SQ6 in the studio

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Rens Rens 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #95953
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’m looking at getting an SQ6 for studio use; it’ll have roughly 24 channels of synths running into it. Part of why I want a hardware mixer (instead of working in the box) is to not have to spend even more of my day staring at a screen, and it’s convenient to also have the ability to record sessions locally. However, I know sometimes I’m also going to want to record into Reaper, especially to be able to handle multiple takes easily, etc. I’ll be connecting either over USB or Dante. Is my best bet for routing to just use the inserts for recording and playback when I’m using the DAW and then take them out when I’m not using it if I don’t need them for anything else?

    #95954
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @dymaxion

    Tell us more about where the signals come from , the path how they go through the SQ , and where then end up at.
    Also how/when the DAW is involved. Also ‘inserts’ could be used in various contexts, so what do you mean by ‘insert’?

    If you want to record locally I would insist the dealer show you how that happens in a demo; and guarantee that they will sell you all the media you need to record on with when you record locally. Even better if he could also demo recording into Reaper with your PC.

    Personally I would much rather prefer to record locally first and then move the tracks to the DAW for editing, mixing, mastering, and fixing in final media.

    #95955
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    The signals will come from a rack/desk of synths in the studio, through a set of ART T8s. Probably going to run channel-group-main to give a little more leeway with processesing. Main out to studio monitors. When I say “insert”, I mean the channel insert after the gate on mix channels. The DAW would be hooked in either via USB on those inserts, or the same via Dante. Or, possibly, using the mix channel direct outs, but then I have to figure out how to route in the DAW return lines for playback, ideally without having to repatch.

    Unfortunately, I’ll be buying online; definitely not going to try to work with a dealer in person under our current conditions.

    While there are times when recording locally makes sense, the lack of a “takes” facility in the SQ-drive recorder makes it less useful overall. In reaper, I can easily stack up and swap between a half dozen versions of a part and switch between them, nudge the alignment between multiple tracks, etc. Also, it looks like switching which tracks are being recorded/played back from the SQ-drive means repatching, right? So I could obviously have a scene with all the IO set for the recorder and play everything back, but if I want to arm/disarm individual tracks, it’s going to be a lot of flipping back and forth?

    I can go down the route of using midi automation to automatically re-route audio when I want to arm or disarm a track in the DAW or in the local recorder, but that feels like a lot of lifting for something I’d hope would have an easy solution.

    #95963
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    direct out would be the better source for recording
    and it is possible to patch the playback direct to the channel input

    #95964
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    Right, yes — but there’s no way to do it without repatching? Like, there’s not an easy way to set up a parallel monitor flow? If there were more gangs available, I could see setting up a gang per input channel with the DAW playback so I can record dry and then have the same processing applied to both channels. But failing something I’m missing in the docs, I guess automating the input patching is the best way.

    #95966
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    you can save a patch in a scene, or two… 😉

    #95967
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    Well, it’s more that I’d like to be able to arm individual channels and groups, so saving, say, 2^30 scenes probably won’t work. 🙂 But yeah, I guess automation is the way. Thanks, all!

    #95968
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    We all should remember the SQ line is primarily a live performance tool and it’s USB recording capabilities are an ancillary activity to it’s main SR design. With that said some of the other “live rigs” (Digigrid/Waves) are better suited to studio use primarily because they do not have a USB2 bottleneck issue that has been a difficult problem with A&H protocols from the get go. The reality is if studio deployment of your SQ is in your plans a Waves or Dante card and attendant gear is a must do deal IMO.
    Hugh

    #95969
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    Oh, yeah — Dante card is likely in my future for the channel count, and I know it’s still a live-focused system. That said, the routing problems don’t change with Dante. Is it possible to have a scene that only changes the patching for a single channel? So I could just have two scenes per channel that I wanted to flip between patch states, and then I’d just need to do scene automation via midi instead of messing with the routing bits? (I know the routing is directly automatable, but it looks a touch more annoying to program)

    #95970
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    I don’t get your problem…

    patching is very flexible and you can save input channel patches to presets (Lib)
    and you can use scenes as well

    you have to learn how the scenes work than everything falls in place naturally

    a scene stores always all parameters at this moment
    you can recall parts of the scene parameters by setting the “global filters” and the per scene recall filters

    #98663
    Profile photo of Rens
    Rens
    Participant

    Im looking at the same use case (retiring my analogue mixer and converters and using the sq for a single-room overdub studio) but am concerned about potential fan noise.

