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NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Discussion of Digital Performer use, optimization, tips and techniques on MacOS.

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This forum is for most discussion related to the use and optimization of Digital Performer [MacOS] and plug-ins as well as tips and techniques. It is NOT for troubleshooting technical issues, complaints, feature requests, or "Comparative DAW 101."

NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby foomoola » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:10 am

Hello ALL - After 54 years on this planet of ours I have decided to finally build a home studio. After speaking / interacting with many studios/ producers and engineer's and a final push from friend / killer guitarist Scott Henderson I have decided to go with DP9.5 as my DAW. I would like to incorporate outboard gear ( compressor, channel strip etc... ) into the picture, but I am TOTALLY confused with what interface and control surface to use and how to incorporate outboard analog gear in with digital gear and " in the box " plugins. I mean I am a TOTAL NEWBIE with all of this and need some guidance. AD/DA conversion, clocking, its all Greek to me. Some people saying Universal Audio all the way others say stick with MOTU since your using DP9.5 still others say Apogee VERY confusing. I like the idea of being able to track using plugins with no latency ( universal audio ) but have heard there are ways to do that internally with DP9.5 ( don't know how yet )I have a budget of about $20,000.00 maybe $25,000.00 all in ( already own loaded up Mac) for some good outboard, interface, monitors , control surface I also have done room treatment already. This will be a project studio for me initially to create my own music ( old school meets new school progressive rock / jazz fusion stuff ) BUT I have an opportunity in the near future to do some film / movie scoring, I DONT see me wanting to record other bands commercially at all.
Also, if anyone out there in DP land has VERY BASIC videos / books on getting started in Digital Performer, or if you can refer me to Online Classes/ Tutorials/ videos / books or if someone does in person training in New York area for a fee and can get me up and running ( remember I have NO experience in the DAW world ) I would appreciate it.

THANK YOU ALL in advance
Dave P.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby HCMarkus » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:46 am

Hi Dave and welcome to MOTUNation!

Answers to a few basic questions might help folks 'round here target advice:

1. Do you have ANY experience recording music? If so, describe.

2. What instrument(s) do you play? Of these, what do you already own?

3. Do you want to have the ability to track (real) drums in your studio? A whole band live?

4. Describe your "loaded up Mac". You might want to add details in the form of a signature here at MOTUNation; that way when you post in the future, folks will know your basic setup.

I'm sure I speak for many when I say here's to a tremendous broadening of your musical horizons as you enter this new world of creative endeavors!
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby cuttime » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:41 am

Welcome to the forum. You will find many very knowledgeable and helpful people here. Personally I would begin with the DP "Getting Started" manual. As you have more specific questions, just fire away.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby kwiz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:21 pm

Welcome Dave!

DP 9.5 is an extremely powerful DAW and is capable of allowing you to use your outboard gear in conjunction with its native plugins, and 3rd party plugins! As far as control surfaces go, there are plenty out there to choose from that allow you to address faders and knobs tactilely.

Here are a few examples:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MTi2
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FaderPort
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MCUpro
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Console1mk2

MOTU makes some really good sounding Audio interfaces. It all depends on how many I/O's you need.
If you want to take advantage of the UA plugins to record with low latency, at the very minimum, you would need to get a 2 channel UA Apollo interface.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search ... Uad+apollo

Many of us in this forum use multiple interfaces in our studios. No slight intended to MOTU, its just some companies offer features that MOTU doesn't and vice versa.

