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How to Connect a Mixer to a Multitrack Recorder

Updated April 17, 2017

Multitrack recorders are a great way to capture the sound from several microphones or audio sources simultaneously. However, most multitrack machines are designed without preamps, which are needed to amplify the signal from a microphone to line level. Connecting a mixing board to your multitrack recorder is the best way to gain control of all your audio sources and microphones before they are recorded.

Connect the "Direct Out" jacks from your mixing board to the corresponding input jacks of your multitrack recorder using 1/4-inch unbalanced patch cables.

Connect your microphone or line level audio source to the input connections at the top of each channel of your mixing board.

Monitor the level meters on your multitrack recorder while adjusting the trim or gain knob of each channel of your mixing board. Try to set a level for each channel so that the loudest sounds do not push the multitrack's meters into the red.

Tip

You can also use the insert connections of your mixing board to connect to your multitrack if direct out connections aren't available. However, using this method means that no signal will pass through your mixing board past the preamp. This can be useful if only the preamp sections are needed.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4-inch patch cables
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About the Author

David Medairos is a freelance writer and musician. With more than 10 years of experience in various fields, he has amassed a general knowledge of most technical and mechanical subjects, computer science and audio engineering, as well as R&D, customer service and marketing. He has written for "Connections Magazine," and is a frequent blogger on several consumer tech sites.