Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to computer

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
Mesmerized Angel
KVRer
25 posts since 20 Dec, 2019

Post Sun May 24, 2020 10:42 pm

Ok, so just how in the world would I accomplish this, as cheap as possible? :help:

What I want, of course, is to be able to add the mixer's ANALOG eq, and ANALOG summing, and ANLOG compression and warmth to my mixes. It would be bliss :party:

I would of course preferably want the 32 channels out, so I can "go all in" with really big mixes.

The problems I've run into are several:

1) There are no sound cards with 32 jack/rca/etc outs, or anywhere near that... but...

2) ...There are, to me, strange, sound cards that say they have many many ins and outs, but in reality, they have no jacks/rca/etc outs, but instead weird connectors such as ADAT and something called AES. I have very little clue to what this is, especially AES.

They look like this: https://www.thomann.de/se/rme_hdspe_raydat.htm - and that one allow for a whopping 72 in and out(!), and while 585 euro is kinda high if you ask me for a sound card (although it is the cheapest one I found really), it would sooo be worth it... IF...

3) ...There was any way to connect this straight into a mixer.... but NO... it seems there are no mixers(?) that has adat in or AES in :(

4) So then, I found THIS: https://www.thomann.de/se/ferrofish_pulse16_mx.htm# - which, for the "mere" cost of 1.111 €, in fact can connect (I hope?) to the adat out of the sound card in the computer. For a grand total of a whopping 1 696 euro :phew: , I could then, finally, start looking at a mixer to buy.

But arn't there any BETTER, and above all else, CHEAPER alternatives to this?

Also I want, like I said, preferably 32 channel outs, not 16. It seems I cannot buy 2 (eek, the price) either of the Pulse 16, because it uses all 4 adat connections on the sound card.

I guess I could buy 2 of each, but that would be insanely expensive, also I don't even know if that would work, inside the computer, when using the software, and drivers.

Also I want to have an analog mixer with as many STEREO channels as possible :( Most mixers I've looked at seem to be mostly mono, with 4 stereo channels or so.

Aren't there any full blown, all channel, stereo mixers? Or maybe that is not really needed? I haven't really counted all the stereo channels in my mixes, ever.

But I was thinking; vocals need to be stereo if reverb:ed, and so does stereo pads, and any "mono" channel that uses stereo reverb or stereo delay (a lot) would :(

Please help!

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stanlea
KVRAF
5702 posts since 11 Feb, 2005 from Bordeaux France

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Sun May 24, 2020 10:58 pm

Are your external mixer effects so good ? It seems - if I understand right - that you're after a tricky way to do an in/out traffic of your audio flow. Think that each time you send audio out, you have a conversion (digital to analog), and then, after applying mixer effects, you send audio in the computer, then have another conversion (analog to digital). As long as you have high end gear, it will be kind of okay but with a cheap sound card it will NOT be ok, because conversions will slightly deteriorate the signals.
You can't always get what you waaaant...

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11973 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Sun May 24, 2020 10:59 pm

What I want, of course, is to be able to add the mixer's ANALOG eq, and ANALOG summing, and ANLOG compression and warmth to my mixes. It would be bliss
Do not go down this route. I repeat: do NOT! Oh, maybe get a 32-track tape machine. Then it might be worth it. Not...

You might think your mixes are lacking this je-ne-sais-qua. I can guarantee you, it's not lacking analog pixie dust.

Shall I list some of the downsides to working in analog? Like having to worry about gain staging. If you change your mind and want to fix a small thing in the mix, well you cannot because you have to redo everything. Then all the extra gear you need: compressors, effect units.. No way you can mix 32 tracks onto a master bus without first spending as much as a small car worth.
But I was thinking; vocals need to be stereo if reverb:ed
Wrong. Channels on a mixer are mono by definition. Channels are expensive. So keep them mono when possible. Very few tracks in the real world are recorded as stereo. Stereo is added by panning and sending them to effects like reverb.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
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Mesmerized Angel
KVRer
25 posts since 20 Dec, 2019

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Sun May 24, 2020 11:14 pm

stanlea wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:58 pm
Are your external mixer effects so good ? It seems - if I understand right - that you're after a tricky way to do an in/out traffic of your audio flow. Think that each time you send audio out, you have a conversion (digital to analog), and then, after applying mixer effects, you send audio in the computer, then have another conversion (analog to digital). As long as you have high end gear, it will be kind of okay but with a cheap sound card it will NOT be ok, because conversions will slightly deteriorate the signals.
Well, it's mainly the warmth of analog summing, and analog eq I am after, to be frank.

