Several years ago, you had to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to record audio. Technology now allows you to record audio in the comfort of your own home with a much lower price tag. With a computer, a simple mixer and some speakers, you can record anything from podcasts to simple music projects. Connecting the mixer to your computer and speakers can be intimidating at first, but a quick understanding of the inputs and outputs will get your home studio up and running quickly.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Set up the mixer. Each mixer has slightly different requirements, so check your specific mixer's manual to ensure proper set-up. Make sure you know what kind of connectors your mixer has so that you can use the proper cables. Check your mixer's inputs to see how many microphone and line inputs you have. Connect your sound input source, such as a microphone, to your mixer.
Examine your sound card. Your sound card is likely located on the back of your computer, although there may be additional inputs and outputs on the front of your computer. Most sound cards use eighth-inch connectors because of size considerations, although in rare instances you will find quarter-inch connectors. Most sound cards have at least an input and output. Many sound cards have two inputs-- one that is microphone level and the other that is line level.
Examine your mixer's outputs. Smaller mixers may only have one stereo output, while medium and large mixers may have multiple output options. If your mixer only has one output, you will have to connect your speakers to your sound card, not the mixer. If your mixer has multiple outputs, you can connect your speakers either to the mixer or the sound card.
Connect the mixer to the input of the sound card. If your sound card has two inputs, connect the mixer to the line level input. If your signal is not high enough on your computer, use your sound card's software to adjust the level. If you cannot get a high enough signal from the line level input, try plugging the mixer into the microphone level input.
You will likely need an adaptor that connects either two mono RCA connectors to one eighth-inch stereo plug or two quarter-inch plugs to one eighth-inch stereo plug. If you are connecting your speakers from your sound card, continue to Step 5. If you are connecting your speakers directly to your mixer, skip to Step 6.
Use your sound card to feed signal to your speakers. If you are using standard computer speakers, simply plug them in via the eighth-inch connector to the sound card. If you are using any other speakers, you may have to use an adaptor.
Use your mixer to feed signal to your speakers. The outputs on the mixer are typically quarter-inch or RCA plugs. Check the connectors of your speakers to see if you need a special cable to connect the speakers to your mixer. Plug in your speakers and verify that they are working.
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