How to control mic and mix volume while recording

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How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Jmgweb77 »

When I record singers in my home studio, we use a stereo headphone amplifier for the singer and myself to hear the mix and vocal together. However, the singers prefer quieter vocal levels than myself so I cannot clearly hear the mic. My setup runs the mics through a Mackie mixer and out to a Focusrite Scarlett USB interface which feeds the headphone amp. I tried using a breakout cable to bring a separate input to my headphones from the Mackie headphone output, but it keeps cutting out. Does anyone have solutions or suggestions on how to do this? - Thanks, John
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Drew Stephenson »

The easiest option might just be something like this: https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Li ... lifier/6M0
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Jmgweb77 »

Thanks, but that's exactly the one I'm using. Problem is the mix/mic blend, not the overall volume...
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Ah right, sorry.
Ok, can you take a feed of the backing track from your interface to the mixer and use the mixer headphone output for the singer - let them blend the balance of the backing track and vocal using the hardware, then make your own mix in the DAW and listen to that via the interface headphone socket?
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Jmgweb77 »

That's an interesting idea I hadn't considered. Thanks, I'll give it a go...
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

Which Mackie mixer? Tell us exactly what gear you have and exactly how it is wired up. Also what DAW or recording system do you use?

If you are sharing that headphone amp you can't avoid having the same headphone mix so the idea of using the mixer HP output is sound but I don;t understand why you need a breakout cable (or the headphone amp TBH), I'd run one set of cans from the Mackie and the other from the Scarlett, no breakout cables or HP amp required.

I also don't quite understand why you run the mics (plural? you are recording something else simultaneously with the vocals?) through the mixer, even the smallest Scarlett USB interface has at least one mic preamp and another line input for an active guitar or keyboard?

edit :- Drew has gone where I was going with this but (much) more info would still be useful.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Jmgweb77 »

Using Mackie ProFX6v3, Focusrite Scarlett 4i4, Behringer MicroAmp HA400. Let's use the single mic scenario (I sometimes simultaneously record other instruments (guitar / keyboard) through the Mackie as well as vocals. Mic runs to Mackie Line1, Main Outs from Mackie to Scarlett 4i4 which is connected to computer via USB, and currently have my headphones / headphone amp connected to the Scarlett headphone jack - which is feeding back the mix from my DAW (Reaper v6.61).

Yes, I get that sharing the HP amp is not the best option if I want to independently control Mix and Mic levels into my headphones and the singer's headphones. I only tried the breakout cable as an attempt to get both signals into my cans - but no joy with that (maybe due to TS/TRS phase issues). I have the mic signal recording on Channels 3/4 from the Scarlett.

And yes, I'm playing with separating the Headphone sources to get the control I'm wanting without the Headphone Amp. I think this looks promising.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

Still not sure why you need the Mackie? I'd ditch it and use the inputs on the F'rite for mic(s) and other instruments then send a stereo pair from the F'rite to the headphone amp. That way you can have separate mixes going to the HP amp and the F'rite HP output. The mixes can be achieved from your DAW or, I think, using the F'rite mix control app.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Jmgweb77 »

You're right about the Mackie, and perhaps it's time I turned loose of it. I use it primarily for its EQ and FX on mic/line inputs; but I can always add those treatments downstream in the mix. My keyboard has L/R stereo outs, but the Scarlett 4i4 can handle those along with the Mic/Gtr. I was also using the 48V on the Mackie, but the 4i4 has one also - as well as MIDI. I'll re-rig without the Mackie for awhile and see how it goes - especially beneficial if I can solve the headphone mix issues with the software. I'll be checking on that before I do anything - I don't want wind up with the same problem in the end...
Thanks for all your help! - John
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by shufflebeat »

Sam Spoons wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:51 pm The mixes can be achieved from your DAW or, I think, using the F'rite mix control app.

When I was using ye olde f/r 18i6 this is pretty much what I was doing with Mix Control. I didn't have the need to explore it in depth but it certainly seemed much more flexible in this regard than my meagre requirements.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by MaestroMikeT »

What Sam said. I’m not versed in Reaper, I’m a Nuendo user, and the control room is an immensely useful feature that’s been around since Cubase 5. I bet Reaper has a similar function? Even if it doesn’t, it’ll not be hard to replicate with aux sends. Your Focusrite has multiple output pairs, I believe?

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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by cooneyblue »

Does the focusrite not have an additional output which you could send a cue mix to at a lower volume?
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Jmgweb77 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:18 pmI'll re-rig without the Mackie for awhile and see how it goes - especially beneficial if I can solve the headphone mix issues with the software.

I'm not sure that's going to work. You can set up different mixes in the mix-control software but if there's only one headphone output then you're still back to square one.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by resistorman »

The interface has 4 line outs, and I assume they're individually addressable from software. Seems to me you can send a couple with an alternative mix to the Mackie and use its headphone out.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

Sam Spoons wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:51 pm Still not sure why you need the Mackie? I'd ditch it and use the inputs on the F'rite for mic(s) and other instruments then send a stereo pair from the F'rite to the headphone amp. That way you can have separate mixes going to the HP amp and the F'rite HP output. The mixes can be achieved from your DAW or, I think, using the F'rite mix control app.

The Berry HP amp fed from the spare line outs from the Scarlett will provide the second mix.
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Sam Spoons wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:41 pm
Sam Spoons wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:51 pm Still not sure why you need the Mackie? I'd ditch it and use the inputs on the F'rite for mic(s) and other instruments then send a stereo pair from the F'rite to the headphone amp. That way you can have separate mixes going to the HP amp and the F'rite HP output. The mixes can be achieved from your DAW or, I think, using the F'rite mix control app.

The Berry HP amp fed from the spare line outs from the Scarlett will provide the second mix.

You will need to make up a 2xMono-balanced to 1xStereo-unbalanced cable though!
Easier to just plug into the Mackie as Resistorman suggests.
Which does bring us back to my second suggestion...
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Re: How to control mic and mix volume while recording

Post by Sam Spoons »

True enough but the OP said the Mackie HP output was cutting out so it seems sensible to bin it rather than the, apparently working correctly, Berry HP amp.
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