[PlanetCCRMA] Any advice for building a linux-based pro studio piece by piece?

R Parker rtp405@yahoo.com
Tue Sep 21 10:47:01 2004


--- Brian Jarrett <bjarrett@garcoschools.org> wrote:

> Hello all,
> Background:

>  Most likely at first I'd be doing recordings for
> things like radio ads and promos (my wife can do
> voice acting) I may also write little jingles and
> record them.  So basically, these would be small
> audio projects.  I may also make my setup mobile and
> do things like record live perfomances of High
> School bands, choirs, etc. (especially as I'm
> learning to use my equipment to its greatest
> effect.)

In general, "pro" grade work requires great sound. If
you're doing A/D, you could consider decent quality
convertors. If vocals or any other analog source, you
could consider a preamp and microphone. I combine an
Avalon Vt 737sp and a Neumann M147 Tube for a high
quality mono chain.

Jingle work that doesn't include live players has very
minimal mixing and input/output requirements. It might
not require a control surface or hardware mixer. Put
the savings into the mic, preamp and a/d convertors.
The great advantage of high quality gear is you plug
it in and it sounds excellent.

> So, I'm looking at all the possibilities -- Digital
> and Analog mixers, ADC/DAC (both external and
> internal), and other things like midi control
> surfaces.  I really like the idea of having a mixing
> console of some sort (not using a mouse on a gui) to
> get my recording levels.

Mixers and control surfaces are fun but it's alot more
satisfying to achieve great sound with a minimal
amount of stress.

  As I understand it a
> digital mixer would do the ADC and act as a control
> surface, but I'm unsure if something like Ardour
> would work (or even be needed) if I bought one.

Ardour is awesome but you should carefully examine the
 bug database. You'll find links to it on the Ardour
website. Ardour is beta software and just because it's
got the capabilities doesn't mean the features are
usable. I'd guess your modest requirements could be
fulfilled with jack, rosegarden/muse, ardour,
jamin--keep it simple. 
> don't really care to have everything integrated like
> that, in case I wanted to get better ADC or
> something at a later date.  Is it possible to use a
> midi control surface with motorized faders to
> control the mix, while using something like the
> OmniStudio for ADC/DAC and Ardour as the software? 
> I would think a setup like that would offer alot of
> flexibility for future upgrades, etc.

I use a Tascam DM-24 with Ardour. In my physical
facility, five rooms, I can get by with the available
i/o for most rock bands. If I had two DM-24's chained
together, I could do my job faster.

We've got an old analog Soundtrac Solo consol that has
good preamps and British EQ. Purchased used, it's an
inexpensive board and for us it's indespensible.
Combined with an accoustically tuned live room it
makes life manageable while producing great drum mixes
and there isn't a more difficult production task. I
achieve in 15 minutes what would take four hours in an
untuned room.

I also have two Yamaha AW4416 units that I chain
together and control from the DM-24 while recording to

My gear investment philisophy is buy once and when
possible get it used-- gear leaves the sales floor at
half the value paid. It's a bad strategy to think in
terms of upgrading.

Good luck and be cheap,

ron "the anti-consumer" parker

> I probably have some "holes" in my understanding of
> how everything works together, but am anxious to get
> it all figured out.  Any help/enlightenment is
> greatly appreciated.
> Brian
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