Lastly, Groove 3 offers very helpful tutorials on just about every musical software on the market, as well as some hardware tutorials. I personally subscribe to them to get quick help on software that I'm not familiar with. https://www.groove3.com

Hope this helps, and good luck with your new studio!!
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby James Steele » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:47 pm

Welcome! :)
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby foomoola » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:47 pm

Hello Kwiz,Cuttime,HC Markus, and James Steele...
VERY impressed by the quick responses...THANK YOU!!! So to give you a little more of my background, as reqested:
- NO Experience recording, been around it all for years, just never turned any knobs myself
- I have the room to bring in a live drummer, but for now would like to use something like Superior Drummer 3 as I don't want the expense of drum mics right now
- I started out playing Drums when I was 7 at 19 switched to Guitar and that has been my main instrument ever since. I mess around with keys as well
- I have a 2017 MacBook Pro 15" i7 , 3.1 ghz, 16GB , 2TB SSD and JUST ordered a iMAC Pro 3.0 10 core 128GB, 4TB SSD(I think that should hold me for a while )
- I own a BAE 1073 MP with Steve Stevens Mod, a Royer 121 and a Shure SM57
- I just ordered a Kontakt Komplete Kontrol 49 with the Ultimate 11 Bundle
That is it for the studio end of things that I own.
Guitars I own :
(1x) Scott Lentz Custom SSL
(1x) Scott Lentz Custom LVS Hyde Park T
(x2) Gibson Custom Shop Lee Roy Parnell w/ Ron Ellis P/ups(best factory Gibson ever )
(x1) Gibson Custom Shop Mark Knopfler 58 VOS( rings like a bell )
(x1) Gibson 1957 Les Paul Jr
(x1) Gibson Memphis Limited Edition 335 Black
(x1) Martin 00-21 Acoustic
Amplifiers :( I run mostly a wet/dry/wet set up )
(x2) Bob Gjika 10n Amps ( BEST amp in the wrld )
(x2) Tony Bruno Underground 45 ( great friend great amp )
(x2) Adam Stark Fire Amp ( great friend great amp )
(x2) Adam Stark Funk Motor Amp ( Great friend great amp )
(x1) Fryette Aether Amp ( Killer Cleans Great when pushed )
(x1) Sebago Sound Overdrive Deluxe ( BEST Dumble Style EVER )
(x1) 1963 Fender Blonde Bassman
Cabinets :
(x1) 1968 Marshall 4x12 All Original
(x1) 1969 Marshall 4x12 All Original
(x1) 1970 Marshall 4x12 All original
(x1) Kerry Wright 4x12 ( best 4x12 cab EVER )
(x2) Kerry Wright 2x12 ( best 2x12 cab EVER)
Guitar Pedals and Rack Gear : WAY TOO MUCH TO LIST !!!
That about wraps up what I have so PLEASE keep the suggestions coming ... I REALLY appreciate it, and NEED THE HELP !!!
Thanks Again

Dave P.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby Babz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:28 pm

Hi Dave P:

Welcome! You've chosen the right DAW and come to the right place. There are scores of extremely knowledgeable and helpful people in this Motunation community, and as someone who has been doing this a long time, I can confidently say this can be one of the best community resources on the Internet.

Based on what I've read so far, here's a few things I'm thinking....

In terms of your budget, I would maybe think maybe more in terms of software than hardware. I started in the days of analog tape and big consoles and all that, but software has advanced so far nowadays, most people have long left all that behind. There are some amazing things that you can do with software, from virtual instruments, to modeling of analog hardware, mics, amps, pres, to AI-enhanced mixing and mastering... Particularly the stuff made by companies like Izotope have made startling advances in recent year, enabling things that you would have never thought possible. So leave a big chunk of your budget for third party software. But I wouldn't invest much in any of that yet. First just learn DP. That will keep you busy for some time.

In terms of mega computing power, massive amounts of RAM and SSD space, that is mostly needed for virtual instruments, particularly if you are doing film/TV work and need to simulate orchestras. But again, learn DP first. That can come later. You don't need that much computing power to just record yourself or a small rock band. And if it's mainly just you overdubbing yourself (which seems to be the case with most people nowadays) you really don't need to worry that much about pres and expensive mic lockers and A/D and clocking and consoles and control surfaces and all that. Not unless you are recording live drums, singers, grand pianos, horns, etc. If it's just you and virtual instruments, you really just need a couple of inputs, a decent mic, and software. Nothing beats a real band, don't get me wrong, but you can really create a very convincing emulation of just about anything with software nowadays. But the key is learning how to use that software. So I wouldn't get to hung up the hardware side.

