PC Studio Update

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MNX2010 PC Audio Sites - Update :

studio pic My Atari Studio,
5 years ago (2011) I began to transform my Atari Studio, already in use for 12 years, into a PC Studio. The converting of the files was an awful lot of work, but finally, with the right software all the files were converted. To convert Cubase Arrangements, first I used an old, Cubase (GS), one of the first PC versions, to make it more PC compatible. Saved in GS, it can easily load in Cubase SX & Cubase 5 en later versions. For the soundbanks of my synthesizers I converted the Atari editor banks to PC soundbank editor. In reality it means : the Atari-soundbanks store in de synthesizer and store back in the PC with Sounddiver & Midi Quest XL. A lot of work, but this way you learn about the possibilityís of the software. Itís not only getting a lot more difficult, but this gives also more possibilities to start up a professional studio. Fortunately I have the necessary experience to setup a Studio and saved some money for it. As a preparation I seeked around on the internet, what hardware to buy. At the end I almost replaced everything except the Kawai K4, TX81, the analogue Braintec and my 24-in mixer. The wiring costed me a lot of work and money, if you go for quality. Thatís why I made my wiring myself with high quality wiring and plugs. Generally are the possibilityís with the PC a lot More Extensive, although I miss some functions in the modern Cubase like the part parameters in Atari Cubase. Also I miss the Sound-editors who I gathered for my Atari, generally PC editors are somewhat disappointing, especially if you are accustomed to Atari. Thatís why I will hold my Atari computer as retention. For more info >>> Atari-Music & Kawai K4

studio pic

studio pic My PC Studio
My plan was at the beginning quite simple, a few real analogue synthesizers, a virtual analogue synthesizer, a digital FM & AM synthesizer, a sampler, a multi channel soundcard and a professional effect. And for the computer I wished to install XP, because the most music software and editors are compatible with this. A videocard with 2 monitors, to share all the windows within cubase. The Arrangement in the left window and key-editing, mixer and vst-instruments in the right. A midi-controller, now I have the Akai MPD-32. Practically itís not so easy as it looks, if you buy some secondhand stuff, there often is something wrong with it, certainly if itís a popular Item. So you must be technical and a good analyser. So better new, with a good offer, cheaper than secondhand. So I had my effect 150 euro cheaper, It will save a lot of money and one also has guaranty. Finally, it is important to create a good foundation from which to expand.
For my Music Productions >>> Energetic Vortex

My soundcard
My real conflict with secondhand stuff, is your are not sure of the matching drivers. Because updates are often bugged and work bad, so you have to backslide to the original drivers. Most often if you buy a secondhand device, it contains no driver CD, because often people throw it away. Usual the ďoriginal driver CDĒ you also can find on the service site, but as in my case of my Motu MK1, eventually I found the original driver CD, but not on the original download page and it was not mentioned that is also suitable for XP. It was a driver from the begin time of the production of the device, I tried this out and it works. In the text file of the driver I found out, that this was indeed the original driver CD, also suitable for XP, but the content must be installed from CD, otherwise some parts of the installation will not work. Motu is apparently doing its best to hide the right drivers software. And the same thing I encountered with the EMU 1212M, after a long search and experiments I found the right driver thatís also capable to support the ADAT channels. The reason is clear, itís in there own interest to give this shitty service, this way they sell more stuff, a lot of older stuff that still runs well, is been disposed of this way. The most people donít have the knowledge or the patience to, like me, to get to the bottom of this. One important lesson : Never buy a soundcard/module without the original Drivers CD.
studio pic

