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Please Help! Audio Interfaces
Old 10th September 2007
Here for the gear

Please Help!

I just purchased a Presonus Firestudio and am looking to record my band with it. The band consists of 2 guitars, bass, drums (5 mics) and vocals. I am having troubles figuring out if I need to use a mixer before I run my xlr cables to the Firestudio. Is there a mixer in the software that came with the Firestudio of do i need to purchase a outboard mixer?

Also, I understand that the Firestudio will record 24 simultaneous tracks? Is that right? If so, where are the rest of the inputs. I have read nothing saying that you should use any inputs other than the xlr instrument, line/mic ins? Is there other inputs i can use at the same time?

Can anyone give me the best setup for hooking the Firestudio up to my computer and possibly give me a setup with a outborad mixer too? I'm sorry, i am new to this interface and have never tried to record a full band. I just swithched from a small bedroom project with a M-Box 2 and Pro Tools so please answer me in the easiest way you can explain it! Thanks so much!
Old 10th September 2007
Lives for gear
flail19's Avatar

Welcome to Gearslutz.

I do not have a Firestudio so this is just by memory. I think The firestudio has 8 microphone preamps. So, unless you have a way to get the other inputs via S/PDIF and optical ADAT and line inputs with your own mic pres, you can't record more than 8 inputs at one time. The software should have it's own mixer so you should not need an outboard mixer.

My advice is to read the manual and go to the website and seek additional information and resources for hooking it up etc.

And have fun!
Old 10th September 2007
Lives for gear
travisbrown's Avatar
If you are recording your band live of the floor you are going to have to mix some things up.

I suggest getting a little 16x4 mixer like a Mackie, Allen&Heath or better. Plug everything in. Do a couple good monitor mixes so everyone can hear what they need to.

If you've got 8 channels, line out of the console directly from the

1. vocal
2. bass
3. guitar
4. guitar
5. snare
6. kick

Then mix the drums to your liking, minus the kick and snare, and route to bus 1 & 2. Line out of bus 1 & 2 to tracks 7 & 8 of the firepod.

If you are overdubbing vocals, you can track all the drums individually, (1-5), bass (6), guitar (7), guitar (8), then do the vocals and any additional tracks after.

This is a really simple setup. Once you start playing around, you'll figure out what you can do. How are you monitoring? Things might sound a bit cleaner if you isolate the amps and the vocal mic and use headsets with a distribution amp. Deaden the room too. I'm assuming that you aren't doing this on a sound stage.

Apparently Barenaked Ladies recorded their first album/demo on four track. It went gold in Canada. Sounds really good. Mind you, they are uber-competent musicians. It's so much easier to get things to sound good in a limited environment when the performance is flawless.

I remember getting my first blackface ADAT. First project was recording an EP for a highschool band. Trying to hide blunders when things are mixed down and subbed is awful. It was a nightmare. I ended up replacing a lot of the tracks after they'd gone home and flying in tracks manually from DAT to play a long with cause all I had was 8 tracks. Spent way more time on it than it was worth.

Second project was a dream. Excellent musicians, good instruments, perfect pitch, one or two takes, could punch stuff in anywhere. Did a house mix, multitracked some of the key channels, and mixing after was a dream. Like ten minutes to get it sounding good and straight to two track. For all eight songs. The performance was great, the recording was incidental.
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