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View Full Version : I require a mixer.


GarretGraves
01-29-2010, 05:24 PM
I am now debt free and looking to revamping my studio (well... my room. But whatever.) Starting with a mixer. I need recommendations. I don't require much. All I really need is a 4 track compatible with a PC. I have plans to mic amps (at least 2 at a time. Guitar and bass.) with a couple SM57's and I'll also be using a condenser mic (which may come next).

Something like this: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Eurorack-UB1202-Mixer?sku=631236

I'm not sure if that one works with a PC though. But that's how basic I mean.

I only need the basic needs but if you recommend a particular feature (such as FX or phantom power) I'm willing to hear it. Open to costs between $100 and $400 american. Anything else I need to know before buying one let me know but I think I'm educated enough to know what I need.

Go!

Meteo Xavier
01-29-2010, 05:59 PM
I don't personally know how to use this stuff, but here's a start.

http://www.audio-depot.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2618&zenid=760cc7a66e024125af8b1ccdd0ef394a

Connections:

•Two 1/4" unbalanced mic/line inputs
•Switchable guitar input
•Headphone/Line output
•USB 2.0 connector
Recording:

•Four-track digital multitrack recording
•CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit WAV recording
•Records to SD Card media (1GB card included)
•Autopunch, repeat and record undo
•Dedicated stereo mixdown track
Physical:

•Powered through AA Batteries or optional PS-P520 power adapter
•Battery life: About 8 hours recording, about 8.5 hours playback (alkaline batteries)
•Dimensions: 6.1" W x 1.3" H x 4.2" D (155mm W x 33.5mm H x 107mm D)
•Weight: 2.8 oz (360 g, w/o batteries)


I would think there would be some kind of connector so you could hook up that cheaper model, but it's probably just better in the long run to go with something that's designed to work with digital.

GarretGraves
01-29-2010, 07:49 PM
That looks like a good buy. But i might be looking for something with XLR connections rather than 1/4". Thanks though!

EDIT: On second thought, that one might be a great deal after all. I was looking for XLR connection but to be honest i don't know what the pros and cons are for either. I this just might work. As long as I can get a couple SM57s and a condenser hooked into it with no problem then we're gold.

EDIT 2: Damnit! Unfortunately it does not comply with my setup. Need 4 mic connections. I take that back. Again, thanks anyway tho!

OverCoat
01-30-2010, 06:05 AM
I've been using a Tapco Mix.60 for a couple years. Works FANTASTICALLY and is similarly priced to the budget Behringers which are cheap pieces of shit. Actually, the Behringers might be more expensive by a tiny bit.
http://www.tapcoworld.com/products/index.html
check out which one you may need. Generally you should think of how many tracks you'll need for the next couple years and add a couple more channels to that, and there you have your mixer.

GarretGraves
01-30-2010, 11:56 AM
I've been using a Tapco Mix.60 for a couple years. Works FANTASTICALLY and is similarly priced to the budget Behringers which are cheap pieces of shit. Actually, the Behringers might be more expensive by a tiny bit.
http://www.tapcoworld.com/products/index.html
check out which one you may need. Generally you should think of how many tracks you'll need for the next couple years and add a couple more channels to that, and there you have your mixer.

now we're talkin! This looks good. But how would I connect it to my PC? I don't see a USB connection and the PDF doesnt specify.

EDIT: Wait! I see the In and outs there. So is it the S/PDIF sockets that I plug into?

EDIT 2: Crap! It's discontinued! That sucks! Can't find it anywhere. Googled it and came up with a bunch of online stores who carried it but no longer in stock. Dangyit!

I did however find this: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alesis-MultiMix-8-USB-2.0-8Channel-Mixer?sku=801473

I looked it over and it seems like a good by for 299.00. Anyone got an opinion or see something I'm missing?

OverCoat
01-30-2010, 10:21 PM
EDIT 2: Crap! It's discontinued! That sucks!

No way! It's only like 2 years old!

Also uhhhhhh it's a mixer, they typically don't have USB interfacing, though some do I guess... I think that's for controlling your software mixer maybe? Anyway, I have mine plugged into a nice E-Mu 1212M with lots of i/o on the back.

big giant circles
01-31-2010, 01:26 AM
So are you looking for an actual mixer? Like, a console mixer? Or are you looking for an audio interface? If you're not quite sure the difference, just say so and I'll elaborate.

GarretGraves
01-31-2010, 04:12 AM
So are you looking for an actual mixer? Like, a console mixer? Or are you looking for an audio interface? If you're not quite sure the difference, just say so and I'll elaborate.

Yes please explain. I'm basically looking for a mixer to record through and onto my computer. I'm guessing audio interface? Man I thought I was smart on this subject. I mean I know how to use a mixer (mostly) but I've never had to plug one in. lol!

