Hardware options and usage...

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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drumandstage
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Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Mon May 30, 2016 10:04 am

(Bad joke alert...) I am looking for a car that I can load the whole family into comfortably, that gets great gas mileage and that will go 0-60 in 2 seconds flat and that handles like it is on rails. Suggestions?

Now, the REAL question...

I have been using a Behringer UMC202HD USB interface and it seems to be performing flawlessly. You must consider, however, that I have had nothing to compare it to, but it hasn't caused me one second of trouble with MC7.

Aside from that, to deal with latency issues and other challenges with my electronic drums, I use a Behringer XENYX 1202USB as a monitor mix. Nothing going into Mixcraft has been through the mixer.

I have lost my love of the cheapness of Behringer and plan to order a better grade of mixer. The Behringer doesn't sound clean and the gains go to straight static when turned up.

(Edging closer to a question...)

I am considering a Yamaha mixer, possibly an MG10 or MG 12. Does anyone use either of these, and if so do you use it for processing signal going in to the MC7 program? If not, what is your arrangement with whatever USB Interface you are using?

An issue I am concerned with using the mixer as an interface is crosstalk. I would not want other signals bleeding into the channels going into MC7.

I am guessing that I would use the mixer like normal for my monitoring duties, and use AUXs to run into the left and right channels of the Behringer Interface.

I would order the mixer as early as tomorrow once I have confirmed to my satisfaction that I am on the right track. I am not Hellbent on the Yamahas, but want to keep the costs of a new mixer as minimal as possible. I could conceivably go into the +$400 if there was enough advantage, but am thinking more in the $250-$350 range.

All constructive input is appreciated.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by Mark Bliss » Mon May 30, 2016 10:37 am

Well, the Tesla Model X with the "P" option (Smart fuse) will do 0=60 in 3.3 and the 1/4 mile in 11.8 in "ludicrous speed" mode, (yes I am serious). Which is pretty impressive for a crossover SUV with three rows of seats and weighing in at nearly 5500 pounds...... And burning no gas doing it.
(And lest there be any doubters that this is impressive stuff, 0-60 in anything under about 4 seconds feels like your guts are getting ripped out, and experiencing the proverbial "eyeball flattening" effect. I can tell you from pretty extensive amounts of personal experience.)

I do not however have any personal experience with the Yamaha mixer line. I have heard good things.
When it comes to modern mixers, there are just too many features to compare it seems.........
Stay in tune, Mark

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drumandstage
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:03 pm

...anyone using Mackie 1202vlz4?
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Ianpb
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by Ianpb » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:48 pm

drumandstage wrote:...anyone using Mackie 1202vlz4?
I'm using the smaller Mackie 402VLZ4

JonInc
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by JonInc » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:17 pm

I don't think you can go wrong with either a Yamaha or Mackie (VLZ series, not the cheaper ones). That being said, since you're concerned about crosstalk, maybe do a search on each make and "crosstalk" and see what turns up. I'd be surprised if there was an issue with either, but you never know....

drumandstage
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:07 am

I went with an Allen and Heath ZED14. It will be here today. It will allow me to run everything through the mixer for my "live monitoring" and I plan to assign aux 1 and aux 2 to be left and right going into MC7 via USB. The USB is assignable, making this ideal for my needs.

I'll dig in later, after the mixer arrives and see if it is all going to work as seamlessly as I am imagining. I don't think I'll need the Behringer USB interface any longer with this setup, either.

I am about to be Behringer free!!!
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drumandstage
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:41 pm

About the Allen and Heath, for anyone interested...

The build of the mixer is very nice when you dig into the nuts and bolts of it. There is no need for an external USB Interface, and so there is not a chain of devices carrying the signal. The routing potential of this thing is incredible, and my plans to use it like a mains console, and only send the signal I wish to go through USB to MC7 works perfectly. The sweepable mids are great, and I really like the sliders over knobs for the volume. I have developed a limited understanding of this board that is adequate for my recording and monitoring needs, but I'll experiment and get deeper into it as time goes on.

I really never had a feel for the sound quality of the Behringer, not having anything to compare it to, but when I got to working with this board, the sound quality versus what I was accustomed to hearing was phenomenal! A few dealers tried to guide me in the direction of the Yamaha over the Mackie, and somehow the Allen and Heath got the best gut reaction from me in my searches. I didn't really have a means to compare them all, I just read reviews, listened to a few opinions and made a judgment call. If I had bought anything else, I'd still be wishing I had bought this, so it was the right thing to do!

I am tickled pink.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:58 pm

Every time I have studied specs and features, that line has caught my attention. Good reviews too.
Thanks for the feedback and comments, now I have to find an excuse to test drive one....... :D
Stay in tune, Mark

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msnickybee
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by msnickybee » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:34 am

I've considered that ZED range too, looks marvellous... but was unable to find good info, but saw hints that it was 16bit (ie not 24) only, anyone confirm?
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drumandstage
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:53 am

The Allen & Heath ZED-14 USB Mixing Console has incredibly advanced features for a mixer at this level-it has 13 independent sources to the mix, 10 independent outputs, 4 aux sends, a USB send & return for PC or Mac recording, playback and effects, a unique dual stereo input capability and some very advanced monitoring facilities. In fact, ZED-14 is so packed full of great features that you'd think it would cost much, much more.