Choice of soundcard
The most important for me is the sound and in accordance to that I know Motu and RME are the top and it just is a question of money, RME is broadly 2x so expensive but absolute ďthe bestĒ. The choice for a multi channel audio card is finally dependent on what you want to do with it, how much channels you want and future plans for any expansion. Well perhaps optical ADAT will give a good solution, although ADAT in comparison is a little expensive. Also the connection of the module to the PC is of importance for your choice. In hindsight it was not wise to buy a Firewire module for the PC, this you can better do with Apple Mac. They have a standard firewire400 and 800, the PC has different ones (PCI and PCI-e) wherefore the drivers for the modules operate badly. Better is one with USB you can put this in almost in every computer, so handy but slow, so much latency. My favourite would be a professional USB 3.0 multi channel module if it exist. There is further more a lot of complains, on forums about multi channel audiocards, so last year my Phase 88 from TerraTec just broke down, I had the original CD install it on a clean XP, but didnít work, but the midi worked well. What to do about that? These multi channel cards are relative expensive, so a big blow if itís break down. If I would buy a new one nowadays, I donít know what to buy, maybe a Motu 828 MKII or MKIII. The Motu 828 MKII look licked, gives a great sound, a low latency and has a lot possibilityís for expansion and for sale secondhand for around 250 euro. RME is still my favourite but I have to save more money.

studio pic

My Acid Lab
My idea was to work with hardware synthesizers, but also with software synthesizers, but in the process I find out that real analogue synthesizers sound is so much better. So now I have to change the whole idea. So more analogue hardware and because I love acid music, I stated more interest in TB-303 clones. It take a while before I knew exactly what to choose. The top is absolutely the TB-303 itself, but no midi and much to expensive ! After that coms the TT-303, XOXBOX, etc. So first I bought myself XOXBOX Andy Pledger Built edition, nice sound. Bought a MB33 MKII, not really a 303 clone but a nice sound and fully controllable midi. I already own a Braintec, so I tuned it again on the MB33, for the baseline. For the drums I have nyself a Jomox airbase99 also with fully controllable midi, just what I was looking for. And a new mixer, preferably with many possibilities and quality. That become the Soundcraft ui24r, a piece of technology, equal to a real studio and not expensive. Now I can shape the sound edit like this, to get the best comes forward. The start was quite difficult, but with help from YOUTUBE and the manual, I get pretty far. I kept the Lexicon MX400 and MX200, they give that little extra space with lots of delay. The K4 was my first synthesizer and appears to be a good addition. Just like my Supernova II Rack, although I might swap it for real analog rack synthesizers. The sampler is an Akai Z8, remains the best sampler of all time, although it takes a lot of work to properly adjust the filters and effects. I also bought a Jomox Mbase 11 and a TD-3-AM to pretty much finish my studio. Ö MNX (September 2020)
For more info >>> Akai s2000 & Akai Z8

List Studio Devices

hardware synthesizers

Akai Z8 (24bit sampler) info >>> Akai Z8
Supernova II Rack (virtual annalogue) info >>> Supernova II
XOXBOX Andy Pledger Built edition (303 clone annalogue) info >>> XOXBOX
Cyclone Analogic TT-303 Bass Bot V1 (303 clone annalogue) info >>> TT-303 Bass Bot
Braintec Transistor Bass 3 (303 clone annalogue) info >>> Transistor Bass 3
Korg Minilogue (annalogue) info >>> Minilogue
Kawai K4 (digital AM) info >>> Kawai K4
Jomox Airbase99 Rack (909 Clone annalogue) info >>> Airbase99
Jomox Jomox Mbase 11 (909 kick Clone annaloog) info >>> Mbase 11
Behringer TD-3-AM (303 clone annaloog) info >>> TD-3-AM



Soundcraft ui24r (22-2 digitaal mengpaneel)
Rolland UM-3G USB (3 chl i/o midi interface)
Samsung Syncmaster 930BF (scherm 2x)
Computer quadcore 3Ghz (Windows 7)



Lexicon MX400 (4 chl i/o surround effect)
Lexicon MX200 (2 chl i/o stereo effect)
Boss Flanger BF-3
Boss Overdrive/Distortion OS-2
MXR - Distortion +

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