Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

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Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:40 pm

I have an HDSP AES32 card. After reading the manual and trying to work with it, I do not want to use the TotalMix mixer. If you are using TotalMix, what is your reason? It seems like a big hassle compared to using everything within Cubase like the Control Room and the Cubase Mixer. Was there a "latency point" where you had to use it? If so, what was it?
Last edited by Swurveman on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP users

Post by Martin.Jirsak » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:21 pm

It's very helpful, if you need to send different mixes to the different outputs, for example for different recording rooms. You can use "Studios" for this, in the Cubase, but TotalMix looks more flexible, for me.

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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:47 pm

I can see this if you need more than 4 cue mixes. On the other hand, I find the Cubase Control Room Mixer much more intuitive, particularly for things like Inserting Reverb for Cue mixes. I just find it more intuitive, but I don't need lots of cue mixes. So, I can see its limitation. I wonder if there's a workaround if you need more than 4?

Image
Martin.Jirsak wrote:It's very helpful, if you need to send different mixes to the different outputs, for example for different recording rooms. You can use "Studios" for this, in the Cubase, but TotalMix looks more flexible, for me.

Best,
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by popmann » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:06 pm

Um...you've lost me--you don't know why someone would use a hardware mixer rather than the software for cue mixing? Because they arent using an analog mixer to provide the cue mixes.

I've gotten Cubase down to 64 samples...unacceptable--not that my machine could drop into a big project at that buffer level anyway, but I know a newer one will.

But, then, I also think converter latency is off putting though generally acceptable, so...I keep a little analog mixer for cue feeds of overdubs.

Also, while I don't use RME...I can assure you that using my Echo's mixer IS consistently ADA latency only...using "direct monitoring", which SHOULD do exactly the same thing does not. Something about the bigger and more complex the project gets, the latency varies...which is utterly unacceptable. Is that Steiny or Echo's drivers? Don't know. But, it's a frustrating thing. So, someone cutting a whole band full of feeds? If it can't handle properly DM for overdubs, I can't imagine it does better with a complicated cue mix.

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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by MrSoundman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:23 pm

If you can do everything you need to within Cubase and you're happy with that then I see no reason to bother with TotalMix other than to initially set up your I/O, but I don't think of TotalMix as a mixer (despite the name), and certainly not as a replacement for an analogue mixer -- I regard it more as a powerful digital audio router. In that funtion there is nothing to compare with it in terms of flexibility and power, and it's when you get outside of Cubase that you begin to appreciate that, for example incorporating external hardware or audio streams from other applications.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:32 pm

Thanks for your response popmann. My studio is being reconstructed, and I wondered about latency issues. . So, maybe I'll have to use TotalMix for latency free monitoring. I have a Lynx Aurora 16 with the RME HDSP AES 32, which is pretty good hardware.

popmann wrote:Um...you've lost me--you don't know why someone would use a hardware mixer rather than the software for cue mixing? Because they arent using an analog mixer to provide the cue mixes.

I've gotten Cubase down to 64 samples...unacceptable--not that my machine could drop into a big project at that buffer level anyway, but I know a newer one will.

But, then, I also think converter latency is off putting though generally acceptable, so...I keep a little analog mixer for cue feeds of overdubs.

Also, while I don't use RME...I can assure you that using my Echo's mixer IS consistently ADA latency only...using "direct monitoring", which SHOULD do exactly the same thing does not. Something about the bigger and more complex the project gets, the latency varies...which is utterly unacceptable. Is that Steiny or Echo's drivers? Don't know. But, it's a frustrating thing. So, someone cutting a whole band full of feeds? If it can't handle properly DM for overdubs, I can't imagine it does better with a complicated cue mix.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 pm

Thanks for your response Mr. Soundman.

I am planning on using an API 2500 on the Master bus, with a pair of of Distresssor's on the drum bus. I just bought the gear and am renovating my studio space. So, that's why I'm asking these questions now. Are you saying I'll have to use TotalMix if I want acceptable latency for cue mixes and monitoring?


