Scaling Down, A Few Questions

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WW Audio
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Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by WW Audio »

I'm considering going from an outboard mixer/gear setup to running Cubase 10 Pro on a laptop (current rig pic below). Yes, giving up most or all the outboard to run C10 on a laptop and audio interface. My use model has evolved over the years and I need portability more than the ability to record 16+ channels at once. I already have the UR-RT2 but will likely get the 4 channel version or perhaps the UR824 - USB connectivity is preferred for simplicity. So, a few questions:

1. With no outboard compressors, I'll need to keep overages/transients in check. I can insert a compressor plugin on the input bus and it does appear to function like an outboard comp. Is the compression happening before the A/D conversion so any clipping is prevented?

2. Whatever laptop I end up with will be running Windows 10. Is there a specific version that's best (Home, Premium, etc)?

3. My current rig (Sweetwater Creation Station) is running 16Gb of RAM and has no trouble handling any C10 project I throw at it. Any laptop I use will likely have the same amount of RAM. Any issues with that amount of RAM on a laptop with C10, and, are there any other issues with laptops I should know about before pulling the trigger?

Appreciate any insights or suggestions.

Thank you.

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raino
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by raino »

WW Audio wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:13 am
I'm considering going from an outboard mixer/gear setup to running Cubase 10 Pro on a laptop (current rig pic below). Yes, giving up most or all the outboard to run C10 on a laptop and audio interface. My use model has evolved over the years and I need portability more than the ability to record 16+ channels at once. I already have the UR-RT2 but will likely get the 4 channel version or perhaps the UR824 - USB connectivity is preferred for simplicity. So, a few questions:

1. With no outboard compressors, I'll need to keep overages/transients in check. I can insert a compressor plugin on the input bus and it does appear to function like an outboard comp. Is the compression happening before the A/D conversion so any clipping is prevented?

2. Whatever laptop I end up with will be running Windows 10. Is there a specific version that's best (Home, Premium, etc)?

3. My current rig (Sweetwater Creation Station) is running 16Gb of RAM and has no trouble handling any C10 project I throw at it. Any laptop I use will likely have the same amount of RAM. Any issues with that amount of RAM on a laptop with C10, and, are there any other issues with laptops I should know about before pulling the trigger?

Appreciate any insights or suggestions.

Thank you.


Current Rig.jpg
1. No. The A/D conversion happens in your audio interface, well before it hits Cubase. So you can still get input clipping.

2. Not sure it matters from a Cubase point of view. The differences are more how you can interact with the OS and what OS capabilities you want. It used to be Home forced updates on you, but you can delay things now (up to a point). My DAW is on Home and I've never felt limited by that.

3. I went through a couple of Creation Stations before switching over to these folks https://www.adkproaudio.com/ because they allowed more flexible configurations than Sweetwater. They also do custom laptops. I like getting PCs specifically designed for audio work because they tend to vet the components used against the specific needs of a DAW.
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WW Audio
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by WW Audio »

Thanks Raino. I've been scoping out the ADK laptops for a couple of days. They look good, though pricey. Looks like I'll need to get busy selling gear to fund the new setup.

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Parrotspain
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by Parrotspain »

I have been mixing ITB for around 12 years, but I always keep a hardware compressor available in line before AD conversion, especially for vocal recording. I have experimented from time to time, but never been satisfied with relying solely on software. Portability isn't an issue for me though.

My input side comprises a rack containing a small format desk, compressors, multi FX unit (for reverb to headphones only) and AD.
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by eightyeightkeys »

1. With no outboard compressors, I'll need to keep overages/transients in check. I can insert a compressor plugin on the input bus and it does appear to function like an outboard comp. Is the compression happening before the A/D conversion so any clipping is prevented?
imo, best thing is to record completely dry, no processing whatsoever. With sooo many ITB compressors available, there is always one that will tame a rogue transient or level a track beautifully without the risk of committing/printing anything on the way in. If that fails for whatever reason, you can always go into a track surgically and snip + reduce gain on nasty transients and/or manually level out-of-control audio tracks.
I've bought so many ITB compressors, but, have always returned to the Waves RComp for vocals, API 2500 for drums and the Nomad Factory Bus comp for Stems/Groups, when required.
2. Whatever laptop I end up with will be running Windows 10. Is there a specific version that's best (Home, Premium, etc)?
Home is working great for me.
3. My current rig (Sweetwater Creation Station) is running 16Gb of RAM and has no trouble handling any C10 project I throw at it. Any laptop I use will likely have the same amount of RAM. Any issues with that amount of RAM on a laptop with C10, and, are there any other issues with laptops I should know about before pulling the trigger?
It depends. If you're an ITB composer/arranger using a considerable amount of VSTi's and plugs go for 32 GB RAM. I started with 16 but eventually had to go 32GB.
Appreciate any insights or suggestions.
ADK !!! (if budget allows)Those people make killer rigs and the tech-support is off-the-charts great.
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raino
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by raino »

Parrotspain wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:16 am
I have been mixing ITB for around 12 years, but I always keep a hardware compressor available in line before AD conversion, especially for vocal recording. I have experimented from time to time, but never been satisfied with relying solely on software. Portability isn't an issue for me though.

My input side comprises a rack containing a small format desk, compressors, multi FX unit (for reverb to headphones only) and AD.
Especially if you are using this to record in a variety of locations, that's going to increase the chances for setup errors. I'm generally a proponent of recording the raw signal and doing processing including compression after that. But in this case I'd at least want to have a limiter before the A/D.
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peakae
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by peakae »

I usually can get very similar results with compression ITB if I use more than one.
For vocals I often use 3 different compressors, and they only do small amounts of compression each.
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raino
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by raino »

peakae wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:16 pm
I usually can get very similar results with compression ITB if I use more than one.
For vocals I often use 3 different compressors, and they only do small amounts of compression each.
Yes, yes, yes. Huge fan of doing this.
rodger

Cubase Pro 10.5, Win10 Home, Halion6, Groove Agent 5, WaveLab Pro 10, BFD3, GPO, Komplete Ultimate 9, Waves Gold, Misc. other

i7 4771 Haswell Processor 3.5GHz, ADK LGA1150, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX970, RME Fireface 400, 2x UAD-2

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WW Audio
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by WW Audio »

I have a couple of FMR RNC's that are really great for unobtrusive comp duties on vocals and other sources. Would love to keep them but it seems few of the audio interfaces have inserts for outboard.

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peakae
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Re: Scaling Down, A Few Questions

Post by peakae »

I use a safesoundaudio P1 compressor, the smoothest compressor ever made IMHO.
But lately I have been able to get nearly the same results using the Melda Mautovolume plug-in, and a lot of time :-)
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