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Thread: new here TRYNA hook up my mixer and pc right...

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    new here TRYNA hook up my mixer and pc right...

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    ok i got a behringer xenyx 1202fx and focusrite scarlett 2i2 like probably every other newb.

    i guess i just turn my yamaha cp33 and novation mininova up full blast volume wise, right? and put the mic's gain on the mixer right in the middle?

    and leave EVERY dang level, pan, and fx knob RIGHT in the middle and the main level slider at EXACTLY 0 where the little mark is.

    and I'm supposed to send the mixer's MAIN outs (not control room out or headphone out or tape out) to the focusrite for recording.

    and every focusrite knob should be dead center too, right?

    shouldn't that work?

    i am getting kind of low levels from my piano / synth / mic when i look at it in audacity.

    am i doing something wrong?

    if i turn up the gain on the focusrite i get hiss. also hiss if i boost output on mixer's main slider. i don't thiiink i'm supposed to use control room out, right? that's supposed to go to my speakers, right?

    this stuff should not be rocket science. but it kinda feels like rocket science.

    can somebody chime in n help this poor computer programmer out pleeease ?

    thanks,

    ...Steve

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    The level controls on your various bits of gear are there to be used. "Gain Staging" can be a complicated thing to explain but basically you don't want any of the stages cranked up too high or too low.

    There's no single right way to do it, but in your position I'd:

    -Set the main fader and each channel fader on your mixer to the zero position.

    -Do a sample recording and look at the meters in whatever software you're using for recording. You're aiming for level to average at about -18 and peaks in the -12 to -6 range.

    -Adjust the output level of your keyboard, the input gains on your mixer and the inputs of the 2i2 so that each is approximately the same. Basically, you don't want the piano so low that you have to crank it up at the mixer or 2i2. Just look for a happy medium.

    Finally, you probably DO want to use the pan control on your mixer--to get two discrete track into your computer, you want to pan one input hard left and the other hard right.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    What Bobs' said...BUT! Why T F did you buy the 2i2 when BOTH keyboards have MIDI ports??!!

    There is a chance that one or both kbds will act as MIDI interfaces but having an AI as the control centre would have made fare more sense.

    And yes, two jack leads to line ins 5/6 two more jack leads to line ins 7/8. Pan hard left and right. Two jack leads (balanced TRS?) to the line inputs on the 2i2. The mixer still has 4 mic inputs spare that you can pan anywhere you wish in the stereo picture.

    Levels will be 'determined by inspection' but I doubt you will want the output meters on the Xenyx hitting higher than "0" very often.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel View Post
    ok i got a behringer xenyx 1202fx and focusrite scarlett 2i2 like probably every other newb.

    i guess i just turn my yamaha cp33 and novation mininova up full blast volume wise, right? and put the mic's gain on the mixer right in the middle?
    You have guessed incorrectly grasshopper. You never want to really exceed 75% of your gears capability. Like @BobbyS mentioned, you need to learn how to gain stage. First off, lets take everything out of the signal path and just talk about you 2i2 and mixer. If you are using a mic, than your button on the front panel needs to be in the "line" position. If it is an instrument, than you would select that feature.

    Think of gain staging as a water supply line. It comes out of the water tower in a 24" pipe. From there it runs through your town in a 12" pipe. From the street it runs into your house in a 1" pipe and from there it runs through out your house in a 3/4 or 1/2 inch pipe. If the pipe coming from the water tower ran straight to your house, the amount of pressure, would blow your pipes apart.

    Now lets deal with your gear specifically. Set your channels up like this on your 1202. Place your main gain control on each channel (top) you will be using to the the 3 o"clock position. At the bottom of each channel set the knob labeled "Level" to the 3 o'clock position as well. This is the knob you will use to fine tune your input for that channel. Pan every channel you will be using to the left. Turn your mixer off.

    Now take your instruments and route them into the channels you want to use on your mixer. Turn your instrument on and set the volume out level, to around 50%. Now turn your mixer on and play something as you watch the meters. If they are going green and yellow, you are done with this part of gain staging. If not, you can raise your output slightly on your instrument as well as the lower gain control on your mixer, till you reach that level. Try not to just use one volume control to get into that sweet spot.