MrSoundman wrote:If you can do everything you need to within Cubase and you're happy with that then I see no reason to bother with TotalMix other than to initially set up your I/O, but I don't think of TotalMix as a mixer (despite the name), and certainly not as a replacement for an analogue mixer -- I regard it more as a powerful digital audio router. In that funtion there is nothing to compare with it in terms of flexibility and power, and it's when you get outside of Cubase that you begin to appreciate that, for example incorporating external hardware or audio streams from other applications.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by MrSoundman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:50 pm

Swurveman wrote:Are you saying I'll have to use TotalMix if I want acceptable latency for cue mixes and monitoring?
The signal path though TotalMix is digital (obviously) so there will always be some latency because of the A/D-D/A conversions, but you also have to consider that TotalMix can bypass the CPU completely as well as allowing e.g. to add reverb via an external processor to a vocal monitor mix with no drain on CPU. Going via TotalMix for monitoring as opposed to going through Cubase will reduce latency, but if you want no latency, then you need an analogue monitor mix.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by ffg » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:06 pm

TotalMix is king if you need to run a big session with several different headphone mixes. Incredibly flexible. Also to incorporate outboard hardware.

On Mac, there is no Direct Monitoring, and therefore no way to get latency free headphone mixes through Cubase. In my view, even very low latency is unacceptable, and even if you start off a project with low latency, it always creeps up - VSTis, FX everywhere - what if you need to do a vocal overdub just when you're all set up to mix?

Much better to lose the latency altogether, either with hardware (analogue) monitoring, or TotalMix (or CueMix if you have MOTU).

Although there is a tiny amount of latency because of the AD/DA, it really is too small to notice, and it stays constant, which Cubase latency does not.
best wishes

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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by alexis » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:54 pm

MrSoundman wrote:
Swurveman wrote:Are you saying I'll have to use TotalMix if I want acceptable latency for cue mixes and monitoring?
The signal path though TotalMix is digital (obviously) so there will always be some latency because of the A/D-D/A conversions, but you also have to consider that TotalMix can bypass the CPU completely as well as allowing e.g. to add reverb via an external processor to a vocal monitor mix with no drain on CPU. Going via TotalMix for monitoring as opposed to going through Cubase will reduce latency, but if you want no latency, then you need an analogue monitor mix.
Thanks for this great thread!

Can you explain please - if there are no reverbs or VSTi's or anything like that activated in Cubase - what latency are you referring to going into Cubase and then straight out again? I guess from what you are saying, it is not instantaneous, but I can't quite understand why not ...?

Thanks much for any further teaching!
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:30 pm

Thanks again MrSoundman.

I've been thinking about options. I have a Mackie 1604 VLz mixer. So, could I have my vocalist sing through a mic into my vintech preamp to the A/D and then have her monitor the D/A of the mix on two channels of the 1604- and her performance on 1 channel from the 1604's- from the headphone jack of the 1604? And could I add some reverb on her playback channel to give her some warmth, all in real time? Would that be less latency and more efficient than going through TotalMix and a headphone amp? Unfortunately, the singer would be hearing the Vintech output being altered by the 1604's preamps though.




MrSoundman wrote:
Swurveman wrote:Are you saying I'll have to use TotalMix if I want acceptable latency for cue mixes and monitoring?
The signal path though TotalMix is digital (obviously) so there will always be some latency because of the A/D-D/A conversions, but you also have to consider that TotalMix can bypass the CPU completely as well as allowing e.g. to add reverb via an external processor to a vocal monitor mix with no drain on CPU. Going via TotalMix for monitoring as opposed to going through Cubase will reduce latency, but if you want no latency, then you need an analogue monitor mix.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Weasel » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:07 am

Although there is a tiny amount of latency because of the AD/DA, it really is too small to notice, and it stays constant, which Cubase latency does not.
Not to mention the noticeable CPU bump Control Room adds when active.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by thinkingcap » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:50 am

alexis wrote:Can you explain please - if there are no reverbs or VSTi's or anything like that activated in Cubase - what latency are you referring to going into Cubase and then straight out again?
The latency caused by the buffer- / samplerate settings of your soundcard.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Marcus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:21 am

thinkingcap wrote:
alexis wrote:Can you explain please - if there are no reverbs or VSTi's or anything like that activated in Cubase - what latency are you referring to going into Cubase and then straight out again?
The latency caused by the buffer- / samplerate settings of your soundcard.
Please keep in mind, that some VST Plugins are producing an additional latency to the ASIO latency.
You can sort this out under Devices/ Plugin Information.

Some VST Plugins like the Fluxx VST Plugins can produce more than 100ms additional latency.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by thinkingcap » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:33 am

Marcus wrote:Please keep in mind, that some VST Plugins are producing an additional latency to the ASIO latency.
You can sort this out under Devices/ Plugin Information.

Some VST Plugins like the Fluxx VST Plugins can produce more than 100ms additional latency.
But probably not, if
alexis wrote: if there are no reverbs or VSTi's or anything like that activated in Cubase-...-going into Cubase and then straight out again?
!?
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Marcus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:06 am

Sure thinkingcap......


that is why I wrote this additional info....if you wish to add some VST Plugins for the headphone mix....

