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Beating Pro Tools with a mixer

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by paddythehotmail, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    This is my first post. Hope you guys will be patient with me. My question is, i have invested in pro tools m powered, and now im wondering about what interface to buy. I think that I'd like the option of at least being able to try recording drums at home, if possible, but I'm a student, so spending lots of € on an interface is unfortunately not what i want to have to do.
    I was thinking of using a mixer of some sort to allow me to plug in as many mikes as i need to record the drums, and getting whatever sound i can off of this, then transferring it to pro tools through a cheaper interface, through the one or two inputs that are on that interface.
    I know that this will greatly limit what mixing of the drum sound (noise gating for example) that i can do on pro tools after, so does anyone have any ideas on what might be the best way to allow myself to record drums on pro tools without spending a tonne of money on an expensive interface?
    Thanks a million,
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Having bought M-powered, you have no choice but to buy an M-Audio interface:



    The ProjectMix I/O is the only one of the two that acts as a control surface.

    If you can live with mixing in the box, look at any one of their other interfaces. Or you could return m-powered and find yourself a used Digi 002 for about the same price or less. I saw on the other day for $700 on craigslist.
  3. Hey paddythehotmail,

    You can actually, buy a cheaper interface from M-Audio and also a small mixer with more inputs, mix your drums down to your main output bus and then run those through your interface. But you have to make sure you matching your signal levels correctly and make sure the interface you buy has the correct inputs. I don't necessarily know if this is a cheaper way to go (depends on the interface and mixer you decided to purchase) but from what I understand you should be able to go that route.
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You could but it would be a compromise. You're stuck with your stereo mix once it's done.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Your secondary alternative would be to purchase something like a Presonus FP10. This unit comes bundled with Cuebase LE. You track through that unit with up to 8 simultaneous microphones & tracks. Everything is written as ".wav" which can be then imported into ProTools which requires you Digi design authorized interface. You are confused and how many tracks you can mix. With ProTools LE and/or M-Powered, 32 playback tracks can be mixed & manipulated with just a 2 track interface. The interface doesn't dictate how many tracks can be mixed. It only dictates how many simultaneous tracks can be recorded, which is only 2 or 4, simultaneously. You can't use any other interface by any other manufacturer with ProTools. So you just use other hardware/software when you need to track more than 2 tracks. But if you're going to do overdubs, in ProTools, you'll be restricted to only the inputs available on the authorized interface.

    Conversely, I utilize a Neve console with a Alesis HD 24xr. This allows me to record up to 24 simultaneous tracks. I then remove the disk drive from the recorder & transferred to another external hard disk drive for the computer. I can then import all 24 tracks into ProTools LE & still add up to 8 additional tracks of overdubs, 2 to 4 tracks at a time. More tracks can actually be obtained for ProTools LE/M-Powered through some later releases & third-party companies that can allow for more than 32 tracks on mix down. All of which can be accomplished with a simple authorized 2 track box, since you only need it for stereo monitoring.

    Conversely, M-Audio offers some nice multi-track audio interfaces that would allow for 8 simultaneous microphone channels to be recorded with ProTools "M-Powered". Which can only be used with M-Audio equipment. So for any equipment manufactured by Digidesign, you need to have ProTools LE. That actually comes bundled with any Digidesign hardware including the Micro M-box miniature, USB play only device. Including any other M-box, which is confusing because M-box's in spite of its "M" nomenclature, has nothing to do with "M-Audio" devices, which don't bundle ProTools "M-Powered". That's a $300 option. Where for $250, you can obtain a Digidesign "M-box Micro", with a single microphone input & stereo line inputs with included ProTools LE. So go figure? It really seems like there marketing plan is ridiculous & highly flawed. I don't take kindly to this kind of nonsense.

    And since I don't really enjoy/like the microphone preamps in my "M-box 2", I'm merely use the line level inputs & different outboard microphone preamps. This certainly improves the flavor of a M-Box, of any variety, when fed from quality preamps such as API or Neve, etc.. Although their microphone preamps are 100% adequate & usable, they're not quite as musical sounding as I like. They are certainly adequate but certainly not of a boutique nature. Now your ability to run RTAS plug-ins will depend upon your computers CPU power & RAM. In that respect, with a run-of-the-mill computer, you may only be able to have a limited amount of real-time plug-ins running, simultaneously. If you need more than that? You'll need to render out tracks, complete with their effects. And you can actually record your effects plug-ins to other unused tracks. This all cuts down on the CPU load. The more powerful your computer, the more simultaneous real-time plug-ins can be utilized.

    Not a ProTools fan
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Many thanks for all the replies! I'm taking some time to think things over..will write back later with what I decide on and how it has worked for me.
  7. corydeshane

    corydeshane Active Member

    Pro Tools 8 now has 48 available tracks-- stereo OR mono. So, with careful planning and bouncing skills, that CAN be 96 tracks.

    The M-Box Micro has no audio inputs, only a headphone output. Perhaps you're thinking of the M-Box Mini?
  8. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    M-audio fast track ultra!!!!- 350 bucks at most. 6 simultaneous line ins, also includes midi and spdif connections...that would prolly be your best deal with m audio. i recently purchased this an have no complaints
  9. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    hmmmm really? not even one? how then is this an audio interface?...i believe you are perhaps mistaken
  10. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    ok ok my bad.....i shut my mouth and did some research....indeed there is no inputs...only 2 outs. i guess this is used just for editing and sequencing. soooorrrryyyyy.
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The micro is not an interface. It's a dongle essentially that allows you to edit and mix in ProTools on the run without having to attach your interface.
  12. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Delta 1010LT $200 (PCI cards are much more reliable than USB or Firewire, but you sacrifice portability)
    Mackie 1402 (6 inserts, 2-bus sends for 8 channel Delta 1010LT) $450
    Total $650

    The single low cost product option:
    M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R USB Interface $500

    Or if you want to be able to add an Octopod pre amp later (Or any light pipe interface):
    M-Audio ProFire 2626: $700
  13. amaru

    amaru Guest

    gl 2400

    Hey, Guys:
    I recently purchased an Allen & Heath GL2400 for a great price it is only a few months old and in brand new condition. I am using it to record into a DIGI 002 . the problem is that i can't seem to have any control of the head phone feed; the incoming signal is a lot louder than the play back tracks which is comming in thru the 2 trk input.
    is there another way to route the play back from the digi into the board?
    Thank you for your time.
  14. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I would route the Digi back into a free channel on the mixer and use the mixers headphone output. That gives you complete control over the headphone mix with the ease of use of the tactile mixer. In Pro-Tools disable the record input monitoring, and just use the mixer. I find it easier.
  15. amaru

    amaru Guest

    I'll try that.
    Thanks so much.
  16. amaru

    amaru Guest

    it works!
    thanks again

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