I want to do this, with this gear, how?

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lijil
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Basically I need a clever way to set up my gear so that I can direct record the original, and processed guitar signal at the same time.

The Gear:

- m-audio 1010LT sound card. http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Delta1010LT.html

- Boss BR-8 (yes you read that correctly, don't laugh) 8 track digital mixer with Guitar-In, Line-Out, and Digital-Out.

- An amp with the usual in, and Line-Out.

Currently I'm doing this:

I'm basically using the Boss as a DI Box for my guitar, and using some of the effects that it provides as well. I am plugging the guitar into the Boss, panning it hard-left, and have the left channel of the Boss' Line-Out going into the m-audio (Input3). The m-audio's Input-3 is then recorded by Ardour. This works, in that Ardour records the processed signal coming out of the Boss well, not complaints there.

What I want to do is:

- Record the processed guitar (i.e. through the Boss, using its effects), similar to what I'm doing now.

- Record the original, untouched signal at the same time.

- Use a feature in Ardour (if it exists), to somehow couple the two versions of the recording together, so that edits, trims, etc. made to one, are automatically done to the other.

I'd like to leave the amp itself out of the process if possible, I just included it in case it is somehow usefull in setting up this scenario.

Is any of this possible? Or do you have any other recomendations for how to achieve what I'm after? Thank-you.

anwe79
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I think that depends entirely on the BR-8. If you can split the raw guitar input before you send it through the BR-8 effects, then yes, I don't think there should be a problem doing the rest. I'm not sure you can link two mono tracks together, but you could always just use a stereo track for editing, and route the L/R-signals to separate effects buses.

If you can't split the signal in the BR-8, you either need to get a separate DI-box (with a builtin or separate splitter) or ditch the BR-8 and use effects in the computer with Jack/Ardour.

Before you go shopping though, i strongly advice that you try Guitarix. It is really great, but takes some time to get used to. A tip is to play with the "feedback" effect, i've found it really changes the tone of the rig. I get some really nice bluesey sounds out of it that are easily comparable to a proper all-tube guitar amp. With guitarix you can easily split the signal with Jack or Ardour before applying effects.

lijil
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Joined: 2009-11-22
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anwe79: Thanks for the ideas. I don't think I can split the input in the BR-8, but I don't have a problem picking up a separate DI box if need be.

Recording the original signal and the processed signal as the left/right of a stereo track in Ardour is genius! That would be perfect to keep both in sync. I don't think there would be any issues with routing in Ardour either, i.e. for reverb plugins, etc., I'd just have to pick one of two channels as input.

I guess what I'm really trying to do is record the original signal so I can tweak tone, reamp, etc. in the future, but have a processed signal for preview/reference purposes and rough mixes.

I was thinking on picking up a Radial J48 DI, which allows for 1/4 Guitar in, and has a 1/4 Pass-through, and an XLR out. With that I should be able to direct the J48's XLR-out into the XLR-in of the m-audio, and the pass-through into effects pedals, etc. Then have the 1/4 out of the effects pedal go into the BR-8 (just reuse it as a DI again), and the line-out of the BR-8 into the line-in of the m-audio. Routing the two connections to the m-audio into the left and right channel of a stereo track in Ardour.

So in the end I basically need two DI's to do this, but I can reuse the BR8 as one of them for the time being. It sucks that the m-audio 1010lt doesn't have balanced outputs, otherwise I could pick up a Radial X-Amp reamper, and then I'd be set. But the X-Amp only has XLR in, not line-in.

What do you think?

joegiampaoli
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Is there a way in the BR-8 that you can order the FX chain, and in that case can you put the Digital output at the beginning of the chain, then record via both Digital and Analog, The Digital will be dry and the Analog with FX.

This I can do with my Boss-GT8, just a thought....

mcgruff
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Can you record straight in to the 1010, either micing your cabinet or using a lineoout if it has one? After that you can set up a send/return loop using the Boss as an FX unit.

