The perfect setup?

I’m continually posting here about how i’m working on one or maybe two releases.

Then a little while later I’ll post about some amazing new piece of gear acquired, maybe even share an experiment, a live track or jam session.

The reality is that, while my preferred setup has stabilised to a large degree, any degree of change forces a rethink of any material that is work in progress.  The reason for this:  how am I to know that what i’ve been working on won’t be improved by the new element to the setup?

It’s possible that this may always be an issue however I’ve just added a piece of gear to the home studio that manages to tie a lot of threads together very neatly.

Say hello to the Rig (R16)!


As some of you may know i’ve had a Zoom R8 kicking around for a while.  It is an eight track recorder with a stereo input, and it has been a very useful layering tool for Joe and I on our recent recordings.  In fact i’d just recently been discussing with him my need for either a USB mixer or some kind of multi input audio interface and how all the option seemed to be redundant.  This need stems from…


…the setup being now clearly delineated between producing / performing setup (shown) and mixing / mastering table.  I wanted the MOTU back in the production / performance chain as it makes it much easier to manage the separate I/Os but that removed it from my desktop Mac Mini where the other 50% of polishing occurs.

The R16 fits my requirements so perfectly:

  • I use it to record all four outputs from the rack (Sys1m, Aira FX, Nord Modular and Ableton/Push Samples) at the same time.
  • Then I switch on the the USB, set the R16 to “Storage Device” and transfer the recorded 44/24 wave files across to the desktop for mixing in Tracktion.
  • Then when the files are loaded into the edit I can use the R16 as both an audio interface and a Mackie Universal Control device to assist in mixer automation.

The original owner couldn’t work it out and has therefore barely used it.  I’ve read that the R24 has more features but it doesn’t matter to me as the Rig has the features I’m looking for.

By the way you can see Virta on the Macbook Air image above.  It’s a great addition to the setup – working as a modular vocoder / format filter for whatever samples i’m playing through it.  As far as my workflow goes I love the fact that the Ableton/Push2 axis allows some flexibility while also providing a coherent set of sounds to mix.


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