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Old 09-10-2008, 05:36 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 2,248

The question seems a bit vague, but here's my thoughts.

About external mixers:

If you only record two or less inputs -or- don't mind plugging/un-plugging things when they are needed than ANY regular audio interface will usually have at least 2 inputs or more (of course the best interface you can afford will yield the better results, almost always)

If you only record two or less inputs, but would rather keep a more permanent setup then either a mixer (external) or a patchbay would be best. *Note* External mixers can add extra noise, so the mixer needs to very quiet in it's specs, and ALWAYS use balanced connections whenever possible and keep your cord lengths short. Also, with a mixer you can either use the mixer's preamps or external preamps, but you will most likely be connecting the mixers output (2-8, depending on it's busses) to line ins on the interface, so you will NOT be able to use the audio interface's mic pres (usually no big loss).

If you record more than 2 inputs at a time than a larger audio interface will be needed (obviously), but if you still want to use an external mixer then you will need one with extra busses (4-32 busses), as these will get routed to different inputs on your audio interface.

Lastly, you may or may not want to use a mixer or a control room matrix (monitor matrix controller) to control your monitor mixes. The monitor mix is the output of the DAW, the inputs to the DAW (unless you use real-time monitoring from the DAW), Tape/CD inputs, etc. This is really a preference, I like it because it's much easier to adjust volumes for monitoring when recording alone with a knob than a mouse.

I hope this helps you out...let me or any of us know if you need anymore info.
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