The first era of the studio started with an old Teac 5 analog mixer and a four-track Tascam cassette porta-studio. The noisy old Teac mixer was eventually superseded by a much nicer Soundcraft Spirit mixer; the porta-studio with ADATs, as digital technology came creeping into the studio. And we mixed a great many projects during the first era.
But digital technology was calling. And the second era of the studio came when we bought a used Mackie d8b mixer, which made all of our old analog outboard gear essentially obsolete. So we disposed of the majority of the analog gear, gradually accumulated a lot of new digital gear, and mixed some more projects.
And then I started recording projects in Cubase instead of on an ADAT. And you could do many wondrous things with Cubase and still mix it with the Mackie d8b.
Or you could mix it directly in Cubase. And I started doing that, which eventually reduced the d8b to the status of the world's largest Big Knob. I even bought an interface so I could use my old digital gear directly while mixing in Cubase. And I was feeling like the d8b served less and less purpose here, except it was the thing that was converting my digital signals to an analog feed to my speakers so I could actually hear what I was doing.
I was swapping e-mail with mysticfig about how best to re-rig my current studio configuration. At some point during the very useful discussion, he pointed out that I could just get a nice computer interface and switch over to using that as the core of the studio along with Cubase.
Well, yes. Yes, I could.
So the new interface is installed and working nicely. I can still transfer recordings between the ADATs and Cubase, which is handy, as I have portable rigs that record to ADAT tape still. Heck, I can even transfer stuff from the old four-track cassette tapes if I need to.
And it was time for the d8b to go.
So yesterday, I drove up to the Wisconsin border and handed the d8b off to a nice fellow who will give it a good home next to his existing d8b which has been a bit cranky lately.
And the second era of our studio is over.
The third era has begun.
We'll see what it sounds like. :)