Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

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Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:38 pm

Hi

This topic has probably been covered before but I'm guessing I'd probably benefit from recent tech and advancements etc. Basically I want to update/upgrade my home studio setup to have the best workflow and audio possible. I don't have a dedicated room so am using existing living space i.e. part of a room.

I've recently bought a Montage 7, new headphones, Eris E5XT Studio Monitors, Studio Desk and am currently having a custom PC built to meet the demands of the orchestral libraries and soft synths that I'm also investing in.

My main issue has been around completed projects sounding differently on different media platforms and fully integrating MIDI with the DAW. I'm just looking for advice as to the best configurations going forward and whether I need additional bits of gear to help and routing advice where necessary.

For example, to get the best representation of the true audio, should I go headphones from PC card, PC speakers, audio interface headphones etc., or will the Studio Monitors achieve this?

I want to be able to work on the Montage 7 without necessarily going through the DAW, but again getting accurate sound representation?

Do I just get a mixer and connect to the Studio Monitors or can everything just be fed through the PC? I want to be able to record from the Montage via MIDI but also record directly from it within the DAW but as I mentioned also use it as a standalone synth.

I don't want to be swapping cables, switching connections or whatever everytime I want to do something. Perhaps I'm just asking too much but I just want to be able to just switch on and go. Perhaps there is a magic device out there that will go a long way to achieving that. I'm asking for advice on best configurations, routing tips, DAW settings, equipment advice etc., etc., etc. that will keep me closer to the original audio for as long as possible and improve my workflow.

Any advice and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
i7-10700K 8Core @5.10 GHz, 128GB- 5TB NVMe/1.5TB SSD (Int) 2TB SSD (Ext) - Samsung 24" x 3 Mons- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96- Yamaha Montage 7- AKG D5- MX9 Pro- ComposerCloud X- Roland Cloud- KORG Collection- Spitfire Audio- iZotope Pro

hpharley90
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:07 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by hpharley90 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:32 pm

do you have mixcraft?

GovernmentMule
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by GovernmentMule » Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:18 pm

Mr.Mxyzptlk wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:38 pm


Do I just get a mixer and connect to the Studio Monitors or can everything just be fed through the PC? I want to be able to record from the Montage via MIDI but also record directly from it within the DAW but as I mentioned also use it as a standalone synth.

I don't want to be swapping cables, switching connections or whatever everytime I want to do something. Perhaps I'm just asking too much but I just want to be able to just switch on and go. Perhaps there is a magic device out there that will go a long way to achieving that. I'm asking for advice on best configurations, routing tips, DAW settings, equipment advice etc., etc., etc. that will keep me closer to the original audio for as long as possible and improve my workflow.

Any advice and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
I was basically in a similar situation as this a couple of years ago as I mainly play guitar and had several different guitar processors ( Line 6, Headrush, etc.), plus I had a Korg keyboard and a drum machine. I wanted to get the audio from all these into a two input audio interface.I did not want to do all the cable swapping either.
You have a couple of ways you can achieve this. You can get a new audio interface that has more inputs, a mixer and have the output of the mixer go to two inputs on your existing interface or you can get a mixer/interface.
I ended up buying this Behringer XR18.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ital-mixer

It has software, you can control it from your tablet or computer. Plus they have a 16 channel and 12 channel model.

There are several other products out there that can do this also.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... controller

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... th-effects

I love the Behringer and have not regretted it one bit. I actually installed the computer software to control it on a separate computer and it is on it's own computer monitor separate from my DAW computer.

Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:30 am

hpharley90 wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:32 pm
do you have mixcraft?
Yes of course. 8)
i7-10700K 8Core @5.10 GHz, 128GB- 5TB NVMe/1.5TB SSD (Int) 2TB SSD (Ext) - Samsung 24" x 3 Mons- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96- Yamaha Montage 7- AKG D5- MX9 Pro- ComposerCloud X- Roland Cloud- KORG Collection- Spitfire Audio- iZotope Pro

Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:33 am

GovernmentMule wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:18 pm
Mr.Mxyzptlk wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:38 pm


Do I just get a mixer and connect to the Studio Monitors or can everything just be fed through the PC? I want to be able to record from the Montage via MIDI but also record directly from it within the DAW but as I mentioned also use it as a standalone synth.

