Mixer for recording synths etc

I’m trying to figure out a solution for recording my synths and drum machines that doesn’t require me constantly repatching everything when I switch devices.

My setup right now is using two Universal Audio thunderbolt Interfaces wired together (an Apollo Twin with two analog inputs and an Apollo Quad with 8 analog inputs).

Generally the Twin analog inputs are being used for microphones or DI recordings of guitar or bass.

So for my synths I’ve got 8 analog inputs on the back of the Apollo Quad. Since my RYTM can use up at least all 8 of those inputs, (ideally), that doesn’t leave me with room for anything else.

My big Apollo interface, though, has 8 channels of ADAT input and 2 channels of s/pdif. So, it strikes me that a great idea would be to get something that I can plug eight or ten channels of synths outputs into and then go in digitally to the UA Apollo. I’m not experienced with this kind of routing so I hope there aren’t digital “clock” issues that would get in the way…

So, the ideal device would have perhaps 16-24 analog ins, ADAT out, and maybe even s/pdif out as separate channels 9 and 10.

I’ve been looking over the specs of stuff like the PreSonus studio live stuff, which looks like really great if pricey gear, but none of them output ADAT (instead they have Firewire out to the computer).

I think the TASCAM DM-3200 has all of the desired features but dang it’s like $2300 or so. (And, it’s HUGE).

Behringer makes a rack device for $300 that has 8 ADAT output channels and 2 s/pdif channels (from analog inputs). And another for $200 that just has the analog to ADAT 8 channels of conversion. I kind of shudder at the Behringer brand but hey if it works…

The other thing I could do using OSX is to create an aggregate sound device using a mixer that output over USB, combined with the Universal Audio interfaces going in over thunderbolt. I am not super experienced at this but have created such an aggregate device combining the UA interfaces and one of the Roland Boutique synths that outputs over USB cable and it worked… but I didn’t do any high intensity testing of the system. Also combined this with Overbridge to bring the RYTM in and I don’t recall having massive problems but it was really unnecessarily complicated sorting everything out inside the computer.

Just looking for ideas from people who might have similar setups about how to best move forward.


Aggregating audio devices does increase latency quite a bit.

that’s what I figured and why I’d rather use the ADAT inputs on my Apollo interface.

my cat is about to type so I better hit enter quick

Regarding ADAT, see if you can find a second-hand Mariam ADCON for cheap somewhere.

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I have a Midas 48 XL connected to my Apollo via ADAT. Sounds really good and I like the filters on every channel.

If you’re not willing to spend that much cash (understandable), consider an Audient ADAT board. Even cheaper still is the focusrite octopre.

Bear in mind that when using ADAT with Apollos, the ADAT box must be clock master.

Thanks for that info about clocking tsutek, I am wholly ignorant of such details so it’s a big help to have that pointed out.

tsutek – I have been researching some of the products you mentioned. I see a Midas XL 48 for around $900, and a similar product from Audient (8 pres with ADAT out) is $1400. I think one or the other of these must be not what you had in mind since you refer to the Audient being less expensive. Can you clarify?


Sure. I would advice against going for the older Audient model, which indeed is more costly than the midas (this is because the older model didn’t ship with ADAT, in the older models it is an add-on). These later introduced Audient models was what I was referring to:


A&H Qu-Pac gives you
-22 analog inputs.
-4 stereo FX processors,
-32x32 USB audio interface.
-18 track thumb drive / computer-free, 24bit recording (48khz)
-EQ/Gate/Dynamics on every channel.
-“Scenes” for recall of various recording/mixing configurations.
-“Soft Keys” for triggering FX returns, the multi-track recorder, Mix views.

It’s totally changed my workflow and I can’t imagine using a standard USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt interface again.
No more fussing with ADAT clocking and optical cables. It’s everything I wanted my various Metric Halo interfaces to be.
It just works, and is ultra-low noise.


Hey Adam Jay, you mean that if I don’t have computer I can still reccord my gear directly in QuPac and have my tracks separately ?

Are there edition tools on board ?

This is my next gear !

I hadn’t heard of the Qu-Pac before — looking it up it seems like a very cool unit.

On the other hand I am heavily invested in Universal Audio plug-ins, have 2 of their hardware interfaces chained together, and often use their Unison technology when tracking using API pres and EQs, LA2A plug-ins, etc. So it’d be a big challenge for me to abandon that for the Qu-Pac or something similar.

Here’s the answer to my question, extract from the faq of A&H

Qu-Drive is a facility to record and playback stereo (2-track) and multitrack (18-track) audio.
The recording format is WAV 48kHz 24-bit.

OK, cool, I need it

I have read that interesting thread :slight_smile:

[quote=“elenacortes, post:14, topic:28922, full:true”]
Here’s the answer to my question, extract from the faq of A&H

Qu-Drive is a facility to record and playback stereo (2-track) and multitrack (18-track) audio.
The recording format is WAV 48kHz 24-bit.

OK, cool, I need it

Read that too

You can record multi-track on the Qu-Pac. Yes.

There is no copy/paste or any editing like that.
But you can play back a multi-track recording, and further mix/eq/process that as well.
In Live sound this is known as a “virtual sound check”.

It makes a great DAW companion. I record to the Qu-Pac, and then do some light editing to the tracks in my DAW in the end. Not even needing a computer up and running to record has been great for my workflow.

Lots more info at the “perfect mixer” link above.



I’m on the lookout for more ins and outs

Coming from a metric halo rig myself, how is the sound ?