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  #31  
Old 11-02-2010, 12:13 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Aloha,

+1 on Mac/Apogee rigs. And I use less than ONE PERCENT of what it's capable of, SUPER B!. It's library IS astounding.

Its fully integrated soft & hardware really works for me. An Ensemble would work great for your multitracking app's, Chuck. AND, it's pre's are pristine sounding. A winner!

BUT, I strongly suggest that you try the free downloads of ALL the most common DAW's before you commit. We all are different in how we like & process workflows. One will just stand right out at ya, Chuck.

I predict that almost all of your tracking will be done to two tracks. So you might think about also getting a Duet, if you go the Mac route. It would give you two-track tracking capability with a MacBook Pro anywhere you go. The one-rack space Ensemble is also easy enough to pack.

I mean, many touring bands will record "fixes to the mixes" (I like that) on that rig while they're touring & email it back to the studio engineers to make the changes. The Duet has no peers anywhere near its price pint. It rules.

All the best, Chuck!

alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 11-02-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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  #32  
Old 11-02-2010, 01:54 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
While you're reading internet forums about problems with Protools and Windows, think for a moment about how many systems are out there and working every day without problems, not generating any complaints or discussions

.....

Here's another thing to consider. Have you asked the advice of any of the commercial engineers you'll be using?
Excellent points, both! part of the question has to do with your expected work style. You can record in any DAW and export full tracks to send to a mix house. But, if you plan on doing complicated stuff, it's probably nicest to be able to send them a complete project, ready to load. Consulting with the mix engineer you hope to work with would provide the most useful guidance.
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  #33  
Old 11-02-2010, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by flagstaffcharli View Post
So in a day's time I'm leaning abck away from both the pc/Windows platform and the Pro Tools software. Go figure.
A weak spot! Get a Mac, Logic Pro, and an Apogee GIO!
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  #34  
Old 11-03-2010, 06:47 AM
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I'm gonna go against the current here and tell you to stick with your original PC plans. I use Cubase sx3 (I think they're up to 5 now, but mine works great) on my Windows XP machine with a simple Tascam interface and it works great. No issues whatsoever with this setup. I need to upgrade to a Firewire interface with more I/O options at some point, but it works for now. I took a college class on audio engineering and the classroom was all set up with Mac-based Pro Tools workstations. Compared to Cubase, I didn't like it. It just didn't seem as logical as the layout in Cubase. Plus, if you're familiar with the structure of the file system on a PC, you'll have less headache in the learning process. YMMV.

If you're planning to go the laptop route then noise shouldn't be as much of an issue. The newer laptops are generally pretty quiet, even the more powerful ones.

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  #35  
Old 11-03-2010, 08:20 AM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
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Combined with a few conversations I'm having outside this thread, this has been really helpful.

Fran, thanks. I always appreciate your input, especially knowing you've done a lot of hands-on time testing recording gear. However, the two people I intend to collaborate with in the near future are not Pro Tools guys. Since there is a good chance one or both will have their hands on my machine, I'll likely find an alternative. My focus is really going to be on tracking, clean-up, and file management before sending to better ears/skills/space for mixing & mastering.

Chris, have you actually used the MOTU interfaces yourself? I do see some criticism in forums, but I also see some that sort of has the feel of people repeating what they've heard rather than sharing their own experience with the stuff. I appreciate that you are getting great results with your Duet, and I especially aprreciate your first hand recommendation. But for a number of reasons - mostly the price and the features - the Apogee stuff doesn't appeal to me. I just heard a CD recorded using an older MOTU interface and the sound quality was impressive. Many of the tracks were recorded using the MOTU pres. I didn't hear anything at all that struck me as cloudy.

One thought I'm having is that I can get a MOTU 896mkiii AND a John Hardy pre (to pair with my AKG 414b-uls & long on my GAS list for recording my vocals!) for less than an Ensemble unit. I've worked with the 414/Hardy combo and it's still my favorite sound I've experienced in a studio. And the 896 gives me all the features I could ever want.

Second thought is that the MOTU comes with AudioDesk, which appears to have most - if not all - the features I'll ever need. And AudioDesk is upgradable to DP.

The Mac route is appealing based on lots of user reviews I've read and the input from a few folks I know. But I'll have to learn Mac and what Chris has said about getting instruction/tutoring is on my "to do" list.


Today's flavor of the moment is Mac/MOTU/Digital Performer. Tomorrow it could be chocolate.
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  #36  
Old 11-03-2010, 10:51 PM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
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Smile Free MacBook!

So for those of you kind enough to be following this and helping me in my search... good news!

In all likelihood I am inheriting my wife's MacBook Pro. She's had it for a year and absolutely hates using the Mac! It's got a 2.4Ghz processor & 2GB RAM.
That ought to be plenty to get me off and running, and it is a game changer in terms of my budget for other stuff.

It also means I can download Mac DAW's like Logic and DP and give them a whirl!

