What is it I'm looking for?Unsure of what it'd be called....

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by timeandaword, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. timeandaword

    timeandaword Guest


    I want to be able to..

    (1) Have a mixer-esque piece of hardware to plug 1/4" and XLR into
    (2) Have the ability to connect to my PC
    (3) Be able to set record inputs on the computer software to Track 1, Track 2, etc., and have them correspond with the tracks on my hardware mixer... The goal here is to be able to record each track into a separate track on the computer because in my current setup (RCA out to soundcard's line-in) I can only record a full mix into one track.

    To elaborate on 3.. for example, if we had a vocalist singing on input 1 on the mixer, and a guitarist on input 2, and both were performing and being recorded simultaneously, they would each have their own dedicated track instead of being mixed down into one.

    I would imagine such a feature is very important.. who wants to have to be limited to recording an entire band into one track? Or worse, recording every part one at a time?

    I am confused and I wonder how some of these non-USB or non-Firewire mixers are supposed to allow recording each track into seperate tracks on the computer if its only sending audio out.

    (1) What is the feature that I described above called so I know if a certain mixer/interface will have the ability to record seperate inputs into seperate tracks in editing software?
    (2) What is a good interface for recording in everyone's experience? (One that includes the feature listed above)
    (3) Is it worth it to buy an MBox so I can use Pro Tools?
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    You need a multi-channel audio interface. These come in various different flavours: some connect via firewire or USB, while some require PCI cards to be installed. Some just have line inputs and need to be fed amplified signals from a pre-amp (assuming you are recording from a microphone) while others have pre-amps built in.

    If you buy one with built-in pre-amps, you probably won't need a mixer at all. However, you may decide a mixer would still be useful (eg; for settng up monitor mixes) in which case you should choose one that offers direct outputs for each channel. These could then be plugged into line inputs on your interface so you could record each mixer channel to a separate DAW track.

    Or, you could buy a mixer that includes a built-in interface, such as a Mackie Onyx with the optional firewire card.
  3. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The Onyx 1640 w/firewire option has already been mentioned. Another variation is the Allen Heath ZED R16. I haven't seen the Presonus Studiolive myself but is another form of the same thing-except the first two options allow for up to 96K sampling rate.

    These are mixers that double as a computer interface. They can be used just as small format live mixers or as limited scale studio recording boards. Make no mistake, these are not equal to full professional studio boards. The plus is that they also don't cost $50K.

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