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Pres for recording Synths

Pres for recording Synths
« on: September 15, 2020, 04:29:37 PM »
Hi

I have some spare $ I can put towards music stuff, and I have been looking at higher end recording/studio equipment.

I would just like to get peoples opinions on using pre's for synths, do you think it makes synths parts sound better if they are recorded through pre's that add color, or do you think it doesnt really matter and the synths inherent color/sound is what matters?

For reference I am looking at a Neve 1073DPD vs my Focusrite Scarlett (lol). I'd use the Neve for input and conversion. I am at a point where most of my stuff is recorded from external gear. I am not unhappy with my Focusrite, but I've never really had the opportunity to hear or work with higher end stuff irl.

So just wondering if you generally consider what inputs you're using when you record, do you have pres you like and stuff like that.

Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 11:40:10 AM »
dizzy,

I'm just running 1/4 patch cords to a mixer.   The Behringer mixer has a built interface though I'd eventually like to upgrade mixer board to a 24 bit version since almost any soundcard and software is at least that now.  This USB out goes right to my computer with Audacity.   I really don't think you would need to to add pre amp to line outputs of synths.  I will use pre's only for microphones.  I feel the sound of the synth is captured exactly without false coloration in this way.

Just my opinion, though I think a mixer board in a studio is a necessity.  Many mixers made today will contain a decent interface and have built in pre amps to boot. 
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Shaw

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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 12:20:10 PM »
Hi

I have some spare $ I can put towards music stuff, and I have been looking at higher end recording/studio equipment.

I would just like to get peoples opinions on using pre's for synths, do you think it makes synths parts sound better if they are recorded through pre's that add color, or do you think it doesnt really matter and the synths inherent color/sound is what matters?

For reference I am looking at a Neve 1073DPD vs my Focusrite Scarlett (lol). I'd use the Neve for input and conversion. I am at a point where most of my stuff is recorded from external gear. I am not unhappy with my Focusrite, but I've never really had the opportunity to hear or work with higher end stuff irl.

So just wondering if you generally consider what inputs you're using when you record, do you have pres you like and stuff like that.


You might consider a UAD Apollo... It has some great emulations of Neve, Manley and others.  I record synths through it and am very happy with the results. 
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

LPF83

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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 02:36:17 PM »
I just use the Octopre with the 3rd Gen Scarlett and have been happy with it.  I feel that, aside from analog synths (which never sound as good to me when emulated in virtual instruments) many of the things we used to need expensive hardware for can be replaced more cost effectively with plug-ins.

An example is the Black Box HG2.  Videos like this from legitimate owners of both the hardware and the plug-in make it very hard for me to want to shell out a few thousand for the hardware version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dFEXzhvS_g
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Moog SlimPhatty, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 10.5.

Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 03:14:05 AM »
Yeah I mean I like and use plugins ofc, I do think there's still a few places where real gear can make a material difference, namely recording and mix summing.

I guess also I just like working with hardware. You get something nice, get to know it then just use it all the time and not have to think about it. The lack of endless options plugins bring is part of the appeal to me.

The UAD stuff is really cool but not that cheap and I'd still need another audio interface for the rest of my stuff, feel like its gonna make my life more complex which is the opposite of what I'm going for.

Do appreciate all your comments though, something I'm still thinking on.

S Y Z Y G Y X

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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 08:09:49 AM »
Have you thought about a master bus processor where you could track all your synths/instruments through as well as mix down entire tracks through it for vibe?  I just purchased an SSL Fusion and tracking synths through it and then mixing down full songs through it really adds tons of weight and vibe. 
SEQUENTIAL Pro 3, DSI Prophet 12, DSI Prophet Rev2-8, Moog Subsequent 37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Novation Bass Station 2, BOSS VE500, MOTU Micro Lite, AKAI APC240 MKII, SSL Fusion, UAD Apollo X6, MacBook Pro 2017, ADAM A7X Monitors, Logic X
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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2020, 04:58:34 PM »
That is a decent idea. I would actually love a full mixer but I dont really have the space. I'm thinking something like a good stereo compressor might be better, I'm not sure its worth going d/a -> analog -> a/d with basic convertors. May be over thinking it though.

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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2020, 06:59:41 AM »
We run a UAD Apollo X6 with an SSL Fusion on the 2bus via Logic’s I/O hardware insert.  The Fusion is really a perfect unit to track synths, vocals, any instrument through to add fatness and character and width and EQ.  Plus mixing down a final entire mix through I’d definitely look into it.  No mixer is necessary you just plug it’s ins and outs into your audio interface, it’s perfect solution for hybrid studio.
SEQUENTIAL Pro 3, DSI Prophet 12, DSI Prophet Rev2-8, Moog Subsequent 37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Novation Bass Station 2, BOSS VE500, MOTU Micro Lite, AKAI APC240 MKII, SSL Fusion, UAD Apollo X6, MacBook Pro 2017, ADAM A7X Monitors, Logic X
www.syzygyxmusic.com
https://syzygy-x.bandcamp.com

Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2021, 08:31:47 PM »
Good topic. I've been wondering if I should grab some nice outboard to spice up my recording front end too. I have a great board -- RME Fireface 802 -- so top notch pres and converters, but very transparent as is typical of RME. That's technically a good thing but means I have to add color in software, and I don't have many high end plugins for that kind of thing. I was considering some nice compressor or channel strip with EQ, comp, saturation etc. Will be interested in hearing people continue to share their ideas.
OP, let me know if you do pull the trigger on something eventually and what you ultimately decide to go for!

Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 01:12:18 PM »
I succumbed to analysis paralysis so did not end up getting anything. I am extremely space constrained at the moment but should be getting more space later in the year hopefully. The UAD stuff seemed like a good idea if only just to try out a bunch of different options before going all in on hardware.

timboréale

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Re: Pres for recording Synths
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2021, 02:09:24 PM »
Fabfilter's Saturn is excellent for this sort of thing on synths - it's a swiss army knife of very well modelled character and far, far more precise and useful than most of those simplified "tape" and "character" effects out there. Right now you can use it for free - they're extending the trial period indefinitely at the moment. Definitely watch their excellent tutorial videos (for Saturn 1 as well, it's much the same). Highly recommended. (Their Pro Q3 is also a superb EQ for helping shape and finesse your synth tones, but that's more focused on mixing than on character. I can't say enough great things about it, though.)

I also use Softube's Console 1 as a mixing aid and find it superb for warming up synths and helping fat patches sit nicely in the mix.

I prefer Saturn over Softube's own harmonics and tape plugins, but I find Console 1 to be just right for a mix bus - though it is much less precise in many ways, it is well designed for the 80% of the job that the desk is supposed to do, and it does that part well.

Edit: I also use RME as my front end, a mix of UCX and FF800 line inputs. Brilliant stuff.
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...