Alesis MultiMix 12 FireWire, 16 FireWire, 12, 16 User Manual

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A Tour of the MultiMix FireWire 2

LED Meters

These are the two rows of yellow, green and red lights you see in the master section of the mixer. They are very versatile, allowing you to view the signal level of the main mix, individual channels (both preand post-fader)and aux returns depending on which signal you have routed to the control room mix.

POWER Indicator

When this LED is lit up, that means the POWER ON switch on the rear of the mixer has been activated.

+48V Indicator

When this one is lit up, that means the PHANTOM ON switch on the rear of the mixer has been activated and is supplying +48V phantom power to all XLR mic inputs.


2 A Tour of the MultiMix FireWire

Rear of the Mixer

Here’s what you’ll find at the rear of the mixer.

Power Input

Here’s where you plug in your mixer’s external power supply. You should always connect your power supply to the mixer before you plug the power supply into an electrical outlet.

Power Supply Unit

This unit provides 18.5 VAC at 700 mA of power, more than enough to keep your MultiMix running smoothly. As with nearly all power supply units, this one tends to get warm when left on for a while. This is perfectly normal.

Power On

Another easy one. Switch this one on and your mixer has power. Switch it off and it doesn’t. Make sure the faders in the master section are pulled all the way down when powering your mixer up or down.

Phantom On

This switch activates and deactivates the phantom power described in “Mic Inputs (Channels 1 – 4),” page 13. This switch controls phantom power for all four mic inputs.

Firewire ports

These ports allow you to connect the MultiMix to a computer for multichannel digital audio communication. Use one port to connect to a computer; the other port can be used for other computer peripherals (like external hard drives).


The POWER INPUT is built to accept only the power supply unit provided with your MultiMix, or an AC power supply that has the same specs. Others probably will not work.

As we said earlier, it’s very important that you plug in your microphones and mute your system before you turn on phantom power.

3 Digital Effects Processor

Onboard your MultiMix FireWire is a powerful effects unit that has 100 preset programs. We offer a few tips on where to use these, but don’t limit yourself to our suggestions. We recommend that you experiment with these effects to get a good feel for how they can improve your mixes

Effects Section Components

Program Selection Knob

You can use this knob to assign one of 100 effect programs to

your mix. Turning the knob to the right increments the program number, and turning it to the left decrements the program number.You can control the level of the effect for each channel via the

channel’s AUX B knob. You must PRESS the effect knob to activate the selected effect.

LED Display

This display shows you the number of the current program.

CLIP Indicator

When lit, this LED tells you that there is a signal clip at the internal effects input. This means that you should reduce the signal via the EFFECTS / AUX RET B LEVEL control.

SIG Indicator

When lit, this LED indicates that the effects processor is receiving a signal.

Effect Descriptions


This type of reverb simulates the ambience of a grand concert hall.


This type of reverb reproduces the more intimate ambiance of natural room acoustics.


These are simulations of metal plate reverbs, as used on classic recordings from the '70s and '80s.


These are simulations of the reverb created by artificial echo chambers, as used on classic recordings of the '50s and '60s.


3 Digital Effects Processor


These create the effect of multiple voices (or instruments) sounding at once from a single input.


These create a sweeping, swooshing sound effect that you will probably recognize.


These effects are based on a discreet repetition or echo of the input.


These effects transpose the pitch of the input signal and blend the effect signal with the original to create harmonies.


These are combinations of two or more of the above effects.


4 Traditional Mixing

Simple Live Setup

Connect your instruments and microphones to the mono and stereo channels, making sure to properly set the level of each channel.

You can select one on-boardeffect and control its level with the AUX B knob for each channel. You can also use an external effects processor by sending a signal to the external unit via the AUX SEND A and returning it via AUX RETURN A (you’ll probably want to set AUX SEND A to POST, for“post-fader.”).

If you wish, you can use a second external effects processor via AUX SEND B and AUX RETURN B. However, note that use of an external effects processor on these jacks disables the internal effects.

Connect the MAIN MIX OUT to a PA system amplifier. For monitoring purposes, you can connect the CTRL RM OUT to a headphone amplifier. You could also connect a digital equalizer (like the Alesis DEQ-230D)between the DIGITAL OUTPUT and a PA system for extra tone control.

By muting channels and pressing the ALT 3/4-to-HDPH/CTRLRM button in, you can audition a channel before you bring it into the mix, making sure the levels are OK before the audience hears it.

Using Additional External Audio


The MultiMix gives you a few extra audio inputs in addition to the mic and line inputs. If you want to bring external audio sources into a recording or live mix, you can do it in one of two ways:

Using the 2-TRACKIN, you can add a tape deck, ADAT, CD player, Firewire audio stream from a computer, or other source to the mix. The2-TRACKIN also can be used to entertain the audience with a CD as the band is setting up for a live show.

The AUX RETURNS can be used as additional audio inputs when you are not using them for effects.

S/PDIF digital output to a digital recorder

Connect the S/PDIF DIGITAL OUTPUT of your MultiMix console to the DIGITAL IN on your external digital recorder (12-channeland16-channelmodels only).

Audio coming into the MultiMix from a computer over the Firewire connection is routed to the 2-TRACKIN.

You can use the RCA jacks of the 2-TRACKIN at the same time as audio is playing back from a computer, but you must adjust the relative levels of each input from outside the MultiMix.

