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Old 08-03-2005, 10:19 PM
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finnhiggins finnhiggins is offline
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Default Re: Mics, Mixer and Sound Card!

Originally Posted by Chilli
Me and my band are going to start to record in my house so we are buying all the gear. Does anyone know about good drum Mics that are not to expensive? What about a good mixer and a Sound Card? I have money to spend in it but not that much. I was offered a Yamaha 16 channel Mixer for 400 $US, is that any good?
If you want multi-channel audio in for a PC you can't go far wrong with something like an M-Audio Delta 1010 or 1010LT (depending on what you're plugging in). If you just want to use a mixer to go down to a stereo pair and record in stereo you could get away with something like an M-Audio Audiophile 2496, but you won't get the same results.

I'm not really up on used prices of mixers in the US, but if you're just looking for a home recording setup I don't think you'll need a sixteen channel mixer - that is, assuming you want to do overdubbed takes. If you want to present the whole band then you'll either need to use a mixer to make sub-mixes and send it to the sound card as a reduced set of channels or you'll need two sound cards synched via word clock or SPDIF. If you do that you'll need to get seriously into the specifics of what's in your computer in order to make sure you have enough bandwidth available on the PCI bus for 16+ channels of digital audio at any given time.

What sound card you get dictates what you need in front for best results - for example, the Delta 1010 accepts standard jack connections but has no pre-amp, which means you need a dedicated 8-channel pre-amp or mixer in front of it to supply line-level sound. The 1010LT has two balanced inputs and six RCA inputs, and the balanced ones can be switched to Mic level using a jumper on the card - not very convenient as it requires taking your computer to pieces. So you'd need a configuration there that can send balanced where available (preferably at line level with a good pre-amp on the front again) or RCA when not (and use good quality RCA cabling, not flimsy ones that came with a Discman or something).

Try to work out exactly what your budget is, then try to buy pretty balanced stuff across your entire rig. There's no point in having $2,000 A/D convertor rack mount units if you are going to be using budget microphones, and likewise there's not a lot of point buying an amazing pre-amp if your sound card only accepts unbalanced RCA connections.
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