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Old 10-03-2009, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Recording issue!!! Need help!!!

Hi there guys, Can anybody help me? I havesome questions about some stuff related to recording. It might be silly my questions but I just can`t visualize how it works.
I want to record live using about 10 inputs at the same time (like drum mics, guitar, bass etc.)
But the thing is, where should I connect all those cables? Directly on the mixer? If so, where should I connect the output? Directly on the computer? Should I get something else to connect all those outputs directly in the computer? If so, which one? Audio interface? Sound card? `Cause the thing is that I want to have 10 different (separate) tracks on the software, for example: all the drums mics I want them separetly, like, just the snare by itself, then just the kick, so that I can adjust all of them, like the volume etc, and so the guitar and bass..
Hope someone can help me on that!!
Cause basically what I want to do is to record at home, but with quite good quality, and I want to be able to record live and of course, all the instruments separetly... but the thing is that I want to connect all the cables into the computer and look at the program coming on different tracks for each instrument. And also, what would be the perfect combination for that thing that I wanna do? I mean, a mixer, audio interface, what are all the equipments i need for that?
Thank you
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are good books out there on "home recording", I would get one, take a little time to plan what you want to do. You did not mention what type of space you will be using as a studio, but setting up the area properly, and mic placement are very important. You can have the best equipment, but if you do not physically set it up right, you will only have great recordings of crappy sound.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Depends on what you're trying to achieve, but you can do this with a simple audio interface + PC recording directly into just about any DAW.

Try Brandon Drury's Home Recording forum.

I'm not saying that this site isn't any good, simply that Brandon's site is the best.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Classof75 View Post
There are good books out there on "home recording", I would get one, take a little time to plan what you want to do. You did not mention what type of space you will be using as a studio, but setting up the area properly, and mic placement are very important. You can have the best equipment, but if you do not physically set it up right, you will only have great recordings of crappy sound.
Hello, thanks for replying, I have enough room actually, so that wouldn`t be a problem... and thanks for recomending thos "home recording" books, I am gonna take a look...
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You just need an audio interface that has as many inputs as you need, simultaneously.
If you can find an audio interface who's inputs also feature 8 microphone inputs with pre-amps, and two instrument inputs, then that's all you need.
If not, then you'll need an audio interface with as many instrument level inputs as you need (10), and a mixer with at least 8 direct outputs (very important for outputting your drum channels individually into your audio interface).

I'm assuming you're going to need 8 drum channels, correct?
If so, that means the first thing you'll need to look for is an audio interface with at least 8 simultaneous microphone inputs. A lot of the audio interfaces around say "x many inputs" but they cater to specific types of input connections. You have to make sure there's 8 (or however many drum microphones you're recording) MICROPHONE inputs. If you can find an audio interface that gives you that, then you won't need a mixer if you're recording drums / guitar / bass separately.
Hopefully, if you find something like that, its inputs will be switchable, meaning you can use the inputs as microphone inputs or instrument inputs. If that's the case, then you're golden.
If not...
You'll need a mixer / interface combo.

For your mixer, you'll have to make sure it has at least 8 direct outputs. That's extremely important, because it's the only way you'll get 8 individual channel outputs for your drum microphones to be fed into your audio interface simultaneously.
Direct outs on a mixer aren't a sum of all total outputs like sub outs and main outs... They're a specific set of outputs that are assigned to its corresponding channels.
These channels are not summed together like channels are summed together in the main 2-channel stereo output.
Basically, in the direct out scenario, the mixer is acting as a preamp for your drum microphones, while also providing your instrument inputs which you can output to your audio interface via sub outs and main outs. All simultaneously if you wish, provided you have enough inputs on your audio interface.

An example of this setup, one which I personally own and use, is a Mackie 1604VLZPro and an Echo Audiofire 12 audio interface.
Those two pieces of hardware would meet all the needs you require, and more. But the price tag is pretty hefty.
Generally, with audio interfaces, the more inputs it has, the more it costs. Same with mixers and available channels.

