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Need help Connecting Everything Together!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Dr.Bob, May 3, 2010.

  1. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    I'm pretty new to recording and I have a Lexicon Omega:

    Buy Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio | Audio Interfaces & Convertors | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

    I have a Phonic Powerpod 620:

    Buy Phonic Powerpod 620 Plus/S710 PA System | Live Sound Packages | Musician's Friend

    and I'm recording with Cubase Le 4 on Windows Vista. I've had no problem recording everything except for drums. I need more than 2 microphones to record the drums, which I have, but the Lexicon Omega only has 2 mic inputs. What can I do to record 3 mics in this situation? Can the mixer be used? Or will I end up having to buy a Y-adapter?
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    That mixer is POWERED. It's intended for live use. You could use the tape outs if you wanted to but not without adding a lot of noise, I would bet. The thing is, even if you had a "proper" mixer, you would still be mixing two mics to one channel and the remaining mic to the other. If you want more than two mics to individual tracks, you will need an interface that supports it. Usually this means a Firewire or PCI interface.

    Edit: Just checking on Lexicon's site. It says you should be able to record 4 inputs at a time. I imagine You could use the tape out on your powered mixer to go into inputs 3/4.
  3. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    Ok, thank you, I will try that out. Also, do you think a Y-adapter would work in case any of this doesn't?
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    A y adapter will force you to mix the two mics to one channel. You will still need a preamp to go into the line level inputs. If you want to utilize the two additional line inputs, look into a reasonable two channel preamp.
  5. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    Ok, so I connected rec out(L/R) to lines 3 and 4 using two 3.4mm to 1/4" cables and all I got was feedback . So, was I using the wrong type of cable? Is there anything else I can do, or will I end up having to buy a 2-channel preamp?
  6. bouldersound

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

    There's no point using two cables. The Phonic is a mono mixer. The two RCA jacks are for convenient connection to a stereo recorder, but it's still mono. You should be able to use it to mix several microphones into one input of the interface, but it's really not the right tool for the job. A preamp would be better.

    You shouldn't have gotten feedback unless for some reason you had the output of the interface connected back to an input on the Phonic or otherwise created a loop. What is connected to what? Be specific, as in "Phonic rec out L (phono/RCA) to Lexicon input 3 (1/4" TRS)".

    Oh, and never use a Y-cable to combine signals, only to split them.
  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Maybe not, not sure, and definitely. The Phonic claims to be stereo with 100W x 100W outs, and stereo RCA in and out, and possibly through the "stereo" channel inputs....but in an apparent brainfart, they didn't include any pan pots for any of the mic channels! What the ^$#!

    The manual sux, but there may be one thing you could try to get three inputs to stereo through that thing, with say, kick drum down the middle.

    The Phonic has a Main and a Monitor jack out on the front panel. I don't know what kind of crazy circuitry they've done, but it MAY be possible to connect, say, the Phonic Main out to the right channel of the Lexicon In, and the Phonic Monitor out to the left In of the Lexicon. With me so far?

    Drum mic left into channel 1 of the Phonic, drum mic right to channel 2, and kick drum to channel 3.

    Now, since we want to keep left-to-right orientation, drum mic left, Phonic channel 1...leave the MAIN channel volume of channel 1 down, but start turning up the channel 1 Monitor send. This MAY send the signal out only to the Monitor out, and then into the left input of the Lexicon. You may also need to adjust the Main Monitor level (under the EQ section). If so, you'll need to do some experimentation for proper gain-staging throughout.

    Now, if that works, and you see a signal into the computer only on left, let's do the right.

    Drum mic right, Phonic channel 2..leave the MONITOR channel send all the way down, but start turning up the channel 1 volume. As above, you may need to also adjust the Main Out (next to the Monitor out, under the EQ section), and experiment with gain-staging. It MAY be that it could be set close to the first channel settings, but I don't know.

    Now, see if there's a signal ONLY to the right in the computer. If so, check and adjust levels of the left and right closely.

    Now, the kick drum. Channel 3, Phonic. Since you want the kick down the middle, what would we do, assuming the first two steps worked? We'd turn up the channel 1 main Volume AND monitor send until we can hear the kick down the center, and volume-mixed to sit between the left and right drum mics.

    Like I said, the manual sux, so I don't know for sure this will work. Start with ALL levels down, and start with your software inputs relatively low. If you get the channel volume, channel monitor send, and main main and monitor levels 1/2 or above, and the input to the software is low, then turn up the Lexicon input/software. If the Lexicon/software levels are WAY high, or WAY low, then raising/lowering levels from the Phonic may be in order. The point is to get the levels of EVERYTHING within reasonable boundaries, respective to each other, to try to minimize noise and distortion. It'll take some practice.

    I also noticed the Phonic EQ switch configuration. If the EQ can be disabled completely, do it. If you can't, leave it flat. If it switches to either Main, Monitor or both...and it cannot be defeated, switch it to "both". That way the Main and Monitor lines (your left and right outs) are treated identically. The same thing with any of the likely cheezy effects. Avoid them altogether, or switch/dial-in the same amount, at least for the left-right channels 1 and 2. (Leave effects send on channel 3, Kick Drum, off if you'll use a bunch of reverb or delay, etc.)