In terms of UAD, I have used it for years and it is some of the best stuff. But their plugins tend to be more expensive than native plugin options (even with on-sale discounts), and the hardware required to run them has caused many of us to have to upgrade and convert to new protocols over the years, PCI, Firewire, and now Thunderbolt. Hopefully that has stabilized for a while. But my main point is that with native plugins you don't have that issue.

I also have been a longtime user of MOTU interfaces, both for audio and MIDI. There are several advantages there. One is that you are dealing with just one company for both your software and hardware, so they are always kept compatible and up-to-date at the same time. Also, MOTU has one of the best records in the industry for maintaining updated drivers, even for long discontinued hardware. My MOTU MTP-AV MIDI interface goes back to the 90s and still runs great!

Definitely take a look at the Groove 3 DP courses. Also as a TOTAL newbie, I really do think you will benefit from some one-on-one training in person. There are a number of experienced DP users in the NYC area, including myself.

Much to think about. Much to learn. Main thing, don't try to do too much too soon. Just concentrate on learning to track and mix and edit MIDI and audio in DP. That will keep you plenty busy for a while. :)

Best,
Babz
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby foomoola » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:57 pm

Hi Babz...
It seems as though the DP community is great, just based on the responses and from what i have been told by users. That DEFINITELY played into my decision to go with DP as my DAW, especially that i have no experience, I will need all the help I can get !!! Its funny, there seems to be two distinct camps : those who embrace the "in the box" method, and those who say "only use analog outboard " as it doesnt rely on updates or a computer to work. I think i fall somewhere in between, I mean I LOVE the idea of being able to have everything i need to track mix and master on a laptop that i can take anywhere with and interface and a mic or two and create something with people. on the other hand I have been around hardware for a LONG time and see the power and benefit of that as well.
You are not the only one that has warned me about going down the UA rabbit hole. I like the idea of tracking with certain plugins in real time, but have been told that I dont need to use UA to do that. That there are ways to do that with low latency within DP. Plus the UA 8p with a few plugins is very expensive compared to the fact that i could get a MOTU 1248 combined with an 8m for the same price !!! The apogee stuff looks very nice and I have heard that in many studios, but again seems that the name Apogee adds a lot to the price...
I agree, i need to learn the basics and my way around DP first and foremost... laying down some guitar / bass and keyboard ideas ( kontakt komplete Kontrol 49 w/ Ultimate 11 bundle ) and maybe using Superior Drummer 3 for the drums.
There is SO MUCH to absorb that i can see where it can be overwhelming... It seems EVERYONE has an opinion regarding daws, monitors, control surfaces , interfaces etc... and they ALL think their way is the only way!!! I guess I will just let my ears do the deciding, as that hasnt let me down in over 30 years of playing !!! But advice on brands that have bad reliability track record / and compatibility issues to watch out for is welcome always...
You are the 2nd member to recommend the Groove 3 courses so i will definitely check those out. i am about 1 hour north of the city near Poughkeepsie if you or someone else would like to skype or meet in person ( for a fee of course ) once i actually get DP 9.5 up and running I would definitely welcome that idea...
THANK YOU ALL for the welcome and support...
I am SURE I will have MANY questions and freak outs going forward...

Dave P.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby HCMarkus » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:24 pm

Nice amp and axe collection. I'm guessing you are not going to get into amp simulators...

You've got CPU Horsepower galore with the new 10 core iMac Pro. Thunderbolt connectivity available.

You probably don't need an interface with a lot of inputs, as you will not be tracking drums. Maybe four inputs required, so you can put two or three mics on amp(s) plus a DI (direct) guitar. There are many choice, but as noted in this thread, the MOTU line is very solid. I'd suggest you take a look at the entire AVB line of interfaces and pick one (with Thunderbolt) that suits your I/O needs. Consider focusing on interface LINE INPUTS, as you may want to pick up a couple of nice MIC PREAMPS instead of using built-in mic pres.

