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#2976573 - 02/19/19 03:19 PM What's the most 'un-assuming' but useful hardware you own!
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Edit: Share any piece of pro Audio hardware that people hardly notice when they walk into your studio, or maybe even a popular gear that you personally use in a VERY unique way! It'd be nice if you provide some details.

Roland VP-7

It's a small 'discontinued' vocal processor. Roland didn't offer a new replacement so probably wasn't all that popular. For me though, it was the best $700? I've ever spent!

I work with many small and big choirs on regular basis. There are always singers who can't read sheet music but have a good ear. Time and budget is always an issue, so for new songs I tried sending them backing tracks ahead of time. It kind of helped as they had an idea how the melody goes for their part, but instrumental melodies can't help with lyrics for more challenging phrases. For a while, I used to meet with vocalists and record one singer for each individual part. That really helped everybody else but it was time consuming for me. I still had to get a number of singers to learn the part and then schedule sessions to record each person.

VP7 completely solved this problem for me. Once I'm done with the arrangement, I export and import it into Pro Tools as a midi file. Say I have this SSATTB arrangement with each part on its own track. The VP7 is midi'ed to Pro Tools, so I can send the output of the midi track to the VP7. I turn the mix knob all the way down so there's no trace of my voice but Roland's choir presets only. The VP7 gets the pitch information from the midi track, and the lyrics and dynamic info from me and in turn it generates audio that I could also record into Pro Tools. I repeat the process for each individual voice, and within minutes my backing tracks are ready to be e-mailed.

I only use these tracks for reference so I don't care about the recording fidelity. Certain sounds such as "Sh" and "Kh" (Like Bach in German/Hebrew/Arabic) don't come out well if you assign the mix knob all the way to Harmony...but that's not a problem. I can always attach the pdf for lyrics and sheet music if anybody needs them.

Thanks to Roland, I get to use that valuable rehearsal time for actual rehearsal and not learning parts. It really cuts down on rehearsal time and I can even use them as backing track for recording real singers as well.

I wonder if there are better vocoders with better human sounding quality these days?



Edited by Sam CA (02/19/19 04:44 PM)
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#2976579 - 02/19/19 04:11 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Sam CA]
elsongs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/15/11
Posts: 336
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
"Under $1K" -- new price or used price?

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#2976581 - 02/19/19 04:33 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: elsongs]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: elsongs
"Under $1K" -- new price or used price?


Yeah, putting a price doesn't make sense. I'll edit the first post right now.
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#2976617 - 02/20/19 01:28 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Sam CA]
marczellm Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 893
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
That's a very nice innovative use of hardware. I like it!
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#2976620 - 02/20/19 02:18 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: marczellm]
djdisbro Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/17
Posts: 17
Loc: GA
Behringer XR18 Air / Cantabile VST Host

When used as an Audio Interface, the XR18 presents itself to the computer as 18 separate Ins and Outs. Each channel on the mixer can then be selected to use the front panel connections or the USB channel for an input. Using the USB option for the channels, I then set-up the audio ports in Cantabile. Each virtual instrument then gets it's output routed to it's own separate stereo pair input on the XR18.

1/2: Pianoteq Stage
2/4: VB3 II
3/4: Velvet EP
5/6: Lounge Lizard EP
7/8: Arturia Mini
9/10: OP-X Pro II
11/12: Arturia Continental & Farfisa
13/14: Dexed
15/16: Not USB. Audio output from Juno DS88
17/18: Computer audio for playing background music/practice.


