School me on mixers...digital or USB

Bruthish

Hair Metal Roxx!
Right now I use a Focusrite Sapphire USB Interface. It has two inputs which is fine for what I do now. But trying to look into the future and the "big picture". Many many moons ago I mixed with a large 24 channel tascam analog board. I loved having adjustments at my fingertips. I saw that many of the USB mixing boards have audio Interfaces built in and that you can essentially use them to do the multi-track recording. Been researching the Presonus and Behringer boards and first off I found that the Behringer boards only allow you to record 2 tracks at a time which defeats the purpose if you wanted to, say, record a drum set into individual tracks. Is that true?

So based on your experiences, reviews, and what-not.....Is there a good board that does actual multitrack recording(at least 8 at once) AND allows you to output back into the board to do a mixdown? Or is it wise to get a analog board and get a larger interface that handles both? Don't have $1000's to spend but would like to do this once and not keep upgrading! Also, I don't do live, just studio.
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
Honestly, I'm not sure if any of them double both as recording mixers and studio control surfaces - never tried one! Of course, the moves you make while recording are going to be "printed" into the audio file, but whether the DAW sees that device as an interface *and* control surface, well, you'd have to read up I suppose.

Behringer has a couple of devices (X Air?) that use iPads or similar as control surfaces that support multi-track recording. Their old mixers with "USB" added are not that useful for home studio recording IMO.

I think many of us just use interfaces and then "ride the faders" either virtually with a mouse, or use a control surface post-recording during mixing. Not everyone, but I don't record more than a couple people at a time at home. (If I record at all at home!)

If you have to have a mixer, the Studio-Live liine seem to be the main ones with a lot of different options, but Zoom has a small system - not sure how well it fits studio use, and the Behringers, though it's a virtual control surface on a tablet. Maybe others, but my feeling is that particular functionality is going to become more prevalent and probably better/cheaper in a couple more years. Could be wrong, of course!
 

Bruthish

Hair Metal Roxx!
yes, not sure I even need one at this point, but was thinking if I was going to spend the dime on a better audio interface, maybe getting a mixer with one built in would be beneficial in the future. Presonus does have a really cool one and the price isn't bad. The reality of it, as I think you were saying, is that everything that can done on a board can be done within the DAW so probably not even worth the time and trouble. Maybe I just have the "more toys" syndrome lol
 

ecc83

Well-known member
I am assuming you want to emulate the 'out of the box' experience and send digital tracks back to faders to mess with? If so this seems to do that,
Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK |

Or, you could go Tascam US-20 20 or similar and if you found 'ITB' not satisfying the 'fader fingering urge' look for a suitable mixer, best one with Direct Outs. (but Inserts will do as a kludge)

If I was looking for live and studio m'track recording on a budget I think I would go for the Soundcraft but the PC would retain a 2496 PCI card for MIDI.

Dave.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
A newish mixer/interface has come to my attention in the current issue of SoS. Soundcraft Notepad FX8.

Gets a good rep for sound quality and that of the Lexicon FX. Just £109 and I am seriously considering one for itinerant musician son.

Dave.
 

cecerre

New member
So based on your experiences, reviews, and what-not.....Is there a good board that does actual multitrack recording(at least 8 at once) AND allows you to output back into the board to do a mixdown? Or is it wise to get a analog board and get a larger interface that handles both? Don't have $1000's to spend but would like to do this once and not keep upgrading! Also, I don't do live, just studio.

The question is phrased a little odd, I will shoot you what I think your asking...is there a digital board that emulates analog functionality? - yes...sort of. Moving into the digital realm means re-learning some old bad habits in new ways. If your steering away from the traditional ‘home’ budget DAW, then something like the Presonus 16.4.2 is a great alternative. IMO, it comes the closest to mimicking the analog board workflow with a few tweaks to your old habits. However, your still going to have to deal with software at some point, because the digital boards must pass the A/D converted bits to some storage location and that’s where your computer comes in. But, you didn’t ask about all that Jazz, so, stick to the question I think your asking.

Now, another option you hit on is using an analog board with a ‘larger interface’. You could in fact try and pair an analog board with a digital audio interface but that’s kind of double spending. I have used an analog board in the past paired with a Alesis HD24 hard drive recorder. Basically, same rig as what you probably used the ‘the day’ but instead of tape, it records and plays back via a proprietary formatted hard drive. In my case, I had 24 channels at 44.8/16bit that was basically a digital tape machine. I loved this setup, quite frankly, wish I had stayed that way but, needed the space so, packed up the board and sold the Tascam hard drive recorders.

‘Don’t have thousands to spend’ - may want to check out other hobbies, like fishing or tennis : )

Best of luck
 
Last edited:
Top