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Ignorant Newbie Question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Gravedigger Dav, Aug 12, 2019 at 1:46 PM.


  1. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I'm just getting started with home recording. Here is my current setup.
    Windows 10 Desktop PC 64 bit.
    Audacity software.
    Behringer Xenyx X1204USB mixer.
    MXL dynamic mic (2)
    I ususally do 1 track at at time, but sometimes I put acoustic guitar and vocal down together for me to learn the bass parts. Not me on the guitar and vocal.
    It seems I'm getting acceptable sound.
    Here is the question. The guitar player says I would get better sound if I use an interface instead of the mixer. Seems to me the mixer adds some features not available on the interfaces I have seen. Is he right?
     
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    The mixer IS an interface. Yes, it has some additional features, but none of them really matter once the recording is in the digital domain.
     
    And I likes this.
  3. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    The MXL dynamic mics would seem to me to be the weak link here--especially for acoustic guitar. Condenser mics are almost always better for acoustic guitar, all other things being equal. A good budget option is the audio-technica AT-2020. this will also give you a better sound for vocals (you will need to use a pop-filter). to use this mic with your mixer, make sure the "phantom" switch is turned on, but only AFTER the mic is plugged in. the phantom switch won't do anything with a dynamic mic, but is required for most condenser mics.
     
    Ronzo likes this.
  4. akrachanko

    akrachanko Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Western Pennsylvania
    The mixer vs a dedicated audio interface would be no different. As @silky smoove said, this mixer IS an audio interface. Getting a dedicated audio interface would do nothing for the actual sound of your recordings. Really, the only reason you'd want to get an audio interface is if you need more channels than the mixer can offer.
     
  5. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Thanks for your input. Sorry, they are condenser. That was a mistake. I do have pop filters and I do use the phantom power. I'm really most interested in knowing whether switching from the mixer to an interface would be any advantage and work spending the money to get a reasonably decent one.
     
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    cool, good to know. you may try doing some research on mic placement, etc. acoustic guitar is tricky... acoustic guitar and vocal simultaneously is very tricky... a small change in the mic placement can make a big change in the sound. also, i don't mean to come off as elitist or anything, but MXL mics are bottom of the barrel... upgrading to a better mic is probably what i would do if it were my gear.

    to re-answer the question, still definitely no. ;) you already have an interface. your interface also has some mixer features built in. getting a different interface is not going to improve the sound quality of your recordings unless you spend a whole bunch of money. and even then, moving the mic could have a vastly larger affect on the quality of your recordings than upgrading to high-end A/D converters and mic preamps.

    you mentioned the sounds you're getting are acceptable to you. if your guitarist feels they can be improved upon, perhaps they can be specific as to what they don't like about it? also if you want to post up some sound samples i'd be happy to offer an opinion.
     
  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    He has no specific complaints, but does have education and experience in sound and recording. We do work with mic placement. I know they are low end, but that is all the money I'm willing to put in to it for now. He isn't really unhappy with the sound, but is looking for ways to improve things. This is something I've been wanting to do for some time, but now have begun to learn and experiment.
    Our current plan is to mainly use this for writing, rehearsal review, and maybe some rough demos. If we want to publish anything, we plan to go to a studio. We think we can reduce studio time be working everything out in advance so we don't waste valuable time.
    Again, thanks for your input.
     
    And I likes this.
  8. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    sounds like you are doing all the right things technically and from a pre-production process standpoint. short of spending a boatload of cash (recording is a damned expensive hobby) i think you've got all the bases covered. enjoy and good luck with it!
     
    Gravedigger Dav likes this.

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