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Old July 1st, 2004, 09:24 AM   #1
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Beginner mixer

Several of my friends have recomended using a mixer (I'm NOT talking about a field mixer) for audio editing. I currently have a DVX100 camera I'm getting pretty serious with. I'm curious, if i add a mixer to my setup , what benefits will i have? Why would one need a mixer? I have access to protools and sony vegas which has internal software mixing, so why would i need a mixer? Can anyone enlighten me and possibly recomend some good beginner mixers for someone new to audio editing for video only?
Dan Lahav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2004, 09:46 AM   #2
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This really isn't enough information to field your question...

Do you have pro tools? What kind of interface are you using? What audio are you mixing, how many sources?

The better question is: What do you need to do with your audio that you're not able to do right now?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 02:48 PM   #3
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Which mics do you have? You can record two channels with the camera the way it is. The DVX100 has very good preamps so there is really no need of a mixer for that purpose.

I'd get a better mic and worry about a mixer later. think about it, what will you use it for?

Listen to some mics and spend your money on that first.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 03:28 PM   #4
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I guess mainly for music, dialogue and sound effects. I use Acid to create music, I use SFX CD's for most of my sound effects and maybe a *little* foley work on the side.

I really havent found use for a mixer thus far... However, I do want good audio monitors. What kind of PCI card should I get for those? I'm looking into a bunch of M-audio cards and I'm not sure exactly what to get. Also, you mentioned to get some more mics.
So far, I only have a Sanken CS-1 short shotgun mic. I've grown to really like it, although I'm still lacking in the mics department...
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Old July 2nd, 2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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theres a wealth of audio cards for PC out there and, though I don't have direct experience of M Audio, I know colleagues who swear by them (as opposed to some other cards where you swear at them).
Before you choose the manufacturer ask yourself what you want the card to achieve - for instance do you intend to sub mix in Acid? Do you intend to record more than two tracks at once? Are you happy with a stereo out or do you want more outputs? Do you want those outs to be analog or digital and if so what digital format? - Theres a helpful magazine (Sound on Sound) which makes some of its articles available and you can find that at
As to monitors and mics, well its the same family of questions really. I do a lot of hard disk audio recording so my reference speakers are shielded so as not to intefere with the PC monitor. You can spend hundreds of pounds/dollars but one of the things that I've found is that familiarity with your speakers is important - most of the lower priced ones colour the sound but if you're used to that you can factor it in to the mix - check out HHB Circle 3's or 5s or Tannoy Reveals (some people like 'em and some people hate 'em... its the way of the world) as a starter - Alesis made some reasonable ones too. Higher spec'd ones can be found from companies like Mackie.
Hope this helps some
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 12:07 AM   #6
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You can use a mixer to simplify the wiring in your studio. If you are capturing from multiple sources often then it might come in handy. Unfortunately that is not a very efficient use of a mixer.

A mixer can also be helpful for voiceovers. It gives you cheap preamps, a volume fader (so you don't overload your analog-digital converter), meters (VU or PPM) to set levels, and headphone output (so you can hear yourself).

For mixing, and audio mixer is not that useful. If you like analog style mixing (moving the faders to create your mix), then you can use Vegas for its effects. Create your mix by moving the faders on your mixer and record that to another recorder. You incur a very slight quality hit going from digital --> analog --> digital/analog.

If you get a control surface, then you can do analog-style mixing but it goes into Vegas instead. The advantage is that it's full quality, non-destructive, and may work better for your workflow. You may find mixing like this to be faster than using the mouse and rubberbanding/using volume envelopes (or using touch mode on the faders on the left-hand column).

You need Vegas5 to do this, and support for control surfaces is spotty. Check the Sony Vegas forum.

The latest version of Pro Tools is not supported for 3rd party control surfaces. According to the users on DUC (digidesign users conference, check the digidesign site), 3rd party control surfaces still work. If you don't want to go 3rd party then you can pay for digidesign's hardware.

2- For video work, you probably don't need much inputs on your sound card/interface. If you have a DVX100, then you will probably record most of your stuff on that. The camera would take care of analog-digital conversion (which is what a sound interface does).

If you need to record a band or do field recordings of a musical performance then multiple inputs would be useful. One of the best ways to do multitrack field recordings is to get a laptop with a sound interface that connects via USB or firewire.

For hearing sound, there are many choices to choose from. Avoid Creative is the only advice I can give.
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