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Thread: To use or not to use mixer

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    To use or not to use mixer

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    Hi:
    Thus far, for recording tracks, I have simply connected the cable for my music instrument directly to my PC interface box, and used whatever signal processors (equalization, reverb, compression, etc) provided as part of Sony Acid Music software. But for many professional recording studios that I have seen, the engineers have used a mixer first, then routed the signals processed from the mixer to the interface, then to the recording software. What are the advantages, if any, for the use of the mixer? Do you get better sounds from using the mixer first? I'd like some advice before getting a mixer (if need be). Thanks.

    Patrick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick108 View Post
    Hi:
    Thus far, for recording tracks, I have simply connected the cable for my music instrument directly to my PC interface box, and used whatever signal processors (equalization, reverb, compression, etc) provided as part of Sony Acid Music software. But for many professional recording studios that I have seen, the engineers have used a mixer first, then routed the signals processed from the mixer to the interface, then to the recording software. What are the advantages, if any, for the use of the mixer? Do you get better sounds from using the mixer first? I'd like some advice before getting a mixer (if need be). Thanks.

    Patrick
    could they be using a lot more mikes and channels than you do
    so they might be mixing backing vocals and frontman plus various instruments or groups separately then do a final mix ITB on stems

    what i would use the mixer for would be to adjust volume level, add eq to single inputs, and other non destructive processing

    then after I have all the tracks i would do the mixing and apply corrections to the final as appropriate

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    It's mostly down to personal preference, specially in home recording environments.

    When I started, I used a mixer because my interface at the time, even though it had eight input channels, only had line inputs. I needed the mixer for mike preamps.

    When I got an interface with mike level inputs I had no need of the mixer. All the functions that a mixer could do I was able to do in the box.

    However, some people like the tactile nature of a physical mixer, and will prefer that. That, though, is used to manipulate tracks that are already recorded

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    I have two digital mixers - A Midas M32 and a Behringer X32. I use them for outside events and recordings, but even though they are sitting in the store, I don't use either routinely in the studio, there's no point. All that really matters is that your interface is good enough quality to keep you happy. Mine has plenty of inputs, but for 99% of the time, there is one mic and one instrument plugged into it. I output to stereo, so I only use two of it's outputs. Everything nowadays is done in the computer and the patchy, that used to connect up the external sound modules, keyboards and synths, plus the compressors and effects sit there gathering dust. If you need to route lots of sources and outputs, then a mixer has a sensible purpose, but I don't any more work like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick108 View Post
    Hi:
    Thus far, for recording tracks, I have simply connected the cable for my music instrument directly to my PC interface box, and used whatever signal processors (equalization, reverb, compression, etc) provided as part of Sony Acid Music software. But for many professional recording studios that I have seen, the engineers have used a mixer first, then routed the signals processed from the mixer to the interface, then to the recording software. What are the advantages, if any, for the use of the mixer? Do you get better sounds from using the mixer first? I'd like some advice before getting a mixer (if need be). Thanks.

    Patrick
    They have a lot more channel strips to mix things first.
    And they probably use a lot more channels than you do after getting into the box.

    They may or may not have special built in FX or other tweaks that simplify their workflow.

    If you needed a mixer you would know it. And you should also know why before you buy one.

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    I use a mixer because I have a whole band to record at once, and I use the same system for rehearsals and studio performances with stage monitors. It's just easier to mix a live band on a big control surface.

    Speaking of which, it's time for me to go to rehearsal right now.

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