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Need help with my setup! >_<

Discussion in 'Recording' started by daemon9, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. daemon9

    daemon9 Active Member

    I have a Mackie 1202-VLZ3 12 channel mixer, with an AKG Perception 200 (discontinued) condensor mic, and I want to route that to my computer's audio hardware (Creative X-Fi Elite Pro) so I can do recording with Cubase 5. I know almost nothing about mixers and how to get them setup. It took me forever to figure out why my level LED's wouldn't light up when I tested the mic, even tho I could hear sound and the signal was obviously getting to my computer. First thing I would like to know is: How do I connect my Mackie to my computer's audio console? Like, which ports on the Mackie should I be coming from and what kind of cords should I be using?
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I don't know how many inputs the Soundblaster console has but bascially you would run the main line outputs from the Mackie mixer into 2 line inputs of the Soundblaster console.
    Plug in your instruments and microphones into the Mackie pan and mix to taste and record 2 tracks in Cubase or I suppose you could use the software that came with the Soundblaster too!
  3. daemon9

    daemon9 Active Member

    See, I'm not really sure which outputs on the Mackie I'm supposed to be coming out of. Here's two pics, top and back:




    You're probably talking about the MAIN OUT L/R on the top, but I'm not sure.
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Sure the top ones will work fine or you can use the balanced ones on the back....
    I take it you don't have manuals for these items?
    You can usually get those online from Mackie or Soundblaster and they usually have hookup diagrams and the Mackie one explains balanced and unbalanced cables and all those sorts of things....
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If you are serious about quality in your recordings, you should dump the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro and get a respectable audio interface. With a two-channel interface, you could connect two sources (e.g. mic and guitar) and record them as separate tracks, or you could connect it to the main outputs of the Mackie for mixing more channels but still recording two tracks. If you were to get a multi-channel interface, you will not need to use the Mackie mixer for recording.

    To try things out with what you have, you need a cable with a 1/8" stereo mini jack plug on one end and two RCA connectors on the other. Plug the mini jack into the mic/line input of your sound card and the RCA connectors into the Tape outputs (L and R) on the top face of the Mackie mixer. Don't use the main mixer outputs, as they will overload the sound card. Make sure you select LINE levels in the Creative control panel.
  6. daemon9

    daemon9 Active Member

    Thank you both for your replies. Boswell, I think you might be right about dumping my PC's current audio setup. Could you give me some examples of a "respectable audio interface"?
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    TC Electronic Impact Twin.
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Depends on what you want to spend, and whether you would want to get something that could handle more than just two channels. Most low-cost interfaces have a USB interface, but for more than two channels, you should be looking at FireWire-interfaced units. If your computer does not have a FireWire interface using the TI chipset, you can buy PCI or PCIe (desktop) or ExpressCard (laptop) adaptors pretty cheaply.

    Jack's example of the TC Electronic Impact Twin is a great two-channel unit, but it's relatively pricey. However, almost all of the TC gear is good, and E-MU makes some reasonable value boxes in this area as well, starting with the 0202 USB. The Presonus FireStudio Mobile is also worth looking at.
  9. daemon9

    daemon9 Active Member

    Sweet! Thanks for the info!

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