You are here

Mixer for home recording studio

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:52 pm

CS70 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.

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?




No, the channel strip has the compressor off and the eq bypassed. The only thing active is the input and output gain. It does have a variable impedance knob which is set to 3k which would be the same for the Yamaha and the Scarlett 18i8. The mic was not moved, just plugged into the different inputs. Same mic, guitar, cables, sat in the exact same place.
jthzp9
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:24 pm

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:54 pm

jthzp9 wrote:No, the channel strip has the compressor off and the eq bypassed. The only thing active is the input and output gain. It does have a variable impedance knob which is set to 3k which would be the same for the Yamaha and the Scarlett 18i8. The mic was not moved, just plugged into the different inputs. Same mic, guitar, cables, sat in the exact same place.

Then I guess the channel strip preamp is rigged to be colored - maybe a design made on purpose to sound that way..
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6471
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:51 pm

Here is another shootout of the 3. Same order for those of you who listened previously. If you want a blind test, the answers will be posted below so you can listen first without bias.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/f ... shootout-2

I tried to optimize the gain structure so that they sounded the best to me in my headphones prior to tracking. Each piece of hardware has no eq or compression applied. The outboard gear is being run into the line inputs of the focusrite 18i8 so no preamp coloration from the AI itself for the outboard gear.






Results:
clip 1: Focusrite 18i8 direct
Clip 2: Art Voice Channel to Focusrite 18i8
Clip 3: Yamaha mixer to Focusrite 18i8
jthzp9
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:24 pm

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:55 pm

I noticed the mixer was a bit hotter than the other two so I tried to bring the average level as close as I could to one another. Here is one more listen.

https://soundcloud.com/user-500797446/f ... hootout-21
jthzp9
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:24 pm

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Arpangel » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:01 am

Sam Spoons wrote: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.

I think the fact that there is no significant difference, or glaring technical issue, means that it’s just very subtle colourations in the different signal chains, which is to be expected, if at all noticeable.
In which case, keep calm and keep recording!

:thumbup: :D
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5761
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:29 pm

I listened "blind" - 1 and 3 were indistinguishable to me, 2 was slightly different - less than in the first example you posted, and not dramatically different, probably would go totally unnoticed in a mix with just a little EQ.

2 being the Art, it seems that indeed that box is a bit colored.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6471
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby jthzp9 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:06 pm

I’m completely agree with everyone’s assessment. After getting a bit better gain staging I agree that there is little to no difference in the different takes.

The only thing I notice now is the noise floor. Usually this is most noticeable with DI instruments. I wonder if that would be remedied with a better audio interface or if you just live with it. Specifically, I was looking at the RME October xtc 8 channel audio interface vs an 8 channel universal audio.

All in all though, I think I learned that proper gain staging can get you a long way! Thank you for your help everyone!!
jthzp9
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:24 pm

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:24 pm

jthzp9 wrote:I’m completely agree with everyone’s assessment. After getting a bit better gain staging I agree that there is little to no difference in the different takes.

The only thing I notice now is the noise floor. Usually this is most noticeable with DI instruments. I wonder if that would be remedied with a better audio interface or if you just live with it. Specifically, I was looking at the RME October xtc 8 channel audio interface vs an 8 channel universal audio.

All in all though, I think I learned that proper gain staging can get you a long way! Thank you for your help everyone!!

Cool you found out! It's the nice thing of a forum like this.

As for the noise floor, I would expect the mixer or the channel strip would be, in general, the worse in that respect (i.e. add more noise, if anything because the signal has to go thru a longer signal path and pass thru more components). Which one would "win" depends really on the quality - a well maintained SSL can be less noisy than a cheap channel strip, and a great channel strip can be less noisy than a cheap mixer.

As of interfaces.. different interface preamps will have different noise and distortion properties of course, but modern kit in general is so good that the ambient noise usually matters way more... and expecially so when recording a distorted guitar amp, where all the significant noise would come from pushing the amplifier's preamp and power amp stages (real or software)?

DI-ing a signal means bringing it down to mic level and then re-amplifying it again... even using great and clean preamplifiers I suspect in most cases the S/N ratio will suffer a little bit exactly because of that.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6471
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Mixer for home recording studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:18 pm

It's important, too, to find what the source of the noise is. The noise floor of a half decent interface is likely to be lower than the noise the guitar amp you are miking generates, improving the signal path between the mic and the computer will make no difference to this, or to the ambient noise in the room being picked up by the mic.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13888
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Previous