You are here

Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

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

Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:10 am

Hi there
I was wondering what kind of sound quality I would achieve from Running a microphone into a mixer then mixer into a pc and running it off of some kind of built in Windows program

I am thinking now that if I run a 3.5mm plug from the mixer to the pc, then that then will go into the computers inbuilt sound card And sound quality will be lost through the computers internal cheap sound card

However if I run a usb cable from the mixer to the pc, then that then will bypass the computers own in built sound card And the mixer should do the job of the sound card instead

But the mixer I will purchase must have a usb out channel on it as it would appear not all of them do
What do you think?

Thanks
MM
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby zenguitar » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:31 am

Welcome to the SOS forums.

You mention a USB connection from your mixer. To answer your question people need to know what make and model mixer you are using. USB is an established standard but different manufacturers enable it in different ways.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9252
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:54 am

Hi Andy and thanks for the reply
To be honest I have not purchased a mixer yet, I am still shopping for a cheap second hand one from the regular acution site
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:41 am

Welcome!

Before you buy anything be sure that you know how many inputs - microphones etc. - you'll need for now and the foreseeable future. Otherwise you could buy something that very soon frustrates you because you can't do all you want.

But there are many mixers of the type you describe and they're a good and simple way of getting decent audio quality in a computer-based recording.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_xenyx_302_usb.htm is a good example of a simple mixer that would meet your needs, but there are many others. Virtually all that will suit will have 'USB' in the model number.

As for software, Audacity is surprisingly good - and it's free!

An while I'm here... Do you have a microphone, or would you like some advice on that?

(Guys: In this case I don't think an AI is the way to go...Keep it simple and don't overwhelm the guy with unnecessary qualification and detail.)
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6925
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby blinddrew » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:21 am

I've got a couple of the Xenyx mixers and they do the job fine. The only thing is that they output at 16bit, whereas the newer Allen & Heath and Soundcraft ones give you a 24bit output. This means a lot more dynamic range so you don't need to worry about keeping the levels high, and can give yourself plenty of headroom to avoid clipping and distortion.
I'm not sure what audio recording tools are bundled into windows nowadays, but it does have a suitable usb driver in Wasapi so that should be ok.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8277
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:10 am

Again thanks for the response
The Mic I will purchase is going to be a shure sm58 as this will be used for gigging
And the mixer two, will be used for gigging as well
But I also want to record myself at the same time as well
And thinking the best way to go about this is using a pc to do it
Unless anyone else has any better ideas that is?

Sorry I forget to mention that I am singing to mp3 backing tracks so that is the second in channel to the mixer

And also forgot to mention that I will be filming this, so the idea is to use some kind of web cam and run that to the computer via usb
I looked at the idea of using a camcorder as opposed to the computer but that was deemed as a bad idea for sound quality
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:46 am

Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby blinddrew » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:37 pm

Well the little behringer that Mike linked to above will do that job. For a bit more cash something like this: https://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_notepad_8fx.htm
gives you a couple more channels if you ever need to expand in the future, XLR outputs for your main speakers, and built in effects.
Frustratingly I can't find any details on whether it's 24 or 16 bit on the USB.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8277
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Wonks » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:50 pm

Do you want to record your voice separately to the backing track or just mixed in with the backing track? Because some mixers with USB (like that Behringer 302USB) only provide a single stereo output of the complete mix. Others can output individual channels so you keep the tracks separate.

It would help us to know what you want so we can point you at the most suitable units.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9755
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:02 pm

I want to record from the Mic and mp3 player together so the out channels on the mixer need to take bough
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby ef37a » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:51 pm

music master wrote:I want to record from the Mic and mp3 player together so the out channels on the mixer need to take bough

So, do you want three tracks? One voice and stereo MP3? If so, can't be done with any of the cheap USB mixers, they only record the two track stereo output but it is worse than that. All the USB cheapies I have seen a signal diagram for take the feed to the USB converter PRE panning control and most pre EQ (tone control) so the resultant recording is not really a reflection of what you are putting out live.

