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  • New to Audition

    Hello to all.  New to the Recording Forum but hang out a lot a the Drum Forum.

    I'm setting up a 'starter' studio at home just to try things out on a budget and see if I want to put some bigger money into this.  So I know I can use better gear but my budget is extremely limited.  So please let's not start with "throw that away and buy this or you need to buy that."  I'm just trying to get this to function and see if I have any future in it.  

    Here's what I have:

    Dell Inspiron 6400, centrino duo, Windows 7 sp1

    Adobe Audition 3.0

    Phonic Firefly 202 audio interface connected by firewire

    Behringer Xenyx 1202FX mixer

    Shure sm57's

    Event Project Studio monitors

    I can get the computer to see the Phonic and the mixer and hear my voice through a mic via Windows on the monitors.  But I can't get Audition to 'hear' the mic/mixer.

    I Arm the channel to record and it will record the click track, but not anything coming in from the mixer.  The resources I've found have not been very helpful so I'm hoping I can get some help here.


    Thanks in advance.



    Missin' Marko46

    "I've never been given more to bear than I can endure."
    Marty Mann

    "In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible."
    Elanor in Lion in Winter

  • #2

    What you have and how you have it connected are two different things.

    There are two basic options here for using the mixer. You can use the mixer to combine multiple mikes into the interface, which connects to the computer. In this case you are just recording the stereo output of the mixer into the stereo input of the interface.

    You only need to do this if you are using more than two mics at a time, otherwise you can record the mics directly to the interface using TRS adaptors to convert the XLR connectors of the mic cable to 1/4" stereo adaptors (TRS).

    In any case, the interface only has two channels so whatever you feed it will only be two tracks at a time, and any additional tracks will require multitracking.

    The other way to use the mixer is to monitor the interfaces input and output and connect the monitors to the mixer. Some larger boards will allow bi directional feeds where you can connect both the interfaces inputs and outputs, then use switches to switch between the two. This allows you to use the mixer as a mic preamp and a headphone monitor for tracking and multitracking.

    I have a 12 channel Behringer mixer I've tried using this way. It has a 4 channel output and you can have mics feeding a stereo output to DAW interface on two channels, and feed the playback from the DAW to the monitors. 

    I can say the results were not very good and I blew allot of hours trying to get good multitrack recordings this way. The mixer robs the mics of allot of frequency responce and tweaking the inputs for good tracking tone is ultra critical. Even then I had to spend major hours mixing the tracks on my studio daw to get the mix to sound acceptable and non of them sounded as good as what I could get just tracking on my studio daw recording straight into my studio interface to begin with.

    Since you said you hang on the Drummers forum, I'm guessing you're a drummer and want to mic a set.

    I suggest the first method of using the mixer to combine mics to feed the interface. What I'd do is connect the mics up to the mixer, and first use the mixers headphone jack with some good isolation headphones. Then adjust the mics for a good stereo sound in the mixer.

    Then send the mixers output to the interface and switch the headphones over to the interfaces headphone jack and be sure you are getting the same signal. You must be hearing sound from the interfaces headphone jack is you expect to be able to record into the DAW program.

    Next you go into the DAW program options/settings and select the device tab and make sure the program is using your interface as an audio device (not your built in windows card) 

    Adobie is a program that can be used with a standard windows card for non audio professionals who are using the program for multimedia projects like commercial artists and such. You want to be sure you set the device inputs/ outputs up for your interface so you can record and playback through that device only.

    Once the device is set, you then have to select and arm the tracks you plan to record on.

    Since you only have a two channel interface, you can only record two tracks at a time. If you do use the mixer, everything thats feeding the mixer will be recorded to two tracks, (just like a stereo cassette recorder)

    You can then un-arm the first two tracks 1 & 2 you recorded, and arm 3 & 4 to record. You play back the first two tracks, 1 & 2 and play along to them while recording the next two tracks to channels 3 & 4.

    You can then un-arm the second two tracks 3 & 4, and arm 5 & 6. You then play back tracks 1, 2, 3 & 4 and record to the new tracks 5 & 6.

    You can go on and on recording 2 + 2 + 2 indefinately (or as much as the computer processor can handle)

    The one thing you can't do, is if you are feeding the mixer 4 mics, those mics won't be separated into 4 different tracks. What comes out of the mixer is a blend of 4 mics into a stereo mix, so the two interface channels will capture that analog Mix and feed it to the daw.

