#1
Okay, so my band is trying to do some home recordings and have some questions about analog and digital consoles we would be running them through an audio interface idc if im being a noob right now im just trying to learn. (looking for using them for live and in the studio).

1. Whats the difference between analog and digital mixers?
2. What are the sound differences between analog mixers and digital mixers?
3. Would you reccomend using analog or digital for an alternative rock/ soft rock/ indie band?
4. What board would you recommend if i have around a 2,000 dollar budget? we have to mic 2 vocals one guitar one bass and a drummer with an 8 piece set so i need individual channels for all of that
#2
Go digital...there are no advantages of analog in my opinion...


I haven't ever bought anything that expensive so I can not give a safe recommendation, but I am sure you will get one soon.

EDIT: If you are running through an interface there is no point getting digital though as digital mixer would essentially be your interface.
#3
On that kind of budget (which I assume includes the price of mics, stands, cables, etc. as well as the interface), getting any kind of console would be a waste of money, since finding anything good at that price is going to be extremely hard.

When you say "8 piece set," do you mean he literally has 8 drums or he has 8 drums and cymbals combined?
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#4
1. Analogue mixers are in general a lot easier to use, and therefore faster to set up, make changes on etc. Also, they generally sound nicer/warmer due to the circuitry and the nature of analogue clipping. Digital mixers take more time to set up, but allow you to save settings, so you can soundcheck several bands and save gain structures & EQs for each band. Digital mixers usually have effects built in as well, so you can add compressors, gates, reverbs, delays etc... to each channel, or set them up as a bus that you can side chain to. Digital mixers are generally a lot more expensive.

2. I've never met anyone who has claimed that digital actually sounds better than analogue (within the same price range anyway), it's just that generally digital is a lot more convenient. Look up analogue & digital clipping for some of the differences, I can't really be bothered to explain them on here.

3. Analogue. With a $2000 budget, you aren't going to get a digital desk that's really worth having. Also, no offence but your band probably isn't anywhere near big enough to warrant it!

4. I wouldn't. You don't really need a mixing desk to record, you need an interface, or for that set up, if you plan on recording everything at the same time, a hard disk recorder and some preamps. I'd say get an Alesis HD24 and a couple of Focusrite Octopres, build a split rack and rackmount the lot in a decent flightcase. That way you can take it around to your shows and record everything while front of house runs as normal.

By all means get an analogue board to mix yourselves live, but you don't need it for recording.
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Last edited by Sonny_sam at Nov 11, 2011,
#5
We have mics and he has 4 drums hi hat and 3 cymbals
Last edited by the singer 22 at Nov 11, 2011,
#6
The truth is no one is gonna be able to tell If its recorded digital vs. analogue in fact most people who claim they can tell a difference are lieing out their teeth or just believe they think they are hearing a difference.

The whole analogue vs. digital recording arguement is nonsense.

I have never seen good proof analogue is better. If anything it's just more inconviet. With all this said I am looking at buying an old mini-moog lol
Last edited by FireHawk at Nov 11, 2011,
#7
And you say just use an interface to record but what if we dont have enough inputs on the interface? (We have an apogee ensemble) could we just run an analog board to the interface that way we can fit all the mics we need?
#8
Quote by Sonny_sam
1. Analogue mixers [...] generally sound nicer/warmer due to the circuitry and the nature of analogue clipping.
[...]
Look up analogue & digital clipping for some of the differences, I can't really be bothered to explain them on here.


You're not supposed to let your sound clip in the first place...
#10
Quote by the singer 22
And you say just use an interface to record but what if we dont have enough inputs on the interface? (We have an apogee ensemble) could we just run an analog board to the interface that way we can fit all the mics we need?


Yes you can do that. You just need to make sure your mic levels and EQing is done before you hit record. It's harder to EQ alll drums mics on one channel.


Quote by n00bje
You're not supposed to let your sound clip in the first place...

If your a beginner you shouldn't. If you know what your doing you can do it. I purposely have done it on quite a few tracks (usually in heavier parts of songs). It's a stylistic thing, I even run a plugin these days on my master track that makes it sound like its clipping a little (about 10% wet usually).

