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Can't get Audio to computer from mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Brand New Sound Guy, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    Hey guys, so I've been doing this about 5 months and am still trying to learn the basics.

    I recently bought a Yamaha MG124CX to familiarize myself with mixers and to do some small home recordings. Getting signal to the speakers is no problem. Its when I try to get the signal to my computer that gives me trouble.

    I'll describe my signal flow to get everyone up to speed.

    From my mixer, I come out of the ''Monitor Out L/R'' and into the 1/2 L/R on my ''Steinberg CI 1'' audio interface. I then come out of the CI 1 USB port and into my Mac USB Port. Question #1: Should I be using TRS 1/4'' to come out of the mixer or are mono 1/4'' cables sufficient? I know the signal is getting to the interface because the peak lights illuminate when the level is too much. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or what I've not done to get the signal into the computer.

    Question #2: Should I be using a different option to come out of the mixer such as ''2TR Out'' or ''Rec Out'' which are both RCA jacks.

    Question #3: Should I have bought a different interface?

    Hope to hear from everyone soon!!!
  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I have to ask why you have the mixer in the first place. Do you need to submix more that two sources into the two inputs of the Steinberg interface? If no then just plug your mics into the Steinberg.

    If you want to use the mixer you should be able to use the "Stereo Out" or "Rec Out" connected to the inputs of the Steinberg. For short lengths unbalanced connections should be okay. The "Monitor Out" is for your studio monitors. "Phones" gives you the same signal as Monitor. This allows you to listen to the inputs and the existing tracks at the same time through Monitor and record just the live inputs from either Stereo or Rec. Bring the output of the Steinberg into the "2TR IN" jacks and engage "To Monitor" and turn up "Monitor Mix" to hear the backing tracks. Turn the Mix knob on the Steinberg all the way to "DAW"

    Getting signal into the interface is a good start. Now you just have to sort out input assignments etc. in the DAW.
  3. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    What recording software are you using?

    Make sure your interface is selected in Audio/Midi setup utility, found in the utilities folder.

    Make sure your interface is selected in the recording app., arm the tracks for recording.
  4. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    thanks for the reply boulder.
    ultimately i will end up utilizing more than 2 channels at once on the mixer and since the steinberg only has 2 inputs i do require the mixer.

    your advice on the 2TR IN was very helpful.
    i will try your suggestions.

    thank u very much
  5. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    gdouble, thanks for the reply.

    im using logic and found the midi setup you're referring to..

    hopefully all will be well shortly.

    thank you!
  6. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member


    Ive replaced the Steinberg CI 1 with the M-Audio Fast Track Pro Interface that comes with Pro Tools SE.
    Contrary to my original problem: no audio getting to computer, signal is getting to the computer and I am able to record. However, during my test set up, there is a new problem.

    Signal flow is as follows.....

    SM58's into Ch. 1 & 2 of Yamaha MG124CX
    1/4'' out of LINE on Ch. 1 & 2 (On this mixer, LINE acts as both SEND & RETURN) into Ch. 1 & 2 on the M-Audio Fast Track Pro
    Leaving the M-Audio via RCA 1 & 2 Output and into Ch. 11/12 RCA Input (Stereo channel) for playback.

    So here's the problem... I can use ch. 1 & 2 and the audio is perfect, however, as soon as I activate the ON switch on ch. 11/12 I get this annoying buzzing and humming. Any ideas on what could be causing this? Could I be using a better method? The same buzz/hum is heard even if I use 1/4'' cables instead of RCA.

    All advice is appreciated
  7. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Try balanced TRS 1/4" cables from the Fast Track to the mixer (assuming you're using unbalanced TS 1/4").
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    For the outputs of channels 1 and 2, I think you mean you use the INSERT jacks rather than the LINE.

    Try routing the outputs from the Fast Track Pro into the phone jack inputs of mixer channels 5/6 or 7/8 rather than the RCAs of channels 11/12. You will need a stereo RCA-TS lead for this, or alternatively your RCA-RCA lead plus a pair of RCA socket - TS jack adaptors. The two lower-numbered stereo channels have input gain trims that 9/10 and 11/12 do not have. In this way, you will be able to control the input level returned from the Fast Track Pro. This may bring the hum down to an acceptable level while still maintaining usable audio levels, but really your problem is the M-Audio device, and you should give serious consideration to getting a better audio interface.
  9. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    Thanks for the advice Boswell.

    The audio interface was the component I was worried about the most as I have very little knowledge about them.

    What would u recommend?
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If you are running PT M-Powered 8 or older as your DAW, you are stuck with using an M-Audio interface of some sort. The other thing to consider is whether you would want to go up to more than two channel recording.

