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Alexonguitar Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject: New to home recording. Looking for a mixer! Reply with quote

Hello!

I am just getting started with this recording thing. I will likely be just hooking up whatever mixer I get to my Apple Laptop. Yeah I know, not very professional. But this is where I am:

-I do very little DJing anymore but I would want something that is portable so I can do a little something here and there.
-I would like only record a guitar an vocals. At the very most I would be recording 2 vocals and 2 guitars.
-I am not looking to spend a ton but I want something that isn't complete junk
-I would like the ability to do some live sound as well. 2 mics and 2 guitar max at this point.
-My big concern is just the quality. I don't want something that has poor quality.

I have been looking at the Allen & Heath Zed 10FX. The 12FX would be great but its about $200 more expensive.

Someone suggest the Yamaha MW12CX. This has 12 channels (I wouldn't mind some room to grow), FX, is more in my price range and has a USB as well but I don't know if Yamaha has as good a name in the mixer world as Allen & Heath. After I looked into yamaha I found tons of mixers with USB capability with many channels. I would prefer you have sliders compared to the Allen & Heath Zed 10fx knobs but I would do it for the price is the quality beat all the others. I am looking for something between $250 and $400.

Thoughts?
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you only want to record vocals and guitar, you don't need 12 channels. You'd only need 12 channels if you were planning to record and entire group of musicians playing at the same time.
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dobro is correct- For recording purposes there no reason to have a 12 channel mixer... unless you just want a 12 channel mixer

something like this http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/komplete-audio-6/ would serve you well

or this http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/audio-express

or similar units for others

back to the mixers, my one nit about many of the smaller format mixers is that the chjannel count ois a bit more limited than the marketing hype would have you know the Zed 10 only has 4 XLR inputs, and the remaining 6 channels is by virtue of stereo channels

The Zed 14 gives you 6 XLR 4 pairs of stereo channels

unless you'll be running a "band" into the board, you can just as easily do recording mixes "in the box"

keep in mind that digital mixers are not exactly like analog units (at least most) and they do not have the same signal routing capabilities. However an analog only board would require an adequate # of A/D converters to be able to use it with recording software... and a long standing nit of mine on most mixers, is very very few have a true pre-amp bypas so you can use something other than what was built into the board... whcih for now may not seem important, but if (like many) your involvement/interest in recording grows, you'll find yourself looking a better quality outboard gear

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:
a long standing nit of mine on most mixers, is very very few have a true pre-amp bypas so you can use something other than what was built into the board...
doesn't seem right ..... every board I've ever had had a 1/4 in for each channel for line inputs. That bypasses the mic pre.
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

true, but it doesn't bypass the gain circuitry which is still one gain stage. I've talked directly to Mackie, Presonus, and Digi/Avid, and while the 1/4" bypasses the pre-amp, it doesn't send the signal around the gain circuitry... and of course each thinks their internal preamps in their boards are "GREAT!" I owned a mackie 32-8 nice board, but it was a balancing act to use my own pre's with it.

I then made the $10K mistake and bought a Control 24...really bad idea. Seriously considered the new Presonus digital board, but opted for the Euphonoix control surface simply to avoid the gain circuitry (and I now have enough external gear i have no need for for a "physical" mixer. I mix faster "in the box" and the automation...'look ma NO HANDS" Very Happy


The only way I've found to truly get around this is to send my outboard pre-amps directly to the A/D converter. It might seem a minor point to some/many, but it adds a level of "noise" to the signal chain

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I wish I could be traded like a penny in the arcade for a token to be played
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Alexonguitar Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobro wrote:
If you only want to record vocals and guitar, you don't need 12 channels. You'd only need 12 channels if you were planning to record and entire group of musicians playing at the same time.


Oh I know I don't need 12 channels right now. I don't even need 10! But I like having the sliders instead of knobs for volume (Thats why I was looking at the Zed 12FX). That is the main reason I was looking at the ZED 12.
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:
true, but it doesn't bypass the gain circuitry which is still one gain stage. I've talked directly to Mackie, Presonus, and Digi/Avid, and while the 1/4" bypasses the pre-amp, it doesn't send the signal around the gain circuitry... and of course each thinks their internal preamps in their boards are "GREAT!"


I asked about this on another board, and an engineer told me that if you use outboard pres, then the onboard pres don't affect the signal much. Or none at all.

Or maybe I didn't understand what was being said.

Having said that, I route my outboard pres through the channel on my interface that *don't* have built-in preamps. Cool

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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of applications/tech people I talked made the claim it would not affect the signal at all...

logic tells me if the signal is passing through even a small number of components something will happen to the signal. The gain circuitry that I've been able to see (more than a block diagram) has resistors, capacitors and at least one IC, plus I believe the pad switches will still function

When I bought the RME interface, I originally wanted the MOTU 872, but they were on a 6 - 8 week back-order, and as I'd sold the Control 24 and the Digi 002R I didn't want to wait that long. The Motu only had 2 internal pres... the RME FF800 has 4, but it had 6 analog inputs with no external controls, and like the Motu handled 2 ADATs for another 16 I/O. I have a Presonus D8 which I use 4 of the inputs on (toms and hat), otherwise everything else goes from external pre into an analog in to the A/D converters.

