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Adding some new hardware and a new DAW

posted on #1
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Up until now I've been using the free DAW "Cakewalk" by Bandlab. In general, I was quite happy with its features and how it worked. I would certainly recommend it to anyone wanting a really decent free DAW. It is as good as many paid ones. And they just issued an upgrade (to a free product!).

But I was very much missing the use of hands-on controls for setting things up and particularly for mixing work. Guess it was my old days (60-70s) in the studio haunting me. The mouse-on-screen stuff certainly worked... but was "unsatisfying" and hard to use for details. Lots of 'reading glasses' events.

So I decided to "bite the bullet" and ordered a Personus Faderport 8 control surface, as well as a Novation Launchcontrol XL controller. The 8 track Novation will be used mainly for the grouped input tracks that are for more "set-and-forget" levels (once balanced) and then the Faderport for the real automation mixing work that I typically do mainly on busses fed with sends from other tracks.

Both are solidly constructed; the Faderport even more so than the Novation unit. The Novation pots and faders are certainly decent quality. The Faderport 10 cm faders are really nice, both touch sensitive and motorized. Everything on the Faderport is sort of multi-functional. The Faderport transport controls are great. Both units buttons are solid and nicely lit. The Faderport is totally integrated with Studio One; a pleasure to use.

Anyone considering those two pieces of hardware....... I think you'll be happy if you get them. WITH a couple of caveats.

One issue to be aware of is that the Faderport is fully integrated for the Presonus Studio One DAW. It will also do HUI and MAC and full MIDI outputs...... but I found neither play all that nicely with Cakewalk. It would have been a slog to get them tailored to work as well as I'd want with Cakewalk.

However, the Faderport 8 came bundled with Studio One Artist DAW software. I installed that... and played around and WOW! That led me to just buy Studio One Professional. I'm switching DAWs.

While it might be tempting to buy the Faderport 16 for more tracks........ the Faderport 8 allows you to move the faders/channels in banks of 8 up to however many tracks you have...... so it is really unlimited tracks. And the "scribble strips" show you what track you are on and what you are doing to it.

So....... a new package of hard and software to learn.

..............john
Edited by WiltonDrummer on Mai 05 2021 22:55
posted on #2
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Thanks for your cool report/review John, very helpful :)

I've heard lots of good things about Studio One, probably not trying it myself because I'm mostly on Linux rather than Windows - but it still might help others, very kind to report about it.

Cheers,
Wolfgang
posted on #3
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Thanks Wolfgang. The more I play around with Studio One Professional...the more impressed I am. There are features stacked upon features.

The editing of audio tracks and the basically automatic slip edit and auto cross-fade combined with that is really great.

And the Faderport 8 is a real game changer for desktop production. Hey....... just apply money :o .

best,........john
posted on #4
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Excellent to read. I've got to get to know Studio One shortly. I'm a Reaper man and have been for years but I've just ordered (and got to get to know) the PreSonus Studio Live 64S desk for my band. Because I'm the one who has to learn it and, like your control surface, it's tightly integrated with Studio One.

Good to know it shouldn't be too much of a challenge to learn.
If you make a mistake, do it again and make it look like you meant to do it!
posted on #5
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mpointon wrote:
I've just ordered (and got to get to know) the PreSonus Studio Live 64S desk for my band.


Wow that looks like a nice console indeed Martin :) Let us know how it is, and if you can really get 64 tracks via USB :)

Cheers,
Wolfgang
posted on #6
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wjl wrote:
mpointon wrote:
I've just ordered (and got to get to know) the PreSonus Studio Live 64S desk for my band.


Wow that looks like a nice console indeed Martin :) Let us know how it is, and if you can really get 64 tracks via USB :)

Cheers,
Wolfgang


It arrived this morning. Boy have I got some homework to do! Its specification is nothing short of frightening. And yes, 64 tracks of USB is indeed the case. And also up to 8 built-in FX per track, each assignable and programmable - they're not shared across channels :o
If you make a mistake, do it again and make it look like you meant to do it!
posted on #7
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mpointon wrote:
Excellent to read. I've got to get to know Studio One shortly. I'm a Reaper man and have been for years but I've just ordered (and got to get to know) the PreSonus Studio Live 64S desk for my band. Because I'm the one who has to learn it and, like your control surface, it's tightly integrated with Studio One.

Good to know it shouldn't be too much of a challenge to learn.


If "money was no object" for me........ I'd do something like that also. ;) I teetered on getting the 16 channel Faderport instead of the 8.... but really........ I don't NEED the extra channels for what I currently do. I don't plan to be forming a formal real-time, non-virtual band anytime soon (if ever) so no needs for mixing in the a PA.... or for having that many inputs for recording mic work.

I look forward to hearing from you about how it works out.

best,

..............john
posted on #8
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Update on my initial experience with the Faderport 8:

My mouse is getting lonely. :D

best,

................john
posted on #9
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64 tracks and 8 FX per track is a beast! But that's way too many in my humble estimation. 32 is a tall order and even then that's hard work and I'm not sure there are benefits to be had from that (small in comparison) number. The most I've done is 70 and I'll never, ever, do that again. No Sir. For me, 20-24 (max) provides a balance between sonic separation and brain overload.
cmdr_chill
posted on #10
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I totally agree on this but se are missinf a very essential but overlook item when recording we need to think sometimes like a dj what makes what happen in a specific moment on a song that will make this song a classic hos do people will react to a my song and what elements i need to iclude to achieve this being 5 tracks or 40 is what we need to get out that inner composer example Track # 131375 used 6 tracks in total to get was thinking like a dj. butTrack # 134252 all was build around a an Acappella ended using almost 11 tracs just guitsrs use 5 then 3 for loop recordings 3 for drums but i was thinking as a comooser somthing no one will expect with what i had in hand a guitar and a Daw with A few fxs
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