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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Mixer for studio

Trumpetguy7

So I've been thinking about what I want to do. I've decided to use an anolog mixer---->AlesisHD24---->back to mixer to mixdown.
I've been looking at consoles that aren't so expensive. The toft audio 24 is made for recording. However, it seems confusing to me, having to use the same channels I used to track, to mixdown.
To me, it's easier to use a standard 32 channel mixer. 24 channels dedicated to mixdown and the extra 8 channels can be for recording. I don't see myself ever needing more than 8 channels at one time to record something.
Am I missing out on something? Is a recording console like the ATB24 or old Mackie 8 bus better than using a larger console? Anyone out there know what I'm trying to say? I hope so! HAHAHA
May 15, 2010 @06:31am
roundhill

If you don't mind patching, a 24 channel mixer would work with the HD24. For example, if you're recording drums with 8 channels, does the drummer need to hear the other 16 tracks while recording? Just plug in what you need and unplug tracks you don't while building the tracks. Then when it's time to mix all outputs on the HD24 would go into the board. And would you use 24 tracks on every song?
That Toft board looks sweet.
May 15, 2010 @12:20pm
Trumpetguy7

I would not use all 24 tracks on every song but I still want to leave that option open incase I do stuff like double parts and stuff like that.
Repatching sounds like a pain. Could I do something like get a 32 channel mixer....then have 24 channels always dedicated for playback....and 8 channels dedicated for recording? Would that work?
The MAIN question I have is........ Is an in-line mixer better for this such as the Mackie 8 bus or ATB24? That seems kind of complicated also but I want to go the route which ever is the BEST and not necessarily the easiest.
May 15, 2010 @08:07pm
jpleong

It sounds like you're just afraid of the in-line feature? Don't be. Like you said, re-patching is a nightmare and in-line consoles make life a ton easier. In-line consoles just mean you push a button and it switches to the tape return as the input rather than the mic/line preamp. Otherwise, you'd have to look at a 48-channel console to accommodate all your tape returns, 32 wouldn't be enough unless you're only planning on maxing out at 16-inputs.
Why the HD24-based system? I have one, too, but I only use it for location recording. At home and in the studio I use a computer (just got an 896mk3 which is very nice!).
JP
May 16, 2010 @03:59am
Trumpetguy7

I want to use outboard gear. It fascinates me to mix down old school. I'll still have my MacBook pro whenever needed. It also seems cheaper to start before buying a bunch of effects n stuff. Am I wrong in doing this?
Is there a better way to do this? I also want to hear from those people who USE this Alesis HD24. Is it hard to overdub and do the punch ins?
May 16, 2010 @08:39pm
jpleong

I want to use outboard gear. It fascinates me to mix down old school. I'll still have my MacBook pro whenever needed. It also seems cheaper to start before buying a bunch of effects n stuff. Am I wrong in doing this?
Is there a better way to do this? I also want to hear from those people who USE this Alesis HD24. Is it hard to overdub and do the punch ins?

Punch-ins on the HD24 are not hard. If I recall correctly, there's a footswitch jack to help you do that in addition to punch facilities on the included LRC. The nice thing is that the HD24 is very much like a tape machine. The bad thing is that the HD24 is very much like a tape machine. That means the signal flow is very logical and linear and is very hard to confuse when working with it. The downside is that you'll find yourself shuttling a lot if you have any long length of material. Transferring the tracks to computer is very nice, since all the track files are the same length so it syncs up easily.
The only real concern I have with the HD24 is the upcoming disappearance of the IDE standard which the unit is built upon. There are reported workarounds but they aren't "official" by any means.
If you're a "desk" kind of guy and have good outboard gear there are very few other ways to go in this price-range. My only suggestion is to get an XR version as it has better converters than the stock HD24.
JP
May 17, 2010 @02:41pm
Trumpetguy7

I'll find myself shuttling alot? What does that mean?
I'll have the firewire thing ready to transfer if I ever need to for whatever reason.
Disappearance of IDE standard? I don't know what you're talking about there.
I'm debating whether to keep it in the box or mix out of the box using an anolog board.
I currently have a macbook pro with 2gb of Ram but it can be upgraded to 4gb. I also have an Apogee Duet and I'm using Garage Band. That Duet sounds amazing.
So I'm thinking either ONE: Apogee Ensemble, which is 8 channel but only has 4 preamps which means I need 4 outside preamps, Control surface(which can be expensive also) and Logic Express.
OR TWO: Alesis HD24- analog board and little by little gather up outboard gear like compressors, reverbs, delays etc. Alesis Masterlink(which I've tried cuz the church has one and I like it alot.)
Number 2 just sounds like a lot more fun when the time comes to mix...plus I like the idea of being able to see the eq, compressor knobs, reverbs, bussing things and adding more effects etc. I like that I can see them and twist knobs like the panning as well....instead of doing nearly EVERYTHING in the computer which can one day be outdated and not be enough power and such. Then I still have the option of using my Apogee Duet for small projects or for portability, then just transfering at home to HD24 so I can mixdown on the analog board.
Either way... I know I'm gonna spend money and lots of it(little by little) which is why I want to be decided on which way to go.
Does anyone out there still mixdown using anolog boards while having a computer ready for more processing or other duties?
May 17, 2010 @07:48pm
Trumpetguy7

HEY!
Can I use the Ensemble kinda like the HD24?
Bring up to 8 channels at a time into the computer then bring 8 channels (bussed up) back to a little analog mixer to mixdown? That wouldn't make much sense though. It wouldn't be as fun. Or would it?
May 17, 2010 @08:00pm
Ted

I'm not sure whether you'd find what you're talking about with the Ensemble to be more or less fun, but it's certainly possible and people do it all the time...not just with the Ensemble but with multichannel recording interfaces in general. People do it with mixers, or with outboard preamps on the front end and dedicated summing mixers (like the Dangerous stuff) on the mixdown end.
May 17, 2010 @08:06pm
jpleong

I'll find myself shuttling alot? What does that mean?

