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Thread Stupid Question about mixers

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1 Stupid Question about mixers
Sorry if this is common knowledge, and it's probably the dumbest question I'll ask on here (Knock on wood!). Forgive me, I'm working backwards, I'm a Pro-tools junky.

So I want to be able to record 16 tracks simultaneously if possible.

I buy a ripping computer and two Phase 88's. My computer now has 16 inputs.

Hopefully we're good to go so far......

So now I need a board. Let's say for example a Mackie 8 bus or a Behringer 8 bus or 4 bus or whatever. I only ever see tape assigns for these things up to the number of busses. Sorry if I'm not explaining this good enough, but let's say I want to record 9 things this time.

Tracks 1-9 each have an input. Do they have separate track outputs that run to the computer, or just 8 outputs (1 for each bus). If it's the later, then 2 tracks would have to be on the same bus, therefore 2 inputs would be on the same track on the computer. Right?

I'm probably all switched around here, but it's got to be a little simplier than this. If not, how the heck are you supposed to record more than 8 tracks at once??? I mean that's just a good drum setup???

You want a board with 16 channels that has direct outs on each channel strip. Usually this comes in the form of having an insert on each channel. This is a tip/ring/sleeve jack that would normally go to a y cord (1 TRS connection on one end, 2 single 1/4 plugs on the other). This is normally used for putting outboard effects processors directly on the channel. BUT- if you use a regular single 1/4" cable, and you only put it inot the jack halfway to the first click, you pick the signal off the channel without interrupting the path to the rest of the mixer.

So, if you get say, a Mackie 1604 VLZ, which has an insert on each channel, you can hook all 16 channels directly to the inputs of your card(s) and still have the rest of the board function normally.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
The inserts are a poor mans direct out. Many boards are wired correctly tip=send ring=return so going halfway will be touchy and lead to intermittent connections. You will also lose channel EQ.

With an insert cable you can run to the tape-ins and tape-outs (analog world here) or to your interface ins and outs. Be warned the insert jack may be ahead of everything but the preamp. Clipping indicators may not work correctly especially if the signal back from the interface is different than that going in.

In a computer setup I would use stereo-mono adapter jacks (gold plated if you want to just leave them). These have a stereo plug and a mono jack. Or special order cables with a mono output and a stereo plug with the tip connected to the ring. Now this will act just like a direct out. The clipping indicator is right. The interface stereo monitor out can be connected to your studio monitor system.

Or you could get something like a GS series A&H mixer(I can't find these anymore) with tube pres and direct outs. The GL series doesn't have the tube pres but they are great boards. (I use 2 of these live.)


Most 8 buss mixers also have Aux sends. So you could get 2, 4 or 6 additional outs here. ALL with full channel EQ which you would have lost using inserts.
Above I said the insert with the mono-stereo cable would be just like a direct out. NO you will not get channel EQ with an insert.
So I need to get a Single TRS to 2 Mono 1/4",
Run the TRS into the Insert/Sends of a board that has them for each track
Then run one of the Mono 1/4" into the Phase 88?

Will the Insert send be Pre or Post fader in most cases?

Well thats the problem with using inserts as outputs, they're just after the preamp and ahead of EVERYTHING else. No EQ, no mutes, no aux sends, and no fader.

Connecting as you are telling me will give no signal thru the mixer so no clip lights either.

I would use the 8 groups you have and send the added channels thru the AUXes. Just dont select any subgroups on the AUX channels. If you have a choice use post fader on the auxes.

Also by keeping the Group faders unassigned ie. not sent to the L/R buss on most boards you can send to L and R also and get 2 more channels to the interface.

All monitoring then needs to be thru a separate (mixer) amp, speaker combo.
What I described just above could give you 16 channels.

8 groups
6 auxes
2 L/R

ALL with full EQ and faders. Tho some boards permanently wire 2 auxes pre fader.
Since I haven't bought a board yet, I'm looking at the Mackie Onyx 1620 since its close to the same price as a regular analog board anyway. The 1620 b/c I like the ability to use my own preamps for the extra tracks.

Anyway, other than the firewire option, it says you can stream tracks using it's DB-25 connections. What kind of soundcard would I need for this option? Faster or slower than the Firewire option?

This just seems like a less complicated option.