Recording Using Inserts & Outboard Gear – An AMS Guide

Outboard Gear

Home Recording Using Inserts & Outboard Gear

The one thing that unites all musicians is recording. Every musician will want to record themselves at one point or another. Knowing the basics of recording gear will help you capture your performance. Whether you are just practicing and wanting to monitor your progress, or recording your music to give to your fans, there are many different recording options. You will have to dive into the basics of recording equipment to understand how to record at home.

Gone are the days when musicians needed to save up in order to book time at a professional recording studio. Due to the advances in technology and price reduction in home recording equipment, using a computer is now the most popular way to record your music at home. Furthermore, when recording you have the option of utilizing software and/or outboard gear.  Do you want to go analog or digital? There is no right or wrong, it is more personal preference.

Utilizing Inserts and Outboard Gear

So what exactly is a hybrid studio? Well, a hybrid system or hybrid studio is a recording setup where the DAW is the central hub of the studio. The difference is that the hardware and software are configured in a way that you can patch in or insert hardware to add a little extra. On a standard console, the insert is a connection in a channel path in which you can insert external hardware. Recording using insert points is a lot like an effects loop on a guitar amp. Where you have a send and a return and it allows you to insert an effects processor in series in the signal chain. It is the same exact idea but on a mixing console. Using an insert point you can add a number of different features where it is needed. Adding a full channel strip of preamp, EQ, and compressor.  For example, you can insert a compressor in the mix so you will have a full channel of the compressor.  This can be used for live performances as well as recording.  It is a great tool to expand both your recording and performance setup.

Recording using inserts and outboard signal processors is a very common practice in both home and professional studios. Why you may ask?  Well, the answer is simple really, they offer the best of both worlds. When using software and hardware you can utilize the best features of both. Then it is possible to get the pinnacle of a recording. There are some advantages to both options.

Wrap Up

Some closing thoughts on recording using inserts and outboard gear, I think it is a great option.  Some of the gear shown in the video would be a great place to start. Items like the Audient ASP880 and the Universal Audio Apollo Twin can be used together to increase the number of potential outputs. Also featured in this video is a Manley Enhanced Stereo Pultec EQP-1A.

You can add in different layers directly into the mix by utilizing inserts and outboard gear. The best part of all of this again is that you can utilize inserts both live and when recording.

Outboard Gear

Outboard Gear



Outboard Gear





Click Here to hear from the master of mastering Phil Nicolo

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