I just acquired an A&H MixWizard WZ3 16:2, and tonight i'm picking up a Focusrite 18i20. In planning to connect everything up - and buying the necessary cables - I've read several posts about the different ways to do it (including this post). The general gist of the responses I've seen have all been "There's no one right way to do it. Depends on your gear and what you're trying to accomplish."
I've given you the gear, so here's the goal. I'm in a band which is made up of four old farts and a drum machine, and I want to start recording our practices in a mixable format. In a perfect scenario, I'd like to be able to record four vocals and five instruments simultaneously. If the magic number is 8, though, I could sacrifice one of the vocal tracks for recording (sorry, Randy ;-) ).
My initial thought is:
- Plug the mics and instruments into the Focusrite
- Connect the Focusrite line outs via TRS 1/4" cables to the line in jacks on the MixWizard
- Connect the Focusrite to the PC via USB
- Connect the MixWizard main LR outs to our RMX 850 via XLR cables, then from the amp to the speakers.
My reasoning for this is
- the preamps in the Focusrite are most likely better than those in the A&H.
- this seems to be the easiest and a relatively inexpensive option
- I'll lose the built-in effects of the A&H, but who cares, right? That's what DAW plugins are for. We basically just use reverb on the vocals.
- None of our mics require phantom power at present. One nice feature of the MixWizard is being able to add phantom power to a single channel.
So my first question is does this logic sound valid? And the second question is whether or not there's an easy way to get that 4th vocal track included for a total of 9 tracks?
Bonus question: if we were to bring in a mixture of phantom and non-phantom powered mics, would that tip the scale toward going through the MixWizard first?
Sorry for the long read. I tend to be detail-oriented... :-/
Thanks in advance!
Edit: I'm looking to make mixable recordings of our rehearsals, so the mixer is for the live sound. The reason for recording our rehearsals is twofold: first, as we work out new songs, it's helpful to have recordings we can listen to in between practices (I worked out a solo in my head driving to NC that way a few months ago). Plus we keep forgetting the intro to this, or the transition in that medley, etc. It's a way to reinforce the arrangements.
The second reason is that once we have a song worked out, I'd like to record a flattering but still representative version of our live act to make a demo CD for when we start shopping for gigs.
When we get to the point where we want to make a studio recording of one of our originals, then I won't worry about the mixer.