Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

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jlizerbram
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Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by jlizerbram » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:10 pm

Hi Taxi Forum friends,

In many ways, I love the holidays. In other ways, I get stressed out during the holidays because my family and I travel far from home to see friends/family for several days. This takes me away from my "Swiss Cheese" approach to finding time to write and record instrumentals (I can't remember who came up with that, but I think I heard Keith Lubrant, Russell Landwehr, Dean Krippaehne and Chuck Schlacter reference that phrase a few times at the Road Rally, meaning to carve out holes in my day to write). So far, the Swiss Cheese approach has been working great for me for when at home.

When travelling, I will still have some downtime, but my home rig will not be accessible. I'm looking for a good recording rig that can be taken anywhere. I am a Sonar user, so PC-based it is (Windows 10). Any good recommendations on small audio interfaces and midi keyboards? I already have a nice laptop with plenty of RAM and Disk Space, where I will load my VIs. Just need the audio interface and midi keys that I can take on the road - I think that would be it.

Let me know what you use, or what you think might work great for the road! Thank you!

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by Paulie » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:43 pm

Are you looking to record live instruments and voice, or just for a keyboard to trigger your libraries? I use the Korg Nano Keyboard when traveling, I even use it on the airplane.

I've not recorded live instruments yet while traveling, but I'm on a Mac and would recommend iRig for that.
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jlizerbram
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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by jlizerbram » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi Paulie,
Are you looking to record live instruments and voice, or just for a keyboard to trigger your libraries?
Just a keyboard to trigger libraries, and may want to plug a guitar perhaps (or mic it). But most of my work on the road might have to be all "in-box" with headphones, just to keep it quiet in the homes we stay. I was looking at the following:

Presonus AudioBox USB http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioBoxUSB
Korg microKEY2 - 37-key http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/microKEY237 (and use an existing small sustain pedal I already have).

I trust Presonus and Korg products because I already own them. Not sure if there are better options out there.

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by mojobone » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:01 am

I have one of these: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MPKmini2 I don't know that I'd want to use it on an airplane with a laptop; between that and headphones, it's probably too much to juggle on a tray table. A better bet might be a Bluetooth headset and an iPad. It might be nice if the iPad responded to velocity/pressure-maybe the iPad Pro will be able to do that at some point. If I needed real power for mixing and editing on the go (and I really usually don't) I'd probably invest in a Microsoft Surface and a MOTU MicroBookIIc as a bare minimum recording/mixing solution.

My mobile recording rig is a Zoom H4N and a pair of Gauge SDCs in X/Y on a stereo bar; generally, I take a two-mix from the board and use the room SDCs (on a tall boom stand) for fill. For jazz or orchestral mobile work I use a Toshiba laptop, an external USB3 hard drive, an Antelope Zen Studio and a selection of microphones.
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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by funsongs » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:22 am

I don't have a home studio set up yet - not a techy (I do have the gear in-place, but haven't dared turn on GarageBand yet!).
BUT - like Mojo - I own a Zoom H4n, and recently recorded a friends' band at an outdoor gig (slightly windy, so I placed a handkerchief over the little stereo mics);
and on one pair of AA batteries captured 29 songs (3-4+ minutes each).

Standing only about 10 feet from the bandstand, the mp3 files from that handheld machine - of the gig, sound amazing... and 'nearly' CD quality.
That's my story - for what it's worth - and I'm sticking to it...
and now I get to enjoy listening to those songs in my iTunes files; and, burned to a 2-disc set, in my car! :? :)

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by Russell Landwehr » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:30 pm

Heya, Jeff.

It looks like you are on the right track with that PreSonus interface and MicroKey. If you are going to use any in-the-box amps for your guitar, I'd like to suggest the MOTU Z-Box http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ZBox

BTW, yeah, I mentioned the "Swiss cheese" method.... as an alternative to the way I prefer to do things. 8-)

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by jlizerbram » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:40 pm

Very cool suggestions. Thank you for the recommendation, Russell. Looks like the Motu is a cool piece of gear, whether mobile or in studio.

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by jlizerbram » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:18 pm

Well, it happened. Purchased the Presonus Audiobox and a Midiplus AKM320 keyboard. Since I already own Sonar Platinum, and some libraries from Spectrasonics and EW, transferring to a mobile platform was very easy in terms of licensing. Along with a USB hub, total purchase came out to $170.00 for all! Now I can enjoy my "Swiss Cheese" time when out of town! Entire rig fits easily in a backpack. Psyched!!

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Re: Seeking Recommendations for PORTABLE studio components

Post by mojobone » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:46 pm

Bravo to all, and here's to happy endings! [CLINK]
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