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Bedroom producers ( Hardware mixers)

hardware, software, tips and tricks
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Postby frostyljd » Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:10 pm

I asked this question before but didnt get too much of a response. Big up 2000f for sharing with me. Im interested in buying a hardware mixer. I've been making tunes for about 6 years and i really like the idea of mixing down on hardware. Im looking at the mackie onyx range, they look quite sweet. I was wondering if anyone had anything to say about these things- anything at all would be really nice because im thinking of buying one reletively soon. I use logic and Reason to quite a high level (especially logic, cant use eq or compression in reason, my ears dont work it) plus i feel that theres another level of sound acheivable with hardware mixers but im planning ro do it the easy way with firewire. Whats everyones thoughts on this?
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Postby wil blaze » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:43 pm

all i can say is that my mixes have sounded so much better since i got an analogue desk instead of mixing inside my pc...

dunno bout the mackie onyx but heard they are really good.

if you got the cash then do it....

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Postby frostyljd » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:23 pm

nice1 dude, i listen to your betas there quite nice and shiny, just out of interest can you tell me wot desk have u got and do u use firewire or cables?
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Postby kion » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:50 pm

I've been looking at the mackie onyx's myself - def one to consider.
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Postby doctorkinetic » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:54 pm

I've been wondering a similar thing- will mixing down on a Firewire (i.e. DIGITAL) desk give benefits to sound quality (i.e. warmth/ fatness) or does it really need to be done on an analogue desk using audio? Need to seriously upgrade my audio set-up at the minute coz i just use the built in audio of my iBook (NOT POWERBOOK!) and it produces random clicks in Logic when running hard, so wondering whether to get a digital desk and use that to run audio (that is what they do isn't it?), or get a proper sound card and start saving for a real desk sometime?

Dunno if that even makes sense- I have a feeling I may be somewhat confused! :? :wink:
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Postby forensix (mcr) » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:59 pm

Rob if i was you id get a proper sound card, theres no point getting a desk if your soundcard's shit
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Postby tes la rok » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:10 pm

i have mackie 16 chanel analog desk but nowdays i hardly ever use it, dont know why coz sound is a bit warmer when signal goes thru analog desk. but i think i start to use it again since emu soundcard have good AD/DA converts. remember when you're usin analogdesk, AD/DA converters are really really really important.
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Postby frostyljd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:14 pm

Im pretty sure the firwire woudnt make any difference as the mackie website and instruction manual for the mackie onyx all praise the firwire as the best part. Still there may be a difference in sound quality. I think ill e-mail the mackie website and get back to u lot
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Postby kion » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:03 pm

It's only the interface between the comp and mixer that is digital. Once it's into the desk it runs through the Mackie analogue circuitry
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Postby ramadanman » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:52 pm

i might get a focusrite saffire thingy - and then route through a mixing desk. looking forward to trying out the hands on hardware approach.
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Postby facetime » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:59 pm

I think if you're looking for warmth, your best bet is to invest in a decent channel strip or 2 channel pre. You don't really need 16+ channels of pre's and EQ if your just looking to run your plugins through some analogue gear. and as someone said above, the first step is to make sure you have good ad/da otherwise its pretty pointless to invest in outboard
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Postby facetime » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:06 pm

this would be pretty nice with a control surface. analogue summing box:

http://www.audient.co.uk/Audient_Products.jsp?WhatToDo=SHOW_ITEM&CatID=26&ItemID=50[/url]
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Postby doctorkinetic » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:46 pm

forensix (mcr) wrote:Rob if i was you id get a proper sound card, theres no point getting a desk if your soundcard's shit


OK, as I thought, I was confused- When I hook up a decent soundcard (USB/ Firewire) where does a Firewire desk come into the picture? This seems to make less sense. Mr. F, I take you to mean that you dont rate the idea of a Firewire interface between computer and desk and beleive in a purely analogue desk, then send back into Logic via Audio interface for bouncing track down-

Every chance i'm still confused :!: :wink:
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Postby forensix (mcr) » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:57 pm

sorry should have said theres no point in having an analogue desk using audio outs if you dont have a decent soundcard
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Postby elemental » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:37 pm

I got a 16 channel Mackie a few years ago to do this.