    Are the fans loud? Can the be deactivated when doing vocal takes?

    Ive got an acceptably quiet room from which i have evicted all the fans and don’t want to have hiss on my takes.

    Id be using it wih a madi card if that makes a difference, as it well might.

    Any real world experience much appreciated.

    Rens

    #98667
    Profile photo of Dymaxion
    Dymaxion
    Participant

    I can’t hear my SQ6 in a quiet room if my head is more than a foot from the back vents. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    #98668
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    For starters there are no direct “channel” outputs in the either the QU or SQ line that are common in desks that are designed for studio or broadcast work. The SQ does offer a choice of either A Dante card or Waves card that will allow you to implement the gear to interface with your DAW. Most all of what is missing for Overdubs and two mixing that is beyond the initial SQ internal USB capture is in the DAW domain today. You have been provided some sage advice pursuant to restricting the SQ to the initial capture and moving the tracks to your DAW for all of the remaining studio activity. The primary issue you will encounter when straying from the SQ’s primary designed function is “mix and match latency”. I completely understand the desire to continue using the SQ’s world class pres and processing for overdubbing chores: however this the point that the referenced optional cards become very necessary.
    Hugh

    #98674
    Profile photo of Rens
    Rens
    Participant

    Hugh-

    Today i use a gsr-24 with antelope converters and an rme madi-fx card for both initial capture and for overdubs. It works well, and running at 96k i get minimal latency (as in sub 3ms) and good sound. I have the power supply in an adjacent machine room, so its quiet.

    Its a very good platform for my needs, but the gs-r24 is starting to have problems with the group busses, metering, and some of the channels and i need to decide if i (1) put time into fixing it (2) buy another analogue console like an audient 4816 or the new low-end neve or (3) go digital in which case the sq series looks really good.

    I have nice analogue outboard which works well now, and will work well with the plentiful group busses on the either ‘new’ approach. Moving away from the gs-r24 i expect will improve my noise floor since the inserts are unbalanced and will simplify patching in general as i can revert to ‘everything balanced’. I dont mind, in 2021, summing in the box but i want to mix through analogue outboard on busses. I generally mix in logic, sometimes in ableton. Both do an ok job of delay compensation with my current setup using ‘external effect’ routing.

    Does this trigger any red flags based on your comments above hugh?

    I will get a loaner or hire an sq to test whether this really works in my room, before committing, but would prefer not to waste time if theres an obvious ‘gotcha’ ive missed.

    #98716
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Rens,
    I am not comfortable expressing opinions pursuant to your existing gear or any specific problem areas that it may or may not have. However I am delighted to share my experience with my SQ5/DX168 combo system. The pres and converters in this gear are world class and the 24/96K with D-Live designed FPGA processing is about as good as it gets. There are too many reasons that I can’t cover adequately in this thread that are critical to understand pursuant to the vast superiority of digital desks over their analog counterparts. With that said this is my recommendation: Get a Waves card for the SQ5 with the free “Sound Grid Studio” program for your Computer housing your DAW. This will put you into the Cat6 world that is much much better than USB 2 connectivity for any and all multitrack activity. In the event you need to process more than 16 channels with your initial or secondary captures the 16 channel DX168 stage box is a very flexible option to get you up to 32 channels. The price point of the SQ5 make it a no brainer!

    I have been using a complete Digigrid Waves LV1 system in my studio for the past 4 years and given the splendid service it has rendered I recommend the Waves card for the SQ line: however the Dante option also provides a very similar function but I have no experience with it.
    Hugh

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