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Advice on mixer / interface upgrade
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Advice on mixer / interface upgrade
JakeE
Hello sorry if there are other similar topics on this.
I am looking to upgrade from an Allen and Heath zed18, which only allows a stereo mix recording I am now finding this incredibly restrictive to my workflow. I would like to be able to do multitrack recording.
Originally I thought I could just record everything in one live jam and arrange dub style as I went but I would like to have more control over my sound and arrangement during the mixdown now d'oh! .

I don't mind getting rid of a mixer completely and just having an interface.
I don't use microphones.
I do need quite a lot of inputs 8+ at least 2 for eurorack, Prophet 6 L/R , x0xb0x, Minitaur, 2 for yocto 808 etc. Obviously I don't have to record absolutely everything at once but would like to record a few instruments simultaneously when jamming.
I would like to be able to send signal back out to effects.
I don't have much desk space. I am using an IMac with Thunderbolt, I think I am willing too spend up to £2k. I am a little confused by interfaces and how to expand them at a later date. I like the look of universal audio apollo 8. Could I send the euro Into an Expert sleepers es-8 to save inputs on the interface?

So what are my options for a good mixer or Interface ?
Sorry for the essay and many thanks in advance we're not worthy .
Heres a picture showing my desk space as you can see It is a little tight, thats without my sherman f2, octatrack, vermona mono lancet and minitaur.
ramos808
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ramos808
Allen Heath Zed-R18? Would be an easy learning curve

Behringer UFX1604 (records all track direct to USB)
Soundcraft MTK22

There should be a thunderbolt to firewire adaptor
ramos808
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folpon
Following this thread because I'm in the same boat.

I've had a MOTU 828x for a year or two now and it was great at the start but now I've run out of inputs and find myself really wishing for a dedicated mixer with sliders and eq per channel that can send individual channels to my DAW for recording.

I have a couple ideas so far:

1. There are a lot of old-ish hybrid mixers floating around that have on the back what look like DSUB (DB25?) outputs... and I have a vague idea that there are PCIe cards with DSUB inputs intended for use in recording studios... and I have a vague idea that that might possibly be a solution for me... but that's about as much as I know about this. Are they good? Do they have latency I'd consider acceptable? Do they sound ok? Will the break because they're from the 00's? Which one ...? No idea. (I'm thinking of, eg, the Yamaha O3D, the Panasonic Ramza, and stuff like that.)

2. Expand my Motu 828x with an 8pre so I have more channels, then get an analog mixer with individual channel outputs and wire it up. This seems like it could work? But then... again: which mixer do I get? I know I can't afford a neve, so... what's like two steps down from that...? Again: No idea.

3. Presonus Studiolive Series 3. This one seems to tick all the boxes: lots of inputs, records all tracks individually to DAWs, lots of preamps, controls per channel... But for some reason I've never been able to pull the trigger on one. I can't tell if these things are consumer level or pro level or...? I just have never seen one of these actually in use by anybody and it vaguely sketches me out.

So far I feel like I'm sort of leaning toward the Presonus. But idk.
sutekina bipu-on
I used to have a Behringer UFX1604, only sold it because I got a MX1 which does the same kind of thing but doesnt make much sense if you dont own much Roland gear. The UFX1604 built in recorder rocks. Used it over FW with pc and mac... never used it on usb.... almost always recorded direct to usb HD... Great mixer
ramos808
sutekina bipu-on wrote:
I used to have a Behringer UFX1604, only sold it because I got a MX1 which does the same kind of thing but doesnt make much sense if you dont own much Roland gear. The UFX1604 built in recorder rocks. Used it over FW with pc and mac... never used it on usb.... almost always recorded direct to usb HD... Great mixer


When you record to usb, does it record the EQ and effects? aux inserts and onboard?

I like the idea of just turning on your mixer, jamming live then just recording to USB, then working with the stems in your DAW later to finish the tracks and mixdown

Cheers
sutekina bipu-on
ramos808 wrote:
sutekina bipu-on wrote:
I used to have a Behringer UFX1604, only sold it because I got a MX1 which does the same kind of thing but doesnt make much sense if you dont own much Roland gear. The UFX1604 built in recorder rocks. Used it over FW with pc and mac... never used it on usb.... almost always recorded direct to usb HD... Great mixer


When you record to usb, does it record the EQ and effects? aux inserts and onboard?

