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Do I need a mixer?


(@kblake)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

G'day Guys,
I am starting to get a (small) collection here...
I am pretty sure I am going to buy an Alesis SR16 Drum Machine.
So I will have ...
Guitar and Drum Machine into V-Amp 2 into Computer...
Am I getting into the territory the territory of needing a mixer to record to the pc?
I remember the folks here a while ago recommending Behringer Xenyx Mixers are they still the ones to get?
I really don't know what I am doing re recording . :?
Thanks
Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Keith

I am pretty new to recording, and I do not use the computer at all (Zoom HD8), so I don't know if there are programs that work like a mixer. But the advantage to a mixer is that you have control over the mix (the volume of each individual channel), plus you can EQ each channel seperately. So absolutely a good thing. Plus, many mixers also provide many various effects. There may be online programs that do this, I don't know.

Have you looked at the Zoom RT223?

Zoom RT223

This is very similar to the drum/bass machine built into my HD8. You can build a "song pattern" by selecting from hundreds of built-in drum patterns. You can build your drum pattern step by step (I really have not done much of this, it's tedious), or you can build a song with a "fast method" method (which I do use a lot). I prefer the fast method myself, I can build a good drum pattern in just a few minutes. But the Zoom also offers bass. I just plug one of my guitars in and select one of the many bass tones. So you can play your own bass with your guitar. But you can also build a bass line with the step by step or fast methods that are used for the drums, they work exactly the same way.

Now if you are going to buy a mixer, go for the Zoom HD8 or HD16. It will cost about the same. The HD8 has two XLR/1/4" inputs, the HD16 has eight XLR/1/4" inputs. These are full fledged mixers/recorders with many recording features. Both have software to connect to your computer.

Here is the one I have, I just posted a review last week. It is an excellent recorder.

Zoom HD8

I really looked around a lot before I made my purchase. In my opinion Zoom offered the most features for your money easily.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@kblake)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

Wes,
Thanks for the detailed reply.

The Zoom HD8CB is $1195.00 here in Australia, and is out of my price range at the moment that is why I was looking at the Xynex series.

But The Zoom RT223 is $299.00 Australian dollars, I can check that out.

Thanks again

Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


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(@hueseph)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1553
 

There is absolutely NO BENEFIT to having a mixer when you record to your computer. Unless your mixer doubles as a control surface, do not get sucked in by a store employee who wants to cash in a bonus for up-selling you.

For one thing many mixers do not allow you to send effects or eq to print. So any benefits there may have been in the quality of those is lost. Even then some of the cheaper units do allow for your effects to go to disk but often the quality is very poor. There are plenty of free vst effects out there that rival most budget effects.

Secondly, the number of inputs on your mixer is limited to the number of channels it is capable to send to disk. For the most part USB, even USB 2.0 will only allow you to send a maximum of 4 channels to disk at once. There is a unit out there that supposedly allows yo to multitrack but as of yet, I have not seen or heard anything good about it. The problem with USB technology is that it works with bursts of data whereas Firewire allows for a wide bandwidth of continuoous streaming up to 48(?) tracks. Maybe more.

Every DAW out there allows you to mix inside the box. It's a bit harder to get used to but graphical automation is much easier to do than manually mixing. On screen you can do both fader automation as well as work with envelopes which can be assigned to volume and even effects parameters(gain, depth, frequency) like say a mod(ulation) wheel on an organ.

If you get yourself a good interface, you won't need a mixer. Also, when you look for an interface, make sure that it has built in preamps. Otherwise you will need to spend more money on a preamp.

What is your budget?

https://soundcloud.com/hue-nery/hue-audio-sampler


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(@kblake)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

G'day Hueseph,
Thanks for the reply,
My budget is VERY limited, one income family
All I want to do is SIMPLE home recording for tracking my improvement (and pleasure).
But all this is very confusing!
I think I might just stick to Guitar + Drum Machine into Vamp-2 into Amp with a pc mic next to the amp recording into Audacity. Simple and effective for what I want to do
Thanks Hueseph and Wes for your input..
Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


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(@hueseph)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1553
 

I hope you didn't get put off by what I said earlier. I just find it frustrating to see people buying gear that is entirely unnecessary. I've been through a whack of gear trying to figure out what the best combination of tools is. My loss is your gain. I just want to prevent you from wasting your money.

If you are on a budget, consider the Lexicon Alpha:

http://www.zzounds.com/item--LEXALPHA

Two line inputs, which means you can run the V-Amp into it in stereo. One mic input and preamp. It comes with Cubase LE which, if you ask anyone who uses it, is plenty good enough for the average person. You could seriously put a cd together with this alone. Also, being that it's a lexicon product it probably comes with some decent reverb plugins. All for $80 US. Not sure what that will come to in Aussie dollars but it shouldn't be too much.

https://soundcloud.com/hue-nery/hue-audio-sampler


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(@kblake)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

Hueseph,
Thanks again.
I did a quick Google and found the Lexicon Alpha over here for $225.00 Au which is $198.00 US
That I can afford so I will look into it.
Thanks
Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I have lexicon Lambda. just like Alpha but has a few more ports. what is cool is that they have a nice recording program inside. CubaseLe. at first recording was daunting; I could hardly understand the language used. but now, it has become more clear and I am getting results simply and not too expensively. having a digital interface makes things go. plug in and create.
within the software recording program you will find reverbs, delay, and other effects. plus there is a mixer and EQ.
I use a mixer for live situations not for computer recording.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

I second hueseph's remarks about not needing a mixer. I ended up buying a Alesis 8 channel USB mixer because I thought I would be hindered by the fact that most of the audio interfaces only had 2 inputs. I envisioned recording 3 or 4 inputs at once, but since I bought it almost a year ago, I haven't used more than 2 channels at once, in fact 99% of the time I only record one thing at a time. And I have found out that the USB interface on the Alesis mixer is basically crap cause it quit working after 6 months (probably 3 of those months it wasn't even used). They would have fixed it under the warranty but I read several places where it was a recurring problem and it wasn't worth paying $15 a pop to FedEx every time it quit working. For now, I'm just going from the mixer's main out into the Line In on my computer and it works ok. I have a Behringer USB audio interface on backorder from Guitar Center that's only $30 (it just has RCA inputs, so I'll still need my mixer), I figure if it breaks, it's cheap enough just to replace and not worry about shipping it across the country.

One of these days, I will record my grandfather, my son and I jamming so I won't feel like I wasted money buying an 8 channel mixer. :)

Bass player for Undercover


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(@muchojackdaniels)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 12
 

Use computers to records, if you don't want to waist your time. What is your budget?


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