And yes, I know there will be a a conversion loss, one I am VERY willing to take :) I have tried already to send a mono signal out from my m-audio audiophile delta 2496, and back in to the computer, and I couldn't really tell of any degradation. (Yes, I am currently using a stone age pci card (not express) in an equally stone age computer, am about to upgrade)
BertKoor wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:59 pm
What I want, of course, is to be able to add the mixer's ANALOG eq, and ANALOG summing, and ANLOG compression and warmth to my mixes. It would be bliss
Do not go down this route. I repeat: do NOT! Oh, maybe get a 32-track tape machine. Then it might be worth it. Not...

You might think your mixes are lacking this je-ne-sais-qua. I can guarantee you, it's not lacking analog pixie dust.

Shall I list some of the downsides to working in analog? Like having to worry about gain staging. If you change your mind and want to fix a small thing in the mix, well you cannot because you have to redo everything. Then all the extra gear you need: compressors, effect units.. No way you can mix 32 tracks onto a master bus without first spending as much as a small car worth.
But I was thinking; vocals need to be stereo if reverb:ed
Wrong. Channels on a mixer are mono by definition. Channels are expensive. So keep them mono when possible. Very few tracks in the real world are recorded as stereo. Stereo is added by panning and sending them to effects like reverb.
Well, I still want to do it :) I am prepared to having to re-do all the knobs for each mix :P Also, I am looking for a mixer with built in compressors (they claim there are many good ones in forums), and no real external fx.

Ah, so you pan 2 mono tracks left and right to achieve more stereo, smart, didn't think of that.

ShawnG
KVRian
783 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Sun May 24, 2020 11:25 pm

Lol.

This can of course be done. Cheap? Definitely not. First of all a 32 channel analog mixer is not a cheap item for even the terrible ones, second, the cheapest Adat I/o units are gonna be the behringer ada units, and don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad to add 8 channels more of I/o to a small audio interface, but if you want to daisy chain a few of them together?... I wouldn’t want any part of sorting out that mess. And once you get all that done, and drop a few grand on it... the cheapo analog digital converters on your cheap interface are gonna negate any analog fairy dust that you managed to get out of the mixer, and you’ll probably have gain staging and digital timing issues to deal with.

There’s a certain romanticism that gets bandied around about analog gear. And, sure If I was inordinately rich and famous maybe I would entertain the idea. But Some of us remember the “glories” of Analog, and are perfectly happy with today’s digital. Seriously, we have it good with digital stuff now.

audio/fault
KVRian
595 posts since 19 Mar, 2001 from berlin / germany

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Sun May 24, 2020 11:54 pm

ok, despite everything already said, cheapest way...
this:
https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_digiface_usb.htm

+4 of those:
https://www.thomann.de/de/behringer_ada ... ragain.htm

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egbert101
KVRAF
2309 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 12:01 am

Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK might be close to what you're after. Not 32 channels though. I doubt you'd get 32 channels out of a USB anyway.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/so ... ure-22-mtk
<list all your stupid gear here>

User avatar
Distorted Horizon
Banned
3919 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 1:50 am

https://mixanalog.com/

This could be your best bet..

Mesmerized Angel
KVRer
25 posts since 20 Dec, 2019

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 2:16 am

Distorted Horizon wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 1:50 am
https://mixanalog.com/

This could be your best bet..
What?!! JESUS CHRIST MAN!! THIS actually EXISTS??! I have been DREAMING about something like this for years... had no idea it actually existed!!! If I had known I would have searched for it... but what is this technology even called?!! So I can search for moaaar mooar mooar :D

Does things like this exist for ppl who record dry guitar as well?! The heaven of choosing between zillions of amps?!!

