Buying A Used Audio Interface? Buyer Beware

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There’s a lot of audio interfaces out there on the used market. It can be really tempting to consider buying an interface that used to cost a lot of money ($500, $1,500, etc) for a cheap price ($150). Most of them work perfectly fine and are in great condition.

The problem? They either don’t have modern connection types (such as using obsolete FireWire) and / or there’s no drivers for them for current operating systems (macOS or Windows) and / or they’re not compatible with your current DAW.

The seller is selling for a reason

Ever wonder why some people with music studio hardware use old versions of operating systems and DAW’s? It’s likely because a piece of hardware only works with older software, likely their audio interface.

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Installing A Relay Switch For Music Studio Hardware

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I had a need to install a relay switch in the studio. I’ll discuss what is a relay is, why I’m installing it and how you can install one too.

What’s a relay?

A relay is a cool little box that has an electromagnetic switch in it. Relays have four to five wires. Ignore the fifth, red wire for now. Two wires you connect to a power (or ground) source you want to turn on / off. The other two wires you connect to a different powered source. When the other power source turns on, it turns on the relay switch.

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Reason: Using Ableton Push As A Universal Controller

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This is gonna’ be the most detailed review / talking piece about using the Ableton Push with Reason you’ll ever find. So let’s start this by asking; what is a universal controller? A universal controller is a physical hardware device (“USB controller”) that allows you to control every aspect of a device. A universal controller typically won’t have as many buttons as the virtual device they’re controlling, they’ll have different “banks” of parameters and, if that isn’t enough, different “pages” of banks.

This is what the Ableton Push has. It can control eight things at a time per bank and has access to eight banks at a time, with additional (practically unlimited) pages of banks. So, using this method, a universal controller like the Push can control as many different buttons, knobs, sliders and whatever a device has.

In short, the purpose of a universal controller is to physically control every aspect of a device.

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Reason: Custom PusheR Remote Maps

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[Updated 04/29/2019] I created some custom virtual rack device remote map code for RetouchControl’s PusheR and PusheR2 software, which allows the Ableton Push (versions 1 and 2) to be used as a universal controller in Reason.

In order to control a virtual device in Reason (i.e. Synchronous) with PusheR and the Ableton Push universal USB hardware controller, the remote map of PusheR needs to have code written for that virtual device.

There’s some devices RetouchControl didn’t include remote maps for (originally or still currently). I ended up creating some myself (i.e. Hydronexious) or I fixed / improved existing devices (i.e Thor). This page exists for those who want improvements and tweaks using their Push hardware with Reason.

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Apple Music: Don’t Use The “Add To Library” Function

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I don’t get the whole “Add to library” function of Apple Music or similar streaming platforms. See, I always add things to a playlist. I keep my playlists organized like genres (and also share them publicly). So when I’m adding music to my collection, I never select “Add to library”, it’s always “Add to playlist”.

Adding to library is like throwing clothes in a pile

To me, it makes no sense selecting “add to library”.  Many of you may do this, but here’s the scenario; I hear a song I like, got a chill-out vibe and I select “Add to library” instead of “Add to playlist”.  Later on, I wanna’ listen to that chill-out song again or organize that song into a playlist or something. It was just one song by one artist.

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Reason: How To Use Multiple BCF2000’s

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A while ago, I had bought two Behringer BCF2000 mixers with the intention of using them as a 16 channel mixer. I found they wouldn’t “cascade” like they do in other DAW’s, contacted both Behringer and Propellerhead and they both said it couldn’t be done. I even looked into it, saw even the remote map file didn’t support it and wrote a blog post titled “Using Multiple BCF2000’s Can’t Be Done”. Miguel Catalão then left a comment on how it could be done and recorded a video just for this post.

The process

This isn’t an easy method and I can’t personally vouch for it as I no longer have multiple BCF2000’s. The secret apparently lies in Miguel’s ability to figure out how to make the BCF2000’s act independently from one another instead of mirroring the same fader bank currently in focus.

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My Entire Personal Music Collection Is On Apple Music

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I’ve had my personal music collection on Spotify, but I’ve switched to Apple Music a while ago and I couldn’t share my personal music collection playlists the same way on Apple Music. But now I can. I’m @mixerjaexx on Apple Music and @mixerjaexx on Spotify.

List of public playlists on Apple Music

Here’s the list of playlists that I have on Apple Music. They’re in genre format as that’s how I listen to my music.

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Producers Who Own Multiple Keyboards But No Mixer?

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One thing I’ve never understood is the tendency for people who produce music to own all these music accessories, such as multiple MIDI keyboards, but not own a single mixer (control surface). It’s understandable if someone has limited hardware and doesn’t have a mixer, but that’s not the case for so many people.

Throwin’ money in all the wrong directions

Like take a look at this random person’s studio setup. They’ve clearly thrown money at all these music toys; they have three keyboards that appear to be very expensive. Just one of those keyboards probably costs three times as much as my one keyboard. And let’s not ignore the fact the main keyboard’s highest octave keys are inaccessible under the table.

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Recording artist & producer.