mode w/o a computer. I bought one for this reason but it's been collecting dust as I've been just using a line mixer. Though I've been close to pulling the trigger on an A&H QU24.
Old 11th March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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CasimirsBlake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio ➑️
I hadn't thought of a patch bay - this might be the way to go!
It's the best solution short of moving up to a big analog desk (e.g. Topaz / 8 Bus etc). Be prepared to buy or make a lot of patch cables. Then make some extra just in case. And plan the connections in advance!
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #19
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blinky909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CasimirsBlake ➑️
It's the best solution short of moving up to a big analog desk (e.g. Topaz / 8 Bus etc). Be prepared to buy or make a lot of patch cables. Then make some extra just in case. And plan the connections in advance!
Topaz might be cheaper than all those patch cables

i decided to jump to a full blown 24 channel setup because i have so much hardware and really use the studio like it's one giant instrument.

having a few rehearsals with no pressure is nice, but i can just run the DAW while i rehearse and then can use whatever i like from those stems for a mix.

getting the mix away from the creation phase is so damn helpful. i had a standalone mode interface - it was ok, just no way to adjust the gain... if you need to increase gain, you is outta luck, chuck.
Old 12th March 2014
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
So it turns out that my Scarlett 18i8 does work in standalone mode!

Just have to get my midi routing worked out sans computer and I'm good to go.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
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bs333's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio ➑️
How do you use the SP? I've always been intrigued by those but have never used one.
Lots of different ways depending on the project. Sometimes I run whole tracks through it's compressor. Sometimes I'll resample some violins or piano sample over and over again and see what happens. Resampling is a cool process. The 404 has 30 or so fx that can only be applied one at a time. Resampling is where you apply one of those fx to up to 4 pads and bounce them down to one pad. If you do this over and over again you get some really cool results that still retain their fidelity. Sometimes I'll load a bunch of drum samples onto it and use it as an mpc kinda thing. Sometimes I'll open Reason on my laptop and record me jamming for 10 minutes or so and go back and chop it up within the sp and put all the stuff on different pads to sequence. There are a million things you can do with it and I cannot express how refreshing it is to be able to make a really good sounding track without looking at a computer screen for hours. Some guys only us the sp (Samiyam) but I bounce stuff back and forth from my laptop to it if I'm going for a completed track. The 404 and the monome are two things that I could not live without.
Old 12th March 2014
  #22
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Xero's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i have to say i'm in somewhat of the same boat, i ditched some of my mixers for more audio interfaces and now I wish I wasn't as tied to the computer. My interfaces also support an offline mode but it's not the most intuitive thing in the world, I really need another mixer at some point.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #23
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SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero ➑️
i have to say i'm in somewhat of the same boat, i ditched some of my mixers for more audio interfaces and now I wish I wasn't as tied to the computer. My interfaces also support an offline mode but it's not the most intuitive thing in the world, I really need another mixer at some point.
I'm debating selling the one I've got sitting, because every time I sell a mixer I find myself buying a new one within a year. It's just a little 12 channel yamaha though.
Old 12th March 2014
  #24
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I was in the computerless Zoom recorder route for years.

Now that I use the computer as a recorder / multitrack and I'm way more productive. I truly believe an external recorder would be counter productive and a step back.

But it's up to you if it makes your more productive then go for it.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #25
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SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 ➑️
I was in the computerless Zoom recorder route for years.

Now that I use the computer as a recorder / multitrack and I'm way more productive. I truly believe an external recorder would be counter productive and a step back.

But it's up to you if it makes your more productive then go for it.
I'm certainly not ditching the computer, I just want to be able to jam out without it.

I think I'm going to leave my setup alone for a bit, but keep an eye out for an SP.
Old 12th March 2014
  #26
227861
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Got it.

Yeah then it might be worth it if it inspires you then.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #27
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SunnyCatStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 ➑️
Got it.

Yeah then it might be worth it if it inspires you then.
Hopefully.

I had high hopes for the mpc500, and I enjoyed using it for about a week. I wanted to like it much more than I did.
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #28
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Xero's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio ➑️
I'm debating selling the one I've got sitting, because every time I sell a mixer I find myself buying a new one within a year. It's just a little 12 channel yamaha though.
i sold my 20 channel yamaha. now i'm thinking I might get a second mackie lm-3204 instead.
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #29
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grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 ➑️
I was in the computerless Zoom recorder route for years.

Now that I use the computer as a recorder / multitrack and I'm way more productive. I truly believe an external recorder would be counter productive and a step back.

But it's up to you if it makes your more productive then go for it.
I'd say that that depends on what kind of music you record and of course how you record that music.

For me a standalone recorder (in my case Zoom r-16) at the end of a hardware chain is great because i can operate it like the rest of my gear, i.e. push a few buttons to get going as opposed to sit down in front of the screen and start mousing around, so that my mindset never gets out of the "music creating mode" (if that makes sense?).
To me sitting down at the PC to have to arm tracks and whatnot takes me out of the "creative zone" i am in when i just play and occasionally push buttons.

This is very specific for what i do atm, if i did music where i needed somewhat accurate timing when overdubbing, my current solution would be less than ideal, to say the least.
In that case, an interface with good midi would be much better.

But since i record live playing on top of live playing i think that a simple hardware recorder fits my needs just fine right now.
Also, file transfer to the PC (for mixing) is fast, so that there is very little waiting time to speak of.

And finally, this setup lets me get on with playing/recording even with the PC off.
Flip the powerswitch (everything on one circuit) and most of my gear is ready to play within less than 5 seconds - the notable exceptions being the JX-10 and the MPX-1 that have boot times of respectively 10 and 15-20 seconds.
To me this hardware immediacy means a lot, as i don't like having to wait for a PC booting and starting my DAW when i just feel like banging out a few notes.
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #30
227861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh ➑️
But since i record live playing on top of live playing i think that a simple hardware recorder fits my needs just fine right now.
Also, file transfer to the PC (for mixing) is fast, so that there is very little waiting time to speak of.
I mostly record and 80% of the time play live so it's a mind set.

Also I should mention my setup is is like so:

My center of attention is usually a 3 tier rack with speakers instead of some setups where the center of attention is the computer. So for example I hit record on my computer, go to the 3 tier rack and do my thing. So I'm not sitting staring at a computer screen mostly. I'm at the 3 tier where my attention should be.

I found that when I had a "sketch recording system" what would happen is the trouble of having to transfer files over was enough to discourage me as opposed to simply having it in the computer all ready to go or just multitracking in the computer immediately. Not to forget sequencing with the DAW in addition to recording directly in makes the process faster and in sync with recordings. Adding drums with the DAW's sampler on top of what I'm doing helps too.

Sketches on my old system would usually just die with a sketch recording and that's it. But I find recording in my comp puts it already in a position to become a song to be worked on further and faster.

Just what works for me.
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