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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:42 am 
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Dude

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:45 am
Posts: 28
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Machine type: AW1600
I've been using the AW1600 for about 2 years now, have learned a ton with it and made increasingly good recordings. But.... I think it might be time to move on to PC based recording. I love having physical faders and buttons to mess with, but I see 2 significant shortcomings which are becoming issues:

1) Horrible, time-consuming workflow when I need to shuttle files back and forth to the PC for editing or comping. Aaaarggh. Export to the transfer folder, connect to USB, bring the files in on PC, do the work, then have to reverse the whole process. Instead of just editing the thing right there on the screen.

2) 8 tracks at 24 bit. I'm working on full-band material, which means generally lots of tracks. So again with the workflow... gotta have different parts of the song recorded as separate songs, then mix those down to stereo, then create a master mix song for all the submixes. Something too loud? Do it all over.

As an alternative, I'm considering picking up a used MOTU 2408, which gives me the I/O I need, plus better ability to route through external hardware. I've already been familiarizing myself with Reaper, so for $60 how can you go wrong with that?

Anyone want to tell me why I'd be making a big mistake? This kind of seems like a logical progression. I do HATE having to give up the faders though!

Joe


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:52 am 
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Marker Magician
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:20 pm
Posts: 3446
Machine type: AW2400
You can look about for a 2400, or perhaps even a 4416 could work for you and the 24 bit limitation. although the 4416 is even more cumbersome to export/ import via CD. You can use the 1600 as a controller and keep your faders.

I do agree, the machine does govern the pace of workflow, but i appreciate the fact that the whole project is not on the screen, so it remains a listening hobby. the visuals are great, but they tend to change the way projects evolve. With "ease" comes the temptation to micro-manage and focus on detail, rather than the project as a whole.

As for the sub mixes and the "too loud" comment, I expect you may already know that the 1600 provides the opportunity to adjust volume at the beginning of the signal chain (Channel view) to attenuate.

Don't sell the 1600 right away though. I am sure you will find uses for it. some guys track on the AW and then do the rest on the PC.

Let us know what you decide.

Have you posted any of your work here??

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:39 pm
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Machine type: AW4416
Hi Joe, you can have the best of both worlds by setting up the AW1600 with midi as a mixer for your PC DAW.
Therefore you can move the faders on the screen using the AW1600.
Recording direct into a pc is not as simple as people think, firstly you will need a fairly powerful one to give you plenty of tracks, and also each of those tracks will be having plug-ins, compressor, eq, reverb ,gate, etc. trust me it eats up your processing power and can also give annoying little clicks and pops from a number of things like internet connections and various other stuff, which then has to be edited out (a pain in the butt).
One other thing, if you do a google search and look for plug-ins like compression & eq, you will find an extraordinary amount of them are emulations of hardware, everyone is trying to get that warmer, thicker, creamier sound that you don`t seem to get from recording to a PC or MAC.
This of course is only my experience and opinion, but I use pc software on everything I do, but only after everything has been recorded, then I transport everything to pc for further tweaking and adding plug-ins, comp, eq, limiter etc. I am set up to use the AW1600 to control the faders on the screen, this way I get the best of both worlds.
So I think you should`nt get rid of the AW1600 because it will still come in useful even if you go all out for PC.
If my Yammie broke this morning, I would replace it this afternoon, if I could`nt get my hands on one it would be like a swift kick in the tadgers !! Devastating.

Good luck Joe.

T.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Machine type: AW16G
Hi Joe,

I don't think you're making a big mistake. The advice above is good, I think. I'd be interested in hearing your views on PC based recording as you are one of the folks that will be able to make a good comparison.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Machine type: AW4416
After having said what I said above, I still agree that 8 tracks for 24bit is a real bummer !!

T.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:42 am 
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Tenderfoot
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:37 am
Posts: 516
Location: Australia
Machine type: AW2400
I moved on from my 16G to a 2400 when I could afford it. The changes was well worth it but I kept the G and use it all the time for fleshing out ideas, not to mention exporting WAV to CD on the run which the 2400 can't do.

I am still in love with my 2400 but recently went to Protools with the idea of slowly phasing the 2400 out. I could not have been more wrong. I use a dedicated new Imac and it is forever running out of resources, sometimes stopping in the middle of a take. After all, the 2400 is a single use computer, optimised for the task. Unless you are prepared to go substantially upmarket to a high end Mac Pro and about $7000 I feel you will be quickly disappointed. Many reasons for this - the IMac has 4 USB and two firewire. My 4 USB ports filled up straight away what with hooking up a control surface (another $600), authorisation dongles, backup disc drives (another $150) etc. You could try a USB hub if you're game.

