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  #1  
Old 07-16-2011, 07:26 AM
Devils Haircut Devils Haircut is offline
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Default Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

I picked up a mixer today because it was the MF stupid deal of the day. I'm going to run a bass drum mic and two overheads. But after doing some reading, it seems I might not even need a mixer. Did I make a mistake? Or is a mixer a good piece of gear to have? I assume that the mics feed the mixer---which feeds the interface---which feeds the computer. I'm wondering if I should return it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:51 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

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Originally Posted by Devils Haircut View Post
I picked up a mixer today because it was the MF stupid deal of the day. I'm going to run a bass drum mic and two overheads. But after doing some reading, it seems I might not even need a mixer. Did I make a mistake? Or is a mixer a good piece of gear to have? I assume that the mics feed the mixer---which feeds the interface---which feeds the computer. I'm wondering if I should return it.


Have you decided how you're going to record? If you're using a computer, you could get a USB interface that can accept up to 14 mic inputs and yes, you wouldn't need the mixer. The way I record, I want the mixer because I don't record to the computer, I record to a stand-alone 16-track recorder. So you have to decide how you will record first. Everybody does it into the computer these days so you may not need that mixer. But then, do you have a computer powerful enough and the software? And then you'll be spending money on a big enough interface for what you want to do.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:58 PM
Devils Haircut Devils Haircut is offline
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

Thanks Bo. I have a few questions though:

1.) Why do you prefer recording to a 16 track recorder over using a computer? What are the pros and cons of both?

2.) Will the mixer allow me to use a cheaper interface with only one intput that would receive signal from the mixer out? (I hope that makes sense)
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:46 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

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Originally Posted by Devils Haircut View Post
Thanks Bo. I have a few questions though:

1.) Why do you prefer recording to a 16 track recorder over using a computer? What are the pros and cons of both?

2.) Will the mixer allow me to use a cheaper interface with only one intput that would receive signal from the mixer out? (I hope that makes sense)

My first goes with computer-based software left me a little cold. First off, you have to have big-time processor power if you plan on bringing in eight signals at a time, and then expect the computer to be able to apply any kind of processing to those signals while you record. So that meant to me that applying simple EQ to a track (don't even think about dynamic effects, like compression or others like reverb) eats time. Second, I don't care what anybody says, the pre-amps in your basic USB interface, like, say, the Tascam US-1641, are NOT as good as pre-amps in medium- to expensive mixing boards.

I do use the computer after I record, though. I mic everything through an old Mackie 1604, and the eight direct outs go into my Zoom R16 recorder. The recording happens very quick. I can EQ everything the way I like it, add effects if I want, and just get the signals to the recorder. After I record, I can then take that little SD card and dump it into my mac and use it mainly as a mixdown device. That's how I work with it and most of my videos were done this way.

For you, having a mixer will allow you to take the mixer outputs and run it into an interface, but then you're recording only stereo into the computer. Whatever you do to the signal will affect everything. The whole idea behind multi-track recording is that you have control over each track. Granted, you'll get a great sound by mixing on the board, but you'll do alot of playing around first to find your sound because you'll have to pre-mix yourself (not a bad thing to learn how to do with your gear) before it goes to the computer.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

What kind of mixer? Also, what kind of interface are you thinking of getting? Hopefully the mixer you got has a post-fader output for each channel.

It sounds like you're just beginning to record, so I'd say keep the mixer--having the tactile piece of hardware will help you better understand what's going on inside the program. Remember, the recording programs are merely simulations of the gear/effects/routing/etc that people have been using for decades...
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:41 PM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

I have a little mixer, and I have used it for a variety of things. I have used it to record drums; PA and monitor applications; crude muti-track recording; recording from cassette, DVD player, and computer to a stand-alone CD recorder; and a few other things. My guitar friend and I call it "the Swiss Army knife" due to its versatility. Peace and goodwill.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

Mixers are useful and I'll get a mixer one day when I decide that I need tactile control of my recording process. You don't need one if you're recording into an interface though.

I echo Bo in asking what kind of mixer did you get?
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:29 AM
Devils Haircut Devils Haircut is offline
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Default Re: Did I make a mistake buying a mixer for home recording???

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Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Mixers are useful and I'll get a mixer one day when I decide that I need tactile control of my recording process. You don't need one if you're recording into an interface though.

I echo Bo in asking what kind of mixer did you get?
It was a soundcraft 124 something or other. It was the "stupid deal of the day" for $79 so I scooped it up. It has yet to arrive.
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