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Don't understand the 8-in 8-out thing


bacooper81
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I'm trying to figure out if I can use the helix as an audio interface for recording all my instruments, including acoustic drums.  I thought I might be able to do this by connecting it to an 8 channel preamp, like the behringer ada8000 for example, which would give me room for 8 drum mic inputs.

 

However, I came across this youtube video where he says the helix has 8-in and 8-out via usb: 

 

I don't understand what that means.  Does the helix have 8 inputs I can plug mics into?  From looking at it I don't think so.  Does it mean I can connect and 8 channel preamp to it?

 

Can someone please explain what the 8 in and 8 out means?

 

Also, if I want to use the helix as an audio interface for recording drums, would I do that by connecting it to an 8 channel preamp?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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To use Helix as an audio interface you connect it to a computer/DAW via USB. The USB connection provides 8 input and 8 output audio channels when communicating with the DAW. You can assign which channels you want to use in the Output block of your Helix preset and also on the Record Input of your DAW track(s).

 

The Input blocks of your Helix preset define which physical connections you will use for your input signal (e.g. Guitar, Mic, Aux, Return 1, Return 1/2, ... etc). The preset processing blocks define how Helix will (or won't) process that signal, and the Output blocks defiine where you want to send the outgoing signal (e.g. to any of the 8 USB channels).

 

So you can, for instance, connect a guitar to the Helix guitar input and assign it to preset Path 1 Input block, while connecting a mic to the Mic input and assign it to preset Path 2 input block. You can then process the two paths independently and assign the Output block of Path 1 to USB1/2 and the Output block of Path 2 to USB3/4. By default, the dry signal for the Guitar input is USB 7 and for the mic it is USB 8. In your DAW you setup 2 stereo tracks and 2 mono tracks for recording. To record your processed guitar you assign a stereo track using USB 1/2 a stereo the Record Input source, and assign a mono track to use USB 7. Similarly you assign th other stereo and mono tracks to record the processed (USB 3/4) and dry (USB 8) mic signal. Then you play and sing, simultaneously recording it all in your DAW, including the dry tracks for later post-processing in your DAW using Helix Native (and/or other plugins).

 

Check out the Templates setlist in Helix. There are one or more templates that illustrate how to set up a preset for recording multiple tracks and inputs.

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Uber Guru, thanks for that detailed explanation of the ins and outs.

 

I'm planning on recording acoustic drums (8 mics), guitar, bass, and vocals.

 

It sounds like I will need an audio interface to accomplish this.  E.g. a Focusrite 18i20.  In that case, I'm thinking the best workflow would be to have the 18i20 set as the interface for my DAW, and run the helix through the 18i20, rather than switching between the 2 interfaces in my DAW every time I want to switch between drums and guitar.  But that brings up a point about monitoring directly through the helix to avoid latency.  Is this a good way to go, and if so, can I still somehow monitor through the helix while using the 18i20 as my interface?  If not, do you have a better recommendation?

 

Thanks.

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Yes it sounds like you would need another audio interface to record the drums and associated mics as individual tracks for post-processing. You would then connect your Helix to the other interface using its audio outputs since your DAW should use only one USB connection at a time. Only your other interface would connect via USB to your computer. You would need to monitor using the other interface. I can't comment on any latency - that would be worked out using the other interface.

 

if you plan to record everything simultaneously on individual tracks it seems you will need more than 8 inputs. But if you only want the drumkit recorded in stereo (using 8 mics with an 8-channel mixer) you may be able to use Helix as the audio interface with no need for another one. I can't comment more without more details about your plans and intentions.

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If you're using a Mac with OSX, you can set up an aggregate device to combine multiple USB interfaces and simultaneously record as many channels as you want. For example, you could record the Helix direct through USB on some channels, use the Focusrite for your other mics, and possibly even a third USB interface for other mics and instruments.

 

I have no idea if this is possible under Windows.

 

Also, latency shouldn't be an issue if you're not trying to monitor the recording inputs direct to an output in a live setting. For monitoring as the recording engineer with headphones or in a control room, a sub 40ms round trip in to out latency that most USB interfaces achieve even on really old hardware isn't really a problem.

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  • 4 years later...

Hello,

My research led me here. I dig up this discussion.

 

I'd like to use my Helix with a DAW (Ableton or Reaper) doing this :

  • Guitar > Input : Guitar In > Output : XLR + USB (to record loop in the SAW)
  • Microphone 1 > Input : Microphone  > Output : XLR + USB (to record loop in the SAW)
  • Microphone 2 > Input : ??? > Output : XLR + USB (to record loop in the SAW)
  • Microphone 3 > Input : ??? > Output : XLR + USB (to record loop in the SAW)
  • Tracks in DAW (pre-recorded or played with midi controller/VST > Input : USB > Output : XLR

> Do you have an idea for mics 2 and 3 ?

 

Thank you for your answer !

 

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