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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:31 PM   #1
AFABS
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SM57 Ordered...Now, Mixer/Interface Questions

So I just ordered my Shure SM57 to begin recording. I've been browsing for interfaces for a while and stumbled upon this Behringer Mixer that doubles as an usb interface. Here it is on ZZounds for $180. http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHXENYX1204FX
The question now is, I've been looking at other interfaces like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro which is $200 and it seems to be quite inferior to the Behringer. The Behringer has built in effects and 4 mic inputs and mixing abilities. The M-Audio has only 2 mic inputs and that's about it. It does have MIDI capabilities which the Behringer lacks, no big deal there though. Eventually I will be getting more mics so the 2 inputs might be limiting in the future. Would I be stupid to get something like the Fast Track Pro over the Mixer??? HELP! I'm new to this.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 11:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFABS View Post
So I just ordered my Shure SM57 to begin recording. I've been browsing for interfaces for a while and stumbled upon this Behringer Mixer that doubles as an usb interface. Here it is on ZZounds for $180. http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHXENYX1204FX
The question now is, I've been looking at other interfaces like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro which is $200 and it seems to be quite inferior to the Behringer. The Behringer has built in effects and 4 mic inputs and mixing abilities. The M-Audio has only 2 mic inputs and that's about it. It does have MIDI capabilities which the Behringer lacks, no big deal there though. Eventually I will be getting more mics so the 2 inputs might be limiting in the future. Would I be stupid to get something like the Fast Track Pro over the Mixer??? HELP! I'm new to this.
get a Yamaha Mixer, USB if you'd like. Its good build quality and generally pretty clean pre's. If you want a USB interface, try those new Firebox Mobile ones from Presonus, it has a lot of inputs and MIDI and all that, and they recently improved the pre's from its predecesor. Both of these have good amount of inputs and sound clean for the most part. and affordable.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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what if i went with a mixer without an integrated interface? could i use one of those small interfaces like those little behringer one's to go from mixer to interface to computer?
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringe...40-i1154403.gc
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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what if i went with a mixer without an integrated interface? could i use one of those small interfaces like those little behringer one's to go from mixer to interface to computer?
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringe...40-i1154403.gc
May I ask why you want a mixer AND a small interface?
honestly stay away from behringer for the most part, super cheap chinese components, so quality is crap. Sound. is yucky. even for amateur hobbyist its more troubles IMO than help. Get a yamaha mixer with a usb interface. its better or find a small interface of higher quality if you prefer.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 12:13 AM   #5
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Well i don't want to get both if i don't have to. Does yamaha make reasonably cheap interfaces (250 or less) with a built in interface. Maybe one with like 4 inputs (I'll do some browsing). I was told by i musician friend that it will sound better running through an interface than a mixer, but if the mixer has a built in interface i should be good to go right?
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 12:19 AM   #6
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Oh forgot to mention. It's gotta be USB too. No firewire (Macbook Aluminum)
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 07:20 AM   #7
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trust me, get the m-audio interface. way better quality then the behringer. and do all the mixing on the computer (logic) and that will have better effects, then what that behringer will ever have.

My set up is guitar into fast track pro usb into imac throught logic 9 with the guitar amps and pedals out of the interface into a pair of yamaha hs50m.

Sounds really good.

and you'll get a really good sound with the presets for the compressors, reverbs, eq's and amps and stuff.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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"It's gotta be USB too. No firewire (Macbook Aluminum)"

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra.

Most inputs, looks to be best bang for the buck.

Google "fast track ultra" and you'll find some YouTube videos on it, too, including a good demo.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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Why do you want a mixer? I can't see any reason to use one if you are recording into a computer. The whole point of Garage band or Logic is to do the mix AFTER the recording session. Same for "effects". Don't do that while recording. record the "dry" signals and add reverb or EQ during the mixing process.


Now if you are talking about live sound then you need a mixer.

Also the "B" brand has about the worst reputation in the industry. What you look for in a mixer is the quality of the built-in preamps. With such an in-sensitive mic as the SM57 you will have the preamp gain cranked and those cheap preamps will be noisy it you turn up the gain.

Stay with the better name brands and just don't bother with a mixer at all. Buy an audio interface with as many input channels as you have mics or other analog sources. If you are going to one day record with 8 mics buy and 8-channel interface. But if that day is a year away buy it then and buy a cheaper two channel interface today.

One more thing, buy a book on home recording for the price of a mic cable a book will save you 10X that much and shorten the learning curve by half a year. It really is a book length subject. The "for dummies" book is good. Amazon has lots to choose from

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Old Jan 12, 2010, 05:29 PM   #10
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Good points ChrisA. I was thinking about going with a mixer just because for a little over 200 dollars I could get one with 4 or 5 mic inputs as opposed to 350-400 dollars for an interface with 4. I'm in a band so i thought the mixer could be used live too but i don't think we're going to invest in a PA system anytime soon. So i'll prolly just go with a 2 mic input interface, most likely the M-Audio Fast Track Pro.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 09:57 PM   #11
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sounds like the behringer one will prob have only 2 mic inputs with gain, and the other inputs are prop line level. not good for miking up anything
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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The Fast Track Pro preamps are extremely crap. If you want to record I highly recommend you do not get this interface.

My recommendation = Focusrite Saffire LE. Focusrite make some of the best preamps around and you will get a quality sound out of them.

I have owned an M-audio fast track Pro for 3 years.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 12:08 AM   #13
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The Fast Track Pro preamps are extremely crap. If you want to record I highly recommend you do not get this interface.

My recommendation = Focusrite Saffire LE. Focusrite make some of the best preamps around and you will get a quality sound out of them.

I have owned an M-audio fast track Pro for 3 years.
Ah really. Have heard much about the Focusrite. The Saffire 6 USB seems to be the competitor for the Fast Track Pro. Similar features and same price.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 01:15 AM   #14
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The Saffire 6 USB is only USB 1.1. Is there any downside to that?
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 09:19 AM   #15
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Focusrite make some of the best preamps around
if that's true at all, which i don't think it is, those pre's aren't making it into its low end products. imho.

at the low-end level, i think it's better to buy based on features and s/w compatibility, not perceived quality, as that quality is all pretty much the same.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 09:20 AM   #16
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The Saffire 6 USB is only USB 1.1. Is there any downside to that?
not really. you do need firewire for higher channel counts, but USB 1 handles 2 channels just fine.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 01:14 PM   #17
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at the low-end level, i think it's better to buy based on features and s/w compatibility, not perceived quality, as that quality is all pretty much the same.
That's mostly right but there are some glaring exceptions. I compared the Mackie and
Behringer mixers. Both were the lowest price mixer each company made and they looked alike. Night and day difference in audio quality. One was very usable, the other had very audible white noise. So don't just buy the lowest price unit with the features you want.

But I do agree logic like "The brand X $1,500 box is very good, so I'll buy their $150 box" is flawed.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 01:38 AM   #18
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If you want a mixer and interface, look into M-Audio NRV10.
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