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Mixer connections

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  • Mixer connections

    Hey everybody out there. Well I've had my V-Pros for about 2 months and I am VERY happy with them. Thank you to everyone who helped me on all my questions about that!

    Anyway, I'm putting together my own home studio right now, on a really tight budget! Basicially, I'll have The V-Pros, a roland RS-9, 1 or 2 mics, and various guitars, etc. I'm looking into an all-in-one recording solution for PC recording. I stumbled across the DigiDesign 001 system. Perfect! But I want to use a mixer. I read a little on it and I remember it saying that you can use an external mixer. Hmmm...

    Okay, let's say I have everything hooked up in the mixer as it should be, mixed, ready to go. Usually when they do multiple track recording on a PC, somehow, they keep the tracks seperate. For example, after recording say 4 tracks simutaneuosly, it all comes out as seperate tracks.

    But here's the kicker: How do they do that when the only outputs on the mixer is a left track, and a right track?!?! It makes no sense to me. I'm kinda a amature at this stuff, and I don't really understand. Am I making sense?

    If anyone can help me, I could just get some sleep! HOW DOES THIS WORK??

    The best damn kid in the record industry. Maybe.

  • #2
    The point of a mixer is to mix the instruments. That's also the point of many Multi-track editors.

    If you want to have all your instruments on separate channels, then you have to either record them seprately, or get a (usually high-end) sound card that has multiple inputs, as well as software that will take advantage of those inputs.

    Cubase is a good example of software that will allow you to take input 1 and assign it to track 1, and so on. I'm pretty sure this is not possible with Cool Edit Pro or 2000, for example.

    You should keep in mind that for you to pull off recording - even a modest four tracks at the same time recorded to seprate channels, that's an f*ckload of work for your computer. Fast and multiple hard drives will be necessary for that, as well as hefty ammounts of RAM.

    I'd suggest also learning a bit more about what you're getting yourself into before you start buying things. I belive that you're headed in the right direction, but before you spend money on things you may not need and realize later that there is more that you need than you realized, you should investigate all this much more.

    A good place to start (so we can all help you with this) is to ask yourself exactly what you want to be able to achieve.

    Go into some detail and maybe some of the people here can figure out a few possible solutions for you.

    Good Luck


    [This message has been edited by BINARY (edited July 29, 2001).]


    • #3
      I use a basic setup myself involving the following:

      8 channel powered mixer
      Laptop computer (when out on location)
      home computer (P3 733, 512MB RAM, 30 GB HDD)
      Windows 2000 Pro (it rarely crashes)
      Sony cassette deck
      Cool edit pro 2000 (64 track recording software)

      I have the "rec out" coming off the powered mixer and into my Sony deck. The Sony deck is then output to the Soundblaster Live line in.

      In order to do multi tracking I must first record a scratch track (all instruments in one track). Then I play back the scratch track and redo whatever instrument that needs fixing on the second, third track, etc. This is a long and hard way to do it but it works ok, sort of.

      There was a program (Cubase?)that allowed the recording of two simultaneous inputs at the same time (soundcard one, soundcard two) but I can't recall what it was.

      There is a high end yamaha sound card I saw once with four 1/4" inputs. But that was a while ago and I really did not have the chance to play with it (the computer was in my shop for a very short time). I cannot recall the software it ran but the beast does exist for simultaneous multi-tracking on you home PC but the road is very expensive.

      Do as much research as you can, keep asking questions, here are some sites;


      Kelly Mercer
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

      My Youtube Channel!

      My "home studio" webcam!


      • #4
        At the risk of being a gadfly - no, make that AS a gadfly - I'm yet again going to stick my enormous unwanted honker into your discussion.

        Algee, you are contemplating a courageous dive into the deep treacherous waters of home PC recording. Beware, these waters are for experienced swimmers, and your initial question leads me to believe you may be a neophyte to the scene.

        My advice is to check out the option of a hard disc recorder. E-bay has just sold several Roland VS-880's for $500.00.

        This machine has a built-in 16 track digital mixer, effects, mastering capability, CD-burning option, digital recording, etc.

