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Thread: Mixer or Interface or Both?

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    Mixer or Interface or Both?

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    So this is my goal:

    Generally a two person host podcast in studio with up to two guests in studio and two remote guests via Skype or other source. Total max show capacity Iíd like is between 6-8 (2-4 remote) but expect on the whole 4 people is about right with 2 remote. Iím not even sure if Iíd ever have more than 2 remote guests but thought in theory it would be nice to have the option. So I really should say the general plan would be 2 in studio and up to 2 remote guests requiring the mix-minus set up.

    Iíd also like to be able to record a full drum kit which I suspect would be easy with the same gear from above.

    Current gear:
    Scarlett 2i2 Gen 3 (mostly for solo and travel use)
    Clarett 4PreUSB
    Mics
    Logic Pro X
    FCPX
    MacBook Pro 15in, 16GB Ram
    OBS Studio

    So to get the use case above working Iím looking at getting a mixer but not sure if this is the best route. Iím considering a 16 channel Macke, Yamaha, or Soundcraft mixer.

    Iím new to the audio recording thing and so Iím feeling overwhelmed and already had to send my Clarett in because it was defective (at least we think so).

    Really I guess what Iím hoping for here is a little guidance on what gear would be ideal for the described use case above in such a way as to utilize and enhance what Iíve got already.

    Also, for the mix-minus set up do I need to get software like Loopback for it or will getting a mixer be sufficient? After looking at the costs of getting Loopback (after it was suggested for use with OBS for streaming) I thought the price warranted getting a mixer (bc I somehow got the impression I wouldnít need Loopback if I got a mixer).

    Yeah Iím feeling lost and not even sure where to start so please help and forgive. Be gentile 😂 most of it I suspect will be user error anyhow.

    Much appreciated for the help in advance.
    Last edited by Theeoddname; 11-15-2019 at 21:10.

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    I have no hands-on experience with podcasts...but I'm guessing it's not much different than a radio or TV show setup where you have multiple guests.
    For the sake of easy/fast control of the different sources during a live show, I would think a small mixer would be the better way to go. You would have all your sources running through the mixer and no need to look at a computer screen or use a keyboard and mouse to make adjustments...just reach for a fader, etc.

    That said, if you need to mix in pre-recorded tracks into the live podcast, from a DAW, or you wanted to record those podcasts into the DAW while streaming live, or you wanted to use any plugins from the DAW as FX/processing with the live stuff...you're going to need the computer anyway, and you're going to need to have a working setup that makes all that possible. So...if you can manage the control of the live sources from the DAW, while recording and adding anything else from the DAW to the podcast...then maybe a mixer would be unnecessary, and everything would be handled with the DAW and your multi-channel interface with multi I/O capabilities.

    Of course...it may turn out that having both will give you the most flexibility and options.

    I think this is something that you're simply going to have to find out for yourself, by actually doing some test podcasts, seeing what's missing, what is needed...and adjusting your setup from there and building on it over time as you fine-tune your needs and how best to achieve your goal.
    It might be a mistake to just dive in all the way and make final decisions about gear from the start...especially because you are new to this.

    I think you would do better to have this discussion with other podcasters...either here or elsewhere. TBH, I don't think there are a lot of people hanging on this forum who are doing podcasts (as you can glean from the lack of activity and the dates of the threads), so replies to your questions may not be as plentiful and complete as you desire. I'm sure there are some full-tilt, active podcast forums out there on the internet...so post you questions there too.

    All that said...for my own recording needs, I've always preferred a hybrid setup...so I've always have a mixer, and I use it with a DAW, without the DAW...or the DAW without the mixer. Lots of flexibility.
    I guess it will come down to how deep you want to go with this...and your budget.

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    Thanks for the feedback. I will have to check out more podcast specific forums as it appears.

    All that said though: if I were to go for a mixer what would you recommend? Budget is about 400-600 range on the max.

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    I'm curious about how you would set up a podcast with a couple of Skype guests into a mixer? I've never even looked into podcasting, don't know what software is around or how its used, and haven't used Skype in about 6 or 7 years, so forgive my ignorance. If the Skype sessions are coming through the computer, do they then route to a channel in a program? If you have prerecorded guests, you could cut and paste in responses into any DAW to make it sound real-time. But if the whole session is going in real time how does it all combine?

    Also, is this a audio or video podcast?

    As for the drum kit, you have optical ins on the Clarett4, so getting another preamp, like maybe the Scarlett OctoPre would give you additional inputs. You'll still be limited to the 8 channels of the Clarett going into the DAW.

