Friday, December 21, 2012

You're Gonna Carry That Weight

A rack of rock. That's the power supply for an AKG C12A at the top left, the red thing is a Focusrite Scarlett, below that in grey is the M-Audio 2626, and at the bottom are Neve 1272's preamp pairs by BAE (one is mine and one is Scott Hirshon's).
There's a lot of iron in this box and it makes it hard to carry around. There may be a consensus that we don't want to be carrying the C12A. The C12A sounds great, but it's expensive, delicate, and the mounting hardware is simply horrible.
But we are going to be adding at least two and probably three more preamps in a 500-series 1U rack. Which means more weight.
Sigh. You know what? I really dig the M-Audio converters on acoustic guitar (at least). I actually, and I realize this is an act of apostasy to say so, like them better than the Apogee preamps. I know, right? The Apogees are more "pristine" certainly but there's a certain low-frequency grungyness that the M-Audio 2626 has that's very musical. Which does discourage me from wanted to get it modified by Black Lion. Well, I guess that makes my life cheaper and easier though.
On the other hand, things that make my life harder and more expensive: I'm liking is 96kHz sampling frequency. It's not that you can hear better high end really. Or I mean I can't. But it has a betterment to the sound I like. There's a betterization. There. That's the scientific term for it.
But at 96kHz we're taking up a lot more resources. This means that if we want to use a laptop to record, we need to use the 2626 going into the Scarlett (because only the Scarlett has USB and nobody bothers to make laptops with Firewire ports anymore). But if we want to use the (Firewire) 2626's A/D converters we have to get digital audio into the Scarlett and we're limited in the way that can work. The ADAT interface on the 2626 and Scarlett only gives us four channels across the optical. We can get two more channels via S/P Dif. Can we record basic tracks entirely  by using only six channels of audio?
Probably not. We also have six more analog inputs on the Scarlett but I don't like the sound of the Scarlett as much as the 2626. But you know, the Scarlett's clarity and the M-Audio's gnarlity might make a good combination.

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