Hugo Salvado


Studio Mix/Tape

In the studio, trying to get a good decent mix without spending a zillion euros in high-end mics, amps, effects and compressor. Cables cost money, too!

It’s not like we use tape these days… I once used a Fostex X26 (4-track) but only for ideas and jamming over my rhythm tracks, and now it’s all digital, using either Pro Tools or Cubase. The latter, in my case.

Subjects Covered

Since I started playing with others, and being a guitarist who lent a hand on vocals, it felt somewhat natural to learn how to operate my gear, as well as placing a mic, recording the rehearsal, working with the mix, etc.; I am nowhere near proficiency, but I know the concepts and I can add a valid opinion/view in what is done in the studio while recording and/or mixing.

Here, and for future reference, I will add contentes regarding:

  1. How to make a ‘direct out’ cable when your mixing table doesn’t have one, but only ‘inserts’;
  2. Why pointing a microphone directly to the cone doesn’t always mean “perpendicular” to the grill cloth;
  3. Is there any reason for (…)


A ‘direct out’ when your mixing table has none

My first mixing board was a Behringer MX2496 which I bought with 3 band members when we decided we needed our own PA system to use in our gigs. Each track had its own ‘in’, ‘balanced in’, ‘insert’, and ‘direct out’, which allowed us to record our stuff, track by track, using a 8-channel A/D converter, a MotU 2408 MkII [review – Musician’s Friend] which I bought later on, and still use to this day.

Some 10 years after, when I decided to upgrade, I got the opportunity of getting a 32-track Mackie mixing table for a very decent amount, and I almost passed on the deal because it had no ‘direct out’ sockets.
Good thing I googled solutions for the problem I thought I had (spoiler alert: it was really not a problem).

Diagram - an "insert" socket used as a "direct out"

Diagram – an “insert” socket used as a “direct out”

Remembering that the “insert” inputs are stereo send/receive TRS sockets, if you disregrard the input and use only the output, you will not have the “receive” of that connection, but rather only the send.

In other terms, a “direct out” without effects or subject to any board controls.
Perfect, if you are using an A/D converter (like my old MotU 2408) on the path to the DAW software.

The center of the cone vs mic pointing