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Author Topic: Connecting a mixer to my laptop.  (Read 4865 times)
obe-wan
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« on: December 07, 2009, 04:13:00 AM »

Gday all,

BenF's recent thread about recording got me thinking (no small feat  wacko) Im gonna ditch the Tascam DP-02CF, its to much mucking around transfering everything across to my laptop when I can just be recording straight into it.

I was looking at getting an interface, but then I realized Ive got a Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer here, surely I can get some sort of USB to RCA cable (thats what the recording outs are) and just use that?

Can anyone send me off on the right path on this one, as I understand it I want to go from the RCA outs of the mixer into the 2.0 USB port rather than the mic input on my laptop, Ive been told I'll get better quality recordings. Also, what program do I then buy?

Also, will the recording program convert the wave file into MP3 or will I still have to do it with a separate program?

Oh yeah, whats zero latency?

Im actually more out of my depth than Ben here I reckon.  whistling

Cheers, Scott.
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flatlander
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 05:08:17 AM »

I got a Tascam US-144 and if I understand you correctly, it'd work great. I think your confused about the RCA to USB however. You could still use your Tascam if you wanted. Then out of it, with RCA's I presume,  into usb interface (144)  with 1/4 inch. RCA to 1/4 inch can be found.   it allows you to set levels for 2 stereo chans. THEN out of interface with USB to computer.
So you should be able to use either mixer. I'm assuming the Tascam you have has a stereo out that would provide not only the post recorded tracks, but also live if you wanted. For me I like recording it on multitrack deck, then mixing it down thru interface and computer but you could go live if you wanted to. Also the 144 has mic xlr's for each channel as well, with phantom power,
So if you want to just connect a mic or two straight into computer,  you can do that.
 I got Sony sound forge which works great for me. It generally only has 2 chans though, So it's more for mixing into it. I think that's what you had in mind anyway. Not putting like 8 or 16 seperate tracks into computer. Once you record them onto the sound forge you can to a million things with it.. I generally just optomize it to fill up level, use the limiter to prevent clipping. On some old tapes
I put on computer I used the EQ and compression some, but if you into it you can can do tons of ediiting stuff and effects with it. It also comes with Cube Base which I think would allow you to put multiple tracks into computer. I never messed with it cause I like mixing it with board better than with mouse. Old fashioned maybe but easier for me. And yes it makes a BIG differnce mixing
directly into computer instead of transferring it from a CD.
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obe-wan
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 05:55:32 AM »

Hey Flatlander, thanks for the info,

The Tascam DP-02CF has only got a 2 band EQ, thats why I bought the Soundcraft mixer, just so I can EQ the signal (3 band) going in before its recorded. Just remember Im no tech head, I pretty much just follow my nose on alot of this stuff!

My way of thinking was I could run my condenser mics into the Soundcraft mixer, then connect it to the USB on the laptop and use a recording program to record and mix down etc. Therefore eliminating the Tascam DP-02CF (which Id probably sell to help fund some new monitors), and keep it simple. Or do I need to go into something like yor Tascam US-144 and then into the USB on the laptop?

As it is at the moment Im running condenser mics through the mixer, into the tascam. I then master it and put it into a wave folder, connect to my laptop, export it, then convert it to MP3 and finally, burn it to disc. Or email it..Phew.

Thanks for your time and patience. 

Cheers, Scott.

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SMan
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 06:26:15 AM »

I have had a DP02CF for about a year now and have yet to get it figured out.  I am getting close though.   (Wish I had a 10 year old kid then it would be handled!  )
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Steve ....aka the SMan
flatlander
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 11:18:59 AM »

If I understand correctly, the sound crafter does not have a USB out. I'm assuming it's an analog signal out of the RCA's. So you need an interface to convert the analog signal to digital and USB.
Then the question is what program are are you going to use inside computer. I'm going to PM you.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 12:27:48 PM »

O bought a chepie Beringer mixer. Had it a year or so before I realized it came with  a simple A >> D USB conncetion. Which makes it simple to connect to and record to a PC from a a variety of analog sources....

Once I get a wav I use Sony's Vegas (their video editing software) because it has a ton of audio editing capability with unlimited tracks...
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obe-wan
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 12:44:43 PM »

So you need an interface to convert the analog signal to digital and USB.
Then the question is what program are are you going to use inside computer. I'm going to PM you.

Hey Flatlander, PMed you back before I read this. Analog to digital...didnt think of that...off to google land again I go..

I think I'll be buying a Tascam US-122 or a M-Audio Fast Track Pro soon...


Cheers, Scott.
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obe-wan
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 01:01:49 PM »

I have had a DP02CF for about a year now and have yet to get it figured out.  I am getting close though.   (Wish I had a 10 year old kid then it would be handled!  )

Gday SMan, theres some pretty good tutorials on the Tascam on youtube. Thats how I got a better understanding of how it all works. The manual just confused me, but then again I aint too bright.... wacko

Cheers, Scott.
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SMan
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 11:15:29 PM »

Gday SMan, theres some pretty good tutorials on the Tascam on youtube. Thats how I got a better understanding of how it all works. The manual just confused me, but then again I aint too bright.... wacko

Cheers, Scott.

I ain't so bright either.  I bought a DVD from Tascam (should have been supplied with the unit IMHO) to help.  Thanks for the heads up Scott!  I'll check out the youtube stuff. 
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Steve ....aka the SMan
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 01:45:23 AM »

Gday all,

BenF's recent thread about recording got me thinking (no small feat  wacko) Im gonna ditch the Tascam DP-02CF, its to much mucking around transfering everything across to my laptop when I can just be recording straight into it.

I was looking at getting an interface, but then I realized Ive got a Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer here, surely I can get some sort of USB to RCA cable (thats what the recording outs are) and just use that?

Can anyone send me off on the right path on this one, as I understand it I want to go from the RCA outs of the mixer into the 2.0 USB port rather than the mic input on my laptop, Ive been told I'll get better quality recordings. Also, what program do I then buy?

Also, will the recording program convert the wave file into MP3 or will I still have to do it with a separate program?

Oh yeah, whats zero latency?

Im actually more out of my depth than Ben here I reckon.  whistling

Cheers, Scott.

How many tracks will you be recording at the same time?  If it's 1 or 2, the mixer will work.  If it's 3 or more, you will have to blend those signals together into 2 tracks before the signals get to your recorder, which is not a very good way to record at all.
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 05:10:58 PM »

What kind of program did you use?
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 06:14:55 PM »

I want to record audio coming out of a mixer onto my laptop using Soundbooth. My laptop only has a 1/8 mic in jack. Before I start making connections when I'm not completely sure what I'm doing, I wanted to get some feedback so I don't blow my laptop. What is the safest way of doing this? Can I simply use the line out on the mixer into the mic in (using a 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor)? Or should I be looking at some other way?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Dotneck
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 02:12:53 PM »

What is the safest way of doing this? Can I simply use the line out on the mixer into the mic in (using a 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor)? Or should I be looking at some other way?

You need to determine if the miixer line out sends out line level or mic level. Some mixers provide both...you need to determine what you mixer supplies. Do you have the manual?
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 03:51:22 PM »

oops! Thought you meant an Oster or Sunbeam, and I couldn't figure out why 
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 10:30:24 PM »

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUltra.html

Very easy comes with pyro program (USB) go to link. I as dumb as a rock with some of the programs out there, a guy needs a degree in sound engineering to get thru most programs. I actually use audacity (free) more than any other.
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