Music Production Introduction

I just realized that when i read it again…I was already putting together a shopping cart at Thomann…but I have just agreed with myself that I will wait at least 1 week and listen carefully and read what is written here…no rush Roger … …no rush roger.

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You have to be careful with mixers for this reason: mixing everything down into combined tracks into the audio interface (and, thus, into the DAW) means you cannot separate those tracks later for editing or mixing if you need to.

There are some mixers, like the Behringer XR18 that I have, which are, in effect, combined mixers and audio interfaces.

With the XR18 I have an 18 channel digital mixer as well as an 18 in, 18 out audio interface. This gives me almost any combination I want from treating each input as a separate channel to the PC/DAW, to mixing everything down to a stereo pair to the PC.

But most devices that are mixers with USB interfaces (like the Behringer Xenyx series) mix everything down to a stereo pair to the PC and you have no choice.

I would say that, unless you have good reason to want an external, standalone mixer for a PA, then go for an audio interface with as many inputs as you think you need. Adding an external mixer to an audio interface is always a compromise.

Note that in my case, in normal use I only use 2 or 3 channels of my XR18 into my PC. However, I used to regularly use my XR18 as a standalone mixer into a PA for local bands and, at times, I needed all 18 channels which is why I have this beast. For most people it’s total overkill.

Next month (subject to Covid) we are using it for sound for our local Panto, which will also use all 18 channels. In a couple of cases I have also connected my laptop to the XR18 whilst running sound for a band, and recorded all of the channels into a DAW.

As I say, though, for most people this will be overkill (and excessively complex). A basic audio interface with the right number of inputs for your maximum expected use is easiest to use and gives you best bang for the buck.

Cheers,

Keith

@DavidP sorry, did not see the call to arms but Keith has summed it up above.

Avoid mixers unless you specifically want a combined output ie a PA feed, unless its a combined mixer/multi out as Keith’s XR. AI like the Xenyx range are fine if you only want to record a single track/input at a time and mine (302, 802 & 1202) worked fine for that purpose but immediately boxed me into a corner when I started to record vocals and guitar simultaneously. The problem being a blended stereo mix being sent to the DAW, in other words no capability of adding vocal biased FX to the vocals and the same for the guitar input. Its all or nothing. So my advice avoid anything like the Xenyxs.

If I could roll back time I’d opt for something along the lines of the 2i2 or most likely 4i4 as they both give me what I thought I was getting in the first place but didn’t read the small print (or for that matter listen to Keith in a not so old post on t’other side). In fact my, bought for vocals only Behringer U-Phoria UM2, 2 in 2 out, would have been a better fit for purpose AI, for multi tracking, if the output was not so weak !

So it is wise to seek advice and check what you are buying is fit for the purpose you desire. Oh but make sure you read all the replies. Some one once recommended a UMC1820 around the time I got my X1202. Guess what’s sitting front and centre of the “studio” these days ??

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That’s pretty sweet. I especially like the Linux software support. I didn’t know Behringer was offering that.

Guys , you make my day.......and since you guys are still using words that i hear for the first time in my life , i still have a lot to learn,........but for now do i know which interface i want to buy (focusrite 4i4), and the yahama hs 8 with stands......in our room are now standing 2 boxes from 93 cm high, so these are small enough,....my girl reacted as if it was a present for her, (she loved those boxes, so sweet little,she says)…I’m probably not there yet, and I probably have to order more,…so I’ll wait until the weekend…but this where the big stuff for now,…
Many thanks,
Rogier

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Yes, indeed. It’s one of the reasons I opted for that over other devices. For my usage, it’s great. It is, however, also very complicated to use and it’s very easy to end up with no sound and scratching your head to wonder why.

Although, to a degree, it’s a bit like that with any mixer; I’ve had some interesting troubleshooting with an old Xenyx 1202 which I used to use into my PC and which, occasionally, stopped working because the cat had decided to walk over it and press a few buttons.

The complexity presented by mixers is another reason I would suggest to avoid them unless you have a specific need.

Having said that, if you do have the need, something like the XR18 will let you route stuff in all sorts of clever ways.

Cheers,

Keith

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@J.W.C …and also @DavidP …and also @david, but I only manage to tag 1 person???
Mmm i think it working now…I’ll leave the sentence as it is, just in case… :blush:

I have a question for you … because I also think of the yahamas,… and to everyone who has experience with this of course … I have found many different opinions on 1 subject, so here is THE question…
do you also listen to your regular music (dire straits etc.) on your monitors, and if so… are you satisfied with the sound?

I suspect that some of you now have to laugh at my question, because I already indicated a bit that they (maybe) will replace my large hi-fi boxes…

If some of you say that it is really not nice to listen to your “regular” music, then I may choose the smallest set of monitors…
Greeting, Rogier

Yes, I listen to “regular” music on my monitors. No complaints about the audio quality. They sound good.

Thanks, good to hear…

As a general rule, studio monitors are designed to be “revealing” and to colour the sound as little as possible.

Although you might think this is should be the case for all hifi speakers, it’s not actually necessarily true. Hifi speakers are often designed to sound “musical”. Often this means they do colour the sound in ways which make the music sound nice.

It’s similar to people who prefer valve hifi amps or vinyl records: these actually distort the sound compared with equivalent solid-state/digital systems, which will provide far more accurate sound reproduction (and for a much lower cost), but a lot of people like the nature of that valve/vinyl distortion and how it sounds.

Of course there’s other, tactile, reasons why people like vinyl or the smell of hot valves. And, frankly, some people just like to collect old things and to have expensive gear.

