Auria and studio workflow

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garyshell
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Auria and studio workflow

Post by garyshell » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:17 pm

I am anticipating doing a full on studio album project with Auria this fall and am thinking about how to fit it into my typical studio workflow. To that end I thought I might post a series of observations/questions in the form of an outline and invite others to chime in with their thoughts and observations.

It would be helpful, if when you reply you reference the specific outline section you are replying to and later I will summarize the various replies into a single document and make it available here.

I. Initial setup
A. Microphone choices
1. How to handle a mixture of ribbons and condensers.
a. I've touched on this question in another thread but thought it worth repeating here.
b. This is not unique to Auria, but depending on how the interface handles switching of phantom power, care must be taken when mixing older ribbon mics and condensers on the same interface box. Also the usual admonitions of applying phantom power AFTER plugging in newer phantom power tolerant ribbons still applies, as does the worry about intermediate patch bays in the signal path.

B. Placement of the iPad, where should I put the damn thing?
1. Might sound like a mundane question, but with a bulky non-tethered connector hanging off the bottom, it isn't at all. That connector and usb cable are very easy to dislodge.
2. So, where do YOU position the iPad for a daylong recording session. In your lap, on a table, in some sort of dock? With a SmartCover, or other similar device, as a stand?

C. Power
1. So far I have seen no way to charge the iPad while it is connected to an interface. Does that become an issue with a LONG day of tracking or mixing? I know I've spent 12 hours or more in a single session. The idea of battery power worries me, especially as the iPad ages and battery capacity diminishes and I can't swap out the battery.

II. Monitoring
A. Control room
1. How do you configure your setup for control monitoring what you record, soloing and playback to verify tracks?

B. Artist's headphones
1. How do you configure your setup for the artists to hear themselves while recording and playback for them to verify tracks?

2. The 500 pound gorilla in the room is iOS is limited to only two channels of audio out. That effectively means there is no headphone monitoring out of Auria for the artists.
a. So can I use the interface to provide a monitor mix or two? And what happens in that scenario when I daisy chain another interface to the first one because I am tracking more than eight channels at once? My gut tells me that the ability to create a decent headphone mix disappears in that scenario.

b. I could resort to having all the mics come into an analog board first and use it to create monitor mix(es). But that means another noise source in the signal path (yuck), no Auria generated reverb on the vocals in the headphone mix (boo) and no easy playback to the artists after a take (ya'll have to come in here to hear if that take was ok). I suppose I could split the control room monitor source to the control room monitors and the analog board feeding the headphone mix. But jeeze we've just created a Frankenstein setup, when we thought all we needed was the iPad and a couple of interfaces.

c. We've all heard the rumblings that iOS 6 will have more than two channels out and if that's the case how would it affect this setup? With only two aux busses, can I reasonably expect to use Auria to provide my headphone needs for a room full of artists? One stereo, mix or two mono mixes does not sound sufficient to me. I assume I could route a channel to multiple groups and use group outs to provide more mixes. Trouble there is, of course, the lack of a way to trim levels to one headphone mix when the drummer asks for just a little more kick in his cans.

III. Tracking
A. No real thoughts yet on anything specific to Auria on this topic. But leaving as a placeholder as other folks begin to contribute

IV. Overdubs
A. Again a placeholder topic.

V. File management
A. Where to put 'em
1. With 12-16 tunes being recorded for an album on-machine storage is likely to be insufficient, especially for those of us with smaller capacity iPads. So where do you put your work-in-progress files? A tethered PC, the cloud?

B. How to get 'em there and back
1. To me the idea of work-in-progress files in the cloud is a non starter. it would take hours using dropbox to move the files off the iPad. Just last night, I dropped two 800k wav files in my laptop's dropbox folder and it told me it would take five hours before the sync was complete. (Ya'll come back in five hours and I'll have that tune we tracked an hour ago cued up for overdubs.)

2. That pretty much leaves a tether laptop (either via wifi or ethernet) as the only real alternative. That, of course, requires iTunes in the process as the way to move the files between the laptop and the iPad.
a. Not having tried that yet, I am curious how fast that process is.

3. Rant alert! I get it that Apple in it's infinite wisdom of trying to protect us from ourselves has chosen to sandbox all apps from interacting with each other and the choice not to have a real file system on the iPad, but damn it makes this task so difficult. Why can't I just connect a freakin' external hard drive to the iPad and move files on and off it directly? I can do exactly the same thing with that same hard drive attached to my laptop and have iTunes marshal the data from the hard drive to the iPad. There is NO protection in that scheme so what's the point Apple?

VI. Mixing
A. Again another placeholder topic.

So there you have it, my start on a dissertation on Auria and studio workflow. Please feel free to throw out additional topics for inclusion in the outline. And I promise to summarize the results of everyone's participation in this into a single cohesive document.

Gary Shell

garyshell
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Re: Auria and studio workflow

Post by garyshell » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:19 pm

I see all my careful indentation to make this look like a proper outline has been thwarted by the forum software. <sigh>
But I think it is clear enough.

Gary

Geronimo
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Re: Auria and studio workflow

Post by Geronimo » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:56 pm

Great thread, good questions. I'm trying to figure out some of them too. Will reply later :)

Geronimo
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Re: Auria and studio workflow

Post by Geronimo » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:25 am

And by the way, there are now external usbsticks and even wireless hdds available for the iPad. But they're supposed to be very slow, so maybe not a real solution. Plus, i don't know wether you can save your audiofiles on it, just like that. I'm really thinking about jailbreaking sometimes, just because of the file explorer and real multitasking. But i guess i won't do it with the only iPad i got. Apple sure won't like it, when something goes wrong...

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