    If you want only snare on one track, then you would have to pan the snare say hard right, and everything else hard left. This feeds the interface only the snare on that right #2 channel and when the tracks are played back, you have maximum control over the snare. (you can then pan the snare left and right as needed mixing)

    If you want 4 mics recorded to 4 separate channels as you play at the same time, you have to have a 4 channel interface. This means the interface has 4 separate inputs, and 4 separate preamps. you arm 4 separate channels in the DAW, and record all 4 at the same time. you can then record 4 + 4 + 4 etc at the same time (or record 4 tracks and add one or two more tracks from there on multitracking)

    Recording drums to separate tracks with a two channel interface, will consist of playing no more than two drums at a time. If you mic say the kick and snare, then play only those two drums to a beat, you'll get those drums to play back on two separate tracks (mixer or no mixer) Then you play back the kick and snare, and record two more tracks with the High Hat and Ride. You then have 4 tracks to play back and mix each track individually within the DAW program.

    If you jam on the drums with say a guitar player, and you mic the guitar amp and run all the mics through the mixer, the guitar will be blended with the drums. You could pan the guitar hard right and the drums hard left and you wind up with guitar on one tracks and all the drums on the other track in mono.

    Mono drums are not a bad thing and is in fact a good way of getting your drum mics balanced. You must have a good mono mix before you have an effective stereo mix anyway.

    later mixing, you can pan the mono mix back to center and the guitar wherever you want it in the playback. you just have to be sure, if you want something separate in a channel, you cant have bleed from another mic feeding that same channel.

    Some additional items you'll want. SM57's are good for up close snare, kick and drums, but they arent so hot on cymbals. You'll eventually want to get some overhead condencer mics. In a good room you can record the entire drum set with just the overheads. Then you can supplement the kick and snare with the SM57's for extra power from those. All the brightness of the percussion will come from the overheads. You'll also want to read up on drum mic positioning to avoid phase cancellation.


    Lastly, you'll likely want to arm the tracks for mono channels, not a stereo track. This will allow you to balance and mix the two channels independantly. Adobie defaults may be for a stereo track. What will happen is both channels will get recorded to a left and right side and all you can do panning is increase one side while decreasing the other side (or make the two channels mono playback) when you record to two mono tracks, the left will have its own channel pan and volume as will the right. you can place separate effects on each channel, pan them anywhere hard left to hard right, and adjust each track level independantly.

    If you do have a good balance on the mixers live feed, you can record a stereo track, you'll just have less controll over the left and right sides mixing and any effects you apply mixing will be applied to both sides.

    I suggest you do read your manuals. The interface manual will tell you how to properly set it up, what you can and cannot connect to it. Since you're feeding a mixer into the interface, you'll need to know how to set the inputs for live level vs mic level. (this is likely done from the computer adjusting the interfaces driver settings. Or it may be a switch on the interface that changes the input from mic level to line level)

    If the interface has no line level setting, and is only mic level inputs it cannot be used with a mixer properly without an attenuator to drop the mixers levels down.

    If the interface has no mic level setting, connecting a mic directly to the interface will cause the mic level to be super low. You will likely need an external preamp to boost the input up to line level.

    The interface should have both mic and line level (or instrument level) input settings listed in the manual.

    Getting the levels to match is most important in avoiding impedance mis matches which affect the recording quality. Use the meter levels within Adobie for setting the gains and avoid pushing the signals into the red. 

    The Adobie manual or help files will have a section on selecting your interface as an input output device, and setting up channels to record, play them back, multitrack, mix, etc etc.

    Your Mixer manual should have info for connecting the mixer to the interface. Behringer usually has pictures to help with this so even a laymen can understand.


    Good luck.



    • rayboomboom
      rayboomboom commented
      Editing a comment

      Wow, W

      Thanks for taking the time to lay all of that out.  Allot of it I already know, but I appreciate having it spelled out.

      So the manual for the mixer shows using cd/tape in and out (shielded) to go to and from the daw's 1/8" mic and headphone jacks.  Then connect the monitors to the "control room" 1/4" outputs also on the mixer and not even using the Phonic interface.  (senario 1)

      The Phonic has 2- 1/4" inputs and 2- 1/4" outputs.  Also a 6 pin firewire connection that would go to the 4 pin firewire on the DAW.  There is also a 1/4" head phone output on the Phonic.  

      So I would either connect the mixer using the 2- 1/4" 'control room' out  to the Phonic (senario 2a)


      The cd/tape out to the Phonic.   (senario 2b)

      Then the Phonic to the DAW via firewire.  Is that right?

