hooking up hardware to record vocals

I’ll start by humbly asking for the utmost patience from whomever decides to take on this question as I’m quite green but not a total idiot… so I have a G5 ppc 10.5.8 to which I’m trying to connect (via firewire) a Focusrite preamp (platinum voicemaster pro) and Alesis MultiMix8 (firewire) mixer so that I can begin recording vocals through Audacity. Connecting the mixer to the preamp is where I’m having trouble. I took pics of the backs of the hardware, however, the pics are too big to attach (2mb). I’m hoping that the following links can give you a look into what I’ve got going on:


I already have the mixer connecting to the tower via firewire. In addition, I have already set up mic input connection from the front of the preamp to an actual mic. I’m using phantom power. I am also currently using Audacity 2.0.5.

Thank you, in advance, for your time!

Thank you for your effort to include pictures. Very welcome. We can do it with web pages, too. Also part numbers. Big on part numbers. All that and a clear description of the job and we’re good to go.

Perfect timing. I have to leave for a while, but the elves span ten time zones and somebody may be able to help even if I don’t get back for a bit.


I found the first hitch. The Voicemaster is apparently a discontinued product making documentation a little rough. You elected not to buy the digital board for the Voicemaster?

Let’s take this in pieces. Can you plug your microphone into the mixer and get that to work all the way through to Audacity?


The Mixer supplies Phantom Power (if you need it) through a switch on the rear.

This will get you going while you mess with the mic preamp.

Is the idea of the preamp to apply effects and filters while you sing? That seems like a grand idea until you try to do something fancy with your voice. It’s almost never a good idea to do that in real time during the performance. For one notable example, there are any number of programs that can put echo and reverb into your performance in post production, but there are close to zero that can take it out. If you make a bad choice anywhere in the recording process, you get to apply what the video people call the “reshoot filter.” Shoot it again.

I bet that’s why it’s discontinued.


I think I figured out the interconnect. You’ll need a 1/4" stereo cable. Male Tip/Ring/Sleeve on both ends. Plug one into the mixer Line-In just under the XLR connector. I think it says Line 1.

The other end goes on the back of the preamp in the -10dBv socket.

If it fails and the preamp seems to be working, plug your headphones in to the -10dBv socket instead of the mixer and listen. I expect you to be able to hear the show quietly in your headphones. If not, then the preamp is not working right and there seems to be about 500 different knobs that could affect that.

If you have newer headphones, you may need a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo adapter.

You only need the one of the left. They used to make that as a stand-alone product.

You can’t use the XLR connection between the units because the sound levels are super different.


Hey Koz :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for all of your attention! I read all the way through, but I got curious about your question regarding just using the mixer… so I tried that, but I don’t even get a read on my mixer… no level, no nothing. It has a firewire connection that is running to the tower but I’m missing something, I think. I’d like to try this before I get the preamp involved. (I enjoyed your insight into the whole ‘preamp idea’ haha… I had my own studio setup from about 2006-2012 and this was what we used so I’m basically trying to revisit the original setup. However, the innerworkings of the setup were never anything that was shared so I’m navigating on my own now. It’s an incredible piece but perhaps unnecessary for the moment and I laughed out loud at your comment “…and there are about 500 different knobs that could effect that”.) Anyhoo… I’m going to dig around inside the tower and see if there is a connection I’m missing… maybe something in audio preferences? I’ll be around for another hour or so before I have to go to work… I look forward to hearing from you.


That’s good progress. You turned the problem from “anything” to an interaction problem between the microphone and the mixer.

Connecting the mixer to the preamp is where I’m having trouble.

But not the only trouble as you found.

You didn’t say anything at all about the microphone. What is it? Details are good. Model numbers, web sites, pictures.

Also headphones are vital when you’re having problems. Which kind do you have? Earbuds are OK for testing, but you’re going to need actual headphones for critical listening and/or analysis. We get too many people trying to quality control mix on their laptop speakers or external speakers that will fit in their pocket.


Hey Koz :slight_smile:
Sorry for the delay… crazy work schedule. I’m sorry i forgot to mention the mics… so I have an EV and a Rhode (condenser). But I’m using the EV N/D767a to test connection. I feel like I’m missing something so obvious since I never had any luck getting a signal when I tried to go straight from the mixer. Ugh… I’m going to work a little more with it this eve.

Cool. Baby steps.

Turn on the Alesis mixer. Don’t connect anything other than the power supply. No computer, no Audacity. Make sure you have the little green power light toward the right.

Reach around back and turn the Phantom Power off.

Plug your EV microphone into position one with an appropriate XLR cable.

Adjust the position one channel knobs top to bottom:

  • Gain at around 3 o’clock.
  • All the red and blue knobs in the middle.
  • Pan in the middle.
  • Big white knob on the bottom all the way up.

Now scream into the microphone. You should get the red PEAK light at the bottom of the channel strip.

Do you get it that far?