There are a zillion and one mic preamps available, some in the so-called "channel strip" format that include EQ and compression, which you may desire. Opinions will vary wildly here. Tube or solid state? Remember that any signal mangling you do in the analog domain will be forever part of the recordings you make, so judgment is the better part of valor when it comes to squashing and equalizing on the way into your DAW. You can do plenty more of that once your sounds are in your Mac.

As for microphones; many guitarists like the Royer ribbon mics in addition to stalwarts like Share SM57 and Sennheiser MD421. A couple of nice condenser mics, probably small diaphragm, for recording your acoustic axes cleanly, but the 57 or 421 provide a rougher sound that is often preferred. A nice large diaphragm condenser is the standard for vocals.

Your studio monitors are vital. Again, a myriad of choices and opinions, but remember your speakers will be interpreting your musical story to your ears. This is perhaps the last thing you want to skimp on. And different speakers definitely have different personalities, so you may want to spend some time with recordings you admire auditioning before you make a selection. There is nothing wrong with having more than one pair of monitors to reference. A sub can help avoid undetected thumps and pops from making their way into your masters. Surround can get expensive; you may not need it. In my studio, I went with a consumer 5.1 receiver and passive speakers for surround monitoring, which comes in handy when mixing for TV. Along with lo-fi Avantones, the surround system serves as another point of reference for stereo mixes. A couple of different sounding pairs of headphones will complete your monitoring suite if you also include your laptop and car.

PS: Where you place your speakers in your room can dramatically alter their response. Choose wisely!

As for VIs, Komplete Ultimate is a very useful bundle. From bread and butter to exotic flavors, much to be mined. I like BFD drums and find Modo Bass and Omnisphere being used all the time. Ivory is my go-to piano, but the ones in Komplete are very good now.

Audio plug-in-itis can become a disabling disease. DP's built-in plugs are generally great. I turn to Waves for compression, but probably only because DP's selection of compressor plugs was fairly limited until the last couple of years.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby foomoola » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:41 am

Hello HC Markus ...

Thank You SO much for your input!!! I have been very fortunate with my guitar gear, as I have met MANY amp/guitar builders and have become very good friends with a few of them. I have been called to do many different genres/styles over the last 20 years of guitar playing and needed a wide pallet of sounds/textures to offer. Guitar / Amp buying is done and its time to concentrate on building the BEST home studio I can. Yes the computers have cost me a small fortune, but everyone said to go as big and bad as I could up front with computers as it would save me a lot of heartache later. I have done a boat load of research on room design and treatment so I feel that I am o with that aspect of the project. Its the actual learning of the DAW and physical hook ups that I dont have a good grasp on, as I have never done it before. I am a quick learner and good study so I will put the necessary time in to understand the How's and Why's of it all.
Like I said above even though I have friends in the business they are all very opinionated and I am trying to get as much input as possible from as wide a variety of people as possible that have more experience than i do.
I hope this isnt a completely stupid question, but you mentioned getting an interface with several line inputs for mic pre's. But ( here is my lack of knowledge ) when I look at the back of say the MOTU 16A which has a lot of line ins and outs I see all 1/4" jacks but on most of the channel strips/ mic pre's i am interested in ( Chandler TG2, Rupert Neve Shelford Channel, etc... I have heard both of these and LOVE what they are capable of ) only have XLR style inputs and outputs, so i am assuming that there is an XLR to 1/4" cable that is needed to go from the output of the mic pre/ channel strip / compressor to the analog input of the interface? and from the output of the interface to the input of the outboard gear? it is probably a very basic thing but I have never done it .
As mentioned previously I am still up in the air about the interface thing, The Universal Audio stuff offers many features but at a heavy price, Apogee the same way. The tracking with plugin thing sounds like it is a great feature ( UA, and now with Apogee Symphony w/ soundgrid ) is there a way to have SOMETHING on vocals ( maybe a verb ) while tracking using a MOTU interface ( I like the way the 1248 looks and specs are killer and price is right ) with DP 9.5? Its NOT a deal breaker but people that have used that setup have said that it really helps vocalists while tracking I mean I could get the MOTU 1248 AND the 16A and STILL be less than either the UA 8p and Apogee Symphony Soundgrid . SO I am inclined to go the MOTU route PLUS as you mentioned it seems to be an on going hassle for updating when using different companies gear, AND I am looking for STABILITY and SOUND QUALITY over features that I will soon forget about...
I agree that the monitors are VERY important and i will definitely take my time with that choice. DIdnt consider the surround idea ... Is there any benefit to Passive over Active Monitors ? Some have said go Passive route better sound quality ...
Mics will be on my short list as well... I own the SM-57 and Royer 121 already but obviously need a good large condenser vocal mic and maybe small diaphragm mic as you suggest . ANY SUGGESTIONS?
I will look into the BFD drums and Mondo Bass as well