EDIT: And OVercoat, I see what you mean with that E-Mu 1212M. I googled it and I think I'm starting to understand how the mixer plugs in. This I guess is absolutely required then. Am I correct to assume that it's not a sound card per se? Also, I hope they still make the PCI version of it cause i aint unpluggin my Geforce 8800 from the PCI-E slot. :)

EDIT 2: And wouldnt you know it? The E-Mu 1212M PCI is also no longer made. The hell?! lol Also, The M-Audio Audiophile 192 is being sold on Amazon.com for $131! That's an awesome deal I think. And It looks like it has the I/O sockets required for pluggin in the mixer.

Harmony
02-01-2010, 06:13 PM
I think I'm starting to understand how the mixer plugs in. Tweakheadz Lab guide is a great resource for understanding the basics of many studio related concepts. If you haven't already run across it, this article in particular:

http://www.tweakheadz.com/choosing_a_mixer_for_your_studio.html

should help you get an even better understanding of mixers, audio interfaces, and if you really want or need one.

GarretGraves
02-01-2010, 06:51 PM
Tweakheadz Lab guide is a great resource for understanding the basics of many studio related concepts. If you haven't already run across it, this article in particular:

http://www.tweakheadz.com/choosing_a_mixer_for_your_studio.html

should help you get an even better understanding of mixers, audio interfaces, and if you really want or need one.

Thanks for the article! I'll read it up and down.

Actually I should stress the importance of me buying a mixer. I'm majoring in sound design and engineering and I need something to practice with at home. This isn't just going to be a hobby for me. I plan on going full speed in this direction. So I'm building a home studio. Matter of fact, some friends of mine who have just left their jobs at a game company want to make a game and they want ME to work on music and sound effects. They are willing to wait for me but I sure as hell don't want them to wait for long. I need to get this up and running as soon as possible. I got money coming with no debts to pay off so I'm definately ready.

I've already taken courses in sound engineering. I am decently educated in this field. I know about inserts and busses and faders and all that down to Nyquist Theory. I know what I'm looking for. I just need a good recommendation for a mixer and figure out how I can plug one into my PC. For some reason they did not teach us that yet in class.

And in case anyone is wondering, I'm not in over my head. I know what I'm doing. I'm not some scrub who thinks he knows everything but is too gung ho to know it.

Maybe i should have said that before. :( Sorry.

big giant circles
02-04-2010, 08:44 PM
Yeah, reading up on it is a good idea. Essentially though, mixers are typically thought of in the sense that you can shape your audio before it's recorded/heard. Audio interfaces, on the other hand, generally just pass the audio along to your computer exactly the way they are already and then you can shape it inside your computer. One isn't really better than the other, as long as you're recording at the same quality/resolution.

For home studios, most people have an audio interface (which is also basically another way of saying external sound card). That's what I use. Personally, I don't have the space for a mixer, or the need for one, because I EQ everything in my DAW, so really, all I need is a place to plug in my guitar/mic/etc and know that I can record it with minimal latency and at a good quality.

There are plenty of mixers that will do the same thing that can pass music digitally to your computer the same way (USB cable etc), but again, they take up more space, and all the extra knobs and sliders really aren't even necessary for most people. That's not to say they're completely pointless, if you look in many high-end studios, most have really big mixing consoles that do have all the extra knobs & sliders. But I'm telling you, the quality of your preamp is probably going to make the most difference, not the position of your EQ on the mixer. At least when you're recording, anyway.

There's really no right and wrong to this question, and in a way it's like comparing a mini-van to a coupe. They both essentially achieve the same end, but there are pros and cons to both when comparing, and in the end, it's mostly a matter of preference. Hope that helps some.

GarretGraves
02-06-2010, 04:22 PM
It does actually. Thanks! But I like the idea of having a mixer since I'm going to school for sound engineering so it'd be nice to have something at home to play and practice with.

Actually, when I got my new guitar amp yesterday from Guitar Center I went to their pro audio section and started to ask more questions. (I normally don't like guitar center so I didnt bother talking to them first.) A gentleman pointed this out to me: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Mackie-Onyx-820i-Firewire-Mixer?sku=501231

I took a look at it and it looks like a great mixer and one that would fit right on my desk with little to no problems. The one guy who reviewed it on a website only really complained about it not working well with his firewire card and having to buy a new one. But I shopped for a firewire card yesterday and they're not expensive at all. He shoulda just bought a new one if he could a afford a $500 mixer.

I got a big tax credit coming in the nest week or so. (Like $863!) plus I get paid that week AND my birthday is this month so people are gonna be sending me money. (They always do. No one ever knows what to get me so they just play the Default Money card.) So over half my budget is gonna be through this month. The mixer is comin' next with an SM57 and possibly the Oxygen 49.