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What kind of mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tomvdb, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Tomvdb

    Tomvdb Guest


    I play the piano, a little bit guitar and some other instruments. A while ago I started composing. Now I want to record some compositions so I can work out some ideas. I do also play in a band.

    Now I want to buy a device to record audio. I need to connect a guitar, a keyboard, midi device and later on mic's. I don't need to record those all together. But when I want to record something with the band I will need enough inputs.

    First I thought about the "tascam us 144". It is enough for recording my ideas (I guess), but I won't like it if I have to buy a new device with more inputs over a short period.

    Then I was interested in the edirol m-10dx and the m-16dx. At the moment I can buy the m-10dx for €250 (392.5$) and a showroom model of the m-16dx for €360 (565.2$), new it costs €400 (628$).
    I am more interested in the m-16dx because it has a sofware package with it: Cakewalk sonar LE. A minor point here is that it has no midi plug. But I can fix that with buying a midi to usb device (around €35-40 ($55-63$))
    I was thinking about buying sonar homestudio or the xl version if I would buy the m-10dx.

    I went to the local music store to see if I could get more info about the edirol devices and the salesman recommended me a package: An Edirol FA-66 and Sonar studio edition (+ some simple packages) for the price of €330 ($518,1). Those 2 costs each around €300 (471$) (if you buy it separately). It's an interesting package but I will only have 2 inputs.

    I found the presonus FP-10 today and it's also interesting. But I have a question of it: can I connect on every mic input an instrument? I see on the specifications that there are 2 instrument inputs and 8 analog mic/line inputs. (http://www.presonus.com/products/Detail.aspx?ProductID=3). But I guess that the instrument inputs are special inputs but I can easily connect a keyboard to a line input or the line out from my amp to a line in?

    Can someone advice me what I should buy? And why? Recommendations of other devices are welcome. And if you need more detailed information, please ask.

    And sorry for grammar and spelling mistakes.
  2. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    The FP10 only has 2 unbalanced instrument inputs. You would need a DI with XLR balanced outputs to use any of the other 6 mic inputs. The FP10 is highly recommended on this site. It comes with 8 decent pre-amps for its price. I have it and like it. It also comes with cubase LE, at least the one I got did.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Microphone level is really low, and needs the most boost. Then, instrument level is next...guitar, bass. Line level is highest of the three, and needs less boost, because they usually have a hotter signal.

    Inputs one and two of the FP10 can be switched between microphone or instrument level while inputs three thru eight can be switched between microphone or line input. Phantom power (+48V) is available on every channel in groups of four.

    Instrument level would be good for guitar and bass direct, which usually have a lower signal level, if you wanted to do that. Line level would be good for drum machines, keyboards and other higher-level signals. All can do mic level. So, you could run a guitar and bass into 1 and 2 directly for a (supposedly) decent signal. You may want to run any other guitars, etc., through a preamp to bump up level a bit if you wanted to record direct to 3-8.

    Running a keyboard or drum machine into instrument level 1 or 2 may get a bit hot of a signal.

    Of the ones you mentioned, I'd probably go for the FP10, but there are a ton of interfaces out there. I'd keep looking and comparing.

    Make sure it will play well with your computer. You should probably know what components are in your computer, and when you narrow down the interface choices, go to newsgroups or forums for those interfaces, specifically, and see if anyone is having problems with that particular combo of ....chipset, CPU,etc., and interface. But, start with the interface manufacturer site, where they may list possible problems and solutions.

  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Is that true? (Technically, the first sentence IS true.) It uses 8 XLR-1/4" combo jacks. Can it accept unbalanced OR balanced line level signals through the 1/4"? Does it automatically sense the bal/unbal when using those?
    A DI or preamp would be good for 3-8, to boost an instrument signal, though. But, it wouldn't necessarily NEED to have an XLR output...although that may be more preferable?

    Just trying to add confusion to clear up possible confusion. :wink:

  5. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    Yes it auto sences the level in 1 and 2 between the MIC/Line levels (XLR) and the 1/4" unbalanced on the back. One time it got stuck on an instrument level and I had to power cycle to get it to switch to mic level. As for the 3-8 MIC/Line inputs you are correct you wouldnt need a DI with XLR outputs, I didn't think about 1/4" to XLR cables that you could use. I was just thinking of it only having XLR inputs on 3-8. Sorry for the confusion.

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