    So, I don't know for sure if this will work. Try it and see. Hard to believe anyone did such a cheezy thing as produce a "stereo" powered mixer without pan pots.

  8. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Speaking of "brainfarts", I just spent a bunch of time writing that, thinking the Lexicon was a two-channel input!

    For quick and dirty solution, try one of these for the kick drum mic:

    A3F XLR Jack-to-1/4" Plug Adapter/Transformer - RadioShack.com

    Ideal? No. In a pinch, cheap? Yeah. Probably won't sound much worse than running though that Phonic. Or, get a more proper XLR-1/4" box or something like an Ebtech Line Level Shifter, which will be more expensive.

  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    ....or you had the speakers on when you hooked it up.
  10. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Yeah. What are you using to monitor with? Are you trying to use the Phonic to a pair of speakers? If so, there's your problem. You're feeding the initial signal into the Phonic (mic), going to the Lexicon into the computer, out of the computer to the Lexicon, into the Phonic. The Phonic would then be feeding everything back into the Lexicon...for a loop.

    Is that the case? If so, and you are trying to use PA speakers for monitors.....have fun trying to make any kind of decent mix. If you are trying to use that PA mixer to create a mix...have fun trying to get a decent sounding mix. You'll have no idea how the mix really sounds if you are running through the mixer's EQ's and stuff, and to stiff-arsed PA speakers.....that's not what those are intended for.

    What are you using to monitor?

  11. bouldersound

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

    Yes, I thought of the monitor out trick and the possibility that the stereo inputs are passed to the record outs as I was posting. But that information doesn't lead to a long term solution. Some detail regarding the connections would help us help him with less guessing. The main problem is that the Phonic is the wrong piece of gear for just about anything related to studio recording.

    This all belongs in the Home Recording forum, not one with "Professional" in the title.
  12. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    No speakers were plugged in. Also, I tried the monitor and main out into the lexicon in (3 & 4) using two 1/4" cables and it worked perfectly! Thank you! Also, I've tried the XLR to 1/4" thing and that never worked. I'm using headphones into the lexicon to monitor, unless its possible for me to use speakers? Now, should I plug all of my mics into the phonic or keep the two i have in the lexicon and the 3rd one in the phonic, or does it matter?
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I hope your doctoral degree isn't in electronics? I also hope it's not in medicine? Your doctoral degree is obviously a degree of asking other doctors "why is my patient dead". Probably because you turned them off. The heart lung machine is the only thing you shouldn't turn off until you get flatline, which is not an improvement in frequency response in this instance. Perhaps your doctoral degree came when you decided to switch on your brain to learn? After school, most people frequently turn off their brain. If turning your brain on and off were to shorten your life, I think it would be best not to sleep anymore. Look at all the time we're wasting, sleeping. You could do something better than sleep like clean your room? I think I'll go to sleep now.

    One little sheep. Two little sheep. Three little sheep. I'm horny now?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  14. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    What the ****?
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I think that's Remy's way of saying, "Don't quit your day job.". But I think the message she's sending (as are we all) is that you don't use a screwdriver to hammer a nail. In other words, even a cheap preamp that is designed to go into a line level recording device is better than a powered mixer. Going from monitor or even worse Main out scares me a bit. I'm surprised you aren't smelling smoke from your Saffire.

    I think you should spend the money on a preamp because, I'm guessing that you will be buying a new interface in the very near future.
  16. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I see the problem with that. Those are adjustable line level signals, though they can probably get fairly hot outputs if cranked up. There shouldn't be any real difference in the levels between Mon and Main out. They're both designed to go into the inputs of amps, or you could even feed them to a crossover or whatever else...right? They could even be used to submix those into another mixer's input, right? Sure, they'll likely be noisy, having to go through all that circuitry...and being a Phonic...but it can be made to work safely.

    The main thing I added a second post about is that he's already got an 8 input interface, with two XLR preamp inputs, and 6 line level. Aside from the suggestion in the earlier post, he could just go left and right drum into the Lexicon XLR, and could just run the kick through the mixer, and through the main out, negating the need to go through all that crazy rigging and level adjustments to get main and monitor outs matched up.

    If I had not jumped the gun with my first post, and done my homework, I would have known there was a much better solution than the one I gave, with what he has. I ASSUMED it was a two-channel interface without checking, just from the description in his initial post. So, it was...how to get three to two, with what he has.

    Knowing all that, I 'd nuke the inelegant workaround I suggested in the first post. There are better methods. None of which could any WORSE than running it through that Phonic. I don't see the danger doing it, if careful...but it's not the best way, with better ways already available right now...free, cheap or otherwise. I've run my Mackie main outs into a Delta 1010 for years with no problem. What might be the difference?

  17. Dr.Bob

    Dr.Bob Active Member

    Cool, So only one mic in the phonic, got it. Yeah, I will stick with what I have for now unless I get some extra money soon(which I doubt) that I could spend on a preamp, but yeah, it all sounds good, so I don't think the mixer would screw up everything, because it works pretty well and gets the job done. Thats all I'm worried about at the moment.

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