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Criticism of gear based on its sound, features, etc is ok. Criticism of gear or the people that buy it based on your opinion of its cost is not.NO PIRACY This is an instaban. If you use our community to encourage any sort of IP theft you will be banned, no questions asked. Support the people that make all of this possible.Meta.Let's Talk.Related SubredditsGear and Software.Music and Synthesis. Good evening.I've been planning on moving to the world of hardware synths for a long time now. I'm pretty content with which synthesizers I'll choose however I'm having trouble with how I'm going to connect them to my MacBook.I like the ableton workflow so ideally I would like to mix and sequence everything ITB.
I would like to be able to send and receive MIDI data between ableton and all my synths (which should allow me to 1. Create midi clips in ableton that will communicate with the hardware and 2. Record in midi from my synths keyboards right?). In addition to sending/receiving MIDI data, I would also like ableton to be able to receive an audio signal so I can straight up record audio from my synths in addition to recording in MIDI data.So far I've been looking at a MOTU Midi Express for linking up to 8 synths via MIDI to USB. This should take care of my MIDI needs. My main question is how do I get audio from all these synths to my DAW/speakers (so it will play out the sounds from my synths)?
Again, I don't really want a mixer since I plan on mixing everything ITB. I currently only have a focusrite 2i4 audio interface.I understand this will be second nature to most of you guys so I appreciate the beginners advice in advance.Many thanks.
You have basically 3 choices. I've listed them from most expensive to least:.Audio interface with more inputs: Allows you to keep all of your synths connected and record everything at once on different tracks. All mixing and signal routing is done in the computer. Probably the best solution, but adding all of those extra interface channels for every synth can get expensive.Mixer: Allows you to keep everything connected and record everything at once, but to a stereo mix bus. If you want to record synths to their own individual tracks, you can, but will have to solo those channels and record them one at a time through your audio interface. You also get some EQ and it's also a useful tool for live performance.Patchbay: Eveything stays connected to the back, and you only have to move around one or two little patch cables on the front to change your routing.
Connect New Device To Computer
This only allows you to record one synth at a time through your audio interface, but it greatly simplifies routing so you don't have to constantly swap out cables when you change synths or effects. I think people on this subreddit tend to greatly underestimate how useful a patchbay can be. They are pretty inexpensive too.There are also some products that combine a mixer with a multiple input audio interface, but I decided not to list them as a separate category. I just want to point out they exist. They combine the features of both a mixer and an audio interface, but they can be pricey.Most pro studios will have all three: a mixing console, audio interface with lots of inputs, and lots of patchbays.
How To Connect Usb Device
That kind of setup gives you a ton of flexibility, but most of us don't have that kind of luxury in out home studios. You're gonna need a mixer or an interface with lots of inputs or you'll be swapping cables all the time. The mixer wouldn't be used for mixdowns or anything, its simply a way to combine many inputs into a single output to your interface. It doesn't have to be a nice mixer with lots of effects and stuff.
Something like an alesis multimix 8 line would work for you. Its a 1u rackmount mixer with 8 stereo input pairs, stereo out, monitor out, and a level knob for each channel.
It's not really necessary if you don't mind swapping cables around, just a convenience thing. A nice interface with many inputs and midi in/out would be the ideal option, if you're willing to spend the cheese. Either a mixer or an interface with multiple inputs.I recently purchased an older MOTU 828 mkII for 220 GBP on eBay, and it's amazing! Just as low latency as my old Delta 44 (which I've had for over a decade), 64 sample latency at 96 Khz easily. And it has So.
It's definitely worth getting an interface over a mixer, as you can process each input individually and add effects, etc.The Motu has Midi I/O, and you can daisy chain your synths together, setting each to a different midi channel, and then control the whole lot from Ableton/USB keyboard.Currently running a Novation Nova (2x stereo outs), Waldorf Pulse 2 and a Prophet 08 (1x stereo out only), my electric guitar in the instrument input, and the thing can take so much more. Need more inputs?
Connect Device To Computer
Buy an AD/DA box and use the digital input on the card to add 8 more channels!tl;dr: Buy a bigger audio interface, and buy it used! Best bang for buck. I've got an old MOTU MIDI TimePiece USB, which has great standalone routing capabilities. I run my synth audio into a UA Apollo, with 10 extra inputs delivered by an Apogee Ensemble over ADAT and an Apogee Rosetta 200 over S/PDIF.I can play all synths live, with effects, and even things like MIDI routing from my bass pedals to my sequencer, as long as the computer is on. No need to start up a DAW. But if I do, I have every synth on its own dedicated channel, ready to record.I chose this somewhat expensive path because the alternative would be to get a decent line mixer and a bunch of expensive delays / reverbs.
It would have solved my 'want to be able to play the synths live' problem, but recording would've been awkward (would need some kind of group routing on the mixer, and at least 4 groups if I wanted to record more than 1 synth at once).