The HD24 acts like tape so you'll be using the transport controls (REW/FF) to get to different sections of the song (this is referred to as "shuttling"). There's limited support for location markers (more so if you add the BRC) so working on a large song with a lot of different points of editing can be tedious. Not at all unlike a tape-based system.

I'll have the firewire thing ready to transfer if I ever need to for whatever reason.
Disappearance of IDE standard? I don't know what you're talking about there.

The hard drives used in the HD24 are IDE (sometimes referred to as PATA) which is a standard that has since been replaced about five years ago by SATA. Finding replacement hard drives may become difficult (there are only a handful still produced by Seagate or Western Digital).

I'm debating whether to keep it in the box or mix out of the box using an anolog board.
I currently have a macbook pro with 2gb of Ram but it can be upgraded to 4gb. I also have an Apogee Duet and I'm using Garage Band. That Duet sounds amazing.
So I'm thinking either ONE: Apogee Ensemble, which is 8 channel but only has 4 preamps which means I need 4 outside preamps, Control surface(which can be expensive also) and Logic Express.
OR TWO: Alesis HD24- analog board and little by little gather up outboard gear like compressors, reverbs, delays etc. Alesis Masterlink(which I've tried cuz the church has one and I like it alot.)
Number 2 just sounds like a lot more fun when the time comes to mix...plus I like the idea of being able to see the eq, compressor knobs, reverbs, bussing things and adding more effects etc. I like that I can see them and twist knobs like the panning as well....instead of doing nearly EVERYTHING in the computer which can one day be outdated and not be enough power and such. Then I still have the option of using my Apogee Duet for small projects or for portability, then just transfering at home to HD24 so I can mixdown on the analog board.
Either way... I know I'm gonna spend money and lots of it(little by little) which is why I want to be decided on which way to go.
Does anyone out there still mixdown using anolog boards while having a computer ready for more processing or other duties?

A lot of people do a hybrid approach. One common one is to use Pro Tools (or whatever DAW) through an interface as the "tape." Recording, playback and mixdown is then done on an analog or digitally-automated/controlled board. This allows a certain degree of flexibility with effects and editing and allows you to have effects that change parameters over the course of a song. Non-linear workflow and being able to automate mixes are the two huge advantages over a completely analog board/tape setup.
My first official audio "classes" were with tape and manual mixdowns with no automation. I can tell you I do not miss that experience :-). I like having a mixing console but having to sit through multiple passes of a mix because a fade was late or too much/too little is excruciating! And you have to have a buddy riding faders with you...
JP
edit -
HEY!
Can I use the Ensemble kinda like the HD24?
Bring up to 8 channels at a time into the computer then bring 8 channels (bussed up) back to a little analog mixer to mixdown? That wouldn't make much sense though. It wouldn't be as fun. Or would it?

Yep! Or even add a second 8-channel preamp over ADAT and you'd have 16-channels you can record directly from your board.
May 17, 2010 @08:13pm
Trumpetguy7

"Yep! Or even add a second 8-channel preamp over ADAT and you'd have 16-channels you can record directly from your board."
You mean two ensembles? If so, that's kinda pricey.
Or do you mean one ensemble can take 16 channels into the computer? Then bring 8 channels back out?
Didn't quite understand that one. Sorry.
May 17, 2010 @08:35pm
jpleong

"Yep! Or even add a second 8-channel preamp over ADAT and you'd have 16-channels you can record directly from your board."
You mean two ensembles? If so, that's kinda pricey.
Or do you mean one ensemble can take 16 channels into the computer? Then bring 8 channels back out?
Didn't quite understand that one. Sorry.

The Ensemble (and many other interfaces) is expandable. You can add a second set of I/O like a Digimax, Octane, or Eight-Pre. Most of these will expand both the input and output bringing your total analog I/O to 16in/16out.
JP
May 17, 2010 @08:47pm
Trumpetguy7

I like the sound of that. I don't see myself ever needing more than 16 channels in simultaneously.
I like the idea of using great converters like Ensemble. I like the idea of bringing the tracks into my computer to use my computer like the HD24 then take them back out to an analog board and use mostly outboard gear. I like this idea!
Which other 8 channel would you use to compliment the Ensemble to bring a total of 16 channels out?
How do you connect them? Using the Digital ADAT?
May 17, 2010 @09:19pm
jpleong

Yes, you would use ADAT-Optical connections sometimes referred to as Lightpipe. They are the same fiber-optic cables as Optical S/PDIF.
As to which to choose, that's a whole other post I am not quite qualified to answer...
JP
May 17, 2010 @09:29pm
Trumpetguy7

Yet, you have answered some awesome questions. What I really wanted was the ease of tracking on a computer but then mixing on an analog mixer so I can also use mostly outboard gear or a combination. I'm excited. I'm sold on getting an ensemble first then later adding another cheaper 8 channels just to bring them back to anolog.
Do you know if this means the converter of the Ensemble is going to convert all the channels and not just the first 8, since I'd be putting them together?
May 17, 2010 @09:58pm