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So i ran into a big problem

about 6 months ago i bought an Alesis Multimix w/usb. (First Mistake right there). I bought it because it was just our 3 man band having fun rockin out. But people have been telling us that we are pretty good. So we tried recording with the multimix. wow. tell me about being a limited mixer. I took an audio engineering class so i know what a decent mixer should be capable of. But to top it off, we were recording into garageband 2 . So now were limited in our mixer and editing.

Ok so when we record we have our drum mics plugged into an old Alesis PA/Mixer. and that is plugged into 1 channel on the mixer.

-These are plugged straight into a seperate channel.

-Vocals just sound so bad its rediclious, so right now I'm just trying to get the instrumental part sounding better!

So my questions is..

What do i need to do so that when i edit each instrument is on a seperate track?

Should i buy a new mixer?

I know I'm doing a lot of things wrong, would you suggest Micing up amps instead.

Thanks for who ever replys!


zemlin Tue, 10/24/2006 - 19:10

The multimix only give you stereo out of the USB - you should be able to setup your software to record the LEFT and RIGHT channels to separate tracks - I don't know Garage Band, so I can't give you specifics.

If you're trying to record your band live - or with a few folks playing at once - you're really going to want to get something with more than one pair of inputs to the computer. There are lots of options out there - search the forum for more info that you probably want. The main thing you'll need to decide is how many tracks you want to record at once, and what you have in your budget.

I use an old MOTU interface, the 24i which has 24 analog inputs - way more than you need - should be able to get one on eBAY for a few hundred. The 1224 or a 2408 would also be affordable options for you. There's lot of other gear out there too - but if you go for used digital stuff you'll save a bundle (usually).

If you're tracking one instrument at a time, the Alesis can probably work for you - you'll just have to make sure you have your drum mix right where you want it when you hit the RECORD button.

I know I haven't answered all of your questions, but a lot of your post is pretty much wide open with no background info. What kind of mics are you using (make/model). Have you done any acoustic treatment where you're recording?

xX5thQuarterXx Wed, 10/25/2006 - 06:21

Sorry, the Pa/mixer is a Reavey XRD 680. Its pretty old and pretty limited.

Ok its not that i like the funtions of the alesis, its just that for the price its not to band. And i want a device that is capable of 2 mic inputs and like 4 1/4 inch jack inputs. But i have heard of getting and mbox or a digi 001, so that i can have pro tools also. Because for what i am doing, garageband just isnt cutting it.

zemlin Wed, 10/25/2006 - 06:48

There's a lot of very capable software out there - PT is not the holy grail. I like Samplitude a lot - you might check out Samplitude SE - there are other budget apps ... Tracktion, Reaper (Free), Audacity come to mind.

IMHO, you'd be better off buying used gear and getting a small Mackie VLZ mixer and a decent quality audio interface. There are lots of folks out there who think they can buy a few bits of budget gear and start cutting their own CDs, but when they get into it they find out there's a whole-lot more to recording than mics and electronics. Lightly-used gear is easy to find.

I don't mean that to be back-handed at all, but it is worth considering before you spend more money on gear. Do you want to put your heart and soul into learning the art of recording, or do you get want to get your band on a CD and move on? If the latter, find someone with the gear, the time, and the talent and pay them to record your band. Then you can spend your time playing music.

I prefer to buy a system that can be upgraded a piece at a time rather than an all-in-one unit that will be useless if I outgrow any one feature. I have a mixer, a tube preamp, converters, a PC, and several DAW applications that are not tied to any particular type of hardware. I can upgrade any individual piece of my system without breaking the bank and without throwing away anything that is still working well for me.

anonymous Wed, 10/25/2006 - 09:51

Musicians have different motivations for recording. If you want to record something professional quality, then you are going to have to spend at least a fair amount of money, either investing in gear or going to a real studio. If you want your own gear, hear are some ideas of what a basic studio is. Since you originally bought the alesis, I'll figure you are somewhat budget minded.