Only 30 dollars for 200 minutes?!! TAKEN!! :D :D :D

Omfg omfg omfg... Thank YOU mister!!! You made my day / year / life !!

Mesmerized Angel
KVRer
25 posts since 20 Dec, 2019

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 2:22 am

egbert101 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 12:01 am
Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK might be close to what you're after. Not 32 channels though. I doubt you'd get 32 channels out of a USB anyway.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/so ... ure-22-mtk
Yes, looks sweet, but... does it in fact take the computers internal 22 tracks and then output that into the mixer, and then back into the comptuer, like I requested?

It doesn't look like it when I read the review on that page :( Do you know?

kritikon
KVRAF
5181 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 2:52 am

ShawnG wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:25 pm
Lol.

This can of course be done. Cheap? Definitely not. First of all a 32 channel analog mixer is not a cheap item for even the terrible ones, second, the cheapest Adat I/o units are gonna be the behringer ada units, and don’t get me wrong, they aren’t bad to add 8 channels more of I/o to a small audio interface, but if you want to daisy chain a few of them together?... I wouldn’t want any part of sorting out that mess. And once you get all that done, and drop a few grand on it... the cheapo analog digital converters on your cheap interface are gonna negate any analog fairy dust that you managed to get out of the mixer, and you’ll probably have gain staging and digital timing issues to deal with.

There’s a certain romanticism that gets bandied around about analog gear. And, sure If I was inordinately rich and famous maybe I would entertain the idea. But Some of us remember the “glories” of Analog, and are perfectly happy with today’s digital. Seriously, we have it good with digital stuff now.
Seconded.
What you are looking for is not cheap, and if you do it on the cheap, your mixes will be far worse than what you have now.

32 channel mixer...with compressors on board - you realise what kind of territory you're in there? Even without the compressors (and it makes far more sense to buy a couple of separate hw compressors anyway...certainly cheaper) for you to get a decent mixer, you need to be spending well into 4 figures. I started out before DAWs, and everyone had hw and mixers. And you need to be well into mid range to get reasonably quiet desks, and more to the point, ones with decent Eq. Behringer have their place, but noise does NOT equal good. We spent a huge amount of time gain staging and gating out noise. Behringers and most large mixers in the budget range are noisy compared to the big boys, and their Eqs are passable AT BEST. I ended up with a 1000+ pound 16 channel desk way back in the 90s (so - not cheap, even though that was mid range) and the Eqs were ...OK. But not special.

Having said that, I still prefer mixing on a physical desk, and I do like the sound if you do it right, but it will never be a cheap way of doing it. Fine if you want to go that route, but you CANNOT do it on the cheap and improve your sound. Just go look at 32 channel desk prices. And don't look at Behringer, don't even look at Mackies (they have their good points, but they're very vanilla). You might get decent Eqs on an Allen & Heath, possibly some of the Soundcraft ones - but not on the cheapo ones.

I don't want to put you off. When I had a big h/w setup I had the most fun over any modern digital DAW setup I have. But it wasn't until I spent some more serious money that I got sound I was happy with. And that meant at least 3 outboard FX - and you need stuff like Lexicon etc for at least one of them - cheapo hw FX are really very crappy indeed, though Lexicon at least became affordable. 2 compressors - and TBH I needed more, and the cheapo Behringer was just ridiculously bland and unuseable apart from making things louder - that's all it did. No character, no magic dust, a complete waste of money. But even my mid range character compressor (4 channel, freq dependent etc) hate to think what that's cost nowadays!). Quad gate - but needed more until I upgraded to a desk with midi-controlled mutes on it - have you any idea how long it takes to program all of those f**kers on a 16channel inline desk with 8 groups (i.e. 40 channels, all needing muting inbetween because of the irritating noise you WILL get with a h/w setup?