I use a Firewire800 drive for audio only as recommended by AVID. Another $200 and you will most likely get a max of 24 tracks/drive (according to AVID and my experience). Add the neverending costs of plugins and virtual instruments and it is a money pit. And despite all the hype, if you use PC instead of MAC, you are open to a whole lot of error messages only God (and not MS) knew existed and virtually no support from MS.

There is certainly a long way to go in this area, although someone will probably come along who has managed 48 tracks plus at 96Hz with 500 plugins and no hiccups using another DAW.

There are, of course, many benefits in editing, midi, mastering, and other areas but they have to be kept in perspective. Most of these applications can be run stand alone on your non-music PC/MAC on exported WAV files which can then be shuffled back to the 1600. This requires a much less powerful computer as you are normally only working on a stereo track at once. You can get some insight into how my working method has evolved since Protools in my other post under RelatedEquipment/Yamaha MOX6 on this forum.

My advice would be to keep the 1600 until you find you are no longer using it. You should be able to at least use it as a control surface - music by mouse just doesn't cut it. You will find many obstacles to creative recording once you start the switch and will need to dedicate the time to resolving these. Hooking up with others who are also taking the journey will help.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Marker Magician
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Machine type: AW2400
This description confirms, for me, my resolve to stick with the AWs . I have a 1600 and a 2400. combined they have a good track count at 24 bits, should i need them. The 2400 will give 12 and the 1600 with 8 equals 20 - 2 ( for the connection) = 18. What with sub mix stems, and utilization of the auto mix to aid utilization of "empty " section of tracks, as available, these machines feed my "hobbyist" needs. All this with no mouse!! I think the 4416 could use a mouse, but somehow it was dropped from the specs. Underutilized ??

There are things i wish the machine could do, but the fact that i can sit down and get it to do exactly what I want and my "quitting time" be determined by "listening fatigue" rather than "sore eyes" keeps me faithful to the concept of the dedicated recorder. Too bad yamaha jumped out of the market. I am sure with time and R&D $ they could have taken these machines to new heights of ease and efficiency. I guess though that the computer world concept of "faster is better" drove the marketplace to follow the trail of the $$$, and leave the slower but utilitarian AW + XP combo in the dust. Perhaps in 15 years these machines will attain the status of a '57 Chevy and be desirable to collectors that want something solid they can "drive"

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:46 pm
Posts: 5093
Location: Netherlands
Favourite food: Ria's cheesecake
Machine type: AW16G
Byron wrote:
This description confirms, for me, my resolve to stick with the AWs .

Me too.

Byron wrote:
I am sure with time and R&D $ they could have taken these machines to new heights of ease and efficiency.

According to Moore's Law, machines should be more than 100x faster than they were when the AW16G was developed, 10 years being about 7 periods of 18 months. That means, looking at the number of tracks, the bit depth, and the sampling frequency, Yamaha should be able to double any of those specs 7 times for the same money. For instance, bit depth from 16 to 32 (1st doubling). Sampling frequency from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz, which is an industry standard (2nd and 3rd doubling). Leaves us with 4 other doublings to go... resuling in 256 real tracks. And that for the same money. We'd need a lot more faders, though :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Machine type: AW4416
And a crane to lift it into a bigger house :)

T.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Machine type: AW2400
Robbie wrote:
We'd need a lot more faders, though :)



Image

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Machine type: AW16G
Image

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Tenderfoot
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:37 am
Posts: 516
Location: Australia
Machine type: AW2400
I'm glad my experiences have been of help. When you look at new products, you mainly hear about the plusses and rarely the minuses.

One hidden cost I forget to mention is upgrades. Apart from the main DAW which can upgrade twice a year at a few hundred dollars, each piece of software you buy also has a useby date. A typical scenario is - Buy a product and find it is v1.0 (say), v1.1 would be free as it mainly fixes bugs in v1.0. As soon as the vendor decides to switch to V2.0 (normally with at least some cosmetic changes) you are up for another $100-$200. This can be as frequent as every 6 months. You don't have to upgrade but you may lose vendor support for the old version. I haven't come across it yet but some can even have a built in stop working feature after a certain number of upgrades. They can do this because you are only buying a licence to use the software so you'll often find you can't onsell it later - IKMultimedia products allow it but require the purchase of a resell certificate (35 euro). The upgrade process is also not smooth sailing, often not working for a different reason on each attempt, and you may find you have to reauthorise the software or buy a third party system such as Ilock.

