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Thread Any ideas?

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1 Any ideas?
I am looking to start some pc based home recording.

While I know quite a bit about pc's, I know nothing about high end sound card options, or audio recording.

Currently I have a Berhinger 1204fx mixer w/stereo RCA outs that I want to hook into my pc and record into Cool Edit, Cakewalk, or any other easy to use audio program that will allow me to make either MP3 or Wav files.

Currently I am using onboard sound, but know that I will need to upgrade. I would prefer something with an internal breakout box that fits into a 5 1/4 bay in my pc tower.

I have been told that the stereo out RCA's could plug directly into a soundcard, however I am not sure what is going on with the channels.

By that I mean the mixer has 12 channels, the sound cards all have channels as well. Do these channels depend on one another if I am using the stereo RCA outs into a sound card?

Will I be getting a "mixed" version of the sound (having been previously mixed coming through the RCA outputs), or will i have some kind of raw sound that is waiting to be mixed down?

I have no idea what I am doing and would love to pick someones brain for an hour who knows how this stuff works.

Any indeas?

Oh, my pc specs:

AMD Athlon 1.4G cpu
512 Mb of Kingston HyperX DDR Ram
Soyo Dragon Ultra Platinum mobo
ATI 7200 video card
Plextor CDRW
Pioneer DVD

If you plug the RCA outs off your mixer into your stereo line in on your soundcard, you will get a stereo pair that represents the mix on the Mains bus of your mixer.

You don't say what you want to do in terms of recording, i.e whether you want to be able to record multiple instruments or single instruments a track at a time. If you want to do multiple instruments at once (i.e. record a band), you will need a multiple input soundcard like the MAudio Delta 1010. This will allow you to record up to 8 tracks at once into, say, Cakewalk and mix within the computer. It will work better if you have a mixer with channel strip outputs that you can hook to the soundcard inputs.

If all you want is to record your own stuff by yourself, your setup will work although your soundcard probably could use an upgrade. For single tracking, a card with a single stereo input like the MAudio 24/96 Audiophile will do. You can think of the stereo input as 2 seperate inputs sharing a plug (which it is). Rather than running the RCA outs of your board into the soundcard, get an adapter that seperates the stereo miniplug on the card into 2 RCA jacks. Then you can run the Aux send off your board into one side of the soundcard input, select that as the source for your track in Cakewalk, and record a single mono track. Then record another mono track (or stereo, for that matter). As you stack tracks (guitar, vocal, bass, whatever), you mix in Cakewalk. Hook whatever speakers you're monitoring on into the Main outs of the board, and take the Line Out off the soundcard and run it as a stereo pair back into the board. That way you can hear the instrument your playing and the instruments you've already recorded at the same time.

Hope this helps.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD

Pretty thorough explaination, thx. I have to say i am unfamiliar with those connections, though I know some of them.

My plan is to be able to record single instruments in, for example, me doing guitar, bass, and vocals, then use an external drum machine (like the one in my rp300) or a drumming program on my pc to lay down the drum tracks.

I would also like the flexabiltiy to record jam sessions with others, so more than one track at a time is needed... maybe as many as 7 or 8.

Does that help? I have no idea about the sound card, and again, I would prefer something with a break out box, OR something that will not be a mess to hook up. Simple is good.

Well, if you want to do both, than you'll have to shell out the extra bucks to get something with multiple inputs, like that Delta I mentioned. If you get that, and a Behringer mixer (good bang for the buck) like this:


You can run the 8 mono channels directly into the Delta inputs and record up to 8 channels at once. This way you can cover both your solo needs and accomodate a band if you want to.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
What I meant was, can I do anything with my current mixer and a sound card that is under 300 bucks?
If you get an MAudio Delta 1010 LT for @ $279, along with your board, you will be all set for doing anything you want to do as a solo act track at a time. You should also be able to accomodate recording up to 4 mics and put them on their own seperate tracks (or 2 mics and 2 line level signals). You may also be able to run up to 4 additional line level signals to their own tracks if you plug 'em directly into the snake coming out of the card.

That's about the best you'll be able to do for $300, I think.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD