Re-building my electronic music home studio with a new computer at the heart of it. Have lots of pieces but not sure of optimal setup/signal path.
Pull various external and internal sound sources into the DAW with as high-quality as possible. Output from PC and record simultaneously (sing or play fresh track while listening to playback in headphones). Easily record spontaneous noise blurts while incorporating same into larger arrangements.
Mediocre (bad?) sound card (Dell stock)
Behringer Xenyx1002FX mixer
(basic effects processor built-in)
Mackie reference monitors
Electric guitar (recent purchase, noob in this area)
Various corded and non-corded sound makers (monosynths, theremin, hand held percussion, etc.)
Various rack effects (not married to these but they are available)
Hardware considering buying:
Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB DA
Behringer GDI21 Guitar Amp Modeler
Higher quality Condenser Microphone
Software considering buying:
FL Studio Producer Edition (adds DAW functionality)
Mackie Tracktion? (playing with the demo at the moment)
I know FL very well but I'm open to learning a new arranger/sequencer if it offers distinct advantages. Fruity can be relegated to a beat maker if necessary. I just like the grid/loop based beat composing model. Not sure if this exists in other software. No external MIDI devices (yet).
I trust the quality of the Mackie DA but where would it go in the signal path relative to the mixer? Do I sum all my sources with the mixer and then send the masters through the Mackie? Would the recorded signal be cleaner by going source>mackie>computer? If I run it that way, how do I get sound control during casual experimentation (not recording)? Is there a better way to rig the core of this system to give me more recording flexibility?
Thanks much AMeFi.