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> Small Mixer Vs A Straight Audio Interface, Opinions?
Scott Gentzen
post Feb 14 2008, 04:00 AM
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So I've been looking around for ways to record audio into my computer.

I'm looking at it for a few reasons:
  • Skill progress tracking
  • Audio for gear reviews
  • Recording musical ideas when they come
  • Sending channel output to external sound systems


I've been looking at TC Electronics Konnekt 8 since I found one used for pretty cheap (less than half retail). It's a good quality unit. It'll take microphone, line in or a guitar input. 8 channels out. Firewire.

Today on the clearance table at my local GC, I saw a small firewire-based analog mixer. Specifically, the Alesis MM8FW. Similar in's and outs except this is a mixer and doesn't have a guitar-in like the Konnekt device. But this device is primarily a mixer.

I know that most of you guys are using stuff like the PODs or devices more like the Konnekt interface. If anyone has some specific experience with either of the above devices I'd like to hear it. Also, more generally, I'd like to hear from anyone who might be using something similar to the Alesis mixer to record your playing...both with your amp through a mic or direct-in in some way.




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Ivan Milenkovic
post Feb 14 2008, 05:19 PM
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Exactly how many instrument do you want to connect and record?


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Hisham Al-Sanea
post Feb 14 2008, 11:30 PM
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the best way to record the guitar is going by line if you have a mixer you can connect all instruments to the mixer then stereo line out form the mixer to the PC sound card into line in ,if you want to record form the amp have 2 choices : the line out from the amp or mic infront the speaker but i am to the line out from the amp. its more clear and quality. othere wise if you have a multible effect you can directly go into sound card ...more equipments more noisy


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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 15 2008, 12:05 AM
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Well these two devices look cool..If you are planing to mic your amp or go through its DI-out its ok - both options sound interesting..But just maybe it would be easier to buy line 6 toneport which can do the same and also features amp/cab simulations software in it (which you will find very useful).. smile.gif


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Tjchep
post Feb 15 2008, 12:10 AM
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+1 to line 6 toneport.

Cheap, decent quality.

Tons of sounds.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 15 2008, 12:17 AM
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Normally my preference would be for a mixer Scott as I'm old fashioned and like the hands on. However in this case the TC has been picking up some very good reviews - TC gear is quality generally btw (nothing against Alessis - good but arguably TC do little wrong). So personally at 1/2 price personally I'd go with the TC but as Ivan points out how many inputs do you want?

Regardless, if you can, the best thing to do is to try both out to see which you are happiest working with though.

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Scott Gentzen
post Feb 15 2008, 02:54 AM
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QUOTE (Milenkovic Ivan @ Feb 14 2008, 11:19 AM) *
Exactly how many instrument do you want to connect and record?


All at once, for now, just one. Though there's a space where I'd like to record where I'd like to run 2 mics..one for the amp and one for the room.

I have really only a need for a couple channels in for recording for now. I'm just thinking that maybe if I start wanting to do my own music some day if I get a mixer, I might not have to worry about outgrowing a 2-channel straight audio interface.

The only reason I was entertaining the idea of getting the mixer instead is because they're so close in price. I'm looking at spending around $200 either way.


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Scott Gentzen
post Feb 15 2008, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE (Hisham @ Feb 14 2008, 05:30 PM) *
the best way to record the guitar is going by line if you have a mixer you can connect all instruments to the mixer then stereo line out form the mixer to the PC sound card into line in ,if you want to record form the amp have 2 choices : the line out from the amp or mic infront the speaker but i am to the line out from the amp. its more clear and quality. othere wise if you have a multible effect you can directly go into sound card ...more equipments more noisy


Actually, the intent for both devices would be to cut the sound card out of the mix on my laptop. They both have A/D converters and firewire out to the computer.

So basically, I'd mic up the amp go into whichever box and firewire to the laptop (actually, my current amp has a line out, but I'm looking at getting one of those Blackheart amps when they're not so scarce).


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Scott Gentzen
post Feb 15 2008, 03:04 AM
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QUOTE (Bogdan @ Feb 14 2008, 06:05 PM) *
interesting..But just maybe it would be easier to buy line 6 toneport which can do the same and also features amp/cab simulations software in it (which you will find very useful).. smile.gif


I've been trying to avoid the PODs and Toneports mainly because I don't want to get something that's only for guitars. When I get more comfortable with music enough to start coming up with my own music, it isn't going to be just guitars so I want to get something that I don't have to replace as soon as I start doing something else.

It would be one thing if I was looking at a $1000 mixer or audio interface when a POD will do the job for a third of the price. Since what I'm looking at is around $200, and I already have a decent amp, these kinds of devices give me more bang for the buck.


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USAMAN
post Feb 15 2008, 07:02 AM
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+1 for pod.
Mics are great if you have a silent enviroment. Pod USB in low noise floor....makes for really nice sounding recordings....especially when the furnace kicks on in the middle of a take.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 15 2008, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Feb 15 2008, 03:04 AM) *
I've been trying to avoid the PODs and Toneports mainly because I don't want to get something that's only for guitars. When I get more comfortable with music enough to start coming up with my own music, it isn't going to be just guitars so I want to get something that I don't have to replace as soon as I start doing something else.

It would be one thing if I was looking at a $1000 mixer or audio interface when a POD will do the job for a third of the price. Since what I'm looking at is around $200, and I already have a decent amp, these kinds of devices give me more bang for the buck.


I record guitars,bass,vocals,keys with my toneport ux2 ..Also you can record two mics at the same time in stereo, or mic and guitar , or mic and line in..It has two line in so you can plug anything in it..Also you can bypass the sound to have it dry smile.gif Although I't may not look so ambitious (its made of plastic) it can do a pretty good "demo making at home" job.Thats why I proposed it.Either way , all of devices you listed here will do the job (depending on your skill)..Mixer looks interesting if it can record all the channels simultaneously and I think it can.. smile.gif


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Scott Gentzen
post Feb 20 2008, 06:24 PM
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Just a quick update on this to wrap it up.....

I ditched the mixer idea. Really what it came down to was I was deciding between good audio interface or a cheap, limited mixer. Doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

Also while I was at it, I ditched the idea of buying the Konnect8 too. I really didn't want to buy something like that used on CL.

I did some more research and came up with my answer. I got the Mackie Onyx Satellite. B&H has it on sale for $169. Has everything I'll need for a while and then some, I think. Good quality, good reviews.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Feb 20 2008, 09:30 PM
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That's a good device man. Good choice wink.gif


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