Recording live performance to multiple tracks from mixer: am I straight?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Captain_joe6, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. This is going to be a 2-parter:

    Firstly, I want to make sure I've got my logic right. I want to record our band's live performances to a computer (PowerMac G5), and I'm figuring on 8 chanels of input necessary to accomplish this (vocal 1, vocal 2, guitar 1, guitar 2, !bass!, drums, keys, audience mic). By my thinking, I should be able to take the signals I want from their respective aux outputs on the mixerboard and route them through an appropriate audio interface (one that has at least 8 inputs) and from there to the computer (I'd like to go with a PCI-based interface with a rackmount "breakout box" and have been looking seriously at the Echo Layla 3G). Software wise all I need to do is record 8 tracks simultaneously and then be able to polish them up a bit and mix them down to 2 channel stereo for output to CD.

    I hope that sounds like a good way to go. I'm crazy new to all this.

    Secondly, given the information above, what do you all consider to be a cost-effective (ie. the best compromise of quality, functionality, and price) program to accomplish this recording? I've been eyeballing Logic 7 Express, would that be adequate? Can it record 8 tracks at the same time?

    Thanks a bunch gang!
  2. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    "By my thinking, I should be able to take the signals I want from their respective aux outputs on the mixerboard and route them through an appropriate audio interface "

    Unless you have a huge board with 8 available aux outputs, i doubt it.

    More commonly, i believe, and this is how I do it, is to plug your recording snake into the "insert" jacks, normally adjacent to the mic input jacks. I can onl insert halfway, or i cut the output of the channel, not terribly uncommon occurrance as I understand.

    Our 32 channel Peavey board at the church only has 6 aux output and we only have 1 open. The other 5 are used for Monitor 1, Monitor 2, CD burner, tape recorder(rarely used anymore though) and F/X.

    if you do have that many aux available it must be a huge board.


  3. I can't remember the exact layout of the back of the board, but IIRC, this is how it goes:

    We're running monitors from individual channels (except the drums, which are 8 channels alone), and each channel is also assigned to 1 of 8 subgroups. One for vocals, one for guitars, bass, drums, etc. Last time I looked, I'm fairly certain I saw that each of these 8 group channels had an open aux out or possibly an insert, or something that will give me the signal I want, so I figured I would run the signal from those. Our board, if it helps, is an Allen & Heath something or other, with, I believe, 42 channels
  4. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    Sounds like you most likely DO have the capability.

    I cannot help you with part 2 of the question though, I record into a HD recorder.

    I'm sure someone will be along shortly.
  5. Indeed. Its like the talkbass mantra: "Wait for it...wait for it..."
  6. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Sounds like you are on the right track getting your signals from the mixer. I am sure something will get worked out. Though I highly recomend you have someone who knows what they are doing to monitor and adjust levels when necesarry. Set and forget is a bad idea.

    Lots of interfaces available for what you got going. It all depends on $$$. On the cheap I like the M-audio Firewire 1814 along with Pro Tools M-Powered. For around $1300.00 you could do a Digi 002 Rack which comes with Pro Tools LE. I assume you don't want to spend more than that.
  7. Yes indeed. The soundboard is another man's domain unless he's not around, in which case the work is either mine, or, if i'm playing, yet a third guy's. And you assume right on that price cap. Firewire is looking like a reasonable option if only because we're really tight on space. Thanks a bunch!
  8. pesonus firepod ,8 in +2 more spdf. ive got one they are super , i generally record our live practices with 7-8 tracks.
    the thing is super easy to use and comes with cubase le wihich is also super easy to use.. im gonna add another to my rig soon.
  9. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    The Mackie 1604 VLZ-Pro that I have has eight direct outs. It takes the post-EQ/fader/etc output of each channel and splits it to a separate output. They're very handy for recording and I've run my mixer into my MOTU 828 for years like this, using the other channels for vocals (which I always overdub) and things like output from the computer.

    About two weeks ago I picked up an Alesis HD24 and realized that I was going to have to figure out a way to use all 16 preamps on my board. So I did what no self respecting male ever does: I read the manual.

    What I found was the answer to your question and mine: If you plug a 1/4" cable into the insert jack of a channel but only push it until you get the first click, you magically get a pre-everything feed straight off of the mic preamp without effecting the sound going to the rest of the channel strip on the board. That means you can mute, jack with the faders, pull EQ shenanigans, whatever.. and it doesn't effect your recording. Which is exactly what you need in your situation, because recording the direct or aux outs from your board means that you're recording all of the above trickery. And you really really do not want that.
  10. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    exactly, use the Insert jacks at the halfway point.

    i will recommend the Firepod as well. its fantastic.

