Recording with new mixer...need help

bog_72

Senior Member
OK so im working on a small studio in the apartment.Its very low budget,and im not very experienced with the mixing board I just picked up,in fact.Its a Behringer xenyx 1204usb...im not sure it even works properly because i dont have everything I need for it.OK let me give details.I intended to use it for recording drums.You know ,mic em all up and use each channel on the mixer to record them.Also for using the condenser mic to record acoustic stuff,and that requires phantom power(condenser) hence the mixer with the pre-amps.
OK so I dont have the right mic cable at the moment.I have a xlr to male,and the mixer would require a xlr to its pre-amp.So I get that.Then I hook up the dynamic mic to try it that way,and still get no response from the computer.Now heres where all the total noob questions come in...so bare with me here...
Does the mixer require its own powered studio speakers in order to operate?Or do I need to turn off my computers sound card(creative1212m)and direct it to the mixer?
Its a usb mixer,and I would have liked to run it directly into the sound card.Anyone know if thats possible?To bypass the usb and hook up to the card.
Also,as I watched youtube videos about the mixer,one guy said you can only record one channel at a time.which would totally defeat the purpose of getting it for micing several drums to record.

I know that studying up on it,and just playing with it until I figure it out would get me alot further,but its a time sensitive issue on returning it if its not going to work with what I want to use it for.
i have like 20 bucks in my pocket,or id run out and experiment with all of the above until I bumped into it.Which is usually how I figure it out.Trial and error,just need to get it back in the mail if its a lost cause.By the way I havent bought the drum mics yet,just trying out the dynamic and condenser now to see if it works.It just seems like the computer should recognize it even if it doesnt have its own speakers hooked up.Yea im a noob.twenty minutes with a pro sound guy,would probably save me two years of fumbling around with it lol.So im hoping some of you got that twenty minutes worth of knowledge for me.id appreciate it.bunch of paperweights right now.
Thanks alot in advanced for any advice.
 
I would troubleshoot this step-by-step starting from the audio source, meaning the microphones themselves. First I'd see if the mixer is registering the signal, indicated by the level meter on the right of the console. If it's not, make sure your levels and gain are set right and the microphones actually work. Once you get the mixer to register the signal from the drums, open up your audio program and see if you can set the input device as the mixer (probably in the preferences menu of the program). Make sure you install any drivers that came with the mixer if needed. It's difficult to troubleshoot or give step-by-step directions without knowing what program you're using, but in general terms, you will need to create multiple audio tracks and set the input of each different track to a separate channel on the mixer.

Hope that helps the process a little.
 

pbloxam

Senior Member
You don't mention what you are sending it to... Audacity? Sonar? Pro-tools?

Sounds like you have a long way to go....You need to read up on the manual for the board to found out how many channels it will send/return through the usb connection...

Study my friend!!! Nothing comes so easy...
 

bog_72

Senior Member
Hey thanks for the advice guys.I have always been the plug in and play type.So This is really new to me,with the technical computer side of it.The mixer doesnt come with much info in the manual.Just diagrams of how to configure it to your instruments and what not.Not so much getting it recognized on your computer.
The software comes with Audacity.Yet my buddy gave me an old copy of Sonor 7 to have after he upgraded.So if that helps at all...

I at least know the dynamic mic works,cant tell if the condenser does yet because my cable isnt right to connect to phantom power.To test it.

ill make sure I have the driver set up,and try and get Sonor or Audacity to recognize the mixer.

ill be back soon when that stumps me :)
 

bog_72

Senior Member
OK I got the driver running.Sonor set up to the mixer.all the lights come on the mixer showing theres a good signal to the instrument(jumping when I strum a chord)The channel in Sonor that im using to the mixer shows the same.A strong signal jumping around as I play.I am sooo close.I just have no sound lol.
So im assuming,since I tried every option in the audios "playback" options.That theres a conflict with the sound cards driver and the new mixers driver.The emu1212m card I have is very touchy it seems.
Is this a common problem,or do I need to get powered speakers in order to hear the mixers audio?I am right there,guessing I could even record,then switch back to the sound card,and then listen,but thats not right.Do I need to go into the sound cards patchmix dsp and find the mixer?Because I dont see it anywhere in there.

Thanks again for any advise.
 
It's common in most audio programs to have to "record enable" or "arm" the track before you hear what the mics are picking up, so you'll probably need to hit the record button on each audio track before you hear anything. This basically tells the program which tracks you want recording when you press the big red button, and shouldn't start the capture of audio yet. When you're ready to go, there's probably a global record button somewhere that will trigger recording of all the tracks that you've armed (selected).
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
ok, so you have a lot to learn buddy.

first thing you need to do is plug in headphones to the jack on the mixer and play your guitar, sing, just make a signal and see if you can hear it through the head phones. if not then check the solo/mute and master mute buttons on your mixer, then the gain (which is different then the faders) then the faders. if you have a signal and you can hear it then go to your recording software and switch the audio driver to your usb mixer, the repeat all the steps you did on the mixer with the input track on the software.

if all else fails buy a mac!!

let me know if you have anymore questions.
 