    This is the same set up for your mics. Make sure your 2i2 is turned off. Now, come out of your mixer from the Left Main Out Jack and into your 2i2. The "Main Mix" out fader on your mixer is what is going to supply the signal strength to your 2i2. On your 2i2, set the gain control to the 12 to 3 o'clock position. As we have no idea how much signal we have coming through at this point, it is impossible to give an exact position but we will talk about that in a min or two.

    Now, you must turn on your 2i2 and mixer BEFORE you open Audacity. If not, it will not recognize your interface. Once you have created a track in Audacity, take the mic input and move it to the 50% position in Audacity. Now click on the record input meter. This will show you your signal strength coming into Audacity. Slowly raise your main mix fader on your mixer, making sure it never goes into the red as you are speaking into your mic or playing your instrument, till the input meter in Audacity is between the -12db and -18db range.

    Once you do this, you can now click record and start laying down your track. Once you are finished recording, YOU MUST select the track and use the amplify filter to bring your audio up to whatever level you desire. Around a -9dbs to -13dbs should be just fine to start with. This will make it very easy to listen to it during playback.

    You need to understand that your input levels verses your output levels are two very different things, even though they both work off of the db measurement system. Now, if for some reason you can not get your input levels to go into Audacity at the recommended levels, go back to EACH part of your signal path, (Instrument, Mixer, Interface, Audacity) and increase EACH part just a little more. If I have explained this to you correctly, you now know 99.9% of everything you need to concerning gain staging and all your hissing should have vanished.


    Now next week we will discuss how to assemble a 4 stag trident xr 22 ballistic rocket. Wait, you were correct, this ain't rocket science!



    1-png
    Now, with all that being said and since you now know how to gain stage, your setup and what you want to achieve is 100% wrong for recording into Audacity! If you were playing live, than this would be correct and I am going to see if I can get you to understand why. When you record into any DAW, you want to lay down each part of the recording, vocals, drums, synths, guitars etc on their own separate track.

    This will allow you to address each track with different fxs as well as give you the ability to adjust the volume of each track so it blends in with the over all recording. You are limited to 2 tracks due to your 2i2. When Pros mic a drum kit, they will run mics to the snare, kick, toms, ride, high hat, splash ect so they can adjust the volume for each part of the kit. So now you should understand why it is important for each part of the audio to have its own track.

    So, if you decide you want to do it like this, you will take your mixer completely out of the signal chain and go from your instruments or mics and go directly into your 2i2 and into Audacity. Now your gain staging will consist of your instrument output level, your 2i2 input level and than Audacity's mic input level. If you are just using a mic than it would just be your 2i2 input level and Audacity's mic input level. If I have made myself clear, I am confident that you can now "STPFMH".



    Last edited by Mack Caster; 5 Days Ago at 03:40.

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    The attached shows how to connect the gear.

    The Sound Module would be the second keyboards audio feed.
    The 'Mini Disc' feed would (probably*) go to the F'rite.
    The return shown from a CD player MIGHT be handy as a replay from the 2i2 but see *.

    *Much depends on how you intend to work. If using live mics for example you will have to use headphones and rig things to avoid feedback..But 'it'appen! Things WILL hum,fart, feedback. Called "learning".

    One crumb of comfort? No matter how you cockup or what noises you make you are very unlikely to damage anything. Modern gear is very forgiving, yes, even Bellringers!

    Dave.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1202-hookup-png  

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    Holy smokes ! Thanks everyone. I shoulda turned on notifications.

    Hopefully you guys can find your way back here...

    Ok, so the term is "gain staging" I see.

    And, of course, I've omitted some important info. As background, I'm a computer programmer working on a midi sequencer specifically geared towards pop piano. I play a digital piano (not acoustic - no thanks).

    So the important spec I forgot is - I don't have the patience for REAL mixing. I just want all sound sources leaving the mixer going into the focusrite at as CLOSE to the same level as possible with the LEAST amount of "fuss" later on. (And of course no hiss or distortion). I play POP on a DIGITAL piano, I'm not playing an intricate classical acoustic piano score looking to tweak the heck outa it.