I don't want to be swapping cables, switching connections or whatever everytime I want to do something. Perhaps I'm just asking too much but I just want to be able to just switch on and go. Perhaps there is a magic device out there that will go a long way to achieving that. I'm asking for advice on best configurations, routing tips, DAW settings, equipment advice etc., etc., etc. that will keep me closer to the original audio for as long as possible and improve my workflow.

Any advice and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
I was basically in a similar situation as this a couple of years ago as I mainly play guitar and had several different guitar processors ( Line 6, Headrush, etc.), plus I had a Korg keyboard and a drum machine. I wanted to get the audio from all these into a two input audio interface.I did not want to do all the cable swapping either.
You have a couple of ways you can achieve this. You can get a new audio interface that has more inputs, a mixer and have the output of the mixer go to two inputs on your existing interface or you can get a mixer/interface.
I ended up buying this Behringer XR18.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ital-mixer

It has software, you can control it from your tablet or computer. Plus they have a 16 channel and 12 channel model.

There are several other products out there that can do this also.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... controller

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... th-effects

I love the Behringer and have not regretted it one bit. I actually installed the computer software to control it on a separate computer and it is on it's own computer monitor separate from my DAW computer.
Thanks for that. Where would the DAW sit in that connection chain?
i7-10700K 8Core @5.10 GHz, 128GB- 5TB NVMe/1.5TB SSD (Int) 2TB SSD (Ext) - Samsung 24" x 3 Mons- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96- Yamaha Montage 7- AKG D5- MX9 Pro- ComposerCloud X- Roland Cloud- KORG Collection- Spitfire Audio- iZotope Pro

GovernmentMule
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by GovernmentMule » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:36 am

[/quote]

Thanks for that. Where would the DAW sit in that connection chain?
[/quote]

It hooks up to your computer through a USB port just like a regular audio interface hooks to your DAW.
In Mixcraft I see channels 1 through 16 as inputs when selected. Channel 17 and 18 are the stereo outs from the master track from Mixcraft on my setup. And my studio monitors (speakers ) hook to the main output on the Behringer.
For instance, I have input 1 and 2 as direct inputs for guitar and bass. They are for when I use an amp sims.
Input 3 and 4 are for the stereo outs ( left and right ) of my Korg keyboard.Input 5 and 6 are for the stereo output of a rackmount Roland synth I have. Input 7 and 8 go to drum machines, and so on and so on. They are always hooked up and no cable swapping!

The Behringer is the same as the Tascam and Soundcraft mixers except they have physical knobs and sliders to where the Behringer has the sliders and knobs in the software.

The other way to go would be an Audio Interface with muliple inputs such as these:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface

I also would like to add that I can use this setup without even starting my DAW. For instance I can play my keyboard and go through the mixer just for practicing without using Mixcraft or any other DAW.

Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:10 am

GovernmentMule wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:36 am
Thanks for that. Where would the DAW sit in that connection chain?
[/quote]

It hooks up to your computer through a USB port just like a regular audio interface hooks to your DAW.
In Mixcraft I see channels 1 through 16 as inputs when selected. Channel 17 and 18 are the stereo outs from the master track from Mixcraft on my setup. And my studio monitors (speakers ) hook to the main output on the Behringer.
For instance, I have input 1 and 2 as direct inputs for guitar and bass. They are for when I use an amp sims.
Input 3 and 4 are for the stereo outs ( left and right ) of my Korg keyboard.Input 5 and 6 are for the stereo output of a rackmount Roland synth I have. Input 7 and 8 go to drum machines, and so on and so on. They are always hooked up and no cable swapping!

The Behringer is the same as the Tascam and Soundcraft mixers except they have physical knobs and sliders to where the Behringer has the sliders and knobs in the software.