      Which of the senarios makes better sense to you?

      BTW, my mic layout plan is:

      kick - CAD kbm412

      snare - sm57

      overheads - 2 CAD condensers

      the mixer has 4 xlr connectors so for now I think it will work out when I get my levels right...after I get Audition to work!


      Thanks again!

  • #3

    Well, finally got a chance tonight to sit down and try this out.  Turns out I had it connected properly from what I recall.  The difference is this:

    In Audition I had to right click on the meters at the bottom of the screen and select 'Monitor Input Level (External Monitoring)'

    That seems to have fixed the problem.  What a pain though to have to do this every time.  But I am doing things on the cheap so I guess I have to live with it.

    There is quite a bit more I need to learn from this point now on just using Audition, let alone getting the kit mic'd up and getting a good mix.  Though that should be the fun part!

    Thanks for the help and I'll let you know how it goes.


    Missin' Marko46

    "I've never been given more to bear than I can endure."
    Marty Mann

    "In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible."
    Elanor in Lion in Winter


    • WRGKMC
      WRGKMC commented
      Editing a comment

      Each daw program has its idiosyncrasies. Some are very strange in comparison to others. You'd think a recording program would mimic its analog counterpart, but there really is no reason to do so. A code writer have have never worked in analog and therefore does things in ways that makes sense to him, not what's easy for a musician who is used to an analog version of the gear.

      When I first started trying out DAW programs, I got a bundle with my interface consisting of logic, Cubase, Cakewalk and Cool Edit (adobe) and a few others. The wackiest was the PC version of Logic. It was a good thing I had a degree in electronics and worked in computers or I'd still be trying to figure that one out. 

      Steinberg was better but it was still strange the way things were done. Germans drive on the left side of the road so you have to figure common items were set up in the GUI bass ackwards. Its a good program though and with some digging you eventually figure things out. I did have extensive recording experience though and knew what I needed to find so it was just a matter of finding those things within the software.

      Adobe/Cool edit was very simple. I still use it for my audio editor today. I didn't use it as a multitrack because it only had 8 tracks and it set up tracks in pairs which isn't good for mixing. Maybe there was a way of separating them but I never investigated it.

      Cakewalk/Sonar was by far the easiest. It made sense logically and computer wise. Its got common elements of doing things lile Microsoft word does and you can right click on items to find them where you'd expect to find them. Its simple enough to run as a push button cassette recorder and powerful and complex enough to do anything you'd need to do recording. I'd have to say, Steinberg is a better Midi platform than Sonar is, but for audio its a great DAW. The manual is well laid out as well.

      I haven't messed with audition much. I have it and did load it up once, but I have little experience actually using it. Having read your post I do have a suggestion that can save you a whole lot of time.

      What I do with all DAW programs is set up a template and save it with a generic name. I set up all the channels I may use, in my case I have 8, 16, or 24 channel templates. I set up all the channel and recording properties for all the tracks I use and call them AAA Sonar 8, AAA sonar 16, and AAA sonar 16.

      I save the project with tracks armed and no tracks recorded. Then when I want to record something I simply open up an 8, 16, or 24 channel project and its ready to go by just pressing record.

      The key is after I've recorded something, I save it with a new name, and "not" save it as AAA sonar 8.

      In essence its like opening a blank Microsoft word document. You type into that document and give it a new name when you save it. The reason I use "AAA" at the beginning is so the blank audio file is at the top of the list and I don't have to go searching through a list to find it.

      You can also have plugins or any other settings saved in that project. I sometimes leave certain plugins like a guitar tuner or aux busses set up in the template ready to use (but unselected, not running) in the template. Then when I Track, those tools are already there like the tuner which is handy to have ready. I may keep some tools for Bass or Drum mixing as well if I find I'm using those tools on a regular basis. If I don't use them I can always delete them. All my pan settings are there as well. I often use similar pan settings on projects and having them preset is a time saver.

      I have one template for solo recording where my Electric drum channels and stereo guitar feed is armed and ready to go when I open the file. I have others for live band recording and different numbers of arms tracked depending on the numbers of musicians who will track.

      All these things can save time. Bout the only time I "have" to set up the tracks like you're doing is when I have to reinstall the program after an upgrade or something. Even then I can open an older project, delete the recorded tracks, remove any plugins I had, and just save it with a new AAA Sonar name and I have an instant template file built. You don't have to go through the whole track setup every time you open the program (though none of the saw manufacturers tell you these tricks, you have to learn them on your own)