Edited by djdisbro (02/20/19 02:24 AM)
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#2976640 - 02/20/19 06:32 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: djdisbro]
Wastrel Offline
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Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 2781
Loc: Los Angeles
Three SM58's. Two for the Leslie, and one for vocals.
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#2976645 - 02/20/19 06:40 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Wastrel]
WesG Offline
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Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3552
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
Jesus, unassuming but useful? I'd have to go with my collection of microphone cords? grin
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#2976646 - 02/20/19 06:43 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: WesG]
jimkost2002 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 1213
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Radial Key Largo
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#2976650 - 02/20/19 07:03 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: jimkost2002]
TommyS Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 623
Loc: SoCal
My Road Ready ATA flight case ,,, the most important piece of gear I have,,,

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#2976660 - 02/20/19 07:56 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: TommyS]
mcgoo Offline
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Registered: 11/03/07
Posts: 2471
Loc: Indianapolis
PV IA 8410 8 channel Balancing amps. I've got 4 of them (only 3 in use right now). Turns all my unbalanced lines into balanced lines & keeps those nasty hums away. Nothing exciting on the front panel, no one ever notices them, but they make me happy. Unassuming = boring here, but that doesn't lessen the value.
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#2976666 - 02/20/19 08:13 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: WesG]
Sam CA Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/05/18
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: WesG
Jesus, unassuming but useful? I'd have to go with my collection of microphone cords? grin


You mean you plug the mic cords into microphones? No way!!!
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#2976667 - 02/20/19 08:20 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Sam CA]
Legatoboy Offline
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Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 4027
Loc: Huntington Sta., New York (LI)
Key Largo +1
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#2976670 - 02/20/19 08:33 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Legatoboy]
stoken6 Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2134
Rolls PM351. Allows me to sit in with virtually any band and ensure I can hear myself in any circumstance.

Cheers, Mike
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#2976672 - 02/20/19 08:36 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: stoken6]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
Posts: 1272
Loc: Center Moriches, NY
K&M 18880 keyboard stand with 18881 stacker arms. Lightweight, sturdy, and sets up in a minute.
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#2976677 - 02/20/19 09:35 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Al Quinn]
Sam Mullins Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 1467
Loc: Iowa City, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
K&M 18880 keyboard stand with 18881 stacker arms. Lightweight, sturdy, and sets up in a minute.


Same here....but in the interest of adding something new:

SurgeX SA1810 power conditioner. Not cheap, but worth it for piece of mind. (plus it can be used as a weapon in a pinch wink )


Edited by Sam Mullins (02/20/19 09:40 AM)
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#2976679 - 02/20/19 09:52 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Sam Mullins]
hardware Offline
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Loc: Nevada
SE-02
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#2976680 - 02/20/19 10:07 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: hardware]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 1138
Loc: West Virginia
An Alto TX-8 serves as my side-fill stage monitor. It fits in very tight spaces, and it's loud enough that I've lent the other one to our drummer as an itty-bitty floor wedge.
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#2976683 - 02/20/19 10:41 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Tom Williams]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2681
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Behringer XR18. Radial Key Largo. Both punch way above their class, and don't look like much.
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Keys: NP2, NS3C
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Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18

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#2976694 - 02/20/19 11:40 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: cphollis]
Ian Benhamou Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 1567
Loc: Montreal, Quebec
My pair of QSC10’s. Whether used as a stereo keyboard amp, mono amp for small stage or rehearsal, monitor for keys, acoustic guitar and vocal or as a PA system for smaller gigs owning those speakers has been the most useful piece of gear I’ve ever purchased.
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#2976695 - 02/20/19 11:48 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Ian Benhamou]
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Posts: 19997
Loc: Thousand Oaks,CA,UNITED STATES
RockNRoller cart. love boing twothumbs

dB
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#2976696 - 02/20/19 11:49 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Ian Benhamou]
Sundown Offline
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Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 1199
Loc: UNITED STATES
Probably my Samson 1/4” patch bay. I bought it a couple of years ago and I wish I bought it decades ago. I record direct from my synths to my audio interface and I can quickly route hardware as needed. I also record a lot in mono, so I can drop a channel quickly if needed.

The other thing you would notice is the absence of a computer. I use video and USB extension cables to keep the tower in the adjacent room. If you want a quiet studio, get the computer out of the room.
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Just Finished: Condensation; Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
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#2976697 - 02/20/19 11:51 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Ian Benhamou]
JoJoB3 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/04/13
Posts: 418
Taking the pup for a walk we stopped by a thrift shop. Saw a Yamaha P70 w one busted key for $30.
So far approx $2,475 made from it's use (and still going...minus $20 some odd dollars for new key set).

