nTrack and external mixers

Can I use one for mixdowns?

I’m thinking of buying this… http://www.piedog.com/musical…2fx.htm I note that it has USB support. My question is, can I use this with nTrack to do mixes with? I know I can use it while recording but for actual mixdowns, it would be nice to be able to use a proper desk. Sorry if this is obvious, but I’m just getting into this side of things, Daz

I am not positive, but I don’t think you can do that. Your soundcard would have to have an out for each channel to plug into your mixer. I’m no expert, so…


Thanks for the reply. Bummer. I was hoping that ntrack could be trained to assign each new track to a fader on the desk. It would make things so much easier wouldn’t it?

If you have a multi-output soundcard then yes you can (eg my Delta 44 has 4 outs so I can send one to each channel),

…but really you don’t want to do this - you lose the benefits of volume/pan/effect automation as well as the ability to save mixes at each stage.

Be sure to check the specs on nay USB mixer that you buy and make sure that you understand how many channels the mixer actually sends through the USB port. Even though they may have many input ports often they only send the stereo mix out of the USB port.

OK guys, thanks for the advice. Is there any software around that anyone knows of that does allow you to hook up an external mixer for mixdown?

Are you getting this for a more hands on approach with your music software (DAW)? Or are you getting it to set up an hardware studio?

Im asking this because I think this can not physically control faders for any DAW, it’s a mixing board not an I/O controller for software. But as an input interface, then out to your soundcard #### ya. Those Behringer guys sure know how to price their gear.

It’s really for a more hands on approach to home recording on my DAW.


I almost did the same as you and just about purchased a mixer figuring it could control my nTrack faders and knobs.

What you wan’t to look for is a midi controller with assignable buttons. Even a midi keyboard with a few sliders, some rotary knobs would do as long as these are assignable. I posted a topic a while back for a controller recomendation and got quite a few responses.

I’ll find it for you and get back

Do a forum search for Midi controller recomendation. My post is there.

Another thing to be aware of is there is different code for communication to the DAW, so you will have to ask around to make sure these units are compatible with nTrack.

If you have a multiple-output soundcard you can do this in N-track but I would recommend against it. If you have a digital board (I have a Tascam DM-24) with a digital connection you can avoid the increase in noise that an analog board will inevitably introduce and even retain the ability to use automation if you set it up correctly, but I would argue that you would be better off just learning to mix using the software.

While I have both methods available (and can use the board as a controller if I want), I find that drawn volume envelopes are much more powerful and flexible than anything you can do with physical faders. I use the software mixer for the static adjustments and envelopes for everything else. Hardware faders are great for live sound (including monitor mixes) but I find the software approach much easier and more powerful for mixing.

If you are determined to use an external mixer you do have to be sure you know how many channels are supported by its interface. If the channels are available you can select them in the channel output drop-down once you have enabled them in the preferences section of N-Track. I have sent channels out to my board to insert hardware devices such as my Line6 pod in the signal path (to reamp a recorded guitar) but do not do it regularly.


The user manual does not mention “USB” or “computer”. I’d shy away from it until they can explain what the USB interface actually does!

A little digging reveals that the USB “connection” is a 2 channel accessory (2-in, 2-out) that is not built-in to the mixer. There are several similar “USB mixers” that only have stereo connections although some may have the interface built-in rather than external as this seems to be. They are almost always vague on the details and it is frequently difficult to find the references. If they do not promote the number of digital channels it is probably stereo. If they do not claim USB 2.0 it is almost certainly stereo as well since USB 1.0 cannot support the bandwidth required for multiple channels.

In general you will not get multiple digital channels except on an all digital board. Once you have A/D conversion on each input you are most of the way to a full digital board anyway.


Thanks a lot guys. Your advice has been a great help! Daz