----
As for the analog vs. digital debate from earlier...it doesn't really matter what is chosen if it goes to a computer. I don't consider it real analog unless its going to tape.
Last edited by FireHawk at Nov 11, 2011,
#11
honestly i would say digital is better. it has been shown to sound more clear and does better at capturing the environment better and fuller. also its probably easier to find. yes the clipping is different but as someone said, you shouldnt really be clipping anyway. even if you know what you are doing and doing it for effect, how often will you actually do that? plus like someone said, i doubt anyone can REALLY tell the difference if given a blind test.
#12
Quote by the singer 22
And you say just use an interface to record but what if we dont have enough inputs on the interface? (We have an apogee ensemble) could we just run an analog board to the interface that way we can fit all the mics we need?

Your interface supports ADAT and S/PDIF expansion.

Get a nice 8 channel ADAT preamp (Focusrite Octopre, M-Audio Octane, Presonus Digimax, etc.), then a 2 channel S/PDIF mic pre for vocals/overhead/whatever and you'll have 14 inputs. Plenty enough to record what you need.
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#13
Yea man, unless you guys are already huge I would just go digi route. get a $500 tascam some mics. Get your room the best you can and if you cant mix. Pay someone to mix for you
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#14
presonus studiolive 16.4

used it in a live situation at the Salem MA town fireworks and other gigs and it is a functional digital board.

Seems like it would be a workhorse in the studio too.
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#15
Christ, apart from a few wiser people (they probably know who they are, too ) this thread is full of stupidity...
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#16
Usually, the analogue vs digital debate isn't about what kind of mixer, but what kind of media you record to.

The whole tape vs. hard disc/computer debate is one that will never come out with a winner and a loser. Different strokes for different folks.

My take on it is this:

In the early days of digital, with consumer gear, you could tell the difference. I say that with some reservation, though. You could tell the difference between something recorded to 2" tape on a Studer recorder and something recorded on a soundblaster card. Of course, the stuff recorded to tape was probably also done with high end mics and high end preamps and all that.

But even in the early days of digital, there were some truly great recordings made - and you'd SWEAR that they were analogue.

But really.... here is the litmus test. Turn on the radio, or take a sampling of your favourite CD's. Can you tell which ones were recorded to digital and which were recorded to tape? I honest-to-God bet you can't tell. If analogue "is just so much warmer", then why the hell can't anyone tell the difference?

See, traditionally, people compared pro analogue recordings to home digital recordings. Duh! Of COURSE you can tell the difference! And then the rhetoric took on a life of its own....

If you still swear you can tell, I challenge you to this: Which of these classic albums were done to digital and which were done to tape? (the answers may surprise you...)

Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral
Weezer - Weezer (with Buddy Holly, The Sweater, etc.)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (with Sultans of Swing, Brothers in Arms)
Aerosmith - Get a Grip (with Cryin', Livin on the Edge)
Thomas Dolby - Golden Age of Wireless (with She Blinded Me With Science)
Def Leppard - Hysteria (with Pour Some Sugar on Me, and Animal)
Extreme - Pornograffiti (Get the Funk Out, More than Words)
Motley Crue - Doctor Feelgood (Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart)
Soundgarden - Superunknown (Black Hole Sun, My Wave)
AC/DC - Fly on the Wall (Shake Your Foundations, Fly on the Wall)

Now, assuming you can't tell with any reliability better than chance which of the above were *recorded* to analog or to digital, I'll suggest to you that it makes even less of a difference whether the mixer itself was analog or digital.

The difference won't be the technology, it will be the quality.

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.
#17
Quote by FireHawk
The truth is no one is gonna be able to tell If its recorded digital vs. analogue in fact most people who claim they can tell a difference are lieing out their teeth or just believe they think they are hearing a difference.

The whole analogue vs. digital recording arguement is nonsense.

I have never seen good proof analogue is better. If anything it's just more inconviet. With all this said I am looking at buying an old mini-moog lol


I agree and being an old cat I started on Analog. Digital is not a dirty word and I'm an owner of both tube amps and SS.
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#18
Quote by FireHawk
The truth is no one is gonna be able to tell If its recorded digital vs. analogue in fact most people who claim they can tell a difference are lieing out their teeth or just believe they think they are hearing a difference.

