View Full Version : Is this all I need to record on PC

07-06-2003, 01:47 PM
Is this right---To record on your PC all you do is plug your guitar into a pre-amp (I have a sansamp gt2) plug this into your soundcard and have some software i.e cakewalk,soundforge.
Do I need a mixer? Doesn't the software mix it for you? I guess I am not sure exactly what a mixer is. Thanks in advance

07-06-2003, 04:27 PM
Hey Flathead. Welll yes that is a setup you can use for digital recording. Its pretty straightforward and should do the job.

These days many software packages include a digital mixer which should get you through wihout much of a problem.

07-24-2003, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by flathead
Do I need a mixer? Doesn't the software mix it for you? I guess I am not sure exactly what a mixer is. Thanks in advance
That depends, how many instruments do you want to record at the same time?

Mixers can have many different uses in recording... One of them is you can plug several instruments/mics into the mixer and it will mix them all down to your main two (right and left) outputs. Then you can use a Y-adaptor to plug the right and left output channels of your mixer into the single input your soundcard (because the line-in input on your soundcard is stereo, you can record from both the right and left channels from your mixer at the same time). But the downside is that if you record several instruments at the same time like this, you won't have much mixing or editing flexibility in your recording program because everything will be already mixed down to two (right & left) tracks.

If you want to record more than one instrument at a time (or want to use several mics for one instrument, like for micing drums) then you would need to get a multiple-input soundcard, like a M-Audio Delta 44, which has 4 inputs. Then you can record to 4 different tracks in your recording program and have much greater flexibility because everything will be on its own track.

Another use for mixers is to use them as a mic preamp before going into your soundcard. Because mics have such a low output they need to be "boosted" to a level that your soundcard can use. The mic input on your soundcard has a built in preamp to boost the mic level, but it is very noisy, sounds like garbage, and is NOT made for any serious audio recording. So you could use a mixer as the preamp section and go into the line-in on your soundcard (which doesn't have the preamp, because the line-in is for signals that are already at a high enough level that it can use).

If you do decide to get new soundcard like the Delta 44 and you use any mics, you will need an external preamp or a mixer, because these soundcards do not have built in mic preamps.

External soundcards will have less channels than a mixer, but the preamps will usually be of better sound quality than those inside the mixers (especially those cheap-o Behringer mixers). Studio Projects and M-Audio both make very nice preamps at low costs.

I hope that helps! :)