There's more than one way to do this. The most flexible is to record the wet signal separately on another track - a stereo track if you're using stereo FX. Set up a post-fader send on the dry guitar track, route this to a 1010 output, feed that in to the Boss, and take the Boss output back in to the 1010. Record on a separate track. You should also put the dry and wet tracks through a bus so you can adjust the instrument volume without altering the wet/dry mix.

Or, if you use an Ardour insert instead of a send, you can feed the wet signal back in with the dry track and record the mix. Use the latency measurement option on the insert to ping the Boss.

The second is simpler but slightly less flexible in that you can't adjust the dry/wet mix once it's recorded.

anwe79
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What mcgruff says makes a lot of sense, I hadn't thought of that way to do it. You just have to be careful with the sync, as mcgruff hints, since the wet signal will be slightly delayed compared to the dry (the roundtrip latency of the soundcard + the latency of the BR-8).

If you can apply guitar effects to a line-in channel in the BR-8 i think you're set, even without an extra DI (i assume this is possible, i'm not familiar with the BR-8).

Use the same set-up you have, with the guitar panned hard left and connected to a channel on the soundcard, but leave it dry. You then use one output on the sound card as a direct monitor out for the dry guitar input. Connect this to a line-in on the BR-8, apply effects and pan it hard right. Connect the right channel on the BR-8 to your soundcard and thats it.
In theory at least. You may need to manually compensate for latency between the channels, not sure about that.

You could also split the left output of the BR-8 with a DIY cable to achieve the same thing (no need to loop through the sound card and frees up one output on the delta).
There will be slightly different latencies (i think) depending on how you hook the whole thing up.
SW monitoring: Delta 1010 roundtrip latency + BR-8 latency
HW monitoring/split cable: Delta 1010 input latency + BR-8 latency

On second thought, i retract my statement about the stereo track workaround. It should work, but you should simply be able to select multiple tracks and edit them in paralell, or use "edit groups" (straight from the horse's mouth: http://ardour.org/node/2434). That makes effects routing, mixing and panning alot simpler.

Also i stand by my guitarix recommendation, its really nice. You may find yourself demoting the BR-8 to a simple DI :)

lijil
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Thanks for the Ardour tips with the sends & edit groups!

The BR-8 doesn't let you customize the signal path at all, it's a really old piece of gear, it records to ZIP disks! I'd be better off getting rid of it, I'm mainly keeping it around as a sort of DI box that will output at line-level.

The m-audio 1010lt a 24bit/96k card that has 8 inputs, 6 RCA connector line-level inputs, and 2 XLR mic-or-line level inputs. I've heard that the 1010lt's onboard preamp for the two XLR inputs isn't that great (noisy etc.), and I know I can get good results recording with the other 6 line-level inputs, so I'm hesitant to drop $200 on the Radial J48, which only has XLR output.

Does anyone know of any good devices out there that will take guitar/instrument in, and output line-level, ideally with RCA connectors? What class of device would this be considered? A mixer? Preamp?

Maybe I should just take a chance on the J48? I'd rather spend a bit more and get something that would let me drive 6 (or 8) instruments or mic's and output them at line-level (into the 1010lt). Is that a posibility, and am I just taking crazy now? :)

anahata
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Does anyone know of any good devices out there that will take guitar/instrument in, and output line-level, ideally with RCA connectors? What class of device would this be considered? A mixer? Preamp?

It's a preamp. Many mic preamps have an instrument input jack as an option (you use either that or the XLR, not both)
You won't find many with RCA outputs; that would make it a really low-end consumer device.

I suggest you look at the M-Audio Audio Buddy. Two channels of low cost preamp with 1/4" jack instrument inputs, and 1/4" jack outputs, and you'll also need a couple of 1/4" Jack - RCA cables for your 1010LT

PS simpler: you can get a converter with an RCA socket one end and a 14" plug the other!