    I've got the yamaha cp33 piano, novation mininova synth, yamaha dtx 522 elec drum kit, 2 mics, and my pc has a softsynth on it that is integrated with my midi sequencer (but -not- a DAW type of setup). I think I could squeeze a guitar onto my mixer but not at this point.

    So everything is midi'd to my laptop except the mics which go to the mixer. But their audio, of course, also goes to the mixer. I want to USE my cp33's piano sound, and of course the mininova's sound, and drums. The softsynth is just for extra (not as good) sounds.

    I think I've got the basics of what I need to do. But a few questions...

    My goal is to have all my instruments coming out of the mixer at as close to the same level as possible (including the laptop's softsynth). So I can just hit record in Audacity and I'm done. So I probably don't specifically neeeed a mixer, but I want one for a possible future guitar/etc.

    I've BEEN aiming at 0 db max with no hiss and I guess that's where I went wrong. I guessed right about mixer -main- output going to focusrite.

    1) So I -should- have been aiming at -18 db on average and -12 to -6 peak, right ?

    2) Panning - I can only pan 1/2 and 3/4 independently so if I put something into 3/4, hard pan them per their channel. But leave pan in the middle for the grouped lines 5/6 thru 11/12 (cuz that's all i can do), right ?

    > you can raise your output slightly on your instrument as well as the lower gain control on your mixer, till you reach that level. Try not to just use one volume control to get into that sweet spot."

    3) Shouldn't I try to use the (say) piano's volume control first before messing with channel level on the mixer which would introduce gain and -possibly- distortion? And isn't putting the knob at 3 oclock adding a bunch of gain?

    > Once you are finished recording, YOU MUST select the track and use the amplify filter to bring your audio up to whatever level you desire. Around a -9dbs to -13dbs should be...

    4) Ok, I hadn't realized I'd be messing with level's AFTER recording. Will this -always- be necessary? If I do gain staging just right, could I get away without this? I just don't have the patience for -real- mixing where you go channel by channel and totally finesse all the live sounds into perfect levels through time. I'm not an acoustic piano player. ONLY POP. So I can finesse whatever levels I need at the midi level I'm hoping.

    5) umm, "STPFMH" ???


    I really appreciate your guys' responses!! I think I'll have to keep my eye on this place.

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    [QUOTE=Stephen Hazel;4467364]So the important spec I forgot is - I don't have the patience for REAL mixing.[/quote

    That's a shame. I promise you that will reflect in your music. So when you buddy says, "man that sounds great" and a stranger tells you, "man that sounds like crap", believe the stranger. Some times buddys don't want to hurt our feelings.

    I just want all sound sources leaving the mixer going into the focusrite at as CLOSE to the same level as possible with the LEAST amount of "fuss" later on.
    That is simple. Just make sure that every instrument is set to the exact same level and make sure that the 2i2 and Audacity's setting are always the same as well. Just so you know though, this normally makes for a very boring and dead piece of audio.

    My goal is to have all my instruments coming out of the mixer at as close to the same level as possible (including the laptop's softsynth). So I can just hit record in Audacity and I'm done.
    Yep, you'll be done alright!

    1) So I -should- have been aiming at -18 db on average and -12 to -6 peak, right ?
    If you can, try and stay between the -12 to -18 range. This is what your interface is designed to be used at. There is never any one big step to producing quality audio, it is all the little steps that must be perfected for this to be achieved. Since this is the first step in your signal path, this is very important and is the fasted way to introduce unwanted noise into your audio.

    2) Panning - I can only pan 1/2 and 3/4 independently so if I put something into 3/4, hard pan them per their channel. But leave pan in the middle for the grouped lines 5/6 thru 11/12 (cuz that's all i can do), right ?
    You can leave everything centered if you like. You can use Audacity to pan L/R if needed, just be prepared to spend hours at your PC separating your audio. The input from your 2i2 is mono and panning to center will work just fine.

    3) Shouldn't I try to use the (say) piano's volume control first before messing with channel level on the mixer which would introduce gain and -possibly- distortion? And isn't putting the knob at 3 oclock adding a bunch of gain?
    My advice was just guide lines but when you check your meters on your mixer, you will want to adjust ANYTHING that has a volume out control knob located between the object making the sound to the input that is receiving the sound. This all goes back to gain staging.

