Monday, February 19, 2007

Building your computer - based recording studio pt 3

Mixers- Do I need one?
This is a question I asked myself a few years ago when setting up my studio (I was beginning to get the occasional person calling me wanting to do their own album).
Perhaps the best way to answer this is to ask yourself what kind of work are you intending to do.
If you are recording a band playing live or jamming all at once then you may need a mixer (with as many channels as their are instruments, vocals etc).
Typically if you are recording a drum kit you'll need to mic up kick, snare, hi hat and toms.
Most bands will also have bass, guitar, maybe keyboard and perhaps a lead guitar and vocals so you will possibly need at least a 12 to 16 channel mixing desk.
You can then adjust these inputs to the right levels so nothing drowns out another instrument or vocal add effects etc(more on mixing in a later blog entry) and then feed this into your computer as a single stereo input.
If you are doing studio recording (ie not live) you may or may not need a mixer depending on what and how you are recording.
For example, I'm a solo artist so I generally don't use a mixer since my inputs are adjusted by my analog to digital converter (see my previous entry).
I also have 8 inputs and can mic up everything from there and my mixer with all it's effects is handled inside my computer by the software.
(the mixer is displayed on my screen and I can make adjustments from there via the mouse and keyboard).
I also record my material one track at a time (this is how the pros do it) and make adjustments and editing later once everything is recorded.
All professional recording studios however,use a mixer of some sort of at least 16 channels or more since they may record several tracks at once just for the drums.
Again it's worth thinking about what you are recording.
Remember also that mixers vary in quality and price and the cheaper ones can sometimes introduce unwanted noise so do your homework.


Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about how technology has become so integrated in our day to day lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about all the time.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=!2602F0E287041CEF!106.entry]R4i[/url] DS FFBrows)

Anonymous said...

I'm in a love-hate relationship with virtual memory because of the way prices are always,and I domean always falling. I absolutely hate buying SDs for my R4 / R4i at (seemingly) a crazy bargain price only to see it become a whole lot cheaper a few months later.

(Posted by Nintendo DS running [url=]R4 SDHC[/url] SysBro)

Anonymous said...

Great post! You might want to follow up on this topic!?