View Full Version : a HARD decision on my setup...help!
I hate it when I feel that I have made a simple method complicated. Here is my struggle:
Just got myself more involved in PC recording, and bought a soundcard (Audiophile 2496) and a Mixer (Behringer MX2004A). I pretty much work on recording stuff on my own, and even with a band, recording seperately is always easier for us.
Situation: I find myself not touching the mixer much, it sure helps me to organize cables and combine tracks when I record more than 2 tracks at a time (Audiophile only has 2 in's)
Question now is: Do I even need my mixer?
I think I can easily do exactually what I am doing right now without the mixer+soundcard and get a MOTU 828 or Digi 001 to replace my soundcard and mixer.
*For those of you who have a mixer on your desktop, can you please tell me why you have a mixer sitting on your desktop, and what you do with it?
I figure the mixer+soundcard I have cost about the same as a used 828 on eBay. So, why not let the mighty "MOTU" handle 2 not-so-respected gears' jobs. It just seems more reliable and simplier.
Please, please let me know what you all think. This has been irritating for me to think about every day.
01-24-2002, 11:45 AM
THE REASON YOU SEE MOST DESKTOP SYSTEMS WITH A MIXER HAS TO DO WITH LATENCY. WITH COMPUTER BASED SYSTEMS THERE IS A DELAY IN THE SIGNAL FROM THE SOUNDCARD TO THE COMPUTER THE FROM THE COMPUTER TO THE SOUNDCARD BACK TO THE ANALOG OUTS. THIS MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO MONITOR SIGNALS WHEN OVER DUBBING. A MIXER ALLOWS YOU TO MONITOR YOUR SIGNAL FROM THE SOURCE INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO THE DELAYED SIGNAL OF THE SOUND CARD.
Many people do use a mixer to avoid latency problems when overdubbing. I use mine mainly when tracking drums...I need all those mic preamps. But many people do use them mainly for monitoring and basic routing (although when I'm recording keyboards I always go straight into my recording interface, rather than through the mixer...I try to keep the signal path as clean as possible). I'd say if you don't find yourself recording more tracks and are able to get an 828 to replace what you've got, go for it...it'll certainly be a step up in quality. Also, the 828 has the ability to route the inputs you're recording through directly to the monitor outputs so you don't have have any latency when you're overdubbing. Pretty slick.
I now get your point about latency, but, I am still getting a very noticiable latency when I try dubbing a track over another on Sonar, well, I should say I hear a note repeating twice when I am only playing one note.
This might have to do with the way I setup my stuff, or the setup in Sonar/soundcard. Here is my setup:
Sound source->Mixer input
Mixer alt 3-4 outs->soundcard
Soundcard outs->Mixer as one stereo channel
Mixer main outs->Monitors
So, everything is going out of the mixer and coming back again from the PC. Is this wrong? I set it up this way so I can monitor when I record and after.
One more thing, how do out board plug-ins fit in the gear chain here? Lots people say record dry and add effects later. Do they send out seperate tracks after they got recorded from the soundcard, thru an out board plug-in then back in the soundcard? Looks like a big circle to me.....
Thanks alot for your replies.
01-28-2002, 12:06 PM
People use a mixer for the EQ in their front end. Like getting the vocals and instruments just the way you want them to sound before laying on tape or vtape.
01-29-2002, 08:05 AM
Ahhh, the why did I buy a mixer question? This is often asked by the new DAW owner.
I too asked this question. I originally purchased the Makcie d8b and then about two years later I purchased MOTU`s Digital Performer and Audio Desk. There are certain things a mixer can do that make your life easier. If your studio is like mine then you can use your mixer for MIDI instruments where it is not unusual to use 24 trakcs for just the MIDI stuff. In addition to this, how nice is it to know that I do not have to worry about my computer giving all of its memory and RAM to keeping up with an eq or compressor on each DAW track. using a mixer allows you to run individual as well as group tracks (sub mixes) to two tracks on your mixer and compress, eq, gate, add efx, whatever w/ out your computer going nuts.
The other advantage is say you have ADATs or other MDM. You can run you MDM tracks along with your DAW tracks and not only give yourself more tracks but flexibility.
Finally, the last option is you are capable of using alot of outboard gear you would not have been able to use had you not had a mixer.
The first thing you need to do is figure out how you work. Then ask yourself, "With what I have, what are the possibilities?" The truth is you can get along without a mixer but how far can you get?
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