Skip to main content

New PC-Based Studio: Multiple Track Recording?

Member for

21 years
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!

Comments

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 04/11/2008 - 13:17
Presonus's forums are a great place to get lots of info on their gear.

http://www.presonus.com

people have been very helpful over there with info.

I have an older XP SP1 enterprise edtion that im going to put on a partition that I am going to play with as far as windows apps go for recording. But I think im going to stick with Logic and stay Mac.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Fri, 04/11/2008 - 13:27
A separate drive is always better. Placing another partition on the drive doesn't really help much because the information is still transferred through the same ide cable.

But a separate drive on it's own individual cable will keep the information transfer between the two drives separate from one another.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 04/11/2008 - 13:32
Lucky for me I own a small computer company. :) I'll be using a RAID 0 array for all my audio work, including temporary files, and have a few hundred gigabytes to dedicate to that. Configured properly, I have found that it is not necessary to use a dedicated computer for many things that people say require a dedicated system. I've been doing gaming, graphic and web design, audio and video capture and editing, and software testing all on the same computer that also stores my extensive audio and video archives, and to which my surveillance system is also connected, for years.

Some days, I love technology. :)

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 04/19/2008 - 14:21
Thought I would forward replies I got from some questions I sent to Alesis:

"Thank you for your interest in Alesis.

Our USB1.1 mixers only record all channels down to a single stereo track (left and right channel). These are most likely the mixers that you were told about.

Our Firewire and USB2.0 mixers are capable of multi-track recording. Therefore, any of our Firewire or USB2.0 mixers will work perfectly for what you are trying to do."

And after I sent some more questions, another reply:

"Thank you for your enquiry.

Me: What is the difference between the 16Firewire and the 16USB 2.0 mixers? I believe Firewire is faster but imagine USB 2.0 is probably adequate for 16 channels, so what is the practical difference, if any?

Alesis: There is only one difference between these two mixers. The difference being that the USB2.0 mixer is capable of transferring audio at a higher sample rate than the Firewire mixer.

The Firewire mixers highest transfer rate is 48KHZ. The USB2.0 mixers highest transfer is 96KHZ.

Me: In the specs on your site for the 16Firewire, next to phantom power it says 4@48v. Does this mean that only 4 of the XLR mic inputs provide phantom power? Same question for the 16USB 2.0.

Alesis: This is incorrect. Both the Firewire and USB2.0 mixers have phantom power on all 8 XRL mic inputs (8@48V)."

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Fri, 04/11/2008 - 18:57
My goal is to get Linux running (easy enough, minus Radeon 2600's having crap drivers) and use Ardour (bit harder, considering that "i386 architecture is not supported by Ardour 2" and to install it, I had to install Ubuntu Studio on top of Ubuntu 7.10 ... I tried dyneBolic but my mouse is nothing short of a joke.
I've tried virtual machines too, I say NEVER try and use a VM for audio recording, maybe mixes but NOTHING else, it's so slow and a nightmare with Linux anything as a guest OS.
And obviously I can't run it natively because of severe problems with drivers.

Besides that, great, keeping everything on one big partition is the way to go.
(For a year or more anyway)

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Sat, 04/19/2008 - 14:42
Space wrote: [quote=basilbowman]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

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.
If there is any confusion, which I often bring to the table, my reference was to your first post on this topic, the Yamaha MG16 mixer.

Just in case....

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 04/19/2008 - 14:54
Space, I would love to use the MG16 if I can, since I still can get it much more inexpensively than even the Alesis mixers, which are in turn significantly less than the Firepod. Did you see my question replying to your post about patch cords? I'd be comfortable messing with that but was wondering how it works and whether or not I could have 8 inputs and 8 serparate outputs simultaneously.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Fri, 04/11/2008 - 19:46
Can't agree with ya boss.

Think of it like your blank recording tape.

It is one of the easiest things that even a yahoo >can
Or that yahoo knows a teenager that can do it. It can be done at no real expense or downtime.

Oh, I wasn't referring to any one particular person when I said yahoo.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Sat, 04/12/2008 - 06:31
??? I can add a hard drive no problem. It's driveRs I have problems with, for graphics cards and sound cards and mice.

And keeping everything on one partition, I meant Windows, the program files and everything that isn't media needing to be streamed into an editor.
Everything I have is on one drive, then my media files are on another drive along with a few games because they wouldn't fit on my first drive.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Sun, 04/20/2008 - 09:55
I'm hankering after a 1010LT, since I'm on a budget and want something other than onboard, with multiple lines (and any quality of pres are a plus).
I do live sound though, so I'm not after a control surface. I don't want/need 2 mixers on the table as there's never enough space for one and a laptop lol.

Member for

13 years 7 months

rainsong23 Mon, 04/21/2008 - 07:16
Another option is the motu 8-pre. I was considering the presonus firestudio but went with the motu because I read alot about compatibility issues with the new macbook pro, and that's what I have. But I really wanted the firestudio, but was a little freaked by what I read. I think they are both really good, I've done some research on them. I paid 720,000 won here in Korea, that's probably about 720 dollars US give or take. Not sure where they are made so don't know if I pay more or less here. Anyway, the firestudio, if I would have waited and risked the compatibility issue, would have cost me 970,000 won.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 04/13/2008 - 08:17
I wanted to use a Raid0, but I wasnt sure how it would work with a 10.5.1 hack os. So I got a MB that I knew was compatible.

Im going to be using a 7,200 RPM S-ATA HDD. I wasn't thinking that a partition would effect the uploading of the audio interface with that fast of a hard drive.

I want to keep this computer as bare bones as I can, because im not sure of the compatiblity of Leopard with mulit-HDD's and such.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Thu, 04/10/2008 - 16:51
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.

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.recordin…"]Soundcard Wizard[/]="http://www.recordin…"]Soundcard Wizard[/]
This maybe isn't the most comprehensive list but it has enough on it to get by.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 04/13/2008 - 10:11
The FP10 (Firepod as I know it) is a good product. It's easy to use, and comes with Cubase LE, I believe, so you wouldn't have to buy software on top of this (I'm assuming you don't already have some kind of software program). Right now, considering you don't want to spend much, and want 8 discrete channels, this would be the way to go. If you could find one used, it'd be even better.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 04/13/2008 - 10:27
Actually I have Cubase and Audition. Is the FP10 the only Firepod that lets you record to discrete channels? I can find previous versions of the Firepod for a lot less.

Am I wrong to be adamant about this multitrack recording capability? You folks know better than I do. I'll be recording acoustic and electric guitars/bass, vocals, piano, very possibly some strings (i.e. cello, violin) and percussion. I will already have two additional channels since I have two Blue Snowball condensors. They would make for fine drum overheads/room mics I think.

I'm open to your suggestions ... also I would really like to hear more about the idea mentioned a while back about using patch cables on that Alesis MultiMix 16USB. And still wondering if the Multimix 16Firewire mixes to stereo like the USB versino or if it offers individual channel recording (ok what is the correct terminology here?).

Thanks very much all!

Tags

x