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Mixer/24io Or Just HD192

Discussion in 'Recording' started by doubleJ, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Hello...
    I've been wanting to get a home studio set up and I would be doing pretty well all the mastering and stuff on a computer. My original idea was to get 2-4 motu hd192's for around $5k. Now, I'm wondering if it might be better to get a physical mixer and just direct out to a motu 24io for around the same price. Then I could do the quick mix, cd, etc... from the mixer and save the original untampered tracks on the pc for post-production work.
    I'm not sure if that would be better or not. I've never done studio work, but I've done FOH and recording of that type. I don't really know what people expect when they come to record at the studio. I imagine that you get a rough-copy when you leave and then a mastered version later.
    JJ
     
  2. you had me at hello......

    Sounds like quite the dilemma, do you already have some sweet sounding preamps?
     
  3. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I don't. I figured that the hd192 would have reasonably good ones.
    JJ
     
  4. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I guess with that question posed, would it be better to go with a 24io and a couple good pre-ams? I'm basically thinking around a total of $5k whichever ways I would go.
    JJ
     
  5. Spy

    Spy Guest

    :D

    Greetings JJ,

    The HD192 is a good unit but I thought I'd point out that it doesn't have any mic preamps - the XLR connectors are line level.
     
  6. 24io or hd192

    It's a big fat world of recording equipment, some versatile mics and preamps are usually the first links in your recording chain those represent at least 50% of what you hear after you capture the sound. If you are going to do your mix downs on a computer I would find out where in my chain is the conversion between analog and digital. That's where you either get a fat juicy steak or hamburger. Enjoy your lunch!!!!
     
  7. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Oh, thank you...
    I had forgotten that xlr doesn't always mean mic-pre. I guess the hd192 is pointless, then, if I'd have to get separate pre's or a mixer. I'd just save space and money and go with the 24io.
    So, then that poses a new comparison to mixer vs. rack pre. What are the advantages to using a mixer for rough mix/record vs. using the pc for rough mixing/record?
    JJ
     
  8. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Well...
    I've been looking and looking and if I weren't going with a console, then I'm more heavily considering 1 or 2 896HD's. All 12 channels are mic pre's and it would be ready for the road with a laptop, which is a big plus.
    Now, another wrench has been introduced. What about just getting a Tascam dm-24 or dm-3200? In both instances, it can connect directly with firewire. I would prefer 24 mic pre's, but 16 will suffice, I'm sure.
    Will this do like 4-5 different headphone sends like a normal mixer will? I didn't see the normal sub/aux/vca faders and controls, although it may just be because that's done in software, now. I saw 4 1/4" jacks called "assignable sends". I would assume that's what I'm thinking of, but I'm not sure.
    JJ
     
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Don't forget, just because a soundcard/interface has "preamps" doesn't mean they are actually "good." Your recordings will never sound any better than your preamps (and mics) will allow.

    You mention using a mixer for rough mixes; what are you planning on using to do the actual mix: in the box, or on an analog mixer?
     
  10. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I understand that the pres on a mixer or interface aren't going to be of the same quality as a $5000 tube or something, but I figure that, as in most things, you can get 75%-90% of the quality with 1/2 the price. It's that last 15% that you pay for. Of course, the quality of the mic would come into play as well as the quality of the singing/playing.
    I don't plan on cutting Best Buy cds, but maybe do some demos and do a lot of speaking engagements. Also, I figure there will be some mastering with files that are already recorded, therefore the quality of the pres wouldn't be an issue.
    As far as mixing is concerned, I wasn't quite sure the steps if someone wanted to come in to cut a demo, let's say. I assumed that you would record a rough copy, where the whole band had a good cut of a song, that they could walk away with. From talking to a studio friend of mine, I gather that they actually walk away with the mastered product. I figured that you might spend a couple of days in mastering, but I guess that's not the case. You just overdub a couple parts, mixdown, etc...
    JJ
     
  11. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Would it be worth considering a Mackie Onyx board with the Firewire option? Up to 16 channels of decent mic preamps that plugs direct to your PC or laptop for recording.
     
  12. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    The Onyx was actually my very first idea, but I just keep hearing people talk about how crappy mackies really sound. I know the 24x8's are supposed to be the most common board or something, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's very good. That's the main reason why I was looking at the tascams.
    JJ
     
  13. xian

    xian Guest

    I don't know much about these mackies, because I've never used one, but I know that some studios will use only Mackie. The talk I hear is that they are durable, and sound fantastic. The sound school near me, for instance, will only use mackie mixers.

    I'd be interested to hear some input from people here who have worked with mackie mixers before; in regards to sound quality, pre's, etc...
     
  14. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    The first hand reports I've heard from the Onyx units is they're much improved over the VLZ generation.

    It also depends on what you're doing. When recording with Mackies I've always pulled the signal out of the inserts. The complaints folks have with Mackies is the EQ and lack of overhead in the summing bus - not an issue the way I used them.

    The preamps aren't grand, but I've made a number of recordings and did not have any complaints. I now use an A&H Mixwizard. The sound of the preamps is very similar, but the A&H do a little better with transient sounds and I like the EQs better. I also like the direct outs on every channel.

    Also - everything I'm saying here about Mackies is regarding the VLZ or VLZ pro models. I have not used an ONYX. If I am to believe what I've heard, the ONYX mixers are NOT comparable to the VLZs - they are significantly better.
     
  15. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    If the onyx has firewire out, why would having direct outs matter, for interfacing to the pc? Is the firewire post-fade?
    JJ
     
  16. xian

    xian Guest

    No, the firewire out's are not post-fader. They are post gain, but pre everything else. This is handy if you are going to do a lot of live recording and FOH at the same time. For a recording console though, it doesn't seem to be the best thing ever. For instance, you cannot insert any effects (comp, eq, etc...) that would be Firewired to your DAW because the channel inserts are AFTER the firewire outs. Also, you cannot use the channel strip EQ on your recorded tracks, only while mixing FOH. Really, the Onyx is a small format live sound mixer that happens to track the raw signal to a DAW via Firewire.

    There is one workaround. You could, through patching, send the signal (with the effect on the channel insert) to another channel and then the Firewire outs would pick it up, but if you need 8 channels with effects/eq (outboard) then you've just used up all of your 16 channels.
     
  17. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Honestly, that's how I figured everything worked. Originally, I assumed that you did a rough mix that people could take home with them. Then you did your mastering from the raw tracks, doing compression/effects/etc... on the computer.
    It's still kind of a toss-up. I really like the space saving advantage of not having a console. In that respect, having something like the motu 896 is really appealing. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to have your hands on the faders. Honestly, I've even considered a motu and the tascam 24-channel daw controller. But, at that point, why not just have a mixer?
    Hehehe...
    JJ
     
  18. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    I hate to be a nit pick, but you seem to be confusing mixing with mastering. The part where you take the raw tracks, apply compression/eq/effects/adjust individual channel volumes is just plain ole "mixing," typically mixing down to a single stereo channel to be specific. Mastering is where you take your stereo mixdown and give it to the engineer/wizard who makes it sound pretty, punchy, and clear. :wink:
     
  19. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Oh...
    I figured mastering would be making each track sound its best, then mixing down and doing any last bits to the mixdown. I guess in a live scenario, all that would be mixing. I thought studio would be different. Mind you that I have absolutely no studio experience. I've done foh many times, so I kind of think in terms of that, a lot.
    JJ
     
  20. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Direct outs would not be significant in the Onyx. At the time I bought the A&H, the Onyx was not an option. I record with a 24i, so the direct outs are real handy.
     

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