Anyway I will have MANY more " basic" questions to follow ... Hope its not to annoying to anyone ...

Thanks Again
Dave P.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby leigh » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:25 am

You might consider the Neumann M149 because it is a very versatile LDC.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M149

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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby Tritonemusic » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:46 am

Welcome, Dave. You got me listening to my old Tribal Tech CDs this morning.
DP 7.24, UltraLite, MicroLite, OS 10.6.8, Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 8 GB RAM, 7200 RPM System Drive, 10,000 RPM WD Velociraptor Audio Drive, 10,000 RPM WD Raptor BFD2.2 Drive,
Etc., etc.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby Phil O » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:00 pm

Babz wrote:Much to think about. Much to learn. Main thing, don't try to do too much too soon. Just concentrate on learning to track and mix and edit MIDI and audio in DP. That will keep you plenty busy for a while. :)
I think that's the best advice here. May I add that you don't need to blow your budget all at once. Buy what you need to get started and invest lots of time (not money) learning the craft. At that point you'll be in a better position to spend your cash wisely.

...and welcome to Motunation!

Phil
DP 9.02/9.51, Mac Pro 2.66 quad[1,1] (6 Gig RAM), Mac Pro 2.8 octo[3,1], (12 Gig RAM), OS 10.6.8/10.11.6, two MOTU 828s, Apogee Rosetta 800, UAD-1e, UAD-2, a truckload of outboard gear and plug-ins, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby HCMarkus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:21 pm

...the MOTU 16A which has a lot of line ins and outs I see all 1/4" jacks but on most of the channel strips/ mic pre's i am interested in ( Chandler TG2, Rupert Neve Shelford Channel, etc... I have heard both of these and LOVE what they are capable of ) only have XLR style inputs and outputs, so i am assuming that there is an XLR to 1/4" cable

You are correct. Both are three conductor and provide a Balanced interconnect.

Balanced vs Unbalanced: Balanced lines are the professional standard; they allow lengthy cable runs and reject noise pickup by virtue of their construction. Connectors are typically XLR (Cannon) or TRS (Tip Ring Sleeve) 1/4" phone plugs/jacks.

Unbalanced interconnects are the 1/4" TS (Tip Sleeve) phone plugs/jacks, like you use to hook up your guitar. Typically limited to about 20' runs.

If interested in how Balanced Lines work, read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio

or watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo5HhfIUSP0

The inputs on the MOTU interfaces accept balanced (TRS) or unbalanced (TS) plugs. The outputs require special cables (TS to TRS with sleeve disconnected) when connecting to unbalanced gear.

A MOTU 1248 is probably all the interface you will need. For monitoring, it has reverb built in its internal hardware mixer. I am not particularly fond the internal 'verb (I own and use a MOTU 828es in my studio). Alternately, you can connect an external hardware reverb (that's what I do for tracking) or use reverb sourced from your DAW.

