#1
Hey guys, I've been spending the past week setting up a home recording studio. All I need is gear. I have mics, a DAW, instruments, MIDI, and all that picked out. The only thing I need to pick is a USB Audio Interface/Soundcard and a Mixer. I'm using a laptop too if that helps at all. One of the things I'm confused about is how an audio interface and a mixer work together. How they plug in to each other, etc. I've been looking at the following:

Behringer XENYX X2442USB USB Mixer with Effects (Link )
I believe that doesn't need an audio interface? However, I'm looking for the best quality I can get, and this all-in-one thing could limit me.

My other possible choice is the TASCAM US-1800 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface (Link ) with a Peavey PV14 Mixer (Link )

Keep in mind it doesn't have to be that interface and mixer exactly, that was just an example.


I've heard that having a separate mixer and audio interface is better. I'm kind of confused about this though. I was looking for a setup something like this:

mic > mixer > audio interface > laptop w/ DAW

I have no clue if this is a "good" setup. I'm a recording noob. I'm going to be recording acoustic instruments (guitar, violin, maybe saxophone) electric guitar (probably by mic-ing an amp), vocals, and MIDI/keyboard/synth.

Thanks a lot for your help in advance.


EDIT: Another question.. I've heard that a mixer with a limited number of inputs means that's the limit for how many tracks can be a in a song without "bouncing" it. For example, a mixer with 8 mic inputs means you can only record the 8 separate tracks and then you have no more room, meaning you need to bounce if you wanna record more. This true? Cause I'm planning on recording some large songs, with a lot of tracks. They would be recorded separately, not at the same time, of course, but just sayin'. Thanks.
Last edited by Fender1424 at Sep 3, 2011,
#2
you dont need any mixer if you have a proper interface. The 8 input TAscam has preamps and XLR inputs already so you can ditch the mixer which is ideal anyways as most studios have what looks like a mixer but is really a control surface.

I suggest just getting a Tascam 1800 and spend some money on some good studio near field monitors.

I have a thread linked in my signature line about basics of recording including mixers for recording.....you should view them.
If you are recording live bands, a digital mixer like the PreSonus StudioLive units are great...but for just studio based work, you really don't need that. I personally get by easily with a PreSonus FP10 with 8 XLR inputs and on board Preamps.
Last edited by moody07747 at Sep 3, 2011,
#3
Quote by moody07747
you dont need any mixer if you have a proper interface. The 8 input TAscam has preamps and XLR inputs already so you can ditch the mixer which is ideal anyways as most studios have what looks like a mixer but is really a control surface.

I suggest just getting a Tascam 1800 and spend some money on some good studio near field monitors.

I have a thread linked in my signature line about basics of recording including mixers for recording.....you should view them.
If you are recording live bands, a digital mixer like the PreSonus StudioLive units are great...but for just studio based work, you really don't need that. I personally get by easily with a PreSonus FP10 with 8 XLR inputs and on board Preamps.

Yeah that's what I've heard, but I'd really like an external mixer. I like the idea of being able to physically tweak things. I'm wondering if I can connect a mixer to a Tascam or something like that.
#4
Quote by Fender1424
Yeah that's what I've heard, but I'd really like an external mixer. I like the idea of being able to physically tweak things. I'm wondering if I can connect a mixer to a Tascam or something like that.


It wont take long at all after learning how to work on a computer to get used to doing everything with a mouse and keyboard. The trick though, is to learn how to properly do everything with whatever DAW you're using. After that, unless you've spent a crap load on a Neve or SSL or the like, you'll be getting by just fine with just a computer and no physical mixer. They're just a waste of money these days...
#5
Go for the Tascam, what you're doing with the Behringer is having a mixer with a lot of channels, which are then put into one stereo track, and then you only get the stero track on your PC So if you for example recorded drum, and later decided that it might have been better if the snare wasn't that loud you're to late, because you only have a track with all the drums on it.

If you choose the Tascam, and record drum, you'll be able to seperately record all of it's tracks so then you can change the volumes and everything arround afterwards. In my opion the tascam would be the thing you'd want to go for. If you like a mixer to be able to control volumes and everything you could just buy a controller, but you get used to using the mouse really fast.

(the peavey won't add anything>
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
Last edited by pinguinpanic at Sep 3, 2011,
#6
Quote by sandyman323
... mixer. They're just a waste of money these days...


I wouldn't go that far. Depending on what you want to do with what gear you have and how you want to work, a mixer can provide functionality you wouldn't otherwise be able to achieve.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Quote by Fender1424
Yeah that's what I've heard, but I'd really like an external mixer. I like the idea of being able to physically tweak things. I'm wondering if I can connect a mixer to a Tascam or something like that.

are you looking to tweak things during the recording stage, or more during your mixing? if you are looking at stuff during the recording stage, a mixer will help. it isnt always the ideal way to do it, but it works. with most mixers in the lower price ranges, you will only get one stereo output, which means youve lost some of the ability for post mixing. if you are looking to physically tweak things during the mixing stage, most mixers wont help with that. instead you would want a control surface.

a control surface lets you control the knobs and faders on screen using an external box that looks like a mixer. they can get pretty expensive though. i would say dont worry about one to start. get a feel for what you can do in software with the mouse and keyboard. then if you still want to control that stuff by hand, look into control surfaces. the only really cheap one that i know of that is worth getting is this one. most of the others in that sort of price range dont have some of the features (like motorized faders) that you would expect on a good surface.
#8
+1 on a control surface. Get yourself something like a Digidesign Digi 003 which is a combo control surface/interface.

OR

You could spend money on a separate interface and control surface.

Either way, you'll have your high quality inputs and outputs but you'll also get that hands-on feel you're looking for.