So it is possible that you may not enjoy the sound of your monitors for music listening. They may sound different enough from your hifi speakers to annoy you. You may find, for instance, that the treble sounds too harsh or prominent compared to hifi speakers which tend to favour bass/midrange to sound “warm”.

However, I personally think that’s fairly unlikely. I honestly think the difference between hifi speakers and studio monitors is overstated. And you always have EQ controls to adjust things if you need to.

Cheers,

Keith

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FWIW, I have listened to digital music on my monitors and it sounds fine. But I don’t think my ears are as finely tuned as some peoples. Distinctions need to be quite coarse for me to hear them. Subtle changes that a sound engineer hears I am quite sure I’d not tell the difference.

Now maybe if I was in a sound-proofed, treated room with perfect acoustics and had a playback setup that somebody could switch a source seamlessly back and forth between studio monitors and hifi speakers of similar quality I might hear a difference sufficiently obvious to make a clear preference.

But I listen at home, in an imperfect environment, and the quality is sufficient that it doesn’t sound bad. So I expect you’d quickly become used to the sound and be satisfied. And as Keith said, EQ could also be added.

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Gentlemen, you have helped me a lot, since I place the stuff in the living room that is quite open, (so not an ideal recording situation, … but the coziest it is )…
Then I’m going now to my German friends to order some guitar stuff again…I saw that you also have to order separate cables with it, … so pay attention to everyone who reads this later.
Many thanks guys…i’m afraid i’ll get back to you later,…this is going to be a huge adventure,…computer/software and i haven’t been friends until now, :stuck_out_tongue:…nicely said.

And @Richard_close2u ,yesterday later in the day accidentally discovered what I was doing wrong with quotes…but thanks for correcting. :relaxed:

Greeting, and be careful if you go outside today … especially in this crazy Netherlands with many who want to set off fireworks themselves…all the best to you lovely people,
and we wish you a lot of music playing for the new year, :guitar: :saxophone: :microphone: :drum:
Rogier

Edit: I just discovered that the piano that we haven’t had for very long (casio cdp-s100) can be connected to the interface :partying_face: :sunglasses:

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You’re welcome. Highlight the text you want to quote and click q on the keyboard is a simple method. :slight_smile:

Finally it dawned on me…read the manual of the interface on the internet,.there was a picture that cleared everything up…so I’ve removed a picture and some text here to avoid confusion.
Have a peaceful night, greetings
Rogier

I’ve thought one and off about getting monitors but haven’t got around to it. I now have a couple of friends wanting to come over to see how I’m getting on with the Scarlett 2i2 and I’m thinking it’s time to go ahead and get some. It’s the only way the 3 of is are going to be able to hear the output well enough to talk about what can be done in the DAW isn’t it? Correct me if I’m wrong.
I’ve looked up the entry level monitors mentioned in this thread and compared the Adam @Majik TV5 bundle for £330 and the Yamaha @DavidP @J.W.C HS5 bundle for £302, both from Andertons. At this stage, not knowing anything about them the specs mean nothing to me. Any thoughts on my choices? Looking to develop my home studio a little bit. Not looking for high quality. My ability and aural discernment is not good enough for that. I’ve tagged the members who originally mentioned the products I’ve researched.

Edit: Found this YT review by a schoolboy! Sounds like he could be a compatriot @DavidP. If I judge by this and bearing in mind what @Majik said about clean, uncoloured sound I’d choose the Yamaha. For listening for musical enjoyment I’d go for the Adam. @roger_holland I have a very small room to work in that shares a couple of other functions. Entry level, small monitors fit better.

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Hi John,
Actually I don’t know anything about monitors, I asked some questions here and through reviews I chose the yahama hs8, they came out as the best, … but first I bought the sacarlett4i4 and while downloading the software and updates I thought I needed my computer died,…I’m still tapping on a loaner laptop and have to buy my own soon(I don’t like looking for something like this)… only then do I order the yamaha monitors (My wife also made me wait for the new curtains that were hung this month, … those boxes are quite large, and they will be placed where they hang open)…the forum members you quote will help you with the right choice for you… good luck with it :grimacing:
Greetings

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Hi John your monitors are quite from the upper range cost wise but some time ago I asked about recommendations check it out. I eventually went with Mackie and they are great to my needs.

Recommendation for some monitors to my Scarlett 2i2

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Hi @adi_mrok I looked at the thread. It seems to me that the monitors linked there are passive, whereas the Yamaha pair are active monitors. I’m wondering now how much of a difference that will make. I shall try to find out more how they sound.

For an audio interface, you need active monitors really.

If you get passive monitors you will need a separate amplifier, and that’s a whole new can of worms.

So I suggest active monitors.

Active monitors also tend to be better than passive monitors anyway, as the onboard amplifiers are tailored to give a more optimal result with the speakers and cabinet. They also often have multiple amps in each unit, driving the tweeters separately from the main speakers. Some higher-end active monitors have 3 separate on board amps, for bass, midrange, and tweeter speakers.

The Behringer and IK Multimedia units in that thread are definitely active. But they are on the smaller and lower-end. If you can afford the money and space for something better, I would recommend it. Either the Yamaha or the Adam Audio ones should be a good purchase.

Cheers,

Keith as

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John, I can’t add more to what I’ve shared before. Mine work well and the purchase was based on size/output power and availability.

There are many other reputed brands tgat would offer something similar such as Mackie as Adrian mentioned and Presonus based on recollection of reviews.

And I expect a lot will be at a relatively similar pricepoint.

A best of Googling will throw up a bunch of budget monitor review and comparison articles. I’d suggest checking that out and then testing your conclusions here.