    There are so many factors here that we need to know a bit more about your present software and what you aspire to do before we can give any sort of sensible recommendations.

    You should be able to get something workable going using your existing setup before splashing out on anything new. It always helps to have had some real experience with a working system at any level to feel first-hand what its shortcomings are and what you should look at upgrading first.
  11. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    Thanks again Boswell ...

    I went ahead and tried the most simple set up possible - 2 58's directly into INPUTS of Interface and 1/4'' TRS Output of Interface into balanced Input of powered speaker and ive STILL got this high pitch buzz that accompanies any type of sound coming out of the speaker. I know the speakers are fine (KRK Rokit 5's) as they have no buzzing when used to monitor the output of the mixer. Im thinking its something to do with the interface as you suggested in a previous message. Have any suggestions on what this buzzing/humming might be and how to get rid of it? It can't be nearby cabling because when used for live reinforcement, the speakers dont pick up any interference or buzzing.

    I do have some experience in front of a mixer in a live atmosphere but this recording thing is new. I understand that with the interfaces I have used I can only record a stereo mix of EVERYTHING going into my mixer or 2 channels at a time for all the channels I require. Ultimately what I want to do is have enough inputs on my audio interface to match the inputs of my mixer. Unfortunately I'm not wiping my ass with $20 bills and dont have that kinda cash. The system I have will work fine for now but I would like to upgrade in the future so that I can record let's say 12-16 tracks from a mixer onto my computer simultaneously.

    Thanks again for the help Boswell ... your advice is appreciated
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    What happens if you plug your monitors into the M-Audio unit (so that they buzz) using the AC power adaptor, but with nothing being played out of the computer, and then you disconnect the USB cable from the computer to the Fast Track Pro? Does the buzzing from the speakers stop, or at least change?

    Regarding input channels, if you got a multi-channel interface you would take microphones, DI inputs and line levels into that, and not route them through the mixer. Your mixer is not really set up for multi-track recording.

    I'm from the UK, so had no idea what the street use of $20 bills was until your last post.
  13. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    Hey Boswell, i've come to the realization that this mixer may not be best suited for multi track recording as you suggested. ive decided to scrap the interface and just use this as a live mixer.

    time to start saving my pennies for a new mixer.
    ive got one last final question for you.

    in an ideal home recording set up, my audio interface should have as many inputs as my mixer does channels??? this way i can record all the tracks i need simultaneously.

    thanks for your help. very much appreciated
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You don't need another mixer - what you need for home recording is a multi-channel interface. These have microphone pre-amps and a computer interface all in one box, and you would not use a mixer at all for the actual recording process. Once you have got the individual tracks on disk, you have options about how you mix them, but that's the next stage.

    If you want to run Pro Tools with a non-M-Audio unit, you would have to have PT 9 or above. Otherwise, use Logic or a different DAW such as Reaper.

    If you can give us an idea of what your budget might be and whether you have a FireWire interface on your Mac, we can make a few recommendations about what you could look at in the way of interface units, and also what to avoid.

    What happened about the buzz?
  15. KenTheriot

    KenTheriot Active Member

    I agree with bouldersound in that the mixer really shouldn't be in that chain. Why don't you just plug the CI1 directly into your Mac's USB port? Then you can connect the outputs on the CI1 to your mixer so you can hear playback and monitor input. That's how I use my mixer and I think that's how most folk do it.

    That should solve your problem. Hope that helps.

  16. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    Hey man,

    thanks for taking the time to post. i did try taking the output of interface right to the monitors and the result was a whole lot of buzz and hum.
    i opted for the mixer within the signal path because ultimately i want to do live off the floor recording and with the interfaces i have (and have since returned) i can't really accomplish that.

    i think im going to save up for an interface that can accommodate all the channels on my mixer so that i can record 8 channels at once.

    thanks again for posting. i appreciate and welcome all advice
  17. Brand New Sound Guy

    Brand New Sound Guy Active Member

    i returned the CI 1 before i could try that. im just gonna save up for an interface that can accommodate 8 channels at once. thanks so much for the help boswell ...

    by the way ... this yamaha mg124cx is really a lot of fun. i was hoping for the 166cx but is $200 more.
  18. JesseCarlMusician

    JesseCarlMusician Active Member

    Have you tried going to your Control Panel and making sure that the interface is enabled?
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    A whole lot of buzz and hum does not indicate anything is wrong with the equipment. What it indicates is that you are experiencing " ground loop " problems. It has nothing to do with the quality of the cables provided that the cables are not damaged. When too many grounds are connected into many places i.e. audio connectors & AC power connectors it will automatically make your life completely miserable. But I guess you already knew that?

    I'm feeling loopy
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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