        All the interfaces of recording, editing, mixing, etc, etc are designed to work together and they do. The box is tiny, has inputs on the back for all your mics, instuments,etc, and allows simultaneous recording, I believe of 4 tracks, simultaneous playback of 8 tracks.

        There is one manual only to master, and from there you can make superb quality recordings.

        Does it give you everything a PC based system can do? No. Does it give you everything you need for a home studio on a budget? You bet.

        Here's the key question: Is it easier to use than what you can scrabble together for a home PC based system? I would say yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Especially if your not already a computer and recording wizard.

        For $500.00 bucks it may be worth picking it up and checking it out, no matter which way you go.

        If I was going to start home recording, it would definately be the way I would go.

        HOWEVER, I think I'm the only one at Vdrums.com who feels that way. Everyone else is into PC recording bigtime. BUT, these fellows are experienced and know their stuff - they can handle the gazillion glitches that would stop me in my tracks. (Pun, sorry!)

        Anyway, just thought I'd represent the other side of the issue. Good luck and good recording in any case!
        Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance


        • #5
          I concur with the above post concerning computer requirements....plenty of RAM, a hefty processor, a stable operating system,
          preferably Pentium III, and at least two hard 7200rpm minimum hard drives, one for the OS and one for recording....otherwise, you will spend more time fixing computer problems than making music....

          there are a few hard disk recording systems that are designed to eliminate the need for a mixer by the very fact that incorporated multi in and out....the Digi OO1, Echo Layla,
          Aadrvark Direct Pro 2496, M Audio Delta 1010, Motu 1224, and the Motu 1296 which is 12 in and 12 out...

          the "big three" Cubase, Cakewalk,and Logic all allow for mulitrack recording....as does the ProTools LE software with the digi OO1..

          just take baby steps before you start whipping the credit card out...


          • #6
            You asked me what exactly I plan on doin with this. Well here's the plan.

            I want to have some kind of a sound card with a break-out box interface, run by some nice software (cubase, cakewalk). The drums will go into the midi in on the interface (for quantization of the beat) or just digital hard disk recording onto the hard drive -- either way. I want to connect a keyboard, a couple of mics, and a guitar or two.

            With that setup I want to record the tracks and keep them seperate.

            True, it requires a lot of RAM and speed, so it seems impossible to do easily. But explain this. Why do home recording studios use a mixer when they only record, at most, 2 tracks at one time??

            That's where im lost on that. Is it just so they dont have to plug/unplug things? after figuring this out, i should be able to do this! Thanks guys!

            - Andy
            The best damn kid in the record industry. Maybe.


            • #7
              I agree with gingerbaker - If you're not a wizard with a PC, then I think the hard disk recorder (or, as I use, a Yamaha 8-track minidisc recorder) is the way to go.
              I have 8 separate inputs and have recorded a band live using 2 guitars, bass, vocals and E-drums. That takes up 6 tracks, and leaves room for overdubs and/or track bouncing.

              Good luck with whatever you decide.


              • #8
                I agree, if you want to keep things simple, and since you're a novice in this field, I'd recommend you look at some of the dedicated hard disk recorders. The Roland VS recorders come with a version of Logic, which interfaces quite nicely via MIDI and will save you a lot of headaches. Plus, often times it works out cheaper. Why not see if you can pick up a VS-880 (or 1680/1880 if you want 16 tracks) on Ebay?

                "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"


                • #9
                  I'll tell you why.

                  Because all that junk is yesterday's technology. Don't you all try and sway the kid from his goal, he's doing the right thing. It just takes some time and effort to learn, that's all.

                  The fact is, those VS-x machines are fading quickly. They're expensive one-trick monkeys.

                  Hard disk recording is the future. It's the way professional studios do it, and noone's moving backwards to these one-shot machines that cost a thousand dollars a pop.

                  A PC studio contains everything you need: wave editor, multitrack mixer, effects, samplers, sequencers...hell, you can even write all your drum tracks without owning a drumset, or synthlines without owning a keyboard.

                  Why go backwards? I think it's cool if you guys do things with the VS-x machines, that's great, but if you have a road in front of you, and you need to know where to start, don't start with yesterday's technology.

