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New PC-Based Studio: Multiple Track Recording?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by TIGR, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Hi folks, I'm new here and just setting up a small recording studio. I build computers for a living and thus will be setting up a PC-based recording rig. I have a couple Blue Snowball mics but would like to use an assortment of regular (XLR, not USB) mics as well. I would like to be able to record into multiple track editing software on my PC. I have the option to buy a Yamaha MG16 mixer at a great price but I am not sure how to get each mic recording to an individual track. I don't want to just single track recording ... I'd like to have one track for each mic and be able to edit each individually later as my ears and taste in sound are extremely picky. As I understand it, the typical way to connect a mixer to a PC is connecting a single mixer output to the sound card's line in jack ... doing that, I would end up with a single track containing everythign recorded, which is not what I want.

    Is the MG16 useless in my situation? The only reason I'm very interested in using it if I can is that my funds are limited and I can get a great deal on one.

    I saw there are some XLR to USB adapters available and read that their quality is decent (so I could directly connect and record each mic into its own track)... but at $100+ per mic ... it's not feasible for the number of mics I may find myself using simultaneously.

    I have been doing a lot of reading and apologize if my questions are dumb ... but I did use the search and didn't find an answer. Thanks for your time!
     
  2. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    Aw bugger, we really need a beginner's guide, hang on, lemme google something up...Ah, here we go.

    http://www.acousticfingerstyle.com/ComputerRecording1.htm

    Try this out for size and see if you're basic questions are answered, then come back and ask for gear suggestions, but then you'll know what you need. Good luck,

    Nathan
     
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    What you need is called an "interface".

    If you're using mics (this speaks for itself), you need an interface with mic preamps in it, one preamp per mic.

    Soundcard Wizard
    This maybe isn't the most comprehensive list but it has enough on it to get by.
     
  4. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Thanks folks, I appreciate your replies and information. Here is what I have found thus far:

    http://www.studica.com/products/product_detail.cfm?productid=12657

    I would like to have 8 XLR connections for mics and also be able to plug in two or three guitars. Can I assume that the 8 mic/line inputs on this unit have preamps? I also take it I would have to use some of those 8 to plug in the instruments. I would rather have 8 mic inputs free in ADDITION to instrument inputs but considering I'm on a budget and this interface is only $250 I guess I can't complain. I'm open to your ideas!

    Edit to add, here's another I found, what of it?

    http://www.musicgoround.com/gear/inventorydetails.asp?id=644318
     
  5. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Just in case it makes any difference, all I want is to get signal from mics and instruments into my computer. I don't need any EQs or level adjustment, I can do all that in software. Just as long as I can get the original sound cleanly in where I can work on it. I guess I need preamps as well but that to my knowledge is all.
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    The top one from Studica (the Alesis MultiMix) is
    A) Not sold anymore.
    B) Does have preamps, but
    C) Will do the same as the MG16 you mentioned to begin with, but via a USB cable. The USB captures from the Stereo Mix.

    The Firepod is a good choice. Yes, that's preamps.
    FP10 This is the new version of the Firepod you're looking at. Dunno how much has changed.
    You can daisychain these, and add another later on (for 16 inputs up to maybe 32) if you need them, but it needs Firewire.
     
  7. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    The board you're looking at will only let you pull in the stereo mix, i.e. the master mix from the board into your computer, not each channel individually, so your mixing will have to be live, because afterwards you'll only have left and right to play with, not "Guitar" "Kick" "Snare" "Vocals" etc. Just so you know...

    Nathan
     
  8. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Thanks again ... so is there no sub-$1000 way to get mics recorded simultaneously to individual channels on my computer? If it makes any difference, I'm comfortable and experienced in modifying electronics and computers, so if I had more information on the inner workings of audio equipment maybe I could create my own interface.
     
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    There is: the FP10/Firepod/Firesomething you were looking at which has 8 preamps (which are attached to the combined XLR/line inputs for guitars) would get you 8 separate channels.
     
  10. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    So each mic connected to the FP10 will be recorded by a multitrack recording program into an individual channel, all through a single Firewire connection?
     
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Not true. Busing will allow at least 4 seperate channels. If your comfortable with making your own patch cords you can use any one of the 8 i/o points on the back to route sound for a total of 12 channels out.



    Around here the presonus firepod gets good press which would eliminate the need for an external board.
     
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "So each mic connected to the FP10 will be recorded by a multitrack recording program into an individual channel, all through a single Firewire connection?"

    Yes.
     
  13. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Thanks for the answer Codemonkey ... I'm getting somewhere!

    I'm very interested in this. But for each I/O channel on the back that I use as an output, don't I sacrifice an input?
     
  14. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I'd work with Codemonkey, you don't need another obstacle in your signal chain at this point.
     
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Space, I just got my head round mixer grouping, to hell with busing. Anything I can't get hands on with is still 50% over my head so don't take anything I say for gold (if you haven't worked that out already lol).

    Stick with the FP10 or something with sufficient pres and in your price range, Presonus seems to be all over the place with their naming over the years.
     
  16. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    Heh, I don't mind obstacles at all ... as long as I can get my damn mics recording to individual channels! :lol:
     
  17. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    So you can support that an external mixer will only add to the confusion.
     
  18. TIGR

    TIGR Guest

    I very much appreciate all your help and I'm asking you all to not give up on me yet! :)
     
  19. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Big thing about another obstacle is that when you actually go to record, it's
    A) More knobs to worry about setting
    B) More noise and hiss if you don't do it right
    C) More stuff on your table
    D) Less stuff left in your wallet, too, by having more gear.

    The cheapest and easiest way is for definite, the Firepod/FP10, whatever it's called.
     
  20. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    That is where I was going all along :)
     

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