    4) Ok, I hadn't realized I'd be messing with level's AFTER recording. Will this -always- be necessary?
    Yes, yes it will, each and every single time.

    If I do gain staging just right, could I get away without this?
    Please see the answer right above this one.

    I just don't have the patience for -real- mixing where you go channel by channel and totally finesse all the live sounds into perfect levels through time.
    And I don't have the patience to try and help someone who thinks they are going to produce audio, going against the grain of how the process works, at every step of the way.

    [quote]So I can finesse whatever levels I need at the midi level I'm hoping.

    Then your hopes will soon be dashed.

    5) umm, "STPFMH" ???
    It is from the old TV series, Kung Fu". Kwai Chang Caine was taken in by a Shaolin monk that was deadly using marshal arts. When the student, Kwai Chang, was fast enough to "Take The Pebble From My Hand", the finial test between the student and the master, then the student had successfully completed his training. I use STPFMH as I never saw Caine give the pebble back. The "S" stands for steal. "Steal the pebble from my hand".

    As kids, we all use to play that game as well. After I started practicing close up magic in 1979, I worked on a trick where I could place a nickle in someones hand and hold a dime between my first finger and thumb, and after placing my hand 6 inches above their open hand holding the nickel, I could take the nickle and leave the dime in their hand before they could make a fist. I still do that trick today and it still has the same effect on people, when they open their hand and find a dime in it.

    Now, just so you know, you may get some harsh answers concerning your desire to produce audio, while at the same time, not wanting to put any effort into it. You will also find that most people, including myself, will only put in as much effort, as the person seeking advice. I am not scolding you, just giving some solid advice. Think about it this way.

    You say you are a programmer and you were a member of a community that deals with programmers, codes and anything else you guys do. Now say that I come into your community and make a post like this. Hey guys, I want to learn how to program and I am seeking advice. You respond back to me and say, welcome, how can we help you. I reply back and say that I have a laptop and the desire to learn. You say great, you need to start here and watch these videos, than follow the next steps since you are just starting out. You need to spend at least 3 to 4 hrs a day studying as there is a lot to learn.

    I reply back to you, well, I really do not want to do any studying, nor do I want to spend more that 10 min a day, learning how to be a programmer. Can't you just tell me how to skip all that and make me a professional by 6pm. I have a interview for a programmer position.

    Now be honest, would you really want to waist your time going back and forth with me, or would you think, "this guy is really not serious about programming, and unless he changes his attitude, he will never make it in my field". Do me a favor and PM me your answer. Just a simple yes or no will do.

    Picnic = Problem In Chair Not In Computer Free Podcasting ACX Course ~ Sound Treatment

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    "As background, I'm a computer programmer working on a midi sequencer specifically geared towards pop piano." So, I repeat...WTF buy an interface that does not do MIDI? Then, Audacity is a fine audio editor but no substitute for a good DAW like Reaper (or Samplitude!) and it does NOT do MIDI.

    Suggestion? Chuck the 2i2 in and buy a Steinberg UR22. Excellent interface WITH MIDI DINs and comes with Cubase. Not THE easiest DAW to learn but the dog's whatsits for MIDI and as a programmer you should have it sorted in a weekend! (you can download a 'lite' Cubase to try)

    Dave.

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    Thanks for the replies and further clarification yall.

    Ok I think I got what I need to set up my mixer as "just a static mix everything together at relatively similar levels" sort of thing.

    To clarify a little further, I'm a programmer first, a musician (keyboard player) next, and probably am just not gonna be a sound guy. I don't even play out yet (but still plan to).

    Since I play everything into my sequencer, I can tweak notes there instead of live on the mixer. It may not be as exacting and perfect as doing that the right way by true mixing. But there's not too many background tracks i use. And my midi sequencer takes the note velocities I'm using on the keyboard and scales the background tracks. Which may not always be what you want, sure. But I mostly care about my track and playing live is the strongest way to start a good mix, right?

    And as I say, I'm coding my own pop piano oriented, non DAW midi sequencer so using a different sequencer is out

    Thanks for the knowledge yall.

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