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Alesis Multimix 2.0 USB and gain levels

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Alesis Multimix 2.0 USB and gain levels

Postby CS70 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:05 pm

Hei! I'm going to use the Alesis mixer/digital interface to experiment with recording some multimiked drums. In the manual - when it talks about what essentially is gain staging for recording - it states clearly to "adjust the gain knob until the LED meter remains at or very close to 0" (page 12, point 7 - the PDF manual is online here). I don't have the mixer yet in my hands, but I find it strange to record so hot with what is essentially a digital interface. Normally when I record on the PC I set preamp gain levels so that I get a -18dBFS average and peak at -12 or -10 in the DAW and the results so far have been remarkably good. The Alesis' preamps have apparently 50dB of gain, which is not crazily much but should work fine with modern condenser mics. So I'm a bit puzzled.

As anyone used the mixer? (and yeah, there's certainly better equipment and preamps but I want to have individual mic tracks to the DAW, the Alesis passed the SOS review and this is my experimenting budget :), so it'll have to do.. )

Surely there's something I'm not getting..

Cheers,

-Cris
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Re: Alesis Multimix 2.0 USB and gain levels

Postby hollowsun » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:53 pm

I have one and it's very good (for the money). It's not a Trident or Neve or SSL, whatever, but serves a purpose (I use mine as a monitor mixer, much like those stupidly and horribly overpriced 'summing mixers' . . . they are just mixers FFS!). But anyway...

It's an analogue mixer and you can run the inputs hotter than you might on a digital thing or audio I/O, whatever. In fact, to obtain maximum signal-to-noise, it's a good idea to run as hot as possible. There may be some distortion but analogue distortion is more graceful than digital - might actually add some 'character' ... and if there IS some distortion on the analogue side of the system, back things off a tad with the input GAIN controls. And for getting it into you 'puter over USB, if it's a bit hot, back off the master output on the MultiMix.

Damned handy little mixer for a silly price and not a bad spec. And the pre-amps are actually very good (I did work for Alesis some years ago and knew the designer).
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Re: Alesis Multimix 2.0 USB and gain levels

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:13 am

Sounds good and all clear. Just got it in my hands, looking forward to a test run this afternoon.

Thanks Hollowsun!
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Re: Alesis Multimix 2.0 USB and gain levels

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:53 am

When you use dB you always need to specify a reference level. If you add the FS after the dB then you know that 0dB is full scale and signals can't go any higher. The mixer's 0dB level is different - that's the standard working level for the mixer and it should have quite a few dB of headroom above that. You'll have to read the manual in depth to work out how the mixer's reference level translates to external levels.
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