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Analog mixer, interface, what I need...

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:41 am
by unityunityunity

So I bought the tapco 260fx 12 channel analog mixer

And made the mistake of buying the cheapest interface around

thinking I can accomplish what I want to do..

plug in All my mics to my mixer then record the separate channels to separate tracks on a multitrack recording software...

Also be able to Playback the recorded tracks (separate) to the separate channels on the analog mixer...and Mix it.

Be able to playback the peviously recorded music and record/dub
or just fine tune everything on analog.
on the spot effects changes, cut out channels, EQ changes.

Ive looked into various things like other mixers with built in firewire...
but some are real expensive like the Onyx from mackie..because you have to buy the Firewire card separate.. like 400 bucks.

But ive looked at the Alesis multimix,
the Zed14, and one from phonic.

But nothing really says anything to clear.

So i need some help

Either a whole new setup to do what I mentioned or what I need so i can keep my tapco.


Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:52 am
by Neil C
Sorry, Haven't got time now to go into detail.
Basically you need a multi-channel interface. That is an interface with mutliple inputs that can be sent to your computer on different channels. So for instance, input 1 will send on channel 1, input 2 will send on channel 2 etc.
A lot of interfaces with inputs will send their various inputs on different chanels - but they may be a mixture of XLR, line, instrument and so on. What you want is sonething with multiple inputs of the same type that will send on different channels.
Your mixer looks like it outputs on two sets of stereo pairs of jacks - so unfortunately that is no good for what you want to do. Once everyhting is mixed together on an analogue channel you cannot seperate it into the individual elements.

And your computer interface just has one stereo pair of analogue inputs! (giving you a maximum of 2 mono channels going into your DAW).

There are mixers that have a built in firewire computer interface connection that will allow multi channel inputs. There are also multi channel interfaces with multiple inputs.

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:30 pm
by overstand
As Neil said..

You need an audio interface with Multiple ins/outs

e.g. Edirol FA-101, Motu 828, RME Fireface

You need a mixing desk with direct outs on each channel.. e.g. Spirit Sx20, Mackie have a few decent desks with direct outs.. there are plenty of decent desks available second hand at a reasonable price.

You will be routing multiple channels of audio from your interface to your desk (applying effects, eq-ing, etc.) and then routing the channels back to your interface. For this to work properly, you will need a zero/low latency interface.

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:46 am
by unityunityunity

What if I did this...

Buy the edirol fa-101 ... ntback.jpg

or something like it.

and when recording live plug in all my mics to the interface instead.
..and they will record to separate tracks from each input?

then when it comes time to mix/dub

use patch cables and connect the outputs from the interface to the regular inputs on my Tapco 260 ( ... sku=630267 )

and will this set up / process allow me to accomplish what I want?

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:59 pm
by interruptor
The problem you'll have with that approach is that usually sound cards have no built-in microphone preamps. The one you are linking to seems to have at least two of them. The level of a microphone signal is too low to be recorded using a line input. Project mixing desks normally have a mic-preamp on each channel.

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:12 am
by unityunityunity
Now Im kind of lost...

So what interface do I need to accomplish what I would like to do?

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:05 pm
by Neil C
interruptor wrote: The one you are linking to seems to have at least two of them. The level of a microphone signal is too low to be recorded using a line input..
Yes, see those sockets on the front - they are preamps with dual inputs that will accept either an XLR or jack connection. They are designed to be able to directly take the low level of signal of a dynamic microphone or guitar output. If they also supply phantom power they can accept a condenser mic. But there are only two of them - if you only want to record with 2 mics at a time that's OK, but more mics - you need more premaps (preamp=input that will directly accept a mic input)!
You can't generally put a dynamic mic into a line level input - there will be a level mismatch resulting in a very quiet signal.

The sort of interface I have in mind is (which in a sense is like a mixer but without the physical sliders and such):

and the sort of mixer with built in firewire interface I have in mind is like this (a version of which I think you've already looked at):

Both these options have mutliple dual preamp inputs that (I think) will send on seperate channels (equivalents of the models above, which I show just as examples, are available). You only need one or the other.

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:52 pm
by unityunityunity
thanks, I have looked into the firepod before, and others like it...

I disregarded it because of price and because i could get the same amount of ins/outs for cheaper...

thanks for the info about preamps, it all makes sense now.


I keep my tapco 260fx analog mixer...

If I want to record separate tracks from separate mics/instruments I should get the firepod or something like it.

Then for mixing/dub...

use patch cables (1/4") and connect the outputs of the interface to in the inputs on my mixer.


Then I can probably send an other signal out of the mixer to the computer to record the final mix.