For your main stereo monitors, I would recommend active monitors. There are a plethora of great ones to choose from. I went passive for my surround monitors only to keep the $$$ under control.

I am not going to get into offering specific mic/speaker/preamp suggestions. Around the web, opinions abound. To paraphrase the many to whom the original quote is attributed, "Writing about audio qualities is like dancing about architecture."
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Re: NEWBIE TO MOTUNATION & TO DP9.5

Postby Babz » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:52 pm

foomoola wrote:Its funny, there seems to be two distinct camps : those who embrace the "in the box" method, and those who say "only use analog outboard "


Mind you, coming to "in the box" was a LONG process for myself, and many others. And there's no reason it has to be either/or. I still have lots of hardware and outboard gear. It just doesn't see much use anymore. :mrgreen:

I've been to pro studios where they had a beautiful Steinway sitting right there and they still ended up using a VI for piano most of the time. Just an example. It's all good. Just saying the advances in software recently have really started to seal the deal in terms of convenience without compromise.

foomoola wrote: You are not the only one that has warned me about going down the UA rabbit hole.


Not trying to steer you away from it, but its just that it is SO great that I felt obliged to at least point out some of the minuses. But I use UAD on every project and it would be hard to imagine doing without it.

One UAD alternative, with which I have no first hand experience, but others here have, and which looks super impressive, is the Steve Slate stuff. Might want to give that a look.

But really, if it were me, I would narrow it down to Apollo vs. a MOTU interface. MOTU because, as I mentioned, the advantage of one company for both hardware and software, and UAD because it's such high quality, integrated software, and the whole Apollo thing. Other companies like Apogee, Focusrite, RME, etc. all make great interfaces, but offer little advantage of a MOTU interface, IMO, and don't offer the software platform like UAD. Steven Slate is the only thing comparable, but it's a fairly different approach in many respects. Subscription model, for one thing.)

foomoola wrote: I like the idea of tracking with certain plugins in real time, but have been told that I dont need to use UA to do that.


Tracking thru plugins is simply a matter of setting a low buffer setting, and you've got more than sufficient computer power for that. But actually, tracking through a guitar amp emulation is probably one of the only situations where I need to track through a plugin (and you've got plenty of REAL AMPS!). Other than that, zero-latency (monitoring of input, not thru printing plugins) is usually the preferred method. In the area of tracking guitar through plugins, Apollo offers some great Marshall and Fender amp emulations, and the whole "Unison" thing. You'll have to experiment for yourself and see if you start to prefer it over a real amp. For my part, I haven't owned or used real amps in years. (Actually, I just got a Line 6 amp today. :mrgreen: )

foomoola wrote: Plus the UA 8p with a few plugins is very expensive compared to the fact that i could get a MOTU 1248 combined with an 8m for the same price !!!


Again, unless you're tracking real drums or a live band, you probably won't use more than 1-2 inputs at a time. On the other hand, I like having 8 inputs (or more) just for convenience. I still have a lot of hardware synths and outboard gear and I can just leave it permanently patched (without having to interrupt my workflow to patch and set levels, etc.).


foomoola wrote:i am about 1 hour north of the city near Poughkeepsie if you or someone else would like to skype or meet in person ( for a fee of course ) once i actually get DP 9.5 up and running I would definitely welcome that idea...


Based on this, I recommend Frank Dickinson. He is north of the city, about a half hour from you, I think. He knows DP inside and out, and hardware, and engineering, etc. He has lots of experience specifically helping people set up new studios. I've known him for over 20 years and can't recommend anyone more highly than Frank. I'll point him to this thread and you two can maybe get in touch.

One other thing about Groove 3, not only do they have two full courses on DP (basic and advanced) but full courses on UAD, and Komplete, and many other topics. You can try the All Access for a month, or a year (which can often be had for $99/yr on sale).

Best,
Babz
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Babz
 
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