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Controller or Digital Mixer?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dochara, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. dochara

    dochara Active Member

    Hello all,

    I have a dilemma which is causing me sleepless nights! My DAW software is Sonar Producer 8.5 and I'm treating myself to some new hardware. Up to now I'm using a Cakewalk UA-25EX and control everything with my mouse.

    I need to choose between a control console (Cakewalk V-700) and a digital mixer (Yamaha 01v96i or Allen & Heath Qu-16). I already have a Presonus Audiobox1818VSL which I may or may not use, depending on what I buy. I prefer USB 2.0 to Firewire.

    Can you please advise a musician sadly lacking in IT skills? facepalm


    V-700: Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700 Console | Musician's Friend
    01v96i: 01V96i | Mixers | Products | Yamaha
    Qu-16: http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?catId=Qu16&ProductId=Qu16
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    As we were discussing in your previous thread, you need to decide whether you want the capability to record digitally and then mix in analog or whether you want only to perform digital mixes. Several of us on this forum do or can work the analog (hybrid) way, and there will doubtless be arguments and debate for evermore about whether it's better to mix in analog or mix digitally. What you can't get away from is that certain styles of music and recording methods survive digital mixes well where others may not, and that other styles positively bloom on an analog mix where a digital mix sounds a little flat and less interesting.

    In your case, you have expressed a preference for using a control surface to control digital mixes, which is a prefectly fair position. However, spending a not inconsiderable sum on a workable dedicated control surface locks you out of the analog mix method until you put together the funds for an analog mixer at some later date. Additionally, a control surface that works only with one particular DAW narrows your options further, even though it may work well in its designed role.

    That said, the two mixers you linked to are both digital internally rather than analog, so if you were considering either of those, it would make sense to use digital connectivity to and from your computer to avoid quality loss due to multiple conversions between analog and digital versions of the signals.

    The new A+H Qu-16 is particularly interesting in that it need not involve your computer at all for the capture and mix phases: you record to an external USB drive attached to the mixer, mix down from the USB drive back to the drive and then plug it into the computer either for further multitrack mixing and effects or for simply for burning of the two track mix to CD. The Yamaha does not have that capability, but does give you 32-channel mixing against the A+H's 16 channels, although more interfacing is needed to transfer the full channel count.

    It is difficult to make these decisions when you have not had the opportunity to try out the various possibilities to see how they feel and how they suit the way in which you want to work. We're not here to tell you what you must do; what we can do is suggest ways of working that look as though they may fit your needs, suggest other ways that you might not have thought of and guide you away from ways that look unsuitable or may cause difficulty. Ultimately, it's you who has to decide the route to take, and it may be that you have to spend a little more time seeing if you can find a store or dealer who can offer hands-on demonstrations of different ways of tackling your requirement.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    In fact the real question is Which as the best Preamps. Cause preamps make all the difference !! ;)
    Saddly I never use the units you speak about. Hopefully someone who tested them will join us..
  4. dochara

    dochara Active Member

    True, all true! I have heard very good reports about the Presonus pre-amps. Anyone?

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