N00B seeking advice on Firewire Mixer Usage

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by Hartmut, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    Hi and hello
    to everyone who is looking up this thread. I did search for answer to my most likely noobish question
    in the past threads,
    but did not find any.

    So I am thinking of getting a 16 track firewire mixer for both tracking and live sound and mixing.
    Main concern:
    -Can such a mixer work as a stand-alone, analog mixer? What limitations should I take into account?

    Using E-MU 1616 on laptop and desktop (via PCMCIA2PCI adapter) but I was thinking a firewire mixer synced up with Cubase LE would be perhaps more flexible (moving channel faders simultanously, soloing channels quickly etc) and also more future-proof. I also lack a simple (and my own!) mixer with some plain onboard reverbs and delay for live sound.

    Would a firewire mixer be a good option for me? If, roughly, yes, what should I be aware when choosing one?

    Many thanks for any thoughts you might want to share..


    EDIT: edited title so that it makes more sense
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Re: Can A Firewire Mixer Double As Analog Mixer For Live Sou

    If the mixer has an analog stereo output and you have a power amp for your speakers, you should be good to go.
  3. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    thank you hueseph, this addresses my main concern

    I have never used firewire mixer and I am not sure how much you can get out of it when it takes over from my current interface. Anyone with hands on experience is more then welcome to post his advice..

    The concerns I have are:

    (1) I want to record dry signals and route them back to the firewire mixer for monitoring and possibly experimenting with EQ and effects while the signal is being recorded dry. Is this possible with a firewire mixer and cubase (I have LE version at the moment)

    (2) When I use a firewire mixer with PC (running cubase) at the mix stage - will I be able to control the channel levels with the faders on the mixer?

    In other words: what controls available on the mixer connected to PC via firewire can be synced up with the software controls in cubase or other mutitrack software?

    Many thanks for any help on this!
  4. Croakus

    Croakus Active Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Home Page:
    You're looking for the Mackie Onyx line in my opinion. I have an Onyx 1220 (you probably want the 16 channel version) with firewire card that I use for home studio recording. It's also a very good quality analog mixer.

    Important points:

    - The firewire is post pre-amp, pre EQ. In other words, firewire is always dry.
    - The analog portion of the mixer is extremely clean (not to mention the pre-amps). To be honest, it's clean to the point that some people don't like it. I personally do.

    The one problem is, the Mackie is not a DAW. I don't know of anything that works well as a DAW at home, live mix on stage.
  5. Hartmut

    Hartmut Guest

    Can I route all recorded tracks via firewire to the mixer?

    thanks for your reply, Croakus!

    I was initially looking on alesis multimix range.
    This is what I have read in a review:

    "it allows you to send each channel - plus the stereo mix - to your computer for recording with two channels returned for monitoring. Even better, all the processing you apply to the signal from the preamps to the outputs is recorded as well."

    So alesis does not record dry, it seems, while onyx does - from what you say - a point for onyx IMO...

    Back to my second concern that you commented on by saying:
    If that's how it is then fine: I have to buy e.g. mackie firewire mixer for live and tracking and e.g. mackie "control surface" for mixdown.
    But... maybe....I don't?

    With the E-MU1616 and Cubase that I have I can route each recorded ASIO track to one of the physical outputs. From the multimix review I understand that, at least while recording, a stereo mix can be returned to the mixer. So it seems possible to have signal go back from cubase, via firewire, to the mixer, parallel and simultanous with signal going from the mixer to cubase...

    So my rephrased question would be:

    At the mix stage - can I route all individual recorded tracks via firewire to the mixer?

    Once again, thank you a lot for patience :oops: with me and all replies
  6. Re: Can I route all recorded tracks via firewire to the mixe

    Many people don't like the fact that the Onyx firewire signal doesn't include the EQ because it has a very nice EQ.

    Mackie Onyx and Alesis Multimix FW cannot be used as control surfaces. Only audio is sent via firewire to your computer.

    Alesis Multimix FW only has a stereo return to the mixer no matter what you are doing. It is strictly a 18-in/2-out interface. I've owned one for over a year now. I believe Onyx has the same setup.

    In case you weren't aware, Onyx supports up to 96k sample rate, but Multimix only does 44.1/48k. You may look into the Alesis IO|14 or IO|26 that are coming out as well.

    Musician's Friend is selling the Multimix 16 FW for $400 now which is a great deal for 8 mic/8 line simultaneous recording...

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