You can have what you want, but you can't have it cheap is all I'm saying. And your time spent will quadruple at the least.

Mesmerized Angel
KVRer
25 posts since 20 Dec, 2019

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Mon May 25, 2020 3:21 am

kritikon wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 2:52 am
Seconded.
What you are looking for is not cheap, and if you do it on the cheap, your mixes will be far worse than what you have now.

32 channel mixer...with compressors on board - you realise what kind of territory you're in there? Even without the compressors (and it makes far more sense to buy a couple of separate hw compressors anyway...certainly cheaper) for you to get a decent mixer, you need to be spending well into 4 figures. I started out before DAWs, and everyone had hw and mixers. And you need to be well into mid range to get reasonably quiet desks, and more to the point, ones with decent Eq. Behringer have their place, but noise does NOT equal good. We spent a huge amount of time gain staging and gating out noise. Behringers and most large mixers in the budget range are noisy compared to the big boys, and their Eqs are passable AT BEST. I ended up with a 1000+ pound 16 channel desk way back in the 90s (so - not cheap, even though that was mid range) and the Eqs were ...OK. But not special.

Having said that, I still prefer mixing on a physical desk, and I do like the sound if you do it right, but it will never be a cheap way of doing it. Fine if you want to go that route, but you CANNOT do it on the cheap and improve your sound. Just go look at 32 channel desk prices. And don't look at Behringer, don't even look at Mackies (they have their good points, but they're very vanilla). You might get decent Eqs on an Allen & Heath, possibly some of the Soundcraft ones - but not on the cheapo ones.

I don't want to put you off. When I had a big h/w setup I had the most fun over any modern digital DAW setup I have. But it wasn't until I spent some more serious money that I got sound I was happy with. And that meant at least 3 outboard FX - and you need stuff like Lexicon etc for at least one of them - cheapo hw FX are really very crappy indeed, though Lexicon at least became affordable. 2 compressors - and TBH I needed more, and the cheapo Behringer was just ridiculously bland and unuseable apart from making things louder - that's all it did. No character, no magic dust, a complete waste of money. But even my mid range character compressor (4 channel, freq dependent etc) hate to think what that's cost nowadays!). Quad gate - but needed more until I upgraded to a desk with midi-controlled mutes on it - have you any idea how long it takes to program all of those f**kers on a 16channel inline desk with 8 groups (i.e. 40 channels, all needing muting inbetween because of the irritating noise you WILL get with a h/w setup?

You can have what you want, but you can't have it cheap is all I'm saying. And your time spent will quadruple at the least.
Well, that's a lot of great useful information :) Thank you man.

But so, what DO you recommend me in the HIGH end of mixers then? If I was going with 16 or 24 tracks then instead? I can easily save up 1000+ euro/dollars in a few months time, so :)

Please respond to this question, I am eager to hear and all ears.


But, anyway, I found a great, and relatively cheap way to get 24 tracks out of the computer and into a mixer, and back in to the computer, for a "mere" 600 euro :D Thanks to a guy on gearslutz. It involves hooking up an MOTU 2408 to a Alesis HD24... That's 1000 euro cheaper than the cheapest solution I found so far :D And that solution was with only 16 channels...

JCJR
KVRAF
2979 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Tue May 26, 2020 5:20 pm

You would need a stereo channel (or a pair of mono channels) for stuff like 2-microphone stereo drum mic overheadsm or stereo piano or stereo synth patches or whatever.

But for adding delay or reverb to mono tracks such as vocals, ok typically a lead vocal would be panned center-- Equal loudness from the mono track goes into the left and right mix busses. But then you can do a mono send from that mono vocal channel into a reverb or delay box-- The FX box has stereo outputs, one output returns into the left mix bus and the other fx box output goes into the right mix bus. So with the FX return turned down you have dry vocals the same volume on left and right channels. When you turn up the vocal send and the FX box return, it mixes in stereo delay or reverb along with the dry "mono" vocal. Slightly different reverb or delay images come out of the two fx box outputs and slightly different reverb or delay images get mixed into the final product, giving the stereo reverb "spaciousness".

