What am I missing here????

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by ap1, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. ap1

    ap1 Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    I seem to be confused about something fundamental here, but I can't put my finger on it.

    I use Cubase for simple projects, with the M-Audio FW410 as my interface. Because I don't have any hot-shot pres, I've been using my mixer for that purpose, with the L and R main outs going to the two ins on the M-Audio. Outs from the M-Audio go directly to powered mons.

    So, I might run guitar through one channel on the board panned L, run a vocal mic in another channel panned R, and send each to separate tracks on the Cubase mixer via the M-Audio. Then I might do overdubs one at a time, in the same fashion.

    But the more I think about it, I'm confused about the precise function of the mixer: if I get a couple of outboard pres, doesn't this basically eliminate the need for it? Strictly speaking, I'm not using it for anything except as a preamp for the M-Audio ins. But shouldn't I be taking advantage of all its other capabilities, like monitoring, etc.? And if so, how? What's the signal path?

    I think the more general question is how a physical board is best used when recording directly onto the computer, and when both Cubase AND the M-Audio have virtual mixers. What's the relation between all these? What am I missing here??

  2. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    Scottsdale, AZ
    One of the reasons people use a mixer is because of the onboard pres--others like the quality of sound.

    You're correct--if you had pres you wouldn't need the mixer.

    I haven't used one in years, but it is nice to have an outboard monitor controller--another place it can be used.
  3. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    North SF Bay, CA
    Yes. You'll want a mixer if you decide to actually mix outside the box (otb). But essentially, you can get rid of a mixer altogether and use pres right into the sound card.

    Also, I believe the M-Audio "mixer" you're referring to is used to mix monitoring levels (how loud am I hearing what's coming off of mic 1; how is it panned in my headphones). This mixer typically does not actually affect what you are recording – that's what the mixer Cubase is for.

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