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Old August 3rd, 2005, 12:09 PM   #1
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Audio Guidance Needed...

I just set up an editing bay and need some help getting the right audio I/O gear.

I got a G5, a DSR11 Deck, a Sony DVD-RW / VHS Combo. I want to be able to record from every source to every other source (and view them on my preview monitor). For example, I want to be able to dub from the DSR11 to the VHS, the VHS to the G5, etc. I also want to be able to do some voice over recording.

What type of audio setup should I get to achieve my goals. Right now I have a spare Eurorack mixer, but would like a digital interface. Does anyone know of any good desktop patch panels or the like?

Please advise, and sorry if this straddles topics outside of the audio topic...
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 01:05 PM   #2
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The M-Audio 410 may be what your looking for.

best price i've found
Email me for projects in Ohio or Indiana.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #3
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Looks cool.

I have Behringer Truth audio monitors which take either XLR or 1/4" input.

So, you would recommend using this M-Audio 410 for recording?

What would be the best way to get audio out of the G5 to the Behringer Truth.

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Old August 4th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #4
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You'd like the 410. Same goes for the EchoFire 8. I think that Echo has better drivers, but the 410 has a much better software interface.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #5
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I think I am going to go with the M-Audio 410. Thanks!

One other question...

How would you route the audio with these components?

G5 (running final cut suite)
Sony miniDV deck
VHS (with firewire)
NTSC preview monitor
Behringer Truth (XLR and 1/4" inputs)
M-Audio 410
Eurorack mixer (if needed)

I would like to make dubs from Final Cut to the miniDV and the VHS, and dubs from miniDV to the VHS and vice versa. I also would like to be able to preview all this on the NTSC monitor.

Thanks for any help. I almost got my setup all done and cranking.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 12:56 AM   #6
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Brooks, you kind of have three options:

A- Just patch cables around if necessary. If that is taking up too much of your time (can waste lots of time if you have to troubleshoot your system)...

Route some inputs and outputs to the mixer.
You may also want to base part of your system around your DV deck.

C- Use a combination of the mixer and an audio+video patch bay. This way, when you need to go between different formats, you can move cables around on the patch bay. This is quicker than A... where you'd have to reach behind the machines before and after your dubs.
When you have a low amount of equipment like your setup, this isn't really necessary.

Patch bays become useful when you have like 10+ inputs, outboard effect units, and have to deal with 4+ decks for different formats.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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Thanks for the breakdown. That is what I had gathered, but did not know if there were any small patch bays on the market designed for this type of smaller setup.

I have put a lot of work into hiding my cables and making everything look nice, so I was looking for a solution that would not require me digging around behind the components. Thanks for the info!

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Old August 9th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #8
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you might want to look into a better mixer. with a little creativity, you can probably get a 4-bus mixer to do evrything you need without plugging/unplugging for every setup. you could actually pull off what you're trying to do with a mackie 1202, even though it's technically a stereo mixer. this is because besides the main 1&2 outputs, the mute buttons for each channel route that input to the "alt 3&4 bus." you also have separate control room outs (i'd send these to the monitors,) and you also have the "tape outputs." so you technically have 4 sets of stereo outputs which any given input can be routed to. you also have to aux sends which could be treated like outputs if need be. and there are 4 stereo inputs along with 4 mono mic/line inputs (not counting the "tape in",) which would seem to handle your needs.

i'm not a huge fan of a cheaper board like a mackie for tracking vocals or anything. you might want to eventually look at a separate pre or pres for that. but for signal routing and monitoring, the mackies are great. and their pres aren't attrocious or anything- just not as nice as higher quality pres.

more details?
with a mackie 1202 this is what i'd do:
main outs to g5 line in or dig audio interface (your choice.)
control rm outs to your monitors.
alt 3/4 outs to your dv deck.
tape outs to your dvd-r/vhs deck.

everything to the inputs of your choice.

video is a little trickier. what you really want here is a video matrix switcher. unlike a regular switcher, which can only send input "a" to output "x," a matrix switcher has distribution amp circuitry which allows you to send input "a" to outputs "x," "y," and "z." so if you wanted to go, for example from fcp to dv, dvd, and vhs simultaneously, with the option to switch between all of those decks on your monitor to make sure signal is going where it needs to go, a matrix switcher (with enough ins and outs,) will let you do this. in other words, if you have an 8x8 matrix, then any combination of the outputs, 1-8, can be sending out a signal from any seection of inputs. so input 1 could be going out on outputs 1-4, while input 2 is going out to outs 5&6, and input 5 is oing to outs 7&8. or any other combination you want. matrix switchers often route audio alongside the video, though a mixer would give you more flexibility in terms of gain staging/ matching levels and stuff.

very nice (and correspondingly expensive) matrix switchers are made by extron, among others. (theirs are the ones i know.) cheaper ones are made by folks like comprehensive, and can be found at b&h and elsewhere. the one thing to keep in mind is that you need to use the "lowest common demoninator" for video signals, which probably means composite video, unless your vhs deck can take s-video, which would be quite unusual. you have to use a type of analog signal that every deck and monitor can send and receive. no biggie though.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #9
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Thanks for your explanations.

As of right now I got things functioning pretty well.

1) My G5 connects to the DV deck via firewire.
2) The VHS connects to the DV deck via composite connectors (which can passthrough the DV deck to go into FCP)
3) Video from the DV deck is sent t my preview monitor via S-Video (so I can view FCP, DV, and the VHS to my preview now)
4) If I need to dub from DVD - VHS I can connect the DV deck to the VHS using firewire.

All that stuff is working well.

Right now my audio is routed from my G5 into my mixer (mini to RCA into the tape input) I would like to do a mini to XLR or 1/4" into the mixer (anyone have any recomendations?) I also need to route the audio from my DV deck to the mixer (I have left and right composite outputs on the DV deck and would like that to go to into the mixer - 1/4" or XLR?)

Then I am going to get the M-Audio 410 for recording. Should I connect this to the input using firewire or the optical audio?

Thanks for putting up with me. There are so many ways to do things and I just want to make sure I do it right.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #10
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for mini into mixer, xlr is pointless. in fact probably worse than pointless. you just want two unbalanced mono 1/4" plugs. get a high quality male st mini- to dual rca cable. then get decent fem rca to male 1/4" adapters and throw them on there. if you want to get happy with a soldering gun, you won't even need the adapters. you might be able to find this cable premade, but mini to rca is much more common. just make sure that the 1/4" plug on your adapters is tip/sleeve, not trs. everything you're dealing with is a line level device. while it is common to have line level signal (+4 typically) travel on xlr cables, i'v found that the cheaper mixers typically only really want mic level at the xlr inputs. like on the small mackies, a line level signal at the xlr ins tends to distort. i believe that everything going to those inputs goes through the preamps. i'm sure behringers work the same way.

the 410 should connect to the mac via firewire. then, anything going to or from the mac should be connected to it. you can leave the mac's line in and out alone.
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