The best way to connect my Mackie to my 828mkII?

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

First off -- I'm a musician, not an engineer, though I'm learning. For
some low-end living-room classical music recording, I'd like to use the
preamps in my Mackie Onyx 1620 board as an input into my computer. I'd
like to maintain separate channels rather than mixing them into the two
main outs, since I'll be playing in the ensemble and mixing later. My
Mackie currently does not have the firewire option. The 828mkII that I
use as "audio card"/MIDI/SMPTE has eight channels of balanced TRS
inputs, and two additional channels with preamps.

I see several ways to do this, but I'd like some advice on which to
pursue:

(1) Buy the Firewire option. But I don't have a lot of money, and I
could buy several decent mics for the same price, and since I have the
converters and Firewire in the 828mkII this doesn't seem entirely
necessary.

(2) I could run a TRS cable from each of the Mackie's Channel Inserts
to an input of the 828mkII. The only thing that worries me is that the
manual describes these Channel Inserts as "unbalanced," while the
828mkII's inputs are balanced. Will that cause problems?

(3) Since the Mackie has four balanced Aux sends, I could send each of
channels 1 to 4 to Aux 1 to 4, and run those into four channels of the
828mkII. Possibly, I could do two more channels by using the main outs
and panning channels 5 and 6 left and right. That's enough channels for
my work.

(4) The Mackie has a "recording out" DB-25 multi-pin socket with
balanced output for channels 1-8. The 828mkII doesn't have a matching
input. But I could buy a "snake" with the 25db socket on one end and
eight balanced TRS connectors on the other end, and I could plug those
in to the 828's input. The snakes cost $70 to $200.

Do any of these methods have particular pitfalls that I'm not aware of?
Thanks for any advice....

Rodney Sauer
Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
4 answers Last reply
More about connect mackie 828mkii
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    rodney@mont-alto.com wrote:
    > (1) Buy the Firewire option.

    I too would find this unnecessary, unless the converters on the Mackie
    would be an improvement over those found in the MOTU.

    > (2) I could run a TRS cable from each of the Mackie's Channel Inserts
    > to an input of the 828mkII. The only thing that worries me is that
    the
    > manual describes these Channel Inserts as "unbalanced," while the
    > 828mkII's inputs are balanced. Will that cause problems?

    The 1/4" inputs on the 828mkII can accept either balanced or unbalanced
    signals. Assuming that the insert jacks on the Onyx mixers function
    like other Mackies, you should be able to insert a TS cable to the
    first click and still have throughput to the rest of the channel.
    Inserting it to the second click (fully in) will disable throughput.

    > (3) Since the Mackie has four balanced Aux sends, I could send each
    of
    > channels 1 to 4 to Aux 1 to 4, and run those into four channels of
    the
    > 828mkII.

    Certainly doable, but counter-intuitive, IMHO.

    > (4) The Mackie has a "recording out" DB-25 multi-pin socket with
    > balanced output for channels 1-8. The 828mkII doesn't have a matching
    > input. But I could buy a "snake" with the 25db socket on one end and
    > eight balanced TRS connectors on the other end, and I could plug
    those
    > in to the 828's input. The snakes cost $70 to $200.

    This is probably the best option in the long run, but it costs money.
    The direct outs on older (pre-Onyx) Mackies were post-fader, which
    doesn't work well in some situations.

    I have recorded a few things with a Mackie 1604 and a MOTU 828, using
    variations of the latter three options. The choice of method really
    depends on what other functionality you need out of the mixer. (for
    example, post-fader direct outs are bad if you want to create a live
    stereo mix) If you're simply using it as a rack of preamps, than any
    method will work just fine.

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

    rodney wrote:

    > First off -- I'm a musician, not an engineer, though I'm learning. For
    > some low-end living-room classical music recording, I'd like to use the
    > preamps in my Mackie Onyx 1620 board as an input into my computer. I'd
    > like to maintain separate channels rather than mixing them into the two
    > main outs, since I'll be playing in the ensemble and mixing later. My
    > Mackie currently does not have the firewire option. The 828mkII that I
    > use as "audio card"/MIDI/SMPTE has eight channels of balanced TRS
    > inputs, and two additional channels with preamps.

    > I see several ways to do this, but I'd like some advice on which to
    > pursue:

    > (1) Buy the Firewire option. But I don't have a lot of money, and I
    > could buy several decent mics for the same price, and since I have the
    > converters and Firewire in the 828mkII this doesn't seem entirely
    > necessary.

    It's a handy option for someone wanting to do live recording while using
    the Onyx mixer for sound reinforcement, and less handy for studio work.
    The signal gets picked-off right after the input sensitivity control, so
    you can't use the nice Onyx EQ to massage a signal before sending it to
    digital storage.

    > (2) I could run a TRS cable from each of the Mackie's Channel Inserts
    > to an input of the 828mkII. The only thing that worries me is that the
    > manual describes these Channel Inserts as "unbalanced," while the
    > 828mkII's inputs are balanced. Will that cause problems?