The S/DPIF output operates at 24 bits. This is compatible with devices like CD recorders that operate at 16 bits: the least significant bits are simply ignored by the 16bit device.


5 Traditional Mixing

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5 Firewire Recording

Important: download the drivers from onto a folder on your desktop or insert the software CD into your computer’s CD drive BEFORE you plug your MultiMix into your computer for the first time.

First-timeconnection instructions and driver installation

Important: Follow these steps BEFORE you plug in your MultiMix FireWire mixer for the first time.

If your computer has access to the Internet, point your browser to the Support > Downloads section of It’s possible that updated drivers have been posted there since the time the software CD included with your MultiMix was printed.

Using either drivers from the website or the software CD, connect your MultiMix FireWire to your computer and turn the MultiMix FireWire on.


Under Windows XP, the “Found New Hardware” wizard will run. You will be prompted to install a series of drivers.

If you downloaded the drivers from the Internet, choose to install the drivers from a specific location when prompted, and point to the folder that contains the drivers.

If you are using the drivers from the CD, choose to install the drivers automatically when prompted.

For each of the several installations that occur, click “Continue Anyway” if Windows warns you that the drivers have not passed Microsoft Logo Certification.

Windows Logo Certification warning.

Ignore this warning by clicking “Continue Anyway.”

Your MultiMix Firewire mixer requires several sets of drivers to work properly. The installation process will automatically install these drivers one by one. Let the installer continue installing the various sets of drivers until the you see a message stating, “Your

These drivers include the two most popular standards for audio interfacing—WDM(the “Windows Driver Model” built by Microsoft) and ASIO (the “Audio Stream Input/Output” standard used by many audio software applications).


5 Firewire Recording

new hardware is installed and ready to use.” Do not cancel any of the installations, as they are all required for proper operation.


Mac driver installation is more straightforward, as only CoreAudio drivers are installed. Simply double-clickthe installer program to install the drivers.

Mac OS X 10.3 or higher is required by the MultiMix drivers.

Installing the optional applications

The software CD that comes with the MultiMix FireWire contains not only the drivers (the small computer programs that work behind the scenes so that your MultiMix works properly with your computer) but also some powerful musicapplications.

If you don’t already have a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) program, definitely install the one provided on the CD. It’s a fantastic way to get started in computer-basedrecording. You may find that it’s the only program you need.

The demo applications give you a taste of some of the premier computer-basedmusic programs on the market today. We encourage you to install and explore them.

Power-on/Poweroff order

To ensure that the MultiMix is recognized correctly by your computer, follow these instructions for powering on and off your equipment:


1.Connect mics and line-levelsources to the MultiMix.

2.Connect the MultiMix to the computer using the Firewire cable.

3.Turn on the MultiMix. Wait a couple of seconds.

4.Turn on the computer.


1.Turn off the computer. Wait for the computer to shut down entirely.

2.Turn off the MultiMix.


All digital audio carried over the Firewire connection is 24-bitPCM data. (Digital audio sent through the S/PDIF output is 16bit—thestandard bit rate for CD audio.)

If you have a notebook computer with a miniFirewire connection, use a 4- pin to 6-pinFirewire cable (not included) to connect to the MultiMix FireWire.

You can use either of the two Firewire ports on the back of the MultiMix. The other port can be used to attach another Firewire-basedcomputer peripheral, such as an external hard drive.

Firewire Recording 5

Firewire inputs and outputs

Channels sent from the MultiMix to the


The Firewire port sends every individual mixer channel as well as the MultiMix’s MAINOUT/2-TRACKOUT left and right signals to the computer. This means that, for the MultiMix 12 FireWire, 12 individual channels are sent to the computer along with the MAIN stereo pair (14 channels in total.) For the MultiMix 16 FireWire, 16 individual channels are sent to the computer along with the MAIN stereo pair (18 channels in total.)

Individual channels

The INDIVIDUAL channels sent to the computer send the signal after the preamp gain knob, the high-passfilter, thethree-bandEQ, and the channel fader.

The effects of the AUX send knobs are NOT included in the outputs of the individual channels.

MAIN MIX channels

The MAIN mix channels sent to the computer exactly mirror the MAIN output of the mixer. If you are only interested in making stereo recordings, consider recording the MAIN channels in your recording software.

Channels returned from the computer to the


The Firewire port receives a stereo audio stream from the computer and assigns it to the2-TRACKIN left and right channels of your MultiMix mixer. Note that, if a device is connected to the MultiMix’s2-TRACKIN inputs, the signal from this device is merged with the signal from the computer.

To understand why the AUX signals are not blended into the individual channel feeds to the computer, consider the nature of AUX sends:

Every channel can send none, some, or all of its signal to the AUX processors. For instance, in the MultiMix 12, 12 different signals could be sent to an external processor, all at different levels.

However, that AUX processor can only return at most a stereo pair into the mixer. There’s no way that the processor could route the effects of each channel back to that channel directly without including the signal from the other channels as well.


5 Firewire Recording

Sound setup under Windows

To use your MultiMix FireWire as your default Windows sound device, follow these steps:

1.From the Windows Start menu, choose “Control Panel.” Depending on your Windows preferences, it will appear similar to one of the two pictures below:

2.Choose “Sounds and Audio Devices”.

3.Click the “Audio” tab. Change the default devices for both sound playback and sound recording to the MultiMix. (For sound recording, choose the “MultiMix Main” option.)