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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by MrSoundman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:40 am

alexis wrote:what latency are you referring to going into Cubase and then straight out again? I guess from what you are saying, it is not instantaneous, but I can't quite understand why not ...?
Cubase (or any software) aside for the moment, let's imagine you have standalone A/D and D/A converters with say, AES3 or S/PDIF, and you connect the output of the A/D to the input of the D/A; a signal applied at the analogue input of the A/D will appear not instantaneously, but after a short (read: very short!) delay at the output of the D/A. This delay is primarily made up of the time the A/D conversion process takes, plus the time it takes to transmit the digitized information between the two units, plus the time for the D/A conversion process, and is directly related to the clock rate, but can be regarded as constant.

Many audio interfaces have the A/D and D/A all in one box or on the same card, so there's the possibility of connecting the analogue input signal from before the A/D process directly to the analogue output -- this is the only true zero-latency form of direct monitoring possible and is the equivalent of using an external mixer, but you lose a lot of flexibility. I personally would not be calling the lawyers if a manufacturer claimed this was also "zero-latency direct monitoring", but it still pays to be aware of the phenomen as it can lead to issues with phasing even if the delays are not perceptible to the human ear.

In the case of RME TotalMix, the signals you "see" have already been digitized, and the signal routing takes place completely in the digital domain, which is precisely what gives you the unbridled flexibility. There will be some more delay once the routed digital signal reaches its destination D/A converter, and then the converter will add some more. Nevertheless, the combined delay is still miniscule compared to the delay added by software processing, and may be acceptable, but cannot be eliminated from any digital audio system.

For a further authoratative discussion of the wider system implications, have a read of: Living With Latency by Sam Inglis in Sound On Sound. For what it's worth, once you add your DAW software into the mix, the only way to know exactly what latency you have with any specific configuration (as defined by the delay between the input signal and the signal that appears at the output) is to actually measure it (yes, with a 'scope!), and not to trust what any software tells you!
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by ffg » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:50 pm

Swurveman wrote:Thanks again MrSoundman.

I've been thinking about options. I have a Mackie 1604 VLz mixer. So, could I have my vocalist sing through a mic into my vintech preamp to the A/D and then have her monitor the D/A of the mix on two channels of the 1604- and her performance on 1 channel from the 1604's- from the headphone jack of the 1604? And could I add some reverb on her playback channel to give her some warmth, all in real time? Would that be less latency and more efficient than going through TotalMix and a headphone amp? Unfortunately, the singer would be hearing the Vintech output being altered by the 1604's preamps though.
For foldback to one artist the Mackie would be fine.

You would need to put the output of the mic preamp into the Mackie, for foldback, and into the AD of the soundcard to record it in Cubase. What you shouldn't do is monitor the singer through Cubase. If you do that you will hear the latency as a delay.

If you want 4 or more separate headphone mixes to, say, a band, Totalmix is much more powerful and flexible. Don't worry about the nominal AD/DA latency with TotalMix, it isn't an issue.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by alexis » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:07 pm

ffg wrote: ... If you want 4 or more separate headphone mixes to, say, a band, Totalmix is much more powerful and flexible. Don't worry about the nominal AD/DA latency with TotalMix, it isn't an issue.

Does the RME TotalMix pretty much mean one can skip the Cubase 6 Control Room without missing any features?
Last edited by alexis on Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:00 pm

Thanks again for your response MrSoundman.

The 1604 can have 4 submixes. So, couldn't I submix 4 artists and send out to a headphone amp with 4 headphones?
I say this because I already have the 1604 and the headphone amp. Though I do agree, if you have more than 4 band members, TotalMix has tons of submixing options.

It's so simple with an analog mixer.

As for Totalmix, the manual leaves a lot to be desired in trying to figure out the routing. This has a lot to do with the interface. If their interface would have emulated an analog mixer, which their routing emulates, they would have hit the ball out of the park.


ffg wrote:
Swurveman wrote:Thanks again MrSoundman.

I've been thinking about options. I have a Mackie 1604 VLz mixer. So, could I have my vocalist sing through a mic into my vintech preamp to the A/D and then have her monitor the D/A of the mix on two channels of the 1604- and her performance on 1 channel from the 1604's- from the headphone jack of the 1604? And could I add some reverb on her playback channel to give her some warmth, all in real time? Would that be less latency and more efficient than going through TotalMix and a headphone amp? Unfortunately, the singer would be hearing the Vintech output being altered by the 1604's preamps though.
For foldback to one artist the Mackie would be fine.