AVID seems to be the worst. Their older hardware is not supported by newer software and their support is abysmal. You have to buy a support ticket for $15 per query before they will even deal with you. In fact, when I was having trouble installing my AVID control surface, there was no support available without a ticket and you could not buy tickets for queries from Australia. I found the answer on user forums, and the support email address I found on the back of the box for Australia did not return my emails. Professional users have to take out an annual maintenance plan for support. AVID have now sold MAudio and so offer no support at all on the products I purchased 6 months ago. AVID plugins need to be RTAS but some of the better ones (Vienna, EastWest are really built for VST). Avid have now launched a new format AAX (I think) which is exclusive to Protools so you can see where that is headed. I bought Protools because it is widely used in the industry and files from even the lowest versions can be transferred. If I was starting again, and I only started last Dec, I would more likely go with Cubase as Steinberg products, including hardware, and Yamaha are tightly integrated and the plugins are VST (Steinberg's original format I think). The Yammy MOX6 synth I was looking at comes with the stripped down Cubase and the transport controls etc are integrated into the synth surface.

A lot of whining? I don't think so. You can see that computer recording is the way of the future but, in my experience, it is overhyped and oversold in the domestic market, especially the suggestion that you can just use your laptop to make professional music.

I will continue with computer music as I will be left behind technologically if I don't but it would take a lot of talking to make me part from my 2400. For now, I'll use the best features from both.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:45 am 
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Marker Magician
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:20 pm
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Machine type: AW2400
Interesting thread.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 1142
Machine type: AW4416
Robbie wrote:
Image


Burns two discs at a time too.
I want one I want one :lol:

T.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:57 am 
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The Reverend
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Machine type: AW16G
Quote:
some guys track on the AW and then do the rest on the PC


yep...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:17 am 
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Dude

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:45 am
Posts: 28
Favourite food: pizza
Machine type: AW1600
Thanks for the all the comments and advice guys. I'm probably going to wind up getting an interface to experiment with recording straight to PC, I think I need it for my bigger band tracks. But will hang on to the AW for sure, it's really handy.

Tonight I was messing around testing out how a nice old guitar I got off ebay recorded, I wound up knocking out a quick track. AW is great for this, no messing around with the mouse, just move quick and get the tracks down, mix it quick and let 'er fly.

http://soundcloud.com/bluemountainstone/sea-of-heartbreak


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Yeah that's rite nice! You have such a unique vocal. I really like it. It's pretty simple (once you understand the Yammie layout) to knock out something similar to that. Great sound, very clean. Did you drop a mic on the guitar or go DI?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Dude

Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:45 am
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Machine type: AW1600
Thanks RZ. I was working really quick on this track, so I used the same chain for everything, running an MXL V67G through my RNP. On the vocal I added a little compression on the way in with my RNC, and then a touch at mixdown with the AW's comp.

Working with the AW, I have found that it made for a major improvement in results when I started using external preamps since the AW's are kind of weak. So I almost never use the AW's pres, unless I'm plugging a digital piano right in. Or unless I'm tracking more tracks than I have pres for.

You guys really have me thinking. I have to start watching for Ebay to see if I can score a second unit cheap-- I wasn't aware you can link 2 units together. I'm wondering how cludgy that is to work with. Another option would be to dump tracks to PC for mixdown, and use the AW for tracking. That might give the best of both worlds, ie. rock-solid tracking reliability, and the ability to mix a larger project without having to do multiple submixes like I do now; that 8-track limit seems like the AW's biggest shortcoming for me. I need to get at least to 16.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Spacemonkey & Superstar

Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:36 am
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Favourite food: Marmite/beans/toast
Machine type: AW16G
Interesting stuff - my AW16G packed up a while back so I put together my old laptop/Reaper and a cheap interface...

I have recently gone the Macbook pro route with a cheapish interface and Logic ....

Hate to say it but I think I should have done that sooner. The flexibility, sound quality, workflow - everything really is just so far ahead of the G it's stunning.

here's summat I was messing around with recently with the new kit - http://www.infinitek.co.uk/control.mp3



Richard

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:06 am 
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sleepless wrote:
here's summat I was messing around with recently with the new kit - http://www.infinitek.co.uk/control.mp3



Richard



Richard you are just off the charts man! Love your work regardless the format. This is a top notch song. I have to give it another listen and maybe another.

So I'm curious as to a few things with this song. Are you using plugins for drums and keys/synth or are you actually working with external units plugged in to the laptop/reaper. What mic are you using and what effects were you using? Again, plug ins or external.

Sweet!

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