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Recording interfaces

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by JontyLarr, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    Am intending to buy this -http://www.zzounds.com/item--MAC1202VLZIII

    I also need an interface to run it through and not being all that clued in on the technical jargon though, I could do with recommendations on what kinda interface would compliment it best. Cheers.
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    whats your price range for your interface?
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Ditto on the price range. With that in mind, consider the Mackie Onyx mixers with the optional firewire interface. These also come with Tracktion 2 which is a great, intuitive multitrack program.

    Otherwise I would have suggested at the least a Presonus Firepod which would run you another 600 bone. So, at $900 you might as well settle with the Onyx with a firewire option. Or, you could forget the mixer all together and just get the Firepod. It has eight preamps and Cubase LE.

    In either case with the VLZ or the Onyx, the mixer is only good for input. They don't function as control surfaces. Also, the VLZ only has two direct outputs and two auxiliary outputs for a totall of 4 outputs. With the Firepod alone as well as the Onyx alone, you have a full 8 channels to disc(or 12,16,24 depending on which Onyx you buy.).
  4. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    Wouldn't really want to go above £200 ($400ish)
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Jonty -
    You have to decide what you want to record to your PC. Is it (a) just the stereo output of the mixer, (b) the raw channels for you to mix later or (c) one or more channels at a time replaying previously recorded tracks at the same time ("tracking")?

    For (a), there are many reasonable-quality 2-channel interfaces that would be adequate for this mixer. You could certainly pick up an M-Audio box or similar for less than £200.

    For (b), you could use the 1202VLZ3 inserts on channels 1 - 4 as outputs. These plus the two main outs and the Alt outs would get you 8 sources (although not all independent), so an 8-channel digitising unit is what you would be looking for. Not much choice of anything that's any good here for £200 or less, although you could consider a Delta 1010 - there's one on Ebay UK at the moment.

    For (c), much the same as (b), but added demands on the interface and the driving software, as you need outputs running at the same time as inputs.

    Don't forget you only get 4 mic channels with that mixer.
  6. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    Well I was looking for a pre-amp for my new condenser, but I was advised I could get more use out of a low-end mixer - this would let me record multiple tracks and the like - so that's what I'm looking to do really. Have a play around with putting different mics in different positions etc.

    But to get seperate tracks onto the computer, I believe I need a firewire interface or something to enable that?

    As I say, I don't get the technical stuff - I just buy things and play around. Any advice is very very welcome.
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The point I was trying to get across which I think was lost in translation, is that you don't need a mixer if you have an interface with preamps. The Firepod has 8 preamps and phantom power on all channels.

    They are currently going for $499 at MF. So if you can get over the idea of having a mixer, this will do the trick for you.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Otherwise there are other options but you will end up buying used if you want a Delta 1010.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    (Dead Link Removed)

    One more thing. Don't listen to the salesman. He is after all...a salesman. You could by two totally incompatible pieces of hardware. He doesn't care what you buy as long as he gets a sale.
  8. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    So there's no advantage to a mixer over interfaces with preamps? I can still record multiple tracks, for drums and stuff?

    Sorry, I am a total noob.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Generally that is correct. Most mixers don't send eq to disc. Sometimes they do and usually it is by means of a pre/post eq switch. In a low end mixer the eq's probably don't sound all that great anyway.

    The only other benefit to a mixer is if it has inserts which you could use for parametric eq's, compressors or other effects which you would like to use on the entire signal for that channel. This would be great so that you could set up your signal chain and never have to worry about reaching around back or you could incorporate a patch bay for easier routing.

    There are however some reasonable facsimiles of hardware compressors, eqs and the like. You can even download a freeware convolution plugin and impulses for such things. And, being that you seem to be on a budget, it seems unlikely that you will be spending a whole lot more money on hardware compressors, gates or what have you.
  10. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    So basically what you're saying is that an interface with pre-amps is probably the best plan for me?

    And what about mixers which act as interfaces like the Mackie Onyx? Better or worse?
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    A mixer/interface is fine but remember that you CAN'T adjust the levels or eq using the mixer AFTER it has been recorden UNLESS the mixer is also a control surface. Take a look at the link to the tascam unit above. That would be a control surface/mixer/interface. A little more expensive and rightly so.
  12. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    Leaning towards the firepod to be honest.

    I don't really fancy the Tascam at all - seems a bit flimsy to be honest, and from looking around, it doesn't seem all that popular with its owners.

    From what I can guage, with the Onyx the EQ doesn't make it to the computer, nor can it be used as a control surface. I'd only have the raw tracks to play around with, which would be the same as just recording straight through the firepod. Is that right? If so, the mixer would indeed seem like a little bit of a pointless venture.

    Plus, I could do with Cubase really.

    If my understanding is wrong, please correct - I am very new to all this, and there's a lot to get my head around.
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well, sounds like you've made your decision. There is a mod available for the Onyx boards for a price. Check out Front End Audio.
  14. JontyLarr

    JontyLarr Guest

    Actually decided on the Onyx in the end. A bit more research seems to imply that the Onyx is better for Mic pres and generally sturdier. The whole mixer aspect might be a little redundant but I think it's the better choice for what I need. Thanks for your help!

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