#1
im sorry to ask this question but im new to recording and me and my band are planning to self-record our own demos track by track, layer by layer.

and i was just wondering what was a mixer for if we are using a laptop and softwares like audacity and mixcraft to record? isnt all the presets and eq settings done on the amplifier? does it make the sound clearer or something?
#2
The mixer is what brings the sound together, so for instance if you have drums, guitars, bass mic'd and a synth/keyboard plugged in, you can control the channels and fine EQ each channel before sending it to the laptop/speakers.
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#3
Think about it as an amplifier for the whole band (thats a bad example but u'll get what I mean)

You dial in your sound to your amp, and you record what your happy with, then, every one else in the band does the same,

the mixer then adds all the sounds together to make the song, and does things like panning volume and eq for each track, so your guitar can be panned to the right of the mix and sits louder than the other guitarist who decides to sit in the left of the mix,

the drummer then puts him self in the centre and is happy with the volume of the mix but deicides he wants a lil more bass, etc etc etc

Hope that helped.




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#4
Call this a dumb comment if you like but... Mixers are usually used to level all the indevidual sounds and make sure everything is clear and at the right level in the song, I not sure how they fit into that type of recording but if the software has a mixer on it I would have thought you could just use that.

Edit: looks like you got your answers above before I posted!
#5
Quote by Absent Mind
Think about it as an amplifier for the whole band (thats a bad example but u'll get what I mean)

You dial in your sound to your amp, and you record what your happy with, then, every one else in the band does the same,

the mixer then adds all the sounds together to make the song, and does things like panning volume and eq for each track, so your guitar can be panned to the right of the mix and sits louder than the other guitarist who decides to sit in the left of the mix,

the drummer then puts him self in the centre and is happy with the volume of the mix but deicides he wants a lil more bass, etc etc etc

Hope that helped.


but is it different from the eqs and mixers they have on mixcraft and audacity? i mean softwares like mixcraft and audacity allows adjustments of volumes and pans and stuff as well. and do i need a mixer in between my computer and my amplifier if im using one of those softwares?
#6
most of the time its best to use the on board EQ and such until you have high end gear since lower end rack gear and such will distroy your sound easily due to the low quality ADA converters on that hardware.

if you want to feed say 8 drum mics into a computer and use the computer software to mix you can easily do this but you need an interface with 8 mic inputs like the FP10.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/PreSonus-FP10-10x10-FireWire-Interface?sku=242036

so now lets talk about the large mixers like the Behringer Eurodesk MX9000 which has a ton of bus outputs. Now you could feed each bus output to an input on your interface which would give a ton of routing options. Sure it will cost more but it gives a hands on control compared to using a mouse for everything.

Theres also things called controls which can control the on screen mixer but you have a board that looks like an analog mixer on your desk which helps a lot compared to using a mouse.

generally smaller mixers are for live sound and not much for recording since they will only have one or two outputs.
#8
you really dont need it for recording...
but yes that is an analog mixer and a good one, all the MG series are.

You either need an interface with the amount of inputs you ill be recording at one time
or
you will need a single input interface like the m-audio 2496 PCI interface card and feed an analog mixer, (like the one you are looking at) into the inputs of the card.

the thing is once you feed all that audio into a mixer you will be mixing it down to a single stereo track so you cant edit two instruments on one track.

for home recording its best to go with the external interface IMO since they have a good amount of inputs, XLR inputs, and on board preamps.

for example you could look at the Mackie Onyx Satellite firewire interface. This will connect to your computer using a firewire cord for high speed and high data flow. It comes with two inputs at the front panel and two good preamps so you don't need any mixer which saves money.

now if you are planning on making some high quality songs then just spend the money and go to a pro. studio since the engineer will know more on how to record, mix, and master to get the best out of the gear he has to use.
#9
The clue is in the name. A mixer takes all the sounds you put into it, adds panning EQ or FX, and then mixes all the sounds down into one stereo track.

If you were using one live you would have all the miced instruments going into the mixer, then to a poweramp, then to the PA speakers.

With recording, you can set up a mixer with a recorder, and assign each track on the recorder to a track on the mixer, and use the mixer to edit the tracks.

If you were recording with a PC, you would have to send the mixers stereo output into you soundcard line in. On your PC you would only be able to see the one track, you wouldn't be able to mix the individual instruments.

Mixers can be useful for computers if you have a lot of drum mics you have to use at once but can't afford and 8 track interface. Otherwise you don't need one as you will only be recording one track at a time.
#10
Quote by moody07747
you really dont need it for recording...
but yes that is an analog mixer and a good one, all the MG series are.

You either need an interface with the amount of inputs you ill be recording at one time
or
you will need a single input interface like the m-audio 2496 PCI interface card and feed an analog mixer, (like the one you are looking at) into the inputs of the card.



but we record instrument by instrument in different layers and put them all together. we dont need that much inputs for one instrument right?
#12
Yep but if you had something like a drumset you would need 8 inputs for 8 drum mics. You could get away with two overheads but its one sof those more is better type deals.
you could use an analog mixer to mix 8 drum mics to one input on a smaller interface which is what most people will do but you cant adjust one drum pad volume after its all recorded since its all in one stereo track.

so if you set your levels a a safe point first and get a good mix you should have no problem with that type of setup.
#14
Quote by recklessnick
oh cool. so you think its okay for me to get that mixer?


If you are recording on your computer you definitely don't need a mixer, since most digital audio studio software mixes for you.

A mixer in a recording studio is needed if you go with a standalone hard-disk recorder, DAT (Digital Audio Tape) or analog tape (the best method, in my opinion). In both these cases audio is recorded on to the medium in separate tracks, be it a 4 to 24 track device, and then the audio is output track-separate to the mixer, which controls the sound reaching the speakers.
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#15
I suggest doing the mix 'in the box' unless you've got some really high end gear.
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#16
so if im using mixcraft on a laptop i can just straight plug from the amp to my comp without using a mixer?
#17
You'd need an audio interface of some sort to get usable sound quality.
#19
Quote by recklessnick
whats an audio interface? and how to i get it?


Fancy word for sound card. Sound card being a fancy word for Analog-to-Digital and/or Digital-to-Analog converters. These things do exactly what the name says, they convert between analog and digital audio. Get a nice audio interface with all the inputs you want (M-Audio, Presonus, MOTU) and you're set for digital recording. I have to insist upon analog though, I got bored with digital very fast.
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#20
There is no logical reason to choose at analog setup over a digital one for what he is doing, especially since most cheaper "analog" recording solutions end up digital in there own signal chains.
#21
Quote by MrPillow
There is no logical reason to choose at analog setup over a digital one for what he is doing, especially since most cheaper "analog" recording solutions end up digital in there own signal chains.


I went digital in my early recording days. I wanted to simply record my guitar then throw some sequenced drums in. I eventually moved to a more advanced setup, recording my real drums, organ, piano, and using some great soft synths. It still got boring, fast. Now I use a reel-to-reel tape machine and mixing board and I just love it.
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