Live mixing + Recording with Cubase 6 + MR816's

Hello,


Some of you know that I also own a music bar besides working at Steinberg. The mixing desk that I normally use to mix the bands is “dying” at the moment, and it just ran out of warrenty (like always). So I had the choice: a new mixing desk, or try something new: build a computer and do live-mixing and recording at the same time. Well, I go the computer way, and want to share how well it works, because we have regular questions regarding this.

The computer is ordered: I5 2500 K, Windows 7 64-bit, 8 Gig Ram, 1 x HDD system, 2 x HDD Raid setup. 2 x MR816 will be used, together with Cubase 6.0.4.

I have not decided yet if I need a controller, but perhaps some of the new CMC’s will be tried at a later stage.

Current status: Waiting for the new system
First time to try out the new system: 6 October

Will keep you posted

Cheers,

Chris

Brave man!

Will be keeping an eye on this to see how it works out.

Oh, is the x2 raid, raid 0 or raid 1?

Best luck.

Hello Split,

Raid 1

Cheers,

Chris

Should be interesting!

Remember that using more than 1 MR816 deprives you of direct (0 latency) monitoring. A serious problem being addressed on the 816 boards. Look here: https://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=5984
I don’t know if this would caue a problem for live applications, but its a real pain in the recording process.

Chris:
I presume you’re using low latency and mixing through Cubase?

Hi Chris, thanks for the info. It’s good to see you involved in the forums like this. I look forward to your future reports. Why RAID if it’s just audio?

Hello AlakaLazlo.

No I’m not interestet in that topic. I will explain on a later stage why.

Current status: Computer have been arived, has been build and tested.

Will report back after first gig: an open stage evening, so a lot of different setups

Cheers,

Chris

Hello Mashedmitten,

Yes, raid 1 is only Audio. I do not allot of work with VSTI’s. “Real” mucisians / artists I like at most :wink:

Cheers,

Chris

Hello,

First test recordings have been made:
-Cubase 6.0.4 Windows 7 64-bit all updates installed
-16 channels with 2 MR816X at a buffersize of 32 samples.
-All channels have a compressor inserted
-2 FX channels (Reverence & Roomworks)
-Control Room enabled with 1 Monitor and 2 Studio’s and one headphone
-Project setting: 24 bit - 44,1 Khz
-The CPU is between 25% 50% with occasional peeks at 60
-ASIO is at 10%

Somebody asked me regarding the used computer case: http://www.chenbro.com/corporatesite/products_detail.php?sku=40

Tomorrow it will be used “for real” with an open stage evening. Will be a good first test, because these kind of evenings are always a little hectic.

Cheers,

Chris

:sunglasses: Hope the live gig goes well Chris, looking forward to your report.

Hello,


Some more stuff to try out today with the setup: CMC CH and CMC FD

Somebody wrote on gearslutz.com that the touchfader has a delay: not true. At the beginning you will perhaps some “trouble” to grap the fader, but after 10 minutes you are used to it. It is like your first smartphone and you need to “learn” how your touch display works.

had yesterday evening a small session going to test the setup with some people who worked in the past with people like Soul II Soul, George Benson, Devo, Gabriell etc. Most part as a session musician, but also with live shows. We definitely missed the CMC PD to make a drum track “on the fly”

Cheers,

Chris

Hello,


Yesterday was the “big” day, and everything went fine. I also hooked up a CMC FD (for the group tracks) and a CMC CH. The “wow” factor was very big of these devices at the audience. Allot of the musicians checked the FD and liked it (try it out by yourself when the devices hit the stores) I didn’t had a controller for the EQ section, so I will try the CMC QC at a later stage. I do not want to use a CC121 because of the moving fader when you step thrue the channels.

I need definitely two computer screens, because I always want to see the inputs. Musicians “always” raise the volume of they’re instruments during the gig. The Monitor and Record Enable knop in the mixer channels are a little bit tricky. Tommorow the next gig with the setup “Country & Western” this time.

Cheers,

Chris

Cool, some pictures of the gear at the venue would be great :slight_smile:

Hello Split,


well, the gear is now much less…

Here are two pictures. One is with the “old” setup. The first picture is an evening with a Steinberg Artist http://www.jordanreyne.com at my bar, and the second one is just the computer. No side rack anymore and no mixing desk. Just a computer.

Cheers,

Chris
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Hello,

I tried several controllers now. The biggest problem of most controllers is that you cannot see the buttons in a “dark” room so you need to use the mouse. With an analogue mixing desk you “know” the order of the knobs, but a controller that is new and is arranged different is a real pain, because you don’t want to press the wrong button during a live session.

(also don’t forget to bring a mouse pad)

Did now more then 24 hours of recording (including the test recordings) + mixing and till now no problems.

Some tips:

  • Make a template so you can setup your system quickly
  • “think” like you are working with an analogue mixing desk regarding your setup in Cubase (your sends etc) because you cannot insert something during recording.
  • Be sure that you know how the control room works (monitor speakers, headphone PFL etc)
  • Think about what you can do now. Like: have a EQ to find difficult frequencies, having for example a compressor on each track, having a guitar tuner (yes I allready needed it) etc.

When you should have questions, or I need to try something out, then please let me know. Till now I’m very pleased with it.

Cheers,

Chris

That one sounds like direct experience :laughing:

Thanks for the pics Chris, I take it your running in parallel with a conventional setup at the moment?

Hello Split,


No, just the PC. I have still my siderack and a “backup” mixing desk laying around at the moment. But I have around 3 a 4 gigs each month, so when everything goes OK then I will start to sell the extra gear in 2012.

As you can see in the new picture we need to work with 3 people when we do a (our project name always)full recording: Live mixing (sometimes even one person extra in a seperate room who mixes the complete show “live” and that can give to the artist a vew minutes after the show a CD/DVD) with full programmed light and live recording. One person has now a day off ;

In first Q 2012 a project studio will also be opened together with people who work allot with artists from SA. It’s amazing how different the music is in the charts in different countries / continents.

Cheers,

Chris
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Nice.

I can begin to see how your new setup will be advantageous for the artists and yourselves, once you get a few standard templates sorted for the various setups it could make things very quick to get going. How are you finding running various plugins Vs latency on the i5?

For a while we had a project that targeted the “europop” market with varying success, “geisha dreams by rollergirl” was one notable success written at our studio. It was a good learning experience to look and write/record music that targets other countries.

Hello Split,


the latency is very fine. I use plugins that have no internal latency (check plugin information in Cubase)

Will have a gig somewhere else later on tonight with somebody who played already when I used the new setup. Cool to have the settings saved from last gig. Till now a very good responce from the artists. Will organize an info evening for some folks now after all the questions that I got.

Geisha Dreams: haha I have that one on my Mp3 player :smiley: Always good to carry an MP3 player with you with gigs. Sometimes nice parties can start after the gig and the P.A. is still build up.

Tomorrow a video shoot with a German rap group. For me something new “German Rap”. In november probertly one for a tribute song for an SA artist who got shot by carjackers and died end of 2007. Mastering of the song have been done in SA (love the internet regarding this).

Cheers,

Chris