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Equipment Config Advice Needed!
Old 25th July 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Equipment Config Advice Needed!

I'm getting ready to build out a space for video editing and podcasting. My current equipment is:
Rode NT1
Rode NTG2
Focusrite 2i2
Presonus Studio Channel
Zoom H5
Yamaha MDR7508 cans
Adobe Audition
Logic Pro X
PC workstation and a MacBook.

I wanted to add a multi-channel (8-12) mixer and it’s opened up many questions from setup to mixer type.

1) do I need all of the pieces I have (2i2, Presonus)
2) because the 2i2 only has two channels does that in effect choke the ability to send separate channels to the DAW
3) should I look at a USB mixer or XLR? Guess that would be dependent on question #2
4) just not sure on the order of the pieces should I add the mixer.
5) I’d ideally like to be able to monitor/adjust each channel independently.

Sorry about the length and I don’t have the vocabulary yet so please excuse my explanation. Hopefully it makes some sense.

I guess to make it simple. Given what I’m looking to do, and given the equipment I own, what solution might you recommend as a setup to take advantage of my gear. Hell, maybe it’s going to be toss it out and start over! Haha
Old 25th July 2017
  #2
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mapkos13 View Post
I'm getting ready to build out a space for video editing and podcasting. My current equipment is:

I wanted to add a multi-channel (8-12) mixer and it’s opened up many questions from setup to mixer type.

1) do I need all of the pieces I have (2i2, Presonus)
2) because the 2i2 only has two channels does that in effect choke the ability to send separate channels to the DAW
3) should I look at a USB mixer or XLR? Guess that would be dependent on question
4) just not sure on the order of the pieces should I add the mixer.
5) I’d ideally like to be able to monitor/adjust each channel independently.
1 - Clearly define your objective first and you're more likely to find a clear answer to that question. If your objective is just podcast recording and video editing then really you just have to figure out how many sources you need to record at any given time. Is it more than the two that the 2i2 provides?

2 - Through it, yes. But depending on the DAW you can add other interfaces that add inputs.

3 - USB and XLR aren't mutually exclusive. If a mixer has a USB connection it often is to send and/or receive digital audio. That in turn often means that the mixer has built-in converters. So, if that's the case you can connect it to your computer directly and use it for conversion. Documentation should tell you this as well as how many channels it converts to/from analog.

XLR connectors are typically for analog audio inputs/outputs. There is a digital format (AES/EBU) that uses the same connector type, but just because you see the connector doesn't mean that it's digital. You'll simply have to read what the connector carries. I'm willing to bet that 80% of the time it's going to be analog audio.

4 - Clearly define your objective.

5 - If you're now talking about the added mixer then in order to monitor them individually you'll have two choices; a) you can solo the channel. A lot of times this means that the others are muted however, and that in turn could be a bad thing. b) you can send them all into your DAW and do it there instead. That way you can get everything recorded but if your DAW permits monitor one channel without breaking the signal flow of the others.

Again, here it would be useful to know why you want to do this. If we know the overall goal with monitoring one channel it'll be easier to find a solution.
Old 25th July 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Mattiasync- appreciate the reply- So my lack of vocabulary on the subject is why I think I have a difficult time trying to explain it. I thought I gave enough but let me give it another run!

We know my current gear. I was thinking of adding a Mackie 1402Vlz4 14 channel Mixer. I really want to be able to make adjustments to each channel with regards to sound and quality so I know that a lot if not all of this can be done in the DAW, but that would mean a mixer would be useless for what I'd like to do. As I'm still learning, that may very well be the case but I also wanted to be sure I have room to grow and explore other areas with the setup.

My first thought is I could have the two mics run through the Presonus/2i2 setup I have now and monitor them using that but then I realized I would need to plug into the mixer to pickup the rest. This led to my question of what would be the order of the gear as I'm a little lost on if the Presonus is better after everything is pulled together or adjusted on the fly as each channel is active. That finally led me to the question about need. So if I were just doing VO the Presonus/2i2 setup would be useful and work well. Once I move up into bringing in all of the other components, maybe they don't play the same roll and either aren't needed or should be changed out for something more appropriate. Sorry- this is the part I struggle wrapping my head around. Ask me about photography or videography and I could spew for ever. Im just not there yet with this.

In my head, here are the ways, or combination of ways, I think the inputs could be utilized.

I hope this helps paint a better picture.

Video Editing:

Channel 1- Scratch audio from video camera taken from raw footage
Channel 2- Audio from either lav mic or the Rode NTG2 shotgun
Channel 3- Voiceover (if needed for project) on Rode NT1 condenser
Channel 4- Additional channel for 2nd VO option
Channel 5- 3rd Audio source option for Zoom H5 ambient sounds, or things that are recorded in a wider scope
Channel 6- Soundboard (I don't have one but think being able to lay in any effects)
Channel 7- Music on external source

Podcasting:

Channel 1- Host
Channel 2- Co-host
Channel 3- Guest 1
Channel 4- Guest 2
Channel 5- Phone in/Skype/External with ability to hear caller while muting channels to prevent echo
Channel 6- Music
Channel 7- Effects
Channel 8- External sound clips (Could be news events, recorded street interview, etc)
Old 25th July 2017
  #4
Gear Guru
 



Much better... Just give it an hour or so and you'll no doubt get good responses.
Old 25th July 2017
  #5
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mapkos13 View Post
We know my current gear. I was thinking of adding a Mackie 1402Vlz4 14 channel Mixer. I really want to be able to make adjustments to each channel with regards to sound and quality so I know that a lot if not all of this can be done in the DAW, but that would mean a mixer would be useless for what I'd like to do. As I'm still learning, that may very well be the case but I also wanted to be sure I have room to grow and explore other areas with the setup.
I think one issue that pops up immediately is just how many different channels you want to get into your DAW at the same time. Not only your interface is a limiting factor with only two inputs, but so is the mixer. There isn't a great way of separating signals on it (which makes sense because it is, of course, a "mixer"), and instead you're really looking mostly at everything getting mixed to two channels.

This may actually be fine for a podcast. You might be able to get done what you need using pretty much only the mixer (you'd have to check out the manual a bit more in depth and/or maybe draw up an actual schematic of signal flow to know for sure).

However, it might not make 100% sense for your video work if you expect to ingest a lot of content through it. It may actually also not make sense if you want to use it for mixing, since you'd need more outputs (than two) going from your computer for those sources. For video work in general though I would imagine that sources are often at least ingested in non-real time, using file transfers. So I guess this is something I'm still a bit unsure about.

Intuitively - and I may be wrong about this - it seems that you would benefit more from more flexibility, meaning either getting a mixer with conversion built in and a USB out to the DAW, which would give you more options. Or you'd possibly benefit more from simply getting an audio interface with more i/o on it, but that would of course leave you with more to do in your DAW.

Hopefully someone who does what you do can chime in and give you an idea of what they've done to make it work.
Old 26th July 2017
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Well at least I wasn't under the illusion that all of those lines would be a bear to work with.

I really am more of a tactical person. For instance I like books vs. a kindle. I guess I'm just old school in that way. That said, I was looking at the audio interfaces and it may be the smartest way to go. So in general, would having the following two options make sense? I know in some sense the interface and mixer may share some redundancy, but curious as whether they still play different roles or work together in certain workflows.

Mackie ProFX12v2 (USB)

Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 Audiophile 18x20

Thanks for hanging in there with me and helping walk through some of this for me.
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