Chris, no offense and I do very much appreciate all the advice and thoughtfulness you've put into your recommendations, but I'm leaning heavily towards that MOTU896mk3. I have now heard a project done with it and it offers some features not available with the Ensemble. But I haven't ruled anything out yet. (I'm also leaning towards the MOTU because I just sold a guitar that pretty much covers the cost of it, meaning that all of a sudden I've gone from spending 3K in new dollars to having my gear fund balanced. That'll make my wife happy & it will make it a lot easier for me to spend some cash on that Hardy pre... maybe a mic as well! )

Best,
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  #37  
Old 11-03-2010, 11:13 PM
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One word. Samplitude. Gotta love the Germans.
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  #38  
Old 11-03-2010, 11:31 PM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
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One word. Samplitude. Gotta love the Germans.
Wade!!! I get a free Mac and you go and recommend a pc DAW!

Seriously. What is it about this one? I'm reading the explanation on their webpage. They might be German, but it's mostly Greek to me. It sounds like they're just claiming it's simple to use - which would be good for a guy like me.
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  #39  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:42 AM
lclyman lclyman is offline
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Originally Posted by flagstaffcharli View Post
but I'm leaning heavily towards that MOTU896mk3. I have now heard a project done with it and it offers some features not available with the Ensemble. But I haven't ruled anything out yet. (I'm also leaning towards the MOTU because I just sold a guitar that pretty much covers the cost of it, meaning that all of a sudden I've gone from spending 3K in new dollars to having my gear fund balanced. That'll make my wife happy & it will make it a lot easier for me to spend some cash on that Hardy pre... maybe a mic as well! )

Best,
Chuck..your drummer, Sam, I'm pretty sure uses this setup..

Give the boy a call/email..

LC
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  #40  
Old 11-04-2010, 12:43 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Aloha Chuck

Aloha Chuck,

Congratulations on the free Macbook Pro - a workable solution. I suggest that you upgrade to 4 RAM if possible to accomodate LP9. Go to an Apple store & talk story with a Logic trainer about what you need. Also ask them about the 1-to-1 program, which I think is available only when you buy something new like Logic or a computer. Check it out.

Regarding the MOTU's, I looked at that brand & its relationship to Mac/Logic when I decided to move away from PTLE. I must admit that I personally have not given any MOTU a spin around the block first hand. But I didn't parrot others' onlne opinions about the 896 either. I went to a studio friend who has a couple of 896's, had him demo it & lesser MOTU's for me, & then spoke at length with him about MOTU performance & features.

I was looking at MOTU because I had thought that I needed multi-tracking capability at the time & it was cheaper than the Ensemble. I still may need a multi-interface in the near future for mic placement in my room, which is better now in terms of treatment.

I compared the MOTU & Apogee's spec's & decided to go with the Apogee for my simple recording needs when I switched my thinking to Mac. The main reason was sound. The second reason - after my bad PTLE/PC experience - was the full integration of the iMac/Logic Pro/Apogee combination - the best available.

Bottom line is that the Apogee invented audio interface technology & has MUCH BETTER PREAMPS onboard than MOTU (easily circumvented by using a great external pre). Other trusted engineer friends agreed with my appraisal. I went with the Apogee.

BTW, which preferred features are you looking at on the 896?

Now, you definitely CAN make really great professional guitar recordings with MOTU products included in your chain. Absolutely. For example, it's All Petteway's favorite interface & his recordings are among the best. An interface is only a small element in a recording signal chain & the differences are subtle. MOTU has had great success. I don't think you'll have any problems getting accurate, clear sounding tracks from an 896, MBP & Logic 9 combo. Most depends on YOUR skill as an engineer.

All the best as you put your rig together, Chuck. Trust your ears! Gotta go. I'm on the Big Island this week for business.

A Hui Hou!
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  #41  
Old 11-04-2010, 01:42 PM
flagstaffcharli flagstaffcharli is offline
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I just spent some time on the phone with Sam. Extremely helpful! Larry, I owe you if only for introducing me to Sam!

Chris,

I like the fact that MOTU has 8 identical channels all with XLR inputs. Things can fail during a session. If one channel dies, I have seven identical channels to choose from. I also am attracted to the free AudioDesk that comes with it and is upgradable to DP.

I'm also attracted to the price tag and that it allows me to buy my John Hardy M-1 personal pre. In fact, that's HUGE.

And I like the fact that one of my main collaborators uses the same unit and is familiar with it. That's also a major plus. Brothers in Arms.

So there you go. I think you said it when you said you CAN make great music with this thing. That's the bottom line.

Eventually, one has to come to terms with the financial end of this - same reason I've started learning to work on my own guitars. I want to make records more often than every four years. So I'm problem solving and trying to not spend my way into the poor house, or at least my wife's dog house! The Apogee Ensemble looks cool. But I don't think it is right for my budget or my personal situation at the moment. I may look at adding the Duet in the future if I find myself wanting to more seriously record my own performances.

The great thing is that with my wife's Mac and selling the guitar, I've crossed over to the world of Mac recording without spending any new funds! I'll order the MOTU and get going learning. And I can still budget for additional mics or gear I might need later.

Next up: I have to build some of Fran's DIY room treatments.

Thanks all for so much help!
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