Recording into a computer?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by tamakid, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. tamakid

    tamakid Guest

    do most people use fire wire mixers?
    or interfaces with mixers?
    these questions may sound stupid but im new to recording
    i want to record stright into a computer so im figuring out what to buy.
    I may get a alesis firewire mixer. Does anyone use those?
  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Can't say that I do. But I do use the Delta 1010lt. I read lots of comments with people wanting to get sound in a computer but my concern was "what does it sound like coming out?"

    I don't know firewire from brushfire but soundcards of higher quality then a soundblaster or on-board AC97 seemed like the way to go...for me.

    Right now I use a Yamaha mg16 board fitted to a 48 point 1/4" patchbay to handle outboard gear and for moving signals in/out of the computer. Thats just me, I don't always need to turn on the computer just to work on musical passages or vocals.

    Even though I have a 3ghz 16 month old didn't come with firewire and not having had it the past ten years on any of my machines, I haven't missed it:)

    Let me know how the hunt goes.
  3. gullfo

    gullfo Active Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Old Tappan, NJ USA
    Home Page:
    something to consider - how many channels can you actively record/playback with the mixer? there may be a limit on the Alesis software and/or bandwidth of the PC (firewire 400 vs 800, MoB bus speed, disk throughput, CPU, memory, networking, etc). I typically only use firewire for external disks as backup and archives.

    I generally use a 1010LT and Delta 66 to give me 12 audio i/o but I also have 8 audio i/o at a time via my fiber optic card connected to my Alesis ADATs via a BRC (as timing master) - all fed through mixers and/or patched through several 48 point patch panels so flipping signals around is easy.
  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I tired at one time to use two RME firefaces to give me 16 in's through firewire 800 to my PC. I had a lot of grief. I eventually sold the RME firefaces and picked up a two channel Cranesong Hedd 192 and a lynx L22 card. I have to say I am not firewire fan.
  5. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Itasca, Illinois
    Home Page:
    Honestly I can not imagine a $400 Alesis mixer having even decent microphone preamps. Think about it: For $400 you can either pay for the higher quality mic pre's and suffer a small setback by doing your mixing on the computer, or you can have your music suffer from lesser quality pre's because you also have to pay for all of the other hardware that comes with the mixer.

    Ok, when it comes to pro quality stuff, one would only buy a firewire interface for an extra 8-channel boost, and even then they would be going for the Mackie Onyx which goes for about $1000. But in general they are using full desks that have BOTH the quality preamps AND the tangible use of a mixer.
    ...But we are not there...
    The Alesis sends the sound information through the firewire, much like the Firepod/etc. In essence, both the Alesis and the Firepod are being used for the exact same thing. The only difference is that you get the mixer portion of the Alesis, which, from the reviews I read, does not sound very good quality. Either way you are recording via firewire, do yourself a favor and get the higher quality preamps in the Presonus Firepod.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I think the vast majority of the users out there are using some kind of interface and mixing in the box. Even larger studios are going this route. Mixing out of the box with a mixer the likes of the Alesis would be insane.

    To mix an entire track on the fly with no automation and having to start over at the slightest mistake....yikes, I'd hate to think. (Although this is the way it USED to be done...Mixers were played like musical instruments and often 2 or 3 engineers would sit at a large console working the magic in tandem.)

    For rock, country, and other instrument based multi-track music, I would consider the ideal in today's budget minded studio would be:

    A rack of great outboard mic pres and a handful of effects (Comp, EQ, etc.) going into a quality AD and then into the interface into the computer. (I REALLY like the Lynx and RME stuff! But, let's face it, if you're able to enter the computer in digital, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference what you use.)

    Mixing would either occur:
    1 - in the box using a quality control surface (Mackie Control Universal Pro...)

    2 - out of the box (on a mixer with automation)

    3 - a hybrid in the box and then out into a summing mixer.

    You can start with a good interface, add pres and conversion later.

    Cheers -

  7. Appleseed

    Appleseed Guest

    If you're new a lot of what's been written may be over your head.
    First things first:
    What's your budget?

    Next let's identify each link in your chain:
    What mics are you using?
    What are your computer specs?
    How are you monitoring?

    Now, how many tracks do you want to record at one time? I disagree with the RME hater. I have an RME and a Tascam FW1884 running at the same time with 16 tracks in Cubase. Works great! There are a lot of options to choose from and when I was starting it was a frustrating life of trial and error. Simplify everything and start identifying exactly what you want to accomplish. Then buy gear.

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