Multi-track recording using multiple pro audio devices

Hi all, I have Cubase LE 5 and a Tascam US-122MKII professional audio device (soundcard). The unit has 2 inputs (L/R), and 2 outputs (Phones and Line Out). There is one volume knob for both outputs (called Mon Mix), and the knob is more a selection of which signal is output - the Input or the Computer. (If you’re confused, check the specs here:

I have a song I’m producing, and I want to record an acoustic guitar and drums - preferably simultaneously. I do have access to two other Tascam US-122MKII units. I want to set up four mics for the drums, and two for the acoustic guitar. I am wondering how to set this up in Cubase LE 5? I know how to set things up in Devices and VST Connections to access all inputs and outputs.

But can I set things up so that the guitarist, drummer, and myself can hear the click track plus both instruments while they are being recorded? I am going to be doing this in a small church’s sanctuary, which does have a mixer board, house and monitor speakers, and three amps for keyboards, electric guitar, and bass guitar. I’m not going to use the mixer though as I want to process each mic’s signal separately post-recording. I am also not planning to use any speakers/amps as monitors as I don’t want bleeding in the mic signals. I plan to use the Phones outputs on the three Tascam units.

I’ll give an example of my setup and question if you’re not sure what I mean. If you understand me, and know the answer, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

I have units 1, 2, and 3, with inputs a and b (L and R respectively) for each unit. I set up mics W, X, Y, and Z to record the drums and plug them in as such: W -> 1a, X->1b, Y-2a, Z-2b. I set up mics U and V to record the guitar and plug them in as such: U -> 3a, V -> 3b. I then create 6 mono tracks in my Cubase project and set them to each mono input/mic. Now if I set unit 1’s Mon Mix to Input, unit 1’s Phones will play mics W and X; if I set unit 2’s Mon Mix to Input, unit 2’s Phones will play mics Y and Z; and so on for unit 3. However, if I set unit 1’s Mon Mix to Computer, unit 1’s Phones will play whatever Cubase plays, which during recording is only the click track; and the same for units 2 and 3. But I want to have unit 1’s Phones play mics U-Z, and the click track; and the same for unit 2 and unit 3.

I don’t mind using the other audio equipment at the church to achieve the output setup I want, but I need to make sure there is no bleeding. Alternately, does Cubase LE 5 allow for some sort of software play-through? If the setup I desire isn’t possible, I will record each instrument separately.

Thank you so much for any help you can give me.

David: I’m kinda :confused:

If I read your post right, what you describe is exactly
why I up-graded from a Tascam US-144 to a Tascam US-1641
so I could record 10 + tracks simutaneously with a Band. Maybe use that
external mixer and record the Drums first on to 2 tracks,
playing and singing with the drummer just for a guide, then re-record
those tracks and adding more layer cake style.

Jack :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Ps: In the old days of analog :laughing: 4-track recording we would
record a Stereo basic track on 2-tracks then use the remaining
2 for vocals, lead instruments, etc. :wink:

PPs: If you want to Link together 3 Tascam 122’s- I believe the answer
is no. I think USB 2.0 won’t allow this. Firewire will. I have been
looking at “Presonus” gear that are FIREWIRE for a couple of years now and steinbergs gear will “CASCADE”
also-I think :question:

Basically if you’re on a PC then unless the Tascams ASIO drivers let you use multiple units simultaneously then you cant use more than one unit at a time. (I don’t think the us-144 can do that)

There may be a workaround for PC using the Free ASIO4ALL driver instead or if on a Mac create a aggregate device (not sure about that one?)

As stated above the better solution for recording multiple inputs is to get an interface with enough inputs and outputs.

I know the ultimate answer is to upgrade to a unit with more inputs. But will a unit like the Tascam US-1641 allow for multiple monitors/headphones? So in the case of a band (as described above), can all the band members hear the mix as it’s being recorded?

There are a few ways of setting up multiple headphone/monitors, unfortunately I don’t think LE5 supports the control room, so the easiest way is to use a headphone amp with multiple headphone circuits. As the US-1641 has four outputs you could set up either 4 mono headphone mixes using sends, sent to four mono outputs or 2 stereo mixes using the same technique or a combination. Maybe the simplest way would be to just use the L/R mix to all headphones if you don’t need tailored headphone mixes.

The full versions of Cubase allow for very easy setup of four individual headphone mixs via the control room feature, hardware permitting

So basically, it’s mainly the setup of headphones/monitors and the logistics of wiring etc outside of cubase thats the tricky bit.

The answer is yes.

But My Band when recording basic tracks don’t use headphones at all.
We use Live Monitors with the "SPEAKER’'S POLARITY 'S REVERSED. :wink:
Positive to Negative-- Negative to Positive.The Beatles never used
headphones on there early albums up through Revolver. :wink: I learned about
this speaker reversing trick from the Metal Band “Metalica”. :wink:
One of these days I’ll Buy a headphone Box, cue system. :laughing:

Jack :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

PS: Yea we do use Headphones for overdubs, Just a Y-CABLE
Plugged into the headphone jack on the front of the Tascam US-1641. :wink:
Just one or two people at a time.

Works for us

PPS: I’ve used many Live guide vocals as keeper takes by using the SPLIT TOOL andt the Mute tool
to mute what leakage there is, and usually it’s not much. :wink:

Thanks for the responses Jack and Split.

@Jack: Would you mind explaining the reverse polarity trick? I know how to reverse polarity, but I’m failing to see how that affects live monitors. Also, I could use a Y-cable to split the headphone jack but the problem is choosing which Tascam US-122 unit to use. And thanks for the Split/Mute tip for live vocals! Definitely will have to remember that one.

Getting back to my original question, which is if I can set up multiple inputs/outputs using 3 2x2 units (Tascam US-122), what do you (Jack/Split/anyone else) think? Should I basically forget it, and until I am able to get a unit like the Tascam US-1641, record layer by layer?

I should add that I do use ASIO4ALL, and the laptop I will be using does have 3 usb inputs, which allows me to connect up to 3 Tascam US-122 units, and record multiple inputs via multiple input busses in Cubase LE5.

Assuming you can run the three devices with suitably low latency, <10ms then you should be good to go.

The Monitor Speakers are out of phase with a recording microphone.
Metalica had 2 "AURATONE’S on mic stands right in front of the singer.
There is leakage but it’s real weak. The Split/Mute trick took care of it.
I use the Split/mute trick alot especially on Kick drums, snare, Tom’s.

Yea record Layer by layer if the rest of your group have patients.It can be nerve wracking with a group.
it is more fun to play things Live together.

Hmmmmm, well I have a ton of usb ports with my computer also and I still
have My Tascam US-144. I’ll give it try to. But I bet it doesn’t work.
I think you have to DAISY-CHAIN from one to the other.
The Presonus Gear does daisy chain. And I guess the “ZOOM R-16” Daisy Chains :wink:

Jack :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Multiple devices should work using ASIO4All. I can actually define 8 VST input pairs via ASIO4all- Realtek audio in x 2, HD audio in x 2, Tascam analog in x 2, Tascam digital in x 2.

The problem is that LE1 will only allow 4 active at any time. IIRC you will get 16 in LE4/LE5.