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#1782474 - 04/01/22 06:05 PM Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI
TonyUltimate Offline
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Registered: 01/30/20
Posts: 6
I have an entire album recorded on my VS1880 and I want to output the audio, track by track, to a SoundOne Studio 68c DAI in order to convert to wav files for mixing and mastering. It's going to be a steep learning curve unless someone can give me a step by step. But in case not, I have 2 specific questions:

1. Can I do something as simple(?) as stick a 1/4" guitar cable in the VS Headphone jack, play the track, and use it as line input to the Studio 68c? Would the audio information be depreciated by doing it this way (if it works at all)?
2. Suppose I use the Master out to RCA L/R channel connectors; Studio 68c provides an RCA to 9-pin S/PDIF-Midi cable, but it is single channel (2 connectors, actually, but I/O not L/R). I don't need each track to be output in stereo, so can I just attach either L or R to the input cable? I am also not clear why this connection would work at all - seems like analogue audio out to a digital interface, but I guess it's the same as mastering to a CD? Sorry, a bit clueless about this.

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#1782483 - 04/01/22 06:32 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: TonyUltimate]
uptildawn Offline
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1- Yes, you could do this - infact there are easier, possibly better, ways of transferring track through the analog path. Much of what is chosen depends on the cables and pc interface you have. To do basic 2-track (left/right, stereo) transfers, the main outputs of the 1880 might provide a cleaner path than the headphone output, which would require a second stage of amplification and likely more noise floor.

An alternate analog setup for multitrack transfers that could be well worth your time to learn, would be to use the "direct out" method. This allows you to make transfers of up to 8 individual "dry" tracks at one time. Your pc interface would need to have 8 analog inputs (or fewer) in order to make the most of this method.

2- From your description of the studio 68c's special cable, you have access to spdif/digital in and out. For transferring an album of stereo mixes, this would most likely be the preferred method and the leas6t noisy and (supposedly) most accurate reproduction. You could also transfer pairs of mono tracks (panned), or combinations of tracks "pre mixed" to the spdif output, which could include stereo fx blended in, or even just transfer stereo fx sounds, without the dry tracks - say, to make a separate stereo effect track for your reverb patches, if you had some favorite 1880 patch you wanted to mix in later on.

You would want to use a single (for one direction transferring) rca cable from the 1880's coaxial/rca digital output, connected to the rca input of that special cable in order to do the digital path. The cable should be 75-ohm, the same as the yellow colored rca plug on a 3-wire cable (assuming they actually use a 75-ohm cable for the video line).... or just use a 75-ohm rca cable for video. This will give you a 2-channel send to the pc (or 2 mono tracks panned hard left and right in the 1880 and the pc daw setups). You would also need to set up your hardware to route through spdif and use it to sync/lock the 1880 and pc.

In any case, transferring more than 2 tracks per song (as in individual instrument tracks) will also require the use of a pair of midi cables to acquire MIDI Time Code sync (MTC), which also has to be set up according to you equipment manuals. The 1880 has a pretty solid setup outlined in their manual, so be sure to study it and experiment. It's actually easier than it may sound.



Edited by uptildawn (04/01/22 06:35 PM)
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#1782599 - 04/02/22 04:24 AM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
TonyUltimate Offline
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Registered: 01/30/20
Posts: 6
Thanks for the quick reply, uptildawn! I am still trying to wrap my mind around some of what you said (esp. in 2), but let me press on, since two things happened after I wrote the message. One, I discovered that I have a single cable (purchased way back when, for this purpose) that goes RCA to 1/4", for the purpose of going from the 1880 master out (I guess) to a line input on the 68c. Two, I found a video showing a method of transferring from the 1880 to a Tascam unit using a Midi cable, with the 1880 set as slave.

The advantage of this - if I understand it correctly - is that in a multitrack song the tracks would remain synced once transferred. I actually recorded a clap across all tracks in each song thinking they'd need to be re-synced after being transferred one by one. This would save me doing that in a lot of songs where I have 4 tracks or less, since there are 4 line inputs on the 68c. None of the songs have more than 8 tracks so at most I'd have to sync 4 & 4.

