Mix + record

Why can’t I find a mixer/recorder that:

  • takes between 6 to 12 audio signals in - It’s okay if some/all restricted to stereo pairs, most/all line-level.
  • records those, multi track, to something digital - The medium should be integrated. I don’t want a solution that involves another computer, as we already have three on stage. I want to hit record and ignore it.!
  • simple mix to a stereo master out - I don’t need panning or Eq, but wouldn’t say no. Don’t want effects. Don’t need inserts or auxes.

This seems like the standard live performance desire of practically every electronic act ever!

There is the the Zoom R16 - I own one, it does pretty much exactly that… but unlike other Zoom products, this one seems poorly built - the UI is painful, the case flimsy, and after a year of use, about half the input channels have gone wonky (seem oddly mis-calibrated with the matching stereo partner… or noisy).

Won’t anybody take my money?


One option: https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UFX1204-BEHRINGER-XENYX/dp/B00E87ONWC
Probably does a lot you don’t want or need, though.

Probably a stupid question but why not use one of the three computers you already have on stage?

Spent ages looking into this problem, decided I can live with my main computer recording, but want conveniently located inputs (away from main interface), and to not rely on main interface if I just want to jam. Got a Focusrite Scarlett Octopre, hooked up to RME Fireface UCX via ADAT. Octopre’s direct outs plug into conventional analogue mixer, so RME outs are free to use for other stuff, mix sum goes into 2 RME ins, so I record a total of 10 channels - 8 pre-fader, 2 guide mix. Anything worth recording would also be worth a bit of editing time from the source tracks… Don’t know what this market is waiting for, R16/R24 could use an update.

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I don’t want to use any of the three computers because they are already being used heavily. Trying to record in one means either

a) you’ve got one DAW trying to do double duty as a performance instrument and a multitrack recorder - this doesn’t work so well when the performance isn’t just a synth, but is loopers, and session clips, and even starting/stopping transport for your part.

b) you’ve got one interface, sharing it’s channels between two DAWs, or you’re routing audio between DAWs… and then youv’e still got the “I’m running to real-time programs on the same system” issue.

All in all - I don’t want the hassle of managing the multi-track recording on the same boxes we are playing from.

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Yeah, I can see where that would present some problems.

What if it was something lightweight?

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You could try something like this:


They’re pretty pricey for what they are, but solid as a rock. I’ve used the 442 and 744T for location recording and they were brilliant.

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I have one of these sitting at my parents place back in the UK:

Wicked mixer/recorder with spidf input, also 8 analogue ins onboard - not exactly what you’d call portable but hey those long motorised faders are really nice… Oh one quirk of this unit - the mic pres are quite a bit noisier than the ones on my behringer rack mixer, hardly a concern for your intended usage but can be annoying if you’re trying to record very quiet sources…

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Hi @rick_monster,

Is it noisey across the whole preamp or just sections? I’ve worked with a couple of Yamaha live mixers and they all seem to have the same flaw, where there are 3 separate stages of digital gain control that get incredibly noisy towards the top of the sections, then a single step you can audibly hear the gain stage click and back to low noise.

Just curious really.

Grrr… See, someone has a great opportunity here:

  • The Behringer is big and does more than I need. They make a zillion models of mixer, ordered higgledy piggledy on their web site, only this one and the bigger one record… why?
  • SoundDevices aren’t well suited to just live mixing synths… and $5k and up!
  • Recording to a computer, even with Hearken (which does look nice) - still begs the question of how you get the live mix for the venue’s PA.
  • The Yamaha’s have been discontinued, and they no longer make anything comparable…
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I didn’t notice this kind of behaviour, thought it was just analogue pot with hiss increasing as you crank the gain.

I mean you never notice it, it’s not like ridiculously bad or anything just a shame since everything else about the unit is pretty much perfect. Come to think of it why the hell didn’t I ship that beast over here with the rest of my stuff!?

Put a mixer in front of this: http://www.cymaticaudio.com/products/recorders-players/live-recorder-lr16

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I had looked into this as well some time ago and decided that nothing worked for me. The Cymatic Audio LR-16 was still the most interesting of the bunch, but keep in mind that it’s intended to be plugged into the insert jacks on a mixer and hence it doesn’t really have any volume control for the channels on board (just pads). If your mixer offers the right connections, then that should be exactly what you’re after though!

I’m playing the role of grumpy cat in this thread!

The problem with lr16 is that now I need another set of cables - and a mixer with inserts (or, ick, a set of Y adapaters)…

… Actually, reading the description - that might work! It puts out a stereo mix. Since each of us playing has a volume control from our audio interfaces - we don’t really need mixer faders beyond getting the basic mix right… and you can do that on the lr16 with some menu diving… If only they had a small remote program that ran over the computer USB connection (while it was recording to the other USB connection).

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This is pricey, but appealing (at least to me):


I’ve been getting good mileage out of my Korg D888 for about five years now. I initially had some trouble with incorporating modular gear but once I got something to bump those signals down it’s been very happy. Have recorded solo stuff, a five-piece band, plenty of overdubs directly on. Handles virtual/alternate tracks well.


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I’ve been using this for over a year and I love it.

Summary so far:

  1. There are the whole range of of devices made for location video shooting: While wonderfully rugged and compact - they are very “mic” centric, and loads of things related to just video - and are very expensive.
  • paying too much for more than I need, and not quite suited to music on stage
  1. There are some older, now years out of production, larger port-a-studio descendants that would work - but generally not made for being all that portable.
  • closer in application, but bigger, and not really made for gigging
  1. There are some high-end mixers that do multi-track record, but they are big to haul about and do much more (I’m not running sound at a venue, I’m trying to record the ensemble’s audio from the stage.) There are some more compact versions (Qu-Pac, XR12/16) which are seem like the next step up were we need more/play more/run more of our live sound more. Seem pricey for what I need.
  • sweet and tempting, but way more than I need

4a) There is the Cymatic (and there is an AH thing like it) that just records. These have monitor mixes that could be used to drive the house - but the UI is pretty poor for that application - and many people complain the metering is the pits. Also, oddly these things can only record 2-, 4-, 8-, or 16- tracks. You can’t choose which inputs to record, or which are stereo pairs. UI from 1980s anyone?

4b) There is getting a multi-channel audio interface and recording on the computer. This is much like the option above. While the UI will be better - there is now a computer involved: either another, or one of our performance computers doing double duty.

  • while the recording will be a snap… the whole solution with mixing to the house looks like a hassle
  1. I found this: QSC TouchMix-8 (and -16). This seems about right. The reviews seem split: Those that are running live sound at a venue seem to don’t like it because of the UI and or “it ain’t as good as my ol’analog board”. Small acts, seem to like quite a bit. Small downsides: only 4 inputs have 1/4" jacks - the doc isn’t clear if the mic preamps can be bypassed on the others - the remote app is iOS only.

  • maybe just thing thing?

Update: QSC has a Android versions of their apps now. The QSC forums (with very active participation from QSC techs, a good sign) have confirmed all the inputs can take line level as well.

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Out of curiosity, where did the 12 come from in the original channel constraint?

Three of us, each running a stereo pair from our audio interfaces: 6 channels.
Occasionally we play with others, and 6 people (for what we do) has shown to be the limit… so 12 channels total.

But really, we need 6 regularly, and a little room for flexibility seems smart… But by no means do we need 20+ channels or the like.