I like the idea of just turning on your mixer, jamming live then just recording to USB, then working with the stems in your DAW later to finish the tracks and mixdown

Cheers


Aux inserts are recorded. Onboard effects are not. The way around this requires 2 patch cables and one of your mixer channels, basically you can assign the onboard FX to an aux that happens to have its own special jacks on the front, you plug those into whatever channel you want. EQ is not (I think but cant double check anymore). So I had to keep a 2 track recorder to record post fader and reference that when getting the feel of the track back in multitracking. The MX1 makes that part of life a lot easier so I don't regret switching to it at all.

You have a greater level of control if its plugged into your computer with USB, not recording to a USB drive. You have even more control with Firewire though. Some features are firewire only, like pre or post fader on certain channels etc
rean1mator
i went mixerless direct to audio interface a couple of years ago and super happy that I did. I go direct into a Motu 16a, 1248, 8a all linked over the motu avb ethernet hub. Motu's driver releases are a bit questionable tho'. I've had some major issue with their latest MOtu Pro audio drivers and had to revert back to the prior release because it introduced so much latency when recording from my hardware that it was completely unuseable. but bang for buck their flagship interfaces sound amazing.
diff_in_stereo
I had a mackie 1604 vlz for years that I liked a lot, it was a good size for my space. It also worked well for me because it had 8 direct outs, 4 sub-outs, and 4 aux outs in addition to the mains so it gave me the recording and jamming options that I needed. As far as only using an interface goes, I decided to not go that rout as it made it more difficult to play with my equipment. I don’t want to have to turn my computer on every time I want to noodle.
sutekina bipu-on
diff_in_stereo wrote:
I had a mackie 1604 vlz for years that I liked a lot, it was a good size for my space. It also worked well for me because it had 8 direct outs, 4 sub-outs, and 4 aux outs in addition to the mains so it gave me the recording and jamming options that I needed. As far as only using an interface goes, I decided to not go that rout as it made it more difficult to play with my equipment. I don’t want to have to turn my computer on every time I want to noodle.


But how do you feel about the modern mixers that have usb recorders built in? There are many that can record to a usb drive within the mixer and offer the features a 1604 vlz has.
globalwm
JakeE wrote:

I do need quite a lot of inputs 8+ at least 2 for eurorack, Prophet 6 L/R , x0xb0x, Minitaur, 2 for yocto 808 etc. Obviously I don't have to record absolutely everything at once but would like to record a few instruments simultaneously when jamming.
I would like to be able to send signal back out to effects.


Might want to take a look at the RANE SM82S
http://www.rane.com/sm82s.htm

You can expand and daisy chain them and can route to an EFX loop (or patchbay).

Here is an example of 576 channels: http://www.rane.com/app576.html

I have been picking them up as I find them for less than $150 (have 3 so far). Allows you to expand 8 channels (stereo) at a time. Rane gear is good quality too.
globalwm
diff_in_stereo wrote:
I had a mackie 1604 vlz for years that I liked a lot, it was a good size for my space.


The Mackie LM-3204 was also popular back in the day - 16 (stereo) channels of line inputs with 2 mic ins. There was also an expander module too but I haven't seem one come up in a while. Rack mount (6U?) is a plus too.

A quick check on Reverb and there is one for $275 listed - good pictures:

https://reverb.com/marketplace/pro-audio?make=mackie&query=LM+3204
JakeE
Sorry about the late reply, thanks for the advice. Went for the Motu 16a, hooked it all up yesterday it seems great. Its vastly improved my sound already. Just not having control of the monitor level is a little annoying, Im thinking of getting a mackie big knob or something similar, any recommendations?
prae
i have a mackie onyx 1640 - it's probably too big for you, but it's really great. 16 channels over firewire, 6 sends! nice EQ's too. i will probably be selling mine soon as i downsize, if you were interested.

lush setup by the way, can you PM me some of your stuff you've made with it?
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