Yeah I did a few mixes on it, it was more fun than mixing in the computer, and a 'warmer' sound, but u know what - I prefer being able to load and save mixes, I prefer not having to finish one mix before I load a next tune up, for warmth I run individual tracks or subgroups through analog gear if it needs it. I use the mixer just for recording external synths/fx.

Also, I dont really think you're gonna get a big improvement in sound with something like a Mackie. You might get a bit more seperation, but its only when u mix on a proper quality desk (i.e. serious money) that you can really notice the difference.
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Postby doctorkinetic » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:50 pm

I really wanna sort this out in my head-

I can either:

a) get a soundcard and some analogue gear (for warmth)- run tracks out into the gear then back into Logic via Audio cables

or

b) get a Firewire/USB desk and run tracks through the signal processing in this then back into Logic via the Firewire

Correct :?: :?
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Postby stf » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:59 pm

DoctorKinetic wrote:I really wanna sort this out in my head-

I can either:

a) get a soundcard and some analogue gear (for warmth)- run tracks out into the gear then back into Logic via Audio cables

or

b) get a Firewire/USB desk and run tracks through the signal processing in this then back into Logic via the Firewire

Correct :?: :?


why do you need a firewire/usb mixing desk if you arnt using any outboard gear at all?

if the problem is your audio is clicking and skipping while running in logic, get a pcmcia card like the echo or emu, it should help out a bit and also offer a bit better converters. if you still get audio lag its your computer and only fix is upgrading it.

if you jsut want the desk to be a control surfuce, they sell pretty cheap midi/usb control surfaces now a days.
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Postby doctorkinetic » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:09 am

STF wrote:
DoctorKinetic wrote:I really wanna sort this out in my head-

I can either:

a) get a soundcard and some analogue gear (for warmth)- run tracks out into the gear then back into Logic via Audio cables

or

b) get a Firewire/USB desk and run tracks through the signal processing in this then back into Logic via the Firewire

Correct :?: :?




why do you need a firewire/usb mixing desk if you arnt using any outboard gear at all?

if the problem is your audio is clicking and skipping while running in logic, get a pcmcia card like the echo or emu, it should help out a bit and also offer a bit better converters. if you still get audio lag its your computer and only fix is upgrading it.

if you jsut want the desk to be a control surfuce, they sell pretty cheap midi/usb control surfaces now a days.


Am I not correct in thinking that these desks add colour to the sound/ have built in hardware effects- thats the only reason. Some seem comparable in price to soundcards.
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Postby stf » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:14 am

DoctorKinetic wrote:Am I not correct in thinking that these desks add colour to the sound/ have built in hardware effects- thats the only reason. Some seem comparable in price to soundcards.


if its straight digital and doesnt go through analog devices, no it wont add any color, plus, the color it would add on a desk of this price isnt gonna be desireable. every desk ive seen with built in effects has been really bad as well.
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Postby elemental » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:37 am

Personally I wouldnt bother with mixers with Firewire/USB built in - get yourself a quality soundcard first (like RME, Echo, Emu, Motu) with multiple outs if you wanna start sending stuff out to a mixer. Then get yourself a decent mixer, there are some big old models you can find (like Studiomaster) which have nice sounding EQ and preamps, pretty cheap 2nd hand and sound nice when you drive the channels, or you can go for a small new mixer and get yourself a good channel strip, compressor, some valve outboard maybe... up to you.

But as has been said, if you wanna go this route AD/DA (i.e. soundcard) is the most important part of the chain. So get this first, then you're set up to get the most out of a mixer and/or outboard.

Unfortunately, once you go hardware quality starts to cost good money, although if you look around on eBay or loot etc you can find some good deals.
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