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Newbie Mixer Questions

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Anonymous
January 31, 2005 7:59:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi I'm thinking of buying my first mixer (mackie onyx 1620, you may have
convinced me mike rivers) and I'm having a little trouble understanding
all the different inputs.. from what I can tell there are XLR inputs with
preamps, line level inputs, balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, and direct
inputs.. maybe some of those are the same thing I don't know.. my questions
are (and please try to keep your answers as simple as possible, i won't
understand an answer that references a bunch of other technical stuff i
don't understand):

1. what is the difference between these various inputs?

2. what kind of things would you typically plug into these various inputs
and why would you plug them into those inputs over the other ones?

3. looking at the 1620 it has 8 xlr microphone inputs, does this mean i
can only plug eight mics into it or is there some kind of xlr to 1/4"
converter out there that would allow me to plug in more mics at a later
date? would that work or would that not be as good? why?

4. whats the difference between the gain knob and the level fader?

5. what are some uses for tape in/out?

(these questions are specific to the mackie onyx line w/firewire)

6. do i have to record 12 tracks at a time (even if most are empty)
or can i pick and choose which ones i want to record? is that just
something thats controlled in the software?

7. if i've recorded a bass track and now want to add guitar, im
listening through my headphones and want to hear the bass track i'm
playing to and want to hear the guitar track as i'm playing it without
having the bass reference track get mixed into the guitar recording,
this should be a non-issue with the mackie since it records individual
channels right?

8. would a good way to do this be to send the output of my soundcard
into one of the inputs on the mixer? that way i could easily control
the volume of the reference track? my soundcards output is a stereo
rca output, do i just get rca to 1/4" adapters and plug them into a
stereo line input?

9. what would be some standard uses for the stereo return?

10. does anyone know if you can save templates in cubase, with saved
eqs, volumes, and effects for each channel. basically im recording a
full drumset with 6 mics what i'd like is if i record it, eq it, add
effects, adjust levels, etc.. and then be able to save that template
of settings (differernt for each channel). so say if i had 3 or 4
templates depending on the kind of sound i want i could record a whole
new session and then just load up one of the templates which would apply
all those saved eq, level, effects settings to the newly recorded tracks..
and then if i didn't like the sound i could load up a different template
just as easily..? is this possible?

11. and finally, this has nothing to do with mixers but i keep reading
about compressors,it seems everyone has a compressor, is there some kind
of example somewhere online that show what a compressor can do? like
before/after audio clips?


thanks!

More about : newbie mixer questions

Anonymous
January 31, 2005 7:59:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Matthew Blake wrote:
> Hi I'm thinking of buying my first mixer (mackie onyx 1620, you may have
> convinced me mike rivers) and I'm having a little trouble understanding
> all the different inputs.. from what I can tell there are XLR inputs with
> preamps, line level inputs, balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, and direct
> inputs.. maybe some of those are the same thing I don't know.. my questions
> are (and please try to keep your answers as simple as possible, i won't
> understand an answer that references a bunch of other technical stuff i
> don't understand):
>
> 1. what is the difference between these various inputs?
XLR inputs are 3-pin inputs from microphones. 1/4-inch jacks are also
known as line level inputs for mics, guitars etc. Balanced inputs are
better than unbalanced as theyhave less noise and can run longer
distances.

> 2. what kind of things would you typically plug into these various inputs
> and why would you plug them into those inputs over the other ones?
Use the XLR for mics. There are 2 mic types: dynamic and condenser. You
can plug a dynamic mic straight in. A condenser mic requires so-called
"phantom power" so you might want to check the mixer has it. *NEVER*
enable phantom power and then plug the mic in! Turn the inputs/outputs
down first, plug in mic and then switch on phantom power and bring the
levels up.

> 3. looking at the 1620 it has 8 xlr microphone inputs, does this mean i
> can only plug eight mics into it or is there some kind of xlr to 1/4"
> converter out there that would allow me to plug in more mics at a later
> date? would that work or would that not be as good? why?
Not seen the 1620 but you can plug 8 mics into the XLRs and more mics
into the other channel 1/4-inch. If channels 1-8 have XLR and 1/4-inch,
you can only use one of them i.e. do NOT plug a mic into channel 1 XLR
and another mic into channel 1 1/4-inch.

> 4. whats the difference between the gain knob and the level fader?
Gain adjusts the "boost" given to a channel so it's pretty much a
pre-amp. The level fader is either a global volume control, a single
volume control or a left/right PAN depending on how its labelled.