If this makes sense, what I understand I would need is a Midi cable to control the 1880 from the Studio 68c, and four of those RCA-to-1/4" cables. Then, if this makes sense so far, I would set the 1880 as slave, edit the Master Block pan settings (as you suggest) so track 1 goes to Master Out L, track 2 to Master Out R, etc., and finally play the song as I record to the 68c (or my laptop, as it were). In this scenario I wouldn't need that S/PDIF cable at all. Does this sound at all cogent?

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#1782603 - 04/02/22 05:23 AM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: TonyUltimate]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
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Yes - and no -

If you need to work strictly with what you have on hand and have neither time, money, nor patience to wait until you have your "best" option (which might just be the digital path, as far as "quality" goes), then your suggestion might be your best bet.

As for analog transfers, it depends on whether or not you need to transfer your tracks with, or without any effects that aren't already "printed" (recorded) to the tracks (whichever may have effects.

For instance, if vocals have reverb in the post or pre parallel (or loop, depending on how you think of it) positions, then the reverb is not printed to the vocal tracks and would need to be sent to the pc either with the vocal tracks (in which case it WOULD be printed in the daw track transfer), or as a separate stereo pair pass - which could add another pass... not a big deal if you have proper sync.

If you have effects "inserted", such as distortion or amp modeling on guitars, then these effects will automatically be recorded with the analog pass..... You might also run into a situation where you need to pay special attention to how the effect(s) is/are panned, so as not to accidentally end up with a stereo effect, when you meant to record 2 mono instruments panned hard left and right.

If your pc interface has at least 4 analog inputs and you can muster up at least 4 rca to 1/4" cables (or the appropriate adapters), then you could use the direct output strategy and record a single pass of up to 4 individual tracks - these would not contain any effects at all, unless you pre-print them to unused tracks (or layers) and send them in a separate pass or two to their own designated tracks in the daw.

Sorry - I'm making this too difficult - let me try just answering your questions directly -

1 - I hope you mean that your newly found cable is a cable pair - with 2 rca, going to 2 1/4"... That could be routed from the master out - OR - it could be routed through the direct out method - which will only record "dry" tracks (no VS processing - not fx, not eq, not even fader - just the raw track). This is possibly the best quality analog path, even though you lose the possible advantage of processed tracks.... Sorry - went on a tangent again.......

2- Yes, you will need at least one midi cable from the 1880 out to the pc IN and set to make one or the other "slave". Depends on how much slop there is in response time when you hit play/record. If it's too sloppy and hard to sync quickly, then you might set the 1880 as Master (which it tends to prefer). In any case, be sure to leave at least 4 counts (preferably 2 measures of lead time in the daw) to allow for sync to be fully locked in.

3- Your prerecorded claps can always be used to more tightly align all the tracks, when needed, so it's not a bad thing to have done.

4- With 4 line inputs on the pc side, I would really be tempted to take advantage of the direct outs routine (requiring another pair of rca-to-1/4" cables) and pass 4 individual dry tracks at a time. In fact, you can always add effects in stereo pairs through the master outs, or even the digital rca at a later time, if necessary. If your goal is to get the raw tracks onto the pc, then the direct outs will make life easier and maybe sound cleaner (I did combinations of all these methods in the initial 2 months I spent transferring all my 1680 and 880 tracks to the pc. I'm not a digital transfer snob and never found any issues with the direct out analog dry track transfers - can't tell I liked them, right?

5- If you have 4 of those rca-to-1/4" cables, by all means try the direct outs instead of the master outs - less amp stages and less noise floor.

6- You may find the need for a pair of midi cables - sometimes the communication needs to go both directions as you attempt to maneuver the two machines timelines. It's hard to say which master/slave will work best until you try. But there's always a few beats of slop and always the need for time to sync, especially on the multiple passes.






Edited by uptildawn (04/02/22 05:26 AM)
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#1782715 - 04/02/22 08:27 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
TonyUltimate Offline
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Registered: 01/30/20
Posts: 6
Hey, uptildawn, I'm deeply indebted for your responses. No need to apologize for being prolix with me, I think I hold a few records in that regard. (I'd point you to my blog to prove the point, but don't want to get too far off the subject.)

