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A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

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A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

Postby alexis » Sun May 06, 2012 12:47 am

Hi - I've been looking at interfaces, and noticed that (unlike my M-Audio Omni I/O break out box for the Delta 66 card) most of them don't have features like Aux In/Out, Inserts, etc.

Am I right in understanding then that I would need to purchase a separate mixing board/desk if I wanted those features?

And if so (and I think this is my main question) - having noticed that these mixing desks/boards generally have preamps, - is there usually a way to bypass the preamps? For example, if one were purchasing an RME Fireface UFX or UCX, and had a Mackie Mixer for routing purposes, it'd sure be nice to bypass the Mackie preamps!

Thanks in advance for any words of advice here!
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Re: A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

Postby jaminem » Sun May 06, 2012 5:38 am

To answer your first question, yes if you wanted to insert effects while recording a mixer would be what you needed or an interface with those facilities. My Steinberg MR816 has insert points on the first 2 channels so you can insert a compressor into the signal chain while recording. However I think you maybe need to look at the way you are working. Compressing on the way in is not really required if you record at 24 bit, making insert points less useful and 'most' people use plugins now removing the need for aux ins/outs, hence these features are becoming more scare on interfaces these days. If you wanted to integrate HW effects into your setup (which it sounds as though you do) an interface with multiple I/O can act as a send/return loop, managed by your DAW's external effects option.
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Re: A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

Postby The Elf » Sun May 06, 2012 6:02 am

A multi-input/output interface can use it's I/O in any way the DAW allows. In Cubase you define I/O and its associated external hardware (as 'External FX') and then you can allocate this to inserts on individual channels, or FX channels as required.

Also, with the Fireface you mention, Totalmix allows such flexible routing that you can create zero latency aux sends and 'inserts' very easily - I do this to provide reverb to a vocalist while tracking, for instance.

I always feel that adding a mixer simply introduces complications and compromises.
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Re: A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

Postby alexis » Sun May 06, 2012 2:14 pm

Gentlemen - Thank you for your perspective!

I shall attempt to avoid a mixer if at all possible, using instead the I/O's of the interface. "Compromises and complications" ... shudder!!
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Re: A little confused about mixer/desk-interface set up

Postby Gary M » Sun May 06, 2012 5:04 pm

alexis wrote:Gentlemen - Thank you for your perspective!

I shall attempt to avoid a mixer if at all possible, using instead the I/O's of the interface. "Compromises and complications" ... shudder!!

Having a separate audio interface and mixer does cause an extra bit in the chain as well as expense but there are mixers that have the audio interface functionality built into them and allow you to do all things you wish. you can also use these desks as analogue summing units to add a bit something back into your mix. Don't completely Bin the idea, do a little research.
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