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Finding The Right Mixer for home/mobile

hey all

i am after a decent mixer which i can use for my pc at home and laptop when i am away doing recordin

i am in a band at the moment and we are going to start recording our ep very soon. The problem is that i have no place to record the drums at my hosue so i have to do it at my friends. That is why i am after a decent mixer to use for home/mobile

i have looked at the 16 channel firewire mixer by Alesis. I think this is perfect for me but i need more channels with XLRs (since this only has 8). I want to have around 10 - 16 xlr inputs. I do not mind getting an analog mixer and get a bad ass sound card for my pc but i was wondering how would i connect this to my Sony vaio laptop. I use a line 6 tone port ux2 as an audio interface for my laptop if that helps

thanks a lot guys



JoeH Wed, 05/10/2006 - 18:55
This one's a no brainer, indeed: The Mackie 1640 w/Firewire card.

I'd avoid Behringer like the plague, for various reasons, including their unethical business practices and trouble with the FCC.

Just remember the Mackie FW sends are pre-EQ to your computer. There is a mod available, but it's done by a third party. Go to the Mackie website ONYX forum for all the latest info on it.

JoeH Thu, 05/11/2006 - 08:57
chicouk wrote: How does it perform though compare to an analog mixer going through a pc

Um....that's exactly what it is. The ONYX mixer is an analog board with a digital interface that spews the data out of a FW port.. That's how the audio gets in and out of the PC. (Or Mac). The Firewire card is an add-on option gets installed inside the console. It connects to the mixer circuitry via a ribbon cable that splits out to each channel. The analog signal is taken right after the trim pot, I believe, after the bass rolloff switch but before the Perkin's EQ circuitry. (Most prefer to track without EQ, but there are some that howl in protest over not having this feature, so buyer beware!)

The interface saves you the trouble of buying a separate, standalone converter which could cost you a couple of thousand bucks more. (16 channels of good A/D conversion would probably cost more than the ONYX itself.) Ditto for the 16 mic pres, if you priced them alone or in pairs, etc.

If you just buy an analog console per se (without an interface), you're still going to have to buy a proper interface to get the sound in and out of the PC (or Mac).

The ONYX is not a digital workstation or digital board in any sense of the word. The interface just lets you run 16 seperate sends to you PC (along with a stereo mix as well) and 2 (1 stereo) back into the board for monitoring via the "FW" switch on the input monitor strip. Many like myself find it a good hybrid for live tracking, sound reinforcement, and 2-mixes out to CDr for backup. (That's all post-eq, post faders, etc.)

Being able to do a live gig with all the goodies on the ONYX while sending the tracks out to a DAW at the same time is a great idea, but even so, some want more.

How you use it beyond that is limited only by your creativity.

RemyRAD Sun, 05/14/2006 - 19:02
Well chicouk, Beringer equipment is sort of like condoms. You can keep cleaning them up but once you get a hole in one, you better throw it out! Unless you want a bunch of little Beringer's?

And not all digital mixers feature digital outputs. If it has a USB or FireWire output, it may in fact have onboard analog to digital converters. When connected to a computer, many kinds of software will recognize the multiple FireWire channel inputs? It will then allow you to record up to perhaps 16 separate channels? The TASCAM DM24 is a good example of a digital console with analog inputs and analog to digital converters with a FireWire output. Those kinds of consoles negate the need to purchase a separate audio card/interface other than a $39 FireWire PCI card if your computer does not already have one.

Is this now making more sense for you chicouk??

I think you might just have to grin and Beringer it?
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Wed, 05/10/2006 - 10:21
Phonic and Beringer are both low-cost mixers that offer FireWire connectivity as well. Then you only have to be concerned with a single cable going from the mixer to your lap top FireWire input! But I do believe that the Mackie Onyx 1640 would be a better quality Way to go with their new and improved " boutique" microphone preamp?

Cheap little son of a......
Ms. Remy Ann David