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Confused about mixers! Please Help!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by chriswalker8511, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    Ok, I'm really confused about mixers and was wondering if someone can tell me roughly what each different type of mixer does and differences between them (e.g. usb, firewire, analog etc). Some mixers only come out as one or two tracks in a DAW like logic so what the point in them?

    Please Help!!

  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Mixers are primarily used for live sound, so some don't have any built in converts.

    analog mixers - the traditional. Used mostly for live sound, but also for getting an idea of the mix in a recording session.
    Powered mixers - Can be connected directly to passive speakers (without a power amp)
    digital mixer - the budget version typically has an A to D converter on the master bus. Most USB and Fire wire mixers fit here
    Some digital mixers have more converters such as the Alesis Multi Mix.
    The high end digital mixers are designed for live sound and function more as a control surface with converters on all inputs.

    For recording you want to look at "audio interfaces."
  3. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    Thank you for the info! But why do all these big fancy recording studios have mixers? Why don't they use audio interfaces?

  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    An analog mixing desk with preamps built in and effects strips and stuff is a huge time saver.
    You can analog sum tracks and you can bus tracks in and out for outboard processing.

    Digital mixers a joke.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    They use very large expensive ones that don't compromise quality and that provide feature (headphone mixes, busing, tracking control).
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Sorry but I have to disagree once again. SSL among others, has been making digital consoles for at least fifteen years now. They are about as far away from sucking as the sun is small. In a large studio the console usually functions as a control surface as well as I/O. Often in a large studio where they can afford it, they will mix to an external media. Whether it be a hard driive recorder or half inch two track.
  7. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    Okay, i think I've decided just to get an audio interface but does anyone know if there are any with more than 8 XLR inputs?

  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Not in your price range. If you want to add multiple devices together you will likely need to make sure the interfaces have ADAT and Word Clock capabilities. I would skip anything that wasn't firewire or pci based.
  9. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    I'm sorry im a bit of a noob with these things, could you please explain what ADAT and world clock means?

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    OK. First, I thought I was posting onto your other thread where you gave your price range at £400.

    At this price level your best bet will be to get an 8 channel firewire pre-amp. As you can afford another then chain them together digitally. Or a multichannel preamp into an interface (eg. Onyx 800R into RME FF800). You do this via the ADAT IN/OUT which is an optical connection.

    The Word Clock is the thing that makes all the devices play nicely together. It is the master synchronization. Some low end stuff doesn't really allow this feature and that means when things don't synchronize you get pops and clicks. At any rate you can start with 8 and add 8 more if/when funds develop.

    At just over double/triple your budget you start to get into another range of gear. Then some things like the Allen Heath ZED R16 appear which might fit your ticket. Also, TC Connect and RME would begin to pop up.

    Those SSL boards etc aren't affordable for individuals unless they own their own company.
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    A cheaper interface than the ZED R16 would be the Onyx 1640 with firewire. The ZED will send/return 16 tracks to and from the computer while the Onyx 1640 sends 16+2 and only returns a stereo mix.
  12. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    uhhh...M-audio Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 (faster than firewire 400)! -6 simultaneous analog ins with spdif ins, midi in/out, 24bit/96khz and yes ADAT.
    all for 350 smackers. cant beat it.
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    USB 2 is theoretically faster but not generally in practice. In the other thread the OP was looking for more than two tracks. Of course, I'm not quite sure the OP knows what he needs yet.

    At any rate, usually its best to keep the audio recording drive on USB and the audio interface on PCI/PCIe or firewire. IMHO. YMMV and dealer dock fees may apply.
  14. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Right. I was just trying to make a point about blanket statements. Not all things are true to all situations.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    :cool: I knew what you meant.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The OP needs to get a book on recording ad learn about these fairly COMMON terms concerning the spending ofmoney on things you havent a clue about using effectively.

    GEE, I'd like to buy a helicopter. I hope I can fly it.
  17. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    Well I'm sorry i have dyslexia and learning disabilities. Don't you think I've already tried to remember what those terms mean. It's pretty difficult for me so you could at least just suggest that i could read those books and learn these things instead of just making me feel stupid.
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I cured my dyslexia by writing things down.
  19. chriswalker8511

    chriswalker8511 Active Member

    I know i can do that but do you have to say things like "GEE, I'd like to buy a helicopter. I hope I can fly it"
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Do you have to incessantly post your same question in several different places? You only need one post to answer a question.....several people have suggested this. Did you not see that? Now as a moderator at this site I have to go through and edit all this because you seem to think that spewing your question several times is going to make people more interested in your problems rather than just the opposite.

    If my comment bothered you then you're in the wrong place. It was rather mild compared to how it can get.

    Now we are off topic because you want to bitch about how someone isnt holding your hand instead of gleaning the information you are asking about.

    And now I have to shut this off topic crap down because its using up space on the site and not doing anyone any good.

    If you're here to learn then spend time doing that and not being offended by statements meant to direct you in the correct direction.

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