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Author Topic: Live Sound With a DAW?  (Read 1023 times)

Dillan Manihera

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Live Sound With a DAW?
« on: February 25, 2019, 11:39:16 am »

Hey everyone,

I am looking for a way to at least practice with backing tracks and a few fx processing through a DAW. Seeing as I've only worked in a digital recording environment I thought I'd ask those that would know better about live sound. I'd like to be able to have a mic and a guitar going into an audio interface, have a little latency free processing in my DAW, and output a backing track with the live guitar mixed in, alongside a separate output for the vocals.

Before anyone tells me, I know there are much more suitable solutions, I'm just working with what I have available to me. Exploring this possibility seems to be my best option.

How would I go about doing this? Exactly what would be required to make this work (if there are any special requirements in this case)? Are there any problems I may run into with this setup? Is it even really possible on a budget?

If possible, it would be very helpful if someone would make a list of pros and cons about this idea if it is at all possible.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Roland Clarke

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 03:58:49 pm »

Your biggest risk is latency or a computer crash, however, outside of that it might work rather well for you.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 04:31:52 pm »

You can download free multi track recordings from a number of places on the internet. Or make your own.

Use a multitrack recording program like Waves Tracks Live, or Nuendo Live, or Protools, Logic, Cubase, Reaper, etc...

Then you can either route all of the channels to an individual analog output from your audio interface, or use something like Dante Virtual Soundcard if you are connected to a mixing console with a Dante network.

You don’t say what your audio interface or mixing console is, so it’s kind of hard to reccomend what the best way to go about it is. But what you are essentially doing is setting up a virtual sound check system.

The latency associated with the audio interface and software may not be a problem at all, if all you are doing is playing along to the other tracks. If you want to record and playback your live inputs at the same time, then you’ll start noticing the latency.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 04:44:23 pm »

Latency may be a problem with doing it that way. I've always plugged live instruments and DAW into the mixing board. You then follow the trax. No latency at all.

DAW's may be faster these days but when you add fx, etc, the latency will increase.
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Karel Noon

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 04:54:03 pm »

Hey,
It’s perfectly possible and done in many different ways.

Ableton Live is an often used software, then there is “SoftwareAudio Console” by RML Labs in combination with SAW Studio, but you can also user any other DAW.

Depending on the hardware you have you will have some latency, but computers and interfaces are very quick today.

And some popular types even have special low latency monitoring options, like in totalmix from RME or the Motu stuff with internal mixer.

So have fun with some days of googling, reading about endless fights wich interface is the best and at the end just buying what’s cheapest ;)
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Dillan Manihera

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 05:48:59 pm »

Thank you everyone! This has been very helpful! I did expect the only concerns to be latency and crashes, but just thought I'd check in, in case there was something I was missing.

As for the hardware I'm using, I'll be looking to buy a new (reasonably priced) interface to accommodate my needs, and I will most likely be using reaper as my DAW as it's just what I'm comfortable with. I'll have to do some googling about any latency differences between DAWs, but yeah.

Anyway thanks a lot everyone! With any luck I won't have to be asking about anything here again. But at least now I know where to turn if I run into any issues. :)
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John L Nobile

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Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2019, 05:58:07 pm »

Thank you everyone! This has been very helpful! I did expect the only concerns to be latency and crashes, but just thought I'd check in, in case there was something I was missing.

As for the hardware I'm using, I'll be looking to buy a new (reasonably priced) interface to accommodate my needs, and I will most likely be using reaper as my DAW as it's just what I'm comfortable with. I'll have to do some googling about any latency differences between DAWs, but yeah.

Anyway thanks a lot everyone! With any luck I won't have to be asking about anything here again. But at least now I know where to turn if I run into any issues. :)

Latency is a trade off. Less latency means that you won't perceive any delay. Trade off is that your computer is working harder and has a better chance of locking up or crashing the program. I've never been able to use a low enough latency that I can play with that wouldn't cause a lock up as I added plugins.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Live Sound With a DAW?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2019, 05:58:07 pm »


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