I've been recording my band with a Zoom H2 plugged into the board. It's fine for a small act - mandolin and guitar, with vocals - and it's not too hard to make the final result sound decent with some clever EQ.

However, we've recently had a percussionist join the act. This complicates matters from an audio standpoint. I've also started taking a second guitar to gigs, and we've been discussing bringing a bass guitar along as well. I think it's time to at least look into multitracking live shows.

Here's what we have available:

  • A Macbook Pro 15" with Logic Express
  • MOTU Audio Express
  • MOTU 828
  • Mackie 1402 mixing board
  • Tons of mics and cables
  • PA with mains and monitors

My question:

How do we go about feeding audio both into the board and the audio interface? The only outs from the board are stereo pairs, but there are six 1/4" channel inserts. Can I use these for signal output? If not, how can I split the audio signals before they go into the mixer? Am I even asking the right questions?

I'd also like to point out that we won't have a separate engineer during shows. We need a set-and-forget solution. Is doing this during gigs too ambitious?

Edit: We ended up getting a Mackie Onyx firewire board. Easy setup, and it lets you send multitrack audio to a computer while also mixing for the PA. The Onyx is a decent live mixer if you don't need to save setups, and I found it very good for recording multitracked drums.

1 Answer 1


Your MOTU 828 is not just an audio interface, but also a mixer.

The easy way to make multi-track recordings would be to just run all of your inputs into your 828, and then record using your favorite DAW. If you don't have enough inputs on the 828, you can use the Mackie to sum up some of your inputs, reducing the total number of channels. Then use either the front panel of the 828 or the CueMix software to manage your mix.

If you try to split your signals so that they go into both the MOTU and the Mackie, you will have signal loss and have to manage the mix in two separate places. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

I'm not sure about the 828 MkI, but the 828 MkII and MkIII definitely allow you to save your mixes. You can then recall your preset at the beginning of each show.

  • We have an 828 mkII. I'm not familiar with it yet - it's the drummer's - but I know the MOTU AudioExpress has some of the same features, letting you use it a a mixer as well as an interface. But it doesn't have nearly enough inputs. If the 828 will work with a modern version of OSX, this sounds like it could work. Dec 31, 2011 at 22:42
  • I'm using my 828 MkII with Snow Leopard, and it is rock solid. It has a lot of inputs, and you can add additional inputs via ADAT if that isn't enough. It is a four-bus mixer, and you can completely control the mix from the front panel or the CueMix software. Great for making a live mix on one bus and multitracking to your DAW. Dec 31, 2011 at 23:12
  • Once you register with motu.com, you can download all the software. Jan 1, 2012 at 4:58

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