Question regarding large analogue mixers.

Hi, there are a load of analogue mixers for sale at quite cheap prices and I was wondering if it’s possible to route a finished song from Cubase through the analogue mixer so it can be mixed via the analogue desk? I’m thinking there would not be enough outputs from the computer but is there a way round this?

just wondering :slight_smile:

errr…get an audio card with more analog outs ?

errr…thank you, I’m not a tecky so didn’t know whats possible. :slight_smile:

Also, some analog mixers have digital/analog conversion built-in. So definitely double-check if the ones you’re looking at do. If they do it may be enough to get the job done. Otherwise you’ll need enough converter analog outputs to feed the mixer.

I was just looking at some old mixers that are purely analogue, the post by dr seems to suggest all i would need is a card with enough outs…is it possible to get a card with…say, 30 outs? I’ll have to start googling :slight_smile:

You probably can if you spend a huge amount of cash. You would probably have to cascade many units to do this. Since you are talking about analogue mixers going cheap I would assume you don’t want to spend thousands. Take a look at an online shop like thomman or Gear4music and you will see what is available. 8 out seems to be about the max on reasonably priced audio interfaces. You can get a behringer for £200 although you would need three for what you are asking.

There is a reason analogue mixers are going cheap. There just not used these days. Most mixing and processing is done in the computer

It’s absolutely possible to get a converter with many outputs. Typically analog outputs are in increments of 8 once you’re looking at 8 outputs and above (I’m talking about the type of connections you’d actually use to get into analog gear like a mixer), so in your case you’d be looking at 24 or 32 outputs.

However, you’re probably looking at a minimum of $2,500 USD to get started, and that’s actually a great price (in this case Antelope Orion 32+, which has great reviews for sound quality and mixed reviews for how it is to set up and get support for… probably fine, but you know), and then I’m betting you’re looking at closer to 5k and beyond for other brands that are equal or better.

So at that point you really have to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on both of those things.

Now, you might think - ‘well, I could just get some cheap converter though, no?’ - but at that point why would you bother with an analog mixer? If you’re buying cheap you’re more often than not making some sort of compromise, and if it’s a compromise on sound then doesn’t that negate buying that analog mixer in the first place? Come to think of it, how much are those mixers you’re looking at?

My hunch is that by the time you’ve put together a list of devices that are high enough quality to be worth the hassle to set up and work on you’re spending so much money it may be too much, and more importantly you might also be at a point where you’ll get far more out of your setup by buying a controller or two plus a bunch of really high quality plugins…

So…looking a bit difficult then, thanks for the input, I’ve come across the Mackie profx30v3
but can’t figure out if it is possible to route out of Cubase to mix via the actual mixer, I’ve tried various Mackie forums but not getting anywhere up till now…I am interested in getting out of the box…so to speak, obviously not totally but the final mixing stage would be good…

Not difficult, expensive.

That Mackie seems to me to not be for you. I don’t think it’ll give you a bunch of channels coming from your DAW.

There a lots of ways to route audio out of cubase into an external mixer - but you need an audio card with as many outputs as analog mixer channels you wish to output to. Lots of variables here regarding number of channels you might want/need.

Loads of solutions for multiple audio outputs (RME are my favourite) BUT I would question the reasons for using an external mixer if you are looking at something like a cheap Mackie mixer. If you look at the spec of that mixer you listed it does have USB audio I/O but it looks like it only 4 outputs…maybe enough but probably not.

It may be that you just want the ‘physical’ feel of faders and EQ but IMO the audio quality won’t be improved by running it through the Mackie - just MO obviously.

I take all points and thank you for the opinions, much appreciated, if i want to go…“old school” it’s gonna cost!

Basically, yes. And not necessarily worth it for the ‘sound’ of a mackie. There are still lots of bargain (decent) consoles out there though as everybody is tending to move in the other direction. But don’t forget about the power and maintenance costs. There was an Amek Angela on uk ebay recently which I was very tempted with…thankfully I didn’t buy it !

I do miss the physical knobs and faders aspect of an analog console but the advantages of being (mostly) in the box are better.

I still have lots of outboard and mic preamps so I have 99% of the (virtual) functionality of a console using RME TotalMix - zero latency etc. And an RME MADI FX gives 192 inputs/outputs…if you have the A/D and D/A.

My advice, which you didn’t ask for :slight_smile:, is to stay in the box and spend that money on some nice plugins or even a single ‘character’ bit of hardware to run your final mix through.

Thank you my friend, I take on board everything you say… :slight_smile:

Hi there
There are numerous cards out there that you can cascade with Dante or something else.
Prism Sound, Universal Audio, Anthelope, DAD - just to mention a few. But it would be rather expensive for you. In the end, I have my doubts that it would do you any good mixing on an old analogue console. And bare in mind, analogue consoles can be very expensive to maintain unless you can do the servicing youself. A lot of the components can be on the verge of drying out and some of them can be hard to get your hands on - unless they are military grade like the ones used in the legendary Focusrite Console. Beware that old powersuplies also have a certain will to die and create annoying noise.

I used to have a large exotic mixing console, but in the end I spent quite an amount of time servicing the beast instead of making music. I would advise you to buy some good plugings, and yes, there is a huge gap in quality and price.

Thank you for the reply… :slight_smile:

I actually did do what OP asked, in the spring of 2020. It was basically just a test to see if it could be done. And i used it as a sort of training for live mixing.

I used a RME raydat PCIe ADAT card, hooked up 3 Behringer ADA8200 to that card, used 3 8x8 XLR snakes to connect and older Yamaha MG32/14fx mixer to the Behringers.
And, as i remember it the stereo out of the Yamaha back in one of the ADA8200.

Then ran 24 channels of audio out of cubase, on 24 separate outs, and the stereo return in to cubase. Did a couple of mixes, and it actually sounds really good. And i only used the Yamaha, so no plugins, no compressors, no nothing. Only EQ, panning, and the 2 Yamaha FX channels.
I did not take it further than that, but it is definitely doable.

And that setup had a build cost of about 2500$, with the raydat card being the most expensive part

And today I use a Behringer x32 compact, and I can do the same setup. But now I can use the channelstrip of the Behringer in the mix. So i have gate, compressor, EQ and FX on every channel.

So it is definitely a possibility, and it is good training for live mixing.

Ignoring the ergonomics - (I think using an old analog mixer is better :slight_smile: ), you have to ask the question…is the behringer stuff bringing extra audio quality ?. Is the extra AD/DA and internal signal processing ‘improving’ the sound. Are the internal FX ‘better’ than what you have in your DAW ?

That’s a personal decision of course.

Interesting point, my take on it is that lots of excellent music was produced in the past on gear that technically is not as good as what is available today but the music still sounds good and is still used on ads and in movies…

thanks for posting this info, nice to know it can be done and sounds good… :slight_smile:

music has been produced without ANY modern technology - skill and talent are always more important. What we are all trying to do (?) is to get the ‘best’* solution for our own working environment.

*best can mean anything - depending on budget and personal preferences.