32 out – 30 in USB ??

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of [XAP]Bob [XAP]Bob 8 years, 10 months ago.

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    Profile photo of John

    G’day Folks,
    I’m keen on getting myself a QU 24 – I love what it looks like for live, but… I’ve got a few questions regarding its use in the studio.

    Apologies first off for another recording/studio post… but I’ve been through every post possible as well as the manual trying to work the confusion out…

    I’m basically trying to work out if the QU is going to replace my 2 MOTU 8 pre firewire interfaces.
    (which I’m using with Logic Pro on an i7 iMac 16GB RAM 240GB SSD)

    Question is: what does 30-in USB mean? Most songs we record have a track count far past 30. Essentially, as far as I understand, all I would want is 2 back in (as in LR Mix from Logic) in order to send signal from the QU to the monitors? Or does 30-in refer to only being able to use the QU as a midi controller and that’s limited to controlling fader/mute etc from the first 30 tracks in the DAW?

    I’m struggling (obviously) to get my head around the set up. The scenario I’m hoping for would look something like this:

    – Record multiple tracks even past the 30 count (not at once)
    – MOnitoring LR mix from Logic through the QU
    – Ability to use QU as fader/channel strip control over logic tracks
    – bypass all QU dynamics and processing in the studio – using only Logic
    – Not being locked into QU being only a Midi control or Logic only being essentially a HD
    – (in other words, can I use the QU as a midi controller and at anytime plug in and record audio without having to tweak 500 settings)

    Or, am I looking at it all wrong and there’s a much better kick ass way of doing it all! (-:

    Sorry for the long one. I just don’t want to bail on gear I could possibly find I needed later on!

    Thanks heaps.

    Profile photo of Nicola A&H
    Nicola A&H

    Hi John,

    Your scenario seems perfectly achievable. You can record up to 32 tracks at once, use the MIDI Strips in the Custom Layer to control Logic via the DAW Control driver (you can bank up and down with SoftKeys to control any number of tracks in Logic) and at the same time record further tracks and monitor the DAW mix through the mixer.

    The 30 USB returns refer to the number of USB sources you can patch to channels in the mixer (for example in virtual soundcheck applications or if you wanted to mixdown in the mixer). As you say in your case you’re only going to use two.

    Hope this helps.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    The I/O count is the channel in and out on the soundcard which the QU pretends to be.

    So you can record 32 channels at a time, and then another 32 later…, and playback a couple. Note that the two you are pushing back will take up 2 of your channels on the desk, which may restrict how many input channels you can record.

    Profile photo of John

    Hey thanks guys, that makes sense.
    – Really appreciate it.

    Where is all this stuff in the manual?

    Profile photo of David

    One important thing to add. I use a QU32 as the centrepiece of my home studio, both as the audio interface and the DAW control surface (I also have an Avid Artist Control for transport control etc.).

    The USB interface is not really full-duplex as I have always understood it. It’s quoted as 32 in / 32 out full-duplex, but actually each of the desk’s channels can be either an input or an output, but not both (as you would get in a traditional inline desk, with a record and monitor path). What this means is that you sacrifice two of your input channels to get a stereo main out from the DAW into the mixer (for tracking I use channels 31 and 32 as a stereo pair, and I have a second return from the DAW on 29 and 30 for click and to provide a second headphone mix if necessary).

    So I actually get 28 inputs and 2 stereo DAW returns. It works really well for me – the interface runs at a low latency and I’ve had no glitches of any kind, and the DAW control surface works well (with the limitation that the faders are not touch-sensitive). However, I would not have been able to get away with a smaller desk (the QU24 or QU32), because of the above duplex limitation. If you need more DAW returns (e.g. for different headphone mixes, patching in analog outboard) your channel count can get eaten up very quickly.


    Profile photo of Andreas

    Good point! Maybe that’s worth a new feature suggestion. In case a channel is used to playback from USB, its still feeding to USB from the physical input. Surely needs additional gain control and local/dSnake switch for the USB send, but for studio use this may be a really interesting idea.

    Profile photo of John

    Yeah that’s great David. Thanks for that.

    Looks like I’ll be saying goodbye to the MOTU rig. Looking forward to this one!

    Thanks for all the input people.

    Profile photo of rjeynes

    I’ve just replaced a MOTU interface in the studio with the Qu-24. All the above is valid – it’s a great product and the routing is very flexible, but remember that the Qu-24 (unlike MOTU) has a FIXED 48kHz sample rate and so will not play back old projects with a different sample rate unless you convert them. In Sonar, for example, although you can mix bit depths, you can’t mix sample rates in a project (although it’s great at automatic sample rate conversion). So the master outputs of my MOTU remains on standby in case I need to play back old (unconverted) projects.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    There are also a couple of non channels you can output to USB – so you could use some of the QU FX units and record their outputs – not necessarily super useful in this case, but it’s not quite a strict non duplex sound card – it is a restriction worth noting however…

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