The ZED-14 is a mixer for anyone, from entry-level to professionals, who appreciates fantastic uncolored sound, lots of headroom, a truly professional feel, and rugged build quality. It can be used for many different tasks, whether in live performance, utilizing plug-in effects via USB, live recording via USB and Cakewalk, studio recording or mixing down to produce your own 2-track recordings.

Inputs

One of the great things about the ZED series is the number and variety of things you can plug in. In addition to the six mono channels there are four stereo channels, each with a main stereo input on jack sockets, and with the ability to take additional stereo inputs from phono sockets or from the USB audio input, flexibility gives you control. In all, ZED-14 boasts 99 different controls on its front panel-way more than any of the competition! 6 mic/line channels are provided on ZED-14 - plenty for mics or DI boxes for a small band, duo or solo performer 4 stereo line inputs-dual inputs, both with gain and 2-band EQ

DuoPre

Based on the proven pre-amps from the hugely successful PA series, the ZED series has new DuoPreTM pre-amps, which use a two stage design, with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage. When amplifying the signal from the XLR input, the gain range is huge-69dB of range to be exact-and is very evenly distributed around the gain control, meaning better control of signal level. Most of the gain comes from the first stage, so unwanted noise is kept to a minimum. Line level signals are simply plugged into the second stage of the pre-amp by using the line input jack socket, which has the great advantage of less noise when using the line input.

EQ section

ZED-14 features a responsive 3-band, swept mid frequency design with MusiQ-optimized slope (or Q factor) for equalizing individual instruments. HF and LF also boast Xtra Boost, to make these frequencies more responsive.

Auxiliary sends

4 aux sends are provided, of which 1&2 are prefade for foldback monitoring, and 3 & 4 post-fade for effects sends. A stereo signal can be sent from auxes via USB to computer to create 2 separate record feeds independent of the main LR mix (1&2) and or used as FX sends (3&4).

USB audio flexibility

Getting audio to and from a computer easily is now a common requirement for live sound and music production. The way we have implemented this on ZED is super-flexible and super-easy. No longer do you need to fiddle around the back of your PC to get to the soundcard inputs, only to find that the levels are all wrong and noisy. Just plug in a USB lead to your ZED, select the USB routing on the mixer and the device on your computer and that's it! Quality audio to and from your PC or Mac. Three switches provide different send/return configurations for recording, playback and utilising external FX.

Build

At this level, most mixers are built using a single, flat PCB with all the pots and switches attached at right angles. ZED-14 utilizes individual vertically mounted channel circuit boards with each rotary control fixed with a metal nut to the front panel-making a much more robust product that will resist damage and give years of reliable use. ZED also has professional 100mm faders for ultimate control over your levels.

SONAR LE

Allen & Heath has teamed up with major software supplier, Cakewalk, to bundle its SONAR LE music creation and audio production software with the ZED-14, giving you a fantastic, high spec digital audio workstation.

SONAR LE is a software application from Cakewalk and is included free of charge with the ZED-14 mixing console. SONAR LE is a powerful first step into the world of sequencing and hard disk recording on the Windows platform.
You'll be able to record from your ZED mixer, create tracks and arrange songs, then play back to your ZED mixer via the USB port. You can decide whether the SONAR family of products is right for you. If you choose to upgrade your copy of SONAR LE to a more full-featured version, like SONAR Producer or Home Studio Editions, you'll now be able to do so at significant savings.

Features

ZED-14 Mixer
14 inputs total
6 Mono Channels with XLR inputs and preamps with 3-Band EQ with sweepable mids
4 Stereo Channels with line inputs with 2-band EQ
4 Aux sends
2 Stereo returns
USB send & return for PC or Mac recording, playback and effects
48V phantom power
Insert points
High pass filter
Stereo imaging control on every channel
Channel mute switches
Advanced monitoring facilities
1/4" and 3.5mm headphones outputs
Stereo record out
Alternative stereo out
Mono sum of LR output
Main LR outputs
12-bar LR meters
Master controls for aux 1 & 2
12-100MM faders for a professional feel
SONAR LE
64 audio tracks
256 MIDI tracks
8 simultaneous inputs and outputs
24-bit/192 kHz audio quality
24 simultaneous effects
8 simultaneous virtual instruments
Integrated VST/VSTi support, without need for VST adapter
Support for ACIDTM-format loops
Support for ReWire clients such as Project5, Live, or Reason
Elegant user interface
Active Controller Technology automatically maps MIDI keyboards and control surfaces to the parameters you need most on effects, instruments, volume, pan, and other mix elements
Easier integration of virtual instruments with Synth Rack
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drumandstage
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Re: Hardware options and usage...

Post by drumandstage » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:21 pm

I did not mean to post all of that. I copy and pasted from my phone and didn't catch it after posting. Sorry.
Sweetwater Creation Station 450 (64GB RAM, 500GB SSD, 3 2TB HDDs, Windows 10 Home 64-bit), MX8, Studio One 4 Pro, Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre

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