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mixer question for home recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ferchis, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    Yes, I know this has been asked a billion times before, and I HAVE done my research reading many posts, but I want to ask again (it's not because I'm annoying):

    is it possible (yes, "possible") to record, with a DECENT/presentable (near-pro) quality, a guitar, a bass guitar, and (probably, but not necessarily) vocals with a Behringer-UB802-or-Xenyx802-type mixer (or maybe Phonic) straight to the pc (into my Juli@ sound card)?? the intention is to use Sonar 8 prod edition, EZdrummer for the drums and then, as said before, add guitar, bass guitar, and (perhaps, again) vocals through the mixer.

    I'm not so convinced about the vocals because I'm aware of the expensive mics and pre-amps needed to get the job done with good quality, but I HAVE heard many things recorded with them into the pc and the results are indeed great!

    now, I know that many will surely try to kill me for mentioning "behringer" and "quality" in the same sentence, but I'm trying to do the best I can with a limited budget (hence the forum I chose for the post, jeh)

    well, I await your opinions!!!

  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    You have two options and a mixer is not one of them. You need either a digital audio interface, or a Line 6 POD and forget about the vocals. If you have a good guitar/bass amp setup then go ahead and get mics and mic it up. If you play on a cheap amp then using mics won't 'create' any tone, good tone comes from good equipment and good technique, there are no shortcuts. There is no easy button to 'near-pro' quality. If you walked into a pro studio and used pro equipment on pro musicians you would probably come up with something more along the lines of near-demo quality. I'm not trying to put you down, but I'm not sure that you understand the field you are going into. Technique is as important if not more important than the gear or musician themselves.

    Sorry to be so harsh bro, but it sounds like you are discounting all the hard work, effort, and expertise that goes into a production. I find it a bit arrogant.
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Ok...well $50 mixer and $150 sound card and add a SM57/58 mic for $100 into the mixer, +Sonar 8 $300?, EZ Drummer free?
    I assume you already have a guitar and bass.
    Seems like a presentable recording setup for doing songwriting and demos for the price....$600
    It is what it is....if you record everything in a decent quiet space and you make good music, you can make it work!
    The Sonar will give you some help with all the things you can do with your tracks once you record them.
    It's really up to how well you put it all together and what you sound like..
    It's not the best mixer, but it will mix you're instruments....
    If that's what you have to work with, just go for it and post some examples of what it sounds like and maybe it's great and maybe not so great?....don't know until you try it.....
    Pro quality doesn't have to mean expensive equipment if your a great musician!
  4. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    wow, i didn't try to minimise all the effort put into recording, and if you found my question arrogant i think you got the whole picture wrong, no offence intended. After all i DID ask whether it was possible, so anyone could simply say "no".

    I did, nonetheless, forget to mention I'm a keyboardist so I'm not sure a pod would make sense, the thing is I wanted to invite friends to record in the album I'm planning to record.

    I just asked because I've heard fantastic recordings done with noth more than a sound card such as my own and a mixer, maybe a pre-amp for the guitars and basses as well

    just to be sure...could a small mackie mixer perhaps help me? Or should i plug instruments directly into the card and save the money?

    Thanks again!
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    You did say that you wanted to record guitar, bass, and vocals didn't you? Where did the keyboard enter the conversation?
  6. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    oh, btw, I really, honestly, and humbly don't want to be unfair, guitarfreak. I ABSOLUTELY appreciate your words and advice and didn't want to leave it unsaid... Cheers mate.

    Now that I think about it...what about just getting a pre-amp for guitars and bass (maybe some day vocals too)? Would it make sense? After all, come to think of it, I'll be recording every instrument individually, so there should be no actual "mixing" involved...

    Does this help boost the incoming signals decently?
  7. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I would go for a Mackie mixer over the Beringer for sure but they cost more.
    You'll get a better sound with Mackie, very clean and clear and transparent and better quality preamps.
    With your keyboards do you want them plugged into the mixer as well (audio) or are you just using MIDI?
    Be nice to have 2 stereo inputs for the keys and then a guitar and bass input and then a couple balanced mic inputs.
    Of course if you wanted to get a good mixer and a better sound card maybe you should look at a USB or firewire digital interface. There are all sorts of those out there for very low $$$...I mean WOW $180 for 4 channels!

    Lexicon Omega from zZounds.com

    Then you get a better recording interface, better mixer all in one package! The mixers you're looking at only give you two channels (stereo) out to record into Sonar with....that's pretty limited recording wise....
    Getting an interface you get 4 input channels or bigger 8 input channels separately into Sonar which would help your recordings more than any small stereo mixer and PC stereo sound card will do.
  8. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    thanks dj! And what about the pre-amp idea? That way I could keep my juli@ card, which has made me SO happy for many years! Wouldn't it help with the recording of the guitars?

