How to connect a mixer to a laptop for recording

Many recording artists from professionals to hobbyists use digital recording software to mix and record their vocals, instruments and other sound input. A physical mixer allows many devices to be connected at once to the laptop and allows the user to control the audio settings of each device from the mixer. Direct-to-computer recording eliminates the need for tapes or other physical forms of recording.

Connect one end of the 1/8-inch audio line to your computer "Line In" or "Audio In" jack. On many laptops, this is located directly next to the headphone or "Line Out" jack.

Connect the other end of the audio line (the red and white ends) to the matching jacks on the main "Audio Out" or "Line Out" channel on the mixer. If needed, use a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch adaptor on each of the RCA cable ends before connecting them to the mixer.

Click on the desktop icon for the audio recording software program you are using. Verify that the mixer's power is turned on and at least one channel is connected to an input device, such as an instrument or microphone. Some audio programs will automatically detect the mixer. If not, click on "Recording" or "Settings" or "Preferences" and select an option for "Record" from audio in, external device or line in.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8-inch audio out to RCA audio in line
  • 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch adaptors (if mixer uses larger inputs)
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About the Author

Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.