> 5. what are some uses for tape in/out?
Tape out/in are usually RCA connecters. The tape out can be delivered
directly to the AUX ports on your stereo to provide monitoring. On my
mixer (Behringer 1202), I hook up the tape out to 5.1 surround sound
PC powered speakers - works quite well. Tape inputs are for putting
RCA audio into the mixer. What I do with my mixer is connect the MAIN
outputs to my sound card and then connect the sound card outputs to
the TAPE IN - allows me to hear a backing track I put out via the
sound card.

> 6. do i have to record 12 tracks at a time (even if most are empty)
> or can i pick and choose which ones i want to record? is that just
> something thats controlled in the software?
You can but you'd need 12 paits of hands! How many tracks you
record at any time depends on your instruments, friends, sound card
and software.

> 7. if i've recorded a bass track and now want to add guitar, im
> listening through my headphones and want to hear the bass track i'm
> playing to and want to hear the guitar track as i'm playing it without
> having the bass reference track get mixed into the guitar recording,
> this should be a non-issue with the mackie since it records individual
> channels right?
see the above. It all depends on what you send to the MAIN outputs.

> 8. would a good way to do this be to send the output of my soundcard
> into one of the inputs on the mixer? that way i could easily control
> the volume of the reference track? my soundcards output is a stereo
> rca output, do i just get rca to 1/4" adapters and plug them into a
> stereo line input?
Yep. The converters shoudl cost a few bucks each.

> 9. what would be some standard uses for the stereo return?
Not sure what Mackie thinks a stereo return is ...

> 10. does anyone know if you can save templates in cubase, with saved
> eqs, volumes, and effects for each channel. basically im recording a
> full drumset with 6 mics what i'd like is if i record it, eq it, add
> effects, adjust levels, etc.. and then be able to save that template
> of settings (differernt for each channel). so say if i had 3 or 4
> templates depending on the kind of sound i want i could record a whole
> new session and then just load up one of the templates which would apply
> all those saved eq, level, effects settings to the newly recorded tracks..
> and then if i didn't like the sound i could load up a different template
> just as easily..? is this possible?
dunno ... though it should be if the software is any good ;-)


> 11. and finally, this has nothing to do with mixers but i keep reading
> about compressors,it seems everyone has a compressor, is there some kind
> of example somewhere online that show what a compressor can do? like
> before/after audio clips?
dunno. does the soundcard have a software compressor? If so, play your
bass twice: first uncompressed and then with compression enabled and
try to pick out any differences.

You might want to check out www.studio-central.com which has a series
of tutorials on audio (like what does a mixer do? choosing a mixer etc).

Good luck. Your mileage may vary.
January 31, 2005 9:29:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Before you buy any equipment I would suggest buying some books on the
subject.There is a lot you need to know beforejumping in and buying
equipment without having some basic knowledge of how a mixer works and how
multi track recording works.Once you have some basic knowledge then shop
around for equipment.You will be much better off and make better choices of
what will work for you.


Good Luck
Troy


Matthew Blake <mb@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:IttLd.2601$Ck1.566710@news20.bellglobal.com...
> Hi I'm thinking of buying my first mixer (mackie onyx 1620, you may have
> convinced me mike rivers) and I'm having a little trouble understanding
> all the different inputs.. from what I can tell there are XLR inputs with
> preamps, line level inputs, balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, and direct
> inputs.. maybe some of those are the same thing I don't know.. my
questions
> are (and please try to keep your answers as simple as possible, i won't
> understand an answer that references a bunch of other technical stuff i
> don't understand):
>
> 1. what is the difference between these various inputs?
>
> 2. what kind of things would you typically plug into these various inputs
> and why would you plug them into those inputs over the other ones?
>
> 3. looking at the 1620 it has 8 xlr microphone inputs, does this mean i
> can only plug eight mics into it or is there some kind of xlr to 1/4"
> converter out there that would allow me to plug in more mics at a later
> date? would that work or would that not be as good? why?
>
> 4. whats the difference between the gain knob and the level fader?
>
> 5. what are some uses for tape in/out?
>
> (these questions are specific to the mackie onyx line w/firewire)
>
> 6. do i have to record 12 tracks at a time (even if most are empty)
> or can i pick and choose which ones i want to record? is that just
> something thats controlled in the software?
>
> 7. if i've recorded a bass track and now want to add guitar, im
> listening through my headphones and want to hear the bass track i'm
> playing to and want to hear the guitar track as i'm playing it without
> having the bass reference track get mixed into the guitar recording,
> this should be a non-issue with the mackie since it records individual
> channels right?
>
> 8. would a good way to do this be to send the output of my soundcard
> into one of the inputs on the mixer? that way i could easily control
> the volume of the reference track? my soundcards output is a stereo
> rca output, do i just get rca to 1/4" adapters and plug them into a
> stereo line input?
>
> 9. what would be some standard uses for the stereo return?
>
> 10. does anyone know if you can save templates in cubase, with saved
> eqs, volumes, and effects for each channel. basically im recording a
> full drumset with 6 mics what i'd like is if i record it, eq it, add
> effects, adjust levels, etc.. and then be able to save that template
> of settings (differernt for each channel). so say if i had 3 or 4
> templates depending on the kind of sound i want i could record a whole
> new session and then just load up one of the templates which would apply
> all those saved eq, level, effects settings to the newly recorded
tracks..
> and then if i didn't like the sound i could load up a different template
> just as easily..? is this possible?
>
> 11. and finally, this has nothing to do with mixers but i keep reading
> about compressors,it seems everyone has a compressor, is there some kind
> of example somewhere online that show what a compressor can do? like
> before/after audio clips?
>
>
> thanks!
>
Related resources
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 9:29:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Before you buy any equipment I would suggest buying some books on the
> subject.There is a lot you need to know beforejumping in and buying
> equipment without having some basic knowledge of how a mixer works and how
> multi track recording works.Once you have some basic knowledge then shop
> around for equipment.You will be much better off and make better choices
of
> what will work for you.