The other way to go would be an Audio Interface with muliple inputs such as these:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface

I also would like to add that I can use this setup without even starting my DAW. For instance I can play my keyboard and go through the mixer just for practicing without using Mixcraft or any other DAW.
[/quote]

You sound completely on my wavelength. Really appreciate the advice, thanks. Funnily enough I was looking at the PreSonus Studio 1824c or Studio 192 beforehand so it appears I was on the right track? Or even the PreSonus Quantum Thunderbolt as the new PC will have Thunderbolt installed. Would they work?

Is there a definite advantage to going down the mixer route?
i7-10700K 8Core @5.10 GHz, 128GB- 5TB NVMe/1.5TB SSD (Int) 2TB SSD (Ext) - Samsung 24" x 3 Mons- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96- Yamaha Montage 7- AKG D5- MX9 Pro- ComposerCloud X- Roland Cloud- KORG Collection- Spitfire Audio- iZotope Pro

hpharley90
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:07 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by hpharley90 » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:57 am

i'm new to this and am trying to follow along so please patient with my response as i am learning.
Can't an interface with more xlr inputs be more useful and then just go into DAW. no mixer needed.
Again i'm in learning faze....

Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:50 am

hpharley90 wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:57 am
i'm new to this and am trying to follow along so please patient with my response as i am learning.
Can't an interface with more xlr inputs be more useful and then just go into DAW. no mixer needed.
Again i'm in learning faze....
XLR are mainly for mics? In my case I am aiming for max connectivity between synths and DAW whilst also being to use each independently or at the same time whilst also achieving true sound representation.

It sounds like the Thunderbolt 3 Interface may be what I need? Again, someone may correct me.
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GovernmentMule
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by GovernmentMule » Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:06 pm

You sound completely on my wavelength. Really appreciate the advice, thanks. Funnily enough I was looking at the PreSonus Studio 1824c or Studio 192 beforehand so it appears I was on the right track? Or even the PreSonus Quantum Thunderbolt as the new PC will have Thunderbolt installed. Would they work?

Is there a definite advantage to going down the mixer route?
[/quote]

No real big definite advantage. I picked the Behringer because at the time there were not a lot of mixer/interfaces around at the time. Also the multiple input audio interfaces were a little more expensive too at that time. One of the reasons is also it has 16 analog inputs, the ones you posted only have 8 ( the inputs fill up quickly ),the other inputs are digital. Also as I stated earlier the Behringer has an ethernet port where you can connect to another computer to control it. It also has wifi to control it from an Ipad/Tablet also.Every one of these probably has advantages and disadvantages to them.
If I was buying one today I would definitely do some researching on all of them before I made up my mind. I would go on youtube and watch video's on them and also check out the control software that it comes with and then decide which one is the best for my particular setup I wanted.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mark Bliss » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:43 pm

I kind of suspect the advantage would shift if you were recording multiple channels, vs seeking a flexible connectivity solution.
Recording a lot of channels at once- advantage multi channel interface.
Flexible connectivity solution- advantage mixer or virtual mixer.

YMMV
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

Mr.Mxyzptlk
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:50 pm

I definitely need the flexible connectivity option. I don't anticipate having to record several channels at once any time soon but I don't see why I would need another mixer if I already have one within Mixcraft?
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:44 pm

Well yeah, I mistakenly wrote "virtual mixer" and that wasnt what I meant. (One of the mentioned mixers would allow multiple hardware inputs, but be controllable via software. That is what I meant)

A hardware mixer would allow multiple inputs to be routed via a basic interface, allowing flexible input connectivity as you described.

Theres a number of ways to skin the cat. Choosing would rely somewhat on individual preferences.
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

Mr.Mxyzptlk
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 11:28 pm

Re: Optimal small studio configuration and setup recommendations required.

Post by Mr.Mxyzptlk » Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:06 pm

I think I get it now, thanks. Think I'm going with the Quantum Interface and just need to find a not too pricey rack mixer. Will no doubt need to spend hours getting my head around the software and DAW side of things.
i7-10700K 8Core @5.10 GHz, 128GB- 5TB NVMe/1.5TB SSD (Int) 2TB SSD (Ext) - Samsung 24" x 3 Mons- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96- Yamaha Montage 7- AKG D5- MX9 Pro- ComposerCloud X- Roland Cloud- KORG Collection- Spitfire Audio- iZotope Pro

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