                  If you have nothing in front of you right now, the best move is to start in the direction that the industry is going towards. If you lack funds, start smaller and grow over time.

                  Why buy a machine that will only serve to delay your learning of the inevitable future of recording even more?

                  So in five years when production on these machines is at a standstill, and you STILL don't know anything about PC computing because you decided to move back when you should have moved forward?
                  And then come back here and ask the same questions he's asking now?

                  Run with it now and learn as much as you can as fast as you can so you're ahead of the ball.


                  Technology will be the second coming
                  and it will hit us while you're looking for a man.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Algee:
                    You asked me what exactly I plan on doin with this. Well here's the plan.

                    I want to have some kind of a sound card with a break-out box interface, run by some nice software (cubase, cakewalk). The drums will go into the midi in on the interface (for quantization of the beat) or just digital hard disk recording onto the hard drive -- either way. I want to connect a keyboard, a couple of mics, and a guitar or two.

                    With that setup I want to record the tracks and keep them seperate.

                    True, it requires a lot of RAM and speed, so it seems impossible to do easily. But explain this. Why do home recording studios use a mixer when they only record, at most, 2 tracks at one time??

                    That's where im lost on that. Is it just so they dont have to plug/unplug things? after figuring this out, i should be able to do this! Thanks guys!

                    - Andy
                    Sorry, I missed your post here....

                    What you want to do is not that hard, you may just have to do the recording of the individual tracks seprately.

                    People use mixers for a variety of reasons in their recordings. But it's not entirely necessary for what you're trying to do.

                    One nice feature that I've implemented is that you can have an entire band going into the mixer but only record one of the tracks at a time (depends on your mixer).
                    I personally use a mixer so (just like you said) I don't have to plug things in and out all the time (I mostly bought it for live stuff, but I'm not playing live really). I have one static config for everything, and recording one thing or another or adjusting levels is just a button or a slider away.

                    I have a really nice 24 bit soundcard with a 8-input/8-output plus MIDI breakout box. Unfortunately the company that made it went out of buisness, but the card is still great.
                    I can do what you're asking about - recording multiple tracks at the same time - but I've never tried it, because there's no need to.
                    The last thing I did with a whole band, it was easier to record just the drums first, then do bass on top of that, then do guitar track 1, guitar track 2, and then vocals, then add little samples and effects last.
                    This happened a long time ago, but only took about 24 hours to record and mix. Not bad...

                    Everything was set up so it was just a matter of "hit record and play."



                    • #11
                      As far as my knowledge of computer and how they work, I'm pretty much an expert. I know what to do when it comes with computers. But throw some audio gear and soundcards, just slaps me in the face. I'm really leaning towards the hard disk recording side of things.

                      I've been doing remixes and original mixes on the computer using loops, and clips of songs, and my own recordings through a cheap mic I picked up at Wal-Mart for $10. It works fine, just mot great, and it's been plugged into the little mic jack on my factory installed sound card on my gateway pc.

                      As far as pc recording, thats it. I know how editing works, I've been using sound forge forever, alond with sonic foundry acid. (thats how i do my songs)

                      so i have a feel for computer editing and mixing digitally. so would a mixer be at all neccessary for a plug-in, play, and record?

                      I see how it can help greatly in the process, and since its one, maybe two or three, tracks being recorded, i dont need a big mixer. true, they look cool, and add a nice feel to the setting, but i wouldnt need to spend the $200-$300 on it.

                      How would a little Behringer Eurorack work, like this one:

                      - andy
                      The best damn kid in the record industry. Maybe.


                      • #12
                        I have this one myself, it was 200 bucks I think.

                        No I don't think it's necessary, especially at first. I'd start slow and build your system up.

                        Just an opinion, but I think if you had an extra 200 bucks lingering around, I'd put it towards another hard drive, the fastest one you can afford. This will greatly aid in digital audio recording.

                        I would look at a mixer as a nice addition to your setup, maybe somewhere down the line, but definately not a necessity. Your money is better spent elsewhere at the moment. You seem to have a nice setup so far, and you also seem you be off to a good start.

