Need specific audio interface help

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by wesk702, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. wesk702 macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #1
    So I've ordered the new Mac Pro, which I'm excited about, but unfortunately there is no line in. What is a good affordable route I can get a mixer with L&R 1/4 inches cables and an MPC with L&R 1/4 inch cables routed into my computer. So obviously looking for something with 4 1/4 inch inputs. Under $200 would be great, under $100 would be better. I don't require any pre amps, just straight audio into my new machine.
     
  2. Diastro macrumors member

    Diastro

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    #2
    You'll be looking at an audio interface.

    I recommend a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6.

    It has the perfect amount of inputs and outputs for your needs.
     
  3. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #3
    Thanks! I see on the back it has 2 1/4" inputs. Is that one for each left or right channel or can I use a splitter and converge a set of left and right 1/4 cables into each input?

    Also do I have always have their software turned on for it to be on and working or is it pretty much on if the hardware is on?

    Your help is appreciated!
     
  4. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #4
    First question - "I see on the back it has 2 1/4" inputs. Is that one for each left or right channel or can I use a splitter and converge a set of left and right 1/4 cables into each input?"

    Check their website regarding the interfaces: http://global.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-6i6/inputs-and-outputs

    Second question - "do I have always have their software turned on for it to be on and working or is it pretty much on if the hardware is on?"

    No you do not need to use their software in order to use the device [I'm using their 18i8 for recording within Garage band without any additional software/drivers]

    Raventhornn
     
  5. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #5

    Thanks man, I checked the site but just wasn't clear on the first question not sure if I worded it correctly. On my mixer it outputs to 1 right 1/4 cable and 1 left 1/4 inch cable. Would I be able to combine the two with a splitter/joiner cable and go into 1 line in port on the audio interface and the interface still be able to identify the right and left channels?

    Found a good deal for only $70 for a used Scarlett on craigslist. Would love to jump on this if this is my solution.
     
  6. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #6
    What is your Mixer? What are the outputs your using on it?

    I expect you could - but it would help to know what the outputs we're dealing with are.

    Raventhonn
     
  7. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #7
    Rane ttm54. 1/4 " outs and RCA outs.
     
  8. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    Feb 19, 2014
    #8
    Ok, the short answer... The Scarlett 6i6 is not going to do what you originally outlined. It has 2 1/4" Balanced TRS Jacks in back & that's it [for 1/4" input jacks]. You would have to move up to a Scarlett 18i8 in order to get the 4 1/4" inputs.

    Attempting to use some type of "Y" connector 'could' work, but you're likely to get bleed thru noise [at best].

    What is the second pair of 1/4" cables coming from? If it's just the TTM 54, then you should only need to worry about connecting the "BAL" master out connections [don't try and use the "UNBAL"]. You'll need to define input 3 & 4 within whatever software you're using as L & R - but that should be all the connections you'd need between the TTM 54 / Scarlett 6i6 / Mac

    Hope that helps you Wesk702

    Rave_
     
  9. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #9
    Awesome, that answers it perfectly thanks. It's just a mystery to
    me how there are so little interfaces out there that have stereo lines with seperate L&R channels. I didn't know you could assign each line like that. Thanks.
     
  10. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #10
    You could look into RCA to XLR cables, they are a bit on the pricy side, but the 2 XLR jacks in front on the Focusrite can accept unbalanced inputs. You would need two of them, but it could work.

    Rave_
     
  11. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #11
    So each Xlr can handle combined left and right inputs?
     
  12. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #12
    No, each is a single channel - all inputs on the Scarlett 6i6 [save SPDIF] are in essence single channel [i.e. Mono] - so you'll need 2 cables, one associated as "L" & one associated as "R".

    Most Audio interfaces are setup for multiple single source inputs/outputs - so they are not setup for 'stereo' inputs, the compute resource(s) [the computer/software] behind them addresses making stereo output.

    Also keep in mind that the outputs [save the monitor/headphone & SPDIF] are also setup as single channel - so if you decide to use the outputs to a speaker/amplifier you'll need to use two of them [one "L" and one "R"]

    R_
     
  13. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #13
    Would I be better off buying a FireWire/USB mixer?
     
  14. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    Feb 19, 2014
    #14
    Only you can answer that wesk702...

    What is it you really want to achieve in the end? - what items are you using the existing mixer for?

    Personally, I'd identify your end goal and then map the progressive steps and prioritize them [usually based on budget] and work toward them.

    Audio work is more like alchemy, to me - part science, part art - you miss either part and the magic is gone.

    If you are determined to scrap your existing mixer, then yes you could purchase a new USB one [while I have no reported issue using a Thunderbolt > FireWire cable/adaptor - I personally would not do it for audio (to much digital signal conversion for my liking)]. While I have not used nor own it I have heard some good feedback on Allen & Heath ZED gear - so maybe ZED-10. Could be found on ebay for $150-$250 - it is only USB 1.1 so you could be limited on audio thru put if you try and do much recording thru it & I believe you'll may need to toggle a setting on the ZED for USB to be output vs input on the ZED itself.

    Audio gear is kind of like owning a boat, you can always... ALWAYS... throw more money into it.

    Personally, I would save up the money [the extra $100] and just get the Focusrite Scarelett 18i8 <ebay range $250-350>. It's a clean well respected 'low end' audio interface, and allows you to continue using the gear you have & know. Yes it may have more additional XLR interfaces than you need currently, but get's you the four 1/4" inputs you are looking for, with not needing to install third party drivers [I use it in Maverick/GarageBand using the OSX default USB drivers].

    In the end, it's all about what you want to do & how much you want to spend.

    R_
     
  15. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #15
    Sounds reasonable. I'll shop for a used Scarlett. Thanks for all the help.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    What is the "bigger picture". Using an external mixer is usually the wrong way to go. Almost everyone mixes in a software DAW.

    Also you say 1/4 inch. But there are three kinds of 1/4 inch audio (1) un-balanced with a TS plug, (2) balanced with a TRS plug and (3) stereo with a TRS plug.

    But really, do you really want an external mixer? There are good reasons to use on and some bad reasons. The good reasons are basically that you are doing some kind of live sound, the bad reasons involve studio recording.
     
  17. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #17

    Duuuude! I just scored a New Sealed Scarlett 18i8 from Proaudiostar.com's ebay store with warranty for only $259! Not a bad find. Thanks again for the recommendation. Hopefully this and my nMP come right on the same day!
     
  18. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Very nice, as those things new are not cheap. How you are happy with the results, btw I just need to ask what is "MPC"?

    R_
     
  19. wesk702, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014

    wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #19
    http://www.akaipro.com/product/mpc5000

    Drum machine/sampler/synth
     
  20. wesk702 thread starter macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #20
    Oh yeah
     

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  21. Raventhornn macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Grats, let us know if you're happy with the device.

    R_
     

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