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    One of the things I find that makes podcasts unpleasant to listen to is the lack of compression on individual speakers. I'll just stop listening if the dynamics are out of control. Anything that can be done to remedy that would be a big improvement.

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    Rode RodeCaster Pro

    Top end of budget but seems very, very good.

    Dave.

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    Agreed on the Rodecaster Pro. That's a pretty cool box, and is getting rave reviews from the few guys that I've watched use them. Pretty cool all-in-one setup for mixing multiple sources for a podcast.

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    Thank you folks. I'm not impressed with the Rodecaster Pro - seems like a decent device but just not what I'm looking for. I am specifically wanting to be able to adjust the EQ level's and such per channel without any fancy wizardry though shift commands and window swaps. I'm also hoping to be able to grow into a larger show than what a single RP would get me to.

    Anyhow, that said, I do have a question: Can AUX Sends, FX, and Headphone out (monitor out) be used in the same fashion?

    I.e. could I use an AUX send for a headphone? Could I use a Headphone out for an AUX send back into another input channel on the mixer? Could I use an FX send as either a headphone and aux send (assuming I turned off the FX's of course)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    I have no hands-on experience with podcasts...but I'm guessing it's not much different than a radio or TV show setup where you have multiple guests.
    For the sake of easy/fast control of the different sources during a live show, I would think a small mixer would be the better way to go. You would have all your sources running through the mixer and no need to look at a computer screen or use a keyboard and mouse to make adjustments...just reach for a fader, etc.

    That said, if you need to mix in pre-recorded tracks into the live podcast, from a DAW, or you wanted to record those podcasts into the DAW while streaming live, or you wanted to use any plugins from the DAW as FX/processing with the live stuff...you're going to need the computer anyway, and you're going to need to have a working setup that makes all that possible. So...if you can manage the control of the live sources from the DAW, while recording and adding anything else from the DAW to the podcast...then maybe a mixer would be unnecessary, and everything would be handled with the DAW and your multi-channel interface with multi I/O capabilities.

    Of course...it may turn out that having both will give you the most flexibility and options.

    I think this is something that you're simply going to have to find out for yourself, by actually doing some test podcasts, seeing what's missing, what is needed...and adjusting your setup from there and building on it over time as you fine-tune your needs and how best to achieve your goal.
    It might be a mistake to just dive in all the way and make final decisions about gear from the start...especially because you are new to this.

    I think you would do better to have this discussion with other podcasters...either here or elsewhere. TBH, I don't think there are a lot of people hanging on this forum who are doing podcasts (as you can glean from the lack of activity and the dates of the threads), so replies to your questions may not be as plentiful and complete as you desire. I'm sure there are some full-tilt, active podcast forums out there on the internet...so post you questions there too.

    All that said...for my own recording needs, I've always preferred a hybrid setup...so I've always have a mixer, and I use it with a DAW, without the DAW...or the DAW without the mixer. Lots of flexibility.
    I guess it will come down to how deep you want to go with this...and your budget.
    So I'm down to the decision to have both a mixer and an interface: I think it'll afford me significant flexibility. I'm hoping to find a mixer that would allow for the USB send to the DAW (or other software) POST fader. Any thoughts on that? It would be amazing if it were optional PRE/POST.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalismanRich View Post
    I'm curious about how you would set up a podcast with a couple of Skype guests into a mixer? I've never even looked into podcasting, don't know what software is around or how its used, and haven't used Skype in about 6 or 7 years, so forgive my ignorance. If the Skype sessions are coming through the computer, do they then route to a channel in a program? If you have prerecorded guests, you could cut and paste in responses into any DAW to make it sound real-time. But if the whole session is going in real time how does it all combine?

    Also, is this a audio or video podcast?

    As for the drum kit, you have optical ins on the Clarett4, so getting another preamp, like maybe the Scarlett OctoPre would give you additional inputs. You'll still be limited to the 8 channels of the Clarett going into the DAW.
    So there's a few ways this can be done and works with pretty much any phone like system.
    1) Take the headphone out from the computer (or your phone) and send that to the mic input line on the mixer (or interface). This allows you to hear the caller.
    2) Take a headphone out from the mixer (or interface) to the mic input on the computer (or phone). This allows the caller to hear you.
    3) You will need to ensure the caller doesn't hear themselves (hence the Mix-Minus) so you'll need to create the output mix from (2) to not include the caller's audio.

    I'm looking to do a Video podcast.

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