I want to record a drum kit and I would like to keep the tracks in Audacity separate. Ideally I would like a bass drum track, a snare drum track, a hi hat track and a pair of overhead microphones to pick up the rest of the kit. I make that five tracks in total. I’ve experimented with a regular mixer from which I can get a single stereo output from the mixer into my PC. This creates one stereo Audacity track. What I really want is five mono Audacity tracks. I know very little about what mixers are available but is there some way to record many simultaneous mono tracks into Audacity? The list box in the Audacity Preferences section would suggest this is possible.
If this is possible then can you fine people out there suggest what equipment I need please?
I have an M-Audio Delta 1010LT PCI card. It’s not a mixer, so it doesn’t have individual mic-pres or Phantom Power or EQs for each channel. That said, I can record up to 8 separate analog mono tracks at once without any difficulties. So, if you already have a mixer with analog outputs, this is probably going to be your cheapest option.
An older user (who I haven’t seen since our first board up and died) swore by the Alesis MultiMix FireWire series. They make 8, 12, and 16 channel versions, all of which can record each track individually. Be very aware though, Alesis also makes USB versions of these mixers, but the USB versions cannot record each track separately, only the FireWire ones can (to the best of my knowledge). Do not buy the USB version, you have been warned.
If you’re looking at the Alesis’, make sure your machine is stable enough. FireWire communication isn’t as fast or foolproof as PCI communication. You should ask around at an Alesis board and compare your computer specs with other people using the mixer you’re thinking of buying.
MultiMix FireWire 8:
I’m sure there are plenty of others you can look at. Just make sure they can output each channel separately.