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Old 09-09-2008, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Do you guys user a mixer or an audio interface?

When I get my amp re-tubed I'm gonna try micing it again cuz I'm curious about whether or not I will like the sound compared to what my X3 can deliver.

I have a small Yamaha mixer that I will most likely use to plug the mic into. But I was wondering how you guys do it. Do most of you plug your mics into an audio interface instead of using a mixer?

I've been looking at the Presonus Firestudio Project as one possibility if I chose to pick up an interface. But I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know what kinds of bugs or pops or dropouts or crackles I would have to contend with. Seems some people love them and others have had problems, just like any other piece of gear.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
......But I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know what kinds of bugs or pops or dropouts or crackles I would have to contend with. Seems some people love them and others have had problems, just like any other piece of gear.
I picked up a Presonus Inspire 1394 and I love it and one of the things I really like is it's expandable, you can daisy chain 4 in line for 16 in/outs if you want/need/system can handle 'em.
Either way you end up using a "mixer" it's just whether you want it to be internal or external. Additionally for me the portability was a plus, as I can throw my laptop, a mic & 1 presonus in my laptop backpack and take a guitar and I'm good to go (literally ).
But I pulled your quote cuz that's gonna be the situation no matter what. As stated so many times and I realize more and more, there's probably not one of us on here that uses the same set-up as someone else so to have any piece of equipment work reasonably the same, for as many different host configurations as they do, is amazing. Check a few things out, that's the great part about returning something, test it out, you don't like it return it say it didn't work right with your set-up.
And once upon a time, so pure and crystalline,
the sounds would change by what the MOOD defined.
if there's a sound you play, that doesn't fit today,
why not just play the bastard anyway.

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Last edited by moodswinger; 09-09-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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So when a person buys one of these audio interfaces do they have to install that software(the software that looks like a mixer on screen)? I know you'd want to install the drivers for the interface to work, but is it absolutely necessary to install that other software?

I mean why can't you just use your DAW as the mixer?
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:29 AM   #4
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Because the audio interface's mixer can let you monitor what you are recording without sending it to the DAW so you get monitoring without latency even if you have high buffer setting on your DAW.

D/l the Firethingy manual from here and I reckon it will tell you all about it.

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Old 09-10-2008, 05:36 AM   #5
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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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Old 09-10-2008, 07:02 AM   #6
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Why not just connect the mic into the XLR socket on your Pod X3? I think you might have to use a dynamic mic because I’m not sure that an X3 provides phantom power. But an SM57 (dynamic mic) is good for guitar.

I’ve got a Line 6 Toneport UX1 which is, kind of, similar to an X3 but nowhere near as powerful.

Last night I was recording a trumpet using an SM57 connected to the mic input of my UX1. For monitoring, I set up one of the reverbs in the Line 6 Gearbox interface so the sound was better for the player. But we recorded dry so that different effects could be added later. We got great results. You could use a similar approach when mic'ing your guitar amp.

Monitoring using the line outs or headphone socket on Line 6 units will give you essentially direct monitoring, so you don’t need to use low latency settings. You also have the advantage that you can use the Line 6 sounds (e.g. amps, compressors, reverb etc) for monitoring, but you can set things up to record dry and add different effects later.

When I got Revalver MK3, I decided I generally preferred to sounds to the Line 6 sounds, so I got an Edirol FA-66 Firewire Interface so I could monitor through Reaper using the Revalver sounds. The trouble is, on my computer, the minimum total latency I could get was about 12ms, which isn’t good enough for me.

I’ve gone back to using my UX1 as my Audio interface. I monitor with the Line 6 sounds but record dry. Then I add the sounds and effects to the recorded part later. So for example, with guitar, I monitor using the Line 6 amp and effect sounds but record dry. Then I include Revalver as a fx in the track.

If you've already got a Pod X3, I think the only significant reason to change to a mixer is if you needed to record a number of instruments at the same time.


Last edited by stratman; 09-10-2008 at 07:39 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:18 AM   #7
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Yup, I use a mixer. It comes from the days when the daw would send midi data to outboard synths that could then be recorded as audio to multitrack. VTS's are more prolific and computers more powerful so we don't do it much now.

I still like to have an outboard mixer permanently set up with a DI for electric guitars and phantom power for condensers.

It's plugged into my M-audio Audiophile 2496 PCI card, but I can also patch in an outboard compressor and use the s/pdif out into the sound card for more flexibility and four channels on one card.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:51 PM   #8
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You can only hear the playback and the live sound in your phones if you are hooking up the POD by way of USB. Because USB provides two-way communication. I'm not hooking it up by way of USB. I'm using S/PDIF. My USB slots are filled. I'd need to pick up a USB hub to gain more slots.
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