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Setup for mixing only
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

Setup for mixing only

Hey guys! Some help would be appreciated. So, I'm doing some mixing only work. Already have a half-decent PC and a pair of half-decent consumer headphones. Using Reaper for mixing 80s styled rock music: acoustic drums, bass, guitars, vocals. All pre-recorded. I just have to mix.

I'm thinking I don't need an input device but I do need something to monitor audio. So far I'm using the built-in sound from the motherboard which I'm thinking may not be the best way to go - can someone please explain why though?

Without going overkill, what's the bare minimum outboard gear I need, if at all, to just get a decent mix done.

Also, this is not pro-level work so not looking to spend too much on this either.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
You could get away with using a DAC, but i would get an audio interface, because what if you want to re-map something or use outboard gear?
A/D converters are very important and audio drivers are very important. This is what you should get an audio interface. Look at RME and Lynx, they are make great audio interfaces with great converters and great drivers. For average, you can look at Focusrite.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

Okay so realized that my trusty old Zoom H4N could also be used as an interface and DAC for headphones monitoring. I'm guessing it would still be better than the PC's internal audio.

Any comments on whether that's a viable option?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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BT64's Avatar
The zoom has a 3.5mm stereo unbalanced jack output. If that works for you fine.
All depends on what you want to connect to it and expectations I guess.
For your goal you could look at something like Behringer Xenyx Control2USB to.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Jafri View Post
Okay so realized that my trusty old Zoom H4N could also be used as an interface and DAC for headphones monitoring. I'm guessing it would still be better than the PC's internal audio.

Any comments on whether that's a viable option?
I wouldn't use it. I would get an audio interface or you are just asking for trouble. do you want to mix or keep trying to fix issues and problems that will arise from using something that wasn't really made for it.

The Zoom is a good handheld recorder, but as an audio interface for mixing, thumbs down.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

Agreed. I could possibly be looking at the budget Beringer UM-2. I've heard that the mic preamps are noisy but the headphones monitoring is decent.

Won't make sense if it's still not any better than the H4N for monitoring. I'm which case, what would you recommend that's within a shoestring budget? Please remember that I'm not a professional mixing engineer, just doing a one-off mix job for an acquaintance. This isn't my day job or even my aspiration.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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BT64's Avatar
What are you monitoring with?
If you are using some PC speakers it really doesn't matter what DAC you are using.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

I'm using headphones. They aren't studio quality reference monitors but rather good, even if slightly colored. They are the Parrot Zik 2.0 which are wireless but can also be connected through standard stereo headphone cables.

What I'm doing is listening to a lot of reference tracks while mixing and trying to match with them. This is more of a hobbyist level production, I'm not aiming to break any new ground here.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Quote:
Won't make sense if it's still not any better than the H4N for monitoring.
Unless you are changing your room acoustics or studio monitors, you will not hear differences. You need an interface for the drivers. You need to have good performance when mixing or your DAW will act up.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Unless you are changing your room acoustics or studio monitors, you will not hear differences. You need an interface for the drivers. You need to have good performance when mixing or your DAW will act up.
Since I'm mixing solely on headphones I don't think room acoustics would matter here. I'm just concerned about getting a slightly better result than I am from the internal PC audio.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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BT64's Avatar
With these headphones don't bother about the DAC.
Save your money for good monitors (or better headphones).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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Potapka's Avatar
 

I'd say, invest at least as much money into your acoustic treatment as into your first set of monitors, if you intend to do some serious work there. If you've got some handyman skills, you can build acoustic panels yourself. I didn't have commercially available traps in my city at the time, so I built them using pinewood boards, Rockwool and industrial heavy cotton textile.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Ali Jafri's Avatar
 

recommended headphones for mixing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
With these headphones don't bother about the DAC.
Save your money for good monitors (or better headphones).
Okay, so which headphones (on a budget) would you recommend? Please remember I'm not a professional studio, just mixing in my home for a hobbyist project.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quetz's Avatar
You really don't sound that enthusiastic about doing this at all, with very little consideration for either the process or the end result.

Wouldn't it be better for the person that wants the mixes done to have someone do it that already has basic equipment and actually cares at least a little about the final result?

It's like saying to someone "sure I'll cook you a meal but I don't have any decent ingredients and I'm not really bothered what it'll taste like".

I mean, with all due respect, why bother?

You should tell them to post on here in the 'Mix-Off' section and someone that has at least a passing interest in good sound will do it for them, for the practice alone.

Hell I even would if the music was fun.

It just seems a shame to treat music with so little passion.
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