    Since you are using a Mac, give Garageband a go. the newer versions will record 8 tracks at a time.

    perhaps you can set up a "recording practice" session and test everything before using it in a live context.
  11. Why not just buy an Alesis MultiMix 8?

    $149 for 8 channels (4 can be XLR), and it's USB so it'll work with your usual soundcard at the same time. Gives you each input as a separate track, so after recording you can fiddle with the individual channels on your computer. Very convenient!

    They also make versions with 12 and 16 tracks.
  12. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I missed the equipment recommendation part of the original post...

    +1 on the Firepod. Presonus is good people and their hardware is a steal at what they're selling it for. I've used both the 3G and pre-3G Echo Layla gear and had nothing but good results with it. IMO the Firepod beats it because firewire as an interface is so handy, and the onboard preamps are quite nice for that particular price point.

    Don't mess with USB audio recording unless you're looking for inspiration for that blues song you've been working on. I haven't heard the Alesis breakout stuff but you do tend to get what you pay for.
  13. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Oh, and Presonus + Mac = No drivers. just plug it in and set your audio settings to the Firepod then BAM you're recording. :)
  14. Yes, a lot of people are using the Alesis MultiMix in their home studios because of the separate track deal. There are other breakout boxes that do that multi-channel thing, but you end up paying a lot more because they include an audio interface.

    If you're concerned with the price/quality thing, Alesis makes more expensive versions of the MultiMix, like I said. Alesis's stuff tends to be pretty high-quality.

    Check out some M-Audio equipment also... they make some really good stuff. They have some great mobile equipment, also.
  15. im recording now with the firepod. in my studio i run my vocalist thru a yamaha emx88s, so i can input the output of the emx to the firepod as one channel, giving me control of his vocals/..anything else i put thru the pa goes on his track also, so i dont put anything else thru the emx powered mixer.
    i wish my powered mixer had outs on each channel, but they dont, naturally.
    i was considering running a mackie 16x8 board in front of the firepod that way i can record 8 tracks simultainiously, and run
    a poweramp with the board to feed my yamaha club speakers.
    in the mean time im doing well getting good recordings on the firepod running everybody straight thru it.
    heres how i do it on the pod.......ch1 kick drum
    ch2miked guitar
    ch3bass di in
    ch4snare, floor tom and 2 more toms go thru a berringer ub1202, then out to one input of the firepod
    ch5vocal in (from emx88s)
    ch6 stereo condenser overhead L
    ch7 sterewo overhead R

    then i started thinking about boards with direct outs on each channel................iam i off track considering the mackie 16x8 bus mixer and trashing the berringer??
  16. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    No. You're right on with that.
  17. thanks,....boy its amazing how one thing leads to the started out as just wanting to record my bass about a year ago or more , then my band, then this isnt just good enough but that is better,........but at least pretty soon ill be able to record people for money :)
  18. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Yep. That's how it begins. And it only grows. Congratulations, before much longer, you'll be experiencing both studio and bass GAS :D Your ears will most assuredly thank you even while your wallet is stabbing you in the leg!
  19. guys and gals, ive got a dilemma
    i really am having a hard time finding a mixing board that will give me 16 total outs. i want to feed two firepods directly.
    example.... from channel one of the mixer to channel one on the firepod and so on.
    to keep the budget down, what do you recommend. as im getting another firepod eventually.
    ive been looking at everything from mackies and berringers and alesis, im confused.
    and if i cant find 16 direct outs could i probably use the effects sends on lets say a yamaha board with effects and stuff in the board already. would this give me the same effect as having direct outs, using effects send?
    someones breathing down my back, gotta go :(
  20. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Anything that sends sound out will work, although you might have to jump through some hoops to get it to work, and it will affect the sound coming out of the board in a live situation. I've used aux sends, control room outs, direct outs, group and buss outs, whatever. Just watch the levels and listen to the tone of each channel individually.

    Yeah, finding a board that does all this is going to be impossible without lots of money put out. There are, however, mic pres available from various companies such as presonus (Digimax LT), M audio (M-octane) etc, that will allow you to take a digital signal into your computer, and pass an analog signal to your board. For about $1200 you could get 16 channels that way no problem. Finding a board to do it will cost much, much more. Before I had a Digimax LT my band was using 4 different mixing boards to record everyone at once!
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