How to Connect a Mixer to a Multitrack Recorder

Written by david medairos
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How to Connect a Mixer to a Multitrack Recorder
Control the signals sent to your multitrack machine with a mixing board. (Mixing Desk image by peterord from

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.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1/4-inch patch cables

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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