Recording with a Microphone to Ableton Live - Mixing Bench

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Overview

This article describes recording a microphone with the Apollo x8 interface into Ableton Live.

  • You will need to get a microphone with an XLR connector from Media Loan.
  • You will also need an XLR mic cable

Audio Interface

The Mixing Benches have a Apollo audio interface. The Audio Interface - Mixing Bench article has additional information about the Apollo x8.

  • On the front there are two HI-Z inputs inputs (labelled HI-Z 1 and HI-Z 2)
    • Theses are for low level signal like electric guitars.  Only use mono 1/4 cables.
  • There are 4 XLR mic inputs on the back of the interface.
    • There is a panel with 4 XLR jacks below the interface.
    • These are connected to the 4 mic inputs.
    • Microphones can be connected to these inputs using XLR cables (not included in the room).
    • Each input has:
      • Trim control knob for setting input levels
      • Pad for reducing input levels
      • 48V Phantom Power for powering condenser microphones
      • Low cut filter.

Recording

Setting Mic Levels

  1. Connect the microphone to Mic In1 on the XLR panel
  2. Set the Input for channel 1 of the Apollo x8
    • Press the Preamp knob to toggle until the 1 appears on the LCD panel
    • Press the Input the button until Mic appears on the LCD panel
  3. If it is a condenser mic turn on the phantom power
    • Press the +48V button to turn on or off the phantom power
  4. Talk into to the mic
  5. Adjust the Preamp knob while looking at Input 1 meter on the Apollo x8
  6. Set the levels so that the signal is a little bit into the yellow.

Monitoring

  • Turn down the silver knob on the Mackie Big Knob monitor controller
  • Connect the headphones to the headphone jack (HP 1) on the Apollo x8
  • While talking into the mic turn up the HP 1 knob until you hear the mic in the headphones.

Ableton Live

Creating a Live Set

  1. Open the Ableton Live application
  2. Go to File > New Live Set
  3. Go to File > Save Live Set
  4. In the Save dialog click Desktop button on the left.
  5. Name the Set
  6. Click Save
    • Always save the Live set before recording
    • If the Set is not saved Live will try to save temp files to location that might cause errors

Recording the First Track

  1. Set the input of the first audio track to Mic/Line/Hi-Z 1
  2. Click the Track Record Enable button on that Track
  3. Check record levels and headphone levels.
  4. Click the Record button at the top of the window.
  5. Click the Stop button when done
  6. Click the Track Record Enable button on the track to unarm the track.
  7. Click the Stop button return to zero.
  8. Click Play to playback the recording.
    • Turn up the silver knob on the Mackie Big Knob monitor controller to listen on the speakers.

Setting Up the Headphone Mix

  1. On track with the recording click on Send C
  2. Click the Play button to playback the audio
  3. Slowly turn up the Send C knob until you the signal in the headphones
    • When making an overdub adjust the track headphone level to the headphone level of the mic

Recording a Second Track While Monitoring Track 1

  1. Turn down the silver knob on the Mackie Big Knob monitor controller
  2. Set the input of a second track to Mic/Line/Hi-Z 1
  3. Click the Track Record Enable button on the track.
  4. Check record levels and headphone levels.
  5. Cue Live to where you want it to start.
  6. Click the Record button to start recording.
  7. Click the Stop button when done
  8. Click the Track Record Enable button on the track to unarm the track.
  9. Click Play to playback the recording.
    • Turn up the silver knob on the Mackie Big Knob monitor controller listen on the speakers.

Recording Multiple Tracks

  • When recording multiple tracks repeat the steps above
  • Set headphone levels for each playback track
  • Set the input for each record track