So basically, you just need to find an audio interface that satisfies the needs of your application... and if none are available, that's when you must use another hardware, like a mixer, in conjunction with your audio interface.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ideally you'd use an I/O unit with the required number of tracks (I've had some really good results with a MOTU 24 I/O, although this is might be overkill for you) and a nice mixing desk, with as many mic inputs as you require.

You'd connect the tape outs for each desk channel to the Input side of your I/O unit, and the Output side of your I/O to the desk's tape returns. The I/O unit converts the analogue signal to a digital one and sends it to your computer. Your computer records the signal, in whatever DAW you choose. When you play back the audio the computer sends digital signals for each channel back to the I/O unit, which converts the digital signal to an analogue signal, and sends it back to the desk. This way you can do all your mixing on the desk .

The desk gives you a lot more functionality than your typical audio interface (effects sends on all channels, fully featured monitoring, you can do your mixing on the desk, etc), provided it's a decent desk.

The downside is that you'd probably have to spend more money than you would if you just tried to find an audio interface with enough channels.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He found the Profire26/26 interface that will meet all his needs.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He found the Profire26/26 interface that will meet all his needs.
Hi again! sorry to bother u again!! But, with this firewire 2626, will I need to buy a PCI Audio Interface or a sound card? Or I just need to connect directly to the PC and thats it?
I mean, `cause I thought with a PCI, or a sound card would have more quality right? thanks
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leandro View Post
Hi again! sorry to bother u again!! But, with this firewire 2626, will I need to buy a PCI Audio Interface or a sound card? Or I just need to connect directly to the PC and thats it?
I mean, `cause I thought with a PCI, or a sound card would have more quality right? thanks
The 2626 IS a soundcard.
All you have to do is take the unit out of the box, install whatever software/drivers that come with it, power it up and plug one end of your firewire cable (which you'll probably have to buy separately) into firewire port 1 on the back of the audio interface, and plug the other end of the cable into your firewire port on your computer.
You can go ahead and disable your PC's built-in soundcard, as your new 2626 will be taking over that role, but in FAR superior quality, obviously.

The only thing you must determine is if you have a firewire port on your computer. (see the end of this post for a picture)
If you DO have one, you may want to make sure the firewire controller driver is installed and active. You can do this by right-clicking "my computer" or "computer" if you're in Vista, then "manage", then "device manager". On the right hand side, you should see "IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controllers" or something to that effect, then expanding that will show the manufacturer. Verify whether it says the driver is installed and functioning properly. After that, you can close all that out and you don't have to worry about anything as far as hardware is concerned.

IF YOU DON'T have a firewire port, this is what you need: Newegg.com - SIIG 3-port 1394 (FireWire) I/O card Model NN-300012-S6 - Add-On Cards
You can shop around for different products, especially try to find one with a Texas Instruments chipset, but the above product will let you know what to look for. You really only need one port, but most firewire cards come with two or three, so don't worry too much about that.

So, to re-cap.
All you need is the firewire card if you don't have one, and the audio interface. After that, it's simply a matter of plugging in your microphones and whatever else, and opening up your recording program, selecting which inputs you want to route to which channels, and hitting the record button. (generally)

Now, I probably don't have to say this, but hopefully you have a recording program that facilitates multi-track recording and provides the ability to assign your audio interface's inputs to specific channels to record into.
Examples of these types of programs would be: Cakewalk Sonar 8, Pro Tools, etc.
I'm assuming that you either have a multi-track recording program, or know that you need one.. because without one, you're not going to get very far with an audio interface without having the software to record the audio coming through your interface.

Firewire port:
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Didn't mean to tread on your toes Freebase, just thought I'd give him the ideal-world scenario. The profire does only have 8 mic preamps though, and he asked for ten separate tracks. He'll have to buy another device, maybe a mixer with an optical output to access the other channels won't he?
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