Best way to record practice session with older mixer


New member
Hi everyone,

We have a small band that consists of a singer, 2 guitars, bass, and drums. Everything is connected to an older MAckie CR1604-VLZ board that I inherited a year ago. We have two mics on the drums, two vocal mics, etc. Everything sounds great when we are practicing, but we would like to record some of the sessions to further critique the performance.

The Mackie board doesn't have any digital connections such as USB, and the manual in fact shows how to connect the board to a cassette recorder or reel to reel. I would like to connect the mixer to my PC somehow so I can use Audacity or some other software to record ourselves.

How would I go about doing that? Can I use an RCA to USB adapter or do I need firewire? THe board only has RCA outputs, so somehow I need to connect that to my computer.

As you can see, I don't know a lot about home recording, so this may not even be possible with the Mackie board.

Thanks for any help!!

Lt. Bob

Spread the Daf!
that board doesn't just have RCA outs ..... there are also 1/4" outs. There are inserts for every channel so you can take and channel and send it alone to where you want.
You're gonna need some sorta converter though because USB is digital signals conforming to USB stabdards and no output on that board does that.
So you'll need some sort of interface between the board and you're puter.
I suspect someone will be along shortly with some suggestions ..... I don't record to 'puter so I don't know them.
But I have ( and use) that exact board and I've never used the RCA jacks for anything ......... only 1/4" jacks which there are plenty of to give you all sorts of routing options.
But no, you can not connect any of that boards outs directly to a puter without some sort of interface ..... well, you could use the analog inputs of your soundcard but that usually doesn't work very well.


If you just want to record your band for practice and critique you can get an audio interface with 2 line-in inputs and capability to record 2 simultaneous tracks at once - assuming you are using stereo output from the Mackie. If you only want mono output (you have everything panned to 'center' on the Mackie) you could use a 1-track audio interface. If you want to use your channel inserts to record each track separtely to your computer, you will need an audio interface with as many tracks as you use.

Here's a good place to look at the choices and costs.


New member
For practices, I've used several different methods of recording. I currently either do stereo MXL 604 mics in the room, or I have a Blue Mikey that I use on my iPhone, which eliminates the need for the mixer at all.


Well-known member
just go out of the Mackie into the stereo inputs of your computers soundcard.
you may have to make some trial and error mixer adjustments, but I do this all the time.


just go out of the Mackie into the stereo inputs of your computers soundcard.
you may have to make some trial and error mixer adjustments, but I do this all the time.

If you are not concerned with the sound quality.
The a-to-d converters in most OEM soundcards have about $0.27 in components and crappy conversion. If you've got a computer set up to be the main component of a sound system (surround sound, etc), you may do marginally better.