Unfortunately this is very true...I wish there was a simple answer or a
summary description to the questions you asked but there isn't. Getting your
hands on a manual will help, but if you don't understand the basics like
line level, balanced vs. unbalanced and the basics of signal path it will
leave a lot of questions unanswered.... Here are some google search links
that should help you....every one of these searches has several articles
that you should read if you really want to understand the things you're
asking about.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22line+level%...
2speaker+level%22+preamp
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=balanced+unbalance...
e+&spell=1
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=mackie+1604+ma...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22direct+outs...
n%22+%22line+out%22
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=trim+gain+fade...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22signal+path...

--

Jonny Durango

"Patrick was a saint. I ain't."

http://www.jdurango.com



"Troy" <alternate-root@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:BOuLd.234202$6l.164580@pd7tw2no...
> Before you buy any equipment I would suggest buying some books on the
> subject.There is a lot you need to know beforejumping in and buying
> equipment without having some basic knowledge of how a mixer works and how
> multi track recording works.Once you have some basic knowledge then shop
> around for equipment.You will be much better off and make better choices
of
> what will work for you.
>
>
> Good Luck
> Troy
>
>
> Matthew Blake <mb@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:IttLd.2601$Ck1.566710@news20.bellglobal.com...
> > Hi I'm thinking of buying my first mixer (mackie onyx 1620, you may have
> > convinced me mike rivers) and I'm having a little trouble understanding
> > all the different inputs.. from what I can tell there are XLR inputs
with
> > preamps, line level inputs, balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, and
direct
> > inputs.. maybe some of those are the same thing I don't know.. my
> questions
> > are (and please try to keep your answers as simple as possible, i won't
> > understand an answer that references a bunch of other technical stuff i
> > don't understand):
> >
> > 1. what is the difference between these various inputs?
> >
> > 2. what kind of things would you typically plug into these various
inputs
> > and why would you plug them into those inputs over the other ones?
> >
> > 3. looking at the 1620 it has 8 xlr microphone inputs, does this mean i
> > can only plug eight mics into it or is there some kind of xlr to 1/4"
> > converter out there that would allow me to plug in more mics at a later
> > date? would that work or would that not be as good? why?
> >
> > 4. whats the difference between the gain knob and the level fader?
> >
> > 5. what are some uses for tape in/out?
> >
> > (these questions are specific to the mackie onyx line w/firewire)
> >
> > 6. do i have to record 12 tracks at a time (even if most are empty)
> > or can i pick and choose which ones i want to record? is that just
> > something thats controlled in the software?
> >
> > 7. if i've recorded a bass track and now want to add guitar, im
> > listening through my headphones and want to hear the bass track i'm
> > playing to and want to hear the guitar track as i'm playing it without
> > having the bass reference track get mixed into the guitar recording,
> > this should be a non-issue with the mackie since it records individual
> > channels right?
> >
> > 8. would a good way to do this be to send the output of my soundcard
> > into one of the inputs on the mixer? that way i could easily control
> > the volume of the reference track? my soundcards output is a stereo
> > rca output, do i just get rca to 1/4" adapters and plug them into a
> > stereo line input?
> >
> > 9. what would be some standard uses for the stereo return?
> >
> > 10. does anyone know if you can save templates in cubase, with saved
> > eqs, volumes, and effects for each channel. basically im recording a
> > full drumset with 6 mics what i'd like is if i record it, eq it, add
> > effects, adjust levels, etc.. and then be able to save that template
> > of settings (differernt for each channel). so say if i had 3 or 4
> > templates depending on the kind of sound i want i could record a whole
> > new session and then just load up one of the templates which would apply
> > all those saved eq, level, effects settings to the newly recorded
> tracks..
> > and then if i didn't like the sound i could load up a different template
> > just as easily..? is this possible?
> >
> > 11. and finally, this has nothing to do with mixers but i keep reading
> > about compressors,it seems everyone has a compressor, is there some kind
> > of example somewhere online that show what a compressor can do? like
> > before/after audio clips?
> >
> >
> > thanks!
> >
>
>
Anonymous
January 31, 2005 11:53:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Matthew Blake wrote:

<snipitty doo dah>

> 1. what is the difference between these various inputs?

> 2. what kind of things would you typically plug into these various inputs
> and why would you plug them into those inputs over the other ones?

Download the manual for the Mackie mixer you are considering for
purchase. Mackie manuals give explicit detail, showing many connection
setups, and that'll get you up to speed much faster than folks here
trying to rewrite the manual.

<snipitty yay>

--
ha
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:25:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Matthew Blake <mb@gmail.com> wrote:

> my questions
> are (and please try to keep your answers as simple as possible, i won't
> understand an answer that references a bunch of other technical stuff i
> don't understand):

For got to suggest reading the RAp FAQ to be found at

http://www.recaudiopro.net


Covers many basic ideas nicely.

--
ha
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 10:56:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <IttLd.2601$Ck1.566710@news20.bellglobal.com> mb@gmail.com writes:

> From what I can tell there are XLR inputs with
> preamps, line level inputs, balanced inputs, unbalanced inputs, and direct
> inputs..

> 1. what is the difference between these various inputs?

The XLR inputs are for microphones. The balanced line inputs are for
things like keyboards, CD players, computer sound cards, guitar effect
processors, and so on. You can connect either balanced or unbalanced
sources to them. The unbalanced inputs are (on the Onyx mixers) high
impedance inputs for instrument pickups.

There are no "direct" inputs, there are direct outputs which have
the input signal, before it gets to the equalizer or fader. These are
usually used to feed the inputs of a multitrack recorder or sound
card. The Onyx Firewire option looks, to your computer, like a
multi-channel sound card with each channel's direct output available
to be recorded on its own track on the computer.

> 3. looking at the 1620 it has 8 xlr microphone inputs, does this mean i
> can only plug eight mics into it or is there some kind of xlr to 1/4"
> converter out there that would allow me to plug in more mics at a later
> date? would that work or would that not be as good? why?

You can use outboard microphone preamps to connect microphones to the
line level inputs. Mackie makes the Onyx R800 which is eight preamps
in a single rack space box that are the same design as the internal
mic preamps on the mixer. There are many other mic preamps, ranging
from about $50 to close to $2,000 per channel.

> 4. whats the difference between the gain knob and the level fader?

The gain knob adjusts the sensitivity of the mic preamp. You adjust
this to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio while leaving enough
"headroom" so that when someone screams into the mic, you won't get
distortion. The fader adjusts the amount of the mic preamp signal (or
line level signal on channels 9 and above) that goes into the stereo
mix.

> 5. what are some uses for tape in/out?

For connecting a tape recorder.

> 6. do i have to record 12 tracks at a time (even if most are empty)
> or can i pick and choose which ones i want to record? is that just
> something thats controlled in the software?

This is a function of your recorder (or software) but in general you
can record one track, a few tracks, or all tracks at a time.

> 7. if i've recorded a bass track and now want to add guitar, im
> listening through my headphones and want to hear the bass track i'm
> playing to and want to hear the guitar track as i'm playing it without
> having the bass reference track get mixed into the guitar recording,
> this should be a non-issue with the mackie since it records individual
> channels right?

It depends on what you're using as a recorder and how you have it
connected. It's possible, and it's done all the time. But when you
don't know what you're using or how to use it, EVERYTING is an issue.
You'll just have to work it out when you get your stuff.

> 9. what would be some standard uses for the stereo return?

To add the output of an effect device like a reverb unit to the mix.

One of these days, quite possibly soon, Mackie will have a whole lot
of this information available in one place, possibly for download,
possibly on CD, possibly in book form.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
!