The whole analogue vs. digital recording arguement is nonsense.

I have never seen good proof analogue is better. If anything it's just more inconviet. With all this said I am looking at buying an old mini-moog lol


This.
In fact Digital is 100 times more easier and smooth to record with.


If any of you use Analog, that's fine, cool. I just find Digital very easy to handle.

This is talking strictly about RECORDING, not all audio equipment. There are analog and digital audio equipment that vary on which is better than which.
Last edited by Clay-man at Nov 11, 2011,
#19
Quote by abitofinger
presonus studiolive 16.4

used it in a live situation at the Salem MA town fireworks and other gigs and it is a functional digital board.

Seems like it would be a workhorse in the studio too.

I will include a link:

http://www.long-mcquade.com/products/5448/Pro_Audio_Recording/Mixers/Presonus/StudioLive_16_4_2.htm price in Canadian Dollars.

I have used this in both studio and live. In the studio it works quite well as a multi-track interface with controls that are easier to deal with then mining through some software packages that control interfaces. Just to clarify, this mixer also works as the interface to your computer through Firewire. It also has the advantage of doubling as your live mixer as well.

Live, I appreciated the saved presets, in fact one user I know saves every venue he plays with his band to cut down on set up time when touring. I found it a little cumbersome to deal with things like the start of feedback on monitors and front of house during the show as not all your controls and indicators are available immediately to the user such as tweaking an EQ when you hear something start to ring.

I also used one in a multi-artist all day "jam" where only the headliner did a sound check and that proved to be a bit of a pain in the butt, a couple acts had their bass sounding like a banjo for the first couple minutes of their set since the EQing and effects can be a bit of a pain to mine down to and adjust.

As for the Analogue vs Digital argument, it depends on what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve.

If we are using only a couple artists doing many tracks, then we almost always go through an interface straight into a DAW, it is just easier to track and add effects.

If we are basically doing a live track with a full band playing together in a studio I prefer a big ol' 70s console into something like a Radar multitrack recorder (yah, I know, it is digital but I haven't seen very many good working order tape machines in years). I also know a lot of producers and engineers prefer the hands on mixing of a big board. Also, there is something old school about using an insert through a mechanical reverb tank and messing with patch panels.

Something like the Presonus unit I linked is kind of in between these two methods of recording but can be used in either scenario if you can live with 16 inputs for a live style recording.

Live, I really could care less if I was using analogue with Class A/B amps or a digital board through Class D amps. In my opinion at ear bleed volumes (or any volume for that matter), only a very special person will notice the difference.
Last edited by Quintex at Nov 11, 2011,
#20
Analog vs. Digital = a religious question. I'd go with digital. Invest your money in the best mics and monitors you can afford. Better mics = better quality. Better monitors let you hear what you captured accurately. Everything else is, like I said, a religious question.
#21
the pro world uses the digital medium as the "tape machine". everything else is analog. I'll use the DAW for editing and automation and bounce to a desk for mixdown. sometimes I'll just stem out the busses from the computer too.

whatever's clever
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#22
If I had an unlimited budget I'd probably choose to record from a Neve desk into an old 24 track tape-based recorder (Studer A800, Ampex ATR-124 etc...) and then digitise all of the tracks for editing in a DAW. I'd still probably run the majority of the processing to outboard gear though, rather than using plug-ins for everything.
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#23
Even if I had an unlimited budget, I still wouldn't bother with analogue. Maintaining a tape machine is yet another skill and another task that you have to add into the equation. Parts are a bugger to come by, as is tape. It's also one more thing to take up room in your studio.

Considering there really isn't anything to gain, it really seems to be far more bother and cost than it's worth.

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.
#24
Unlimited budget, analog and an API console. Doesn't get much better than that. Anyone who disagrees probably doesn't know any better.
#25
Quote by radkins2
Anyone who disagrees probably doesn't know any better.


Isn't it nice when there's only one opinion that could possibly be good?

I'd take an SSL and ProTools HD any day over tape and an API. And yes, that's an informed opinion.
#27
An API, SSL or Neve console is probably about as good as it gets, and they're probably all equally revered.

tape, digital... whatever floats your boat, but it comes down to preference, not quality.

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.