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Thread: signal chain question- preamp>mixer>sound card or preamp>soundcard?

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    signal chain question- preamp>mixer>sound card or preamp>soundcard?

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    hello. this is my first post here after lurking around for a few days. i'm currently upgrading my modest home studio, and have a question:

    i'm wondering if there is an advantage from going from-

    mic>preamp>mixer>soundcard

    as opposed to

    mic>preamp>soundcard?

    if i am planning on doing the majority of my mixing through software programs, is it unnecessary to add a mixer to the signal chain?

    i've heard that adding a mixer will increase sound quality and make it more "fuller". can someone offer their opinion?

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    Generally, the less uneccesary items in your chain, the better. You need to ask yourself why you would want to add anything to the chain - in your case, does the mixer have preamps that blow away your stand-alone unit? Do you need to combine multiple sources into a stereo output? Is there an EQ bus you need to use while tracking? The answer is probably 'no', so running things through a mixer for the sake of doing it will not only not help your sound, but will actually hurt it by forcing your signal through extra uneccesary circutry.

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    i've heard that adding a mixer will increase sound quality and make it more "fuller". can someone offer their opinion?
    That hasn't been my experience. The sound I get is noticeabley better in richness and clarity if I go direct from the pre's to to the A/D converter. All of my mixers put a slight veil over the sound.

    Tim

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