    Probably not. Note that a common way of taking that insert signal is to
    insert an unblanaced (TS) cable only to the first click of the jack,
    which bridges the insert jack's contacts, sending signal to the
    convertor while maintaining signal flow through the console for
    monitoring. And the Onyx EQ is decent, very much better than its
    predecessors.

    > (3) Since the Mackie has four balanced Aux sends, I could send each of
    > channels 1 to 4 to Aux 1 to 4, and run those into four channels of the
    > 828mkII. Possibly, I could do two more channels by using the main outs
    > and panning channels 5 and 6 left and right. That's enough channels for
    > my work.

    That allows use of the Onyx's EQ for a limited number of channels. Note
    that the 1620 also offers you the "Mute/Alt 3/4" output option, which
    would get you six output channels without using the Main outputs. And
    again, the EQ can be used there.

    > (4) The Mackie has a "recording out" DB-25 multi-pin socket with
    > balanced output for channels 1-8. The 828mkII doesn't have a matching
    > input. But I could buy a "snake" with the 25db socket on one end and
    > eight balanced TRS connectors on the other end, and I could plug those
    > in to the 828's input. The snakes cost $70 to $200.

    That'd work fine, though again I think you don't get the EQ. Could be
    wrong, and I don't have an Onyx here right now.

    > Do any of these methods have particular pitfalls that I'm not aware of?

    You haven't provided many details of how and what you'll be recording.
    If I were to do "living room classical recording" I might not use more
    than a pair of nicely matched mics in a stereo configuration.

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

    hank alrich wrote:

    > You haven't provided many details of how and what you'll be
    recording.
    > If I were to do "living room classical recording" I might not use
    more
    > than a pair of nicely matched mics in a stereo configuration.

    Thanks to Hank and Travis for your help. What I'm doing is recording
    some historic silent film music for video releases -- which makes a
    combination of a low budget and hours of solid music. I haven't found a
    studio that's inexpensive, can handle video, and has a piano better
    than the one at home; and since the group is used to chamber-music
    style self-regulation, the mixing should be fairly easy.

    The instrumentation is violin, piano, cello, clarinet, and trumpet. I
    placed the quieter musicians closer to the microphone.

    My first project was done with a Rode NT4 into the 828mkII. (These were
    some Charley Chase comedies from the 1920s that ran on Turner Classic
    Movies last month.) I was pretty happy with it, but the clarinet tends
    to dominate the room and the piano sounds pretty funky. There's an mp3
    of a ragtime-like piece on my home page if anyone is curious. What I
    want to do is stick with the NT4 for most of the sound, but get
    separate mono tracks of the violin, cello, and piano that I can add to
    the mix in places where they're too quiet, or just to see if I can
    tweak the mix a little.

    I'll pick up some short TS cables and give that half-inserted technique
    a try.

    Rodney Sauer
    Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
    www.mont-alto.com
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1115391146.225047.143740@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> rodney@mont-alto.com writes:

    > I'd like to use the
    > preamps in my Mackie Onyx 1620 board as an input into my computer.

    > Mackie currently does not have the firewire option. The 828mkII that I
    > use as "audio card"/MIDI/SMPTE has eight channels of balanced TRS
    > inputs, and two additional channels with preamps.

    > I see several ways to do this, but I'd like some advice on which to
    > pursue:
    >
    > (1) Buy the Firewire option.

    It's handy, but you already have A/D and D/A converters that are
    satisfactory.

    > (2) I could run a TRS cable from each of the Mackie's Channel Inserts
    > to an input of the 828mkII. The only thing that worries me is that the
    > manual describes these Channel Inserts as "unbalanced," while the
    > 828mkII's inputs are balanced. Will that cause problems?

    The Onyx has a better solution. The Recording outputs (on DB25
    connectors) are balanced and are directly off the mic preamps. Connect
    those to your MOTU interface's analog inputs and you'll be a happy
    camper. Using the MOTU also gives you the option of feeding multiple
    channels out of the computer and back into the line inputs of the
    mixer so that you can mix with real controls and use the Onyx EQ,
    which sounds pretty good.

    > (3) Since the Mackie has four balanced Aux sends, I could send each of
    > channels 1 to 4 to Aux 1 to 4, and run those into four channels of the
    > 828mkII.

    You need to read what I (and many others) have written about the
    (un)importance of balanced sources for short cable runs under pretty
    decent conditions.

    > (4) The Mackie has a "recording out" DB-25 multi-pin socket with
    > balanced output for channels 1-8. The 828mkII doesn't have a matching
    > input. But I could buy a "snake" with the 25db socket on one end and
    > eight balanced TRS connectors on the other end, and I could plug those
    > in to the 828's input. The snakes cost $70 to $200.

    Buy the $70 one.


    --
    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
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