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Mixer for home recording studio

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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby MOF » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:09 pm

I know a lot of folks like that universal audio stuff. Any love for that being a standalone front end for recording?

YES. A friend played an electric guitar through the Fender amp plugin on my UAD interface and loved it. Money’s an issue for him at the moment but eventually he’ll buy one.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:51 pm

jthzp9 wrote:With the mixer in the signal path that all went away. I’m assuming this is an impedance issue.

Nope. The mic input impedance of the Focusrite interface is 3k Ohms, and the input impedance of the Yamaha MH10 is... 3k Ohms.

So either your mixer lacked high end (possibly because the EQ had been tweaked unnoticed), or the mic signal level into the interface was overloading the preamp, leading to distortion and thus excessive HF.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:37 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
CS70 wrote:
jthzp9 wrote:As I stated in posts above, when I recorded my electric guitar through my amp with my sm57 and old mixer into the audio interface, it sounded exactly like what you would expect from an sm57 and a guitar amp. This lead me to believe there is a potential impedance issue at my audio interface because it does not sound the same when using the sm57 direct into the Scarlett.

This is odd. I've recorded tons of guitars, electric and acoustic, many of which with a 57, and a reasonably good mixer or interface preamp makes no difference at all - at least not for a single track of guitar.

There's a couple things I can think of but the easiest is just that you're using two different gain structures, perhaps without realizing it.

How do you set up the 57 into the mixer? Is there any EQ? Any effect And how do you connect the mixer to the interface?

This is what I would suspect too, the gain structure of a digital system needs to take into account the fact that headroom is not built in over and above 0dBFS while a typical analogue system has some 24dB available above 0VU before serious clipping occurs. It's very easy to run the preamps in the interface too hot in an attempt to get nice big waveforms on the DAW screen leading to an unpleasantly harsh sound. I speak from personal experience :blush:


When I’m using the mixer I’m using sm57 > yahamaha mixer > trs > line input in back of the 18i8 (no Scarlett preamp here) > daw.

When I’m using the Scarlett it’s sm57 > xlr > AI

I don’t think I should be hitting two gain structures with the mixer
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:50 pm

It's not so much that you are 'hitting two gain structures' but that you may be setting them up differently in each case. A digital system needs headroom below 0dBFS a typical analogue system has 24dB headroom above 0VU so people often set the gain up on a digital system to get as close to 0dBFS as possible with the attendant harsh distortion when they should be setting peaks to -6dBFS and the average at -18dBFS or so. The equivalent on an analogue system would be +18 dB and +6dB. I'm not suggesting that this is causing the difference in sound you are hearing, just that if you were doing this I would expect the changes to be similar to what you describe.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:47 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:It's not so much that you are 'hitting two gain structures' but that you may be setting them up differently in each case. A digital system needs headroom below 0dBFS a typical analogue system has 24dB headroom above 0VU so people often set the gain up on a digital system to get as close to 0dBFS as possible with the attendant harsh distortion when they should be setting peaks to -6dBFS and the average at -18dBFS or so. The equivalent on an analogue system would be +18 dB and +6dB. I'm not suggesting that this is causing the difference in sound you are hearing, just that if you were doing this I would expect the changes to be similar to what you describe.


I really appreciate all the help I’m getting, I certainly didn’t mean anything by that. Just trying to give as much info as possible so that you guys can help me diagnose this issue. If it is as simple as a gain structure problem I would be super happy!

I’ll make the demo clips tonight when I get home and see what everyone thinks.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:13 pm

No offence was taken, I was just trying to clarify what is happening and help the discussion along. :thumbup:
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:13 pm

Would you guys prefer me to normalize the audio files before I post them or will that alter the signal too much? I can leave them as is, tried to get average around -18 dbfs
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:24 pm

Here is a sample of what I'm hearing. I recorded at roughly -18dbfs. Perhaps it is absolutely correct, I'm just gain staging too hot on the scarlett. It sounded much better run a little less hot.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... p-shootout

Here is a normalized version of the same clips:

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... normalized



List of the clips:
Clip 1: interface
Clip 2: mixer to interface
clip 3: art voice channel to interface.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:26 pm

The EQ is either disengaged or set to the center notch on both the mixer and the channel strip and had been set like that for my previous tests as well.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Arpangel » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:26 am

jthzp9 wrote:Here is a sample of what I'm hearing. I recorded at roughly -18dbfs. Perhaps it is absolutely correct, I'm just gain staging too hot on the scarlett. It sounded much better run a little less hot.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... p-shootout

Here is a normalized version of the same clips:

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... normalized



List of the clips:
Clip 1: interface
Clip 2: mixer to interface
clip 3: art voice channel to interface.

Hmmm? I thought there was a big difference initially, but the more I listen to these clips, not so.
Something about the interface on its own, it’s my least favourite, but the differences aren’t as big as I thought they were.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:55 am

Arpangel wrote:
jthzp9 wrote:Here is a sample of what I'm hearing. I recorded at roughly -18dbfs. Perhaps it is absolutely correct, I'm just gain staging too hot on the scarlett. It sounded much better run a little less hot.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... p-shootout

Here is a normalized version of the same clips:

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... normalized



List of the clips:
Clip 1: interface
Clip 2: mixer to interface
clip 3: art voice channel to interface.

Hmmm? I thought there was a big difference initially, but the more I listen to these clips, not so.
Something about the interface on its own, it’s my least favourite, but the differences aren’t as big as I thought they were.


I would definitely agree with you. There was far less difference than I thought when I listened back. However, I set the faders of the mixer and channel strip at unity gain and used the input gain to achieve the -18dbfs average level. I think the mixer and the channel strip sound better when pushed a little harder. I think someone described this earlier but I definitely think the “distortion” created with the outboard gear is more pleasing to the ear and is what I liked a bit better.

I may do the shootout again and try to optimize each to sound their best and see what everyone thinks.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby James Perrett » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:27 pm

Arpangel wrote:Hmmm? I thought there was a big difference initially, but the more I listen to these clips, not so.

That's exactly what I thought too when I listened last night. I thought the first one sounded more mellow but when I actually went back and listened again I realised that I was wrong. I wonder if you are hearing them at different levels while recording? Our perception of sound changes quite a bit as the level changes.
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:08 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Hmmm? I thought there was a big difference initially, but the more I listen to these clips, not so.

That's exactly what I thought too when I listened last night. I thought the first one sounded more mellow but when I actually went back and listened again I realised that I was wrong. I wonder if you are hearing them at different levels while recording? Our perception of sound changes quite a bit as the level changes.


On the mixer and the channel strip the signal was pretty anemic so I’ll do the same shootout again tonight and try and get the best sound I can from the gain structures. We’ll see if that makes a difference. I agree not much difference in how it is now. Maybe a little more definition from the mixer and channel strip as it is
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:36 pm

jthzp9 wrote:Here is a sample of what I'm hearing. I recorded at roughly -18dbfs. Perhaps it is absolutely correct, I'm just gain staging too hot on the scarlett. It sounded much better run a little less hot.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... p-shootout

Here is a normalized version of the same clips:

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/i ... normalized



List of the clips:
Clip 1: interface
Clip 2: mixer to interface
clip 3: art voice channel to interface.

Checked only on tracking headphone, so might be missing some subtlety, but I hear no significant difference at all between the first two. The third has a litte more room, did you move the mic or had some compression going on in the channel strip?
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Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:45 pm

I've just listened on my monitors and, to me, any one of the three would get the job done, the differences are subtle and IMHO unimportant. Differences in performance and how the track was mixed would overshadow any differences in the recorded sound.
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