Lightest of all my large items (and sounds fine, feels great).

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#2976699 - 02/20/19 11:57 AM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: djdisbro]
JoJoB3 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/04/13
Posts: 418
Hey, I picked up an XR18 (and I use VI's thru Cantabile 3). Didn't consider using this way. Would you mind listing (here or PM) how you set it up for this? What kind of latency are you seeing with it?

Originally Posted By: djdisbro
Behringer XR18 Air / Cantabile VST Host

When used as an Audio Interface, the XR18 presents itself to the computer as 18 separate Ins and Outs. Each channel on the mixer can then be selected to use the front panel connections or the USB channel for an input. Using the USB option for the channels, I then set-up the audio ports in Cantabile. Each virtual instrument then gets it's output routed to it's own separate stereo pair input on the XR18.

1/2: Pianoteq Stage
2/4: VB3 II
3/4: Velvet EP
5/6: Lounge Lizard EP
7/8: Arturia Mini
9/10: OP-X Pro II
11/12: Arturia Continental & Farfisa
13/14: Dexed
15/16: Not USB. Audio output from Juno DS88
17/18: Computer audio for playing background music/practice.

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#2976701 - 02/20/19 12:05 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: JoJoB3]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 2142
Loc: Florida
My $39 Behringer p2 could not have been better designed for my IEM purposes if I had been in charge of it. Takes a TRS input, I get a TRS out from the mixer (two monitor mixes combined, which lets me pan.) Two AAA batteries, and I've been using the first two for five gigs now without replacing them.

Love my rock 'n roller cart. My only regret is going for years without it on some really long treks (and before I went IEMs, which meant a big heavy powered speaker!)

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#2976705 - 02/20/19 12:16 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: cphollis]
The Real MC Offline
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Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 5474
Loc: Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
JL Cooper MSB+ programmable MIDI Patchbay. Came from the early days of MIDI but they got it so right. Essential tool in a large MIDI system.

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#2976709 - 02/20/19 12:24 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: The Real MC]
analogika Offline
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Registered: 10/15/17
Posts: 237
Loc: Germany
Lehle P-Split.

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#2976712 - 02/20/19 12:33 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: analogika]
Delaware Dave Offline
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Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 3330
Loc: Take a guess ....
Neo Ventilator. Can't be seen but what an effective piece of gear. Just the opposite would be when I used the Motion Sound Low Pro/Pro 3T. Looked like a mini-leslie and people would always be amused by the drum and horn spinning. I would put a light behind it so that both could be seen spinning.
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#2976734 - 02/20/19 03:19 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: Delaware Dave]
David Emm Offline
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Registered: 09/14/12
Posts: 1371
Loc: Solder Huffer's Gulch
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. My previous interface was a buggy POS I won't slag by name, but this one has been a champ from the start. I mostly use it with a USB controller because I am now a DAW creature, but it takes my occasional mixer or direct Korg use happily. If I ever need physical MIDI ports again, I'll upgrade to a bigger Scarlett model. The 2i2 has been 100% solid.
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#2976736 - 02/20/19 03:40 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: David Emm]
Tonysounds Offline
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Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 8826
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I STILL want a VP7.

Unassuming yet MVP:
any of my Ventilators.
my Strymon El Capistan.

My $99 tri=wheels "up a curb" hand truck.
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#2976742 - 02/20/19 03:57 PM Re: Name one under 1k gear you wouldn't/couldn't live without! [Re: The Real MC]
Sundown Offline
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Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 1199
Loc: UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: The Real MC
JL Cooper MSB+ programmable MIDI Patchbay. Came from the early days of MIDI but they got it so right. Essential tool in a large MIDI system.


Hang onto it... Hard to find. Hell, it's hard to find an 8-in/8-out MIDI interface anymore. They would have to claw my Midisport 8x8 out of my dead hands.
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Just Finished: Condensation; Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
DAW Platform: Cubase

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