You would need to put the output of the mic preamp into the Mackie, for foldback, and into the AD of the soundcard to record it in Cubase. What you shouldn't do is monitor the singer through Cubase. If you do that you will hear the latency as a delay.

If you want 4 or more separate headphone mixes to, say, a band, Totalmix is much more powerful and flexible. Don't worry about the nominal AD/DA latency with TotalMix, it isn't an issue.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by MrSoundman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:48 pm

Swurveman wrote:As for Totalmix, the manual leaves a lot to be desired in trying to figure out the routing. This has a lot to do with the interface. If their interface would have emulated an analog mixer, which their routing emulates, they would have hit the ball out of the park
If I could make a suggestion to help get your head around TotalMix: stop thinking about emulating a mixer. The manual does need a bit of thought, but the light went on for me when I switched to the Matrix view (press X). Trust me -- once you "get it" (and it does take a bit of time!) you'll never want to use anything else, and I'm sure other users would agree.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:01 pm

MrSoundman wrote:If I could make a suggestion to help get your head around TotalMix: stop thinking about emulating a mixer. The manual does need a bit of thought, but the light went on for me when I switched to the Matrix view (press X). Trust me -- once you "get it" (and it does take a bit of time!) you'll never want to use anything else, and I'm sure other users would agree.
Thanks again for your interest and advice Mr. Sandman.

Here's a perfect example of what I mean in terms of trying to understand TotalMix. I asked these questions at RME Forum, but nobody has answered yet.

Connecting Hardware Reverb via TotalMix for Cue Mixes:


I think I understood the manual's explanation on how to add hardware reverb for a cue mix using

1. Send a "direct route" of input channel 1, routed to submix output (11+12)
2, Connect/Send the external output (channel 8) to the hardware reverb
3. While clicking on Channel 8, adjust the input of input channel 1 to 0dB and pan right
3. Adjust the input level of the hardware reverb to optimal settings
4. Return the output of the hardware reverb, sent to input 5+6 of TotalMix
5. In TotalMix use the level meters to match the input level of 5/6 to the output level of the hardware reverb.

That's for one submix!

You're right, it's not analog desk easy, where you can hook up the send and return cables to the Reverb, and then, send reverb to individual channels and make submixes.


Still......

If I wanted to do this for other cue mixes for a vocal ensemble, is there any way I can I do it with the same reverb, making different adjustments in TotalMix to send different amounts of reverb to different singers in the ensemble? If one singer wants "less" reverb and another wants "more" reverb in their submix, where do I make the adjustment?

Or, is there a simpler way of understanding and using the matrix, so that I can hook up the hardware reverb, and adjust levels for different cue mixes for different singers?

Thanks in advance if you can take the time and help. I've not been impressed with RME's support. For example, they have no videos of how to do something like this, even though their product seems tailor made for this kind of hardware routing in a studio setting.
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Woodcrest Studio » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:16 pm

Someone mentioned plugins adding latency due to delay compensation, so.....


Did you know pressing the "Constrain Delay Compensation" located on the arrange window upper left will disable high latency plugins and lower your latency? Then you can drop your sample buffers, but be careful... cunase and nuendo sometimes doesn't like buffer changes when it is open.

If not, you do now! It is a great feature :mrgreen:

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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Norbury Brook » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:29 pm

I'm an rme owner but no longer user since getting my MR units. Without the control room don't you have to route every cubase Chanel to a separate output if you want to have different cue mixes via total mix?


With the control room and steinberg hardware you get easy cue mixes with zero latency with on board dsp FX.



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Swurveman
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Re: Question for RME HDSP-TotalMix users

Post by Swurveman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:40 am

Yes, but in your Cubase template you can add outputs busses for common sources in stereo pairs, like drum and bass, guitars, synths etc. So, it's not really a big hassle if it improves latency for overdubs. And building different cue mixes isn't difficult. The hassle is the complicated routing if you want to add things like hardware reverb to multiple cue mixes.

Norbury Brook wrote: Without the control room don't you have to route every cubase Chanel to a separate output if you want to have different cue mixes via total mix?
Cubase 10 Pro, Windows 10 , Intel Core i7 CPU, 950 @ 3.07 GHz, 16 GB RAM, , ATI RADEON 5450 Video Card 1GB - Dual DVI, 750GB SATA II 3.0Gb/s 64mb cache Hard Drive (OS), 2 x 1TB SATA II 3.0Gb/s 64mb cache Hard Drive (Media), Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R LGA1366 socket motherboard for Intel® Core™ i7 processor family. (2) Lynx Aurora 16, (2) RME AES 32

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