How to put together : mixer, monitors and interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bebertq, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. bebertq


    Oct 31, 2012

    I am currently using a mixer and powered studio monitors to practice guitar or bass. The monitors are plugged into the main mix XLR outs.

    Now that I am considering purchasing an audio interface to record my creations into my computer, I am wondering how I can hook everything up properly.

    I would like to use the monitors to hear the main mix (obviously), but would also like to hear the output of the sound card when I am using it for non-recording things (listening to MP3, etc.).

    Any ideas how I could do this? I am not very experienced with the mixer yet (a Soundcraft MFXi8).


    Thanks! Your thoughts are appreciated.

  2. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    So, you want your YouTube videos to come out of the main mix, but not come out of the main mix? Sounds impossible to me. Sorry.
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    You could pan
  4. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    You plug everything into the interface and the mixer is no longer needed.
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Isn't the two-track stereo in on that board separately assignable to the main mix and/or the monitor outputs?

    One way:

    1. Connect your powered monitors' input to the Soundcraft's L-R monitor outputs.

    2. Using XLR to 1/4" adapters, connect Soundcraft's main mix L-R outs to your interface's L-R line ins.

    3. Connect interface's 2-track line-ins.

    If you want to hear sound from computer/interface in the monitors, engage the "To Monitor" button in the Soundcraft's 2-track i/o block. If you want to return output from the computer/sound card back to the soundcard's line inputs, engage the "To Mix" button in Soundcraft's 2-track i/o block. (Make sure that any record-enabled tracks are muted, or you'll treat yourself to some glorious feedback.)

    There are also other ways to do this, including feeding your soundcard's inputs from either the mixer's aux-outs or the individual channel inserts (I'm assuming that the channel inserts can be used as direct outs if an unbalanced 1/4" plug is inserted half-way).

    Since some signal paths are likely to be cleaner than others on a mixer like that Soundcraft, you'll probably want to experiment to see which path gives you the best sound. If you are only recording 1 or 2 tracks at a time, I'd assume channel direct-outs to soundcard inputs would be the way to go. OTOH, I have no direct hands-on time on that particular mixing board, so YMMV.
  6. Seems very easy to do... you probably have several ways of doing this.

    I don't know the details of your Soundcraft mixer...

    option 1: Mixer to USB Soundcard, soundcard to monitors. (soundcard will work with mixer off, mixer needs soundcard on to pass sound to the monitors)

    option 2: Mixer stays connected to Monitors. Mixer sends sound to the USB soundcard via either CTRL room out, AUX out, Monitor out... choose something, then return the sound from soundcard to the mixer via either : stereo channel strip, AUX Return, TAPE IN, choose something. This allows you to use the mixer-monitor with the soundcard turned off, and to blend in computer sounds with live sounds using the mixer knobs, but to hear your computer, you need to turn the mixer on.
  7. bebertq


    Oct 31, 2012
    Salut Longfinger! :)

    Looks easy... *lol*

    I do not want the soundcard to be on all the time, so yes, I think the studio monitors should be connected to the mixer via MONITOR outs (instead of MAIN MIX outs).

    After further reading, I think I will need to use the subgroup feature of this mixer to play sound from the computer, but not send it back to the soundcard when recording. *sigh* This is more complicated than I thought but i'm not giving up.
  8. bebertq


    Oct 31, 2012
    Not quite... Let me add a bit of context here.

    I'm a living room player, and I just like to have my
    multiple sources of sound going in the mixer so everything is handy :

    Chan1+2 : TC Helicon Harmony G-XT (mic and acoustic guitar)
    Chan3+4 : Digitech RP500 (XLR)
    Chan5 : Additional lone Senn e835 microphone
    Chan6+7 : Bass from POD X3

    I like to have everything ready to play, so that's why I use a mixer and studio monitors.

    My goal was to :

    -Be able to send whatever channels I want to a USB soundcard input to record the output of the mixer;
    -Be able to listen the output of the computer (via USB souncard) in my mixer.

    Further reading is leading me to think that the solution might be to use the subgroup functions of the mixer. I could simply plug the SUB OUT of the mixer into the line inputs of the USB soundcard. That way, if i'm ready to record a channel strip, I just push the "to SUB" button on those tracks and the resulting channels will be send to the SUB OUT on the mixer...

    Ughhh... this is not easy to understand, could anyone point me to tutorials to help me understanding this AUX1, AUX2, subgroup stuff...? :help:

    Have a great day!
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    The Yamaha sound book on amazon

    Some mixer vendors have PDF downloads