                        Here's my recommendations, take them for what they're worth:

                        Beef up your computer. I mentioned RAM before, and hard disks. If your budget allows three hard disks, that's the best scenario - one for Operating system, one for Program Files, and one for the recording of the data. Down the road if you get serious, you can pick up another disk for the System's Swap file. Get tons of RAM, it's VERY cheap right now, a stick of RAM is like, 40 or 50 bucks. Get as much as you can.

                        Make sure your machine is clean and free of obnoxious applications that will slow it down (like games), and run a stable OS like Win2000.

                        From there, look into soundcards online. Don't buy one at Guitar Center, there are better prices online. I bought mine a while ago, so other people on this board will be able to help you with the current best buys on that.

                        Carefully decide on software. Acid is cool for remixing, but for regular songwriting (if that's where you're headed) something else might be in order. I use Vegas which I love and belive it to be the best for multitracking, but there are many others, each with it's pros and cons.

                        Once you have everything, you're pretty much ready to go. I'm happy that you're looking towards a breakout box, they're worth every penny. No crawling around on the floor....

                        Good luck



                        • #13
                          Binary, THANK YOU!

                          I really needed someone to put it in simple terms and straight out. i highly appreciate everyone's input, and the more the better.

                          Every two years we purchase a new pc. usually the high-end standard. Always the latest tech. but most pc's arent designed for multitrack recording. many of them come with preloaded programs that you cant uninstall. i believe it is now the law, and is true, that starting with windows 2000, or me, im not sure, will not include any of that crap. either way, i feel it is good to go with a standard pc, not some robot, with a few extras. like more space, more ram, and more speed.

                          there are companies out the there that build these machines designed for one thing, recording. since the next pc isnt goind to be bought by me, i dont know if thats a good idea. but because they're more like machines, rather than pc's, it may be cheaper. here's a couple of thise companies i found:

                          Does anyone know about these and are they worth it? I'd go with a cheaper one, but they all have that property in common.

                          As for a setup, here's what i figure.
                          1. everything, without a mixer, just plugs into the breakout box.
                          EX: digi 001 ($769)
                          m-audio 1010 ($569)
                          Why are they so different in price? Any others with midi in/outs?

                          2. box into a sound/recording card

                          3. software takes care of the rest?
                          EX: cakewalk home studio (notation for midi!)
                          is cubase in any way much better than homestudio? they both have more than enough tracks. both have full mixer capabilities. so whats the deal?

                          4. monitors plug into break-out box outputs.

                          After i have this down, i'll be ready. I've read so much on this stuff. bought 2 books, read every website, all the magazines, but no one ever simply says how to do it. and on a tight budget, i cant just buy things. but once i have this figured out, ill be soooo happy!


                          - andy
                          The best damn kid in the record industry. Maybe.


                          • #14
                            the best bang for the buck that I've seen lately out there is the Aardvaark Direct Pro Line..the top of the line Q10 has a 10 in 10 out breakout box, 8 xlr micpreamps, midi in an out, and comes bundled with Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 all for around $700...there are other smaller systems and they all come bundled with Cakewalk Pro Audio 9...I would forget Cakewalk Home Studio, you will quickly outgrow it..

                            the reason digi 001 is more than the delta 1010 is cause the 001 breakout box has more features and the protools LE software is a full featured sequencer...

                            the delta 1010 comes with a nice audio software bundle though including logic delta...

                            for good pricing and a great selection check out http://www.audiomidi.com

                            or check out ebay...there are loads of audio interfaces and software available


                            • #15
                              Hey, Andy
                              Thanks for the kind words.

                              Unfortunately I don't have any experience with the Digi or M-audio stuff, so no comment there.

                              Your potential setup seems nice.
                              As far as software goes, much of it is personal preference. You could search through this board and find a hundred arguments about one software system versus another.
                              I'd suggest trying out any that you can and see which you prefer, see which one makes the most sense to you.
                              Cubase and Cake are both great apps with their own strong points and weak points.

                              I can help you out with some of the various software packages offline if you like, there are some apps that you'll want to stay away from.

                              Good luck and I'm glad you're putting this all together. I'm excited for you.