You could use a small, budget mixer and have the MP3 in stereo and your voice panned centrally but then you would need to record the actual "Main Mix" out of the mixer and that entails a separate analogue to digital interface. However, if you come across a suitable mixer, sans USB, you could try that straight into the 3.5mm stereo jack on a laptop but you would need to configure the Sound Controls in Windows to drastically reduce the record gain and even then the mixer output would need to be quite low.

One budget solution is a basic mixer and the Behringer UCA202 interface. These are 16 bit devices but for loud "pub" work they are pretty good and one can be "hung" on the RCA outputs you get on most, (but not all!) budget mixers. Yes, extra bit of dangly kit to cater for but that's how it goes if you ain't got half a bag to throw at an audio problem!

You could get a multi-input Audio Interface but you need a mixer anyway?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10724
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:48 am

The mp3 backing tracks are in studio (not mono) So this is why I have chosen the 2 pair speakers
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby ef37a » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:07 am

music master wrote:The mp3 backing tracks are in studio (not mono) So this is why I have chosen the 2 pair speakers

I take it you mean "stereo"? Yes, as I expected and that is your two USB recorded tracks "used up".

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10724
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:47 am

No no dave. They are single tracks mixed\ mastered to one audio
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 am

Let's unpick this a bit.

You want to record the audio at the same time as you're amplifying the sound for a performance. Problem. The mix you need for amplifying will be different to what you want for recording. So you need to be able to set-up two separate mixes - one to record and one to amplify.

You could try and guess the mix for recording, but you'd really need someone else who knows the basics to set this up for you while listening on headphones while you sing. The better way is to record the backing track and the mic separately - two/three discrete tracks and then mic them together later. Problem. The simpler 'USB' mixers won't let you do that - they can only send a stereo signal to a computer for recording.

You're talking about using a webcam to record the video. Do you really mean a webcam? You can only record by connecting direct to a laptop when using a simple webcam.

The solutions you've suggested so far involve having two USB inputs - one for the camera and one for the mixer.

I recommend that you think again to avoid what will become a complicated set-up for use in a live situation. If at all possible dispense with the need to record anything direct to computer. That means a mixer with an onboard SD card, capable of recording at least three tracks simultaneously.

Similarly with the camera. Forget webcam and get a camcorder with an onboard SD card.

You can then balance the recorded sound separately after the gig and then sync to picture, using the sound recorded by the camcorder (which you'll subsequently not use) to help you sync sound to picture.

That's very high-level. Come back if you need more info or advice on specific kit that might suit.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6925
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:00 pm

I may be missing something but you need only record the vocal to the computer, the backing track is digital and can be dropped into the DAW later. It's easy enough to line the vocal up with the backing track in post production. It's still not dead easy to achieve with a cheap mixer, many of them only record the stereo outs but if you can find something that can take it's inputs as the source rather than the outputs it would be doable.

If you are recording to hear/see what your performance looked/sounded like a separate stereo recorder in the room would be much simpler though.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10339
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:58 pm

Planning on getting a second hand one. That was if the job dose not work out I can resell it and have not lost any money

What do you think of this one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ALESIS-Multi ... ect=mobile
Guest

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby blinddrew » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:00 pm

If I've correctly understood what you want to do, then I think that will do the job.
But if I haven't then it might not! :)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8277
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:05 am

As Drew says it will record what you are sending to the speakers, but it won't let you record the vocal on a separate track from the backing. If that will do what you want then it's fine.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10339
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Recoding quality sound mic-mixer-pc

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:42 am

Wot they said... and as I said, recording a live mix is rarely satisfactory. But it's your show! :)

Now, the mic... Unless you're singing full-on rock then these days there are much better mics than the SM58 for similar or less money. The Sennheiser e 835, 840 and 845 are well-respected here for the quality and openness of their sound - as is the AKG D5.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6925
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dan LB