Originally Posted by drummer-russ
you guys all rock. Getting back into music after decades away has left my head spinning wrt technology. If I am getting what you guys are sayinf, for my application, start with a Mackie type mixer. I think this is in line with the original posters intent so don't think I am hijacking the thread.
I have a 7 piece that I want to mic for live performance primarily. The 4 mic arrangment sounds great.
For live then I could either use the mixer as an input to the bands PA or possibly even as the bands mixer.
Depends on the number of inputs the rest of the band requires and model of Mackie. For example, you say you only need 4 mics for drums. OK, well the Mackie 1202 has only 4 XLR (mic) inputs, and only 4 1/4" channels although they are stereo. The 1402 has 6 XLR inputs, so if you have two singers and 4 other instruments that can use 1/4" line-ins, you could get away with that. Personally, I started with a 8-channel Yamaha with 8 XLRs for the band, added a Rolls 8 XLR mixer for the drums, and fed the Rolls into a single channel on the Yamaha. As time went on, I played around adding a Mackie 1202 and even an Alesis Multimix12R. Today, they are all retired and I have a single Mackie CR1604VLZ in play that handles my 5 piece band's needs, and my drums hog 8, or 9, channels, depending upon gig needs. The CR1604VLZ is the 16 XLR channel version in the same family as the 1202 and 1402. I sold the Alesis, and am sitting on the Yamaha 8-channel and the 1202. just in case.
And for practice etc, I can use the mixer to record myself and a song?
Can I play a song on my computer through Itunes and feed it into the mixer, with drums and then output to Audacity?
No, because your computer cannot output and record an input at the same time. However, you can playback your phone or .mp3 player into a mixer channel for the music you're playing to, and run an output from the mixer into the computer for Audacity recording. You will likely need an interface for your computer if you get one of the aforementioned Mackies. You might also be able to get away with an adapter, depending on your computer's inputs. For example, if you have a 1/8" mic in, you can get a 1/4" to 1/8" cable or adapter and feed the mixer 1/4" output into the computer's 1/8" mic input. Because I use my laptop to playback in-between-set-music at gigs, and record the music we play, I got a $20 Behringer USB interface instead, and it's perfect for recording rehearsals and gigs. It's tiny so I tape-mounted it inside my amp rack, and I have only a single, more sturdy USB connection going to my laptop instead of two 1/8" connections (mic and headphones). If you get an expensive Mackie Onyx, I believe it has USB or Firewire built in.