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I just bought an Alesis MultiMix 4 USB.

What I wanted it for was the ability to connect 4 microphones to my computer via USB, in order to record a podcast where 4 people could be individually miked. I was so concerned about USB driver issues, that I think I did not look into other issues.

The problem is that if I plug a microphone in to the inputs for channels 3 and 4, I get absolutely no response.

What puzzles me is that I can use the 1/4" line-in jacks on channels 1 and 2 and they work fine. So what's the deal with channels 3 and 4? I can clearly see they don't have as many controls and features as channels 1 and 2, but I thought they would at least be able to take a line in from a microphone.

What is going on with channels 3 and 4? Why do they not register any microphone input?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

1/4" Jack Inputs don't have a preamp like XLR connections. In other words if your microphone needs power from the mixer you won't get it from a 1/4" socket. To prove a point, try connecting something else at "Line level". Like a CD player and listen to see whether that comes through.

I assume your not familiar with "Line level", so here'a reference explaining a bit about it: http://www.ovnilab.com/articles/linelevel.shtml

You can either buy a preamp unit or swap the mixer for something with 4 preamps.

Hope this helps.

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Yes, thank you. It was not knowing what a "line-level" input was, and assuming all inputs are the same that led to this erroneous purchase. –  Dave M G Feb 2 '13 at 11:47
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If you look at the information on the web page you linked to, this is by design:

Channels one and two have independent gain trims, while channels three and four are configured as a stereo pair at the level and pan controls.


The MultiMix 4 USB mixer has four input channels, all of which can accept a 1/4" line input. You can can plug XLR microphones into channels one and two, including condensers thanks to the mixer's switchable 48V-phantom power supply.

So you cannot use this as a 4 input mic mixer. You'll either need to pick up a different mixer or try pre-amplifying the inputs, as channels 3 and 4 are line level.

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You're right about what the specifications say, but the problem is that I did not understand what those specifications meant. In any case, is it possible to purchase a pre-amplified microphone, or small portable amp that I can put between the mike and inputs 3 and 4? –  Dave M G Feb 2 '13 at 12:00
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