Interface: Presonus Firepod (not the best in the world, but for the price you get 8 preamps, phantom power, and cubase LE, which as far as multi tracking is concerned is an upgrade from Garage Band. i think they are about 600

A set of monitors: On the cheap you can get M-audio BX5as, KRK Rokit 5s, or Yamaha HS50ms for a little more. None are incredible, but they are much better than mixing in headphones, or your stereo speakers. 300 for the cheaper ones, and 400 for the yamahas.

A condensor vocal mic. You can get these starting at around 100 dollars, but for a decent one you can spend thousands. A decent budget one is a AKG perception 200. It isn't the most professional microphone in the world, but it comes with a shockmount, lo-cut filter, and pad, and will be a drastic improvement in vocal sound over a dynamic.

so for around 1000ish dollars you can start recording pretty professional sounding stuff. not the most professional, and experience counts a lot more than gear. as it stands, you can probably do a lot of things to improve your recordings with what you have.... Try tracking the drums with two mics moved around til it sounds the best, and then while listening to that, record the other parts over the top. You can get a pretty killer drum sound with just two tracks. Mic the guitar amps instead of plugging them directly in, it will sound a lot more realistic. read up on how to record better vocals, there are a lot of sources, probably on this board even. If i had too, i could definetely make do with just two inputs at a time. It would be a pain, but it doesn't mean that you can't make something sound decent, and you will probably learn a ton in the process. Once you've learned enough to realize what needs to be upgraded, you can make that decision more confidently.


xX5thQuarterXx Wed, 10/25/2006 - 15:24

No, i really want to record our own stuff, i just dont want to spend more money till i know that it will work.

So would you guys recomed the Mackie VLZ or the Firepod?
And what program if you pick the Mackie VLZ

Our Vocal singer is picking up a mic this weekend so im going to go help pick it out.

I dont know alot about mics So What are your top two picks?

AKG Perception 200
MXL MXLV63M Condenser
MXL MXL 990 Condenser
MXL MXL 909 Vocal Condenser

Im going to borrow a pair of pretty nice monitors from a friend for a while, while hes moving so that should help me out on how much "quality" i need out of a pair of monitors.

hueseph Wed, 10/25/2006 - 15:30

xX5thQuarterXx wrote: So i ran into a big problem

about 6 months ago i bought an Alesis Multimix w/usb. So we tried recording with the multimix. wow. tell me about being a limited mixer. I took an audio engineering class so i know what a decent mixer should be capable of. But to top it off, we were recording into garageband 2 :cry:.
*edit* I've used garageband and love it. It's pretty powerful even with it's limitations. It also is a good sounding program. The built in effects sound good. It's a great, cheap tool. It's just a matter of making use of it's abilities.*edit*
So my questions is..

What do i need to do so that when i edit each instrument is on a seperate track?

Should i buy a new mixer?

It bothers me that you went to a recording school and you can't seem to get past this hurdle. Channels on a mixer do not equal tracks in a daw or on tape.

Nothing against recording schools. I went to a recording school. Plenty of people "graduated" while still scrathing their heads. The only reason I learned anything at all there is because I spent all my spare time there. Did they not teach you how to set up a home studio? A simple signal flow scenario? Can you get your money back?

Even USB 2.0 does not allow for more than two tracks of simultaneous recording. From what I understand the Alesis firewire units are not much different. (I don't know why. Somebody emailed me regarding this problem with an Alesis firewire unit. I think it may have been user error.) At any rate, you have the mixer now, make use of it. Why not track everything seperately? You will still need to do a submix of the drums if you decide to use more than two mics but that will just help you hone your chops. If you can mic the guitars in a seperate room and run some in ear monitors to your drummer, you can try to get as clean a drum sound as possible. Then you can track the bass and guitar seperately. YOu could even do a scratch track, then re-do the drums, guitar,bass and vox. This is the only way you can do it without spending a reasonable amount of money to get the gear you will need.

xX5thQuarterXx Wed, 10/25/2006 - 16:42

I said i wasin a recording "class". It was only one semester. Im still in Highschool. I had a really good teacher, hes been mixing concerts and what not for years so i learned alot, but not everything.

I guess i could do that, but heres one of my problems.