When I started the recording I decided not to print any effects until later. I've listened with some of the 1880's effects, and even edited some of their settings, but I wasn't going to print until I mixed. I'm glad I made that decision now, not only because I only need to transfer raw tracks now, but the whole reason for the transfer is that someone who has way more recording studio experience than I do is going to help mix and master the album using ProTools, and may be able to make improvements that will be better than anything I could have come up with.

I have only a single jack RCA-to-1/4" cable, but now that I see what I really need I will get two sets of paired cables. Hate to spend the money for a one-time thing but it's a very minor expense compared with overall album production.

I'm not sure what you mean in #5, "direct outs instead of the master outs". I see 4 L/R pairs of jacks in the Master Block - Master, AUX A, AUX B and Monitor. Then there is a pair of digital outs, but you don't seem to mean those, so what are the "direct outs"?

One thing that worries me now is that I think the channel faders won't work in this setup - but I think the guy in the video was able to control them with Midi from the DAW? Is that possible? Otherwise what would the default signal level would be when they're transferring? Presumably the max, from the little I understand about these things?

Thanks once again, esp. the advice about leaving time to sync the tracks. That I never would have thought of.

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#1782730 - 04/02/22 09:27 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: TonyUltimate]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 9081
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The forgetting to allow sync space will get you every time! \:\)

So, this will appear to be long – it’s only a half page in the manual, which also has some diagrams which won’t copy for me here.
I really feel that this is the method you are after now and continue to suggest it.

This description comes from pg 75 of the 1680 pdf manual (essentially the same as an 1880). Any of these manuals must surely still be available for download from rolandus.com, by the way.

Direct Out Connectors
The signal from each track of the recorder can be assigned
directly to each of the eight analog output jacks. This is
convenient for transferring tracks from the VS-1680 to
another multi-track recorder.
1. Press [EDIT/SOLO]. The Master Block is displayed.
2. Press [F5 (DIR)]. If “DIR” does not appear above [F5],
press [PAGE] until “DIR” appears above [F5], and then
press [F5 (DIR)].
3. Use the TIME/VALUE dial to make settings for DIRECT
OUT.
DIR OUT (DIRECT OUT)
Select Tracks to be assigned as Direct Out.
Off: Direct out is not used.
1-8:
Tracks 1-8 are output from the analog output jacks 1-8.
When DIRECT OUT is used, the MASTER, MONITOR
and AUX jacks are used for the direct track outputs. The
signals at each of the DIGITAL OUT connectors can be
set as usual.
fig.01-08.eps
Track 1: MASTER jack (L)
Track 2: MASTER jack (R)
Track 3: AUX A jack (L)
Track 4: AUX A jack (R)
Track 5: AUX B jack (L)
Track 6: AUX B jack (R)
Track 7: MONITOR jack (L)
Track 8: MONITOR jack (R)
9-16:
Tracks 9-16 are output from the analog OUTPUT jacks 1-
8. When DIRECT OUT is used, the MASTER, MONITOR
and AUX jacks are used for the direct track outputs. The
signals at each of the DIGITAL OUT connectors can be
set as usual.
fig.09-16
Track 9: MASTER jack (L)
Track 10: MASTER jack (R)
Track 11: AUX A jack (L)
Track 12: AUX A jack (R)
Track 13: AUX B jack (L)
Track 14: AUX B jack (R)
Track 15: MONITOR jack (L)
Track 16: MONITOR jack (R)
4. Press [PLAY (DISPLAY)] to return to the Playlist display.
Remember to turn the DIRECT OUT function off when you
are finished transferring your tracks.

Get the cables for this, it will be well worth your time and money. You don't need EXPENSIVE - just decent audio cables. Hosa makes decent enough rca to 1/4" cable pairs, as do a number of other companies, for sure. These are similar to ones I've used for years... https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-CPR-202-Ster...ps%2C334&sr=1-3

Just don't beat them up - molded plugs get shorts easier on average than others in my experience. But work great when treated like the gear you plug them into.....

