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New Old Studio Rack day

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  • New Old Studio Rack day

    Over the last several weeks I've been working on reassembling my old recording rack. The last cables finally arrived, the patchbay is wired, and I just finished confirming all of the connections.

    I started recording in the early 2000s; initially with a pocket recorder and then with an M-Audio Delta 44 and crappy mic preamp. My first serious rig was an Alesis M20 ADAT fronted with an Alesis Studio 24 mixer. I got the M20 for $125 from a studio that was closing out old gear, and the Studio 24 was something workable and cheap.

    I added a 3630 compressor (because I didn't know better) and a Lexicon MX200 that I used mostly for monitor mixes. Despite the less than stellar pedigrees, I made some of my best recordings with that rig. Of course it didn't last, and when I was laid off in Nov. 2008 I sold the M20 for a pretty hefty profit. When I had enough money to resume, I bought a MOTU 828mkII and started working with just a computer and interface. The 828 sounds really good, but I've never been 100% happy with the workflow; I liked the Studio 24 / M20 rig better in that respect. So this spring I decided to rescue my Studio 24 from rehearsal monitor duty and rebuild the rack. (with Izzy's help)

    As much as I enjoy immaculate production, I've always been inspired by recordings that are a bit more raw and less polished. Smashing Pumpkins' Pisces Iscariot and Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisited particularly stand out. Once I started recording myself, I was blown away by the results a friend of mine achieved in the 90s on a Mackie 8-bus with some mediocre outboard gear. Hopefully I'll have some recordings to share before too long, but until then:

    • Furman PL+: I've had this for longer than I remember, and I'm pretty sure everyone has at least one. It's a glorified power strip that (maybe) filters out a bit of line noise.
    • Samson S-Patch Plus: This is new-ish and I wish they'd been around ages ago. No more having to pull the patchbay, flip cards, and re-patch everything when changing the normalling of a pair. Instead it has 3-way switches on the front for normal, half-normal, and thru.
    • MOTU 828mkII: I've had this since late 2008 and it gets the job done. Once I got it working in Linux it's been solid, and my latency is around 3ms.
    • Funk Logic NCC-1701 w/ FMR RNC & RNLA: The Funk Logic rack is an elegant solution to mounting a pair of 1/3U devices without a visible gap. As for the devices themselves, I first heard about the RNC in 2010 or so, but I hear they were available before then. It's lightyears ahead of the 3630, and I have the RNLA for when I want a bit of color.
    • Lexicon MPX-1: I always wanted a MPX-1 BITD but could never afford one. Now that I have one, I'm amazed by how vastly superior it is to the MX200. The only area where the MX200 may have been ahead was in programming; the thing was so simple because it really couldn't do much. So far I've only really tried out presets, as I still need to set it up properly.
    • Roland XV-5050: Another piece I would've loved but couldn't afford, and it replaces a drum machine and several synths. I don't have the 'Dynamic Drums' or 'Ultimate Keys' expansion boards yet, but I'll probably pick them up as that's mostly what I use this for.
    Last edited by dystrust; 06-24-2020, 09:10 PM.
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  • #2
    Re: New Old Studio Rack day

    I still have my Mackie 8-Bus, ADAT, Panasonic SV 2-track, Roland SRV unit and Yamaha SPX90 for similar reasons. They all make a particular sound together. Also, I keep having to re-import my old tracks into whatever the latest format/technology is. (Maybe Iíll give that up at some point and sell it all off. Want a Mackie 8-Bus? ;-) )
    Originally posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Originally posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.


    • #3
      Re: New Old Studio Rack day

      I use a Roland XV-5050 in my rack for my guitar synth. It is probably overkill for that, but man, it sounds great. My favorite sounds are the synth strings, bass pedals, voices, and the weird evolving ambient pads.
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


      • #4
        Re: New Old Studio Rack day

        Man, I remember that Alesis desk from back in the day! Looks like a fun setup. Menu diving can be a pain, but if you dig into the architecture there are a lot of unique sounds to be had with Roland ROMplers, even if you’re just toggling off Parts or creating splits with patches.
        Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
        My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.