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Posted on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 07:00 pm:   

I have problems whit connecting my mixer to my computer. I have a guitarr, bassguitar, external effects and I want to record it to SoundForge or cubase 5.0. How do I connect it to my computer? I have a old 16 channels Alesis 1622 mixer. Please help me couse I want to have my external instruments to my dubsongs!


Mike Zee
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 09:38 pm:   

Sam, what soundcard do you have in your computer?

Generally speaking , you need to connect stereo out fron your soundcard to what ever chnls on your mixer. You can't really do much there.

When recording, you need to connect output from your mixer to input of your soundcard. This maybe a bit tricky, depends on flexability of your mixer. Just be sure not to create audio-loop from your mixer to soundcard and from soundcard to mixer when recording. You need to find the way to be able to monitor your recording...

I don't use cubase. But if I understand correct, you can record multi-track using this software. But you'll have to do mixing of all your audio-takes you record internally on your computer. Unless you get more sophisticated soundcard/system for your computer, which has multiple ins/out, usually this kind soundcard/system has two things: the card which you install into computer and special in/out(s) box, which connected to the card with special cable and usually has 4, 6 or 8 ins/outs. This way you can record multi-track into your computer's harddrive and then do mixing on external mixing-board, applying effects etc.

Now I have to mention something here also, you can do something else if you have only one stereo in/out soundcard and midi-interface. Also most generic soundcards do have midi-interface, which is "game port" (joystick port), but you need to get special V-connector, which has 15-pin on one end and splits to two midi-cables (in and out).
You can use midi-sequenser/audio-recording software (I use Cakewalk ProAudio. I think Cubase can do the same). You sequence all your synth, drums etc... (what ever you got ...all you midi stuff in studio) and then you add audio recordings (takes), like guitars, bass-guitar or what ever else (vocals etc.). This way you get midi-sequence and audio all synchronized. You connect output of your computer soundcard and all your midi-gear outs to different chnls on you mixing board.... and do all the mixing/dubbin' stuff there. This is not really 'perfect' situation for dubbing, but it is sort of compromize when you don't have multi-track recording system. You know for DUBBIN' you really need to have at least 4 tracks (oh well, at least 3 tracks ...he he :) )

well, man, keep talkin' here, if you have specific questions etc..., or as you see I'm here just generally speaking... it can go on forever and may not really apply to your situation.



/Mike Zee

zee dub lab

Posted on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 10:39 pm:   

Thanx alot again Mike Zee!
I have a new SoundBlaster Live... does that work?

Mike Zee
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 01:54 am:   

Well, man, SB-L is pretty good card. It's not really "PRO"-choice, but the sound-quality overall is what I call "acceptable" for production. If it works well with all software you use, then it's ok. I know it may give some problems with some pro applications, but if you never had any problems, then you don't need to know :).
So you have analog strereo in/out. Simply think of it as "tape-recorder", you have two-tracks, use it as you may think with your mixer. And again, you can record multi-tracks in Cubase (like bass guitar, guitars, vocals ...or anything else) and mix it internally on your computer. You can apply vary Digital effects ...all in the Cubase, I can't give you any specifics thou... I don't know that software. As I said I am Cakewalk user.
About soundforge. My guess is you have SoundForge 4.0 or 4.5. This is TWO-Track audio recording/editing application. It's very good for what ever you wish to do with mono or two track(stereo) recordings, good (not perfect thou) for mastering/preparing digital audio for CD-burning, it's really good for sample-editing (you need to get around the software thou). But again, it is NOT multi-track, so you can not do any multi-track recording/mixing using SF.

Also SB-L has midi-interface. The card actually design as Multi-Media card for computer-user, meaning for playing music, playing games etc. It is perfect for that, but really it was not designed for professional music-production. But you can use it with good result. Also it must have some sample-based internal synth with vary general instruments, it's like a 'small' internal midi-synthesizer :), well, you can try to create something with it, some sounds may actually sound not-bad, especially if you find the way to externally process it.
SoundFonts is another thing you may want to look through. SoundFonts are bassically 'sample-libraries' which you can use with SB soundcard.
Man, sorry, I can not tell you more about soundFonts, I just never used this stuff for any reason ...;), you may want to try to get in touch with M.Dread, he is one MASTER in this area, he really pulled the best out of SB-"system", making actually pretty damn-good dubs/reggae tracks. He is sometime here ..., but you always can try to find contact with him at, try to e-mail him, he also has some b-board there, I'm sure he may give you some good advice on SB-curd using for dub-productions.

well, man, good luck,

/Mike Zee

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:42 am:   

M.Dread as in Mikey??

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 01:51 am:   

no man.. Messian Dread the dub producer :-)

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2002 - 03:16 am:   

I should be banned from this site

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 06:23 pm:   

Buy a Y-cable with RCA plugs on one end and an 1/8" plug on the other. Connect the RCAs to the line outs of your mixer and plug the other end into the soundblaster's line in.

Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 04:38 pm:   

How do I connect 2 different mixers together so that I can have various keyboards and modules connected to both units and still record them into my PC using Cubase? Is it possible? Would appreciate any info. Thanks.

Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 05:52 pm:   

Saxcrazy: cascade the two mixers! connect the stereo out of the first mixer to one of the stereo input channels of the second mixer. unless you have two mixers which are specifically designed to be connected together this is the only way i can think of..

Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:42 am:   

I run 4 mixers at the same time.
what u need to do is =
A)put 3 mixers stereo outs to 1 mixers stereo ins
B)daisey chain them 1out 2in 3out 4in soundcard
C)get a soundcard with multipul ins
these are just qwik examlpes
I've been patchin wires for alot of years
the more wires you run=
the more line noise you here!!!

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Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2005 - 12:08 am:   

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Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 11:52 am:   

Just one thing tho, internal soundcards in a computer are guaranteed to produce LOTS of noise no matter how much you spend on the card. The inside of a PC contains all sorts of RF noise which is pretty much guaranteed to mar your recording. If you have the cash and space, go with an external analog to digital sound box and try to RF shield your computer from the rest of your gear to reduce noise and interferance. If you buy a sound box with more than two channel input you probably want to use Firewire instead of USB because of the ammount of data involved in recording digital audio. USB is too slow and takes up too much CPU so you will get dropouts, lags or sometimes it just wont work.

Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 11:54 am:   

For anyone who wants a "real" mixing desk to record to a computer check out some of the Control offerings by Mackie. A 12 channel mixer with the firewire interface for digital recording can be had for under $700 (as of the date of this posting)

Neil C
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 03:30 pm:   

'internal soundcards in a computer are guaranteed to produce LOTS of noise no matter how much you spend on the card. The inside of a PC contains all sorts of RF noise which is pretty much guaranteed to mar your recording.' - Chris B

- sorry to put this so starkly - but that is complete nonsense
a decent pci soundcard will pick up NO appreciable noise - certainly virtually none at all compared to your actual audio (and certainly none you can hear at listening levels)
Badly shielded audio cables and so on within a PC base unit will pick up noise (as with my JoeMeek mq1) - but ANY £100 upwards PCI card will not pick up any significant noise in most PC's (and I would expect all PC's).

My base unit is very close to all my other audio equipment, and if I turn up my volume way loud (without any audio being played back) I can hear some faint clicks and stuff that are being generated by my PC - but this is a volume level that would blow my speakers and my ears 10 times over.

'USB is too slow and takes up too much CPU so you will get dropouts, lags or sometimes it just wont work.'

Firewire is much faster than USB 1 but USB 2 is faster than firewire. USB 2 is capable of 480Mbit/s compared to firewire's 400Mbit/s.
However, both offer similar performance.

Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 04:27 pm:   

No offence taken but your milage may vary. I've heard high end PCI cards introduce all sorts of noise to recordings. Of course the card is not the only variable. The quality of the equipment inside the case, the case itself and the equipment surrounding it also makes a difference.

USB2 is indeed rated faster than Firewire however for sustained data transfer (as opposed to burst transfer) such as found when recording multi track audio at high bit rates, Firewire will indeed give better performance because it sustains its transfer rate even at peak bandwidth. Again your experience may be different but I'm speaking from my own experience and the stats will back me up.

Neil C
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 06:58 pm:   

Well, its true I haven't experienced a wide range of consumer PC's fitted with a variety of soundcards. Maybe there are more problems possible than I would estimate - however a well put together PC - especially the ones put together and tested for audio use by various retailers and companies (that are very widely available) - WILL NOT WILL NOT WILL NOT introduce 'lots of noise' in conjunction with a PCI card interface.

I have a PC customised for audio (not a very high end one and nothing exotic) and the evidence has been before my ears for 3 years that I do not have audible noise with my pci card.

I've been reading music tech magazines for 3 or 4 years, have spent many hours on music tech forums - and have worked part-time for a year with music technology professionals - and I have never ever heard or read anyone say (apart from you)that pci cards have a problem with picking up noise.

As for firewire vs usb - I too would recommend firewire - but you gave the impression that USB (2) is badly flawed in regards to audio- this is not the case.
May I quote Martin Walker in SoundOnSound Magazine (April 2004):
'For most musicians, whose drives are working far harder at playback, I think we can safely say that it really doesn't matter whether you choose USB 2 or Firewire, and that you'll get plenty of simultaneous tracks either way.'

Posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 05:21 pm:   

I think i can help you all out of this.
Look at this. I run in my studio a "consumer" PC
it's a Dell PIII 866Mhz with 512Mb ram with 2 PCI cards and normal 7200rpm harddrives. These are audiowerk 8 cards. So i have 16 physical outputs to my console. tell me do you hear any crackling/noise or gaps in my productions ?

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