I think you are theorizing that you will hear lots more analog pixie dust than really exists. Hey, I was recording since the late 1960's but of course I was terrible and that explains why I'm not famous. :). But analog doesn't have much magic pixie dust that I ever noticed. Mainly what analog has is a lot of hum, hiss, and distortion. If you spend the big bucks and be real careful with levels and baby-sitting all the knobs and fastidious grounding and wiring habits and such maybe you can keep the hum and distortion under control, but once you bring up 32 mixer faders, even if you spent the big bucks, there's gonna be LOTS of hiss. Unavoidable really. A lot of trickery back in the old days was consumed with early crude automation, manually muting/un-muting on the fly, banks of noise gates, etc, just trying to keep the hiss below objectionable limits.

Computer mixing is lots better. There will still be noise recorded along with every "live" track but the CPU DAW mixer won't add any noise or distortion or hum AT ALL no matter how many faders you bring up. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT.

The easiest way (but not bargain basement cheap) to do what you say you want is to get a middlin-big digital mixer which has about as many faders as you want, and some of those also act as 16 to 32 or more channel computer audio interfaces. And they have nice clean compressors and EQ and numerous plugin FX available inside. So you could send your multi-channel audio from the computer into the digital mixer, do the mix in the digital mixer, then send the mix back to the computer for record, just like you say you want it to work. All with minimal hum and hiss buildup, no big patch bays or multi-cable snakes running from everywhere to everywhere else.

The only problem with that solution: IT IS POINTLESS. Running lots of channels out from the computer, thru a digital mixer, then back to the computer, won't give you any better product than just doing the mix in the computer's DAW mixer and saving yourself several thousand dollars. And using the DAW mixer you can bounce the mix to disk non-realtime. After all the automation is set and it sounds ok, hit the bounce to disk button and write the finished product to disk in 10 or 20 seconds, rather than having to baby sit the playback/record for 4 minutes or 10 minutes or however long your song's playtime. And the bounce to disk is bit-perfect.

And mixing thru the digital mixer doesn't even give you the illusion that you are somehow benefitting from that wonderful elusive expensive indefinable analog pixie dust. :)

I'm not saying digital is always better. Sometimes analog is better, but you have to throw a lot of money at an analog mixer to compete with a middlin cheap digital mixer, and IMO whatever pixie dust there might be, ain't usually in the mixer. It is in other parts of the signal chain. Such as the imagination and talent of the musician.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
10214 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Tue May 26, 2020 8:21 pm

audio/fault wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:54 pm
ok, despite everything already said, cheapest way...
this:
https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_digiface_usb.htm

+4 of those:
https://www.thomann.de/de/behringer_ada ... ragain.htm
That’s what I was just about to suggest. I’ve got an 8200 that used to be on a RME Fireface 400. Gave me a total of 16 analog inputs and outputs. The Fireface 400 only had one ADAT port though. The preamps on the 8200 sound decent. Definitely good for the money...

But worth a round trip though some mixer to get some analog EQ and summing... nah. The OP will just spend a bunch of money to get some extra noise. I’m not saying that you can’t get great results going though some expensive high end analog gear, but get ready to dump a sh!tload on great compressors, limiters, EQs and saturators. If you’re trying to get by “on the cheap,” you’re better off buying some good plugins (there are plenty) and learning how to use them. If you’re looking for more processing power, I’d say look into a UAD Apollo. The plugins are pricey, but they sound great and they allow me to process my hardware synths without maxing out my CPU.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

ehdyn
KVRist
244 posts since 2 Aug, 2007

Re: Sooo... I want to be able to have 16 24 or 32 outputs from my computer into a mixer, and then 2 channel back to comp

Post Tue May 26, 2020 9:02 pm

Not 32 but 24 is quite a bit.. hard to understand why more companies don't get how people want to work or perform with a mixer.

https://www.zzounds.com/item--TASMODEL24

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