Mixer or No?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by ap1, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. ap1

    ap1 Member

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    I seem to be confused about something basic - does software like Cubase SL along with an interface preclude the need for a mixer if I'm just laying down a track or two at a time? I can see going through a mixer just for the preamp and eq on the channel strip (and maybe an outboard effect or two). But other than that, why bother? With a band, I can see the reasoning - mix all the ins and send them via the stereo outs to the two ins on the interface and record. But then again, in so doing, the mix becomes fixed as it goes to disc, and it's only as good as it was when it was recorded. So what gives? What am I missing?
     
  2. EVT

    EVT Member

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    I find a mixer useful for when I'm using a few different instruments, like drum machines and keyboards etc. If I'm connecting them up midi, or even to just have them all going through the mixer, so when you do want to record, you'll just have to raise the volume on that particular track, and the out of the mixer will always be going into your audio interface.

    I also use the mixer for tracking drums, because it's a lot of different mics at a time. And, for when I practice.

    evt
     
  3. Roach

    Roach Supporting Member

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    I dumped my mixer when I went with Cuebase. I brought a couple of good pres and that's all I need. Kept the mackie mixer for a year "just in case," but never used it. Might be handy if you're recording a band live, but not for layering tracks at home.
     
  4. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

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    I have a home studio that I just use for doing my own stuff. However I have several outboard synths that I use as well as an outboard compressor and a few other things. My audio interface (metric halo ULN/2) only has a single stereo in for analog. So, I have all of my outboard gear permanently attached to the input of the MH from the main out of the mixer, and use a AMT-8 midi interface for the synths. If I didn't have any outboard gear aside from a microphone, I'd probably not have the mixer. However I do monitor off the mixer and fold in a little reverb for tracking vocals, but don't send the reverb to the computer. This makes singing a lot easier for me and more inspirational using the external reverb just for my own benefit on vocals.
     
  5. livedead13

    livedead13 Member

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    i use a Firepod interface with Cubase SL and have absolutely no need for a mixer. just use the preamps on the Firepod and the mixer in Cubase. wouldn't mind getting a control surface though.
     
  6. onemind

    onemind Member

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    When I was doing more recording I used a mixer as a way to get a good cue mix without latency. Now I just use a Mackie Big Knob.
     
  7. ZenFly06

    ZenFly06 Member

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    A mixer just makes everything much easier because you can set up projects and layers for different things, recall scenes and, as mentioned, create latency free cue mixes. Add to that the abiltiy to move physical faders in masse instead of using a mouse...not a contest for me.

    In the case of my mixer, a Tascam DM3200, it acts as a control surface as well.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I like using a mixer for a few very personal reasons having nothing to do with necessity:

    I like the way my mixer sounds, especially its mix buss.

    The mixer has 64 inputs, and 32 mic preamps.

    I like being able to route signals with the mixer to its various busses. Its I/O is flexible, which means I can do lots of different kinds of projects and not be limited by the number of inputs and outputs.

    The mixer makes using outboard hardware simple.

    Latency is not an issue.

    I invested quite a tidy sum in the thing in 1993, and dang it, I'm gonna get my money's worth! ;)
     
  9. ap1

    ap1 Member

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    So do these control surfaces directly control what you do in your software? That is, can you assign the channels to work in tandem with the software channels, so that when you slide a fader, or use the transport controls, the software channel or transport responds accordingly? Is that basically what they're designed for?
     
  10. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

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    Temporary thread hijack:

    LSchefman...sounds like a nice console. Whachu got?




    Back to the topic...no you don't need a mixer but as you can see, it can come in handy.
     
  11. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Potential clients like to see a mixer and I like to turn knobs.;)

    Aside from the already mentioned routing, pre's & eq's, analog summing, etc., I find it much easier & faster to work on and the channel/track layout makes it easy to keep a mental tab on signal flow. Plus, since I prefer a stand alone recorder to a daw, it's pretty much a necessity.
     
  12. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    CAUTION: Brother Les is referring to a *real* mixer with *real* preamps, eq's, and headroom. NOT to one of the bargain boxes most of us have budgets for.

    (That said, I've still got my Mackie SR24/4 here, mostly out of sentimentality and for the slight improvement in ease of monitoring flexibility. I *do* notice that even my mixes from 7 or 8 years ago that were mixed through the Mackie have a certain something that my Nuendo mixes lack. Something to do with how it all hangs together at the mix buss).
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>LSchefman...sounds like a nice console. Whachu got?<<

    http://homepage.mac.com/lcschefman/PhotoAlbum6.html

    Supposedly the last Tascam M600 imported, 32 x 32 x 16 x 2. There's a pic on the link, click to make it larger. In all honesty, I think it's an underrated board. All of the I/O is wired to the patchbay.
     
  14. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i don't use a mixer anymore unless i'm freelancing in a studio w/ a neve.
    mackie control surfaces and dangerous 2buss, monitor and HQ do pretty well all the stuff that i need. i would think that most 'prosumer' mixers would be a rather poor choice if one is looking for quality results.
     

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