Setting Up

02022-10-24 | Recording | 7 comments

I recorded some guitar playing yesterday. It was the first recording since sometime in the Spring of 2021. Well, it wasn’t the first recording, strictly speaking, that happened earlier this week with an electric guitar and using a different interface, but it was the first recording of the Flamenco guitar, using the combination of interface and computer that I intend to work with from now on. It took quite a few hours to get the equipment to see each other. And earlier there were many hours updating and installing software – and finding out about the difference between cables that look the same but are not…

I was unhappy with how long it was taking but it was pointed out to me that I had been extremely unrealistic. After living there for 29 years, I sold my house and studio just a little over a year ago, bought a new place, moved my belongings, set up the new home, got further distracted by falling in love with Lisbon and also setting up an apartment there. Switched from a very familiar 2003 computer to a 2021 computer, new software, new equipment. What did I expect, for all of that to magically happen overnight? Yeah, mostly that.

What will happen next? I don’t have an ideal recording room. I will familiarize myself with the equipment I want to use, now that it is all working together, will make recordings even though they won’t happen in a nice room or will have perfect fidelity, but the point is to become familiar and comfortable, intimate, with the gear. Once that is accomplished I will look for a nice room to record in. Have gear, will travel. I will literally need only one outlet to power everything, so the room can be anywhere.


  1. Steve

    It looks like you have a UA Apollo interface (???) … uh … maybe.

    I have been unimpressed with mine. Lots of software problems, and on a weekly basis macos complains that it will (in the fullness of time) become unusable with “a future version of macos” …

    But having said that, the installation (on paper) seems as if it should be quite stable: M1 based machine, latest OS, latest interface firmware, etc. etc. etc. Should be fine. Nope. I think I made a mistake on this purchase, but I am invested, and I’ll just muddle.

    • ottmar

      I was able to run the Apollo pretty quickly – I bought it for the Twitch concerts a couple of years ago – but the interface I am excited about and am now using is the Sound Devices MixPre 6-II. The MixPre is an amazing machine. It’s a great recording device w very good preamps. Does 32 bit floating point. It’s also a very nice AD/DA converter. I plug the mic into the MixPre, and use its preamp and DA. It’s connected to the laptop via Thunderbolt 3, which also powers the MixPre. The digital audio then goes from the laptop back through the MixPre and its DA converter and I can monitor w headphones plugged into it. The wiring is as simple as can be, because power and audio streams all run through the Thunderbolt 3 cable.

      • Steve

        …and I assume no fiddly bits with software on the MixPre 6-II?

        • ottmar

          Unlike the Apollo, the MixPre doesn’t require any special software on the Mac.

  2. anne

    “I sold my house and studio just a little over a year ago, bought a new place, moved my belongings, set up the new home, got further distracted by falling in love with Lisbon and also setting up an apartment there.”

    interesting indeed.

    Consider renting your apartment out ?

    Decided to do some traveling with daughter

    • anne

      looking for rental properties in Europe over the next 2 years. or so.-

  3. Ian Findlay

    Hello Ottmar,

    Have you settled on a DAW – I know you were a Pro Tools user for many years. Also is your M149 still your mic of choice?




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