The 4 internal pres on the FF get used once in a while when i'm sitting in front of the monitor and want to record an idea and too lazy to go out into the live room

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Check out our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/stainlessbrown[/url]
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like an interface that's nothing but AD/DA, I/O's, and with headphone and MIDI functionality. I don't want pres, I don't want effects - I don't want anything except connectivity and conversion.
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yo may have to settle for a interface with a few internal pres to get the midi and headphones. The newest MOTU looks really good and according some guy doing what sounds like very detailed testing, it's one of the best on most of the specs... whether our ears can hear the difference I dunno... but it only has 2 internal pre's and then you could pick up a Lucid 8824 (or the newer version which will do 96kH sampling) for another 8 analog in/8 digital out, and Lucid has a very solid clock. I'm not all unhappy with the RME, no problems with it (knock,knock, knock)
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Stainless ....

I wish I could be traded like a penny in the arcade for a token to be played
on a cello strung with strings that are my dreams



Check out our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/stainlessbrown[/url]
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not particularly unhappy with my Presonus Firestudio Mobile. Except for a slight L/R imbalance, it has everything I want, and only two built-in pres.

Slightly off-topic: I read an interesting article in SOS about how a guy did a lot of tests on the effects of adding outboard clock to various interfaces and the results were that in a small minority of cases it made no difference and in the vast majority of cases it made things noisier. It NEVER improved the situation. I mention it because I've always wondered about that for myself, and it looks like you might be putting digital devices together yourself.

BTW, doesn't all MOTU stuff have built-in pres?

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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Lucid clockl is better- I would occasionally get clik and pops from the Presonus D8 inputs (before I bought the Lucid)- I also used the SPDIF inputs for a while, but don't recall getting any of the clicks and pops ( which were sporadic and a pain to go find and edit out) Since clocking to the Lucid I've not noticed any noises (and I track 14 - 16 simultaneously)

yes, but the 828mk3 only has 2

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Stainless ....

I wish I could be traded like a penny in the arcade for a token to be played
on a cello strung with strings that are my dreams



Check out our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/stainlessbrown[/url]
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Alexonguitar Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:
Dobro is correct- For recording purposes there no reason to have a 12 channel mixer... unless you just want a 12 channel mixer

something like this http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/komplete-audio-6/ would serve you well

or this http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/audio-express

or similar units for others


It looks like those are not really what I'm looking for. Like I said, I do some DJing on the side and those wouldn't work great in a DJing setting. Also they wouldn't work well in doing a live sound setting either.

So any more compact mixers you guys would suggest?
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for live sound, Mackie makes a powered 8 channel mixer 801 m

or 801s ...I thinks what the model #s are. plenty of power for a small/medium room, it has some built in effects 2 channels of outputs ..use one for mains, one for monitors

however, not really suitable for recordings... so you may have to go back to the A & H or the Yammie... The Zed didn't look like it was self powered, so you'd also need power amps... Don't know which Yammie you're looking at

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Stainless ....

I wish I could be traded like a penny in the arcade for a token to be played
on a cello strung with strings that are my dreams



Check out our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/stainlessbrown[/url]
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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no doubt that those guys told you right .... hell .... just being plugged into the input in any way at all loads the incoming cable/signal.

And now you're getting into audiophile territory where everything, including wires and how they're laid out, affects the sound. And ya' know what? It really does.
You can hear small differences with every change and the less circuitry the better.
And now that you're listening this deeply into it I can tell you flat out that if you truly listen you'll hear differences in cables also.

I'm not sure that it matters though ...... and certainly isn't what I focus on when I record.
The great music has always been the best and most inspired performances of great material.
Many of the greatest records of all time are of doubtful quality.
I think that for most of us home recorders the gear we have is NOT our limiting factor.

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:
for live sound, Mackie makes a powered 8 channel mixer 801 m

or 801s ...I thinks what the model #s are. plenty of power for a small/medium room, it has some built in effects 2 channels of outputs ..use one for mains, one for monitors

however, not really suitable for recordings... so you may have to go back to the A & H or the Yammie... The Zed didn't look like it was self powered, so you'd also need power amps... Don't know which Yammie you're looking at
the current model is the 1008 I believe ....... great powered mixer ...... you can use the mixer as a mixer ..... with a solid state power amp it doesn't hurt anything to run an amp with no speakers but it's not gonna be as versatile as a seperate mixer.

Peavey makes a little mixer, I have one, the ummmmm shoot ... the PV8 ..... it's a great little mixer ...... this version has USB so you could use it for recording on a puter I'm thinking and it would be a decent starter mixer. The one I have sounds great and the FX's are decent.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/peavey-pv-8-usb-compact-usb-mixer

Then for live work you'd add a power amp and speakers. The Crown XLS 1500 has caught my eye for a cheap lightweight amp.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Bob wrote:
I have no doubt that those guys told you right .... hell .... just being plugged into the input in any way at all loads the incoming cable/signal.