So lets say i have a drum track recorded into Garageband. Now i want to record rhythm guitar over it. So How would i do this?

Well then only way i know of is to play it back.

So i hit play and record, now the drum track is being sent back through the mixer to (headphones. monitors) and is being Re Recorded in the guitar track! So i dont know how to play it.....

Also, there should be a way for $500 or less to be able to multitrack 4 tracks at once. Im not looking for studio quality, just enough so that you can listen to it and actually hear decent crisp, clear vocals. Some what good sounding guitars. ect.

anonymous Wed, 10/25/2006 - 19:12

m audio FW1814 its actually 8 tracks, but two preamps. has a lot of other stuff so you can upgrade your ins and outs later too. decent box and its small. i think they are 400. that and an entry level copy of some recording software 'd set you back just around 500. I'd rather just drop the extra 100 and get a presonus firepod, cuz then you can record 8 tracks at a time without having to use an external mixer...

hueseph Thu, 10/26/2006 - 16:31

xX5thQuarterXx wrote:

So i hit play and record, now the drum track is being sent back through the mixer to (headphones. monitors) and is being Re Recorded in the guitar track! So i dont know how to play it.....

Go to: Start menu/Settings/Control Panel/doiuble click Sound and multimedia/audio tab/ make sure the default recording device is Alesis Asio/ now click on volume/go to options/ properties/recording and click ok./ make sure that only alesis asio or alesis mulitmedia device or whatever the alesis driver is. All other options should be greyed out.

What I think you are doing is recording "what u hear" which is why you keep recording whatever gets played back by your software. You should be able to track one instrument at a time. That's how these devices are meant to work. If it isn't working this way for you, you are doing something wrong. Check the manual. Make sure that the asio device in Cubase LE is the alesis unit and NOT multimedia asio or some other asio.

hueseph Fri, 10/27/2006 - 19:45

Ok for a Mac it's essentially the same. Make sure that you're recording from the asio input of your interface and not some global stereo output. In OSX it should be in file/preferences/audio in whatever program you are using. You're not plugging into the mic/line input of your mac are you? You shouldn't have this problem at all on a mac.

xX5thQuarterXx Fri, 10/27/2006 - 20:56

Ok, this is exactly what i am doing,

-Open up GB, and make a new project
-Turning on The MultiMix, "conect through tower USB Port"
-Then in GB, a window pops up askin if i want to use the "USB Audio CODEC" I click Yes.
-Create a new track.
-Then i should be able to go from here, right?

Because now when i go into prefrences

The Audio input and Output are both the "USB Audio CODEC"

I am going to try it again tommrow when i can make some noise. So well see how it goes.

One thing. I dont have a mic.line input on my mac, ive heard most do and im using a G5 , so its the newest one out but i still dont have one.

hueseph Fri, 10/27/2006 - 22:07

Ok next time try this way: plug in an turn on your multimix, then load garageband. There should be a driver specific the multimix. Not necessarily the core audio driver. Maybe alesis core audio or something to that effect. At any rate don't use the generic driver from Apple. Another thing you should look for is, if your mixer has a button on each channel labelled "to mix" or "to usb" or something to that effect. Check the main stereo bus for this especially. If there is such a button on the main stereo bus, dissengage it. You may need to look into any alesis specific routing software that came with the unit. There has to be a way to seperate the stereo return from the two channel output via usb. If there is no way to do this, then it's pointless that they ever made the damn thing. That is the whole reason people buy these units. If all else fails, read the manual.(I'm doing that online right now.) I'll get back to you if I figure it out but it's not easy when I don't have the mixer here in front of me.

anonymous Sat, 11/18/2006 - 18:41

I'm currently using the MOTU to record. I love it. In response to your question, yes, it will put each channel that you plug in to its own seperate track if you tell it to. This might only work with Logic though. From what I hear, the MOTU was basically built to be seamlessly integrated into Logic. And I'm pretty sure its mostly useless with protools.
I get most of my used gear from ebay to answer your second question. In general, I'd say that equipment like an interface is fine to buy online but a more sensitive piece of equipment, say, a microphone is best bought in person.