Channel faders will NOT figure in, since direct outs bypass the preamps - and thus, part of the reason for using this method. Levels will go out at the level they were produced. As long as your tracks are not clipped and not so soft that they're buried in hiss, then it's good. Be sure to set your input levels at the interface mixer (or daw input gains, depending on how it's designed) to receive a healthy signal, but never clipping. Ideally, you'd just set all input levels to unity (usually their default) and let 'er rip.

NOTE:
I don't remember if pan settings figure into the direct outs. Experiment once or twice to figure that out, just to make sure you don't end up with blended tracks, or weak signals because the tracks aren't panned - that is IF it matters.



Edited by uptildawn (04/02/22 09:31 PM)
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#1782995 - 04/03/22 10:29 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
TonyUltimate Offline
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Registered: 01/30/20
Posts: 6
Ah, yes, well, embarrassing - I have the 1880 manual and it's there too, only I looked at it before I understood enough to even see that it answers a lot of my questions. I hope you were able to cut and paste rather than typing it all in! Did not recall they used the term "Direct Out" vs. Digital.

Anyway, this is more or less what I (finally!) understood after our exchange and the videos I looked at. As I said, only 4 line inputs on the 68c so two paired cables is the most I can use. Presumably I still need the Midi connection to sync the tracks, so my next adventure is to find out if the yea-old Midi cable which I have never used actually works.

Thanks for the advice on cables and levels! This has been an extremely useful conversation, saved me hours (at least) or research and false starts.

Am I the Last of the Mohicans with this VS-1880? The one person I know who was still using it just moved to a DAW. I think the next album is going straight to the 68c.

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#1783017 - 04/03/22 11:37 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: TonyUltimate]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 9081
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Glad this has helped you out!
Yes - need at least one midi cable (if not 2) in order to sync the machines for lining up multiple passes.
Actually, since you have clicks as well, you might get away without, but I'd be afraid of possible drift over time without it, so I'd use it anyway. Besides, manually lining up the tracks is a pain. \:\)

From the lack of activity in most of the recording forums here, I'd say you may just be one of the last - at least that care to post questions/comments. But you have at least a couple of compadres in the 2480 forum.

Myself, the 1680 is always nearby, but most of what I do now is on the pc. It's just made life more simple in my view..... Not everyone thinks so.





Edited by uptildawn (04/03/22 11:38 PM)
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#1783327 - 04/05/22 05:45 AM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
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Check your Studio 68 manual. It has four analog inputs, plus S/P-DIF. That‘s possible six simultaneous tracks you can transfer. Sync with MIDI; transferring your recordings six (or four) tracks at a time, in real time, is tedious enough without the chore of re-sync‘ing them afterward.
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#1783331 - 04/05/22 09:19 AM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: gyorpb]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
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The 68 stands for six in, eight out. So you can transfer six tracks at a time: four analog, two digital.

Here‘s what you do. Connect via MIDI. The VS as master, the 68 as slave. Transfer the first six tracks, plus the MIDI timecode from the VS. Now, the 68 becomes the MIDI master, and the VS the slave. Transfer the rest of your tracks, six at a time. Everything should remain perfectly sync‘ed.

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#1783354 - 04/05/22 01:53 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: gyorpb]
uptildawn Offline
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 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The 68 stands for six in, eight out. So you can transfer six tracks at a time: four analog, two digital.

Here‘s what you do. Connect via MIDI. The VS as master, the 68 as slave. Transfer the first six tracks, plus the MIDI timecode from the VS. Now, the 68 becomes the MIDI master, and the VS the slave. Transfer the rest of your tracks, six at a time. Everything should remain perfectly sync‘ed.


Although this can work to transfer tracks both digitally and analog at the same time, it seems to me there'd be issues.

1- Routing 4 individual analog output from the VS - would you be forced to use the AUX outs in order to send 4 mono, individual tracks? You couldn't simply use the mains for 2 and the monitor for 2 more.... just asking, since I don't have the experience with that setup??

2- If using the direct outs for the 4 analog outputs as I had suggested, I'm pretty certain that you would not be able to also use the digital simultaneously for the next 2. I don't think the 1880 will allow both in that routing setup.