ryanbairdrums

Junior Member
Okay, I use Sonar 8 Producer and from what I understand about Sonar it can't be a whole lot different than Sonar 7. I use a firewire board, and I always thought that usb was quicker than firewire.(the guy @ staples told me firewire lost a lot of popularity when usb came out because usb was so much better, I don't know) So, I would imagine that board will be able to send every channel out of the usb port to the computer in individual tracks.. other wise it would seem useless to me, but who knows. Sounds to me like you're getting signal to the board, but the computer isn't recognizing the board. Couple of things....
1. Make sure the gains on the board are set, the faders @ zero typically, and also put the master faders up just to make sure(make sure that each channel on the board has the button pushed down by the fader and says ST for stereo... there could even be one that says USB. Also, is there a knob hidden on the board somewhere that says something like USB output level. That would need to be up too.
2. I have a Dell optiplex gx270, I don't know much about computers but I didn't need to do anything to my sound card... and a lot of people had told me that I was going to need to... I don't even know what a sound card really does.
3. When I turn my board on, I get an icon in the bottom right hand corner of my screen, and the speakers make a chime letting me know that the computer is recognizing the board. I imagine that yours isn't if you're not getting some kind of indication like that.
4. Sonar is a great program, I personally love it... it may be just mine, but If I open Sonar, then turn on my board... it won't record or play anything. I have to turn the board on first, then open Sonar in order to record or play previously recorded stuff. I don't know why that is. But try it, board 1st... Sonar 2nd.
5. Once the computer is recognizing the board,(it must have come with some kind of software or something other than audacity??) there is an input list in Sonar that you will have to find and have to select. For instance, track 1 on the board is going to track 1 in Sonar, track 2 on the board is going to track 2 in Sonar, etc. Then, you have to arm the tracks(by clicking the little box on each track with the "R" in it, it will light up mine is red) When you get that far, tap on the mic and you will see the signal meter in that specific channel in Sonar light up. Next click the record button and rock!!
6. Your friend that gave you Sonar.... he should know what to do with that part of it.... sounds to me like the computer is not recognizing the board, I think this is the hardest part out of the whole learning curve to be honest, just getting everything up and running... try calling the people at behringer... they will help you install that board... they don't want you to return it... they want you to keep it!! Hope this helps and good luck!!
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
Okay, I use Sonar 8 Producer and from what I understand about Sonar it can't be a whole lot different than Sonar 7. I use a firewire board, and I always thought that usb was quicker than firewire.(the guy @ staples told me firewire lost a lot of popularity when usb came out because usb was so much better, I don't know) So, I would imagine that board will be able to send every channel out of the usb port to the computer in individual tracks.. other wise it would seem useless to me, but who knows. Sounds to me like you're getting signal to the board, but the computer isn't recognizing the board. Couple of things....
1. Make sure the gains on the board are set, the faders @ zero typically, and also put the master faders up just to make sure(make sure that each channel on the board has the button pushed down by the fader and says ST for stereo... there could even be one that says USB. Also, is there a knob hidden on the board somewhere that says something like USB output level. That would need to be up too.
2. I have a Dell optiplex gx270, I don't know much about computers but I didn't need to do anything to my sound card... and a lot of people had told me that I was going to need to... I don't even know what a sound card really does.
3. When I turn my board on, I get an icon in the bottom right hand corner of my screen, and the speakers make a chime letting me know that the computer is recognizing the board. I imagine that yours isn't if you're not getting some kind of indication like that.
4. Sonar is a great program, I personally love it... it may be just mine, but If I open Sonar, then turn on my board... it won't record or play anything. I have to turn the board on first, then open Sonar in order to record or play previously recorded stuff. I don't know why that is. But try it, board 1st... Sonar 2nd.
5. Once the computer is recognizing the board,(it must have come with some kind of software or something other than audacity??) there is an input list in Sonar that you will have to find and have to select. For instance, track 1 on the board is going to track 1 in Sonar, track 2 on the board is going to track 2 in Sonar, etc. Then, you have to arm the tracks(by clicking the little box on each track with the "R" in it, it will light up mine is red) When you get that far, tap on the mic and you will see the signal meter in that specific channel in Sonar light up. Next click the record button and rock!!
6. Your friend that gave you Sonar.... he should know what to do with that part of it.... sounds to me like the computer is not recognizing the board, I think this is the hardest part out of the whole learning curve to be honest, just getting everything up and running... try calling the people at behringer... they will help you install that board... they don't want you to return it... they want you to keep it!! Hope this helps and good luck!!
you have it the other way around, firewire is much faster then usb< and usb lost popularity when firewire came out, usb was first. fire wire allows you to record more then 1 track at a time and is just faster.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
What I got is that the OP is getting signal to the computer, he just can't hear anything. I have PT so I don't know how Sonar works, but in someway, you have to set the channel to monitor. Otherwise it just goes to the recorded track and you can't hear it until you play it back. Also, on PT you have to select low latency monitoring so that the other tracks you're trying to play along with (along with the sound of the track you're playing) aren't delayed by the computer processesing things like compressors or reverb.

Then, at the end of it all, you need to have something that makes noise. Some sort of amplifier/speaker set up hooked to the output of the computer or the computer's sound card. Small powered monitors are really popular these days for home studios. You could use powered computer speakers, but you wouldn't have an accurate idea of the tone or balance of the recording.
 

bog_72

Senior Member
Wow thanks alot for all the help everyone!!

Seen alot of good stuff there.I will keep chipping at it.Have a pair of powered studio speakers on the way now as well.Girl seen me staring at it with a blank stare,and she couldnt take it anymore lol.I will try your guys advice.If the powered monitors do the trick,ill just bypass the sound card I suppose altogether for all studio work,which im guessing is the right idea anyway.

Thanks again everyone.I used to go on another forum site,and a question like that would usually be met with one "noone showed me how to,so figure it out" type response,so im blown away that so many people help out....and go figure,on a drummers site!!So thats where all the real musicians have been all along :) knew I wanted to be a drummer for a reason.Nice to be around people that like to help.You all rock!

ill keep you all updated as it goes.Hopefully down the road ill have some actual music to share from this all.
 
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