And now you're getting into audiophile territory where everything, including wires and how they're laid out, affects the sound. And ya' know what? It really does.
You can hear small differences with every change and the less circuitry the better.
And now that you're listening this deeply into it I can tell you flat out that if you truly listen you'll hear differences in cables also.

I'm not sure that it matters though ...... and certainly isn't what I focus on when I record.
The great music has always been the best and most inspired performances of great material.
Many of the greatest records of all time are of doubtful quality.
I think that for most of us home recorders the gear we have is NOT our limiting factor.


most of my studio is wired with Belden or Mogami that I acquired by buying up 100' snakes and dismantling... a bit messy and time consuming, but the price was right!. This past year 9or so) I start replacing my patch cables and rewiring my patchbays (as in soldering them myself) using all Mogami

does it make a difference- while I can't positively 100%, mainly because I've upgraded mics, pres, interface, converters- compared to my "earlier recordings"... things are much pristine/clean

i suppose it's true my skill sets have improved

and where I would once buy the less expensive gear because the reviews said it was "as good as...", now I save up and buy the gear that the less expensive gear is compared..

it's not elitism or snobbishness... i just got tired of wasting my money on gear that didn't quite live up to the hype
and the better gear has a resale value that the lesser price stuff simply doesn't hold

but you are correct, I am the week link in the chain... and now... I can't blame the gear Rolling Eyes

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything counts, gear included, but skill and inspiration is king, so Bob's basically right. And yet with some people, if they start taking pains with gear and technique, they start taking pains with the music too. That's when 90% of the good stuff happens. Autobiographically, anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well ..... I guess ultimately it's all about whatever makes you happy and is fun to you.
I went and saw The Lion King broadway thingie a couple weeks ago ..... it was absolutely amazing. But a lot of my friends would think it's gay ...... different strokes.
We all do this for various reasons but I think a component in everyone's motivation is enjoyment.
What I like isn't what you like neccessarily and what's fun to you might bore me.
There are NO right or wrong focuses in doing this stuff ...... they're all legitimate approaches.

I've done the equipment thing and been super picky about every tiny detail and it was fun to me at that time. I loved every little detail from researching the gear to setting it up in a professional manner to sitting back and marveling at this or that characteristic that was my aim ..... quiet and transparent ....... oooooh.

Now I don't care anymore and that's what's fun to me right now ..... spontenaity and freedom .... tired of rules and judgements ..... not interested in planning things out in advance ..... not all that concerned with getting the mix everyone thinks it should be ......
I like loose ........ other players loath it ....... hell ...... I loathed it once .......... we change and what was is something else tomorrow.

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexonguitar wrote:
dobro wrote:
If you only want to record vocals and guitar, you don't need 12 channels. You'd only need 12 channels if you were planning to record and entire group of musicians playing at the same time.


Oh I know I don't need 12 channels right now. I don't even need 10! But I like having the sliders instead of knobs for volume (Thats why I was looking at the Zed 12FX). That is the main reason I was looking at the ZED 12.


Anyway, sorry to detour your thread. But it seems to me that buying 12 channels of mixer when you only need 2 is a lot to pay for the joy of being able to move faders. I mean, with the money you could save you could buy a mic. Cool

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but he has said he wants to be able to do DJ and live work also ...... his live will require 4 channels. DJ'ing would require 5 if he adds a DJ mic.
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Alexonguitar Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="however, not really suitable for recordings... so you may have to go back to the A & H or the Yammie... The Zed didn't look like it was self powered, so you'd also need power amps... Don't know which Yammie you're looking at[/quote]

I don't really need a powered mixer. I have separate amps for my speakers. Just looking for a quality mixer.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soundcraft are nice- Peavy makes well built mixers. You're gonna have judge each by pros and cons and decide which works best for you (and fits your budget)

The new generation of Mackies are quite nice and have a pretty good interlink to computer, but work as standalone mixers,

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Check out our music at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/stainlessbrown[/url]
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Alexonguitar Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you guys. Having good equipment doesn't create good catchy music, however I have had trouble in the past with cheaper mixers that just fall apart or have an annoying hum from the day I take it out of the box. I don't want a hum from day one!

How do you guys think soundcraft, peavey, mackie, and yamaha compare to Allen & Heath for recording purposes? If the QUALITY isn't too different I wouldn't have a problem going to a cheaper mixer. I was just under the impression that Allen & Heath had better sound quality and that is why they are twice as expensive as a peavey mixer with similar capabilities.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

even the cheapest mixers shouldn't have a hum outta the box.There's something else going on there unless it was like ... a "Quantoo" mixer of something! Very Happy

I dunno what to tell you about the comparative recording qualities of those different manufacturers.
I'm not a huge fan of Soundcraft ....... the Allen & Heath would probably have the most people tell you you can't go wrong with that.
But I doubt you're gonna find anyone that has actual hands-on experience with the current model mixers of all those companies.

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