    On a related note, I might otherwise get a 3-channel mackie mixer (can't really recall the model but it's one of the smallest ones) but I'm not entirely sure if it has pre-amp or not...
  9. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Whenever anyone says "soundcard" I sorta cringe because 90% of the time it is something in the soundblaster category we are talking about. The soundcard ferchis is referring to is a dedicated recording interface capable of line level TRS input and appears to be from this article ESI Pro Julia capable of good recording up to 24/192, it is compared favorably to some E-Mu cards which have a good reputation though I have never used one.

    Yes you could get a preamp set up for recording bass, guitars and vocals and run it to the juli@. Most guitars are recorded by micing them, not just direct ,whether they are acoustic or electric. Some reasonably good recordings can be obtained direct with the very top end acoustics which have internal mics as well as piezo pickups but for the most part the piezo pickup has a unmistakeable "squawk" that is difficult to overcome. Electric guitars can be recorded direct if you or your guitarist is very good with software modelers which in the hands of a very talented player can yield excellent results but if wielded by a less experienced person often leave overprocessed, sterile tracks without good tone. Most electric bass is recorded direct either by using a DI box or a preamp that is instrument input capable (this true for DI guitar as well) which many preamps are not.

    So I am not certain anyone can tell you do "this" over the internet, it is something that you will have to weigh deciding yourself in which direction you want to proceed. You very likely do not need a "mixer" as you pointed out yourself there really is no mixing involved. While mixers do have preamps and EQ they also devote a good deal of their cost to routing options totally unnecessary for your application.

    The larger issue as I see it is the investment in a preamp. I can't think of a good stand alone preamp in the price range of the low end berryspringer boards but you could search the threads for low cost preamp options, though you are probably better off getting a good preamp from the start if you head down this road. BTW very decent pro vocals can be obtained with a SM58 ($100) and a great preamp so you are further ahead in this area than you might have thought.
  10. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    thanks a lot Jg!!!!!! that's exactly what I thought: the juli@ is a FANTASTIC/AWESOME/INCREDIBLE recording interface (as you very well put it) that has given me extraordinary results in the last few years, and I know of people with very decent home studios using it and the outcome is as such.

    the thing is, I have only ever used it to record my synths, never any vocals or bass or guitars, but was looking to invite fellow musicians to record and that's why I considered the best option when it comes to boosting and enrichening the signal from this instruments. I'm the merrier now you mention that with a good preamp it's ALSO possible to record decent-quality vocals, but my primary concern are the guitars and bass, all of them to be recorded individually as I mentioned before (therefore no need to actually mix anything)

    I'll check preamp prices and let you know what I found...
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Budget for a preamp?
  12. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    So just to be clear you will need a preamp and at least one microphone and possibly some type of DI box. DI Box - What is It? - Tutorials
  13. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    well... as far as budgets go... I have to say I'm practically scraping the bottom of the barrel right now, and I'm in Argentina, which of course doesn't make things easier but in fact quite the opposite.

    I've seen a couple such as M-Audio Audio Buddy Pre, but, hey, maybe after all guitarfreak was right and a pod could be a good solution! would it help for vocals as well?

    or I got it all wrong and the pod isn't a pre-amp either?

    I'm still pondering about this...
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There are no mic preamps in the Line6 Pod. It's for guitars hi-z input. Microphones are primarily low-z.
  15. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    This is true, but it does act as a DI box/amp simulator and can be used for guitar/bass so that covers at least a few of his bases fairly cheaply.
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    True, though I'm not convinced of the need for a DI box. A preamp output will already be at line level and the Juli@ card already has line input jacks.
  17. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    The soundcard's built in line ins are most likely not high enough impedance to accept a guitar pickup without sounding muddy. That is why I think everyone is recommending a DI box. I think this is a fairly tough situation to cover, let alone do it cheaply.
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Which is why I asked a budget at the top of the page. Many two channel preamps have a hi-z input in the combo jack. Two birds and all that. But we still don't have a budget other than "bottom of the barrel" so any speculation on my part is a moot (or mute-take your semantic pick) point.
  19. ferchis

    ferchis Active Member

    what about the behringer mic 100, mic 200 or mic800 pre amplifiers? I've been told they deliver a great sound!!

    btw, let's assume I do get a pre amp, could I connect it from its jack output to the RCA inputs in juli@? I'm asking because there's the two options (rca input or jack input) and I'm currently using the rca one...
  20. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Why don't you just listen to Jack and give us a budget to work with, I am sure we can get you much better appliances for at or less money than those POS units. Let us do the hard work, it's why you are here is it not? Max budget?

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