Should I choose interface or mixers?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by swamesp, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
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    #1
    Hello,

    Suddenly this music recording bug has bit me and I want to record the songs that I play in my group. I'm not interested to edit the songs but just to record them for future reference and hopefully it will be fun as well. ;)

    Now should I buy an audio interface or a mixer to record with 13" MBP?

    I need at least 4 mic inputs and the interfaces are all costing more than $400. So I'm thinking if I should buy a mixer to record the song. Please suggest.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Location:
    chicago
    #2
    Do you want to mix as you record, or record separate tracks and mix it later?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Actually I wanted to record the songs that I play.

    Whichever is cheaper solution I can adopt that but if that will degrade the quality of the song I will go with the other.

    # of mic inputs is 4-5 and will be using it with 13"MBP and the budget is only $300 as I have spend some more on the mics as well.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Have you looked at "standalone flash recorders", such as the ZOOM H2?

    It has 4 built-in mics that can record "in surround" if needed.

    Once recorded, the sound files are easily moved to the Mac for archiving or editing.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #5
    Both.

    If you're not doing any editing and you're just recording your band jamming, you will need a mixer for mic pre-amps, levels, a bit of eq etc.

    And.. an Audio Interface to capture whats coming out of your mixer and convert it to digital audio, in your macbook.

    Your 'mic in' in your macbook is simply not good enough to record audio.

    edit: The above recommendation of a flash recorder is a great and much cheaper option.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Looks to be a very good option.

    I have Bx5a as my studio monitors and speakers to be used in the rehearsal.

    I thought either the mixer or interface will help me to route the signal to them and would be a perfect matching for our practice.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #7
    you don't need both. it's down to how you want to record.

    if you want to do it like you're playing a live show, then:
    1. set up a bunch of mics
    2. run them to the mixer
    3. mix it to stereo
    4. feed the stereo mix to the computer (perhaps to a dedicated interface, though not necessarily)
    5. record the stereo mix on your computer

    if you want to do it like it's in a recording studio, then:
    1. set up a bunch of mics
    2. run them to a multi-channel interface
    3. record them as separate tracks into the computer
    4. later, edit/mix at your leisure

    if you want to do it like you're attending a live show, then:
    1. get a Zoom recorder, as suggested
    2. set it up in the room
    3. record to it
    4. dump the tracks into your computer
    5. later, edit the stereo recording at your leisure

    the 2nd setup gives you the most flexibility. the 3rd will sound the worst, but is the cheapest. the 1st will require the most work up front, the 2nd will require the most work in post.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thanks zimv20, for such an informative reply.

    I'm ruling out the third option as the SQ would be poor.

    Most of us in our jamming group are new to this and we will have all the rehearsal in a small room. In that case, won't the guitar sound get mixed with djembe (drum) even though they would get in as a separate track????

    I think only with a perfect studio setup we will have pure one instrument sound track. Correct me if wrong. If that's the case I would go with a portable mixer.

    Please throw some light on this.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
  10. macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    #10
    I highly recommend the Zoom H2 as well....if its just to get the songs down and no editing you just can't go wrong. Its quick and easy, no hassle and the sound quality is amazing. You have to hear it to believe it. Prob costs abo 300. I imagine the Zoom H4 is even better but I haven't tried that one yet.

    Put it this way, you pull it out of its case....flick the switch, press the record button twice and you're recording. No cables, no troubleshooting, no mixing.

    Drop it in the room like they used to record the old school jazz records.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks MowingDevil. Will have it in my mind for sure.
     

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