The other thing I'm trying to avoid by using only the direct outs method is bypassing the VS preamps. In the digital/analog method, you involve a layer of the 1880 track mixer processing.

On the other hand, if you want processing from the 1880 (eq, fx, fader levels, etc.) then this would definitely allow you to include those with the dual output setup.
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#1783373 - 04/05/22 02:46 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 298
You can route pretty much anything to everything. See VS1880 Owner’s Manual, pages 68 (LOL) and onward. The labels are all but irrelevant. There are buses, and there are outputs.

The four analog plus two digital option is the fastest, for this setup. An all analog or all digital transfer is possible, although the former seems like an undesirable option, to me. But that‘s me.

The VS preamps are inconsequential, as we‘re leaving the VS, not entering it. The VS D/A converters are a consideration. The all-digital option bypasses those, too.

If you want processing from the VS, do it on the VS first, then transfer. One step at a time.

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#1783405 - 04/05/22 04:01 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: gyorpb]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 9081
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 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
You can route pretty much anything to everything. See VS1880 Owner’s Manual, pages 68 (LOL) and onward. The labels are all but irrelevant. There are buses, and there are outputs.


Okay – I would need to spend some time experimenting with various output routings to better understand what can and can’t be done on my own 1680 (essentially the same as the 1880 for this purpose). So I have some testing to do one of these days soon, I see.

 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The four analog plus two digital option is the fastest, for this setup. An all analog or all digital transfer is possible, although the former seems like an undesirable option, to me. But that’s me.


I would say it’s no faster than the direct outs, which doesn’t require much thought process – but to each his own….. The all analog through the direct outputs may not be the quality equivalent of the all digital (marginally so in my experience), but it’s certainly faster (up to 8-ch at once vs. 2-ch at best with digital only) and simple to set up.

 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The VS preamps are inconsequential, as we‘re leaving the VS, not entering it. The VS D/A converters are a consideration. The all-digital option bypasses those, too.


I probably misspoke – I meant that the direct output routing bypasses the track mixer (which involves the VS processing paths) – not the input preamps. Yes, the D/A conversion would be a consideration, as opposed to an all-digital method. I’ve addressed my opinion in the above comments, as in my own experience, the analog direct out method was completely acceptable (maybe because of the MTP mode recordings? – the only 24 bit mode in the 1680) and transferring up to 8 tracks in a single pass was also much faster and easier to set up.

 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
If you want processing from the VS, do it on the VS first, then transfer. One step at a time.


Maybe you could explain why you feel this way. I don’t see any advantage, unless I wanted processed tracks to send through the direct outs, or in dealing with the complexities of routing mono tracks with stereo effects – which would necessitate the transferring of fewer tracks at a time, regardless of whether the processing was “printed” beforehand or not.
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#1783687 - 04/06/22 05:49 PM Re: Outputting VS1880 Audio to DAI [Re: uptildawn]
gyorpb Offline
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Registered: 05/11/19
Posts: 298
 Originally Posted By: uptildawn
 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The four analog plus two digital option is the fastest, for this setup. An all analog or all digital transfer is possible, although the former seems like an undesirable option, to me. But that’s me.
I would say it’s no faster than the direct outs, which doesn’t require much thought process – but to each his own….. The all analog through the direct outputs may not be the quality equivalent of the all digital (marginally so in my experience), but it’s certainly faster (up to 8-ch at once vs. 2-ch at best with digital only) and simple to set up.
For this setup. Having eight outputs is inconsequential, as the Studio 68C has inly four analog inputs, and two digital. Six is more than four. The hybrid solution is fastest.
 Quote:
 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
The VS preamps are inconsequential, as we‘re leaving the VS, not entering it. The VS D/A converters are a consideration. The all-digital option bypasses those, too.
I probably misspoke – I meant that the direct output routing bypasses the track mixer (which involves the VS processing paths) – not the input preamps.
The VS is an all-digital mixer. What isn‘t used, doesn‘t affect the signal.
 Quote:
 Originally Posted By: gyorpb
If you want processing from the VS, do it on the VS first, then transfer. One step at a time.
Maybe you could explain why you feel this way. I don’t see any advantage, […]
Reduce points of failure. Keep it simple.

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